Posts Tagged ‘graffiti’

Initial wanderings

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

Despite a forecast of a solid week of cold rain, Emma seemed to bring a wave of delightfully good weather along with her to Lyon. We spent most of her first couple days with us just wandering about the city and soaking in the late autumn sun. I’m glad Emma came at the end of my own time in France, because it gave me motivation to get back out into the city and see it all (figuratively speaking) through one more time before I left. (To be honest, I’m actually writing this from Minnesota. I got back last Wednesday, and I miss France a great deal. I know – big surprise!)

On a technical photographic note, you might notice a slightly different visual quality to the images in this post (or you might not – I can’t yet decide). I’ve gotten tired of spending a fair portion of my life sitting at my computer coddling RAW image files, so I have been experimenting with shooting in JPG and tweaking the in-camera picture processing controls. A photographer and camera guru that I admire has his own preferred style that emulates one of his favorite types of film, achieved by using Nikon’s VIVID picture setting and cranking up the saturation to maximum (as well as upping the sharpening a bit). I decided to try that out myself for these shots. I’m fairly happy with the results (although I don’t think I’m going to abandon RAW just yet)…

Lyon, France (Nov 10, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)

Photos taken in Lyon, France on November 10-11, 2010.

Up the hill again, with a different lens this time

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

About a week ago, Catie and I met up with a couple friends and headed up Fourvière Hill once again to visit the ancient Roman Theatre and the Basilica. We took a different route along Montée du Gourguillon, a charming street that winds up the hill through the Renaissance neighborhood of Vieux Lyon.

I had been feeling lately like I wanted to shake my photography routine up a bit, so I decided to show some pity for my old 60mm macro lens and use it for the day. In fact, I used it exclusively and left the rest of my equipment at home. Sometimes it is nice to have my camera bag and its full contents with me for a trek as it provides the tools to ideally capture just about anything, but a lot of the time I find this ‘ultimate flexibility’ to actually detract from the quality of images that I generate. I get so consumed wondering if one lens might be better than another for the subject that I spend more time swapping lenses back and forth than I do actually shooting (and more importantly, looking). In the end, I almost always just get frustrated with myself and stick my favorite 70-200mm on the camera body and ignore the heavy backpack for the rest of the day. So, I have decided recently that I am going to try to leave the bag at home and commit to a single lens shooting experience over the course of a day as much as possible. This is what I did most of the time in Bangladesh anyway (because the weather was too hot to carry a bag, the air too dusty to switch lenses, and I too conspicuous to relish flashing expensive equipment to everyone on the streets) and I think my images were the better for it.

So far, this decision is working out great. Sure, maybe I lose the ability to capture a potential photo or two because I don’t have a long telephoto or extreme wide-angle with me, but I can focus my creative ability on making the images that I can create the best that they can be. I live here, after all, and I constantly have my GPS tracker with me, so I can always go back to some particular location another day with another lens!

Lyon, France (Oct 17, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 17, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 17, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 17, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 17, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 17, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 17, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 17, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 17, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 17, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 17, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 17, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 17, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 17, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 17, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 17, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 17, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 17, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 17, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 17, 2010)

Photos taken in Lyon, France on October 17, 2010.

Walking around Bandarban

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

On the first day, after our trek through the jungle and the river boat ride, we spent the rest of the afternoon walking through the large town in Bandarban and on through what I might call the “suburbs” to a Buddhist temple. This was a fun pedestrian journey as the town provided a lot to look at – including people, goods and shops, and general ‘bustle’ – and in the more rural area there were countless children excited to see a white man with a camera, not to mention beautiful green fields and livestock.

One amusing moment occurred when I was photographing a small group of boys on the side of the road. It was clear from their body language that they were gunning for a photograph, and I was happy to comply. When I lifted my camera to my face they got pretty giggly and started goofing around, continuously trying to push one another into the background and make themselves the front-and-center star of the composition.

Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 30, 2009)

Photo taken in Bandarban, Bangladesh on October 30, 2009.

I took a few like that and then I heard a man nearby on their side of the road tell the kids “Hey! Get in a line!”, at which point the boys quickly got their act together and maturely stood in a single row so that everyone could be clearly seen.

Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 30, 2009)

Photo taken in Bandarban, Bangladesh on October 30, 2009.

My personal preference would be for the first ‘style’, but I like both photos and in this particular case I actually think the composition worked out better in the orderly line image. The experience though was just another funny installment in the ongoing game of “What do Bangladeshi men want in pictures of kids?”. Clearly the answer this time favors simple unobstructed visibility over spontaneous fun or candid moments. To each his own!

Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 30, 2009)
Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 30, 2009)
Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 30, 2009)
Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 30, 2009)
Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 30, 2009)
Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 30, 2009)
Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 30, 2009)
Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 30, 2009)
Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 30, 2009)
Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 30, 2009)
Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 30, 2009)
Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 30, 2009)
Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 30, 2009)
Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 30, 2009)
Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 30, 2009)
Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 30, 2009)
Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 30, 2009)
Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 30, 2009)
Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 30, 2009)
Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 30, 2009)
Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 30, 2009)
Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 30, 2009)
Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 30, 2009)
Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 30, 2009)
Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 30, 2009)
Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 30, 2009)
Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 30, 2009)
Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 30, 2009)
Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 30, 2009)

Photos taken in Bandarban, Bangladesh on October 30, 2009.

Street stories

Sunday, October 25th, 2009

Catie and I have been slowly expanding our experience of Chittagong, taking walks and small trips around different parts of the city. I continue to be amazed as I carry my camera with me on the streets at the sheer number of opportunities there are to create beautiful images. I feel like no matter where I turn there is always something or someone asking for a photograph (sometimes literally) and with potential to be magnificent.

There were two recent moments from our city meanderings that I wanted to write about in particular. Both occurred in New Market, an area which I don’t know much about besides that it includes a huge mall (which I still haven’t been into) and a vast number of street vendors and shops. Recently Catie and I went there on a late afternoon and (since the mall was closed) walked around the streets and looked at the variety of items for sale including posters, jewelry, clothes, shoes, CDs, toothbrushes, and just about anything else you could think of.

Both notable moments happened though before we even started walking the streets. As we were getting our bearings on the sidewalk after we got out of our CNG, I saw a man sitting on the ground begging for money in some gorgeous afternoon light. I wanted to get a photo of him but I didn’t want it to be a one-sided exchange, so I got out a few coins and walked over to give them to him and then take my shot. I started to do so and realized during the process that he was probably completely blind. After I handed him the money, I backed off and started to get ready to take the photo, but suddenly I realized that I had already attracted a lot of attention on the sidewalk that had just a moment ago been completely empty. Unfortunately my camera’s line of sight was perpendicular to and stretching all the way across the sidewalk, so anyone who might’ve walked by immediately stopped and added on to the crowd around us. I quickly took the best photo I could before the mob blocked all the light and obstructed my frame.

Chittagong, Bangladesh (Oct 23, 2009)

Photo taken in Chittagong, Bangladesh on October 23, 2009.

At this point there were probably 20 people (all men I think) standing right next to me, but I decided to try and get one more closer angle. As I changed positions and framed and took my next shot, one of the men stepped towards my subject and pushed him a bit, trying to “do me a favor” and get the old blind man to look towards me. I found this to be very upsetting, and I stopped shooting immediately and got up and walked away. I wish I could have said something in apology to the man before leaving. Maybe he’ll be there again the next time I go to New Market and I can give him some more money or food. I just hate that I went into the situation consciously attempting to have a good even exchange between the two of us, but ended up getting him harassed by some jerk guy.

My other New Market story is from just a few minutes later but has a more comic theme. I was fiddling with a few controls on my camera while Catie was on her cell phone, trying to pretend like I wasn’t feeling suffocated by the large group of men surrounding me, when one man stepped forward and gestured towards a boy standing nearby (who I assume might have been his son). He motioned for me to take a picture of the boy, so I obliged, stepped over, framed the photograph and pressed the shutter. The man wanted to see the shot so I pulled it up on the LCD display and showed him the back of the camera.

Chittagong, Bangladesh (Oct 23, 2009)

Photo taken in Chittagong, Bangladesh on October 23, 2009.

The man looked for a moment with a critical eye, and then frowned and shook his head. He pointed to the empty space on the right of the frame and said “noo, no good” and unmistakably gestured his distaste. I couldn’t help but laugh and asked “no?” to which I got another definitive “no!” followed by a motion that I interpreted as his telling me that I should have captured the boy’s entire body. And then he simply walked away! I honestly don’t think I’ve ever had a “client” express such strong dissatisfaction for my work. I guess you just can’t win ‘em all! I like the photo still anyway. But then again maybe there is too much empty space on the right… Or perhaps I overdid the dutch angle. This man has me questioning myself!

Chittagong, Bangladesh (Oct 9, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Oct 9, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Oct 9, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Oct 9, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Oct 9, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Oct 9, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Oct 9, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Oct 9, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Oct 9, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Oct 11, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Oct 23, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Oct 23, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Oct 23, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Oct 23, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Oct 23, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Oct 23, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Oct 23, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Oct 26, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Oct 26, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Oct 26, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Oct 26, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Oct 26, 2009)

Photos taken in Chittagong, Bangladesh between October 9-26, 2009.