One of my favorite things about big cities is movement. People moving, going places, coming from places, going up stairs, crossing roads, cycling, running, walking and playing a part in rotating the great metropolis wheel. It’s the urban magic waiting for us photographers on every corner.
I think the beat way to feel the souls of a place is to meet it at a magical moment, a time when something as common as night surrendering to day never fails to amaze us. Every time that I witness a sunrise, it seems as if I gained a chunk of time, a bonus bit of living that would otherwise have been lost to me.
Everything moves at various speeds in our world, even the the life we call ‘still’. How we perceive this motion in relation to space and time is key to composition.
Random morning thoughts on photography.
Day 74 of 365~
Image taken in the back alleys of Hongkou, shanghai, China
Its a natural law, everyone must sleep. But where do we go when we sleep? We surrender completely to a process we know very little about and lay in a still state recharging as part of us travels to who knows where! And then don’t get me started on dreams!
Day 49 of 365~
Image taken of a bird flying over the river Lahn
One of the greatest fears might be to one day realize one is insignificant. To have lived a life that touched no one deeply, to not have loved passionately, to not have given for the sake of giving and not to have believed in something much greater than oneself. And scarier even than all of that is to have lived without ever meeting or knowing who we are.
Day 39 of 365~
Image taken somewhere in New York
It’s late afternoon, all are a bit too sluggish to go fast, slow moving people, dragging their feet, pushing their bikes uphill over the bridge and the woman too tired to walk, sits on top of her bike load letting her husband pull the tricycle; it has been a long day. Even the shadows are unable to catch up. I watched it all and marveled at the beauty of life and the wonderful world of contradictions that is Shanghai today.
Big cities have this way of resembling beehives, busy, constantly moving. Most of these urban centers are jarring, fast, harsh, noisy, and unforgiving to all that is slow. Not Shanghai. Shanghai has a gentle flow about it, where people just glide by on their bicycles, slow enough to examine life around them and nod with recognition at friends in their neighborhood. A bicycle and tricycle culture, so much is moved around on wheels. As long as tradition lasts, this will be (at least to me) the greatest charm of Shanghai.
Sometimes the world has this strange way of sliding by as thought we are sailing smoothly on a still lake. It allows us to watch time pass in slow motion and a great stillness embraces us. Those are the photographic moments I treasure and wish for every day in the big fast city.
They come and they go, the are born, they grow, they get old, they die, some say they are reborn, to live again, to age again and to die again. This begs the most obvious and age old question: “why are we here?”
It can be found on the shores of innocence.