These 5 photos below were taken at a traditional Chinese Hutong from a field trip. The theme of the photographs were China’s past, present, and future. We took about 200 photos and among those pictures, these five are the best photos that convey the main theme.
Title: Walking in a Hutong
This photo was my favorite photo. I chose this as my final 5, because of the diverse times the picture conveys. For example, the group gathered around in the center of the photo depicts the China’s past as people usually gathered together with neighbors considering them as a very close person. The ‘gathering’ reminded me of how people all knew each others names during the olden times where the villages were very small. People gather around to talk about their current issues or any other topic. However, following the rule of thirds, the man on the left side of the photo reminded me of present China. The modern fashion the man is wearing shows that there was an influence in China where new products or materials have impacted people’s everyday lives. The formal outfit looks like the man is working in a more recent constructed company than the gathered people in the center. Modern people that live in China, all have their own modern clothing which symbolizes the current people’s lives.
Some technical skills that can be interpreted are the rule of thirds, parallel structures, and facial expression. I tried to place the man on the left side of the photograph, because I liked how the comparison of two different times of living were shown. If the photo was split into three lines, the man would be considered as a left placement and the gathered people in the center. Furthermore, the road in the photo reminded me of a slight parallel structure. The road is headed from the bottom of the photo to the left side of the photo. This brings the attention to the viewers that the meaning I wanted to establish was heading towards the middle left side of the photo. Next, the facial expression of the man looks very serious and can cause the audience to question themselves: “what is the man thinking?”. One of my goals in the ‘Hutong Day Plan of Action’ was to get facial expression involved in the photo. That is why I thought I managed to successfully get this photo.
I felt like having the blue containers and people at the upper left side of the photo could have been taken out. I thought that it only distracted the audience’s view. If I had a another chance of taking this photo, I would have tried to change the angle and have only the gathered people and the man.
During the process of taking this photo, I heard that the gathered people did not want to be taken photos. However, I was very lucky that I took the photo first, and then heard that news.
Title: Deep Thoughts
I took this photo just before we were crossing a road to the river side of the Hutong. I preferred this photo, because the photo established the theme of China’s present times. The person in the photo is a girl. She looks like she is located in a bit lower generation of China. This photo gave me the impression that younger generations of China have their own ways of satisfying their lives or hobbies. This girl seems like she likes to read books and just think about something out in the sun. The fences that are in front of the girl have traditional Chinese patterns which also links to China’s past.
The technical skills in this photo was what I liked the most. In the photo, we have one bench starting from the left side of the photo to the center. On the other side, there is another object that holds the plant which also has a similar size like the bench. This started from the right side of the photo to the center. However, those two objects do not meet each other, but centers the girl in the photo. The girl can be recognized as the main character or thing to focus on in the photo, because the audience’s eye is following the structure of centralization. The color also gives a contrast of the girl that is different to the Chinese culture. The color pink differentiates the girl from the setting. Pink is not a focused traditional color China has. This provokes the girl’s influence from other places that makes her wear different clothing.
I could have done a better job by not showing the bricks on the other side of the river. I thought that cutting off the photo only to the river would have provided a cleaner view for the audience.
When I was taking this photo, our class was moving fairly fast and it was a transition time. Which meant that I had to quickly take this shot and keep on moving to our next destination. Despite the quick shot, I thought that this picture was well taken.
Title: Magnificent Drawer
I chose this photo in the final 5, because of the easily identifiable theme. I thought that the picture that can be easily noticed by the audience for the theme of China’s past and present was this photo. The young man is drawing an old architecture that is in front of him. In his right, there is a chair that looks somewhat past. The young man also has earphones directly symbolizing the modernness of younger generations of China. His clothing does not look traditional, but rather looks like he was greatly influenced from other country’s styles. He looks very focused and gives the audience the impression of the young man’s hobby is drawing.
Some technical skill was the intersecting lines that would continue on throughout the picture. It utilized the meaning of having the audience’s attention on the young man.
However, I thought that many parts of this photo should have been fixed. The paper that he is drawing on, was not clear. The audience cannot see clearly what he was drawing. I should have took the picture of the architect that was in front of him with him. That way, the audience can feel a greater sense of China’s past. Additionally, the lines of fences at the back should have been taken with the other side too. So the two fences on each edge of the street should have shown a parallel structure to make this photo even better.
I chose this photo as it showed various generations inside China. The old man at the back with a blue shirt was dancing which shows older generations enjoying their lives. However, the younger generations located in the left side of the photograph also looks like they are having fun in their Hutong. Their parents are using mobile phones which symbolizes the modern aspect of China. All three generations enjoy their lives in China as they want to. Their modern lives look satisfied.
Some technical skills used in this photo is the distance between each person. The age of the people are shown from youngest to oldest in a chronological order. This can be a relatable aspect between the two ideas. Furthermore, the parallel pillars at the middle right side of the photograph captures the audience’s eye to look less empty in the photo.
However, I think that this photo needs a lot of improvement. I focused on the theme for this assignment, but I also should have thought that the pictures should be a little more carefully taken. If I changed the angle and positioning of the camera, I would have been able to capture the exact moment where the child, parent, and the old man could be shown.
When I was taking this photo, the young girl in the left side of the photo looked very excited. I wanted to catch her feelings through her expressions, and luckily, I was able to get her arms straight up looking like she was very happy.
This photo greatly symbolized the theme of China’s past and present. I did not just take the man by himself individually, because I wanted to include the empty chairs beside him. Like the first picture, older generations like the man above, are usually influenced from the old times where people would gather and talk about different things. However, not only the man was by himself for a long time, but the old generation was holding an electronic device which linked the modern parts of China with the past.
Some technical skills was the lining of the seats where it they were positioned to have the audience’s attention on the man. The rule of thirds also applied, as he was put in the left side of the photo.
One thing I could have done was to take a close up of the man and then compare that photo to this, so that I can compare and figure out what actually better fits the theme.
During the process of taking this photo, I tried several angles and positions to the point where it looked like I was bothering him a little bit. That made me to finish taking his photo and use this as my best fit photo.