18 April 2015
The Lotus Root Seller, Chengdu
By Ilya Fisher
This is a photo I took 18 months ago on a dream trip to China, a gastronomic tour. I love it, it’s a bit about food (those are lotus roots) but more about the man. Sitting there day after day selling his lotus roots, this picture might sum up his life and explain his dreamy expression. Or it may not. I think he has a bit of the Humphrey Bogart about him.
And this picture is also so much more. I’ve taken snaps all my life, determinedly recording the passing of time, friend and family events. But it wasn’t until I borrowed a decent compact camera – a Sony Cyber-shot WX300- and went to China that I got the idea that maybe I could do more than just snap, and get more out of photography than simply memories.
Being such a rookie, I thought that if I set the camera to the smallest sized images, I would be able to get more on my memory cards, not realising that image quality would be so seriously compromised. This lotus root seller and all the other 2000 images I took in those two weeks are each around 2.5MB. Heartbreaking, as they can’t be printed to any decent size. So I jumped at the chance to show one here, as on the internet resolution can be so much lower. I have learnt a lot since then and moved on from the compact camera, but my handsome lotus root seller was the start of it all.
Image © Ilya Fisher
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