I’ve decided that being a street photographer is like being a thief. Most of my subjects don’t realize I’m taking their photograph, and before they know it – I’ve stolen a moment of their life. Approximately 1/200th of a second of their life is captured on a sensor about the size of my thumb.
While wandering around the Sunday morning market I realized a couple things…
Holy crap, there was a ton of smog on this trip. There was a dense cloud hanging over my stops in Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong. While I was in China the pollution in Beijing was off the charts.
Street photography is like a scavenger hunt. Sometimes you’re rewarded with the gift of an amazing image. A small slice of the temporal continuum is captured by a few million pixels. Someone’s ordinary life frozen in time for others to see. They may not consider that particular moment precious, but when removed from the context of their everyday existence it can become special. Perhaps art?
Talking about bad timing. A bar in China opens with a Japanese theme the same month the whole country starts protesting against Japan’s activities surrounding some off-shore islands. We stumbled on it in the same alley as the restaurant where we ate dinner.
I’m a pretty adventurous eater, but I have my boundaries. Last night I challenged my boundaries and tested one of China’s seasonal delicacies – dog.
I think I’ve photographed everyone in Qingxi now. Twice.
Sights from a couple market places in China (Qingxi + Yangjiang). I love to photograph these places. Lots of interesting sensory inputs: sights, sounds, smells, people, activities.
One of my favorite places on the planet. Lots of amazing street food + beer + fun people (often random new friends). The smells are incredible (good).
I was curious about how a restaurant kitchen looks and operates in China. I tested 3 restaurants that I frequent and was able to get access to the kitchen in all of them.
This is another place in China I love, the night BBQ. It’s just down the street from our factory and next to my favorite alfresco restaurant. It’s a smorgasbord of inexpensive treats-on-a-stick that are barbecued right in front of you. The smoke and smells are part of the experience, but unfortunately they aren’t captured in photographs.
So, after eating dinner at a Thai restaurant, a German guy and three Americans walk into a German bar in China owned by a guy from Scotland. Sounds like the build-up to a joke, but it accurately describes my evening last night.
Another night of prowling the village for some interesting shots. I used a fast F1.8 lens + high ISO to turn night into day.
YAK – it’s the other red meat.
I love street food. Especially at night. I enjoy supporting the local entrepreneurs. I guess I’m a nocturnal locavore.
Eating street food in China is like bungee jumping, every once in a while there’s a small risk of death.
We found a small alley just off a main shopping district that I began calling “Scorpion Alley” because of one of the treats served there.
Peking Duck (now Beijing Duck) is an experience, not a meal. We went to DaDong (translation: “Tall Mr. Dong”. No joke.), which is apparently the number two duck restaurant in Beijing. It was only two blocks from the hotel and was so incredible we went there for dinner two nights in a row.
I went prowling around the village last night with a fast 35mm f1.8 lens to test the low light capabilities of the D3100. Not bad. Some of these shots look like they were taken in the middle of the day because of the amount of lighting in the village and the fast lens.
Photos of food in China for the food-obsessed. No… I wasn’t hungry an hour later.
Today while eating lunch, the wife of the restaurant owner (not an English speaker) used “charades” to ask me if I would photograph her daughter. Of course this was a great honor for me, so I came back with my camera gear and started shooting away.
These two happy guys are selling stuff on a stick. It’s actually a traditional Chinese candy called “iced sweet gourd” because the shape is like gourds strung together.
I’ve known my friend Hanson for about 10 years. His daughter was a baby when we first starting having lunch together. This photo was taken at Hanson’s apartment after we shared a very good hot pot dinner together.
One of the popular “sidewalk snacks” in China is raw sugar cane. It’s sold by street vendors and the outer layer is husked after you buy it. Customers chew off chunks and suck the sugar from the cane – then spit the rest out on the sidewalk.
This unremarkable photo of an unremarkable looking restaurant does have significance. For the last 5 years they’ve been feeding me most of my (great) meals while I’m in China. The TsingTao is always cold and the service is fantastic. It’s probably the only restaurant on the planet where I’m considered a “regular”.