Smiling in the Sunset
I recently noticed that some of the streets on my route to and from work are perfectly aligned with the sunset. I stood there for a while and tried to snap people walking towards me. It’s still work in progress as I figure out the opportunities, but this lady’s smile made the picture for me, so this is the one I’m sharing first.
Milk Tea Posse
There’s a lot of outdoor life in Hong Kong, and a lot of street food. When I’m cruising for photos, I often try to find more than one person eating the same thing or doing the same thing. Here, I have three guys drinking gallons of milk tea. A lot more interesting than just one guy, don’t you think?
*Wechat and Ciggie*
Chinese social media app Wechat is everywhere in China, but also everywhere here in Hong Kong. You can use it to pay, to plan, to chat, to broadcast, to sell, to buy, and probably dozens more things I don’t even know you can do with it. I have marked a few spots where smokers gather in the streets (usually next to a public ashtray/bin) and there are always phone and cigarette shots to be had there…
Like in virtually every country I’ve ever been to, there are dozens of free newspapers in Hong Kong. Well, they’re called free newspapers, but like everywhere else, they’re really just a free collection of adverts. More interesting to me was the guy peddling them, and particularly his hat. When it’s really hot and sunny here, those working out in the sun often wear hats lined with a reflective surface, to divert as much heat as possible I suppose. It certainly makes their look funky!
For the average (temporary) citizen like me, Hong Kong is a very safe city. I have heard of course of triads, traffics, corruption and other criminal activities. Hard for me to know how much of that is real and how much is Hong Kong Action Cinema fiction. But the coppers are there, well and truly present. I realise this photo (and the title I gave it) doesn’t cast them in the best of lights, but we can have a little fun, can’t we?
The charango is a wonderful little guitar like instrument with lots of strings for its body size. I wanted to buy one in La Paz for my son who plays guitar, and so walked into this store. I asked the salesguy if he would demonstrate the sound differences between the various models, and he seemed more than happy to be photographed in the process.
Walking the tiny streets of La Paz looking for souvenirs and typical stuff I saw all kinds of things both wonderful (like these bead necklaces) and grotesque (like dried llama foetuses to bury under your new home for good luck). The most important thing to me was that although the street stalls catered for tourists, they also catered for locals and it all felt real. I tried to capture that in this quasi-abstract shot.
As I was being driven back from Copacabana to La Paz, the car stopped in the middle of nowhere, and I couldn’t figure out why. Finally, the driver said there might be a Morenada ahead as this was a saturday. Upon understanding what he was talking about, I grabbed my camera with the lens that was on it (a 50mm, it turned out, which in APSC meant 80mm) and ran towards the festivities. In between the harsh light and the excessive focal length, I had a hard time framing this wonderful dance but a few of the shots were keepers still. This one I like, in part because the woman at the forefront looks so serious about it.
Under the Deep Blue Sky
The Altiplano is so high that the sky is a deep deep blue and the light is super harsh. This makes lit whites super white (as on the left here) and shadows super dark (as in the middle and the right). Our Lady of Copacabana is all whitewashed, but when I got there, late morning, not all of it was lit, causing these stark contrasts that I like.
I read somewhere that when the Spanish arrived in South America the Inca had over 50 species of fruit and vegetables they commonly ate where the Europeans fared on 4 or 5. We forget it too easily, but tomatoes, potatoes and many of our modern food comes from South America. In Copacabana there was a wet market with dozens of varieties of potatoes I had never seen, and the widest range of crisps (corn, potatoes and probably much else besides) I had ever seen. I even bought a sack of corn crisps to bring back to La Paz!