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Steve Han of
I am a: EV Photographer
From: San Francisco CA
Galleries Posted: 626
People Photographed: 1233
Profile Views: 3,816,128
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Interviewed on 5/27/10 (updated on 6/4/10)

Eventvibe photographer Steve Han is one of the first nightlife photographers to join in the early 2000's.  He has since, through his hard work and dedication, become the quiet force behind a massive network of nightlife photographers.  His efforts have had a profound impact on SF nightlife as he paved the way for most of nightlife photographers in San Francisco and beyond.  His passion for the music and energy of nightlife as well as his ability to capture those moments combine to make him one the the top nightlife photographers on the planet.

Eventvibe: How long have you been a photographer and how long have you been shooting nightlife and events?
It had been a hobby for a long time.  When I took trips with friends and family I was always the one with the camera.

I became more serious with photography when I started shooting nightlife and events in 2002.  You can still find pictures from the 1st events that I shot on my website, which I've kept up but haven't updated in a long time.

EV: What kind of camera do you use?
I've always believed in exploring and pushing whatever camera equipment you have to it limits.  You can get great shots with a simple phone camera or point & shoot.

This shot was taken with a little Sony Cybershot DSC-P7 3 Megapixel camera back in 2002.  I took it without any flash at this club called Moorg in Barcelona, Spain by trapping my camera by the DJ booth and with a shutter speed of about 1 second.  The club was real dark club but the lights by the DJ booth would flash intermittenly.  It was one of the 1st times I realized the possibilties for interesting photo opportunities in the nightclub setting.

But for the past 4 years I've been using Professional Digital SLRs, the Nikon D2X & D2Xs. They take great pictures, but even more importantly  they are durable.  With the numbers of pictures I take and the beating my equipment take a lesser camera would  simply fall apart on me.  I haven't bought any new equipment for over 3 years.  I was tired of spending so much money on these cameras, but I finally decided to pull out my wallet and bought the Nikon D3S 2 week ago.

EV: Why did you choose that camera?
The Nikon D3S came out in 2009 and took low light photography to a whole new level with the ability to take low-noise images at extremely high ISO sensitivity settings, opening up a whole new world of possibilties.

Kaskade's performance at Remedy's 10 Year Anniversary at The Mezzanine in San Francisco. One of the 1st events I covered with my new D3S. (Click here for more pictures from the event)

EV: What's your goal with your photography?
As an artist I'm looking to show people something they haven't seen or experienced or to stimulate them in a way they haven't been stimulated before.  My goal as a photographer has been to inspire people to let loose as well as to travel and experience more of life.

In the 90's I was busy finishing engineering school and then focusing on an engineering career designing computer chips.  As a result I felt that I missed out on some of the best parties and so am in a constant search for the best parties in the World.

I would like to do a photo book that will perhaps lead to a series of books on the dance music scene around the World capturing the energy of events and images of people letting loose.

EV: How many events do you think you've shot?
I lost count.  I usually shoot 2 to 4 nights per week and have been doing it every week for the past 8 years, and I'll often shoot mutiple events a day / night.

EV: What cities have you shot events in?
In the States...San Francisco, San Jose, San Diego, LA, Orange County, Las Vegas, Seattle, Portland, Boston, Salt Lake City, Washington DC, New York City.Outside the country...Mykonos & Athens (Greece), Berlin (Germany), Ibiza (Spain), Sharm El Sheikh (Egypt), Shanghai & Bejiing (China), Tallin (Estonia)

San Diego has a great scene.  Beautiful people!  Great vibe!  Many of the world top DJs make their stop.  I was lucky enough to cover Tiesto's show at the Wavehouse in San Diego 6/7/08 (Click here for my coverage of the amazing event).

EV: How many photos do you think you have taken over the years?
I couldn't tell you.  I do throw away about 75% of what I shoot.  The photo selection process is an important part of photography.. to get that one most impactful shot out of a number of shots.

EV: How many have you posted on eventvibe?
Just about everything I shoot I post on eventvibe.  I wanted a home for all my pictures to go where anyone can basically look back at everywhere I've been. Unfortunately when we redesigned and relaunched the site in 2009, all the pictures had to be re-uploaded and we could only post events as far back as 2006. We're always so busy moving forward.  Hopefully I will eventually be able to get all my old pictures up on the site.

EV: I understand you travel extensively to capture the celebrations of many cultures.
Can you name a few of your favorite nightlife destinations?

  Ibiza (Spain), Miami during WMC, Las Vegas, San Diego, San Francisco.

EV: Name a few of your favorite events you've shot.
That's a tough one because there have been so many.  Miami WMC is great every year and I've been going every year since 2003. But why don't I'll just go with some of my most memorable experiences? 

Burning Man in 2005,
Pimp 'n Ho at The Palms in Las Vegas in 2003,
Global Gathering in Stratford Upon Avalon (UK) in 2005,
Thailand Full Moon Festival in 2002,
Sun Dance Music Festival in Tallin, Estonia in 2006,
Berlin Love Parade in 2002.

Tiesto was a surprise guest DJ at the Opulent Temple camp at Burning Man 2005.  I climbed up a scaffold about 30 or 40 feet high and took this shot with a zoom lens.

Foam parties are a lot of fun but seem to have gone out of style. I was able to get a few great shots at the Sun Dance Music Festival in Tallin, Estonia in 2006.

This shot was taken at the 1st Pimp 'n Ho event I've been to at Rain at The Palms in Las Vegas in 2003.  At one point I used this shot as my profile picture on myspace, which caught a lot of attention.

EV: You have a unique view of how the nightlife culture has changed over the last 10 years. What are some things you have noticed in particular?
When the RAVE Act passed in 2003, the parties moved indoors to clubs and then there was a point where events became more scaled down to smaller more intimate clubs and lounges.  I do see a growing interest in large scale events such as EDC (Electric Daisy Carnival) and POP produced by Skills in San Francisco.

Armin Van Buuren at POP 2010: The Dream at The Cow Palace 5/29/10 (Click here for our coverage of the event)

I think for one thing having photographers are events have become much more a part of the culture.  There was actually a time when there was a growing interest in myspace when there was almost an over abundance of photographers.  The trend now has been to limit the number of photographers.

The quality of pictures taken at nightclubs has improved.  It's something I had set out to do when I started shooting, and I like to think I've played some part in this.