A new friend I met on the subway in New York City over the weekend sent me a note saying she and her friends are interested in taking street photographs and if I could recommend a place to go. I immediately thought of this photograph I made in Nanning, China over the summer. Nanning is a city that has no major tourist attractions. A dignified seventy-year old woman from Macau told me I should go there. I took her advice and wandered through the streets with my backpack and camera in hand and no activated cell phone with internet connection. I made directional decisions based on intuition and feeling and found a quiet side street with an outdoor market along the river. There was a tangible feeling of simplicity amongst everyone that congregated on this street. Some were socializing while others were focused on transactions. As I meandered, I saw a man in a deep sleep in a hammock tied between two trees in a wooded area near a river. His body posture reflected the placidity around him. I discreetly snapped two photographs of him, one from a distance and another closer up where I could see his expression.
After coming home and editing and scanning this roll of film, I was reminded of how photographs can be made without a concrete plan. Acknowledging a lead from an old, wise woman and following my gut as I wandered through a foreign city yielded a strong photograph that will always remind me of a special place and time in my life.