It's Time To Dance A Simba Samba
Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON
It was late evening, the light had begun to fade, and there was no colour in the sky at all, so it was a bit of a challenge to make these photographs work. It was September 2005 and I was in Montreal, halfway through a ten-day photography assignment for the Canadian Tourism Commission.
These lions are at the entrace to Chinatown and because the light wasn't great, I decided to work with unusual angles instead. I had to work quickly, because the light was degenerating swiftly. As you can see at the mid-point of the first frame (above) a lot of the restaurants already had their streetside lighting on.
I shot these with a Canon EOS 3000, using multi-purpose 400 ASA Kodak film. Lions play such an important part in Chinese culture and as soon as I saw these white concrete lions, I was reminded of the similar ones that guard Chinatown in my home city of Melbourne, which suddenly seemed very far away.
In the second frame (below) I was practically flat on my face trying to get the lion into the frame with a generous view of the overhead archway. I guess it must have been worth all the effort, because if you look carefully, you can see the "twin" lion on the other side of the street.
Like the Eagles used to sing, ya just can't hide your lion eyes!
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