a photoblog by ben fredman

Sunday, August 16, 2009

from the east.

Yikes. It's been far too long since I've updated illtown. Trying to get back in the groove.

Here is a random post from my last month in China...two days after returning from my backpacking trip to Thailand, I boarded a plane south for Kunming, Yunnan Province, where I worked for a month in the city of Dali and small village Shaxi with Rustic Pathways, a company specializing in various programs for American teenagers around the globe. I was shooting for their catalog and basically helping to lead a program...in other words managing kids in a foreign country. I was a great experience, highly challenging yet extremely rewarding. For the catalog, I was mostly shooting PR-style-happy-kids-having-fun and such...

These are just some shots for me along the way. I found it challenging when out and about that most people would immediately pose and smile for the camera...with my limited Chinese, it was hard to explain my intention to shoot documentary photojournalism...so I took the chance to make some portraits of people.

My travels in Asia were simply incredible. I'm still going through the significance in my mind. It wasn't just about pictures, although that was a significant part. It was about the things I saw, learned, laughed at, ran from, ran to. The people I met. Twelve hour bumpy bus rides from hell with toothless men chain smoking next to me. Groups of villagers gathering to watch me eat noodles. Journal entries. Riding motorcycles through cloud covered mountains. Almost crashing motorcycles. Tutoring Chinese students, helping them learn English. Having conversations with people using nothing but gestures. Being in the midst of bike traffic jams. Trying not to get hit by buses, cars, taxis, motorbikes on the most unsafe roads I've ever seen. Being in places where nobody understood my language. The occasional injury. Fascinating conversations with brilliant people. Backpacking. Hiking. Learning some Chinese. THE FOOD. Spending time with my brother and sister in law. Books I read. Glee. Panic. Joy. Adventures, adventures, adventures. I wouldn't give the experience up for anything in the world. I'll be out and about again...so much more of the world to see, experience, photograph.

































5 comments:

Mike Morones said...

nice work Ben. good luck in the FLA

Carole said...

These are amazing. You are so talented. Good luck in FL

Junkie said...

Greetings from Asia! Happen to chance upon your photo blog...how did you get those adorable kids to pose for you? Amazing shots!

Singapore portrait studio said...

love your photos! very vibrant and expressive, like a story.

property management st petersburg fl said...

The pictures taken from different places of the globe having varied way of livelihood.

illtown

I am a freelance photographer and educator specializing in documentary, editorial and travel photography based in St. Petersburg FL.
All Images © Ben Fredman, The Free Lance-Star, The Dallas Morning News, The Star-Ledger, The Muskegon Chronicle and The Post Register.