Ricoh GR1 + JCH400
The light in Hong Kong can be very harsh, and JCH400 is a great film but very contrasty. So some might argue that the above shot is too contrasty with some blown highlights. And yet to me this is what Hong Kong on a bright day looks like. The woman in the temple door is just a great bonus.
Ricoh GR1 + Kodak T-Max 400
Ever since I started photography as a serious pursuit, I’ve been fascinated with doors. Not just any door, of course, but distinctive doors. If you go through this blog you will find many examples of doors, and the fascination continues. I can’t quite explain it. Anyway, here is the door to a Chinese style temple in Bangkok’s Yaowarat area. Even though it’s anything but canon, I like that my silhouette can be seen in the bottom part of the photo.
Ricoh GR1 + JCH 400
Tin Hau Temple is just down the road from me, and I walk through the temple grounds to go to the subway station. Usually, it’s the same old sights, but one Sunday a few weeks ago there was clearly a festival going on, with big papier mâché effigies and lots of decorations. And there were these five people chanting just by the temple entrance. I don’t know what the ceremony was and I certainly didn’t want to disturb them, but the robe struck me and I took a quick shot with my discreet Ricoh GR1. Colour film would have been better, probably, but there’s an « old China » feel to this one conveyed by black and white that I quite like nonetheless.
*Red and Gold Flower*
A few weeks back, I went to Ping Shan with my daughter’s class. The Hong Kong government has recently come to the realisation that it was attracting a certain kind of tourists with shopping malls and luxury hotels, but not another kind more interested in history and culture. So they opened the Ping Shan heritage trail, a string of old buildings and temples in the town of Ping Shan just by the border. I’m not sure it’ll be much of a tourist attraction, but I found it really interesting. In the last temple we visited were these paper flowers that I found quite striking…
I have a particular fondness for the straw brooms used here in China. I don’t quite know why, but it brings me back to an older time, maybe…
One thing that I find fascinating with religion in Asia is how much a part of everyday life it is. People will stop by on their way home for a quick prayer. In Europe, it’s so much more ceremonial and occasional. Anyway, it was interesting to capture how small one feels when standing in front of the huge lantern at Sensoji.
*Senso-ji at Night*
Sneso-ji at night was all it was supposed to be and more. But I had to try this one over ten times to get a decent result : long exposures theoretically erase people in front of you from the picture… except when they stand still for minutes on end in front of you to take photos. I can’t blame them, I was doing the same !
Sometimes what’s interesting in a potential shot is not the subject (or not only the subject) but the way the light hits the subject. In Kyomizu-dera in Kyoto there were many interesting subjects, but this one combined traditional Japanese architecture and interesting light…
The pervasive smell of burnt incense is part of the amazing sensory experience of Buddhist temples. This was shot on instinct as I was near blinded by the light coming through the scaffolding at Kyomizu-dera.
My daughter insists on lighting candles for the dead wherever we go (and no matter what the religious denomination) which is how I ended up on the other side of the candle rack in Kyomizu-dera temple. When I saw these two light their own candles (more likely Chinese tourists dressed in kimonos than actual kimono wearing Japanese) I knew I had a good shot.