With so many gigantic cities, most of them looking and feeling like permanent construction sites, China may leave your photographic eye a little frustrated. You do have to go a long way to find those amazing and picturesque landscapes the brochure guides made you dream about. If you are traveling, you will find your way to picturesque Guilin or Sanya. But if you are an expat, your daily life is likely to be in one of the major cities, mostly an industrial one.
China has a lot to offer to the explorer and the photographer, especially on the street side. A few minutes of walking along the streets of any Chinese city will make you feel very overwhelmed: crowd, movement, speed, smells, and a myriad of visual contrasts. Street photography is not an easy exercise, especially if, like me, and unlike the Chinese, you feel self conscious at the idea of pointing your phone or camera to people’s faces and on-going activities.
So here is a quick thought for you if you come to visit the Middle Kingdom. Step out in the city at night. I do it regularly with my favourite Hipstamatic Lenses, because the filters add to the magic of the street lights.
The bright Chinese LED lights will bring you all sorts of sights. You can follow a gritty trail, or step into scenes that will, no doubt, remind you of Blade Runner.