Photo Challenge: Face in the Crowd


Like many people, I hesitate to photograph people without their knowledge.  Sometimes, if the mood is right, I ask permission, but then the people invariably strike poses or give an embarrassed smile for the camera.  So, the few I have are usually street scenes or action scenes.  Some I feel I couldn’t display publicly as they could be misinterpreted, have vulnerable children in them, or are otherwise not suitable.   Below are some I hope fit the challenge and I have captioned them.

Street scene, Tokyo
Tokyo’s Busiest Intersection at a Quiet Time


Street Barber in Hanoi, Vietnam
A Street Barber in Hanoi


Sicilian Afternoon
A Sicilian Afternoon – a Male only custom!


Siesta on the Boat: a Trader takes a rest in Halong Bay, Vietnam






Photography Challenge: Pedestrian

A misty morning on the pedestrianised bridge over the Lake of the Restored Sword in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Pedestrian Bridge over Lake of the Restored Sword, Hanoi

They assured me I could walk in safety here but I chickened out when I saw the railway line running down the middle of the street.  Unfortunately, it also started me humming The Railroad Runs Through the Middle of the House, which my grandfather used to sing, and it stayed with me for days.

Railway in Hanoi Street

Harmony: Weekly Photo Challenge


Life is hard if you have a disability in most of S.E. Asia, probably a bit worse in Cambodia which is still a poor country, but this group of blind musicians are making the best of things by performing close harmony songs by the roadside and collecting money from passers-by.

A Group of Blind Musicians in Cambodia

Blind Musicians by the Roadside in Cambodia


One of the lovliest places in Vietnam, a short drive from the capital Hanoi.  It is peaceful and harmonious, massive karsts thrusting up out of the sea and junks and smaller boats moving slowly on the calm green waters in and out between them.  Inside some of these karsts are caves full of stalactites and stalagmites, well worth a visit, but do take a guide because they can also be dangerous.

Halong Bay, Cambodia
The calm waters of Halong Bay, Vietnam – Photo Mari Nicholson

On the calm waters of Halong Bay, the junks and the Karsts make for a very harmonious image.  Despite the storm clouds there is a sense of harmony here and as night falls the boat people cook their meals on deck and the smell of spices and fish roll across the waters.

Junk in Halong Bay, Vietnam
Junk in Halong Bay, Vietnam – Photo Mari Nicholson



Weekly Photo Challenge: Seasons

There are two rice growing seasons in most of S.E. Asia but the romantic pictures we have of coolie-hatted rice farmers in the fields hides the back-breaking labour involved in this work.  Men and women share the work equally – well, mostly – and usually, work from dawn to dusk.  In areas where the ground is fertile and the water abundant, fish are also farmed in the waters, adding some additional protein to the rice diet, or being sold at market to buy other essentials.

Preparing the ground for the delicate rice shoots
Preparing the Ground for the Rice in Vietnam – Photo Mari Nicholson


Ploughing the field for rice planting
Ploughing the field reading for the rice planting, Vietnam – Mari Nicholson

Planting the green shoots of rice

Rice Growing in Vietnam – Mari Nicholson