#TechPH - Urban Masterpieces: E-Jay Zhang Talks Street Photography And More in his latest vivo Imaging Academy Masterclass

E-Jay Zhang has long been captivated by urban (or street) photography, starting as a young professional in Shanghai and developing into a curious child in Beijing. He always wanted to photograph the city and its inhabitants, and the rooftop became his preferred location. In an effort to capture the entirety of the city and reveal its other side, he combed locations and strolled streets in search of and to examine diverse subjects, exploring numerous angles in the process.

E-Jay Zhang discusses how using perspective, human subjects, and color can make an image stand out whether it was taken with a professional camera or a smartphone with pro-level camera capabilities like the vivo X80 Pro in the most recent episode of the vivo Imaging Academy Masterclass.

Photography as a part of people’s lives

As travel has turned into an indispensable part of people’s lives, it has likewise made photography an essential skill for most in order to capture and share their thoughts and feelings. That is exactly why photography is so popular these days, he believes. “The ancients recorded by painting and photographic equipment is a recording tool for modern people. Now, people only need a mobile phone to record what’s happening,” shares Zhang.

The current problem, however, is figuring out how to make your images stand out, something that every photographer hopes to accomplish given the growing number of photographers participating in this, both professional and amateur.

Light ‘em up

Zhang enjoys using contrasting hues and imagery to produce a unique environment. He places a high value on the source of light and its direction to highlight the nuances of the subject since he feels that light is the soul of a photograph. For location shooting, dawn and dusk are considered to be the best times since the natural light is at its most delicate.

Although having good lighting greatly improves the quality of the picture, it could not always be possible due to several issues. You might choose to blend natural light with artificial light sources to deal with circumstances in low light, especially at night.

In addition, the widespread use of mobile photography benefits most people because it gives everyone the freedom and convenience to shoot whenever they want, wherever they are. Users can use a mobile phone's various cameras, which offer a number of focal lengths and lenses, to take pictures from a variety of angles. A professional-grade smartphone like the vivo X80 series makes it simpler to experiment with light and color because it has millions of pixels, which are enough for a photographer to take stunning photos.

Find where the action is

Zhang demonstrated how a smartphone can photograph pro-standard images effortlessly and with the maximum consistency while using the vivo X80 Pro in a street photoshoot. He prefers to photograph urban landscapes that include both streets and people since they show actual living conditions and help more people get to know these locations better.

Zhang says that before choosing a location for a film, he always does his homework on the site and observes the foot movement in the neighborhood. Zhang believes that while the presence of people in photographs can add intriguing narratives, it's also critical to reduce any potential distractions and superfluous features.

He shares that it is important to know the environment and to not be afraid to wander. Whether the subjects are people or landscapes, one should remember that there are different angles that can be blended perfectly together depending on perspective. With this technique, photographers will know better where to adjust in terms of light source and find more viewpoints to complement the image.

It’s all a matter of perspective

It can be difficult to find interesting scenarios and come up with original shots, but it's also true that occasionally simple setups can result in the most interesting pictures. All you need to do is change your perspective or learn new ways to use light and other sources. And with continued practice, you will eventually improve.

Zhang reminds both experienced and aspiring photographers that photography is a habit that needs to be developed as he concludes his talk. He advises his students to take notes on anything they find interesting without holding back. “Works are borne out of daily accumulation. This requires us not only to develop shooting habits but more importantly, to observe things we are used to from a different angle so that we can see the unusual in the ordinary, and discover more beauty that people ignore,” Zhang closes.

E-Jay Zhang’s vivo Imaging Masterclass can be watched via vivo’s official Facebook and Youtube channel. Follow vivo’s official website,  Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube to get the latest updates about vivo products. 

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