This is one of my favourite photographic memories from the graveyards on Tomb Sweeping Day. 15 days after the Spring Equinox, the Chinese sweep or visit the tombs of their departed loved ones annually.
The weather may be wet and gloomy on that day in 2008, but the Qing Ming Jie (清明节) (or Ching Ming Festival) tradition of burning paper offerings was captured in this image of cold against warmth.
To capture the silhouettes of relatives (strangers) surrounding the tomb and bonfire, I climbed down low on the hilly terrain.
Olympus E-510, 1SO 400, f4.5, 1/320 sec.
#qingming #tomb #bonfire #tradition
This candle stand is the start of the smoke chain in the temple. The devotees light their joss sticks and incense papers here, spreading smoke as they move from the altar to the urn outside.
Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 100, f2, 1/3200 sec.
#streetphotography #temple #flame #candles #smoke #chinatown #chinesenewyear #cny #sonyalpha #a7r #zeiss
Through the doorway: the skywell, sun rays, smoke, spiral joss sticks and ancient Chinese architecture appear like art. It can happen only in that one moment in time when the light, smoke and objects combined perfectly.
Photography Tip: Use a tele lens not just for reach. Here; I used the compression effect of the Sony FE 70-200mm lens to reduce the perceived distance between objects. I wanted the roof to appear nearer to the spiral coils than it actually was.
Exercise extra care when changing lens in a temple environment. There is a lot of fine ash that can get into the rear element and sensor.
Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 100, f4, 1/1000 sec.
#streetphotography #temple #chinesetemple #architecture #smoke #art #josssticks #chinatown #chinesenewyear #cny #sonyalpha #a7r #sonyg
The Chingay part of the annual Johor Bahru parade is seldom photographed before sunset. By the time the temple procession and floats move into the city, it is usually way past nightfall. To catch the giant flag bearers in daylight, I went to the starting point in a village. That turned out to be near impossible as every surrounding road was closed for the massive event.
Me and JB resident Sharon navigated through a maze of back roads and shortcuts before finally ending up at the village where the procession assembled. We still needed to walk a long way to the starting point as there were like a million people already there.
Bewildered and unaware of what was going on, we discovered a site where there were 4 different Chinese operas of different dialects and where worshipers congregate to pray. It was human crush just moving along there among the crowds.
Even though I had plenty of experience covering cultural processions, it was to be one of the toughest stints on foot, starting from 3pm to 3am.
Chingay is the street art of balancing and vaulting giant and heavy flags. The Johor Bahru Chingay Parade is said to have a 140-year history. It is happening in JB tonight.
Olympus OM-D, ISO 200, f6.3, 1/1000 sec.
#festival #chingay #parade #culture #johorbahru #johor #jb #malaysia #olympus #tbt #chinesefestival,
Three years ago I caught the sending off or launch procession for the Chingay Festival from the temple in town to the prayer site off town. The JB Taoist procession passed near the very old Catholic church.
I positioned myself and waited for the juxtaposition of icons from the two different faiths. The annual event took place this morning. There was another religious harmony factor involved which I found out when I visited the church a few days later.
The church was built on land donated by the late Sultan Abu Bakar and was then known as the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes. There is also a marble statue of Mother Mary gifted by Sultan Sir Ibrahim Abu Bakar and it is still standing at the church’s front courtyard.
#chingay #jb #johor #taoism #procession #streetphotography #jossticks #church