There was a strong natural side light coming into the living room yesterday and I decided to experiment with some harmonica related still life shots. At one point, after I’d painstakingly built a pyramid of harmonicas, a cloud came over the sun, and I noticed that the shadow of the pyramid became indistinct in a graphically interesting way. This ended up being the best shot in the session.
Canon A2 + Ilford FP4+
A few weeks ago, having been immersed in my xpan shots for a while, I started revisiting older film photos that might benefit from a 65×24 framing like that of the xpan. I found this picture of a barbershop window quite adequate for that framing, that I call fauxpan.
*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…
A few weeks ago I went along a school trip my daughter’s class was taking to the Ping Shan heritage trail. It’s a string of old buildings and temples in the middle of a town just by the Chinese border. In one of the shrines was this icon of Kam Fa, the Patron Saint of Expectant Mothers and I really liked the multitude of kids in front of the mother figure.
*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.
*The Weight of Love*
Canon A2 + Ilford FP4+
This is a shot of something you will no longer be able to see : the padlocks attached to various pedestrian bridges in Pairs (here the Pont de l’Archevéché) have been removed. They were supposed to symbolise the love of the couples attaching them, but they ended up weighing down the bridges so much that they represented a safety concern. I hope that’s not symbolic of love in general. Anyway, for this photo I have done what I like to call a fauxpan, ie. resizing a standard 24×36 shot to the 24×65 XPAN format.
*Incense for Tin Hau*
There’s a temple to Tin Hau just down my street. It’s interesting in more than one way, but the most fascinating fact (to me) is that it used to be by the shore. With reclaimed land it’s now at least half a mile from the shore ! There are often offerings, incense or burning candles in front, and I tried to compose the incense brazier with the temple in the background.
Walking the tiny streets of La Paz looking for souvenirs and typical stuff I saw all kinds of things both wonderful (like these bead necklaces) and grotesque (like dried llama foetuses to bury under your new home for good luck). The most important thing to me was that although the street stalls catered for tourists, they also catered for locals and it all felt real. I tried to capture that in this quasi-abstract shot.
Bathed in Red
The icons of Chinese religion are so different from anything western that I find them utterly fascinating. I guess you can see how Christian missionaries might have thought these to be demons…
Fuji xpro-2, 50mm, f/2, 1/110s, ISO 200
Temples and, sometimes, houses in Bali are often protected by guardian statues called Bedogol in Balinese. I loved their fearsome look, their coiffes and the fact that they all carried a mean looking mace in one of their hands. This one (in font of the Petitenget temple) was covered in moss, and added bonus in my book.