Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Five Best of 2018 | Fashion Themed Story-Telling | GFX50s

Sapphire Kiu in The Songstress of Temple Street (Photo © Tewfic El-Sawy | All Rights Reserved)
I usually end the year by posting a variety of my favorite photographs made during the past 12 months, but this year I'll feature only those images made for my fashion (cheongsam/qipao)-themed story-telling audio slideshows, AND using the Fuji GFX50s "medium format" camera along with its 63mm and 45mm prime lenses.

The image of Sapphire Kiu; a Hong Kong-based model (above), was made in early December 2018 on the famous (or infamous, depending on your point of view) Temple street, and will be part of a forthcoming audio slideshow (aka photo film) titled "The Songstress of Temple Street". It will tell the story of Qin Yi, a famous Shanghai singer in the 1930s, who "returns" to Hong Kong where she started her career. Some of the images were made in Temple's Street Canton Singing House and the Tin Hau Temple.

The image's technical details: GFX50s + 45mm 2.8. 1/250. f4.0. 800 iso. center weighted average metering. It was processed with ON1's LUTs and the Chinese letters were added with CS...as were on the rest of the images in this blog post.


Feng Lee in The Fairy & The Erhu (Photo © Tewfic El-Sawy | All Rights Reserved)
The second image is of Feng "Lisa" Lee, a tea cultivator and business woman from Taipei. It's one of the images of Lisa that was shot in the confines of a photo studio owned by Timothy Huang in mid December 2018. A selection of these studio shots along with other exterior images at the beautiful Lin Ben Yuan Family Mansion (林本源園邸) in Taipei were woven into a photo film titled The Fairy & The Erhu. There is no narration in this audio slideshow....just the lovely sound of the erhu; the traditional Chinese two-stringed bowed musical instrument. 

I chose to use Chinese letterings in the same color as the color of the qi pao/cheongsam worn by the talented and photogenic Feng Lee. 

The image's technical details: GFX50s + 63mm 2.8. 1/125. f7.1. 400 iso. Average metering. It was processed with Iridient Developer 6, and Color Efex.


Jinru Lee in The Phantom of the Opera  (Photo © Tewfic El-Sawy | All Rights Reserved)
The third image is of Jinru Lee; a student and part-time model in Georgetown (Penang Island, Malaysia). It was made in late August 2018 under the sweltering sun of Penang, and inside the Cheah Kongsi Clan House Temple on Lebuh Armenian. I was in Penang to photograph the various Hokkien operas during the Hungry Ghost festival, and took the opportunity to set a photo shoot in its streets for a forthcoming audio slideshow (aka photo film) titled "The Phantom of the Opera". 

It will tell the story of a young woman named Yan Yan born in Penang in 1850, and kidnapped by pirates in the Malacca Straits to eventually become a leading Chinese opera performer. 

The image's technical details: GFX50s + 45mm 2.8. 1/30. f2.8. 400 iso. Manual Pattern metering. It was processed with ON1's LUTs and the Chinese letters were added with CS.



Ren Li Fung in The Legend of Hua (Photo © Tewfic El-Sawy | All Rights Reserved)
The fourth image is of Ren Li "Betty" Fung; a marketing executive with an international corporation in Shanghai. It was made in late March at the lovely Shanghai Hanxiang Water Garden; a few miles outside of the megacity.  For this particular photo shoot, I had ordered a very sober qi pao/cheongsam and had it delivered directly to Betty's home.

Mixing the Hanxiang Water Garden photo shoot and another in the water town of Xinchang, I produced "The Legend of Hua"; a complex photo film meshing the topic of ghosts, opium, Shanghai in its 1930's heyday, traditional Chinese cultural and supernatural elements; all revolving around a plot of betrayal. Its plot is influenced by a 1988 movie by Stanley Kwan (in turn based on a novel by Li Pi-Hua (also known as Lillian Lee), one of the most influential Chinese TV writers, film writers and reporters.

The image's technical details: GFX50s + 63mm 2.8. 1/130. f2.8. 800 iso. Center Weighted metering. It was processed with ON1's LUTs and the Chinese letters were added with CS.



Yiyi in The Girl of Nanjing Road (Photo © Tewfic EL-Sawy | All Rights Reserved)
The fifth photograph is of Yiyi; a professional model, photographer and business woman in Shanghai. I had previously enjoyed working on a photo shoot with Yiyi, and in late March 2018, I wanted to produce a sequel and "The Girl of Nanjing Part II" was born.

The sequel's photo shoot was held in Qi Bao; an old water-town easily on Shanghai's extensive subway. The photo shoot was fun as it was a perfect spot for Yiyi -dressed in a red qi pao- to pose languidly posing amongst the benches and tables of the teahouse, disrupting the daily routine of the elderly men at its card tables.

The story tells us about a Shanghainese girl searching for her foreign lover during the turbulent 1930s when Japanese army was invading parts of China, and the city was a foreign concession. I added sound effects (bombs, bullets whizzing, etc) to give a wartime feel to the piece.

The image's technical details: GFX50s + 63mm 2.8. 1/1300. f4.0. 1600 iso. Pattern metering. It was processed with Iridient Developer 6, Color Efex and Chinese letters were added with CS.