I love Shanghai. I love the craziness of the city, which somehow always keeps moving and never lapses into chaos. I love the mix of old and new, the Bund and the futuristic skyline, but most of all I love the people. They are warm, friendly and rarely hostile even when confronted with a middle aged white man pointing a camera at them. There is nothing I like more than getting up at the crack of dawn and wandering the city streets. I have been there many times now and there is always something new to see – especially new buildings which have appeared almost overnight. Here are a few examples of photos taken from various trips to Shanghai. All of these have been taken with either a Leica Monochrom (version 1) or with an M7.
There’s something rather magical about steam, something other worldly which creates mystery. I’m not sure about other places, but New York is the only place where I’ve seen steam regularly pouring from the streets. Apparently this is a result of the heating system which runs under the streets. The result above ground is to create foggy intersections and mystical commuters emerging from clouds of white steam. For a photographer, this is always a delight. On my last trip to Manhattan I stood on a busy downtown street and set myself up to take shots of commuters walking through this. Below are a few examples of the results – click on the images to see larger files. All images were taken with a Leica TL2, with a Summicron 50mm lens attached, making for a focal length of 75mm. This is a great set up for observing people, as the camera and lens are very small and discreet.
I currently provide photography tours in several cities around the world, namely London, New York, Paris and Shanghai. Typically I take small groups of around 6 people on street photography walkabouts. These workshops last either 1, 2 or 3 days, depending on the requirements of the group and the level of the participants. Whether the workshop is a 1 or 2 or 3 day event, time will be given over to discussing existing portfolios of participants, together with a run through of expectations and what each member wants to achieve on the workshop. We then head out into the streets and later discuss our favourite pictures from the day’s shoot. The benefit of a 2 or 3 day course is that I have time to really get to understand each user’s style of shooting and I am able to offer tips and suggestions of how to achieve the best results. In any event, by only having no more than 6 people at any time, I ensure that all users feel that they have enough coaching and feedback to improve their photo skills.