I would like to share a series of monochrome street portraits. These are spontaneous candid shots that were captured at Georgetown World Heritage  Site, Penang Malaysia. The photos were photographed using the Leica MP with 35mm Summicron lens.

“Man In the Mirror”

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“Big Umbrella”

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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.

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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.

Portraits of Charcoal Factory Workers

Recently I shot a series of portraits of workers at a charcoal factory. The photos were shot using the Leica M with the 35mm Summicron ASPH. I had the intention to use also the a 50mm focal length lens but due to the dusty environment inside the factory I decided not to change lens. (Click the image for sharper resolution)

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Thanks for reading, your comments are welcome.

Fuji Pro H 400
Leica M7 35mm Summicron ASPH
The photo was shot at Penang World Heritage Site with the Fuji Pro H 400 film. The Fuji Pro H is capable of rendering good and natural skin tone and vividness of color. Furthermore the ISO400 gives me greater flexibility in term of aperture selection when shooting subject under the shade or semi-indoor. My favorite color film for street photography.

Street Photography – Yangon Railway Station

Yangon Railway Station is another amazing place for street photography. There is plenty of photography motive at the platforms, where commuters alighting and embarking the trains. I peeked into one of the train coach and saw the seats are made with solid wood. Ouch ! must be very painful for long distance travel. (click the photos for sharper view)

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

Commuters at the train platform:

M9 35mm Summicron ASPH
M9 35mm Summicron ASPH
M9 35mm Summicron ASPH
M9 35mm Summicron ASPH
M9 35mm Summicron ASPH
M9 35mm Summicron ASPH

Food seller at the platform:

M9 35mm Summicron ASPH
M9 35mm Summicron ASPH

A boy and his sibling roamed around the stationary trains :

M9 35mm Summicron ASPH
M9 35mm Summicron ASPH
M9 35mm Summicron ASPH
M9 35mm Summicron ASPH

Thanks for reading.