Heads and Tales

April 29, 2016 • Destinations • Views: 2194


In a world of moving images the still photograph remains a powerful medium. As 2onthewing travels it is not only the place that holds a fascination but also the people and the tales they have to tell in their human face. A portrait can convey many things and a look evoke much that is unsaid, if one takes the time to observe. That is the beauty of the still image , it can give you time to slowly cast your eye over and  look into a person.  These photographs I took each attracted me for different reasons.

Just click the image to enlarge

Yunnan ,China, yuanyang, “Through A Child’s Eyes” :        Yunnan Province , China
The mist shrouded main street of Yuan Yang was a fascinating thoroughfare where the ladies of the rural rice growing community came to shop. As part of China’s vast borders Yunnan has a rich cultural mix with its “minority groups”infused with the influences of Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar. This little boy locked eyes with the camera and it was an instant attraction for both. I was intrigued by the beautiful clothing worn by the children and the women and the little face peering out of this backdrop.



Yunnan ,China, Myanmar,Laos, Vietnam

” Old Men of the Village ”         Yunnan Province, China

  1. With the traditional drums beating out the Leaf Dance in the background  these old men of the village, high in the hills of the rice growing region of Yunnan,  represented  visual maps of the hard work , simple life , remoteness, openness, wariness and curiosity that is still found in the faces of a generation that has the experience of time.





” The Painter ”       Cochin , Sthn, India

  1. In the historical trading city of Cochin on the Malabar Coast where the ancient Chinese fishing nets stand on the shoreline like giant preying mantis as the fishermen bring in their catch. , the snake charmer lures the cobra from the basket and the bustle of the market form the backdrop to this man. Literally brushed with the colours of India, imparting vibrant richness to the walls of the city I saw him as a painting in himself.




  1. ” Seeing ”       Palakad, Sthn. India2onthewing, India, www.indiaunbound.com

    She was only tiny as she stood in front of me looking up but her eyes were taking everything in with an unbridled fascination for something different . She was with her mother in a temple where the candles and incense were burning and the holy men praying.




2onthewing, China, Beijing, images, portraits

“Time Lines”           Beijing, China

  1. In a small courtyard in Beijing, China I came upon the mother of a friend. She kindly made a cup of tea as we all sat and chatted . The lady was small and stooped but I was drawn to her face as it seemed to represent a history. To me this image represented timelines of change. From the drawing down of the “Bamboo Curtain”, the conformity and insecurity of Mao’s Cultural Revolution to the surging forward of modern China into the 21st century, these events seemed etched in her 93 yr old face


2onthewing.Vietnam, Hue, asia unbound,“Openness”:      Hue, Vietnam

  1. Even with what was visited on the people of Vietnam during the “American War” and through their colonial history this young woman struck me as embodying the vitality, openness, optimism,warmth, resiliency and future of a country and people that suffered so much.




2onthewing, China, Yangtze River,peaboats, trackerss,

” Strong Like a Rock ”     The Tracker : Yangtze River, China

In the tributaries of China’s majestic Yangtze River the gorge narrows to almost an arms length and as their forebears have done over a thousand years, trackers uncoil a length of woven bamboo rope attaching it to a fabric chest sling. Wading through the shallow water the pea-pod boat is hauled over rocks , past rapids by the trackers, their sculpted faces showing hardened determination, their bodies horizontal to the rocky shoreline and their voices singing out ‘chor-chor” , which means put your shoulder into it.


2onthewing, NewZealand,, maoris, CookIslands, Aitutaki, Rarotonga,

” Guided by the Stars ”        Rarotonga, Cook Islands

  1. Without a written history much Maori past is told through myth and legend and depicted in the body tattoos which tell of the great journeys and explain the universe.The Cook Islands are situated between New Zealand and Tahiti are said to have been the stepping off point on one of the great Polynesian journeys. Guided only by the celestial bodies  the great vakas sailed the oceans manned by the seafarers who would become the fearsome warriors of “The Land of the Long White Cloud”.




” The Glow of Youth ”        Gokana, Sthn. India

India is a wonderful country, a kaleidoscope of colour and movement and a cacophony of noise and chaos. In the more rural areas is where you slip into the spiritual and serene. Swa Swara was a retreat on the Arabian Sea near Goa where you could meditate and find your inner self along with a bit of luxury. This young lady taught yoga , was tall, lithe and supple with beautiful dark eyes and such a radiant smile which made her youthfulness glow.


   2onthewing, India, www.indiaunbound.com ” Bearers of Sand ”        Palakad, India

  1. Wading from the river, a lean , strong young man balancing a sack full of wet sand on his head and wearing only a loin cloth, pauses as the colour from the late afternoon sun illuminates his face and shoulders flecked with sand. Looking through the lens his eyes seemed to ask , “is this all there is?”






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