The chance of a lifetime! A month in China! The first batch of tourists that could go anywhere, except sensitive border areas and military installations. Well, who wants to go there?
I had simplified my approach. For some time now when shooting candids or snapshots I used my Leica with
a normal lens. It was quiet, dependable and if you did everything right you could get a professional result.
I felt that my seeing was exactly what I wanted. Direct seeing, with going back to basics. For example, a portrait is to show what the sublet looked like! Not to show what the photographer could do, to hide a lack in his seeing.
Looking at the self portraits of both Rembrandt and Van Gogh you see the artist at his best in showing that moment. The same subject matter year after year and all of those pieces enchanting to us many years later. There was no need to be tricky.
But......in China my Leica died. The rewind didn't. A repair was impossible. So I bought an inexpensive ($80) Cannon with very limited controls but an acceptably sharp lens. In a way it was a very freeing and playful experience. Because black and white film was not easy to get, I shot color slide film which was the most easily available film. It was my first extensive use of color.
This was easy because East and south Asia is color. At least when its not the rainy season. It was snap shooting at its most fun.