Shanghai in Black & White

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This photograph of Shanghai is one of my favourites from a recent trip to China. Not because it stands out through sensational lighting, dramatic clouds or an immensely captivation scene.

No – it’s because I feel the image illustrates the progress I have a made as a photographer in 2016. Why? Well, first of all this was a day as dull as it gets. Imagine the most boring, grey & flat light ever!

In the past I would have been disheartened, losing any interest in photography encountering this type of conditions. However in 2016 I really learned to embrace – in fact love – those grey, dull days.

Why? They challenge me as a photographer!

Those days are not about being at the right time at the right place, i.e. at the top of the mountain half an hour before sunset. No, it’s so much more about creativity…. you know, I feel days like this lend themselves perfectly to try new things, to imagine, to think big…. or simply shoot something a bit more “arty”.

And that’s what I wanted to achieve on this particular morning when I went out in Shanghai. I dreamed big – literally! The idea in my had was a huge , atmospheric panorama in black and white – give some sense to the dramatic scale of this mega city.

Looking at the photograph – which is actually four images stitched together to one panorama (ISO 100, F11, 1/50s) – I feel like I fulfilled the vision. And that is another point: imagining, visualising & creating, not merely taking a photo. Something I’m still learning to get better at.

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