As a believer in Tibetan Buddhism, the situation in Tibet is really a cause of anger and deep sadness for me.
I try to do whatever I can to support Tibet and the Tibetans, such as giving a percentage of my sales to a few Tibetan associations and to try to collect funds for these same associations.
A little bit of history:
Tibet was invaded by the Chinese in 1950 and 1.2 million Tibetans are estimated to have been killed since then.
Monks, especially, were the target of the Chinese and they have been, literally, slaughtered!
Most of the monasteries have been destroyed and, with them, thousands of invaluable pieces of Art.
Millions of Tibetans, including the Dalai Lama, have been forced to run away from their own country to find refuge in India.
The Dalai Lama hasn't been able to step foot in his country for over 50 years!
Lots of Tibetans are still imprisoned and killed today, just for resisting the Chinese pressure of giving up their religion and culture.
The Tibetan culture is under serious threat.
Free Tibet Campaign
I was walking the streets of London on the l0th of November 2005 when I came across a crowd of people with signs and banners, shouting slogans about a Free Tibet.
I had to stop and take a few pictures!
It was my way of participating in the campaign.
By reporting what I saw and showing others that Tibet still needs help.
There were a lot of people, sitting on the ground, meditating, undisturbed by the crowd, the noise and the turmoil around them.
I learned later that some of these people were part of the Free Tibet Campaign association who actively organize manifestations and meetings to keep the awareness of the Tibetan situation alive.
Right opposite the Tibetans, on the same side of the street, was a group of Chinese people, making as much noise as they could to cover the Tibetans slogans.
I'm still wondering what they were doing there!
Were they protesting in favour of the Chinese occupation? I'm really not quite sure but later on a Chinese girl (I assume she was Chinese) came to me and asked me if I was in favour of a free Tibet.
I really hope that, someday soon, the Tibetan people will be heard and that our Western countries will, at last, take some actions against the Chinese occupation in Tibet, and the denial of human rights that these people have been enduring for over 50 years.
Street and reportage style photography is very rewarding but you need a fair amount of luck to come across interesting events.
Have your camera always ready to shoot, plenty of batteries and memory cards but, most of all, stay focused.
Observe, be nosy, make sure you don't miss anything.
The streets are definitely a fascinating place, where great shooting opportunities arise all the time.
A fast camera is definitely a must for that type of photography and a consumer camera will make you miss lots of shots and I know what I'm talking about since I started with a 'lil Sony f717.
When the frustration of missing so many shots became unbearable, I invested in a digital SLR, and it was the smartest move I made as far as photography is concerned.