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Panasonic Lumix GX9 Camera - Hands On Trial
13th February 2018 - 0 comments


Before today’s launch, I was asked by Panasonic to test drive one of their newest Micro Four Thirds, Lumix G cameras. The GX9 is marketed as a step up to the current compact GX8. I only had a week with a hands-on test drive of the GX9, equipped with a few Lumix lenses, but my first impressions are good. Here is a round up some of the highlights…

As a street/lifestyle photographer, there are certain criteria I look for in a camera, and I would say the GX9 covers a lot of them. The body itself, which is quite compact in size, and simple in design, felt very solid and weighty in a good way. A large, well defined hand grip, so even though I wore a strap around my wrist, I never felt the camera would slip from hands, thanks to a well designed contoured grip at front and at back for the thumb. At first, I was concerned that the pad of my thumb would accidentally press function buttons at back, but thanks to a smart thumb-rest design this never happened. The large tilting touch-screen LCD screen is very sharp and clear. The ability to choose a single focus point and simply touch the screen to change that focus point position to anywhere I wanted made getting shots a breeze. An articulating EVF, which can be swiveled upwards so you are looking down to view, comes in useful for shooting at awkward angles and levels. I didn’t test out the built in Wi-Fi option this time around, but may come in very useful when on the road/travelling without a backup facility.

There are a LOT of features packed into the GX9, and also a lot of menu options to customise settings to suit your needs, which I ended up doing. I didn’t get a chance to review every single option. Instead I resorted mostly to using the handy Q MENU button on the back to get to the most commonly used settings, to make any necessary changes on the fly. Again, I didn’t really read the manual, but then the menus themselves are quite intuitive and once you have the personalised settings that you want you are ready to go.



There are only two dial knobs for simple control - the Aperture dial at the front and the shutter dial on the back. As mentioned the smart grip design meant that I was able to continue looking through the viewfinder to see my changes, while instinctively adjusting the appropriate dial settings without having to look at the camera. This functionality came in handy when shooting candid street scenes. Coupled with a 20MP sensor, fast auto focus, a high burst rate with no buffer lag, I felt assured that I would never miss a moment. I tested out the 4K Photo option, which allows you to record a 4k video then select and save a high quality 4k photo frame. Ideal when you want to grab the perfect moment in fast moving action giving you a great sharp shot.



Other useful features include a silent shutter mode, which came in really handy for close up candid shots in quieter locations. I dabbled with some of the in-camera filters, typically sticking with the ‘street photography’ monochrome filters, which are a fun feature to have if you don’t shoot RAW. Another useful feature is the ability to set a minimum shutter speed and a maximum ISO range number. Pushing the ISO to 3200 on a night shoot, I was still able to produce decent quality images. Thanks to built in image stablisation, I was also able to lower my shutter speeds a little lower then usual, without the effects of camera shake. Overall, the GX9 was a pleasure to use, and managed to produce high quality, sharp images that I was impressed with.



A Room With A View - Photo Series
28th January 2018 - 3 comments
As street photographers, we can spend hours, days, weeks, months and years pounding the local streets, travelling the world, searching for that perfect shot. I personally love the outdoors, I love walking, I love my photo walks. The anticipation of possibly turning a corner and observing a cracking moment. The butterflies you get in your stomach just before you hit that shutter button knowing the moment maybe gone in seconds. I have even been known to plan a photo walk around a rainstorm/snow forecast, just to add to my ever-increasing Rainy Days & Brollies series of shots.

Sometimes though, I glance through the windows of my room with a view - raindrops streaming down, camera in hand, debating with myself 'is it worth going out today? Should I risk the warmth and coziness of my Maida Vale apartment to go out and make some pictures? Am I prepared to get soaked by our horizontal London rain? Is it worth my (non-weather sealed) camera of choice getting soaked and possibly damaged? With a 50/50 possibility of only getting some ok shots. Or, god forbid, coming home with..... nothing?! The sound of the kettle boiling brings me back to my senses, I take a sip of my hot tea and I say to myself "Nah! fudge that! I'm staying in today!!"

Thankfully, on those off chances that I did stay indoors (come rain, snow or shine), observing the local life from the comfort of my first-floor apartment, peering out my window (like Dot Cotton but with a camera), I managed to 'document' a few moments that caught my eye!

Here is a selection from my ongoing Room With A View photography series!



























