This is the debut of a new feature on the website - where from time to time I’ll share some of my favorite images from Asia and the stories behind getting those shots.
This image from Beijing was taken very early in my China career… sometime in late 2007. The shot has been a very successful print for me on both Getty Images and 500px and it has been featured in a number of magazines. I have published a few other versions over the years, including a fairly well-known one with a heavy vignette and a somewhat cyan tone and muted color. Over time I’ve grown to prefer this less-worked version that stays true to the original color and light.
I remember this night but some of the details have begun to fade. I know I wasn’t actually supposed to be backstage but I manage to slip back there somehow and then once there I just acted like I belonged. Nobody ever challenged me but I was new to China and actually really paranoid about getting arrested! I only took a few shots before getting out of there and now of course I regret leaving so quickly. If you look closely you’ll see my arm in the mirror as I took the shot.
This image was taken with my first ever digital camera, a Sigma SD10 that was already outdated when I brought it to China with me. Personally, it took a long time for me to adjust to shooting digitally. The camera had a single focus point, terrible high ISO performance and a really funky menu layout that was totally non-intuitive. Shooting anything longer than 4 seconds or above 800 ISO was unusable because of the noise. It also only produced RAW files and initially the digital processing learning curve was a beast for me. I remember seeing this one on the computer the first time and thinking I might have finally gotten it dialed in.
About 5 or 6 years ago during a data migration to a new computer and backup system I lost this file (and several hundred others). Some of you can probably remember all the moaning and crying I did at the time. I can still access a large jpg of this one on Getty but the RAW file is no more.
I’ll share more images like this from time to time. If there is a particular shot in my portfolio that you’d like to know more about just send me a note.