Shopkeeper in Beijing on Steps

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Daily Photo – Shopkeeper in Beijing on Steps

I carry around two cameras so I can get things like this.  I keep my main body affixed to my tripod with whatever lens fits the bill.  This is either a the 14-24 or the 28-300.  I keep my second camera with a prime — either the 50 or 85 prime.

I was taking photos of the festive street at dusk, and I noticed this shopkeeper out taking a rest.  I’ve always admired how people can rest in this position.  I can only sit in that position for about 15 seconds before I scream in agony and my patellas pop off at a hyperspeed tangent.

Shopkeeper in Beijing on StepsI carry around two cameras so I can get things like this.  I keep my main body affixed to my tripod with whatever lens fits the bill.  This is either a the 14-24 or the 28-300.  I keep my second camera with a prime -- either the 50 or 85 prime.I was taking photos of the festive street at dusk, and I noticed this shopkeeper out taking a rest.  I've always admired how people can rest in this position.  I can only sit in that position for about 15 seconds before I scream in agony and my patellas pop off at a hyperspeed tangent.- Trey RatcliffRead more here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

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  • Susan

    Super capture of her Trey – lol at your description of sitting this way – reminds me I have to get back to yoga!! Happy Solstice!

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/mrandybird/5829791616/ Andy Bird

    Another superb portrait – i feel like i’ve been sucked into the scene!

  • http://perceptionoflife.com/blog Tim A.

    Yeah…it seems everyone in the East (and kids) can do that squat but most of us in the west find it excruciating. …and one of the reasons why I cannot use a squat toilet here in Japan no matter how long I’ve been coming here… I just want to go to the bathroom. Not sweat and be in pain!! Great shot too. Love the primes!

  • http://www.facebook.com/media/set/fbx/?set=a.100925489989186.1637.100002152054198&ref=pd Thelonious Gonzo

    These intimate shots are very moving.
    They are a little glimpse at someone who is far away.
    Who knows what she is thinking, what she will go home to, who she loves, who loves her.
    There is so much there – and we really don’t get to know any of it.
    We are all just Stuck On Earth – left on our own.

    *sigh*

    I saw Emmylou Harris a the Moody Theater here in Austin tonight.
    She sang so sweet and angelic. She’s a little slice of musical history that I had the pleasure of listening to tonight. I took my wife downtown and we at a great diner and then walked over and enjoyed beautiful world class music played right in front of us.
    I felt really humbled and blessed afterwards. So many people in this world may never get the chance to have a wonderful night like I had. I have no idea why I didn’t take that for granted tonight like I have so many nights before.
    But I do feel grateful.

  • http://none casper

    I really like this kind of street photography catching people unaware and deep in thought. I just love people in general everyone is different and that what makes this picture,having a break but no kitkat hehe! I now use my 100 macro on 7d as a walk about lens which means I’m not to close as it becomes a 160mm and they may not be aware of what I’m doing,also I get in close when needed such as hand work and cooking on the streets.Also get good DOF

  • Simon Morris

    Wonderful shot Trey – I really like the composition… people casually walking by and ‘window shopping’ whilst the shopkeeper takes a break, excellent!
    Gino – great words about the shopkeeper… that’s what I love about photography – show an image to a dozen people and they may all have different thoughts… it’s how you (us) the viewer perceive an image and keeps us guessing as to what’s trying to be said!

  • http://www.themarkeworld.com/ Marke

    Nice capture! Good job getting the street scene in there. If I squat like that I’ll get stuck, so at least you’re able to get up from the pain. ;-P

  • Gail in Montana

    LOL, Trey. I can’t do that squat either. I had fun just sitting in the grass yesterday trying to cut the tall grass that manages to grow in my peony ring, ugh. Only got half done, will finish it today, I hope. Great photo, that’s for sharing!! ;-)

  • http://desic.smugmug.com Eric

    Great shot Trey, I like the ambiance.

    On a separate thought, I saw this article about a new technology for photography and immediately thought of you. The description of how these sensors capture light information reminds me a great deal about how you often discuss lighting in photography. I hope you enjoy this article.
    http://www.engadget.com/2011/06/22/light-field-camera-captures-unprecedented-images-lets-you-cho/

  • http://JimiJonesVisuals.com Jimi Jones

    I love these candid photos. It’s nice to be prepared because you never know when one of these opportunities will present itself. Nicely done!

  • Tom

    Squatting must be a cultural thing. Start when you are a little kid and i guess your tendons stay stretched. i guess you answered my question about tripods in China……. with your comments.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/graffitilogic Bill Dodd

    Cool D.O.F I really like the focal point, here. I recently rented one of those 85 primes from BorrowLenses and I see the appeal for portraits. Cool Stuff as always!

  • http://www.stuckincustoms.com Trey Ratcliff

    Thank you guys very much ! :)

  • http://proseVisions.com Matt Prose

    Trey – When shooting an extreme short DOF such as f1.4 do you use one single focal point or multi point AI focus? Since you have to be so careful I use a single focus point so I can tell what specifically I am trying to focus on. Just curious what your technique is.

  • http://www.stuckincustoms.com Trey Ratcliff

    Matt – I just do a quick single-point focus, re-frame, shoot. I don’t trust the multi-point! :)

  • http://roadslesstraveledphotography.com/ Matt Shalvatis

    I spent more than a year in South Korea, and some time in houses where the roof was less than 5 feet high. So I guess the squat is used as an alternative to scooting around on your butt! :-) And Tim, the squat toilet is not only in the far east: it’s also quite common in the former USSR.

    My latest: Kiev ~ View toward the Left Bank ~ http://roadslesstraveledphotography.com/2011/06/22/kiev-view-toward-the-left-bank/

  • Simon Morris

    … the squat toilet is also common in France! On that sweet note – time for a spot of breakfast! ;-)

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/35422436@N06/ George Green

    This is nice composition, I love the squatter gazing into the scene. Obviously not an HDR. Could have used some fill light. I probably wouldn’t have used a flash. But some fill light in Photoshop raw would have helped. The bright background draws me away from the squatter.

  • http://snipsandsnailsandpuppydogtails-leslie.blogspot.com Leslie M

    Relaxing. No. I’d have been sitting on that first step with my legs stretched out. Nope. That position would have just been an effort to get out of. Great photo!

  • Louie

    I come from Hong Kong. I also wonder and admire why the people in China can take rest in this position.

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