Shadowgraphy

Toussaint

 

The first of November is a bank holiday in France, this is the solemnity of “All saints”. Actually this day is used by some French to visit their ancestors’ tombs in cemeteries. This should be done normally on the second of November, but as the 1st is off, it is simply more convenient. As we are in November, sky is getting grey, this reminds me a weird picture – this is the shadowgraphy of the day, with flying shadows on electric power lines.

Same principle, on the other side of the world; celebrating the memory of family members passed away is also a tradition in China. This day is the “Tomb sweeping festival”, happening sometime in April. Parents, kids go to brush the tombs of their grand parents. As Shanghai population is huge and space is both limited and expensive, a large number of families have their tombs settled in Suzhou or around, at one hour drive from Shanghai.

People use to prepare fake money with silver paper folded in various shapes representing 50, 100 or 500 yuans and to burn it in front of the tombs. For safety reasons, as tombs are surrounded by pine trees, nowadays, the money is put in big envelops and burned in a special location down of the hill. This is the bank of the dead people. In order not to mix the money, names are written by the families on envelops.

The photograph above was taken two years ago, just looking backward of the “bank”, while money was burning. I like the scene because of its weirdness – for the one brave enough to observe the small details, these are people in the sky.

Rollei 35 – Tessar 40/f3.5 – Kodak TriX