The Yuen Po street Bird Garden in Hong Kong was built in the late 1990's after the former "Bird Street" at Hong Lok Street was demolished. It was built to preserve the spirit and popularity of the bird stalls that once were in Mongkok. The Chinese have traditionally liked to keep birds as pets, and this tradition is maintained in this small garden. Men (I've not seen a woman there except those selling birds, birdseed and live crickets) walk around; whistling at the caged birds, from delicate canaries to colorful parrots, admiring their plumage and a few walking their pets in cages.
On the two recent occasions I was in Shanghai, I was thrilled by the abundance of candid street photography opportunities that presented themselves in its old neighborhoods. The narrow lanes crisscrossing these neighborhoods are called lòngtáng (弄堂) or alternatively, lilong (里弄), where whole communities live and sometimes work. The Shanghai lòngtáng can either refer to the lanes that its houses face onto, or to a group of houses connected by them.
Once a black image is created, I clicked on File> Add Layer(s) From File, and used the Quick Mask tool (yellow arrow on left) to "paint" a line around Gui Lian. The Quick Mask tool wasn't sufficiently precise in blacking out all of the targeted areas, so I also used the Masking Brush tool (red arrow) and went over these areas on complete the task....a task that took me no more than 12 minutes; well within my range of tolerance. I then pumped up the saturation using Iridium Developer tools...a task that took under a minute.
Flight Montreal - Toronto (YUL - YYZ) C$ 128+ Flight Montreal - Toronto (YUL - YTZ) C$ 209+ Flight Winnipeg - Toronto (YWG - YYZ) C$ 213+ Flight Ottawa - Toronto (YOW - YTZ) C$ 242+ Flight Halifax - Toronto (YHZ - YYZ) C$ 262+ Flight Québec City - Toronto (YQB - YTZ) C$ 290+ Flight Fredericton - Toronto (YFC - YYZ) C$ 308+ Flight Edmonton - Toronto (YEG - YYZ) C$ 320+ Flight Québec City - Toronto (YQB - YYZ) C$ 322+ Flight Abbotsford - Toronto (YXX - YYZ) C$ 329+ Flight Halifax - Toronto (YHZ - YTZ) C$ 334+ Flight Vancouver - Toronto (YVR - YYZ) C$ 349+ Flight Calgary - Toronto (YYC - YYZ) C$ 350+ Flight Kelowna - Toronto (YLW - YYZ) C$ 352+ Flight St. John's - Toronto (YYT - YYZ) C$ 360+ Flight St. John's - Toronto (YYT - YTZ) C$ 433+ Flight Regina - Toronto (YQR - YYZ) C$ 456+ Flight Sydney - Toronto (YQY - YYZ) C$ 463+ Flight Saskatoon - Toronto (YXE - YYZ) C$ 469+ Flight Edmonton - Toronto (YEG - YTZ) C$ 536+ Flight Calgary - Toronto (YYC - YTZ) C$ 543+ Flight Victoria - Toronto (YYJ - YYZ) C$ 562+ Flight Vancouver - Toronto (YVR - YTZ) C$ 590+ Flight Winnipeg - Toronto (YWG - YTZ) C$ 714+
The other challenge is to scout for and find the locations for the photo shoots; locations that provide a "badge" of authenticity to the resulting photo films. In the the case of The Girl of Nanjing, it was the water town of Qi Bao near Shanghai....and in the case of The Legend of Hua, it was the water town of Xinchang' at some distance from Shanghai as well...while the backdrop to The Songstress of Temple Street was Hong Kong's famous Tin Hau Temple and the Canton Singing House.
As with all types of photography, smart business sense is key. There are many ways to make a living with travel photography, and much of it extends well beyond your photo gear into social media marketing, content development, negotiation and sales. But the first step is to get out into the world and shoot. Start with anyplace you've been dreaming of traveling, and go! Plan ahead, do some research, and don't shoot like a tourist. Can't afford to travel? Search for opportunities in your nearest city to begin building your portfolio.
Embarking on such photographic projects make me look for relevant snippets of history, social mores and art (for example, the occupation of Shanghai by the Japanese in the thirties, the Chinoiserie fad of the 18th century, fictional stories similar to that of Madam Butterfly et al). I also learned the aesthetic of the cheongsam (aka qi pao) in its various forms, and the beauty of Chinese calligraphy. I also scoured the internet for Chinese legends, poetry and songs/music that inspired the 2-3 minutes plots of my photo films; as I call these audio slideshows.
Flight Toronto - Fort Lauderdale (YHM - FLL) C$ 254+ Flight Toronto - Fort Lauderdale (YYZ - FLL) C$ 269+ Flight Montreal - Fort Lauderdale (YUL - FLL) C$ 304+ Flight Halifax - Fort Lauderdale (YHZ - FLL) C$ 329+ Flight Ottawa - Fort Lauderdale (YOW - FLL) C$ 340+ Flight Calgary - Fort Lauderdale (YYC - FLL) C$ 353+ Flight Vancouver - Fort Lauderdale (YVR - FLL) C$ 374+