Street Photography in China

I travel frequently to some coastal cities in People Republic of China (China). I discovered that it was tough to do street photography at these places. People are intimidated of being photographed. The following picture illustrates a common reaction by the subjects.

"Don't Shoot"
“Don’t Shoot”

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"I am Shy"
“I am Shy”

“Face of Discomfort” is another common reaction of the subjects.

I even tried to communicate with the subjects by starting a conversation or asked for permission to take photos so that the subjects would not feel intimidated. On many occasions, the moment the subjects realized that I am a street photographer and would like to snap a photo him, the subjects walked away and “disappeared” from my viewfinder.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Another common reaction illustrated by the following picture; the fruit seller disappeared from the store upon seeing me pointing the lens on her.

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On a few occasion, I do meet friendly people that allowed me to photograph their activities. There was motive for granting me the permission. The following photo illustrated what I mean :

"The Best Biscuit"
“The Best Biscuit”

The very “business-minded” owner was trying to promote his product, the best biscuit in town. After the friendly photo session, I ended up buying a few packs of biscuit. I supposed there is “no free lunch “.

I once met with a fortune teller when I was roaming  around the old alleys of Quanzhou. I saw him seated at the roadside with an interesting gesture. I hesitated to photograph the subject, I fear for unpleasant reaction.

"Fortune Teller"
“Fortune Teller”

The fortune teller upon seeing me he invited me to snap a few portraits of him. He said out loudly in Chinese, “come take a few photos of me and post the photos on the internet so that I would be famous, it will bring me more business….”

Was it the culture of urban Chinese that caused the intimidation ? A man with a camera that capturing photos at street is perceived as somebody from the “big brother” that is potentially “hazarded”. Or I am a lousy street photographer who had yet to acquire the skill of street photography.

Thanks for reading. Your comments are welcome.

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Black & White Impression Of An Old Barber Shop

Recently during my business trip to Quan Zhou at People Republic of China (泉州,福建省), I found this very old barber shop at Zhong Shan Street. According to the local, this shop is about 100 years old and during its golden time of 1950’s to 1980’s, the barber shop served many prominent people, including businessmen and political figures.

(Click the photo for Sharper view)

Leica MM, Canon 50mm LTM F1.4. ISO 800 1/45
Leica MM, Canon 50mm LTM F1.4. ISO 800 1/45

These days the barber shop is showing signs of dilapidation, the metal on the barber chairs are corroded and the fabric are worn down.

Leica MM, 35mm Summicron ASPH. ISO 3200
Leica MM, 35mm Summicron ASPH. ISO 3200

The master barber was winding down after a hard day’s.

Leica MM, 35mm Summicron ASPH ISO3200
Leica MM, 35mm Summicron ASPH ISO3200

During his prime, he used to be a “hot shot” barber serving VIPs who needed to make appointments to get his service.

Leica MM, 35mm Summicron ASPH ISO3200
Leica MM, 35mm Summicron ASPH ISO3200
Leica MM, 35mm Summicron ASPH ISO3200
Leica MM, 35mm Summicron ASPH ISO3200
Leica MM, 35mm Summicron ASPH ISO3200
Leica MM, 35mm Summicron ASPH ISO3200

Nowadays the patrons are mostly senior citizens.

Leica M9P, 35mm Summicron ASPH. ISO 1250
Leica M9P, 35mm Summicron ASPH. ISO 1250

Seeing me aiming my camera at her, her spontaneous reaction was to cover up her face. I ended up with an out of focused shot.

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Thanks for reading, your comments are welcome.

Street Photography at Yangon

On the 2nd day of my stay at Yangon, I went out to do street photography. I started my walk along Sule Paya Road and headed to Theingyi Plaza via the Mahabandoola Road and ended my walk at an Open-air Market. Yangon is really an awesome place for street photography ! People are very friendly and most of them do not feel intimidated being photographed.

M9 21mm F4 Voigtlander
M9 21mm F4 Voigtlander
M9 21mm F4 Voigtlander "Road Side Foodstall"
M9 21mm F4 Voigtlander
“Road Side Foodstall”
M9 35mm Summicron ASPH A Spice Trader near the Open-air Market
M9 35mm Summicron ASPH
A Spice Trader near the Open-air Market
M9 21mm F4 Voigtlander A Mosque near the Sule Pagoda.
M9 21mm F4 Voigtlander
A Mosque near the Sule Pagoda.
M9 21mm F4 Voigtlander
M9 21mm F4 Voigtlander

Unlike other major cities in this region, Yangon is free of motorcycles.

M9 35mm Summicron ASPH
M9 35mm Summicron ASPH

Many of the public buses are operated with very old vehicles. The old vehicles created a very unique view at the city roads.

M9 21mm F4 Voigtlander
M9 21mm F4 Voigtlander
M9 21mm F4 Voigtlander
M9 21mm F4 Voigtlander

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M9 21mm F4 Voigtlander
M9 21mm F4 Voigtlander

Thanks for reading, your comments are welcome.