Post-Lockdown Street Photo Challenge: Chinatown POV

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First day of shops reopening in the UK and I immediately went out for a post-lockdown Street Photo challenge in Chinatown.
And you can watch it unfold on my YouTube channel! :)

Filming and editing for YouTube is so much fun I really feel silly for having procrastinated for so long. I always found plenty of excuses that in the end don’t matter at all. Yes, I’m nervous being on the other side of the camera, I make mistakes, I don’t know how to film… But it doesn’t matter. It will all come with practice, practice, practice.
And this is something I preach all the time in photography and design, so why was I not following my own predicament with YouTube? Well, at least now I started.

So let’s dive in.


Last Monday was the first day shops were allowed to reopen in London and the rest of the UK. I don’t have the exact time frame, but I think they were forced to close for over 2 months, which of course had a huge impact on the economy. So it’s great news that they’re finally able to reopen, providing they have safety measures in place.

Being a Monday, I was not expecting crowds swarming in the shopping streets of London. But I was still hopeful that those who could be out to help reboot the economy. Obviously, the customers have suffered an economic impact too, so there is less money to spend. But when journalists interviewed people in the streets, most said they missed the shopping experience so maybe…

But not just yet.

Which made the post-lockdown street photo challenge I set up for myself even harder.

The Post Lockdown Street Photo Challenge

When testing the Fujifilm X100V, I actually very much enjoyed the constraints. That is a compact fixed camera lens: one small body and a 23mm focal length. And to someone like me, obsessed with gear and tech, it almost feels liberating to remove a whole bag full of gear “because I may need this if that happens”.
The reality is that having options sometimes becomes a hindrance. I know that all too well from my UX Design days when my main goal was always “make it simple”.

And so, I decided to replicate the feeling with my Fujifilm X-T4. I went out with the aim of shooting with one lens only. Of course, with the 23mm f/2, to have the same experience as the X100V even if on a larger scale. The camera sensor is the same on both cameras, so the difference should only be in size.

I also gave myself a time constraint and decided to set a 15 minutes challenge.
I was expecting enough people around to have quite a few opportunities, even in such a limited time. Guess you’ll have to watch the video to see how it went. ;)

POV filming

This is a completely new experience for me. I clipped a GoPro to my chest and filmed the whole challenge, showing myself using the camera whenever I saw a picture to take. I played FPS video games for a while, and this feels the same. It’s even the same word in English for guns and photo cameras! So First Person Shooter is very much appropriate here.

This again needs practice, practice, practice, but I enjoy it a lot. And if you have any advice to improve this way of filming, please reach out on Instagram, YouTube or here and let me know. It would really help!

The post-lockdown street photo challenge is also something I will do again and again, well maybe minus the “post-lockdown” label in a few weeks. Setting challenges for yourself is a very effective way to practice, learn, and find purpose and inspiration. Even simple ones, that’s fine. What matters is setting a goal and feeling a sense of accomplishment in the end.

If you want to join me next time, reach out on Instagram @fabienb and let’s meet. Or if you’re willing to take on a challenge yourself, anywhere you live, use the hashtag #fabienbchallenge and I’ll come to view and comment on your photos!

And finally, here’s the YouTube video:

HARD Post Lockdown Challenge - Chinatown Street Photography POV

See you next time!

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Creative. Nomad. Photographer. (he/him) /// formerly: Creative Director, UX Lead, DesignOps Manager, Web/Graphic Designer, Photographer, YouTuber, DJ, Public Speaker, Content Creator, AI-enthusiast, Food-Blogger... /// Award-winning Designer and Photographer, published and exhibited worldwide /// also known as Koan (DJ, Design)

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