The Window in the Trees
Fuji x100s, 35mm
One of the things that amazes me in Shanghai is how such beautiful and lush trees and grow and thrive despite the city itself and the unbearable pollution. And yet they thrive. Of course, this was in the middle of a garden, but believe me when I say that just on the otherside of a wall not 10 meters away from there is a bustling city full of concrete, cars and street vendors.
The Lion and the Round Door
Fuji x100s, 35mm
A scene typical of what you will find in Yu Garden, walking around a corner into a little square. The labyrinth like gardens hide many surprises.
White Toothed Dragon
Fuji x100s, 35mm
Yu Garden (aka Yuyuan Garden) is a fantastic place in Shanghai, one of those places that feels completely disconnected from the city, at least when you visit it early in the morning as I did, before the hordes of tourists invade it. One of its amazing features is that it has a series of dragons adorning the top of the walls with the snake-like body and scales running all the way through the whole complex. This is one of the heads of the dragon. This one has recently been to the dentist.
Boxer Short Sunday
Fuji x100s, 35mm, f/5.6, 1/220s, ISO 200
Gongqi road is a fantastic place for street shots, and on a sunday morning, in addition to the food stalls and street artisans (cobblers, fixers…) there’s a bonus attendance of old men in boxer shorts. If you’re ever in Shanghai, you’re likely to visit Yu Garden, don’t miss Gongqi road, it’s just a few minutes away.
Fuji x100s, 35mm, f/5, 1/160s, ISO 200
One of my favorite things to do in Shanghai is walk the old streets. Not old in an architectural sense, but old in the sense that people still live there like they did 20 years ago. With your camera in hand it’s a shot a minute. Here the contrast between the decidedly vintage way of selling meat (though very common here) and the smartphone in the seller’s hand attracted me to it. I couldn’t quite figure out what the turned umbrellas were for, but fending off sunlight is the likeliest explanation, I guess.
When I’m an Old Man
Fuji x100s, 35mm, f/5.6, 1/60s, ISO 2500
My friend Steve recently introduced me to a wonderful poem by Jenny Joseph entitled Warning. It’s about a woman describing all the wild things she will do when she is old. I thought about that when I saw this man in his boxer shorts in the middle of Danshui road with a fire in front of him when it was 32°C outside. Oh, and in case you wonder why this was shot at 2500 ISO it’s because I’m stupid: three weeks ago I shot portraits of my daughter in blinding sunlight and I had to switch the in-built ND filter on to cut some of the light out. I forgot to switch it off, and only realised after that whole set of photos on Danshui Lu. You can see the full set here, if you’re interested.
Fuji x100s, 35mm, f/2.8, 1/50s, ISO 6400
Once more the x100s pulls through in really tough conditions. Another ISO 6400 shot that isn’t eaten by noise. I love these moments of worship, and unlike in Europe, worship here isn’t private. This was shot in the magnificent Lingyin Temple in Hangzhou.
Dusk on Gotham City
Fuji x100s, 35mm, f/8, 1/50s, ISO 6400
Singapore under heavy clouds can look surprisingly like Nolan’s Gotham City at dusk. I shot this from one of the boat buses that cross the city on my way to a work dinner. I am once again stunned at the low-light performance of the Fuji x100s. Can you believe this is 6400 ISO ?
Fuji x100s, 35mm, f/8, 1/60s, ISO 250
Reykjavik’s Hallgrímskirkja is a truly impressive modern building overlooking the city. You can’t help feeling dwarfed by the sheer size and greyness of it. I shot this at dawn when there was no one around (unsurprisingly considering how cold and wet it was) and I felt the grimness of it all matched the weather perfectly.
Fuji x100s, 35mm, f/8, 1/60s, ISO 400
Over the years I have repeatedly tried to do panned shots, with a relative lack of success. But sometimes, just sometimes, it works as intended. This was shot by a big artery in Bangkok one early evening, simply as an expertiment.