18 June 2007, Aberdeen, Hong Kong
Down by the harbourfront in Aberdeen, under the shade of a pagoda watching his friends play chequers with a cigarette in hand, TE's most famous Hong Kong resident smiles once more for the camera.
His friends refer to him as "Si Fu," which in Cantonese means master or teacher, a sign of respect in looking up to an older and experienced colleague.
From what I gather this group of men, which Luko and others have photographed in the past, were once-- and some may still be-- sailors, probably out on the fishing boats that still moor at the Aberdeen wharves today. They are all extremely fit, though their weathered faces and leathery skin tell of a life spent on the rough South China Sea, making them seem more aged than they actually are.
Materially, they don't seem to have much sitting there around their daily board games, reading the odd newspaper, having the odd cigarette, sipping the odd beer. I've had one or two friends remark on this by merely viewing this portrait and that has been a source of criticsm over the legtimacy of me taking this picture.
But the context is much more positive, from what I saw and the few words we shared. One can only imagine the kind of comaraderie that is built working together on a boat over the years and that shows through in the way that these men now carry on today and, hopefully, through the smile on Si Fu's face.
Critiques | Translate
Galeota (10352) 2007-09-30 9:41
Si Fu strikes again and you've made your way into one of the most selective clubs in TE. Bravo!
nicol_g (859) 2007-09-30 10:06
You did it, too :) (I discovered the 'club' :) through the link in your note). I can see some changes - the guy cut his hair and did something also with his beard & moustache (I'm kind of regretting that :), but he's still the TCG :).
I like much the grain given by the film, on the other hand I'm not sure if it would have worked here a little (very little) bit more sharpening for the character's eye in the lit side...
Thanks for your contribution and for the note.
AnimeshRay (9089) 2007-09-30 11:00
Beautiful tri-X grain, Mike! Lovely study of this character. Bravo!
Luko (14000) 2007-09-30 12:29
Surprize...Si Fu has had a shave... Glad to hear from him.
Welcome to the TCG, #8 you can put the TCG club name on your business card, it will open many doors (at least 7 doors...).
Now, don't forget the special hand shake and to overlook the other non-TCG members (Anyway they're all jealous over rated photographers).
vapours (8264) 2007-10-01 4:53
And I think I can say that your image is one of the best in the theme. Great detail here, with every strand of hair being so clear. A great character.
brevbrev14 (140) 2007-10-02 5:55
Hi Mike, beautiful portrait..
the light is superb and i love the grain of thee TRI-X400...
a pre-digital image...very good to see it..
the look of this man is strong..
designsoul (21492) 2007-10-02 17:31
Ah, hello Mike! So you are down under and I have to say in all earnestness, your shot is the winner of all TCG men here I'd say. This sifu has a resplendent smile, a marvellous cheer that emanates from every pore; why would not it be legitimate to take it?
Superb, sensitive portrait of a beautiful man of kindness. Love that grain...
Just back from Budapest
- Copyright: Mike King (MKING) (3054)
- Genre: People
- Medium: Black & White
- Date Taken: 2007-06-18
- Categories: Daily Life
- Camera: Nikon FM3A, Nikkor 50mm f/1.4, Kodak TRI-X 400
- Exposure: f/5.6
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Theme(s): The Tooth Challenged Guy in Aberdeen [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2007-09-30 4:00