Time goes back to 2013, after my graduation from college, I went back to my hometown, city of Yan Tai, which is a beautiful and quiet coastal city in north China. It was also at that time, I moved to a new community which is close enough to the sea shore, only took me five minutes of ride to get there. Yet this part of see shore has never been a scenic spot, losing the pandemonium, all is left is simple and true livelihood, kids dabbling, old men fishing and young lovers laughing. I got to say I was attracted deeply by this naivete after locking myself in the city of steel and concrete. I enjoyed strolling around in this Garden of Eden, while letting my little digital camera to record every step of this homely journey.
At the beginning, the impulse of pressing the shutter always been irresistible and my mind floats up and down with the waves. With the passage of time, I found that a similar sight has always been repeatedly came to my eyes that some man always standing on the beach facing to the sea, swimmers lying on the sea surface, people walking their dogs, little children playing with sand, men digging seafood…
There are less and less scene could ever touch my heart, but never change my yearning for the beach. I begin to use my Leica M3 with Summaron 35 f3.5 and Summitar 50 f2. Manual focus and manual adjustment of exposure, developing and scanning the films, such things make feel happy and satisfied, it also a delighting process that crafting every piece of my work. M3 makes me calm and he becomes my best friend now, he goes wherever I go. I also see him as another eye of mine, an eye that records the pureness of things.
After the stage of asking beach for pictures, I felt something has changed, the photographs started to come to me instead of my seeking of them. I have been taking photos there for more than two years, but thinking back, the things I have seen and met are much more abundant than I thought it was before. Seaside is a stage made of sea, sand and sky. I do not know whether it was me or the beach has changed. It’s like a microcosm of life, repeating day by day, and novelty will slowly disappear, at the meantime there are surprises in the dull, while I am still seeking to find, capture and put together the fragmentary, soft and touching scenes.
At last, I wish my photos find you well.
To know more about Huapeng Zhao, please visit his portfolio.