Tacoma Exposures

This pavilion is known as the #Fuzhou Ting, after the sister-city in China that funded and helped construct this structure in #Tacoma‘s Chinese Reconciliation Park. According to ChinaCulture.org, “all pavilions described as Ting have this in common: they have columns to support the roof, but no walls. In parks or at scenic spots, pavilions are built on slopes to command the panorama or on lakeside to create intriguing images in the water. They are not only part of the landscape but also belvederes from which to enjoy the scenery.”

This park is easy to miss when driving by, so I was pleasantly surprised to find it bustling with people. It even looked like a family was celebrating a birthday while we were there, so I tried not to be too intrusive with my camera.

A teenager joked that I should have warned her, so she’d be ready for a photoshoot, adding “I’m just playing,” and after joking back, I realized that I’d code switched to match her vernacular. It was a very interesting moment—it was like the pavilion, which another youngster called a shrine, was a little gateway to some enclave of non-whiteness.


This was the first time I started and finished a roll in a single day; I wanted to push myself to think less and shoot more, to sharpen my #streetphotography instincts and get over my shyness and stress over having to make quick decisions with finite resources. For some reason, much of that internal conflict seemed to be eased by being somewhere I didn’t know and that didn’t know me; walking around #Tacoma, I felt “foreign” enough to just go for it—to “get the shotty,” as one account I recently followed puts it.

It’s so weird to see how the same film stock interacts with an SLR versus with a Holga. I had to play around a little in Lightroom (which I’m also still learning) to bring more personality into what were essentially faithful reproductions of what I saw in real life. That’s apparently standard practice, but yeah, it’s fun to actually behold the theory IRL.

One thing I learned is that film stock like this works incredibly well with vibrant colors; I’ll share more examples of that later.


“On November 3, 1885, a large group of #Tacoma men rounded up all the Chinese people still in the city (about 200 people, including both individuals and whole families) and marched them out of town. The next day some Tacomans ravaged Chinese businesses downtown and burned shops and lodgings that formed the Chinese settlement along the waterfront. This dramatic set of actions was the climax of growing anti-Chinese sentiment in the region and beyond in the 1880s, the era of the Chinese Exclusion Act (1882) to stop Chinese immigration into the United States. In the western part of the country, Tacoma was not the only venue of violence; but Tacoma’s use of orderly force to drive out of the city all Chinese who had not left earlier, when tensions were mounting, set an example that became known as “The Tacoma Method,” remembered for its seeming avoidance of physical harm to the Chinese.” (TacomaChinesePark.org)


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