In late January I was back in China. It was a short trip. It was for a workshop on ivory demand in Hangzhou. On the plus side, the workshop was in Hangzhou, based in a hotel close to the West Lake. On the minus, well, it was winter. There was rain. And I was only there for three days. Most of that time was consumed with meetings. Photography options would be very limited.
I did venture out early in the morning a couple of times. By early I mean before breakfast time. Which also meant that most of the local Chinese were staying indoors where it was warm and dry. Fortunately I’d the right outdoor gear packed with me. So I got to play the role of crazy NZ tourist and get photos at a time when few others were about. In short, I was able to get photos of landscapes in a major China city and not have people in the shot. Avoiding people in the scene is not easy to achieve there.
The other advantage to China is its relatively safe to carry camera gear openly. This trip was short so I travelled light. I packed my old a700, the ever reliable Carl-Zeiss 16-80mm f3.5-4.5 and a 50mm f/1.4. I also grabbed some Lee Filters (the 6-stop Little Stopper) and a small Manfrotto travel tripod. The scene was the West Lake in Hangzhou and this had smaller lakes and canals connecting to it. With it being winter and near freezing, I had the chance to use the early morning mist in the shots too.
The other surprising feature were local cats. These looked plump enough to be foraging food off the local visitors. But were deeply unhappy at near zero temperatures and light rain. I know this, because they were very keen to tell me about their unhappiness when I got close.
I’m including three photos. I really couldn’t get a lot taken with the very short time frame. Hope you like them. All were taken with the Lee Little Stopper to take the shutter speed down to 20-30 seconds. Photos can be clicked to visit larger originals.
A Misty Morning
One the Lake
A Frozen Moment
** This post originally appeared on my Zenfolio website on 3 February **