This stunning photo was taken by film director, actor and photographer, Fan Ho, in 1954.

Ho was famous for taking candid photos of street life and the city architecture of Hong Kong, in the 1950s and 60s. His striking use of light and shadow, exemplified in "Approaching Shadow", led to him being linked to the Bauhaus art movement.

Does it change your opinion of the photo when I tell you that Fan Ho staged the shot by arranging for his cousin to pose as the human subject?

@fitheach no, I'd say most photos are staged and they still had to capture the moment, the light could have been off, the angle not quite right etc but this was caught perfectly IMHO

Yes, "many" street photos have a reputation of being staged. Debate has raged for decades about how many of Henri Cartier-Bresson's photos were staged, and whether that changed their significance.

Do you still feel the same knowing the shadow was added in post-processing?

@fitheach at the end of the day, without post processing enhancements how many pictures would there be printed/published today? Given it was the 50s I'd say he was ahead of his time.


Post-processing skills were as much part of the photographer's skill set, as was using the camera. This was certainly true of Ansel Adams, and before him, too.

however, I'd argue that improving contrast, tweaking exposure, boosting colours, changing focus etc. is quite different from adding or removing whole elements from a photo.

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