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Photographer's Note

This is somewhere I ventured on the side street in Uighur old quarters in Yarkand oasis town on the edge of Taklamakan desert. Maze of narrow streets, typical of Central Asian town with lively dusty backstreets, muddy lanes lined with poplar trees, donkey carts, artisans' quarters, colourful bazaars selling all sorts of things and traditional mud bricks houses.

On a lazy cool afternoon spotted small groups of Uighur men looking at something on the ground which immediately drew my attention. I went towards and saw a game of chess was in progress and the players appeared to be taking the game just as seriously. I set myself a bit of a challenge with the intention of trying some street photography when I approached them very carefully. I didn't want to intrude on a very private party though, but this guy somehow got distracted while others were in full concentration on their task and seemed oblivious to the camera.

Grabbed surreptitiously from the hip is joyful, as always it can be very 'hit and miss game' sort of thing so to speak. After capturing many feet but no body, head but no shoulders etc etc. I feel the shot worthy and I love every moment of it, the distortion and quirky angle reminds me of drunken feeling and does have real weird sometimes and messed up feel to it. It is by pure luck perhaps that I have got the framing of his head just right and half the joy is seeing what has been captured - the guy's surprised friendly expression looking straight into the stranger's eyes instead of the lens.

The camera was in my hand hidden under my jacket at hip level, manually prefocused on shutter priority. Not as posh, you get what you see, not all technically perfect but it's hell fun. Be warned doing this can become addictive!

Additional picture
WS: The first shot done as everyone in full focus!

But this is the moment that I treasure......

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Additional Photos by abmdsudi abmdsudi (abmdsudi) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3913 W: 144 N: 8972] (38878)
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