Getting His Hands Dirty
Fuji 35mm, f/8, 1/100s, ISO 320
Taï Hang, as I mentioned previously, is an area that used to be mostly garages and body shops. Restaurants are taking over as it gets gentrified, but there are still a fair few around. The fun thing about them is that there’s no space to work on cars inside the garages, so more often than not, they repair on the streets. Cool for street photographers, as you can see here!
Fuji Xpro2, 75mm, f/4, 1/100s, ISO 5000
One of the interesting things here is that the streets never really sleep. At least until midnight they don’t. A lot of the smaller stores are still open, illuminating scenes like this one.
Fuji XPro-2, 70mm, f/8, 1/100s, ISO 400
I love these little noodle bars with tables virtually on the street. You see them mostly everywhere, but especially in Tai Hang. Unlike in other parts of China, the dog is under the table, not in the bowl.
End of the Night
Canon EOS7D, 80mm, f/2.8, 1/160s, ISO 1600
Monophonics is a spectacular band to see live. Singer / keyboard player Kelly Finnigan has the kind of stage presence and energy that you don’t expect to see live these days anymore. Saying he ends each gig drenched in sweat would be a lie: he is drenched from the beginning of the third song. For this particular gig I was standing a meter away from the band and eye level with them which gave me some cool opportunities for photos I don’t normally get to do but also proved super challenging. This one of the winning shots from that gig.
Fuji X-Pro2, 85mm, f/2, 1/200s, ISO 6400
I’ve said it in the past: in my now sizable experience shooting jazz concerts, framing pianists is the hardest job. Getting meaningful shots from the front is virtually impossible, and getting a facial expression and at least part of the instrument from the back is no trivial affair. I think I tick most of the boxes here with David Torkanowski although to be fair it’s far from my best concert shot.
Canon EOS 7D, 80mm, f/2, 1/100s, ISO 800
The fabulous French big band Bigre! has a song on their repertoire called Be Good Bluesy Johnny which is at heart an interplay between barytone sax and blues guitar. There’s a break in the middle of the song when the band suddenly goes 12-bars-ish and the guitar starts wailing. It’s orgasmic. The first time I heard this time was when I went to see Bigre! live for their latest album release party. This is the precise moment when Nicolas Mondon launched into his solo.
Fuji X-Pro2, 85mm, f/1.6, 1/80s, ISO 1250
Shooting bassist James Singleton on that Stanton Moore Trio gig was quite tricky: he had a music stand just in front of the bass. Thankfully after a while I managed to move a bit and the 24MP capability of the X-Pro2 allowed me to do severe cropping. The hair and the hand make the photo, I think (I hope ?)
Fuji X-Pro2, 85mm, f/1.4, 1/100s, ISO 2000
Last summer I had the incredible luck of arriving in Paris just the day that the Stanton Moore Trio had been playing the Duc des Lombards. I was there, first row, with Stanton not 3 meters away from me. It wasn’t an easy set-up for photos, but the music was fantastic, and I did get a few interesting shots anyway.
Sunset over Causeway Bay
One of the things I quickly noticed upon arriving in Hong Kong is the quality of light. In Shanghai the light was mostly flat, in France it often is too. Here the light is powerful and direct when the sky is bue, different but no less interesting when there are clouds. It’s a photographer’s delight as this sunset shot taken from the window of my son’s room hopefully shows.
In certain streets when you look straight up, you see the jagged edges of buildings nearly on all sides. It’s a very impressive sight and one that I’ve only seen here.