Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Almost perfect pictures


sure, sure, there are tons of pictures that could be described as "almost perfect" but in this one the old lady purposefully covered her face with the white plastic bag. At the time I though she was just showing her disapproval that a rich tourist (i.e. me) was capitalizing on her humble life sorting fish (which I kind of was, selfishly selfishly....)

Later I learned that many old people think that for every picture taken of them they lose a year of life. Or so a tour guide told me later. Then I felt extra bad.... not only was I making a poor fish shucker old woman part of my hobby photo project but I was also slowly killing her. ouch. my karma is going to suck bad.

(taken in ZhouZhuang water village near Shanghai China)

3 comments:

Joseph said...

I've been shy about taking pictures of people because of the "the picture will steal my soul" trope for most of my life, although admittedly I've never actually had someone I was taking a picture of actually say as much. Interesting to see that it's actually real, and not just an urban legend.

Kori the tomorrow lady said...

yeah, I hear it's true in SE Asia as well. Granted my info comes from a tour guide, but I asked many older people if I could take their picture and most said no (a few said, only if you give me money). so the trope may be exploited for capitalist purposes... apparently

SonicLlama said...

A sort of reversal of the woman covering up her face was people asking for pictures of us. I guess it happens in Japan, too, but I was a little surprised when the group of people at Huashan wanted a picture with the random foreigners. I imagine there were plenty of other pictures taken of you on the sly.

Seems like a fair trade to me. Don't feel too bad about supporting your photo habit.