So today (Tuesday), we spent a good portion of the day traveling – by foot, by bus, by train, by plane, and by maglev. All of this with many escalators in between (I’m pretty sure I have been on more escalators on this trip than my entire life up to this point).
Actually, just by all of the travelling we did, I’m starting to piece together some of the differences between the Hong Kong and China. Particularly noticeable was how each place balanced safety and efficiency. For example, so many aspects in Hong Kong were about timeliness and efficiency while in China, more weight seemed to be put on safety and prevention of accidents. I appreciate both, but I already miss the speed and quickness of the metro system in Hong Kong, but we’ll be back there soon, so it’s only a little wait.
As far as the photography portion for Tuesday, we didn’t really get much of a chance to take worthwhile photographs because of the constant travelling and also that it was rainy in both Hong Kong and Shanghai – which made me a little reserved with my camera. Along with that, it can be tiresome to jump right into photographing all the time and every day. Because of these, the pictures that I’m using for this blog post are from previous day’s photographs.
We’re in Shanghai! As Riley said, we did a lot of traveling to get here, and so far it has been a little bit different than our YMCA in Hong Kong. We’re staying at the Jiao Tong University faculty hotel in Shanghai during our five days here, and then heading back to Hong Kong, with a small side trip to Macau. The biggest difference that I have experienced is the language barrier. Hong Kong used to be under British control, so there are a lot of British influences on the culture. Assimilating to Hong Kong was pretty easy because it felt so comfortable in Kowloon. But trying to communicate to someone that you’re cold because the heater in your room doesn’t work when you don’t speak the same language is difficult, and kind of looks like a silly game of charades! Good news though, body language for the most part is universal and we got the heater to work!
While we’re here we’re focusing on three different assignments; blurred and layers, shadows, and reflections. These next assignments are designed to get us thinking abstractly about street photography. To some of us these assignments are a welcome relief, because they allow us to think conceptually and aesthetically about our photos, whereas to others they present a new and interesting challenge. David Gibson, the author of "The Street Photographer’s Manual," sums it up nicely when he says, "Wandering around with nothing particularly in mind to photograph may seem strange, but when that bit of magic happens, it becomes the most natural and wonderful thing to do." So now we wander, and hopefully the magic will happen.
Just as a clarification... Connor, Riley, and I think we're pretty funny, because we are... But we figured we'd throw in a little YouTube video to help you catch all of our Mulan references.