The legend of Halong Bay is that a celestial dragon defended ancient Vietnam by breathing fire on pirate invaders and spitting out hundreds of hot emerald stones into the north sea. The gems become islands which formed an impenetrable wall to other invaders.
Today Halong Bay protected from the sea but vulnerable to a daily invasion of tourists. It is a busy thoroughfare of sailing boats and day cruise ships. By day the bay is alive with the sights and sounds of 8200 visitors daily.
Select cruises offer overnight stays and in the late evenings and early morning it’s possible to experience the quiet solitude of the bay.
On this morning I was awake at dawn. The early morning light had just broken and the only sound was the gentle slap of water against the fisherman’s oar. It was a quiet awakening to a brand new day.
In the East there is an ancient man made reservoir called Srah Srang. It was built in the 10th century by the Khmer civilization in the kingdom of Angkor. For over a thousand years people have used this place for religious rituals, communal baths and water collection.
On this early morning, as dawn broke across a cloudy eastern sky, a lady collects water for another day.
In the West coast of Canada, the rain forests meet the Pacific and the sun sets in a blaze of glory.
A hoodie shrouded man walks along a jetty after bidding the day good bye.
Two worlds. One day. Twelve thousand kilometers apart. The sun rises and sets on both.
Have you ever had a photo that frustrated you with its lost potential? A picture where the image captured wasn’t the one you saw?
This photo (the one below) is one of mine. It’s too far, too bright and too exposed. It doesn’t capture the muffled sound of the surf or the silent flight of sea birds. It doesn’t hint at the rough texture of the sand or the whisper of salt in the breeze. It doesn’t show the serene splendor of the Pacific Rim.
I was ready to launch this in to the trash heap but then thought what if. What if this wasn’t a photo. What if it is was just a picture, a rendered line drawing that captured the highlights and textures. A digital editor could do that.
And so there it is. My featured photo and reclamation of a lost shot.
I took this shot at Chow Kit Market in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It’s part of a series on local markets where I try to capture their look and feel. I had a simple intent of showing a dry goods shop, different from the standard shots of vegetables and meat.
What caught my eye about this photo?
Originally it was the orange color of his shirt. The eye-catch which connected the passer-by to the shelves in the shop. But then the color became lines and my eye followed the network of lines within lines, the boxes within boxes. Unconsciously, my eye was drawn to the pattern within the picture, the order imposed on this chaos of small things. But then my eye grew tired of straight lines. It pulled back to follow the curves. The dark slope of the shopkeeper hunched over the counter. The blurred profile of the passer-by. The orange color of his shirt.