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"shopping is fun?" (viii)

Posted by
hugo poon (hong kong, Hong Kong) on 18 December 2010 in Documentary & Street and Portfolio.

"c'est moi"

I had expected this to be a fun series until I bumped into this, outside a famous department store where people were crowding in to do their x'mas shopping... "c'est la vie.":

Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

FUJIFILM FinePix F200EXR 1/13 second F/3.3 ISO 100 7 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...

sunstone_maria from California, United States

your image is all about the life, real one - sad moment to watch but also a moment to think the real meaning of Christmas, and more.

18 Dec 2010 5:12am

Paco Díaz from Palma de Mallorca, Spain

Great social document! This one impacts directly into the heart, Hurgo.

18 Dec 2010 5:31am

The Wakeful Tree from Mumbai, India

superb document, hope they have a nice christmas too

18 Dec 2010 5:58am

S. Fann from Seoul, South Korea

ooh sir-poon not the best of scene intellectual society-awareness piece of craft.

18 Dec 2010 8:17am

k@ from Paris, France

Terrible irony, yes, we see so many examples of this in Paris, sentences on the ads, and below the sad show of real poor life. Heartbreaking. The adult here seems crashed, the head so heavy with despair in contradiction with the bright fake smile full of money of the models on the ad and you cleverly included the legs of those who don't even stop but pass their way with indifference. But You stopped and saw them. I guess here is one example of what a photographer is. Everybody pass by, you stop.

18 Dec 2010 8:37am

@k@: Thank you for sharing your observations and thoughts, dear k@. I remember how I was "stopped" and "struggled" (some questions did come to my rational mind - see Ian's comments below)... but in the end, I knew it too well: I'm not the one to judge and I couldn't pass by pretending that I've not seen them at all!

Adela Fonts from Barcelona, Spain

Pitiful scene that unsettles the soul! Some run away and others are sadly alone, accompanied by misleading advertising! Best regards, Adela

18 Dec 2010 9:39am

GJC from Kyoto (京都), Japan

This is a brilliant series, and it continues to grow. Keep at it. There is so much more to discover.

18 Dec 2010 11:33am

elena from Turin, Italy

a big contrast and a great capture.

18 Dec 2010 4:21pm

António Pires from Lisbon, Portugal

Yes, we know. But one thing is to know and another one is to see.

18 Dec 2010 6:10pm

Frida from Sweden

A strong series that make me a bit uneasy. As someone said it is one thing to know but a whole different thing to see.

18 Dec 2010 6:30pm

guillaume from Paris, France

Great capture ! Like this !

18 Dec 2010 7:04pm

Anna.C from LA ROCHELLE, France

Too much difference between the rich and the poor people! Your photo demonstrates it tragically ! That makes me sick ! great documentary, well spotted !

18 Dec 2010 8:30pm

Ian Smith from London, United Kingdom

Hmm... its certainly a powerful image, and one that immediately sends your mind into one direction. But looking at your other shot of these two I begin to question just how desparate she actually is? She is not 'worn' or showing any signs of struggling to make ends meet - as both her and her son are well clothed and clean looking. Why is she presenting a fairly new looking shopping bag in front of her? And having a handbag like that beside her leaves me thinking she would not consider herself 'in need' when walking along the street... Could she just be having a sit down tired of carrying her heavy son? I may be wrong, but I only think this way following numerous reports of people begging on the streets for cash, only to head home in their car at the end of the day.
Nevertheless, you have captured a couple of great shots here Hugo.

18 Dec 2010 11:59pm

@Ian Smith: Dear Ian, I wish I could give your the answers... however, I'm absolutely clueless! And I must admit that exactly the same questions you asked came to my (rational) mind the moment my heart was so struck by the scene!!! But I was certain that I'm not the one to judge (or pass on any judgement) and I could not just pass by either...

Steve Rice from Olympia, United States

A great image, Hugo. The reality it shows is the same most places these days, I think. The gulf between the rich and poor is widening.

19 Dec 2010 3:22am

larans from Lund, Sweden

I have really liked your "Shopping is fun" series, the pictures are so well captured.
This picture gives certainly another dimension to those other pictures. It makes you really think. A very powerful and important picture.

