Fuji TX2 (XPAN) + Cinestill 800T
In early January I headed out to Shanghai for work. I had a half day off at the tail end of the trip and headed out to the Jade Buddha Temple where I’d been only once on the very first week we moved to Shanghai. Despite the gloom and rain, it was even better than I remembered. I had thankfully packed 800 ISO film, and while the light wasn’t exactly the best, I got a few good shots including this one of one of the larger buddhas.
*Buddha and Acolytes*
Guangxiao temple in Guangzhou is quite spectacular even if the outside buildings are nothing to write home about (especially when wrapped in scaffolding). But the brass statues (at least I’m assuming it’s brass) are quite spectacular, as this trio showcases.
*Buddha in the Mist*
The Lantau buddha is quite spectacular in size, and a few hundred meters above sea level. As a consequence, even when the weather is relatively nice by the shore, it’s often shrouded in mist. I wanted to capture that the last time I went there and I was lucky enough that there was a dense fog that veiled the massive statue. Moody, don’t you think ?
Canon EOS 7D, 80mm, f/2.2, 1/60s, ISO 100
Late last year I volonteered to do a series of Chinese fruit and vegetable photographies for a charity cookbook that should be released this year. As a sufferer of gear acquisition syndrome, I immediately went and bought a lightbox (thankfully, it’s cheap here, although one of the LEDs is already blown out…) I had to try it out, and struggled to shoot my veggies on a proper white background. I then thought it would be an interesting challenge to shoot a black subject on a black background, so I grabbed this plaster statue of a Buddha that we brought back from Vietnam. As you can see, I failed to shoot black on black, couldn’t keep the background truly black, but in the process created a Harcourt-esque background that’s really quite cool.
Fuji x100s, 35mm, f/2.8, 1/50s, ISO 6400
Once more the x100s pulls through in really tough conditions. Another ISO 6400 shot that isn’t eaten by noise. I love these moments of worship, and unlike in Europe, worship here isn’t private. This was shot in the magnificent Lingyin Temple in Hangzhou.
Buddha in the Clouds
Fuji x100s, 50mm, f/11, 1/400s, ISO 200
This is another shot of the Buddha Dordenma in Thimpu, Bhutan. A truly impressive piece of architecture. One of the most surprising aspects to me was the notion that this would be built today. I can’t imagine a cathedral being built in France today in the style of the medieval cathedrals, yet this is, in essence, what it is. It’s one of those moments when I realize that spirituality truly means something else in Asia.
Fuji x100s, 50mm, f/8, 1/1000s, ISO800
The Buddha Dordenma is probably the most impressive manmade thing I saw while in Bhutan. It overlooks the capital city of Thimphu, and actually isn’t finished yet (the insides will ultimately be a temple, but that’s not done yet). I took this shot from a moving bus and was quite please it came out so well. In fact, I suspect it’s my best shot from Bhutan. If you’re interested in a print, get in touch!
A Thousand Buddhas
Canon 7D, 96mm, f/4, 1/6400s, ISO 1600
Now that I’m more or less settled in Shanghai I can start sharing photos again. Many, though not all, will be from Asia, as you can imagine. This is from a wonderful ‘antiques’ market in Dong Tai Lu, Shanghai.