Seen in London Series - The gloves are off
17th January 2018 - 0 comments


The gloves are off in Soho...well, one of them anyway! Sometimes its good to see the world from a different point of view.

Part of my Seen in London Series, an ongoing photography project - snapping my visions of London and the people who live in it one click at a time!
London street photography workshops for 2018
12th January 2018 - 0 comments


I am excited to be hosting a new set of street photography workshops in London this new year. There are only 5 places available on this full day workshop. The cost is £99.99 per person. The first London workshop will take place on Saturday, 17th March 2018.

The first street photography workshop is suitable for professional and amateur photographers of all levels and will touch upon the following subjects:

• Learn how to anticipate the moment
• Develop confidence in photographing people on the street
• Ethics, laws and how to deal with challenges
• Varying styles of street photography and discovering your style
• Use black and white for atmospheric street photography
• Explore colour to create impact
• Use light to shape dramatic street photography
• Explore the use of various visual elements to enhance images
• Practical camera techniques to apply in street photography
• Use varying speeds to freeze or exaggerate movement
• Use depth of field for different effects
• Learn composition styles that work in street photography
• Evaluate your photographs – what worked and what didn’t

For full details, to book your space on the workshop, and take your street photography to the next level in 2018, please visit my workshop booking website.

BOOK YOUR TICKET
British Life Photography Awards 2017 - Exhibition & Book
09th January 2018 - 0 comments
I attended the British Life Photography Awards ceremony and awards event last night at the Royal Albert Hall in London. I got a preview of the exhibition which opens to the public for month then tours around the UK (see more details below).

My Ed's Diner image got commended in the Street Life category and was also selected as the cover image for the accompanying book which is available on the BLPA website. The book quality is exceptional and it features all the winners and commended photos.



For full details of the winners and their photos visit: https://blpawards.org/winners2017




The exhibition will be on tour around the UK at the following venues:
Royal Albert hall
The exhibition will be on display in the Royal Albert Hall’s Amphi Corridor, between Friday 5 January and Monday 5 February on the following free open days:

Friday 5 January 2018: 9am – 5pm
Saturday 6 January 2018: 10am – 1pm
Sunday 7 January 2018: 10am – 1pm
Saturday 13 January 2018: 10am – 1pm
Sunday 14 January 2018: 10am – 1pm
Saturday 20 January 2018: 10am – 1pm
Sunday 21 January 2018: 10am – 1pm
Saturday 27 January 2018: 10am – 1pm
Sunday 28 January 2018: 10am – 1pm
Monday 5 February 2018: 9am – 5pm
(These times could be subject to change so please check first with the Royal Albert Hall website:
https://www.royalalberthall.com/…/british-life-photography…/



The exhibition will then tour around the UK to the following locations. Please check with venue for more information on times:
Redbrick Building, Glastonbury, Somerset. 12th February to 25th March 2018
Kirkleatham Museum, Redcar,Yorkshire. Early April to early June. 2018. (Dates to be confirmed)
The Auction Centre, Leyburn, North Yorkshire. 28th July to 9th September. 2018
Gracefield Arts Centre, Dumfries. 13th October to 17th November. 2018

4-day London Street Photo Tour completed
02nd January 2018 - 0 comments

Shot on iPhone at Liverpool Street Station, London

4 days x 4 hours = my London street photo tour completed for my visiting guest from Cairo, Egypt.

The up-side to starting a photo walk in London at around 8.00am, in the holiday season between Christmas and New Years, is that the usually super busy tourist locations were more or less deserted, apart from a handful of early risers and work commuters passing through. So it felt quite magical and peaceful at famous London locations like Piccadilly Circus, Oxford Street and St. Pauls.



It was also a great opportunity to explore and research some new side streets and passages, as well as visit some old haunts I haven't been for ages. We met a lot of interesting and cool people along the way and creatively we found some great scenes to photograph. I will revisit some newly discovered cool locations and see if I can nail the ideal shot in the process.

I will review the photos I took over this four-day street photo tour and post any favourites I find on here soon. It was really great fun to do, but also challenging, seeing as I am not your typical early-riser, morning person who gets up at 6.00am! So now I must sleep, with this job done with hopefully no more super early starts for me, for a while at least!


New street art near Brick Lane, London
Happy New Year!
31st December 2017 - 0 comments


I'm hosting a guest visiting from Cairo, Egypt. A private 4-day street photography tour around London starting today. Day 1 completed!

