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Thread: Haunting Girl

  1. #1
    Senior Member Don Ellis's Avatar
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    Haunting Girl



    One of the most charming customs I see in Hong Kong is people's photos on their gravestones... it helps you imagine who they were.

    This is my favourite girl in the Saint Michael Catholic Cemetery in Causeway Bay. I've taken her picture with several cameras over the years, but today was the first time with the DP2. I made a special trip because she looks like a special person.

    Often, you see photos of people in their 20s, 30s and 40s, but when you read their headstones, you realize they were 80 when they died... which sounds like something I would do.

    This lady was 24, so she probably looked exactly like this.

    Her headstone has tilted with age -- she died in 1952 -- but I kept the camera vertical.

    Sigma DP2, ISO100, 1/250 sec., f/2.8. RAW converted in SSP 3.5... click image for full-size version, unsharpened.

    Don

  2. #2
    Subscriber Member Streetshooter's Avatar
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    Re: Haunting Girl

    Don,
    Personally, I'd like to see the entire stone with some light
    surroundings, that would add to the sence of place/time.
    There would be more emotional impact....
    Don

  3. #3
    Senior Member Don Ellis's Avatar
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    Re: Haunting Girl

    Quote Originally Posted by Streetshooter View Post
    Don,
    Personally, I'd like to see the entire stone with some light
    surroundings, that would add to the sence of place/time.
    There would be more emotional impact....
    Don
    Hi Don,

    Iím afraid youíll have to wait for another photographer to take that shot.

    I want people to see her, not her surroundings. I want her centred and slightly off-balance and framed in white light with just the shadow of a tree falling on the green of the moss that colours her headstone. I donít want her anchored in space and time Ė I want her close enough to touch and timeless.

    Step back and all sheíll be is a cameo in a forest of stone and distractions.

    Don

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    Re: Haunting Girl

    Not seeing the photo -- and the hold-up evidently is very slow loading from www.kleptography.com

    Not sure why ?

  5. #5
    Subscriber Member Streetshooter's Avatar
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    Re: Haunting Girl

    Don,
    It's easy to see how one could fall in love with her.
    My description would have echoed more of a loss...

    If I could ride the Harley to Hong Kong, I'd make my image and
    we could compare.....
    But alas....Harley's don't float so well.....
    She's beautiful.....tho....glad your enjoying the camera...
    Don

  6. #6
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    Re: Haunting Girl

    A Haunting Image indeed! One wonders as to the back story. I like your treatment very much; one does focus on her

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    Re: Haunting Girl

    don,
    here's one that touched me. i assume they died together in a car accident? our local cemetery in chico, california.

    wayne
    www.pbase.com/wwp
    Last edited by smokysun; 9th June 2009 at 20:01.

  8. #8
    Subscriber Member Streetshooter's Avatar
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    Re: Haunting Girl

    Thank You Wayne.

  9. #9
    Oxide Blu
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    Re: Haunting Girl

    Quote Originally Posted by smokysun View Post

    i assume they died together in a car accident?


    December 19, 2007

    A California State University Chico professor, his wife and a relative were killed early Wednesday when their car overturned in an irrigation canal in south Sutter County.

    Dead are Weikun Cheng, 54, an associate history professor at the university since 1997; his wife, Xiaoping Lei, 50; and Ke Lei, 24, of Los Angeles. Ke Lei was Cheng's nephew, according to the university.

    The only survivor was the couple's son, Stephen Cheng, 19, who climbed out of the car after it overturned in the canal. He had minor injuries, authorities said.

    The accident happened at 6:25 a.m. on Highway 113 at Seymour Road near Robbins.


    http://www.appeal-democrat.com/onset...e=article.html


    Btw - nice pic of that monument. Appropriately moody.

    .

  10. #10
    Oxide Blu
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    Re: Haunting Girl

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Ellis View Post

    One of the most charming customs I see in Hong Kong is people's photos on their gravestones... it helps you imagine who they were.
    Beautiful woman. Your image impresses me as 'documentary' style.

    Japanese cemeteries are way cool, but pix are not allowed. (Didn't entirely stop me -- just slowed me down a little. ) There are no grave stones, there are memory stones -- a small stone with the dead person's name and date on it.

    During the hottest part of the year, around 3rd week of August, there is a nat'l holiday (Obon - I think it translates as 'spirit' -- but also mean 'lesbian' -- don't ask how I know that.) where every goes to their family plot -- a small piece of land with memory stones, and cleans the stones because the spirits of the dead will be come to visit. It's like cleaning your house before company arrives. Anyway, everyone gets 3 days off, paid, and usually a couple days holiday to make for a 1-week holiday. At the end of the week they light candles along the rivers leading to the sea for the spirits to follow so they don't get lost on their back to wherever spirits live.

    The dead are not to be forgotten, so when a family dies off and there is no one to care for the family plot, someone collects all of the memory stones and tosses then onto a huge memory stone pile, or uses them to line a path, anything such that the stone is not destroyed. I'll see if I can find some pix.
    Last edited by Oxide Blu; 21st May 2009 at 15:23.

