Shooting from the hip is hit and miss. In fact, it’s a lot more miss than hit. But when you hit you get photos from an angle you wouldn’t normally get without kneeling, which would be conspicuous, to say the least.
To me (and probably to most other Europeans) it’s really funny to see, since early October and while it’s still 25-28 degrees outside, these staples of winter appear on the streets: sweet potatoes, chestnuts and what I believe to be quail eggs. I should try all three one day, just to compare with what we get in Europe, but there’s no way I’m eating that in this heat!
Asian Crouch Again
I have often talked and illustrated what I (and many others) call the Asian Crouch, this particular waiting posture that you see everywhere in China and in other parts of Asia also. I don’t know what people did when crouching before mobile phones existed, but I know what they do now… Incidentally, this is when I’m really glad I’ve worked on my hip shooting skills. The shot would be entirely different (and less effective in my opinion) at eye level.
The Lantern Girl
The Tai Hang Fire Dragon festival happens every year around the mid-autumn festival. Locals carry a long and sinuous Dragon body made of rope in which thousands of lit incense sticks have been planted through the streets of Tai Hang. This year I went to the festivities, and despite the massive crowd it was really great to witness it. In the area where the Dragon was getting « refilled » with fresh incense, there was a cordon of lantern carrying volunteers to stop the crowd, and this girl’s expression in the light of the lanterns struck me.
When I saw these two guys wearing the same black trousers and white shirts smoking, I shot from the hip. Only later, while looking at the picture did I see the cigarette stubs all over the place. I think they make the shot (although they although tell us a lot about how little Hong Kongers care about their environment…)
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.
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…
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?
Minox 35ML, Ilford FP4+
Causeway is both quintessentially Hong Kong (dense, loud, always something happening, tons of people) and at the same time one of the most un-Chinese parts of the city. Still, plenty of opportunities there for interesting street shots. I quite like this one: the signs, the tram, the people, the mask…