Fuji X-Pro 2, 45mm, f/4, 1/10s, ISO 6400
Just next to where I live – in Tai Hang – is a tiny temple full of character. It’s very dark inside, and when I went there with my fastest lens (the 85mm 1.4) I realised I couldn’t shoot anything, it was too small ! So I used my stabilized 15-55 at the maximum workable settings (very slow, high ISO) and this is what came out. Quite proud of that one, and it really shows a side of Hong Kong that tourists rarely get to see.
Fuji x100s, 35mm, f/2.8, 1/60s, ISO 1600
I think it was in The Photographer’s Eye that I first saw words put to the importance of color contrast in photography and it’s role in composition. Not that this one is particularly anything to write home about, but it’s certainly one where I tried to put that in practice.
Fuji x100s, 35mm, f/2.8, 1/60s, ISO 800
The first time I saw such massive incense spirals burning was at Man Mo temple in Hong Kong. I was happy so see some again in Saigon, they’re such graphic objects. The light was much better in Saigon too although it makes them a tad less dramatic I guess.
Fuji x100s, 35mm, f/2.8, 1/75s, ISO 200
Sometimes you know when you take a shot that it’s going to be a good one. This was one of those times. I’ve tried to capture this moment when temple visitors light their incense sticks many times, but I’d never really nailed it until then.
Fuji x100s, 35mm, f/2, 1/60s, ISO 1000
One of the things I love about Buddhist temples is that there’s always something going on, people praying or burning incense, and it’s all very relaxed, unstructured. Very different from what we expect to see in a Church in Europe.
Chinese Buddhism Abroad
Fuji x100s, 35mm, f/5, 1:200s, ISO 200
You might find me masochistic but even though I live in China, I find it quite fascinating to explore the way the Chinese live abroad (when feasible obviously). It turns out that there’s a sizeable Chinese minority in Vietnam, dating back from colonial times and even before. So unsurprisingly, there’s a pretty big Chinatown in Saïgon. We visited there the Thiên Hậu Temple which is a Chinese Buddhist temple in the heart of Chinatown, and even though it is small, it had something that we rarely see in China: authenticity. Most of the temples we have visited here have been reconstructed so many times that there’s no sense of history. This one was built in the XIXth century, but still largely as was. I’ll be sharing more photos from this tiny but fascinating place.
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.
Sneaking by the Side Door
Canon 7D, 35mm, f/7.1, 1/200s, ISO 100
I’ve been to India three times, but two of these were so brief that I had no time for photos. The first time though, I’d taken a day off and convinced a very friendly tuk-tuk driver (Surinder) to show me the Gurdwara Bangla Sahib, the biggest Sikh place of worship in New Delhi. After the visit, I was impressed by this magnificent silver door, but just as I was putting the camera up to shoot, this man came in and sneaked by.
Rome is a street photographer’s paradise! There’s always something going on. And the backdrops are magnificent too!