Hero of the week

David Yu's Photos Go in Search of Simplicity

Welcome to Hero of the Week, an ongoing series sharing stories from some of the best photographers in the Pexels community.

David Yu is inspired by simplicity. Currently an economics undergrad at Cornell University, he's been living in Beijing due to Covid.

We're captivated by the creative geometry of David's street scenes and everyday captures. He told us about why he believes photography is all about mindset, and how Henri Cartier-Bresson inspires his work.

Photo by David Yu · View Photo

Pexels: How long have you been taking photos, and how did you get started?

David: I started taking photos in 2015, and it has been six years now.

It all started when my parent gave me an old iPad as a New Year present. I still remember the excitement I had with the photo app. Although the resolution was low, it did not bother me using it to "recreate" the world around me. That is how I started my path in photography.

What camera gear do you use?

My primary device is a Nikon D810, with an 18-300 Tamron lens. For special occasions, I also use a 50mm lens. I also use my phone, an OnePlus 7T, as a daily camera.

Photo by David Yu · View Photo

What's your favorite type of photo to shoot?

I am fascinated by simplistic photos about geometric patterns residing in small aspects of reality. I think this view angle allows me to reshape commonly seen objects and landscapes and express the simplicity I admire.

What inspires your photography?

Anything. I think there are so many beautiful views one can get from even the simplest object. One only needs the right mindset.

Tell us about your favorite photo on your Pexels profile.

Photo by David Yu · View Photo

This photo is my favorite. It was really a common photo before editing. Still, when I was tuning it, I suddenly realized how it resembles time-traveling tunnels in the classic sci-fi comics, and how people traveling on the track fit into the picture.

It was as if a hidden sci-fi scene is placed in the quiet national gallery of art. I love this kind of juxtaposition.

What photographers or artists inspire your work?

Mostly, I communicate with photographers in my community: my university classmates, my friends, etc. I also learned a lot about compositions, colors, and viewing angles from friends in the art major. Special thanks to Jasmine Zuo, whose artworks really inspired many of my geometrically composed photos.

In terms of the famous photographers, I love Henri Cartier-Bresson the best. After learning about his work Rue Mouffetard I am fascinated by how one can express so many emotions from everyday activities. Although I seldom take portraits, the idea of condensed expression showed me how the masters in photography create.

Photo by David Yu · View Photo

What is one goal you have for your photography?

My goal: to produce great photos and have my photos used by media and websites internationally. Hopefully, one day one of my photos will reach my parents on their daily news app in China as a surprise.

Pexels Heroes is our invite-only community of the top photographers on Pexels. Find out more and apply to join here.

Photo by David Yu · View Photo

Photo by David Yu · View Photo

Photo by David Yu · View Photo

Photo by David Yu · View Photo

Photo by David Yu · View Photo

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Written by the Pexels Team · Apr 01

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