This is probably my first ever NYE & New Years Day that I am/will be 'working'. I say working, but photography doesn't really feel like work when it's your passion. So not complaining! Let's see what 2018 brings.

Have a happy, healthy and creative New Year!
British Life Photography Awards - Commended photo
21st December 2017 - 0 comments


Ooh, some good news to end the year on... My Ed's Diner photo got commended by the British Life Photography Awards. This means it will be a part of the big exhibition at the Royal Albert Hall for a month from January and will be in the accompanying 2017 winners book! Congrats to all the BLPA Winners 2017

I will blog further updates closer to the time of the exhibition launch night in early January 2018!
Seasons Greetings / 2017 Overview
19th December 2017 - 0 comments


Taken on a recent Soho workshop with a guest from Israel who booked me through Airbnb Experiences. Got another workshop this week and a private 4-day photo tour with another guest flying into London a week after Christmas into New Year! I'm usually winding down, taking it easy, ready for the New Year around about now!

It has been a busy and successful year for me, what with hosting workshops in collaboration with Airbnb Experiences, meeting some amazing guests from around the world, 1-2-1 photography workshops, really interesting photography commissions, a group exhibition at St. Paul's, Paternoster Square in the summer with HIP Gallery, FujiFilm and Matt Hart, having my work permanently displayed in a 5-star London hotel, being asked to be one of the panel judges for the British Photography Awards, growing my photography print Etsy Shop and so much more!



As off tomorrow afternoon though, I plan to take the next couple of weeks off, to enjoy the Christmas holidays. I'm already preparing for what's ahead in 2018 though, as its going to be another busy year, with some new and exciting news and projects already in the pipeline. I'm really looking forward to sharing these plans with you, so stay tuned to this blog space for updates!

Of course, in the meantime, if you are interested in booking a workshop or photo tours, working with me on an upcoming project, you need a photographer for an urban / street style commission, you are looking for some new wall art for your home, anything else in 2018, all you need to do as always is drop me a line!

So, it finally leaves me to say thank you to everyone who made my 2017 special and to wish you a very very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!! Have a good one and see you in 2018 :-D

Steamy windows - Chinatown, London
02nd December 2017 - 0 comments


Taken in Chinatown, London during a recent night street photography workshop with a student guest from Mexico, who wanted an alternative, non-touristy photo tour.

I'm discovering again during this cold spell, that numb painful fingers do not always do what you want them to do when you are trying to press your shutter button at the right moment. Luckily I was able to produce this shot under those challenging conditions. What's that saying about 'suffering for your art'?! Yep!

This image is available as a new fine art print in my Etsy shop.
Black Friday Sale - 20% off
24th November 2017 - 0 comments
Meh, forget Black Friday, receive 20% off your photography prints order in my shop until the end of November!
Worldwide shipping! Visit London Print Shop 😁

Christmas delivery deadlines:
UK: 18th December
Rest of World: 12th December

Goings-on during recent Portobello Road Market/Notting Hill workshop
18th November 2017 - 0 comments
Goings-on during recent Portobello Road/Notting Hill group workshop


Workshops start with confidence boosting tips and a theory session.


Portobello Road is always full of characters!...


....and dog owners!

Photos Copyright © Fenglin Liao 2016
Gift vouchers now available - photography Etsy shop
10th November 2017 - 0 comments
Buying photography or art for someone else can be tricky. Art is a very personal choice, so why not let the art lover in your life choose their own by buying them a gift voucher!



I have designed these gift vouchers as a convenient gift option. Perfect for a house warming gift, Christmas present, birthday treat or even a last minute gift idea to name a few.

My gift vouchers can be emailed direct to the recipient with a message from you, or you can download and print the voucher yourself and put them in a personal card.

Gift vouchers available in denominations of £5, £10, £25, £50, £75 or £100 for use towards any item in my online Etsy shop.
London Street Photography Workshops - New Dates Added
02nd November 2017 - 0 comments
I have added some new dates to my London workshop calendar between November and February 2018. All street photography workshops take place in and around the Soho area and are hosted in association with my Airbnb Experience 'Capture The Moment'.

Are you ready to see and capture the world around you in a new way? Click here to find out more about the street photography workshops I host.





Seen In London - Just a typical afternoon in Soho
01st November 2017 - 0 comments


Just a typical afternoon in Soho, London!

