The Way I See It

Posts Tagged ‘lifestyle

Chengdu Rising

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Beijing and Shanghai are often seen as the symbols of modern China. But Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province, impresses me mightily. It is a city on the rise. A metropolis in a hurry to become world class. There is an electric ambition in the air that far outpaces any of the bustle and development that I’ve seen in those other places. If I had to pick a place to live in, I’d be hard-pressed not to pick Chengdu. And the 24 x 7 availability of Sichuanese cuisine doesn’t hurt either  😉

Chengdu Rising

Chengdu Rising

Photog Notes
I made this on the way to lunch in the Chunxi Lu retail district. To me, this image embodies the rise of the new China. Modern, sophisticated, affluent, with a uniquely contemporary Chinese flair that is rooted in traditionalism. Surrounding the couple are symbols of the growing economy, intermingled with vestiges of the old…just like the nation itself.

I shot this with a mid-range focal length of 65 mm to compress things front-to-rear, while using a relatively large aperture (f/8) to isolate the couple. I liked the resulting points of attention, but the harsh midday sun played quite a bit of havoc with the lighting. The shade from the umbrella made things worse, of course. To restore the scene to the way that the human eye sees, I created two subtly different images with respect to exposure, then manually blended the two. I also applied a teeny bit of dodging and burning to further highlight the differences. As always, I welcome your comments!

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Written by xinapray

August 21, 2011 at 3:04 pm

Tianzifang

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Happy Feet

Happy Feet

One my favorite things to do in Shanghai is to sip coffee and browse curiosities and snap photos at Tianzifang, a preserved part of town where modern retail comingles with French Concession-era shikumen housing. Traditionally known as the creative and bohemian center of Shanghai, today’s Tianzifang caters a great deal to the tourist and expat populations. Nonetheless – thanks to conscientious preservation – much of the charm remains, especially when one goes off season and wanders off the beaten path. Here are some images that I made on the last trip. These are dedicated to all of you who help feed my Tianzifang fascination. I hope to see you (there) again soon!

Shanghai Story

Shanghai Story

Night Out

Night Out

 

Photog Notes

Apart from the signage and storefronts, Tianzifang isn’t really all that bright at night. I made these images with the D300 set to 1600 ISO and the Tokina 11-16 wide open at f/2.8.

Happy Feet – The Chinese characters say “Tianzifang 43”. The advertising was “painted” onto the ground by a projector fitted with a mask over the lens. It moved about the courtyard in an elliptical pattern. The EV range in this scene was thus rather large. The camera did a great in capturing the darker detail – something not so apparent until I processed the raw file in Capture NX.

Shanghai Story – This was the image that I had to process the most. The strong directional lighting created highlights in a lot of places that I didn’t like. I ended up doing a lot of burning to minimize them. The mixed incandescent and fluorescent lighting sources also played havoc with the tones on the subject. Her face came out dark, with a fluorescent blue-green tone. I ended up taking care of this by creating a new layer, correcting for her face, and blending that into the rest of the image.

Night Out – Pretty much straight out of camera. To punch things up a teeny bit, added a small amount of contrast.

Written by xinapray

August 2, 2011 at 2:40 pm

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