My Best Images Of 2017...And Why | X-Pro 2 & GFX50s - Travels Blogs

My Best Images Of 2017...And Why | X-Pro 2 & GFX50s

Photo © Tewfic El-Sawy - All Rights Reserved
X-Pro2/12mm Zeiss/f2.8With the end of year closing in, I thought I'd post 10 photographs that I made during 2017 which I deem to be the "best" (always a subjective thing) for a variety of reasons. 

By "best", I mean that these images combine the visual (composition et al), the ambiance and its connection to me as photographer.

The first (not in any particular order) is one of many I took of "Wang"; an aging Hokkien opera performer in Ampang (Kuala Lumpur) during the Nine Emperor Gods festival in October. In fact, I have a complete blog post on Wang, and how I formed a bond of sorts when I dropped on a couple of nights by the stage where he and his troupe would perform. For me, "Wang" epitomizes the gradual decline in popularity of the Chinese Opera. 

In this particular photograph, "Wang" wears heavy-handed make up on his face, with painted eyebrows. I can't decide whether his facial expression is sad, tired or is he being slightly sardonic. His face was very expressive, and I saw him use it during the shows. I deliberately used a wide angle (Zeiss Touit 12mm) to include the messy background, the drying clothes and the open trunk to show the "out-of-a-suitcase" lives of these itinerant opera troupes.

Photo © Tewfic El-Sawy - All Rights ReservedX-Pro2/Fujinon 16-55mm/f3.2
Another favorite image is of four men in the small town of Qi Bao. It was taken in an ancient tea house where storytellers accompanied by Chinese pipas, perform their art.  Qi Bao, a water town 18 kilometers from downtown Shanghai, was built in the Five Dynasties Period (907-979 AD), and it's in such tea houses that one can enjoy a traditional Suzhou pingtan performance of storytelling to music.
Shanghai in September was hot and sultry, and I thought these men were either retired or unemployed. They were totally unconcerned with the storytelling show a few yards away, and were doing their own thing. I thought it was a timeless image, despite the two men fiddling with their mobile phones...with the crooked handwritten posters on the walls, the rickety furniture, the tea cups and the ancient music, I recall feeling as if I had gone back in least 40-50 years.

For more of my Shanghai street photography, see Incongruities in Monochrome gallery.

Photo © Tewfic El-Sawy - All Rights ReservedX-Pro2/Fujinon 18mm/f2.0This photograph was made in Kyoto, and was shot from the is my usual way of  shooting when I'm in my street photography mode. I didn't want to disturb the scene so I was very quick. Compositionally, it could have been much improved had I been able to move two steps to the left, but I had no time as I wanted to capture the gestures of the little girl imitating the posture of the kimono-clad woman (who was being photographed by a friend with an iPhone).

Examining it later, I was abo...

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