Practice Zone Focusing – Chinatown Street Photography Outing

Motion Blur Without Tripod

It was my fourth time joining the FJM outing in Kuala Lumpur in 2022 so I decided to take this outing for zone focus practice session. When you attend a street photography outing, you will learn a lot. It is also an excellent opportunity to improve and learn from skilled Malaysian street photographers.

Honestly speaking I’ve been shooting at Petaling Street for quite sometimes but most of my shots of street photography in Malaysia look quite simple, more to sightseeing as I said before. There are several types of street photography; by participating in the outing, I will learn how to find interesting sights and daily life events on the street.

Practice Zone Focusing for Street Photography

This is my first time trying zone focus with my 7artisans 25mm lens, which I rarely use. I noticed that when I used this focus technique on the street, my photography style and the photographs looked different than before. I generally use autofocus for street and portrait photography, so why not try something different this time?

This made-in-China 7artisan manual lens may appear inexpensive (purchased new for RM250), but it provides sharp image quality and compact size, despite some chromatic aberrations when shooting at f8 and higher.

Do Out of Focus Images Matter?

Zone Focusing Practice Blur Malaysia
Zone focusing – out of focus

The saying practise made perfect is true. Now I am starting to use zone focus while shooting streets because I can capture the moments quickly without half-pressing the shutter button to focus. I noticed that once I get used to this technique, I no longer have the habit to use the viewfinder or LCD screen anymore.

Well, practising zone focusing techniques let you shoot a lot faster without missing the moments and of course, you only get sharp images within the focused zone you have set. Back to the question. No, it doesn’t matter if your photographs are blurry as long as you love them, doing it for fun or just for creative purposes, but the size of your camera does.

I agreed with the street photographer experts that sometimes we need a small and compact size camera when doing street. I found out that when shooting street with my Fujifilm X-T4, the camera is very bulky, big to hold and easily gets noticed by strangers or people.

It was quite fun to join the street photography outing in Chinatown Kuala Lumpur organised by FJM because there are still many things to explore in town and it’s unlimited. If you are shooting streets alone or in groups you can check out the 7 incredible street photography projects that might help you get some ideas of what to shoot next.

The Struggle

It’s all about the distance when shooting with zone focusing. Sometimes I struggled with the distance of my subjects, I have to get near to the subject to get the shot. I might need to practice more! I did have the highlight peaking turned on to check the focus. For the next shoot, I might want to readjust the distance according to the scene.

Final Thoughts

Here I have compiled a list of street photos from a recent outing in Chinatown. All photos are shot using the Fujifilm X-T4 film simulation recipes such as the Nomadic Mood for moody colour and One for the Road for the black & white photos. All I can say is, to learn it from the experts and then shoot it with your own style, own rules.

I like this series although I’m so obsessed with shooting film photography in Malaysia recently. Well, I’m still new to hyperfocal distance focusing and will of course keep shooting and practising till it’s perfect, less blurry, and more in focus images.

Chinatown Street Photography June 2022

Kwai Chai Hong Street Photography 2022
7artisans 25mm lens – Noticed the chromatic aberration on the shoulder?

Temple Photos 2022
Street Photography KL 2022
Street Photography 2022
Street Photography Kwai Chai Hong 2022

Motion Blur Without Tripod
ND filter with motion blur effect without a tripod – it looks great to me

Zone Focusing Practice - Petaling Street 2022 Street Photography

Petaling Street Photography 2022
Zone focus without looking at the viewfinder or LCD screen

Street Photography Malaysia 2022
Sin Sze Si Ya Temple Street Photography Malaysia

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