In many south-east Asian countries scooters or small motorbikes have become the default mode of transportation for the majority of people. It’s surprising how many passengers a scooter can actually accommodate. In this Luang Prabang picture there are only two, but I love the little girl’s pigtails.
Not all bridges are made equal. Two bamboo bridges cross the Nam Khan river in Luang Prabang, and by our western standards they don’t look too reassuring. But to these young monks they were not scary at all, one of them was even running the length of it…
One afternoon in the Luang Praband heat I did something I rarely do (but maybe should do more often): it took some street shots with the zoom lens. In photography circles many will tell you that street is in your face 35mm or nothing. This shot was shot at 210mm. But I like it a lot, the compression from the zoom lens creates nice detachment, and the scene was quite cute…
*Monk on the Bridge*
There’s an old Eiffel style bridge that crosses the Nam Khan river in Luang Prabang. Appropriately, the locals call it the old French bridge. The road is for two-wheelers only, and there’s a rickety wooden platform attached to the side of the bridge for pedestrians. I managed to dodge the mopeds to take this shot that I quite like.
*Monks in the Headlights*
Every morning in Luang Prabang around 5:30 AM, processions of monks walk down the streets as locals give them sticky rice for their day’s meals. It’s quite a sight, and of course in the summer it happens at dawn. But in December, it’s still night, which meant I had to expand my bag of tricks to get some interesting shots. I didn’t want to disrupt the scene, so I used a zoom lens. I cranked up the ISO to a whopping 25600, first time ever. I’m surprised at how good and usable the results are. This silhouette shot of a young monk backlit by the headlight of a motorcycle is my favourite.
*Keep your Lantern Trimmed and Burning*
I took a lot of portraits of lantern bearers. I was looking for interesting subjects, but also interesting moments. Here, I liked how the lantern light was directly lighting the young man’s face. Of and yes, the title is a bit of a nod to an old, old song…
*A Dance with Dragons*
Last week-end was the Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance (nothing to do with George RR Martin, despite my facetious title). I had attended last year, with only my trusted 35mm x100F in hand, and while I got a few good shots including this great portrait I felt the need to revisit the event (which is fun in its own right anyway) and try to capture more diverse shots. I carried both my 56mm 1.2 and my 50-140 2.8 and both were put to great use. This is a broad shot of the wonderfully lit lantern display at the top of Wun Sha Street where the Dragon is dressed with incense sticks.
Erik Della Penna is the lead guitarist in the latest line-up of Hazmat Modine (@hazmatmodine), and while (obviously) his guitar and banjo stylings were awesome when I saw them live last year, the other thing that struck me about him were his clear blue eyes. The kind of stare that pierces the soul, as the poets would say. I hopefully captured that, at least as much as you can from a half-length portrait.
*Thomas’ Blue Outline*
The double bass is one of the most graphic instruments to shoot, a delight for concert photographers (or at least for this one.) I’m always looking for interesting lighting, with such a large surface to play with. This was shot at a Cory Seznec gig in Paris and I think it works.
*Keeping your beer cool*
Hong Kong is hot and wet right now, but it’s nothing unusual for the season. Europe on the other hand is super hot and dry and that is unusual this early in the summer. So thinking of all my European friends, here’s how a Peng Chau guy decided to keep himself (and his beer) cool in the sultry heat…