I think most photographers want to watch rather than be seen. In this case, I was interested in the shadow from the tree, rather than the hunched form at the bottom of the picture. In this case, it was a brilliant day, dry and clear, so rather than use colour, I chose to use black and white film.
I enjoy walking in the park in front of the Crescent, at most times of day, there are crowds of visitors, walking off cramp from being on a coach. On this occasion, it looks like they haven’t arrived yet (long shadow – so quite early).
One of the things I really like about Ho Chi Minh City, is the amount of life that goes on at the street level. Sometimes there are motorcycle traffic jams, where the riders are shoulder to shoulder at the traffic lights, and when the lights change, they move off en-mass, rather like a swarm of grumpy bees. Strangely, if you are feeling brave, you can still cross the road, if you keep a steady pace and DON’T STEP BACKWARDS! I can’t emphasise that enough. The riders will miss you, but only just. Even crossing the road is an adventure in Ho Chi Minh City.
In photography, there are two schools of thought: those who want to carry everything with them, so they’ve “got it covered”; and those who carry the minimum, just “enough”. On this occasion, I was just carrying a Pearl River tlr (twin lens reflex), loaded with some old Shanghai GP3. Neither is great for photographing at night (slow lens and slow film) – but I still managed to take this picture.
I had been hovering photographing people coming to see the Christmas decorations opposite the Tax Centre (a famous landmark department store in Ho Chi Ming City). It was Christmas Eve and lots of young people where just cruising around – when I saw this couple and asked for a picture. They seemed bemused, but I like it and there is the Tax Centre behind them.
I used to live in Beijing. One of the things I liked about it, was how much life there was on the street, I’m pretty sure you could spend a lifetime walking and taking pictures and never take the same picture twice. In the summer the streets are busy, late into the night, in the winter (which is very cold) they clear quite quickly and you can see more of what is going on around you. Although there are street lights, it looks like a black night. When I took the picture, I was wondering why they had decided to walk in the road, rather than the pavement.
It rains quite often in Shanghai. Almost like clearing your throat before you move on to another subject in a conversation. On this occasion I had just acquired a “new to me” Mamiya VI dating from the early 1950s and was wandering the streets looking for pictures to try it out. One of the nice things about using digital is the almost bottomless high ISO you can get compared to with film. This was taken as the light faded to twilight – people were going home, when the heavens opened and it began to rain. Women tried various tricks to try to keep themselves dry: I was just trying to protect the bellows on the camera (bad things happen if they get wet).
I like the colours in the picture and the way you can feel that it late afternoon and will soon be evening.
I started blogging about 3 years ago and for a while I raced to put up new posts – and there is a kind of excitement about seeing your photographs online and having people look at them and tell you what they think. But after a while I felt that I was writing for other people rather than me.
Anyway – I’m back for another go!
I took these pictures in Shanghai and Beijing using my Pearl River TLR and Shanghai GP3 film.