Making dumplings.


ack to Shanghai. China. This is a photograph made on film. Fuji Velvia, if I remember correctly. So, it’s a classic. Or, just plain old.

I worked there for a very short time. Before I had to be anywhere I would go for a walk in the morning, mostly to Old Town. I was looking for signs of no change because even back then Shanghai was beginning to modernize. I wanted to photograph what was as opposed to what it is becoming.

I found this woman working very hard making dumplings. In Shanghai dumplings can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I guess she was making dumplings for the breakfast. She saw me, looked up, smiled and posed. I asked her to go back to work. She did and I went to work.

In the digital world every image is expected to be sharp, so sharp that if you look too closely you could shred your eyeballs. In the film world there is a certain level of sharpness viewers have come to expect. It is nowhere near the sharpness of digital capture. There is also a certain feel to film images. I miss that. For sure, I shoot film sometimes, but not enough.

I sharpened this picture in post production and thought that it didn’t look right. My memory had taken over so I added a little glow and softened the picture just a bit. That took care of it. To me, this picture sort of wraps around its borders and curls around my mind.

This is a good lesson in understanding memories. They may not always be totally accurate, but they capture a sense of what was. Of course, other peoples memory of the same event may be very different. In both cases, the edges have been knocked off and smoothed out a little.

That’s how we are protected from the sometimes harshness of life.

Something has to protect us.



4 responses to “Further”

  1. orchidintrigue Avatar

    This is lovely, Ray. Looks like softening, adding glow was a good decision.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ray Laskowitz Avatar

      Thank you. A lot of photographers are using older lenses from the 50s, 60s and 70s with an adapter in order to get the look they want.


  2. Doug Wilson Avatar
    Doug Wilson

    It is a lovely image and it is important to save and share. I would have liked to see more of China that I did, only doing a 10 day visit to mostly southern China, I was fortunate to visit Nanning which is about a 100 miles from North Vietnam. Our guide told us we were the first Caucasus’s the be in the small town that we visited. I was photographing a pile of fish in an open air market, when I looked up I was surrounded by perhaps a 100 people. in small village about 25 miles from the China ,North Vietnam border.. They were all smiling and a few more adventurous came up touched me.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ray Laskowitz Avatar

    Hi Doug, once I went to a village in Hunan Province where Mao was born and lived as a child. Most people had seen Westerners a few times but I met a man who had never seen any of us. I asked him using had gestures if I could photograph him. He nodded yes.


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