For the Love of People~ Yunnan

the boy who saw through me

the boy who saw through me

flying dreams

flying dreams

early bonds

early bonds

indelibly connected

indelibly connected

Attempting documentary photography and not feeling compassionate love for people would be pointless as far as I am concerned.

I love feeling the humanity in other people’s eyes, to guess at what they are feeling, to lock eyes with them even for a brief moment, to be part of their world for the time I that I am there and later again and again through their photographs.

With each visit to Yunnan, my connections are deepened and I feel compelled to return. Simplicity is a gem in our complex world of today, a fountain of peace to a busy and crowded mind.

More soon from this amazing region of China…

Behind the glitzy face of Shanghai

gambling women behind barred windows

gambling women behind barred windows

residents of the old and slowly vanishing alleys

a resident of the old and slowly vanishing alleys

a witness of the whirlwind of changes that took over the glamorous city.

a witness of the whirlwind of changes that took over the glamorous city

Behind the modern facade of Shanghai and the fashionable lifestyle of its rich, is a world of tradition hidden in the city’s old alleys. Every week when I visit these neighborhoods, I find less and less of them left. The city is changing so rapidly and the new has no room for the old. Modernization is consuming tradition and Starbucks cups are quickly replacing the famous tea containers of the Shanghainese. A paradise for street photographers, I feel so lucky to have lived in Shanghai as long as I have.

a process inside a process~ why do I edit my photos?

love is like oxygen

love is like oxygen

another year about to fly by

another year about to fly by

smiling at her future

smiling at her future

the big church

the big church

stepping into a story

stepping into a story

stretching the truth

stretching the truth

When I edit my photos, I set in motion a whole new process that allows me to see beyond the actual image. I begin to feel emotions and to imagine worlds that the image open doors to. So my initial photograph becomes a key, a starter and a catalyst to a brand new process. I leave myself open to what the moment suggests, what level of contrast it wants, what degree of clarity or blur, saturation or absence of color, and what lines to highlight, and inside of all this (which sometimes takes not longer than a few minutes), a new image is born, one that is layered with sketches of imagination and brush strokes of feeling. I attempt through that to marry the past with the now in anticipation of the art that might wish to join my future.

 

Wishing all my readers and subscribers a wonderful and inspired new year.

All above images were taken with an iPhone during my recent trip to New Zealand and edited with phone apps.

Day Two Hundred Twenty Eight, September 7, 2011

to see

As a photographer, the eyes are as important a tool as the camera. To find a subject, a moment worth freezing and capturing, we first have to ‘see’ it. It is a special kind of seeing. The eye becomes the lens zooming in, zooming out, composing, measuring, evaluating and discussing options with the brain, the imagination, other senses… a magical theater of composition. And then at some moment it all feels right, and the hand goes to click the shutter. But none of that could happen without the initial orchestration of the eyes. I have so much value for my eyes when I follow my passion in photography, which makes me constantly aware of the incredibly complex and sophisticated machine we humans are lucky to live in here on Earth.