Photo Essay

Walking in ShenZhen, China

Streets of ShenZhen

ShenZhen, China. My second trip to this city located in south of China. It's a big contrast to the north city of Dalian which is my current home. Difference in temperature, food, look and feel, and more importantly (to me)... the feel of comfort. Dalian with it's current state of 'crazy fast' development phase has transformed the nature focused atmosphere to a dusty filled growing city. In contrast to ShenZhen which is a developed city, and one that was developed with planning from the start. Being a paranoia of organizing things, ShenZhen fit quite well with my fascination of being organized.

This time around, being already familiar with the surrounding and feel of this city, the walks of exploration was mostly from home to restaurants and malls. Here i'll point out my proof why I say this city is organized. Everything is walking distance! No cars needed! If you have a bicycle, there's a specific lane for you. If you ever need to get on a taxi, it's because you're looking for something else other than your day to day needs, and one example of that was going to a specialist back bone massage treatment center.

With every walk that took place, my hand was equipped with my D5100 and my new 35mm lens (AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G). With this single focal length lens, I started to learn to use the Aperture Priority mode. Luckily I explored this option while in Dalian (which reminds me I need to post another writing on my Dalian street exploration), so I knew what to expect. Initially (while in Dalian) I was confused and trying to recall what Aperture and Shutter Priority modes were.

Having arrived in ShenZhen in the late afternoon, our first walk out was the following morning to have a typical south China breakfast. Dim Sum. And my very first capture was... blurred! Strangely this was a happy accident. Though blurred, I found it had it's own feel of creativity and somewhat 3D effect, and at the same time discovered that even at it's blurred state anyone in ShenZhen would know what it is. ShenZhen's manhole cover.

My next discovery was a fire hydrant.At first glance I thought when they put up the side tiles, someone got creative enough to paint over the common red color to match with the tiles color. Upon close inspection I realized it's the color of rust. Next was a very metallic phone booth. What's odd about it? The amount of soldering it had throughout the whole structure, questioning what has happened to it.

Now before I proceed further, thought I'd like to make a point. I'm not trying to make a complaint or say something bad about ShenZhen. I love this city and I am very comfortable. I'm just merely capturing things that fascinated me. Nothing more.

The next capture is my favorite and why it's chosen as the main photo of this story. This is a scene that is all too familiar to me. Trees in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, has the same use as advertising posts. I've not mentioned this earlier, but one of the reason why ShenZhen feels comfortable to me is that it gives the same vibes as being in Kuala Lumpur. When I saw these advertisements nailed to the tree, it was Déjà vu.

A bicycle! Sorry, a tricycle to be precise. I just love bicycles or tricycles. If there is any transportation that I want to own, it would be a bicycle. This would go into my bicycle collection without a doubt.

Hope the story so far didn't seem too long to read, because the journey to our breakfast place wasn't that far. I think I was the one who made the journey longer. Everyone had to kinda wait while I stopped to capture. Finally arriving at the Dim Sum place, I could not resist two more captures of the teapot on our table. With the 35mm lens, I can finally realize the capability of a stronger bokeh effect.

Ok, this was the last shot during meal time, as I didn't want to annoy the family with my constant fidgeting with gadgets during family time. While the adults were busy gulping down solid food, Leona was sucking away on her fluidy needs.

I managed to capture one last street shot at the end of the day, the manual two wheels of ShenZhen which is another common sight. The struggle to take that last picture is something I can't really capture here, because you have no idea how much we actually ate for breakfast. Christina's dad was not there, so it felt we all had eaten his share of food on top of the over order of dishes. Off we head back to home for nappy time.

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