Fotoeins Fotografie

faces of home & place-story

Posts from the ‘Asia’ category

My Seattle: Bruce & Brandon Lee, father & son

Honouring the surname

In the mid- to late-1970s, our parents took us to single-screen movie theatres with names like Olympia, Golden Harvest, and Shaw for cinema night to watch movies made in Hong Kong. There were dramas; some high on the melodrama and low on character. Some were historic-period pieces, and there were kung-fu movies for which Dad passed his love to me.

There’s nothing quite like seeing a kung-fu action sequence on a big screen. I was mesmerized the first time I laid eyes on a memorable fight scene set in Rome’s Colosseum, that epic scene observed by little stone dragons between “Little Dragon” himself, Bruce Lee, and Chuck Norris’ character in the 1972 film “The Way of the Dragon“. As a kid, I was proud to have had the same surname as this Bruce fellow, and memories of seeing his on-screen characters prevailing in fights have stuck over time (e.g., “Boards don’t hit back.”)

Tragically, Bruce and his son, Brandon, died too young. I’m certain when I was a teen that I asked where Bruce Lee was buried; my parents didn’t know and in pre-internet days, it was more of a challenge to find those answers. But the mystery has long been solved: Bruce Lee and his son, Brandon, lay side by side in Lake View Cemetery in Seattle’s Capitol Hill.

Despite multiple visits to the city in years past, this particular return trip to Seattle has been decades in the making for a chance to honour a part of my childhood and a part of my heritage. When I find the Lees, my arrival means another answer has been quietly realized. On a crisp bright autumn morning under blue skies, I feel my father’s spirit with me; he never had the chance to come to this cemetery. My lips move without voice, a prayer I utter into the ether, pushing for hope to reach him. Because I know now that this, is also for my Dad.


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Singapore Chinatown, Singapore, Chinatown, Pagoda Street, myRTW, fotoeins.com

Fotoeins Friday: Pagoda Street, Singapore Chinatown

4 July 2012.

I’m interested in finding out what Singapore’s Chinatown is like. Riding the MTR, I exit the transport system at “Chinatown” station, and I walk down a flight of stairs to street level. I’m always curious to see (1) what people think how Chinatown should appear, (2) what the resident Chinese feel about the incarnation, and (3) how a gentrified form of Chinatown appears similarly around the world. Apart from electronics stores and dollar stores with cheap souvenirs, there’s a lot more to Chinatown farther afoot. There is a Chinatown heritage centre down this street, and historical heritage buildings are scattered around the area.

Singapore, Chinatown, MRT North East line, fotoeins.com

Chinatown station (NE4), MRT North East line.


During my year-long RTW, I made this photo on 4 July 2012 with the Canon 450D, 18-55 kit-lens, and the following settings: 1/160-sec, f/8, ISO200, and 32mm focal length (51mm full-frame equivalent). This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie on fotoeins.com as http://wp.me/p1BIdT-9VG.

Ben Thanh Market, Lê Lợi, Bến Thành, Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, myRTW, fotoeins.com

Fotoeins Friday: Night noms at Ben Thanh (Saigon)

27 June 2012.

Bến Thành Market, Lê Lợi, Bến Thành, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon).

After strolling the streets of Central Saigon at night, one of your experiences should include eating out. That doesn’t mean eating in the cool confines of an air-conditioned restaurant. “Eating out” means you’re on the streets, sitting on plastic stools, and surrounded by residents happily scarfing down their meal. Check out the grilled meats and seafood of all kinds, shapes, and sizes: point and choose, sit and wait, sip on a cold beer or a refreshing fruit smoothie, and enjoy the food as it’s prepared and when it’s served.

The weather might be too hot, too humid, and you might be this close to wilting and melting into a puddle. But trust me; you should be patient and persevere.

Get low and comfortable at the plastic table: watch, listen, wait, smell, taste, and learn.

During my year-long RTW, I made the photo on 27 June 2012 with the Canon 450D, 18-55 kit-lens, and the following settings: 1/4-sec, f/8, ISO400, 25mm focal length (40mm full-frame equivalent). This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins.com as http://wp.me/p1BIdT-9UT.

Tai Po, New Territories, Hong Kong, myRTW, fotoeins.com

Fotoeins Friday: Tai Po street scene (Hong Kong)

12 June 2012.

This is Tai Po in the New Territories, and I’m walking southeast on Kwong Fuk Road (at Tsing Yuen Street). The white tower at left-centre is the Wing Shing Building (149-155 Kwong Fuk Road), and visible through the haze in the background is Ma On Shan (馬鞍山) mountain.

Where is everybody?

June in Hong Kong is hot and sticky, and on a blazing muggy afternoon, many are inside next to fans or air-conditioning. I’m one of the foolish few to wander the streets, but my reward is relatively empty streets framed by signage and street lines. There are “classic” Hong Kong elements: the row of air-con units outside and tucked next to windows, commercial signs big and small hanging over the street, familiar traditional Chinese words and characters, “no stopping” and “no left turn” signs to accompany driving on the left, aluminum scaffolding and bamboo poles, and women with open umbrellas to provide shade from the scorching sun.

During my year-long RTW, I made the photo above on 12 June 2012 with the Canon 450D, 18-55 kit-lens, and the following settings: 1/800-sec, f/5, ISO100, and 43mm focal length (69mm full-frame equivalent). This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins.com as http://wp.me/p1BIdT-9UT.

King's Road, Westlands Road, Quarry Bay, Hong Kong, myRTW, fotoeins.com

Fotoeins Friday: a lunge into Quarry Bay (Hong Kong)

8 June 2012.

“Bonjour! (Hello!)”

Borrowing my sister’s 10-22 lens while I’m in Hong Kong for the month, I wonder how I might view the world through the fisheye lens. This view east on King’s Road from Westlands Road shows how the surrounding high-rise buildings “lean” towards the centre of the field. Like many highly populated cities in Asia, the parallels with “deep valleys” and “towering “walls” are all too clear. It’s also worth noting Quarry Bay was named for the small body of water on which most of present-day Quarry Bay is built with reclaimed land.


I made this photo during my year-long RTW on 8 June 2012 with the Canon 450D, 10-22 fisheye, and the following settings: 1/320-sec, f/8, ISO100, and 10mm focal length (16mm full-frame equivalent). This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins.com as http://wp.me/p1BIdT-9W9.

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