Monday, March 3, 2008


MTR Station- Central, HK, originally uploaded by Paul Swee.

Paul Swee is a Flickr user based in Hong Kong, and his photos capture bits and pieces of the surrounding metropolis. I enjoy browsing through his photostream to soak up the atmosphere of his city. Many of the shots are of everyday scenes, slices of life. In his profile, Paul states simply that "I shoot what I see."

He's being modest, of course. Here's a shot taken in Hong Kong's subway system. Looks like a young couple are having a falling out. The body language speaks volumes. The girl's toes pointed in, face turned down and away, limp arm, palm open, feeling hurt or dejected . The guy leaning in, trying to look the girl in the eye, holding tightly to the girl's hand, desperately perhaps. One hand motioning to his chest, maybe explaining his feelings or defending his actions. Paul offers a possibly overheard: "trust me, I didn't mess with your best friend."

I admire photographers that have captured intimate moments happening out in the open. It's mainly because it takes nerve to walk up to a person, frame your shot, and snap away. I suspect it might be a tad easier to get away with it if your subjects are too distracted by their own swirling emotions to notice the soft swish of a Leica shutter. Nonetheless, it takes a great deal of practice to obtain just a tiny bit of confidence. I better get out there.

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