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Manila Street Portraits 5

Here’s another set of portrait shots taken on the streets of Manila.

These two women were shopkeepers running small local stores on Wilson Street. At the time I didn’t notice the third lady in the background who was greatly amused by it all. It was only later when looking at the picture onscreen that I noticed her and was able to brighten up that part of the image.

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Manila Street Portraits 2

Continuing with the theme of street portraits from yesterday’s post, here is a second set of pictures taken on the streets of Manila.

The junction of Taft Avenue and EDSA is a busy spot even by Manila standards and the streets are lined with small sh0ps and stallholders selling everything you can imagine. This guy sold bananas. Nothing else; just bananas. I bought a few from time to time as an energy booster. I assume once his stock for the day was sold he went home.

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Manila American Cemetery

Manila American Cemetery is the largest American battle monument from World War II. There are more than 17,000 graves and the names of a further 36,000 missing in action are inscribed on the memorial. Despite its brutal origins the cemetery is one of the most peaceful places in the city stretching across over 150 acres of immaculately maintained land.

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On Harrison Street

Harrison Street is named for Francis Burton Harrison, former Governor General of the Philippines when it was an American colony and advisor to four of the country’s presidents following Independence. Harrison Street was home for a year when I lived in the Philippines and I walked it many times. It was once known as Calle Real – Royal Street – during the Spanish period but these days it is a typically slow moving, busy and congested Manila street. I say Manila, but the street starts at the edge of Manila City and the greater part runs through Pasay before briefly entering Paranaque where it becomes Quirino Avenue.

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Paranaque Fish Port

I had heard of the Paranaque Fish Port and market and seen photographs of it but never made it there myself until the 2016 Scott Kelby Worldwide Photowalk when this was the venue for one of a dozen or more photowalks around Metro Manila. Local street photographer Joel Mataro was leading this one and he invited me to join. So at 6AM a group of around forty photographers descended on the good people of Paranaque.

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Lagan Weir

These two shots were taken from an almost identical location one year apart during return visits to my home town of Belfast in Northern Ireland. I like the similarities – lone man crossing bridge shot from below – but I’m also struck by how different they are and how small changes can change the look of a picture.

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In Borisova Garden

I spent a couple of hours today walking in the Borisova Garden, one of Sofia’s many parks. The park is home to the Bulgarian Army stadium, where CSKA Sofia play. Many years ago – 1981 to be precise – I saw CSKA Sofia when they came to Belfast to play my local team Glentoran in what was then the European Cup (now the Champion’s League). The Glens had lost 2-0 in Sofia and no-one thought they had any chance. While CSKA were not one of Europe’s footballing superpowers they were, by a long way, the best team in Bulgaria – 31 times Bulgarian league champions and 20 times winners of the Bulgarian cup. Despite their underdog status, the Glens were 2-0 up with 20 minutes remaining and the game went into extra time. CSKA scored with five minutes left and the Glens were out. CSKA went on to beat defending champions Liverpool in the quarter finals before being overrun by Bayern Munich in the semi final.

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Urban Life – Yangon

Maha Bandula, Yangon


This picture always makes me hungry. I took it from an overhead pedestrian walkway on a busy junction in downtown Yangon. This is one of those rare images where I think I like everything about it. This entire feast, better by far than what is on offer in most restaurants, was prepared on the pavement by the side of a busy road.

Angkor – Part 1

When we lived in Manila we had opportunity to visit places that would have been a major undertaking from Europe or North America but were just a few hours away from the Philippines. One of those places was Angkor in Cambodia where we spent a week visiting the temples. Despite the constant media exposure of these sites – not least in the first Tomb Raider film – seeing them for real was incredible. The first set of pictures is from the Bayon temple, a massive and visually chaotic structure dominated by dozens of towers bearing hundreds of identical carved faces. Some claim these represent the Khmer king, Jayavarman VII responsible for the temple’s construction; others identify them as Lokesvara, the bodhisattva of compassion.

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Urban Life – Bangkok

Central Railway Station, Bangkok


I spent a couple of hours wandering around Bangkok Railways Station taking photographs. No-one followed me around, no-one told me not to take photographs. It’s sad to think that there are fewer and fewer places like this in the world where photographers are, if not welcomed, at least accepted. Most of the platforms at the station are under a translucent canopy which does a wonderful job of softening the harsh light. I focused on the floor and waited for the cleaner to walk into the frame. It’s not perfect, but I was quite pleased with the result.

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