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Old 17 November 2010, 09:13 PM
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Default Chinese bicycle couriers

Comment: This type of transportation happened in one of the largest city
in the world "Shanghai". I believe it will going on for a long time, decade or
more. A huge saving plus keep the world GREEN, it is amazing in loading tech.

-These pictures were taken by a French photographer, Alain Delorme in
Shanghai throughout 2009 & 2010. He called the series, Totems.

These couriers - mostly migrant workers from other parts of China - not
only need strong legs but also acrobatic skills to balance these massive
loads on their tricycles & bicycles while on the move. A lot of you must
be wondering where the centre of gravity is in each case.



















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Old 17 November 2010, 09:33 PM
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Given that many of them remind me of the photo-realistic paintings of Norman Rockwell, I have to wonder at the authenticity of them.

PS. Plus, in all the seasons of The Amazing Race that I've watched, I've never seen the streets of a Chinese city so uncrowded.
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Old 17 November 2010, 09:39 PM
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It looks like some sort of ad campaign to me, or an art piece.

ETA: I think they were staged, though this site's description is confusing:

Quote:
Between dream and reality, these pictures turn upside down the scales of values and blur the border between the visible and the invisible.
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Old 17 November 2010, 09:40 PM
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The poses of the people that are in the background are very artful as well.

Additionally some of those things are so topheavy I doubt their reality. They look more like exaggerations for effect.

Dropbear
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Old 17 November 2010, 09:50 PM
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Several websites say the images are a sort of composite from thousands of pictures he took.

I looked at Delorme's website and his photography is definitely manipulated for artistic purposes. Take a look at the "Little Dolls" series.
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Old 18 November 2010, 01:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avril View Post
Take a look at the "Little Dolls" series.
OK, those are creepy. I kind of like the "Totems" series, though.
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Old 18 November 2010, 12:59 PM
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The "Little Dolls" series looks like a bunch of extras from the Black Hole Sun video. (((Shudder)))
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Old 18 November 2010, 04:06 PM
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I think he somehow made their heads too big for their bodies. And he seems to have done something with their features beyond just using makeup. In any case, they aren't quite human-looking.
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Old 18 November 2010, 04:39 PM
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Hello Kitty

Forget top heavy - several of those look back heavy - the weight distribution in the 1st, 6th, and 8th all seem to be behind the rear wheel. Unless the items were very very light, the weight of a human would not be enough to keep the bicycle from flipping backwards.

Personally, my favorite is the one with the pig balloons! On first glance, I thought those were Hello Kitties.
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Old 19 November 2010, 02:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avril View Post
I think he somehow made their heads too big for their bodies. And he seems to have done something with their features beyond just using makeup. In any case, they aren't quite human-looking.
Looks like he gave them the beauty pageant photo treatment. IIRC usually involves digitally smoothing out and brightening skin tone, brightening eyes and often replacing them with stock or drawn in eyes and highlights. The heads do look bigger, and possibly some of the features cloned and flipped for a more symetrical look.
I thought one of the creepier aspects of those photos were that almost every one of them were being held or grabbed by someone off camera, I suppose to highlight the 'doll' aspect, but it's creepy.
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Old 14 December 2010, 03:58 AM
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The perspectives of the buildings in the background are occasionally wrong, and the lighting in the foreground and the background is totally different in some cases. Take the first photo: in the foreground the sun would have to be slightly to the left to cast shadows on the ground like that, but in the background the light is coming from the right.
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