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Monday, 27 June 2016


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I met Mr. Ho multiple times. He lives in the same area as I do. In fact, just a few days prior, I was reaching out to him to see if I could take (4x5) portraits of him.

He was born in China, then moved o Hong Kong, then to United States. As far as I know, he has never lived in Taiwan, so in that case, the phrase "Chinese-Taiwanese" would not be accurate.

The work of a number of Chinese photographers,
such as Rong-Rong, Zhang Haier, and Hong Lei,
were shown at a Dutch-Chinese Photo Festival in Naarden.

"Visit to FotoFestival Naarden 2001".

A true master. I've been a huge fan most of my adult life (either ~38 years or yet to occur depending on who you ask…if the latter then I already know what I've got to look forward to!). Composition, graphical/spatial awareness, tonality, contrast: he's the complete package.

Fan Ho was truly a remarkable photographer. As David said, he was the "complete package". In my opinion he was one of the most generally talented photographers in the medium's history. Unfortunately I have only one of his books.

Two books on Fan Ho’s work can be bought through the publisher’s website.

And here is Fan Ho’s website.


Really enjoyed looking through his work. I'm a photographer with cheap Irish skin and envy his ability to stand facing the sun all the time! This is a guy who loves backlit photographs!

Clearly very much a master of capturing light and shadow, it seems to me that he was also notably good with something perhaps not so obvious or seen as often* in these post-magazine days of television and computer monitors--the vertical format photo. (*Pending the completion of whatever comeback cell phone cameras are able to accomplish for the vertical photograph. Alas, the same tool gives us vertical video.)

I just checked the links here and passed them on to my photographically inclined daughter with the following comment:

I keep reading this stuff and I keep thinking -- I bought all sorts of magazines from Australia, the UK, the USA, and the odd other place, for years from the mid-1960s forwards, and I have been a consumer of photography on the internet for quite a few years now, and I NEVER SAW SO MUCH AS A MENTION OF THIS GUY OR SAW ANY OF HIS WORK.

Yet he was named in the world's top 10 photogs many times -- in the US at least.

A lot of ethnocentric editorial decisions, I fear.

I missed visiting HongKong in 1975 when returning to Papua New Guinea from a UK holiday due to the fact that I came down with malaria at Heathrow while waiting to board the plane (yes, literally, the parasites can lodge for extended periods in your liver or spinal fluid) and had to spend an extra week in London at the Tropical Diseases Hospital and elsewhere recovering, then head straight back to PNG via Brisbane (Australia).

I've always rued the day that occurred because it meant that I missed seeing Aberdeen with all the boat life and lots of other "old" HongKong.

Maybe the biggest loss was that I might have come across Fan Ho's work (and even Fan Ho!) if I had made it to Honkers then.

As for "old" HongKong -- I finally got to see the place in 2005 on a travel writing assignment. Even then, noting that they were completing a Disneyland there, I headlined my story: "If you can see Mickey, you're on the wrong side of the fence for fantasy". Honkers was (and I am sure, still is) an amazing place. Man! Those trams!

Cheers, Geoff

Oh -- an Ola, Manuel. You should have noted, Mike, that Porto is the football team to support in Portugal and Porto is where Port comes from. I used to think Australian tawny ports were pretty darned good, but then I tasted port from Porto. Ruined my life. All the Australian ports taste like flavored sugar water comparatively.

Manuel, never got to Porto and never will now -- but two of my kids hold Portuguese passports and when they visited last year, they knew exactly what to bring back as a gift for the old dad! :)

Cheers, Geoff

I have never heard of Mr. Ho, so thanks for the introduction to a new photographer. Your choice of illustrative image is striking as the "person walking on the street" is now one of the most overdone photos by aspiring street photographers. Yet, this one works in such a powerful way, and I am trying to discern why it works as well as it does when so many others today fail.

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