A friend recently left Beijing. We had known each other for less than a year. We didn’t speak the same language. But despite all of that, we were friends. It’s always sad when a friend leaves. You get used to seeing that person on a daily basis. You get to know their habits, nuances and behaviors.
Then, they are gone.
I know that Guli is on a three-day train right now as I type this. I wish her the best in her hometown of Korla, in Xin Jiang. I’ll miss you, but I promise to come and visit.
The pictures were taken from the roof of my building. I recently discovered that the door to the roof has no lock and that I can head up when ever I please, as long as I ignore the big Chinese sign forbidding me from going on the roof. From there, I get a fantastic view of all of Beijing. Pretty cool place for a beer at night.
So I have an excuse for my lack of posts recently. I have been trying to shoot more film and less digital. The picture above is what I have been using. My trusty Leica M2 and on it is usually my Summaron 35mm f3.5. For the size, it can’t be beat. Sure, it isn’t the sharpest lens, but it is what it is. Plus, I must save up for my new apartment in August. Renting in Beijing is a little nuts. You must pay the first four months rent up front. That’s a fair bit of cash to round up, especially since I just dropped over $4200 Canadian dollars to pay off my student loans in one shot. I’d like to get a new and current 35mm lens (probably the Zeiss Biogon) but rent comes first.
Under the cameras are what keeps the inspiration flowing. Nat Geo, Photo China, Shanghai Photo, and various photographers photo books (the one on top being Redemption, by ZhaoJia). Another Chinese photographer that I really like is Muge. He rocks the China film scene. I really wish that there was more of a film photography vibe in Beijing. Seems like everyone shooting film is in the south. Might have to make a trip down some day…