Sat, 02 Feb 2019 10:10:47 +0000The Noodle Chef, Seoul
As we come out of the subway station entrance into the bright sunlight, I sense the movement in my peripheral vision.
Whilst my family are heading briskly away (they’ll soon realize I’m not with them and come back), I’m immediately diverted to my left to a window opening into the kitchen of a noodle restaurant. The chef at the window is just about to begin hand pulling the noodles.
He works quickly and methodically, raising his hands above his head to beat the dough on the lightly floured worktop. As he progresses, he stands on tiptoe with his long arms out-stretched, lengthening the dough, before letting the dough twist together. By this time, I’m right up to the window, just shooting – the motorbike delivery drivers waiting for orders outside the kitchen are bemused by my interest, my family have returned and the chef is enjoying the attention.
We are entranced as the chef tames the dough into the slender noodles – proudly completing the batch.
This is the twenty-second image in the Fabric series, dedicated to the people who hold society together – waiters, tailors, noodle makers. You get the idea! More in the galleryAdvertisements
Tue, 01 Jan 2019 04:05:20 +00002018 In Review Part 2
Following on from my earlier post, here’s a few more of my favourite shots from the year using the Sony / Voigtlander combination, some reposts, some new. Hong Kong’s street markets featuring heavily but Seoul and LA getting a look in too. Best wishes to all for 2019 – keep shooting!
End of Days, Kowloon
The Cobbler, Los Angeles
The Crossing, Seoul
Cinematic Fishmonger, Wanchai
Keeping Hong Kong on the Move, Kowloon
Barbecue Take Away, Kowloon
Siu Yuk Barbecue Master, Kowloon
Sun, 30 Dec 2018 12:07:09 +00002018 In review – Part 1
Coming to the end of 2018, it’s been an interesting year photographically. After over 10 years on Canon systems, I purchased a Sony A7r paired with a Voigtlander 35mm manual focus lens, a much smaller nimbler setup. Whilst I still love my 5d2 and the pro lens collection, tramping the streets with the much more discrete system has been quite liberating. New possibilities seemed to open up, although perhaps this was just an illusion. Shooting from the waist provided a less intrusive entry into some street situations and the smaller kit size was less intimidating for subjects. I shot much more Hong Kong work, especially the street markets and had an eye openingly productive trip to Seoul relying on a single lens (unthinkable previously). So, to round of 2018, here’s a selection of my favourite Sony / Voigtlander combination shots from the last 12 months, some reposts, some new (Macau, Hong Kong and Colombo). Best wishes to all for 2019 – keep shooting.
This Little Piggy, Hong Kong
Lin Heung Neon, Hong Kong
Thu, 27 Dec 2018 04:22:27 +0000The Waiter, Santa Clarita
The walls of the diner were plastered with license plates and construction helmets – a low Formica counter runs the length of the diner. When we walked in, the waiter immediately came over to us with menus and a warm greeting. He is neat and spritely, moving quickly around the tables. After our simple breakfast, I went back to car, got my camera and took his portrait. He seemed surprised that I wanted to photograph him. He stands proudly but stiffly in the diner – I promised to send a print.
Almost three months later, I unexpectedly find myself back in Santa Clarita and make time to return to the diner, this time with some prints for the waiter. It’s five minutes to closing and he is busy sweeping and cleaning around the diner, constantly on the move. “I have a gift for you” and slide an envelope containing a few 8x10s across the counter to him. He seems taken aback as he studies the prints, a smile on his face.
Meet Albareno – Albareno walked to the US from Guatemala in 1998 and now has his green card. His nephew is studying to be an air conditioning engineer in Las Vegas working on big projects like hotels, “A good job. Everybody needs air conditioning in Las Vegas.” Albareno tells me. Before I leave, we pose for a selfie together, to celebrate our receding hairlines.
This is the twenty-second image in the Fabric series, dedicated to the people who hold society together – street sweepers, barbers, waiters. You get the idea!
Sun, 04 Nov 2018 07:28:49 +0000On the Chopping Block, Sham Shui Po
Look into any siu mei shop in Hong Kong and you will inevitably see something similar to this scene. A chef hard at work with his cleaver quickly chopping succulent roast meat for delivery to the table. Char Siu, siu yuk, siu ngap, the bright colours of the roast meat shop can be found in every district. What’s your favourite?
Sun, 04 Nov 2018 07:24:25 +0000The Tailor, Tangalle, Sri Lanka
This gentleman runs his tailoring business on the roadside in Tangalle, a beachside town on the southern tip of Sri Lanka.
The town still bears the scars of the 2004 tsunami, with vacant plots in the town and the shells of buildings near the coast.
