Street Portraits~ Finding Myself in the Streets of Dubai

captain of his own boat

captain of his own boat

his eyes and my lens had a conversation

his eyes and my lens had a conversation

shrouded with mystery and distance of the far seas

shrouded with mystery and distance of the far seas

the eyes that sailed the ocean

the eyes that sailed the ocean

These striking men are part of the foreign working force that powers the engine of the Dubai metropolis. They granted my eye contact and for that I am grateful.

Images taken during our last ‘finding yourself in the streets’ street photography workshop earlier this month.

Day Two Hundred Fifty Eight, October 7, 2011

the face of history

With history lives mystery, the unknown, the unexplained, the unanswered questions, the missing pieces of the puzzle, and it is fascinating to an inquisitive mind and to a fertile imagination. We are drawn magnetically to ancient sites, even as small children, we dream about the builders of the pyramids and picture them walking sideways as they do on the walls of hieroglyphs in Giza, we daydream about what it would be like to live as a Japanese Samurai, or to have been a soldier in the times of ancient Rome…

It was compelling for me to stand in front of the remaining facade of the ruins of St Paul’s cathedral in Macau, built in the 16th century by exiled Japanese Christians, commissioned by the Jesuits and destroyed almost completely by a fire during the typhoon of 1835. I wondered who walked through these great doors, what happened inside the imposing cathedral walls and did they ever foresee the rising of the modern casinos and buildings that are swallowing Macau today?

Day Two Hundred Nineteen, August 29, 2011

Happy worker

I photographed this sweet man about 2 months ago on a street in Pudong while he was taking his break from work with his friend and it was s delightful encounter, full of smiles and shy giggles from the two of them. Since the street was in my Shanghai neighborhood, I asked them if they would like prints of their images and they loved the idea. Since that day I have been returning to this street every few days looking for them to no avail. And then, finally, today I saw one of the men resting on the ground in the heat of the day. It was like meeting an old friend! He jumped up, giggling, joyous, and when he actually saw the prints I gave him he was talking so fast to himself that I could not understand a word of his provincial Chinese, but I did not need to… So much passed between us without words and the lovely worker made one photographer very happy and a little magic was sprinkled on an otherwise normal day!

Day Eighty Three, April 15, 2011

Its dry

One of the most common sites in Shanghai streets and markets is hanging dried fish or meat. You find them hanging in the streets, with the laundry, by clothing pins, on trees, in window sills, everywhere. I still find it very hard to get used to, especially when they catch me off guard like this one here that I almost bumped into in the market today. But food around the world is as varied as the people, their history, and traditions are, and that’s wonderful to experience!

hanging dry

Day Eighty One, April 13, 2011

lady in window

Spring is finally here in full swing! I love the first days of Spring when you open your windows and the mild breeze rushes in to caress your face. It feels like a time of renewal, new growth, blossoming trees, flowers popping up in multicolor everywhere you look. It is a time to put away the gloom of winter and to jump forward into a new bright adventure!

I loved watching this Chinese lady today in the French Concession contemplating the gardens from behind her half open window and wondered what her story might be.

Day Eighty, April 12, 2011

looking differently

Familiarity is our biggest enemy in life isn’t it? It creates the illusion that we already know something, that we understand it. But life is not really like that. There are so many ways to look at something, anything. There are so many levels to things, to truths, to people, to thoughts, that we will never really stop searching if we put aside our familiarity.

This building in Shanghai is fascinating: It was designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox, in such a way that from each place you stand it looks completely different, and I mean completely! Every time I see it I marvel at these simple truths. Nothing is as it seems…

Day Seventy Seven, April 9, 2011


If you speak to anyone who has expatriated in Shanghai, they will tell you how much fascination their children draw from the locals. They would not hesitate to take your baby out of the stroller to check them out, to touch your child’s hair, marvel at their ‘big’ nose, to giggle at them, and if they were blond then they are the real superstars. I found that Chinese people love children in general and show so much care and warmth when dealing with them as if they value them to the extreme. Lea has been living in Shanghai since she was 2 and is by now used to the attention and sometimes basks in it a bit too much:)

This photo was taken today on a beautiful Spring afternoon in Fuxing Park. I had so many photos from today that I could have posted that it was impossible to choose without help (thank you Tufic).

Day Seventy Six, April 8, 2011

she reflects the spring

This morning Spring was filling the air, the weather felt finally mild enough to leave heavy jackets behind and the sun was shining.

She decided to dress herself for school as she often now loves to do. And out she emerged looking like a jar of jelly beans 🙂

But I could not blame here, the trees were behaving in the same bizarre manner.