December 2, 2015
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I love people-watching, especially in large cities bustling with life. However, I have yet to get a hang of street photography, and I often don’t feel comfortable with photographing people in public. During my most recent trip to Asia, which was in April this year, several occasions presented themselves as perfect street photography opportunities. And so I gave them a shot (pun mostly unintended). Hong Kong, Cheung Chau, and Guangzhou are places with different characteristics yet each full of interesting people, so whom did I encounter in the heart of the cities? (Coloured versions of these photos are available by clicking links at the end of the descriptions.)
Modern, dynamic, glamorous, exciting – these are all words worthy of describing Hong Kong, a booming metropolis in the center of East Asia. What ultimately attracted me about Hong Kong – and I never liked to admit that I actually LIKED Hong Kong – were not the suits and ties, the fast-paced lifestyle, or the skyscrapers that hid the skies. Rather, I enjoyed observing the ordinary everyday lives of the locals, savouring the small yet irresistible joys of street food, and getting lost in a sea of people trying to find their way, just like me. Hong Kong has many sides, and what will you find in its people?
I took a swift shot of this elderly gentleman as he walked past me, not looking too pleasant – hopefully not because I was taking a photo of him. The sharp look in his eyes seemed to be able to pierce through even the most rigid of souls. (Click to view photo in colour.)
Two days before May Day last week, on a tranquil Sunday afternoon, I quietly left my apartment and wandered to Place Pey Berland 5 minutes down the street. The sun was back. I could see blue sky and white clouds. I was happy. It was time for a long-awaited walk.
Place Pey Berland, the public square near the city hall, was filled with people like me taking an afternoon stroll. I guess sun is definitely a better motivation than rain in this regard, huh. Though the rain had seemingly left for the season, the deceiving rays of the sun seemed so welcoming as if saying, “Come, embrace the warmth!” Well I was not fooled. Along came some slightly chilly winds, but at least I was dry. And I remained happy.
I sat by the city hall, watching people come and go as they minded their own business. Then I popped out the camera. I had always wanted to try capturing “people” pictures but am perpetually afraid of shooting directly in front of passers-by, and what better opportunity did I have than this, as an innocent, unsuspecting stranger just enjoying her day idling under the sun?
I turned this series of photos into black and white because I wanted to look professional and pretend I knew what I was doing. Just kidding. I am far from being any pro and this is just a fun experiment. I am no street photographer and in fact, no photographer at all 😉 Also, I will be unconventional this time and leave out captions and descriptions for the pictures. Here we go.