Changing Views

The geometry keeps changing.

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Hong Kong is a good place to be a flaneur.

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Take a step and the view changes itself.

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Lots to absorb.

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You could stand at the same spot.

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The landscape will change very quickly.

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It’s easy to enjoy the view.

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You seek out order to square the circles.

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Hong Kong will come to you.

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And so will the rest of the world.

 

Camera: Leica M6

Lens: Voigtlander Nokton Classic 35mm f/1.4 SC

Film: Ilford XP2 400

How We Live with Concrete

I’m fascinated by what you could see when coming down the Mid-Levels Escalator at Central in Hong Kong.

You could see lots of small businesses, restaurants and shops.

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You could also see unruly leaves and branches against grey concrete buildings.

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They’re part of human activity.

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Things happen, though they don’t always announce themselves.

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Life is understated sometimes.

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At other times, it is in your face.

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This is how concrete lives.

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How we live with concrete.

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The unruly beauty of nature and concrete.

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We can’t help but look again and again.

 

Camera: Leica M6

Lens: Voigtlander Nokton Classic 35mm f/1.4 SC

Film: Ilford XP2 400

 

Thingification

What happens when you choose not to place people at the centre of things?

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It’s a bit unsettling when humans are placed at the periphery.

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We cannot help but still do so – the above is still a photograph about human activity.

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Keyboards are for hands, pedals for feet.

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We love our things.

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We frame ourselves with things.

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We wait for things.

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We work with things.

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We are things.

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Some things out-wait us.

 

 

Camera: Spotmatic F

Lens: Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 35mm F 3.5

Film: Fujifilm Superia Venus 800

The Work of Street Photography

I am reading Shop Class as Soul Craft by Matthew B. Crawford.

It’s a meditation on the value of manual work. I’m on page 79 at this point and it’s one of those books I’d like to read slowly, because there are so many wonderful insights that are conveyed in a very accessible manner which encourage me to stop and just think.

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Take this sentence for example:

If different human types are attracted to different kinds of work, the converse is also true: the work a man does forms him.

I am a literature geek, pure and simple. That says a lot about who I am already. Neat, simple and a bit obsessive.

So I have chosen the kind of work that suits my temperament.

The work then further deepens my temperament.

I am sure many of us could say the same thing.

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But I’m at a point where something else has come into play – my interest in street photography using quality compact film cameras.

Street photography relies on serendipity. It celebrates ordinary, everyday life, and it’s something to think about as to keep myself from going insane during banal moments (such as when I am at the back of a really long queue at a crowded supermarket checkout.)

And it introduces a kind of variety into my work I suppose. (The Chinese characters at this shop entrance means “anarchy”.)

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I was standing outside the shop composing with my Contax TVS and a passerby saw what I was doing.

“All these crazy shops,” he muttered to me, and walked on. It looks like a Japanese ramen place as far as I could figure.

So, yes, I suppose it’s a little bit different from my day job. Here, I’m standing at the entrance, aiming my camera, waiting deliberately for the right moment.

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What am I doing, and what am I looking for as a street photographer? I admit I live within myself too much.

Maybe part of the work of street photography has to do with getting away from myself.

Sometimes, it’s good not to be myself.

I look into the backs of trucks.

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I look at other people at work.

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I look at stuff.

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I am intrigued by the strangeness of other people.

I imagine myself wearing their clothes. Then, I imagine myself wearing their skin.

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And I look some more, and am sometimes not quite used to what I see.

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