19 Dec 2010 7:34am

RORO from LE HAVRE, France

Nice compo, light on "shopping" and darkness on the beggar

19 Dec 2010 10:44am

Ronnie 2¢ from Atlantic Shores, United Kingdom

Life is always so full of contrasts . . as we heal them in one area, they open in another. Never more apparent than at Christmastide, in my view. Powerful image, Hugo.

19 Dec 2010 1:12pm

Iknow from Chengdu, China

A great observing and strong contrast of human lives,just powerful, BRAVO!

19 Dec 2010 4:55pm

pixator from kerman, Iran

Really fantastic shot !

19 Dec 2010 8:30pm

ORBIT from Kerman, Iran

WOOOOOOOW! That's AWESOME! Bravo. : )

20 Dec 2010 2:07am

Punit from Somewhere in, India

Wonderful capture of the Irony that exists in this world of ours. However, Ian's comments do make sense as we tend to look into details with a rational mindset but I must say, at the first look, it grips your heart.

20 Dec 2010 4:18am

Pavan Kaul from Mumbai, India

Poverty and disparity are together the biggest and ugliest malaise of our times Hugo! As we progress at a breathless rate all we seem to be doing is becoming more selfish in our approach...we chase only personal growth and wealth, far more than we need or can use and have absolutely no concern for the weaker ones who need us to share our good fortune! The image is absolutely brilliant as yous always are...What is most striking are the two figures hurrying away...turning their backs on the miserable ones....outstanding post my friend!!!!

20 Dec 2010 6:42am

P J W Miller from Chase Terrace, United Kingdom

Indeed c'est la vie, no suprise really Hugo when there are so many people in the world and either being the haves or the have nots

20 Dec 2010 7:06am

rhys from Austria

This is a really interesting photo, I think Ian has hit upon what I was thinking too. At first you are drawn to the glossy vivid advertising with all its sheen, high fashion and happiness, then your eyes are drawn naturally down to the despondent mother and child. At first glance you think they are perhaps begging, but are they? I'm not convinced that they are. Non-the-less, it makes a good image, and you've certainly got people talking.

20 Dec 2010 7:08am

Paco Rubio from Barcelona, Spain

Hugo, well caught!

20 Dec 2010 11:41am

Marie LC from Entre montagnes et Bretagne, France

A very moving image, on which we can only feel sick in our time to see still that in the street or in the subway.

20 Dec 2010 7:04pm

LB Vision from paris, France

Excellent cliché, d'une grande dureté ! peace !

20 Dec 2010 7:51pm

Charles Dastodd from Chicago, United States

definitely a sad and powerful image.

21 Dec 2010 3:51am

B. Thomas from Arlington, Texas, United States

Cool shot!

21 Dec 2010 4:18am

Evelyne Dubos from Le Mans, France

Christmas time is there but unfortunatly Santa Claus as not the power to offer the happiness to everybody... so much disparity between these 2 worlds... strong & powerful proof.... what a shame for our societies !!

21 Dec 2010 7:00am

olivier Paillet from toulouse, France

Welcome to the real life :-( !!! Great catch !

21 Dec 2010 10:40am

Nazzareno from Rome, Italy

very impressive caught in your camera.. great shadow and composition..

21 Dec 2010 2:15pm

Anika from Tehran, Iran

Just can say: interesting.

21 Dec 2010 5:01pm

Putter from Brugge, Belgium

Excellent street shot.

21 Dec 2010 7:25pm

Lloydy from Thailand

Hugo - Great real life capture. Always enjoy looking at your images. Very inspiring.

22 Dec 2010 3:27am

Jingz from Germany

i am touched...

22 Dec 2010 9:02am

morteza from tehran, Iran

:O woww.... it's amazing and certainly sad

22 Dec 2010 7:04pm

Bettina from Los Angeles, United States

Sad. Never can we forget all sides of life. These images project something unreal. Only mother and child are the real thing, and only they matter. Well seen and documented.

23 Dec 2010 1:15am

Rosa Frei from Ouarzazate, Morocco

Very thoughtful image with great expressiveness!

23 Dec 2010 10:13am

Laurens Kuipers from Enschede, Netherlands

Good capture!

6 Jan 2011 5:55pm

1/13 second
ISO 100
7 mm