I didn't have work this past Monday so I decided that I would venture out early morning to do some photography. It was a struggle to get out before dawn, you know, for golden hour. But off I went with just a sip of coffee (and for all that really know me - THAT'S a big sacrifice).
For some time now I have been wanting to photograph Chinatown, Doyers Street to be exact. I had all these visions in my head as to what I was going to find, what I was going to shoot and how the scene was going to look. I dreamed the sun would be glowing and streaming through the tiny street (it wasn't) - that there would be food trucks dropping off fresh produce and fish (the streets were empty) - the restaurant workers would be rolling up their gates (nope, guess they didn't see the benefit of golden hour).
So, still not knowing what I would find, I rushed towards my intended destination. There was only a short time before the sun would rise too high in the sky. But as I walked past the statue in Kimlau Square, the scene caught my eye. The sun was glowing through the distant bridge creating a strong contrast between light and dark. It made an captivating silhouette. Snap! Gotta get to Doyers Street.
As I continued on my way, I saw this man smoking and having a cup of coffee. The white smoke against the dark cellar door was the perfect setup. Plus I still had the soft morning light. Snap! Gotta get to Doyers Street.
OK, you know the end of the story, I didn't exactly find what I thought would be there... But it was still interesting just the same, just not what I expected.
The colors of the buildings in the early morning light made them look a little like Disney, especially on an empty street. I don't think I ever really noticed these colors in Chinatown before. It almost looked fake.
The colors of some of the surrounding buildings had their own distinct look. I liked the juxtaposition of orange, green and yellow with the red Chinese lamppost. I wondered if it had been done on purpose or was it just a happy accident.
Well, what lesson did I learn? Maybe slow down. Follow the light when you see it and be drawn to the images that are presenting themselves. That can turn out to be the magic. But in this case I would've needed ESP to know what awaited me, I had to seek the unknown. I will go back... just not at golden hour.