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An Interview with Street Photographer Nico Harold from Indonesia

RK : Please Say something about you.

A person who loves to creating art from everyday moment through his camera. A street blogger who loves to share tips and trick based on his experience practising street photography.

RK : What are your favorite genres of Photography?

Street photography

RK : Was there anything specific that you can remember that made you want to become a photographer?

The ability to create art things into this world. The urge to create something (art) from zero into something real is already inside my self since I was kid, but no matter what I tried (painting ,singing, playing music instrument, dance, etc) I never really feel that things suit myself. Then I tried to learn more about photography, and suddenly I fall in love with street photography's concept. Create art from random things that happen in human's daily life.

RK : What was the first camera that you received?

Fujifilm X-T1 and Fujinon XF35mm f/2

RK : What camera & equipment do you use now?

Fujifilm X-T2, Fujifilm X-E3, Fujinon XF16mm f/1.4, XF23mm f/1.4, XF35mm f/2. XF56mm f/1.2

RK : If you were told that you could only keep one camera and lens combination, what would it be?

Fujifilm X-T2 and Fujinon XF23mm f/1.4

RK : Among your works, which one is your favorite? Why?

Visual art in street photography are: Silhouette, reflection, and shadow. This image able to capture these three elements at one time.

RK : What does ‘street photography’ mean to you?

I divide street photography into two things: Documentary Human Life and Visual Art.

RK : What do you want your viewers to take away from your work?

Documentary Human Life: Extracting stories from a certain person or a group of people. These stories come from aspects such as: Face expression, gesture, unique outfit, or any other objects around that related to main subject.

Visual Art: Create artistic image according to vision or imagination of the photographer as an artist. Translate photographer's imagination into reality as the way photographer see this world through his mind.

To see an artistic visual art and infuse their imagination with reality to translate the story inside my photos.

RK : What do you think are some clichés in street photography you steer away from yourself?

Street photography must have deep story line inside, aesthetic is just a bonus. I think it is not always true, photography is a form of art, therefore artistic feel/form inside photo is truly important.

RK : Who are some of your favorite classic photographers, and how did they influence you?

Saul Leiter. It is amazing how he able to compose form and colours beautifully. Also love to see his creative shoots using layer, framing or shoot mysterious subject to create stronger looks image. The fact that he use longer lens (longer than 50mm) also influence me to use 85mm lens a lot in street photography.

RK : When you are out shooting—how much of it is instinctual versus planned?

I know what I like to shoot. I have my own basic planning. However, I will keep it open to any other surprise elements that perhaps suddenly show up. Have plan, but still flexible.

RK : What is your approach with the camera when you find yourself photographing strangers on the street?

When I shoot stranger, I will keep my camera stay still even when subject already moved. I will put my eyes to any objects behind subject, so people think that I only photographed things behind them.

RK : When you are shooting, do you have an image in your mind? Do you build the final photo before shooting it or are your images also a result of a post-production phase?

Yes, most of the time when I see someone unique from further away, or if I find a certain unique place and wait till subject enter my frame,then I will try to create an imaginary image in my mind. Predict people's movement. This way I will know better where and when to stand to click camera shutter. Post production is just a finishing touch, never "create" image based on post process. Bad image is bad image regardless how skillful the post pro technique.

RK : In a street picture, do you think the contrasts of light are important to tell a story or are just an aesthetic fact?

Both. Important to tell stories because we can use shadow's shape into geometry or unique form to add story line. Of course, aesthetically it's also pleasing to see.

RK : How does black and white vs color play into your work? Do you find them to be totally separate beasts—or complementary?

When we create colour image, we need to know how colours will affect the mood inside our photo. Black and white is focus more on form/geometry. I like both, and they are simply different one to each other.

RK : Do you have any tips for photographers to help them grow artistically?

Bring your camera everyday and start shooting right now. Anytime you see something interesting (even if only slight), always shoot it first and decide later whether it is a good image or not. Better to delete bad photos rather than miss great moment.

RK : Have you ever been to India and anything you know about Indian Art & Culture?

No, however one of my image ever selected by The Print Swap and Ami Vitale to appear at the Indian Photography Festival .

RK : We (Retro Kolkata) are trying to make a bridge between National and International Art & Culture By featuring some National & International personalities who already have made their own path in their respective fields and we think your story and tips might help the newcomers to build their career. Please say something about our initiative and any special message for your Indian followers.

That is great, more and more people will understand about what we (street photographer) do. Photography is an art, street photographer is an artist.


Follow Nico Harold on Instagram

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