吉姆 JIM HOFMAN | Photography Faces & places in China

Old People
Analog | Leaving China after 14 Months
Analog | Leaving China after 14 Months

Well… that was a long business trip. Really long and really amazing. I essentially sat out the pandemic in China – which was one of the safest Covid bubbles on the planet. It was really tough packing up my apartment at the end of my odyssey. I had accumulated a lot of stuff over 14 […]

Analog | One Year in China
Analog | One Year in China

This week is the one-year anniversary of coming to China in March of 2020. I came to Ningbo with the plan to stay for 6 weeks for a business trip. A few days after I arrived China closed the borders (still not reopened a year later) and the Covid cases in the US spiked.

Analog | January 2021 – 10 YEARS!
Analog | January 2021 - 10 YEARS!

This post marks the 10 year anniversary of this photoblog. It also coincides with the publication of Volume 2 of my village series.

Analog | Village Formal Portrait Session
Analog | Village Formal Portrait Session

I decided to try a formal portrait session of some of the older people in the village a few weeks ago. Many of them had never had a formal portrait taken, so I decided to do it pro-bono as a learning exercise.

Analog | I’m YouTube-Famous Now
Analog | I'm YouTube-Famous Now

I met a YouTuber on the bus from the Shanghai airport to our government-mandated 14-day quarantine hotel in Ningbo. He was returning from the US with his family trying to out-run the COVID-19 virus that had just hit the US. I was doing the same thing – for slightly different reasons.

Analog | Black & White Film
Analog | Black & White Film

Because the local photo lab is getting slow and expensive I decided to start developing and scanning my own black and white film. I already do that in the US, but it requires some gear and chemicals to get it done here in China. After I was here for about 6 months I decided to set up a film processing lab in my AirBnB kitchen – which I never use.

Analog – Summer 2020
Analog - Summer 2020

My six-week trip turned into an “indefinite” length trip because of COVID-19 related issues (closed borders, lack of flights, lockdowns, etc.). I had plenty of opportunities to work on my photo project in the village and travel around China to capture analog photos on my Mamiya 6 and Hasselblad 500 C/M. Most of these photos were taken using Portra 400 film.

Analog | Ningbo Village 5.20
Analog | Ningbo Village 5.20

More street portraits from the village in Ningbo. I’ve entered a new stage in this project because in early May I printed a photo book with all of the images I had shot and distributed the book to everyone in the village who had allowed me to take their portrait. This created an incentive for […]

Book Release Day in the Village 5.11.20
Book Release Day in the Village 5.11.20

I self-published my first book of analog photographs in early May of 2020 and distributed free copies to everyone in the small village outside of Ningbo where I took the portraits. It was quite the event in the village. Smiles, bewilderment, and a few tears. No one knew I was publishing a book. I would […]

Analog | Ningbo Village 4.20
Analog | Ningbo Village 4.20

I’m back at the village after my 2 weeks in prison (Covid-19 quarantine). The weather is gorgeous in Ningbo and my friends in the village missed me.

Analog | Ningbo & Yangjiang 1.20
Analog | Ningbo & Yangjiang  1.20

More analog photos using a medium format Hasselblad 500 C/M. All photos were shot on Portra film. I visited my 99-year-old friend in the village again and met her 67-year-old third son. I asked about her secret for longevity and her answer was “I eat rice, vegetables, and meat every day.” That’s pretty much what […]

Analog | Ningbo Village II 11.19
Analog | Ningbo Village II  11.19

After spending a month this summer photographing the people in a small village outside of Ningbo, I returned in October to continue my mission of taking environmental street portraits of the inhabitants. As has become my custom, I returned with prints of the portraits to give to anyone who volunteered. Apparently my project went viral […]

Analog | Ningbo Village 8.19
Analog | Ningbo Village 8.19

My summer project was a little different than my usual street photography. I took environmental street portraits in a small village adjacent to a factory I collaborate with in Ningbo. I also created a video of the process and included some of the back-story about the village.

Hong Kong 8.18
Hong Kong 8.18

I made three stops in Hong Kong during my five-week summer trip.  Plenty of time for some photos in the extreme heat and humidity.  I used a USB-powered lens warmer to pre-heat my lens so it didn’t fog up when I left my air-conditioned hotel room.

Ningbo 8.18
Ningbo 8.18

Ningbo was incredibly hot in August.  I visited the Tianyi Ge ancient library twice to take some photos on the grounds.  This is the oldest library in China that dates back to the 1500’s.

Hong Kong and China at f0.95
Hong Kong and China at f0.95

I typically dedicate posts to a single location on a trip, but this post is dedicated to a single f-stop – f0.95.  Mitakon makes a 35mm lens with a wicked-fast f0.95 aperture.  Shooting wide open with this lens yields a razor-thin depth of field.

Shenzhen 10.17
Shenzhen 10.17

I use Shenzhen as my pivot point as I travel to other cities in China on business.  The Shekou area is very western and very comfortable on the weekends.  The food is great and the beer is cold.

Hong Kong 8.17
Hong Kong 8.17

Five-mile street photography walk + strained knee ligament = real pain.  But worth it.

Yangjiang 7.17
Yangjiang 7.17

I participated in the first ever Yangjiang Street Photography Photo Walk this week.  There was three of us, but only two photographers.

Kathmandu 7.17
Kathmandu  7.17

An amazing place – only a 4-hour flight from Guangzhou, but decades behind China.  We arrived prepared for Nepal’s summer monsoon season but returned with sun burns because of the unusually beautiful weather in July.

Hong Kong 3.17
Hong Kong  3.17

I enjoyed a whirlwind photo walk in TST and Mong Kok for a few hours before flying home. I logged 9.2 miles of walking and got some interesting close-up shots. I used the 14mm f2.8 lens on the Fuji X-Pro2 for all of these images.

Yangjiang | Zhapo 3.17
Yangjiang | Zhapo  3.17

The weather was warm and it felt great to get out and shoot. This is my first trip with the X-Pro2 and a bag of lenses and it was amazing! I spent most of the trip experimenting with settings and lenses.

Shenzhen | Qingxi 2.17
Shenzhen | Qingxi 2.17

I was lazy and didn’t get out to the Qingxi wet market early in the morning like I usually do, but there is always activity there and an opportunity for street photos. I also stopped briefly in Shenzhen and got out for a couple hours.

Kuala Lumpur 10.16
Kuala Lumpur  10.16

Not China, but it sure does feel like Hong Kong – and an amazing place for street photography.  Kuala Lumpur is a melting pot in Malaysia, with people from all over Asia and the west.  It’s also an incredibly cheap place for a holiday.  We stayed in an AirBnB one block from the main bar […]