During the last few days, Shanghai was submerged in a large cloud of gray pollution that seemed to call over terms like ‘apocalypse’ and ‘end of days’ from many of its residents. A look of worry shrouded everyone’s face and all conversations centered around the same theme: the toxic smog. It felt so bizarre to walk around in a dark city with masked people and alarmed eyes everywhere you looked. The pollution was literally off the scales (over 500) and no comforting answers anywhere as to when and if it will end. Now, a few days later, it has dropped to 195, still an alarming number in any country, but here in Shanghai, it calls for a celebration. What kind of world are we bringing our children into? What levels of abuse are we subjecting our planet to in the name of progress, money and power?
Every year at about the same time in November a new wind blows in Shanghai bringing with it the promise of a heartless winter to come. But there is so much to love about the way the fall forces itself on summer, not offering any apologies, simply making a bold statement, stripping the trees of their leaves, forcing us all to alertness and away from the laziness of summer warmth.
Those fleeting moments that catch us; we choose to hold on to them; to encapsulate them in an image; the scenes that we freeze before they dissolve into the stream of flowing,moving life…
The human story has its sad chapters; the ones that star as the unfortunate characters; the ones we look away from when we pass them in the streets. This post is for them; a gentle reminder…
A fantastic time was had last week in the streets of Tokyo with a brilliant group of participants. It was an intense photographic experience with cameras and phones, a journey of discovery, great food, and new friends made. There are so many images to go through from the 2 days of shooting and many more coming in from participants, but here are a few from Michael and I to start with.
In Qibao, and old area of Shanghai, is a neighborhood(if you can call it that) of green lanes. Confronting realities wait there behind each door and in front of some where young women prepare to sell themselves for a living. As much as this practice is as old as civilization itself, it remains heartbreaking to witness people’s daughters going through this to survive. And most painful of all was seeing a little girl forced to grow up in that strange world of green lanes.
Every year our little family waits for Halloween to step out of the ordinary into a little something extraordinary; because life is just that; extraordinary; until we forget. I find so much joy in planning events since my daughter was born 9 years ago and together we plot and plan and create. Last year we had the idea to create Halloween characters with her and her friends making studio portraits with them in costume and this year we will do that again. Here are a few of our favorite portraits from last year.