Part of my Seen in London Series, an ongoing photography project - snapping my visions of London and the people who live in it one click at a time!
Street Photography Tips - Be your own worst critic!
25th October 2017 - 0 comments


When you come home from a photo walk, toss your memory card into your computer to review your shots, are you often disappointed with the final results? Maybe your photos are blurry, or maybe you wish you had taking a shot from a different angle because something in it is distracting, or the subjects eyes are closed in the one shot you rushed to take, or a special moment you saw just isn't coming through in your photos?

A big part of my role as street photography tutor is giving the student the confidence to take candid photos of strangers in the first place and not just snap a quick shot in a blind panic and run away! I initially lead by example and to demonstrate my techniques, I go shoot a scene at my preferred focal length (which is usually much closer than the students initially). Occasionally, a student is still on the other side of the road in fear. I give them the creative incentive to come closer and focus on the frame and not worry too much about who's looking at them. This usually encourages them to take their time and not rush the job. We then review the shot(s) as they are taken, and if necessary I suggest tips to make the photo better.

A good exercise for a street photographer is to work a scene with your own eyes or preferably through your camera's viewfinder. What I mean by that is to do a 180-360° on the scene. Two examples: Ask yourself does the shot work better from the left or the right side, from lower angle or from eye level? Is there anything distracting in the frame? Should i bokeh out the background or is the background adding context to my shot, etc.

I teach students not to rush a shot unnecessarily. Of course this is a little easier if; 1. the subject(s) are not on the move 2. The subject(s) are too occupied to notice you 3. The subject(s) are unaffected by you taking photos. In doing so, you are learning to think about your composition (which I explain in more detail in my workshops), but most importantly how and when to capture the most emotionally expressive or visually impactful moment from the subject/scene.

There's nothing wrong with taking a few shots of the same scene, going home and picking the best one to use. Many of the masters of street photography including; Henri Cartier-Bresson, Elliot Erwitt, Martin Parr, etc did/do exactly that with analog cameras. Just google their names plus the words 'contact sheets' for a master class lesson in observation, timing, composition. The next job once you have the shots you want is being meticulous in your final image selection. Most of the iconic shots you see, went through through these processes and have stood the test of time as classic photographs.

In my workshops you will learn to train your eyes to notice more details, moods and emotions, I teach you how to start to see interesting scenes, the confidence to go and take the shot, how to creatively compose your images and when to take your shots to convey the most impact through timing and story telling and critic your work.

If you would like to book one of my workshops, you can either sign up to one of my next Airbnb Experiences or if you prefer a private 1-2-1 please email me for further details.
Seen in London - Orange sky c/o Hurricane Ophelia
17th October 2017 - 0 comments


Yesterday's surreal red sun and orange skies over the UK were quite amazing weren't they?! I put my camera white balance on 'daylight' and took a photo out of my window of the orangey sky around 3pm.

Weather experts say it is caused by ex-hurricane Ophelia pulling air and Sahara dust from southern Europe and Africa.

No Sepia was used in the making of this photo!

Part of my Seen in London Series, an ongoing photography project - snapping my visions of London and the people who live in it one click at a time!
S7 Airlines inflight magazine - Street Photography feature
10th October 2017 - 0 comments
My 'Soho Night Rain' photograph (last page / bottom right) features in the October 2017 issue of S7 Airlines official inflight magazine. Its part of an article about an ongoing Henri Cartier-Bresson photography exhibition in Moscow.

Other photographers (who I'm humbled to be featured along-side) incl. Joel Meyerowitz, Trent Parke, Martin Parr and Ying Tang. Its published in Russian so I can't read it!

Download the full Magazine PDF here free

Yellow London - Street Photography
08th October 2017 - 0 comments
When you find out by accident that you have this thing for the colour yellow! 💛💛💛 All photographs below were taken in London.

Street Style Photoshoot - Veenus London Music (II)
21st September 2017 - 0 comments


Another shot from my street style photoshoot with the songwriting duo Veenus London Music.

One of my favourite things about doing photoshoots, is that moment when the clients, who are initially nervous/self conscience, start to gain your trust and relax into the shoot. It is the job of the photographer, to put them at ease, so that they become themselves and their personalities & chemistry comes through. I usually know that I'm doing a good job when they almost forget that I'm even there!

If you are interested in a private 'street style' photoshoot for yourself, band or business, please get in touch with me.