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Under an Indifferent Sun
Under an Indifferent Sun

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Camera: Olympus PEN E-P5
Location: Taiwan
Galleries: Snapshot, Black and White
Date Uploaded: Jan 13, 2015

Viewed: 421
Comments: 9
Favorites: 0

Cover image for photo essay "Under an Indifferent Sun".

Follow link below to view the full story.

Under an Indifferent Sun

Any feedback you care to share is welcome.


A few mentions of Magnum Photo which is a great complement. A very inspirational collection of photographers that I do admire. ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' daisydavid posted and interview with Trent Parke a while back and he talked about the Australian light and his photography. Taiwan also has this amazing light that I don't have at home. I was concentrating on light more than subject matter for most of these shots. Thanks for the kind comments.


Paul mentioned the Buddhist swastika in the last image that resembles a Nazi swastika. Definitely an eye catcher but not tilted 45 degrees like the Nazi version. This ancient symbol signifies auspiciousness and good fortune Although beginning this story was easy the ending was tricky. Not completely happy with it but time was up and I had exhausted my other options.

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03/05/2015 02:00:28 AM
Henri, your indifferent sun is a black sun. Even when you look directly at it you get a shiny ebon reflection. There are no gratuitous gestures, no smiles, no interraction. The people even if in a group are lonere bathed by the sun in a chilly gossamer light. You captured the essence of the drabness of life. Still, the last image that you said you were not sure of is filled with a mysterious hope. The light is of not much importance anylonger. There is a verdant spot where the man is coming to rest under the sign of auspiciousness, for this is the main symbolic meaning of the highly decorative old sign of a swastica.

This is what i thought while perousing your essay several times. For it does need multiple viewing.

Your entire essay is of a precise elegance. You are the quiet observer who tries to be totally detached in order to get a good understanding of the place and its people but you seem to be more and more in tune with both.
An absoute delight to follow you.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/04/2015 05:28:20 PM
Pingtung City is indeed more beautiful and alluring for your essay. I love how you have used high contrast and the tension between the light and dark to reinforce Pingtung's populous and environs. There is a real sense of time, motion and place in these uncovered secrets. It's is though we have entered the wardrobe to an Eastern version of Narnia. The light may have been your focus but it has uncovered the soul of the city.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/03/2015 08:41:10 PM
one of my favorite types of photography is people and places, street life, survival. the morning light is beautiful.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/02/2015 10:50:10 PM
A magnificent study of light, Henry. Stark high contrast, fantastic reflections, and striking silhouettes draw me into a city I'd love to investigate. Captivating. Nicely done.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/02/2015 07:13:00 AM
It's interesting that you should mention Trent Parke (who of course is a Magnum photographer; so curiouser and curiouser) because the first reaction I had to this essay was to be reminded of Trent Parke's early stuff in the streets of Sydney, where the light is, as he says, particularly dramatic at the right time of day (anything before the pubs open is about right, though when I lived there there were 'early openers' that welcomed the desperate drinker at 7:30am).

The Trent Parke early work I refer to is right here. Click on 'Dream/Life' after the link opens.

Your last essay was about the people of Taiwan; this one is about the light of Taiwan. It's a very nice change of POV for we who love your stuff.

As well as the light, I also enjoyed the forms, especially clear in the first half of the essay, but present in all of them. The light has a transformative effect on the forms, creating sculptures out of prosaic structures, and heavenly portals out of gaps or openings in the overhead awnings.

It's another loving essay by a photographer who's very far from indifferent, and I'm happy to 'be there' with you.

Interesting to see a swastika in the last image; in this context I suppose it would be a Buddhist mark?

A happy half hour I spent here. Thank you.

  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/01/2015 01:05:24 PM
Henry, these are truly wonderful. I look forward to your essays so much. Thanks for keeping the momentum with the essays - even when I don't have time to take part, I enjoy the reading and viewing experience immensely.

Marla's comments below are bang on the money. Who needs to look at the Magnum site......
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/28/2015 11:10:40 PM
The whole reason I like to take photographs, I think, is light. And these are amazing photographs of light - the way it paints what is in its path. I had the same reaction as Marla to the clothesline photo, but if forced to choose the one that had the most impact it'd probably be image 4. Or perhaps 5. An excellent essay - thank you very much!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/28/2015 07:54:37 PM
Good grief this is good. Who needs to look through the Magnum site when we have work like this on our own dpc site. The photograph of the cloths line with towels and gloves made my heart skip a beat-it is just so wonderful. The entire essay is held together by the expert capture of shadows and light. I will enjoy looking through this many more times.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/28/2015 07:53:28 PM
you are committing to the square crop!

and you are really, really pulling it off.

these remind me of that technique of covering paper with ink and then scraping it off to make the picture. this visual "theme" coheres powerfully. i absolutely love this essay and am now waiting impatiently for your next book.
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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