Saturday, March 5, 2011

Self-portrait (This week's Photo Hunt theme)

Self-portrait taken with the help of a mirror in an abandoned house* deep in the Hong Kong countryside... I think that the fact that this house still contains some furnishings, yet clearly has not been lived in for some time, helps make for an eerie photo -- and if I didn't know that the figure in it was me, I'd have thought that was a ghost there! (And yes, this is the closest that I think I'll ever get to putting up a photo of myself on this blog -- and if not for this week's Photo Hunt theme being what it is, there would not be even this!!) ;D

*Something I was surprised to discover while hiking in Hong Kong is how even while parts of it are super densely populated, there also are whole villages, never mind houses, within the territory that have been abandoned -- some of them apparently in such a great hurry that furnishings including family portraits as well as bulkier items like television sets and chairs have been left behind. But upon delving into its history, I've discovered reasons for this state of affairs -- which, as it turned out, wasn't due to a great plague befalling the area or even people leaving their homes during the second world war when Hong Kong was occupied by Japanese forces but, rather, for more benign reasons including urban development in other parts of the Big Lychee and a British law coming into effect in the then British colony that allowed Hong Kongers to move to Britain.


ancient one said...

I think we all think alike... ha ha

Carver said...

Creative self portrait. The abandoned house looks like it could be quite attractive if it were lived in again.

Anonymous said...

Haha... nice one, YTSL! It took me longer than I thought to spot you, even though I was looking at the mirrors and glass right away.

And yes, that place is spooking indeed, abandoned and yet remarkably in place at the same time.

gengen said...

Creativity is great. Happy hunting.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant! I haven't put much of me in today's hunt, either.

Anneke (Mudhooks) said...

Terrific photo!

Life Ramblings said...

i seldom take pictures of myself too. I'm always the one behind the camera, rarely in front of it.

jmb said...

I never put up photos of myself either, for more obvious reasons but this week it is me, but long ago.

Both Moggs and I did Photo hunt this week but it's time I got back into the swing of it.

Happy weekend to you YTSL, ghostly lady.

Mar said...

Looking for you...still! interesting picture and post, enjoy your weekend!


YTSL said...

Hi ancient one -- in we prefer not to appear too clearly on our blogs? ;b

Hi Carver --

Thanks -- and I know what you mean about the abandoned house. At the same time, I do sympathize/empathize with those who abandoned it as I like to live in a convenient location too.

Hi duriandave --

Bet if I weren't wearing such a bright top that it'd be even harder to spot me! ;b

Hi gengen --

Seems like Photo Hunting can bring out the creativity in many of us. :D

Hi archiearchive --

There's a lot of me in the photo!! To put things in context: the last time I did a "self" Photo Hunt, I put up a photo of just my hand! :D

Hi Anneke --

Glad you like it. :)

Hi Life Ramblings --

Definitely get the feeling that many of us Photo Hunters prefer to be behind rather than in front of cameras. :D

Hi jmb --

Good to see you Photo Hunting, jmb. Hehe re the ghostly lady remark and hope you have a good weekend too. :)

Hi Mar --

I'm hard to find in the photo, eh? Good! :D

Randi said...

Very creative, your take on this theme. You made it difficult for me to find!!!

Life Bliss said...

I actually looked for you in the picture. There! Yeah, it's a little eerie. Lol. Good idea though. Anyway, that's how fast the people wanted to move out back then huh. Literally leaving everything behind.

Greyscale Territory said...

You look very much like a small stained glass feature in the window! Very clever! And yes! A fascinating, eerie room!

Pat said...

Very creative!! :-)))

Happy Weekend.

Anonymous said...


Dragonstar said...

Nice one! Shame a lovely place like that stands empty, though it certainly makes life easier if you can live closer to the amenities.

jams o donnell said...

A really nice photo. It is still a little strange for me to think of so many abandoned villages in the New Terriitories. Thanks for the link to the NYT article

Anonymous said...

I remember commenting on the notion of abandoned homes in the middle of nowhere in hong kong when you first posted about it - it just boggles the mind!

Great shot for this week's theme.

Have a super weekend.

Sue St Clair said...

Wonderfully eerie self portrait! Everyone is getting creative with this one :) I decided to go plain old traditional.

Anonymous said...

That's a great take on the theme, and very interesting to learn about Hong Kong.

EastCoastLife said...

In land scarce Hong Kong, even village houses in the countryside are worth some money, why abandon it?

Trekcapri said...

Hi YTSL, :) I'm more comfortable behind the lens as well. This is a wonderful photo and as always I enjoy reading the background history and stories that accompany your photos. I always think there is some kind of story behind the photos that I take and that is what fascinates me sometimes. The ghost like image in an abandoned room....could be a novel.

Have a great weekend.

Gattina said...

Even with a magnifier I didn't see anthing of you not even the tip or top of your nose, lol!
You should have worn a Burka !

YTSL said...

Hi Randi --

But you found me in the end, right? ;b

Hi Life Bliss --

Seems like you took a good look at the photo alright. Yay! :D

Hi Greyscale Territory --

Like your view/description of the photo! :)

Hi Pat --

Thanks and happy weekend to you too. :)

Hi Azahar --

Teeheehee! :b

Hi Dragonstar --

It does seem a shame for whole communities to disappear. But have to say these abandoned villages sure do help make the Hong Kong landscape interesting!

Hi jams --

Does it make things seem less strange if I point out that a lot of these abandoned villages are now inside of or surrounded by country park land? And you're welcome for the link to the NYT article. :)

Hi JDeQ --

I think it's especially hard to envision abandoned villages in Hong Kong when one has a vision of most of Hong Kong as dense cityspace. The thing is there really is quite a bit of countryside in the territory and that's, of course, where these abandoned villages are.

Hi Sue --

Yeah, this definitely does look to be one of those weeks which brought out the creativity in many Photo Hunters. :)

Hi bookmouse --

Thanks -- and am glad to help you learn more about Hong Kong. :)

Hi EastCoastLife --

One answer to your answer might be that the villagers in question felt they could make more money living elsewhere!

Hi Trekcapri --

Should you get inspired by the photo to write a novel, I'll grant you permission to use the photo on your novel cover for free! :D

Hi Gattina --

You didn't my black hair at least? Too bad if so! :D

Anonymous said...

I couldn't find you at first but then I enlarged the photo and there you were :) Really lovely photo!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Anonymous said...

i can't fathom a hongkong countryside. i have never been to hk but i always imagine it as this one big cosmopolitan area.

YTSL said...

Hi "chaotically me" --

Agree that enlarging the photo definitely would help you to find me. :)

Hi ewok1993 --

Hmmm... I suggest you check around the rest of my blog. Have lots of hiking in Hong Kong photo-essays on it! :D

A hero never dies said...

A really impressive solution to the self portrait problem, and a really interesting photo as well. Great!

Behind the lens works better for me too!

YTSL said...

Hi "A hero never dies" --

Thanks, I'm glad you found the photo interesting. :)

Ann said...

you are camera shy too.

YTSL said...

Hi Ann --

Not only am I camera shy, I generally shy away from taking photos of people -- especially the front of my family and friends! :b

Marta said...

Very interesting photo and information about the abandoned homes. Your reflection especially behind the screen give it an eerie feeling of being locked from their past.

YTSL said...

Hi Marta --

Find the ideas that you got from viewing the photo very interesting! :)