All good things must come to an end. Bah, did I just wrote that? Anyhow, watchin/listening to The Muppets on the airplane on the way back home. I really do love in-flight entertainment.
Shanghai is quite an interesting city. They say it has contrasts, but I see it more as a big gradient thing. You have the rich and high-class setting in Pudong, to the street vendors and beggars in Yuyuan, to the real poor in the back-alleys. And everything in between.
When you think of China, you think of old and dirty, yet Pudong is quite high-class and very clean. At any time and any place, including the river and the highway people are using handmade brooms, nets and sticks to pick things up. Not just garbage, but even things like leaves. Weird!
Yet if you turn a wrong corner you encounter rather dirty and forgotten spots. Very weird.
If I can give any fellow photographers some tips if you ever are in China, it are following things:
– Shoot first, then ask. (a tip from the VRT China Correspondent) – if you encounter a beggar who just keeps bugging you, grab your camera and portrait them. They will bugger off as soon as humanly possible. – Light and the sky can vary much very soon. There are moments where you can see the tips of the skyscrapers while a few hours later everything can be fogged and smogged up – With a tele you can make some great portraits without them noticing, yet they won’t really mind. – if you are in Shanghai, the sunlight comes out very soon, yet it’s dark, very fast. The streetlights will have everything illuminated quite well. You can make great street shots at night at 1/125, ISO 1600 and f/2.8. However a word of caution, at exactly 11pm the lights and fountains go out. The street lights will be on, but all building illumination will be out. So make your long exposures before that.
The beggar in question:
All by all, Shanghai is a great start to explore Asia. English is all around, yet you have the best of both worlds. And I’m sure I’m going back there someday. And Japan. And Singapore. And more.