Thursday, 12 April 2018

Beyond The Frame | "Lust Caution" | Fuji GFX50s

Photo © Tewfic El-Sawy | All Rights Reserved
It's been a hyperkinetic two weeks in Shanghai! I had a two hour (it ended by being twice as long) photo talk scheduled at the Imaging Group's IG Photography Art Gallery, a large building that includes IG Studio and the very impressive Shanghai Museum of Antique Cameras, a large darkroom for analog enthusiasts, and even a photo-themed cafe adjacent to a large conference room. It was in the latter two spaces that the photo talk was held, where over 85-90 people were in attendance. 

A day later, I led a photo-walk (street photography) near Fangbang Road amongst the narrow alleys which teem with residents...it was a black & white photography workshop, and was followed by critique of the 10 photographers' work during the walk-about. This too was held in the conference room space, and was attended (to my surprise) by around 30 photographers.

However, I digress...Through the WeChat app (no one planning to visit China should be without it), I established a decent amount of contacts amongst the photographic community in Shanghai and elsewhere. Through various chat groups, I befriended a handful of local photographers who were eager to help me in setting up some photo shoots in the vicinity.

On a sunny afternoon, a bunch of new friends and I drove to the ancient watertown of Xinchang, approximately 35 miles south of Shanghai. Being out of the clutches of Shanghai's municipality's influence, Xinchang is not as commercial as Qi Bao (for example), and one can still stroll the interlacing lanes, carved stone-arch bridges and old wooden architecture of around 100 conserved courtyard-style houses from the Ming and Qing dynasties that provide glimpses of a time when Pudong was merely a string of individual villages.

One of the better-known locations in Xinchang is the ancient teahouse where Ang Lee’s movie Lust, Caution was filmed, and where one can have tea and nibble on sunflower seeds for about ¥37 per person. It was across from where this teahouse is located that I spied the old house with red lanterns...and it was the location of the above photograph. 

Reng Li Feng (aka Betty) is the model for a forthcoming fashion-themed audio slideshow that I will start woking on in a few days. We had chosen and bought her sober qi pao for this particular project, and I thought it was well suited for this background. I photographer her in various locations all over this lovely ancient watertown, including in the teahouse itself.

The technical details for the photograph are: Fuji GFX50s + 63mm. 1/1000th Hand Held. f2.8. iso 800. Aperture Metering. Date: 2018.04.8 at 17:30:00 (Shanghai time). Post Processed Using Color Efex and Iridient Developer 3.