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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Some Sample Photos from My Leica Monochrome

I received my new Leica Monochrome (Leica MM) last week. I took the opportunity to do a series of test shot during my business trip to China. The shooting was done using the 35mm Summicron ASPH and a Canon 50mm 1.4 LTM classic lens. I am very impressed with the photo quality captured with the Canon 50mm 1.4 LTM lens. The classic lens is able to produce sharp and high contrast photos even with the “wide-opened” aperture.

Here are the sample photos captured with the Leica MM and Canon 50mm F1.4 LTM :

Here is another set of photos captured with the 35mm Summicron ASPH :

Thanks for reading.

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.