Beijing’s labyrinth of backstreets that’s home to “the city’s hardest bar to find”.
I spent the first three days of my time in Beijing getting lost in its labyrinth of “Hutongs” (backstreets/courtyards). Hutongs originated during the Yuan Dynasty, begun by Kublai Khan grandson of Ghengis. The word “hutong” comes from the Mongolian word “hottog” meaning, “water well”. Hutongs are alleyways that connect the various courtyards and groups of traditional houses. They form a grid of endless passages and intriguing doorways, lined with bicycles and gossiping neighbors.
You tend to get a lot of curious stares in the Hutongs if you sport an occidental face like me. Add to this the fact it’s 1am and you’re completely lost in a maze of dark alleys and you’d be forgiven for getting a bit scared. But the night a friend and I got lost looking for a bar (whose motto was “the most difficult bar to find in Beijing”), we felt completely safe. Of course this may well have something to do with the Chinese government’s strict policies with regards to the treatment of tourists. But this big group of homes also just felt like a genuinely nice place, somewhere I was very sad to leave.
A honky-tonk was both a bar and a style of music that originally referred to bawdy variety shows of Old West. In this collection, we see people who got high with music and drunk with alcohol while dancing to the country music genre in the '70s.
Street photography is one of the most popular genres today, and it can all be repetitive. It doesn't have to be. The secret to great street photography is by getting to know the cityscape and culture, and in Beijing, there's much to learn. We present to you some of the distinct qualities of Beijing.
For the wandering Lomographer, we've got some alternative locations and destinations you might want to check out for picture-perfect travelogues. In the outskirts of the city you will find a peculiar sculpture sitting in the middle of nowhere.
The great thing about being a photographer is that there's always a way to emulate styles and elements. if you're just as resourceful as the guys from the Cooperative of Photography, you'll find this video tipster helpful, applicable to all sorts of photography.
One of our peeves during Mondays is the motion and noise that explode right in front of our faces once we head out from our homes. We're meant to conquer the world. Don't fight, either give in or urn those negative elements into artistic photographs with this Monday Moodboard.
Being a great street photographer doesn't mean you should be shooting at famous capitals for their architecture or their visual appeals -- it's taking the heart of humanity in the city -- and the Big Apple just happens to win everyone at that.