Hong Kong Streets + a little good news

Ladies choice.......‘Ladies Choice’

My posts are a little back to front and upside down at the moment, so sorry for the jumping around from one country to another…… I’m still working on the Hong Kong pictures, but I thought I’d share some of them with you before it all feels too stale……..

Its funny, all the pictures I took were taken in 2 hours and within 5 streets of each other. It was just one of those lucky days when the streets were rich with characters, and I was feeling bold. I pushed myself a little harder, got closer….. bit my lip, and followed the ones I really wanted….as a result, several of these pictures show direct eye contact, and are barely cropped (I got pretty close)! Maybe it was also because I had just walked off the plane after 12 hours with no sleep, and was wired, and certainly a little desperate – I knew this was probably my only chance to go shooting before all my work took over (and I was right!).

The evening was hot and sticky, and for the first time I felt quite conscious of myself. The streets seemed to be full of men, and I stuck out like a sore thumb in my flowery dress and big camera. I went to Sham Shui Po, my favourite place for faces – theres an electrical market there that fades into food stalls, and then into the ghost town of the shut down textiles district. The streets and people are always damp, and the few women you see strangely seem to be doing the hardest jobs. The bodies are different here, the strains of life seemed to have pulled at the skin, and twisted the bones… expressions are haunted, poverty is on every corner, and a sense of neglect hangs in the air. Some of the most important, or rather disturbing details in these pictures I didn’t even notice until I got home. The picture below is the best example of this – I’ll never know what the second man saw, and I never even knew he was there. I just uploaded the image and suddenly he appeared behind the main character, so I chose to remove everything else and make this shot purely about them and their demons.

The fear

Although its not the best photo, the picture below was probably the most emotional one I took. It was taken right before I left the market… I found him down a little back street on his own. He stood there listening…. and I stood and quietly watched him, in the shadows sweat running down my skin. I was hot and tired, and wanted to go back to my room, but I was hypnotised by his presence. Clearly the song meant something, there was a memory there……….. I called this picture ‘She’s not forgotten’ because who ever she was, she was still alive in his heart.
This is when it takes me over…………..
This is when photography makes me see the lives I would have otherwise walked past…… this is when It all becomes so much more than pressing a button. Its not about stealing peoples privacy… its is about capturing it, and recognising the beauty in us all…..

She's not forgotten......... She’s not forgotten………
Breathe it all in........ Breathe it all in……..
. .

So the other news for me is……….-

I still can’t quite believe it….. BUT ……I’ve been asked to exhibit in the same online gallery as the photographer I mentioned in my last post (Katia). My show will be between the 15th and 22nd of August – I need to get myself in gear! The gallery has shown some of my favourite photographers on flickr. If you click on the link below you can see past exhibitions – Brett walker’s is amazing.

Contrasted gallery

You can see other previous exhibitions here – http://www.flickr.com/groups/contrasted_gallery/discuss/72157601502471105/

And finally…………….. and probably the most exciting news of all……… After a lot of hoping and praying, and 7 years of working for my company, they have finally agreed to let me take a small sabbatical, so I can finally go traveling with my camera. After a couple of difficult years, I have tried to take some control and make this year about positive things. One of my dreams has always been to visit some of the more remote places I have only seen In the photos of people I admire. There’s a lot of planning to do…. but Tibet is the top of my list, followed by India and possibly Japan… to be honest I don’t know where to begin, but It is something I want to throw myself into and live to the full……. 🙂

So I’ll end this post with the best smile I’ve ever seen………. from the most extraordinary face I’ve ever managed to capture – she had to be in colour…….. I think you can see why 🙂

She still wears lipstick........ She still wears lipstick……..