Shanghai: The Conclusion

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.

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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.

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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:

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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.

See all my pictures of this trip

More soon!

Shanghai, oud en nieuw

Dag 1 in Shanghai was zeker een ervaring op zich. Ons Hotel is een enorm chique iets, prachtig verzorgd, maar toch kwamen we aan in een gamel beige busje met bamboematten op de stoelen, kralen overal op het dashboard en geen verkoeling.

Chinesen leven om te dienen heb ik de indruk. Mensen die je iets vraagt gaan mee tot je de info hebt die je wil. Ook spreken ze enorm stil, en hun Engels is meestal niet van dat. Een besteld pakje werd aan mijn kamer geleverd 5 minuten nadat ik was ingecheckt, stond een bediende voor de deur met het pakje, en het originele leverformulier, nog onafgetekend. Zo is heel Shangai, alles is hier goed aangeduid, zonder absurde situaties zoals de Health And Safety Regulations in de UK. De metro nemen is hier poepsimpel, ook al kent je geen letter Chinees. Alles heeft hier zijn tempo. Dat is best hoog, maar toch kan iedereen volgen.

De oude stad is wat je van China zou verwachten, inclusief bedelaars en verkopers die het begrip van ‘persoonlijke ruimte’ niet kennen. Of ‘opgeven’ for that matter. De Yuhung Garden was wel de moeite. Het is typisch Chinees, inplaats van onze grote Japanse Tuin met grote wandelpaden is hier alles in een binnenblok gebouwd. Maar wel enorm mooi, en heb zeer leuke beelden, met toch een paar wow-momenten.

Het leven op straat beleeft hier ‘s avonds zijn hoogtepunt, maar om 11u stipt valt alles stil. Roltrappen, lichtreclames, fonteinen. En ook de jacuzzi. Ondertussen begint

Terwijl ik dit schrijf heb ik 3 uurtjes slaap achter de rug, gecombineerd met de 3 van deze namiddag maakt dat ik om half 5 klaar wakker lig.

Bijgevoed trouwens nog paar sfeerfoto’s van vandaag. Snelle iPad bewerking.

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Shanghai Coming Up

So, in 33 hours I leave the ground and fly to London Heathrow, followed by a direct flight to Shanghai.

In all probability I will be posting to this blog, which shall be linked to FB later on.

To quote Joe McNally:

More TK …

So, Shanhai.

I’ve always loved traveling, having spent many summers, springs, autumns and winters outside of Belgium. Sometimes close, sometimes thousands of miles away. Mostly with family, but on my 18th I got the pleasure of flying to Star Wars Celebration III in Indianapolis, USA on my own. Or with friends to London, Scotland and Ireland.

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But the call I’ve got 2 weeks ago tops everything. A representative of Edelman called me. It’s a public relations firm representing Hewlett-Packard.

Their question was simple. Would I be interested in covering an HP press-event 9 and 10 May. In the Shanghai Expo Centre. Shanghai, China.

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Yes, I am interested.

So, if the journalist visa gets approved, I will join the 250 European journalists in the Shanghai for their big presentation. Items on the agenda: Showcase innovations, partnerships, customers. Launch new commercial and consumer products, services and solutions. And their angle on Windows 8.

So, with a bit of luck, in 2 weeks you’ll get a lot of pictures from the other other side of the world.

For more info, stay tuned on my Facebook page.