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!
WS: The first shot done as everyone in full focus!
But this is the moment that I treasure......
Critiques | Translate
holmertz (57285) 2014-01-19 3:09
I think you are already addicted to this kind of shooting from the hip. You have done it many times and the result is always fascinating (those times you don't cut off heads etc). This photo brings me right into the crowd. I feel I'm there, quietly sticking my head in between some bystanders, trying to steel a look ot what's going on. I love the look of the man who turns his head at your face, showing that he has no idea of the camera. It's just a friendly smile at a completely innocent foreign visitor.
daddo (27592) 2014-01-19 3:21
Salam Abmdsudi. By now you seem to have developed a sixth sense whilst shooting from the hip and I doubt that either feet or heads end up in your photos. Intense poses and intense feeling of "men's business". Love it. Long live the Uygur nation. Klaudio.
Subhogen (4067) 2014-01-19 3:51
As mentioned in your note, great improvisation to take this shot and the result here is really satisfactory specially for the nice closeup of this Uighur man who is looking at you. I am surprised to see so many men surrounding a tiny chess board. As far as I know chess is played between 2 people so the rest is there for expert advise. Good way to pass time. Excellent timing and opportunism to present this good DL shot from a remote and distant land. Thanks for sharing.
PS. I have heard that this part of China is really troubled with factionalism and terrorism, is that so?
Sergiom (85877) 2014-01-19 3:58
Un très beau moment. Tu as été le témoin privilégié d'une bonne partie et tu sembles faire partie des admirateurs inconditionnels pressés autour du jeu. Une très belle atmosphère entre hommes.
Noel_Byrne (33036) 2014-01-19 4:08
These are the captures I envy, and hope someday to master too. A beautiful combination of main post and workshop, each with their own charms. I like this as it feels so gritty and real, and really gives the sense of the viewer actually being here and feeling the excitement of the game. This looks to me like a scene from a movie. Beautiful work, I continue to learn from these posts.
All the best
CLODO (35348) 2014-01-19 4:30
I am very pleased by your note describing how you managed to get this stunning shot, where we are part of the chess game, looking intensely on the board as the other men, and with a splendid portrait ignoring your camera.
Congratulations, street photographer!
Cricri (123650) 2014-01-19 5:02
Une scène magnifique, excitante, bien capturer au bon moment ou la personne ce retourne et laisse ainsi une vue parfaite sur le jeu d'échec et la concentration des hommes, très belle image
aleXundar (1256) 2014-01-19 8:07
People engrossed in chess and the situation on the board seems very interesting... and a photographer is slowly moving towards them...to shoot...the instrument is hidden... shhh..oh, what a scene!
Anyway, the present pair of shots is fabulous, particularly the way you captured them.
A very lively scene. I liked the knight piece on the board... it is from a different set, replacement of the original one that is lost.
Wonderful shot and execution thereof. Thanks for sharing.
With warm regards,
pajaran (64340) 2014-01-19 9:28
Interesantan i dobar tekst ...
Dobar trenutak snimka i kontrast, lepo pokazano mesto sa igracima saha, lepe boje.
Dobar rad sa lepom fotografijom u radionici.
Prijatno vece i mirna noc, sve najbolje.
An interesting and good text ...
Good time recording and contrast nicely demonstrated place with chess players, beautiful colors.
Good work with beautiful photography workshop.
Good evening and peaceful night, all the best.
Fis2 (103798) 2014-01-19 10:07
A very curious scene.
Excellent reportage photo.
Good colors, super climate.
papagolf21 (106664) 2014-01-19 11:28
Bonsoir, cher Abmdsudi,
Une belle scène de rue finement croquée. Le visage du personnage au premier plan est parfait.
Le jeu d'échec est parfaitement situé dans la composition.
Belle réussite, une fois de plus.
Schnappilic (9692) 2014-01-19 11:47
Huge daily life moment. Great framing right in the middle of actions. Perfect atmosphere! Congratulations!
mirosu (16273) 2014-01-19 17:45
Amusing daily life snapshot with interesting content. I like the arrangement with the men concentrated on the chess game, only one is distracted by something (your camera). Nice tight crop. I like it.
Wish you a very nice week ahead.
kato (11630) 2014-01-19 18:18
You're capturing well this daily life by a good angle and excellent tone/clarity, so it's interesting and impressive to see the spectacle in which many residents are gathering, have squatted down and are watching the game of chess players in back street. Although this place is a part of frontier district territory belonging to the west in China, the spectacle of chess seems to be subject to the influence of the Russia culture. And then, their hat seems to be subject to the influence of Islamic culture. In such meaning, Central Asia looks like the interesting area where their original culture and three different big civilization was intermingled.
danos (101714) 2014-01-20 7:00
nice the snapshot from the cadid camers with the lot of native people to watch playing chess.The WS gives a more panoramic view of the chess as people that surround it.Well done.
adramad (48352) 2014-01-20 8:19
Very good note of introduction that serves to enhance the image and respect you even more for your courage, to capture images of characters, sometimes covertly. I really find it very difficult to recruit people and think that they can disturb and call attention ...
Here you captured very naturally this street game of chess with the charm of naturalness and freshness of the improvised.
Very good brightness and sharpness, with beautiful colors.
Well done. I Like
Have a good day.
Silvio1953 (150127) 2014-01-20 11:40
Ciao Abmdsudi, beautiful portrait of chess players, nice scene, excellent clarity, splendid light and wonderful natural colors, very well done my friend, ciao Silvio
ourania (49771) 2014-01-20 12:03
this picture is so fun and intriguing to look at, it's easy to imagine your excitement at the time of the capture and later, when you checked the result. You must have had a smile in your face too and that's why the gentleman is responding like this to a greeting from a complete stranger, an "intruder" maybe:) You got the board, the closeness of the group and the intimate atmosphere superbly. Someone is intuitively looking towards the lens:) The tilt and the gentleman's spontaneous response offer great dynamism. I absolutely love the workshop picture and its quiet, tense and intimate atmosphere too. Congratulations and thank you!
All the best, have a great day,
aliabazari (16252) 2014-11-07 19:02
Well this beautiful portrait. Well performed.
berek (50506) 2016-03-29 20:48
A beautiful moment. You have been the privileged witness of much and you seem to be part of unconditional admirers crowded around the game. A beautiful atmosphere among men.
- Copyright: abmdsudi abmdsudi (abmdsudi) (57112)
- Genre: People
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2008-04-21
- Categories: Decisive Moment
- Camera: NIKON D200, TOKINA AT-X PRO 16-50 F2.8 DX, ISO 100 RAW
- Exposure: f/13.0, 1/60 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
- Date Submitted: 2014-01-19 2:23