Fan Ho

1931-2016

From Fan Ho’s images, I could see his intense passion towards his love of photography. Even with the abundance of time and resource, one cannot capture these images without that level of passion.

Fan Ho was able to make the ordinary, extraordinary.

Through the monochrome, brilliant play of lighting and composition, high in contrast pictures, Fan Ho was able to bring out details what most people would overlook or would not give a second look to. From his viewfinder, he brought the daily lives of people living in Hong Kong to a whole new level. Who would have thought the mundane scenarios of people rushing to work and school, people transporting goods, people working in the market, these actions can be seen in new realm of perspectives. All thanks to Fan Ho.

By looking at Fan Ho’s pictures, I reckoned Fan Ho was also  a very patient person. Reason being, how the Sun rise and set each day is different, hence he had to revisit the location he intends to shoot multiple times for a period of time. Not only to familiarise himself, but to also get a range of shots that best bring out the mood of the scenes. Putting in to consideration, the weather, the people walking down the same street and the activities are always different.

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After reading more about Fan Ho, questions that arose when I was viewing his pictures were answered.

His unique sense of style in his photography can be explained from his experience as a film director. With experiences relating to the cinematic industry, I guess he was able to translate making a film, to telling a story from simply a single still frame.

I took pictures according to my instinct. I didn’t find anything in particular that was attractive. I just took photographs the way I saw it and didn’t follow any particular master, style or philosophy.

Smokey World, 1959

Next, I wondered whether Fan Ho only shoots in black and white. No, he shoots in both black and white and colour. However, Fan Ho does prefer using film.

Similarly, I like the raw and grains film photography can produce.

I was also amazed at how Fan Ho’s compositions of several pictures looked very modern and artistic. From the quote above, I learned that it is important to develop personal style and preferences. Although, there are photography “rules” out there, I believe they only serves as a guide, and definitely not an ultimatum.

Some people may be pressured to use the “1/3 rule” or are in the pursuit of the “golden ratio”. But not me. 

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This picture reminded me of the movie “In The Mood For Love” by Wong Kar Wai. 

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All pictures taken from the Internet.
References :
http://www.fanhophotography.com/hong-kong-yesterday.html
FAN HO, Hong Kong Master Street Photographer #1

 

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