Slow Hong Kong
Fuji x100s, 50mm, f/11, 85s, ISO 200
50mm telephoto extension + in-built ND8 filter
I always meant to explore Bulb mode for really long exposures, but have rarely found the opportunities to do it. Monday night I realized my 21st floor hotel room overlooked a highway amidst tall Hong Kong buildings. I set up my tripod against the window sill and voila! This is a rough version as I’m posting this from the airport and haven’t had time to really tweak the colour temperature, but it’s interesting (I think).
Itinerant Fruit Seller
Fuji x100s, 35mm, f/8, 1/60s, ISO 1000
One of the things I love in Asia is that people tend to be happy to be photographed. They smile, sometimes they stop to give you a chance to really capture them. It’s a change from Europe, I can tell you. I have two shots of this vietnamese fruit seller, one where she looks straight at me, and one where she looks on the side. I prefer this one. Tell me what you think !
Fuji x100s, 35mm, f/8, 1/60s, ISO 250
I’d once seen a similar street food vendor in Delhi, but not from so close. This guy was happy to be photographed, and righly so: not only did we buy him some pastries, but we attracted attention to him and several more people did too. Marketing himself in the best possible way.
Notre-Dame de Saïgon
Fuji x100s, 35mm, f/2.8, 1/40s, ISO 3200
It’s easy to forget after all that happened there in the last 50 years that Vietnam was once French. In fact, there seems to be a certain pride still in Saïgon that South Vietnam was once Cochinchina, the only French colony in Indochina (the other regions were protectorates) and that Saïgon used to be know as the Pearl of the Far Orient. There are lasting traces of the French colonial times, but none so impressive as Notre-Dame de Saïgon, a cathedral built entirely of pink stone from Toulouse. Inside there is to this day a blend of Christian imagery and vietnamese votive plates, something I found photographically quite irresistible.
Saïgon Mass Transport
Fuji x100s, 35mm, f/5.6, 1/60s, ISO 200
I spent a week in Southern Vietnam over the winter holidays. The first thing that strikes you in Ho Chi Minh Ville (still called Saïgon by its inhabitants) is the teeming mass of scooters with unreasonable numbers of passengers. Of course, I couldn’t pass the opportunity to try my panned shot skills. This isn’t the best one technically (the framing is odd and it’s ever so slightly blurred) but five on a scooter and a winning smile ? I couldn’t let that pass.
The Jugged Hare
Fuji x100s, 35mm, f/5.6, 1/60s, ISO 500
This is one of those times when I wished I’d had the 28mm converter for the x100s. I always argued that I didn’t see enough difference between 35mm and 28mm to justify buying it, but in this case it would clearly have helped. My back was to the wall, I couldn’t frame any better. Still, I kind of liked it, not just because of the brick façade but because the biker is so off center it makes for an unusual composition.
Fuji x100s, 35mm, f/2.8, 1/60s, ISO 1250
I’ve always had this fascination for the really deep escalators of the London Tube. Every time I go there I try to capture the steep ride, this is my most recent attempt. I remember being even more impressed by the Moscow underground escalators when I went there 15 years ago. I didn’t do much photography back then, sadly. I’ll have to head back there, I guess.
The New Recruit
Fuji x100s, 35mm, f/8, 1/60s, ISO 640
When I was in London for work a couple of weeks ago I decided to do most of my traveling by foot: it wasn’t raining, the distances weren’t massive (the most I walked between two meetings was an hour) and it felt healthy. As long as I was close to the river, in the area where most buildings are brick, there were a ton of photo opportunities like this one. I don’t know what it is about brick buildings that gives them so much photographic appeal, but it’s a reality. As soon as I moved into the posher areas, photo opportunities just died down it seems…
The Good Shot
Fuji x100s, 35mm, f/5.6, 1/60s, ISO 400
As I was walking towards Westminster Cathedral, with little in the way of good light, I asked myself whether I would even be able to make a decent shot. It turns out that as long as you’re shooting the other photographers, you’re good.
Fuji x100s, 35mm, f/8, 1/60s, ISO 800
I guess there was a time when street photography shots of people on their phones were new and different. Now the challenge is to shoot people not on their phones. Still, once in a while it works, maybe not as original, but as interesting nonetheless. I think that’s the case in this London moment, edited with XeL 2.0.