Beijing, late afternoon

Man with daughter


I arrived in China by train from Mongolia at the end of September last year. I found the weather a bit strange then; it was surprisingly warm for autumn and on a day trip to the countryside, I didn’t see any autumn colours- trees were lush and green and showed no sign that they would turn orange anytime soon. I felt a little frustrated at this lack of colour, so when I got back to Beijing I decided to go for a walk in my hutong.

My hostel was in Dengcao Hutong, an alley in the Dongcheng District. This area has some particularly nice hutongs. People living here have to go deep inside and have to pass budget hostels, restaurants, sundry shops and the occasional hairdresser before they reach home.

While I was walking around, I saw a man in a black vest with a little girl, presumably his daughter, walking towards me. I wanted to ask if I could take a photo of them but the man was deep in thought and kept looking down. It was only after I saw the shadows behind them that I realised a photo from the back wouldn’t be such a bad idea.


© 2013 – 2014, Anis. All rights reserved.

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8 Responses

  1. Khai says:

    Not a bad idea, indeed.

    I could see a father working hard for his family and he loves his daughter so much.

    Well, my interpretation based on my not so good photography skills ;p

  2. Sometimes i don’t know how to ask to take picture of this kind of people.. most of the time they will get angry.. Photographer know what do after all 😀

    Sorry kak anis.. tak dapat nak contact kak anis about detail of South Africa.. baru je balik dari Pekan Baru.. 😀

  3. Noel says:

    I love the hutongs in Beijing! They are really atmospheric and present a more real and down-to-earth version of the great city. What made you choose to take this photo in black & white?

    • Anis says:

      I noticed that there were a lot of ‘layers’ in the scene- the trees, the things by the side, etc and together with all that, there were a lot of colours to take in. I thought that shooting the photo in black and white would focus on the textures and the scene itself.