Jiashan Hutong – Fish seller

This photograph was another strech for me, in many ways. After a flurry of email exchanges with Butzi about the Chinese Hutongs (alleyways of older cities), I had decided to go into one old Hutong in JiaShan that I had seen earlier in the week. It was a nice walk in the Blizzard, the narrow alleyways blocked out the blowing snow.

And all the vendors had quickly adapted to the weather conditions.

My experience photographing this location was similar to most others. First, most if not all were very surprised to see an American walking through this section of town. Not an area known for many if any souvenir stands or Nick-knacks. But all that I met were cordial and very open. First thing they did seeing my camera was to stand very formal to have their photograph made, usually smiling widely. Then after the photo was made, they went back to business and they essentially ignored me as I stood and took more photographs.

But I am not a formal portrait photographer, but I am very interested in people as they worked in their shops an areas. For this fish seller, her tubs of fish and fish parts was located under this tarp. And she was all business. Usually I work at a great distance. Not this close. In the Hutong, you have no choice because you have no where else to go. So the location did force me to get close, stay close and interact.

Not my usual style, thus a strech for me. Which was good for me. I think to improve as a photographer, you need to strech your boundaries, what ever those are, eh?

Best regards, Doug

3 thoughts on “Jiashan Hutong – Fish seller

Add yours

  1. This image, even more than the previous post, shows up the “one foot then, one foot now” aspects of developing cultures. I’ve not ben to China but seen similatr elsewhere. Old ways of gathering, selling, living augmented by modern materials and tools.
    Here, the old street-side selling but from plastic tubs, in the shanty buildings but made of concrete.
    Development through the notion of the same but a bit better.

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