Interview with Kuan-Hsien Lin | Taipei, Taiwan

Hello Kuan-Hsien Lin,

We are honored to be able conduct a interview with you as our Featured Photographer on!

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Please tell us a little bit about yourself to begin with.

Hello everybody, I’m glad to be one of the featured photographer on Street View Photography. I’m 46 years old from Taiwan, and I was born in Keelung city-where we have the best sea food in town, I live in Taipei now, I do restaurant business, shooting the street is not my primary business, because it really can support one financially with shooting alone.


Have you been involved in the arts in some form other than photography?

I’ve never get involved with any other form of art before and I don’t like to link “art” and “photography” together !


Seeing your remarkable work I am curious where your creativity comes from?

Funny, I actually don’t really have any sort of “muse” to inspire me at all, I often observe and shoot the streets and that help me explore the creative me.


Could you share with us how you first became interested in street photography?

I started shooting streets, once I learned how to use DSLR, and after viewing the works of one of  the masters, a Japanese photographer- Daido Moriyama, my concept of street shooting has totally changed! I started to follow the Moriyama style of shooting for almost 3 years now!


What equipment are you using now and with what did you get started?

The equipment I use are Nikon D70s and D300, also nowadays I use film camera: Ricoh GR1 and Nikon FM2, because film cameras are usually small and light weighted, it gives me the advantage of being unnoticed and quick while shooting the subject, beside that I also like the texture we get from analogue.


How did your street photography develop and evolve over the time?

I can’t really remember when my work took a turning point, but I can say that i noticed the real change once i started to learn the works of Daido Moriyama, my perspective and my style also started to get a new look! it was a big change just like getting hammered in the head !!


Do you like to shoot in a groups or are you rather out alone?

It depends, I often shoot when I go shopping or travel along with my wife and my family, although I also admit that while shooting alone I can be more sensitive to the scene and will easily to able feel the “ambiguous” of the street or the city.


What would you say characterizes your work in comparison to other street photographers?

My photo style usually contain heavy contrast. I think I constantly try to find the links between the streets and my inner-self in my work.


Has your style of shooting changed since you first started?

20 years ago, I used to do portraits, but at present I concentrate on streets, I’m surprised myself to see these strong changes happening and continue to happen over all these years.


Do you often interact with your subjects, and if: before or after you got your shot?

Not at all, I’m not a reporter, so I don’t make conversations with my subjects, I just walk on quietly without disturbing the scene.


Tell us a little bit about the challenges and rewards of shooting on the streets of Taiwan.

Well…I got annoyed when people ask me ”what I’m shooting at?” then I usually go with the answer: ”I’m shooting something” followed by leaving me with the confused face of a questionnaire.


Do you see your personality reflected in your work?

I  believe there must be the some kind of reflection, but I not always aware of that i think!


Among your works, which is your favorite and why? be honest, the question should be: which of your work do you guys like most, I think all these photos I shared here contain
some sort of ambiguous link with me – it is really hard to find a favorite.


Did you ever take a photograph which compromised your emotional balance in a deep and profound way?

If i say my work doesn’t contain any emotion, that’ll be a posturing answer, but I usually try to keep my emotion out of it, except some certain scene where emotions are unavoidable.


Tell us your funniest or most awkward street photography story

Damn!!! I don’t remember any of it,I have a bad memory, I usually try to walk out of the scene as fast as possible after I’m done shooting, I don’t want my last scene to bring any kind of influence on my next image which is yet to be taken!


What are some of the most important lessons you have learned from shooting on the streets?

Keep smiling and stay under the radar.


What would you tell a newcomer who asks for your advice on how to start?

Keep shooting, do as much shooting as you can, and be ventrous, pay more attention to every little things in your environment, and it’ll be better if you fuse yourself into the scene.


Thank you for this interview!
Thank you very much.

See more of Kuan-Hsien Lin work here.
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