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Sunday, October 08, 2006

Night Street Photography - Empty Cans Collector

Empty Cans Collector
© 2006 Martin Liew

Empty Cans Collector

6th October, Friday (Lunar Month 15th August) was the Mid-Autumn Festival. As usual every year Chinatown would be beautified with colorful giant lanterns. This called for celebration where families come down to take memorable photographs with their loved ones.

Well due to the recent hazy air pollution caused by the forest fire in Indonesia, the South wind brought us the haze with PSI value up to 130. During the early evening on Friday, it wasn't that bad until the late night which lasted for the whole Saturday. Well anyway nothing would spoilt everyone's mood in celebrating this Festival.

I wasn't really out to take such celebrative pictures in which kids are carrying lanterns nor any of the road-show performances. I was more keen in looking out for something special or any "happening" for the night. I wanted to take pictures that say alot about the people in Chinatown and the people coming to Chinatown. Night life/people in the street, that's what I was looking out for.

After walking through the busy bazaar, I came across this old lady on an overhead bridge where she was stepping on disposed canned drinks. It's quite a common sight where many old folks are searching for empty disposed canned drinks so they can sell them for money. What a good way of recycling these cans, but it's a tough job for them. They have to search through every waste bin they can find and they dun earn much from selling them to the junk yard owners.

While everyone is having fun taking pictures, she is still working hard and I could see she has had collected a huge sack of cans. Perhaps from a hard day's work. I stood there for a few moment, observing her every movement. Suddenly she caught me looking at her and she smiled at me. I smiled back. It occurred to me she really enjoys what she is doing. No resentment, no regrets.

I decided to pick up my camera and take her photos. Then a kid came by and was kind enough to pass her a few cans. She's more happy to accept them. Well I could have taken a few more shots but to the very low light condition in that area, I'm lucky to have these 2 shots properly exposed, though they are alot grainy as I used Fujifilm Superia 1600 rated at 800. It might perhaps due to the photo-lab scanning and editing.

Nikon FM10 • 50mm f/1.8 • Fujifilm Superia 1600


Empty Cans Collector
© 2006 Martin Liew