All images by Jimmy Yang. Used with permission.
Photographer Jimmy Yang has got his first camera as a gift for his 18th birthday. “After few years of doing all these different kinds of photography I felt a little empty inside. Of course I love the sense of achievement when your capture that beautiful sunset on the beach or that excellent skin tone with perfect lighting, but that was not enough for me.” says Jimmy in our interview. “I want something more personal and something that has more depth and maybe represent some parts of myself. Street photography was the answer for me.” He continues to state that Magnum photographers influenced and inspired him; particularly Elliot Erwitt, Bruce Gilden, and Alex Webb.
To Jimmy, street photography is different from other genres. He believes that it’s highly dependant on a creative mind and the way that an individual sees the world then assembles the world into a photo.
“One thing that attracted me the most in street photography is the endless possibilities. You never know what to expect every time you step out on the street. There are a lot of interesting things out there to be captured, and none of them will happen twice so you often have only one shot to make the most out of it.”
When he showed us his portfolio, we were most intrigued by his photos in the rain. He tends to go out with his film Leica, an umbrella or simply stays underneath things. “…shooting a Leica rangefinder with one hand hold an umbrella can be very challenging. However, sometimes I put on a flash on my camera and set the aperture to around f11 to make zone focusing easier, and it becomes a one-hand operation with this setup.”
Jimmy feels that the rain tends to change things: the look of the street, depression and sorrow comes out, or it can even be romantic if you look at it the right way. He says that you shouldn’t get discouraged by the weather and that some of the best photos are sometimes made in the inclement conditions.
“Just think of the photo of a man with an umbrella jumping in front of Eiffel Tower by Elliot Erwitt. A lot of interesting and exciting scenes can be found under terrible weather, and you will be rewarded as a street photographer to go out a shoot, however, safety still comes first.”