Children playing fireworks during the new year. The children were enjoying their new year holiday and the fun of burning firecrackers and firework. The dark background accentuated the subjects. While Ho Sau’s grown-up child read through the photos at home. She was nostalgic about her childhood’s company, who was no longer in touch because of study and migration.
Floors of So Uk Estate. One method of accentuating the subject was to focus on a light source in darkness; the darker the background, the more outstanding the subject. The key is to avoid objects of equal brightness appearing on the picture, and should try to eliminate them from the frame.If such were unavoidable, darkroom processing or computer processing can be done to reduce its brightness or have it deleted. This picture is a result of post-processing.The background was darkened to accentuated the effect of the lone moon in the sky. The site where the photo was taken is a opposite facing building; the lens was a 135mm and the film was black-and-white. A painter could be seen repainting the wire fence, and the bright areas of the sky accentuated the silhouette of the subject.
Exterior walls of So Uk Estate. The honeycomb pattern can be appreciated as a collage of crisscrossing lines and perfect triangles. The pattern is accentuated by a black background and the subject dressed in white was large enough from interference by the pattern. The lines of the work ladder created an interesting contrast.
Unattended children climbing the fences. In the old days with both parents working many children loitered and played dangerously on roads and on iron fences. The framing was the iron fence which slanted leftwards from the subject directing the viewer’s gaze from right to left; yet the lamp post stopped the gaze from spilling out of the frame.
So Uk Estate arena at mid-autumn. The cool tone of the fluorescent lights accentuated the warm lanterns of the children. As the children grew the lantern processions shrunk in size. The weak lighting and the long exposure blurred the movement and formed light trails behind the lanterns. The picture was awarded 4th place and bronze award in the Pentax Camera International Photography Contest.
The pupils were in running contest on the playground of Li Cheng Uk Resettlement which was next to So Uk Estate.
Map of early So Uk Estate carved in grid-block walls.
The residents of So Uk Estate gathered for leisure. In the 1950s, air-conditioner was a luxury at home, and after dinner neighbouring residents loved to enjoy the company with each other and chat in the cooler open air in the estate.
So Uk under moonlight.
Corridors inside So Uk Estate buildings.
Painter painting the walls of the building.
The original football playground was turned into a multi-level car park.
Neighborhoods enjoying the moon with lanterns.
Painter working at height.
Neighbourhoods gathered in tree-lined park.
The painters were setting the work paltform before working at height.
The original ground was the So Uk parking lot, which was later changed into a multi-storey car park. At ground level was a Chinese restaurant.
Painter painting the walls of the building.
The pebble floor separated the the children and the janitor and formed a stark contrast.
Photo taken in So Uk Estate. The children in the photo were Ho Sau’s cousins who lived with him.
Elderly chatting in So Uk Estate. Ho Sau walked past a corner at So Uk Estate and caught the sight of a man reading something to a woman. He exclaimed that women of the older generations were usually illiterate, under the feudal saying that women with virtue were not educated. He imagined that the old man might be reading a family letter to the woman. It helped her to relieve her home-sickness because there was a saying that ‘a letter from home is worth thousands pieces of gold’.
Old ladies on the swings. Photo was taken in the playground and the scene was easily distracted by odd objects or colours in the background. This photo was no exception, but Ho Sau lived in So Uk Estate and could easily locate a high vantage point. The branches formed the foreground and the framing was more concise. Swing is a childhood object; in the picture the two old ladies seated on the swing making one wonder if they were talking about their past: they were regretting how they never tasted childhood after many years of toiling, and hoped for the reversion of time.
Private cars in the parking spaces in So Uk Estate. So Uk Estate was rather stringent in admitting tenants and residents were workers who have stable jobs; some could even afford to keep their own cars.
Children studying in the stairs. In the 1960s study room facilities were not as common as what we saw today. Students living in noisy dwellings had to go to the parks and playgrounds to study; or nearby fire escapes where it was quiet and bright.
Children playing on the stairs. The older kid helped the younger one climb the beam, then followed suit. There was little room left and the climb was tough. The place was a supporting beam beneath the stairs and was formed in an “H” shape. It was a playing space frequented by children.
Residents laying out clothes in the sun in the open space. Tradition has it that the winter clothing should be hung in the sun before stowing them away after dragonboat festival, to prevent them from molding in the closet. During the 3rd and 4th months of the lunar calendar Ho Sau often saw residents laying out clothes in the nearby playground. The irregular shapes were photographed from a top-down angle.
The child appears as if reaching out to the kite, and at same time trying to touch the blue skies.
Huge climbing frame.
A moonlit night at So Uk Estate. The moon was so bright that filming it together with the landscape would result in overexposure or distortion of the moon from the long exposure. The solution was to take two separate pictures and overlap them in development. The picture was taken using slides; first the landscape then the moon in two exposures. It received the outstanding award in the national photo exhibition in Taipei.
A painter furnishing the exterior walls of So Uk Estate.