This is the ninteenth image in the Fabric series, dedicated to the people who hold society together – tailors, boat builders, bakers. You get the idea! More in the gallery.
Sat, 20 Oct 2018 13:00:42 +0000The Young Delboy of Bagan
Some people can succeed anywhere, no matter what the odds. So it is with this boy who we encountered selling postcards in a temple in Bagan. Not just any postcards – the worst postcards I have seen for sale anywhere – and I’ve seen a lot of crap postcards on my travels. I mean postcards on the cheapest card, saturated colours which had subsequently faded with age, and photos lacking any artistic merit. Whilst my wife was wowed by Delboy’s younger friend’s cute hand drawn postcards and immediately bought a few, young delboy managed to not only sell me his crap postcards at a double the price of those available at the adjacent gift store but also managed to fleece me of a handful of sweets too. And all the while with that cheeky smile. This time next year he’ll likely be a millionaire.
More Myanmar photos in the gallery
Wed, 17 Oct 2018 07:24:24 +0000The Umbrella Movement, Hong Kong – Four Years On
Hard to believe this was four years ago – so much has happened since then. For 79 days in 2014, the centre of Hong Kong as well as parts of Mongkok and Causeway Bay were shut down by sit ins by demonstrators demanding a full choice of candidates for election. The Chinese government on the other hand stated that all candidates would need to be pre-approved by the central government. Following the end of the protests, and the governments failure to meet any demands of the protestors, young people in Hong Kong turned to political means, a few getting elected to the Legislative Council. Hopes were dashed when many of this new breed of legislators were removed by the courts following a re-interpretation of the Basic Law by the Chinese government. The ramifications continue with the recent outlawing of the newly formed Hong Kong Independence Party, a political party promoting Hong Kong’s independence from China. Meanwhile, physical links between Hong Kong and China have been strengthened with the construction of the 55km Hong Kong -Macau-Zhuhai bridge and the recent opening of the Express Rail project linking Kowloon and Guangzhou.
Silence on Queensway – only a few solitary figures can be seen, a barricade stretches across the road. In the pedestrian overpass, the advert ironically encourages people to “Join us to Celebrate”.
30 September 2014 – Outside Hong Kong Government Offices – Harcourt Road Flyover, Connaught Road, Queensway – The roads, usually busy with traffic, are thronged with thousands of black clad protestors. On the night of 28 September, riot police had used tear gas to disperse student protestors. Now the Hong Kong people stood with the students.
1 October 2014, China National Day
Outside Hong Kong Government Offices – Harcourt Road Flyover – The road, usually busy with traffic, is thronged with protestors. Tents and shelters have sprung up and the protestors have organised. Makeshift food banks and water points, medical areas. Lawmaker Emily Lau gives an interview to the press outside the government headquarters. A little over a week ago this street was filled with tear gas and riot police. Today, the police presence has dissolved. A sense of disbelief fills the air.
15 December 2014 – End Game
Connaught Road, and Admiralty – Court injunctions in hand, police and bailiffs move into protest areas to clear demonstrators.
Thu, 27 Sep 2018 15:55:03 +0000End of days, Kowloon
It was dusk and the activity in the market was pretty frenetic. The dying embers of a golden sunset could be glimpsed between the buildings above the darkened alleyways. The storm was bearing down on city but you wouldn’t know it – except for the urgency of the stallholders, struggling to shift the last of their stock before the arrival of Super Typhoon Mangkhut. The fishmonger’s shop sat alone, tucked away from the main throng but with a steady stream of loyal customers. The server exchanged pleasantries with each customer, a warm smile sealing each purchase. I stood outside the stall – and for a few minutes photographed the customers interacting. For a brief second, a pause in trade, I take a few steps forward, the vendor raises her face towards me, and locks eyes with the camera. A single shot. The next customers arrive, she returns to her work.
This is the eighteenth image in the Fabric series, dedicated to the people who hold society together – boat builders, bakers, fishmongers. You get the idea! More in the gallery.
Sun, 05 Aug 2018 11:25:15 +0000The Xizhou Pizza Seller, Yunnan 2010
Dian Zi Fan, sells Xizhou Pizza, or Baba, a local speciality snack from her stall in the village square. With a choice of rose petal jam or ground pork, the snack is placed in a lidded pan before being cooked by a blast from a roaring heater. Taken on a morning walk with Brian Linden during a stay at the Linden Centre on a cold winters day in 2010.
This is the seventeenth image in the Fabric series, dedicated to the people who hold society together – labourers, street sweepers, Xizhou Pizza sellers. You get the idea! More in the gallery