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    Re: Haunting Girl

    thanks for the article. i remember the event now. very sad.

    wayne
    www.pbase.com/wwp

  12. #12
    Senior Member Don Ellis's Avatar
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    Re: Haunting Girl

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael S View Post
    Not seeing the photo -- and the hold-up evidently is very slow loading from www.kleptography.com
    Not sure why ?
    Hi Michael... not sure what the problem was, but it seems it was temporary. By the time I tried it, everything was working fine.

    Don

  13. #13
    Senior Member Don Ellis's Avatar
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    Re: Haunting Girl

    Quote Originally Posted by Streetshooter View Post
    Don,
    It's easy to see how one could fall in love with her.
    My description would have echoed more of a loss...

    If I could ride the Harley to Hong Kong, I'd make my image and we could compare.....
    But alas....Harley's don't float so well.....

    She's beautiful.....tho....glad your enjoying the camera...
    Don
    There's always my $50,000 solution to this question...

    A couple of years ago, my father fell when he was alone at home. He was about ten feet from the telephone cord, but he lay there for four hours before his wife returned. When I heard this story, I thought (perhaps unkindly, but in the interest of science), "I wonder if he could have reached the telephone if someone offered him $50,000."

    So now when a client wants me to change some copy and I think it's foolish or impossible, I make myself the same proposition: "Could I rewrite this passage for $50,000?"

    The answer is usually Yes.

    So maybe one of these days I'll go back and see if there's another angle to this shot... for an imaginary $50,000, of course.

    As for the Harley-to-Hong Kong journey, if someone gave you $50,000 (and paid leave), could you find a way to ride here? I've got a spare mattress if you ever do.

    Thanks for your comments.
    Don

  14. #14
    Senior Member Don Ellis's Avatar
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    Re: Haunting Girl

    Quote Originally Posted by Lili View Post
    A Haunting Image indeed! One wonders as to the back story. I like your treatment very much; one does focus on her
    I've wondered about that myself... perhaps one of these days I'll see if I can track her people down.

    Thanks for your nice comment... looking at the image again, I see the dark shadows filling in at the top and the white light draining at the bottom. But it's like anything else... you can read into things whatever you want.

    Don

  15. #15
    Senior Member Don Ellis's Avatar
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    Re: Haunting Girl

    Quote Originally Posted by Oxide Blu View Post
    Beautiful woman. Your image impresses me as 'documentary' style.

    Japanese cemeteries are way cool, but pix are not allowed. (Didn't entirely stop me -- just slowed me down a little. ) There are no grave stones, there are memory stones -- a small stone with the dead person's name and date on it.

    During the hottest part of the year, around 3rd week of August, there is a nat'l holiday (Obon - I think it translates as 'spirit' -- but also mean 'lesbian' -- don't ask how I know that.) where every goes to their family plot -- a small piece of land with memory stones, and cleans the stones because the spirits of the dead will be come to visit. It's like cleaning your house before company arrives. Anyway, everyone gets 3 days off, paid, and usually a couple days holiday to make for a 1-week holiday. At the end of the week they light candles along the rivers leading to the sea for the spirits to follow so they don't get lost on their back to wherever spirits live.

    The dead are not to be forgotten, so when a family dies off and there is no one to care for the family plot, someone collects all of the memory stones and tosses then onto a huge memory stone pile, or uses them to line a path, anything such that the stone is not destroyed. I'll see if I can find some pix.
    What a lovely custom...thank you for that. We have two days during the year when we sweep our ancestors' graves (and set our hills on fire with carelessness candle burning): Ching Ming Festival and Chung Yeung Festival were in April and October this year.

    Coming from the west, I like seeing this attention to the people who went before you, and from whom you came. Although family cohesiveness is suffering a bit these days, I can't help but think that one of the reasons Hong Kong is so safe and such a good place to live is because of the culture and tradition of the Chinese families here.

    Thanks, too, for the story of the couple and their nephew.

    Don

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    Senior Member pollobarca's Avatar
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    Re: Haunting Girl

    If you like graveyards come to Italy. Everyone has their photo on the tombstone.
    Including, sometimes, still born babies, which is bit off. The tombs too. Berlusconi has built his already in the garden (no Joke) of Arcore.
    Thats a lovely picture of a beautiful girl. She'd be over 80 now. For me it works the way you took it.
    "I ruined my health by drinking to everyone else's." Brendan Behan
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/pollobarca/

  17. #17
    Senior Member Don Ellis's Avatar
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    Re: Haunting Girl

    Quote Originally Posted by pollobarca View Post
    If you like graveyards come to Italy. Everyone has their photo on the tombstone.
    Including, sometimes, still born babies, which is bit off. The tombs too. Berlusconi has built his already in the garden (no Joke) of Arcore.
    Thats a lovely picture of a beautiful girl. She'd be over 80 now. For me it works the way you took it.
    The graveyards wouldn't be half so interesting without the photos... here's another one I liked:



    I take your point about showing everyone... maybe just the pretty people like you and me and her -- and Mr. Cool with the smokes.

    Thanks for your nice comments. And I would love to come to Italy someday... every visitor I've ever talked to has loved it.

    Don

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