Spring in China. The air pollution was too strong and it felt like the whole world was desaturated. So I decided to do some b&w photography. I think the dark grey tones give the image a sense of serenity.
Portrait of an Unknown Man
This is not the usual portrait as it is shot from the back. The person stays anonymous. However, this retired man is quite symbolic power over the Chinese culture. He uses a big brush and water to write down lessons of his past so he doesn’t forget them. Roots are especially strong in China
I am not good at street photography and I am also not very talkative. But after listening to this man play the flute for 20 minutes in the park, I just had to ask him if I can take his photograph. Nervous enough I only pressed the shutter once but it turned out quite alright. With new confidence I asked another woman if I could take a picture of her cute child. She just said no and that’s the reason why I don’t have many portraits of strangers…
Smile for Tourists
I tried secretly taking a shot of this wise man, sitting on the street and enjoying his tobacco. Unfortunately he also spotted me. So I had no choice but to ask him if I could take his picture – in Chinese. He was so surprised and happy about the new acquaintance, that he wouldn’t stop smiling and laughing straight into the camera. It was not the setting I was going for, but ultimately it is still a good shot and it reminds me how welcoming local Chinese can be.