12 May 2010 by davidl
Complex and complicated are not quite the same thing, a distinction which I think is captured in this week’s highlight from our Liverpool’s Chinatown through the lens Flickr competition, by Flickr user Lee Carus; the scene is busy with detail but not over-crowded, and carefully shot – the photographer waited patiently for some time before snapping this image.
Quite a few different subjects that I have blogged about over the past few weeks appear here – the buildings in Chinatown, the crowds, the flags – but most prominent is the saturation in vivid colour. Practically no two areas use quite the same colour or hue, and the jostling of a brilliant orange jacket to a pearlescent green flag, shimmering gold surrounded by whites, pinks and blues, mirrors the heaving crowds.
Despite the level of detail, the composition is spacious: the cream buildings in the background and the smoke whiting-out the centre is effective in both throwing the more sharply defined foreground figures into relief and receding the background crowds and buildings, a depth enhanced by the stolid black railings to the right leading into the image. Also interesting is the fact that although the crowds are the ostensible subject, those figures in the background left comprise a fairly abstract mass of curves and shapes, the effect being like a painter suggesting a figure or object with a few simple flicks of a paintbrush – they become real as the viewer steps away. See the photo in a large size.
To celebrate our photography exhibition China: Through the Lens of John Thomson 1868-72 at the Merseyside Maritime Museum we want you to submit your photos of Liverpool’s Chinatown to our Flickr pool – our favourite photo submitted by 24 May will win a banquet for two at Yuet Ben, with two runners-up winning exhibition catalogues. Find out more on the competition page.
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