The Darker Side of Hong Kong
As a street photographer, I feel it is natural to be attracted to the more beautiful or picturesque aspects of the places you wander through. And I often am, but occasionally, I try to capture a bit of stark reality as well. To a lot of visitors to Hong Kong, the city seems affluent and modern, and it’s hard to imagine the shocking inequalities that hide underneath the veneer of modernity. This is one small example of it.
Stalked by the Catbus
The Catbus is one of my favourite characters (albeit secondary) from Miyazaki’s Totoro. Imagine my surprise when I saw that so many of the Hong Kong minibuses are disguised as Catbuses!
The End of the Tunnel
Hong Kong is often seen as a city of tall, well lit buildings but the reality is that it’s riddled with dark and narrow passages. Occasionally, these narrow passageways are connected with tunnels. The super bright light in HK means high contrast when shooting into these tunnels, which is what I like about this photo.
There is great potential in street photography when using posters or street furniture in composition, but it’s hard. Sometimes it’s just luck, as it was when I shot this one. I love that the man is cleaning his glasses as well, it adds to the virtual scenario of the two « characters » walking into each other.
Fuji xpro2, 160mm, f/2.8, 1/160s, ISO 6400
Shooting drummers in badly lit clubs is always tricky, because things move too fast for the camera to capture. Getting good shots is a combination of anticipation, repetition and luck. Here I managed to get Julian Addison with both sticks up and an interesting facial expression, I consider myself lucky!
One Hand Up
Fuji xpro2, 50mm, f/2, 1/100s, ISO 3200
TJ Norris is the newest in the Dirty Dozen Brass Band lineup, but he’s a fine addition, both on trombone and on vocals. I like this shot because you can see the audience in the background. I need to do more shots like this, wide enough that you can see the musicians are not playing in isolation.
Blowing in the Deep End
Fuji xpro2, 75mm, f/2.8, 1/200s, ISO 6400
There’s something super powerful about the sound of the baritone saxophone, that vibration that you not only hear but feel within you. Roger Lewis, aka The Dirty Old Man is one of my favourite baritone players. He has the power, but also the refined register, when he chooses to exert it. At that gig in Paris, he played a beautiful high register solo on a super low key version of Drown in my Own Tears sung by Greg Davis and backed by Takeshi Shimmura on guitar.
Fuji xpro2, 90mm, f/2.8, 1/160s, ISO 6400
It’s quite rare that when I’m taking concert photos a musician will look straight at me. At least it used to be before I got that big 50-140 zoom lens. At that Dirty Dozen Brass Band gig, I harvested several shots where the musicians were clearly looking at me. This one of Greg Davis has a bit of an old Louis Armstrong feel.
Most of the spectacular doors I saw and shot in Rome were square, but this round door in a narrow street near the center appealed to me…
When in Rome, expect Roman columns…