Oldest School

Bike attendant in Shanghai.

One thing leads to another.

While I was poking around my newly resurrected archives looking for the Earth day picture, I found this one. I made it in Shanghai, China in 1989. In those days Shanghai was still a dark city. No lighting. Electricity was marginal. You bought your groceries in little shops or on the street. When the food ran out, you had to wait. Until the next day. The joke was that you could send and receive a piece of mail quicker than you could make a telephone connection.

And, there was very little automobile traffic.

But, huge bike traffic. Everybody rode bikes. Bike crashes were the leading cause of injury and death. You had a little bell on your bike. You were supposed to ring it whenever you passed somebody or crossed an intersection. You can imagine how that went with a city of about 12 million biker riders. Bells ringing from every direction. You just rode on and hoped for the best.

Things change. They always do.

Today, of course, everybody in China wants a car. And, many cities are hyper-polluted because of it. So, in many ways, this is still about Earth Day. It comes under the heading of WTF were we thinking?


The picture. The same the past few days. Black and white film, printed, scanned and tinkered with as usual. After doing a little reading, I’ve come to learn this is becoming a thing. Even when a photographer makes new images using a digital camera. It appears a lot of us are getting tired of razor-sharp, clean factory-like pictures. So, we are combining old and new schools. Of thought. Of theory. Of technology.


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