Riding a Bicycle in Bejing

Riding In Bejing, 2011

Thanks to Katie Melua, most people tend to think of Beijing as a place with lots bicycles and 30 years ago, that was probably true. No so much now. Mostly cars.

But, there is lots of street life, which I was trying to show a little bit here. And there is a bicycle.

Sometimes, when I look at my photos I try to imagine a narrative about what I can see. In this case, I imagine that it is a mother and son, coming home from dinner. And they seem happy, which I like.

I’m afraid it isn’t perfectly asharp. A few years before I did a session with Gavin Goff (a noted travel photographer), who became known for a while for doing sharp panning shots of street life. To make it really work you need a fast wide-angle lens, be quite close and use a slowish shutter speed. Done just right you get a sharp figure moving through blurred surroundings – which looks good.

Rain in Shanghai

Rain in Shanghai
Rain in Shanghai,

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.