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"progress..." (my neighbourhood #5)

Posted by
hugo poon (hong kong, Hong Kong) on 24 July 2008 in Cityscape & Urban and Portfolio.

I'm not against progress... but how much I wish I could have taken a few photographs of the original low-rise buildings before they were demolished...

An Urban Renewal Authority Redevelopment Site, Second Street, HK

'Photographers deal in things which are continually vanishing and when they have vanished there is no contrivance on earth which can make them come back again.' Henri Cartier Bresson

Maybe it's this quote that has impacted me most and given me the strongest drive since I took up photography a few years ago; maybe it's most regrettable when your most "familiar" place and people suddenly went away and you realized that you don't even have a good picture to bring back the memories... This is a little series of my neighbourhoood.

FUJIFILM FinePix F100fd 1/420 second F/10.0 ISO 100 10 mm

I do not regard myself as a photographer. I'm an ordinary man but extraordinarily obsessed with capturing all the memorable scenes that I encounter in my everyday life. It's like an excited traveller craving to record his memorable journey in a memorable way, but in my case, it's the journey of my life ... If I can record my encounters in such a way that they leave an image on the mind of myself and other viewers, it's a tremendous joy and some accomplishment...
In terms of photography, I'm trying to preserve the moments as my eyes see "something" and my heart feels it too. As such, I seldom feel interested in planned, arranged or manipulated photographs...

Mirko Herzner from Mühlheim am Main, Germany

Thanks for this insightful picture, Hugo! Did you find out what they are building here? Another office skyscraper?

24 Jul 2008 6:39am

@Mirko Herzner: Thank you Mirko! As far as I know, they are constructing residential blocks with all sorts of modern facilities, with the mid to higher income groups as the target buyers. The original residents (mostly grassroots and elderly) did receive compensation though that would hardly be enough for purchasing these new apartments... This is my simple interpretation of the Government's formula for "urban renewal and regeneration".

dj.tigersprout from San Bruno, United States

bravo! this is extremely magnetic! sharp angles -- steel -- giant cranes -- moving parts!! i feel like a 6 year old boy, mouth agape, finger pointed upward in awe... excellent shot!

24 Jul 2008 6:40am

Vink from French riviera - Grasse, France

Wonderful ! Amazing view ! Excellent, this litle man in silhouette !

24 Jul 2008 1:31pm

Ana Lúcia from Leiria, Portugal

Nice cityscape. I like the industrial look.

24 Jul 2008 1:38pm

Eric Fry from Houston, TX, United States

Excellent B&W industrial photo. Like you, I see many things that I wish I could have photographed before the wheels of progress rolled over them...

24 Jul 2008 1:59pm

Kent from Sweden

Great image

24 Jul 2008 2:22pm

Paco Díaz from Palma de Mallorca, Spain

I agree with you: there is no pont of the city or of the field without the sign of building in progress.
Wonderful made: I like composition, b/w, sharpness. The man working and the sinister thing hanging are, for me, two important elements in the image.

24 Jul 2008 4:47pm

Stephen Phillips from San Francisco, United States

A phenomenal silhouette. That worker straddling the rebar really adds interest (and vertigo). I appreciate the angle against the darkness of the sky.

24 Jul 2008 7:43pm

Ron from Saint Louis, United States

A terrific point of view in this image, Hugo! Henri Cartier Bresson's words ring so very true whenever we see these mammoth cranes hovering in the midst of the city.

24 Jul 2008 8:18pm

kgreenstien from vancouver, Canada

perfect perspective. really like the write up you did about the photo too. i feel the same way too here in vancouver- tons of construction because of the 2010 olypics being hosted here. i think progress is far too often retraction

24 Jul 2008 10:10pm

Observing from West Cheshire, United Kingdom

Brilliant shot with great pov. Presentation is excellent as usual.

25 Jul 2008 12:23am

FUJIFILM FinePix F100fd
1/420 second
F/10.0
ISO 100
10 mm