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Yuhuan – a Film Photography Essay

Yuhuan is a small, industrial city on China's east coast. I don't think many people go there for the sightseeing.

I went there for a Chinese New Year and took my charity shop film camera and two rolls of Ilford Pan 400. I wanted to tell a story. I wanted to present Yuhuan as I saw it.

This film photography essay is the result of that. Come take a look.

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Shooting Ciqikou with the F.Zuiko 38mm f1.8

I'll always say the F.Zuiko 38mm f1.8 is a great vintage lens for your street photography.

It's small, which keeps it discreet. It's inexpensive, which means you can pick one up without feeling guilty. And the image quality is really good, which is really the most important thing.

I shot with mine in Ciqikou, in Chongqing, China. Come see how it went here.

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Shanghai Disneyland Street Photography

A day out at Shanghai Disneyland, with all the expected crowds and activity, seemed like a good opportunity to shoot some street photography. So I packed my camera and went to my first, and at the time of writing only, Disney park.

Having read some negative press about the whole park experience beforehand, I was unsure how exactly the day would go. What I felt more sure about was my chances of coming back with some images worth sharing here.

As you're reading this, that's what happened. So come on in. Check them out. And let me know what you think of them, and how your own theme park street photography went if you've ever tried any yourself!

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Nanchan Temple, Wuxi, China

Visiting a temple is always high on my list when I go to a new town or city. Not to pray, but to just go take a look. Just to see if it's a nice temple or not, really.

One bonus of doing this is I always feel better when I leave than I did before I went. Something about the buildings, statues, and iconography I suppose.

Nanchan temple in Wuxi was pretty nice, and climbing the pagoda meant I could get some urban landscape shots of the surrounding city. So that's another bonus of visiting temples. Being able to share the photography with you. Don't leave me hanging. Come take a look.

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Three Hong Kong Street Shots

A small set of images left over from the previous two posts. I didn't have any reason to publish them before, apart from 'to just get them off my hard drive and onto my blog'.

However, I got some words of wisdom that made me realise that's actually a great reason to publish them. Come take a look. Especially if you're struggling to get your own work out there for whatever reason.

I can't promise words of wisdom of my own, but I will point you in the direction of the ones that helped me out.

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Costumes and Countryside in Xijiang, China | a photoblog by My Favourite Lens

Costumes and Countryside in Xijiang, China

Sitting in China's southern Guizhou province, Xijiang minority village is a popular spot to take in some local Miao culture, and to enjoy the relative peace and fresh air.

With traditional wooden homes built on the hillsides, picture postcard bridges, a river flowing gently through the valley, and plenty of residents and tourists happy to pose, it makes for a highly photogenic trip.

Want to see exactly how this looks when shot with a vintage camera lens? Well then come on in and take a look.

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Behind Bars in Shanghai | a photoblog from My Favourite Lens

Behind Bars in Shanghai

Another article with photographs shot around a single theme. Despite the title, none are taken in prison. Although wiseacre metaphors with modern life can be drawn if you wish.

Walk around any city with a photographic theme in mind and you'll always find things to shoot. This is what I came up with after walking around Shanghai with the idea of Behind Bars in my head.

Come take a look. Digest it. And get inspired for your next photography set centred around a single theme.

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Hong Kong Taxi | a blog post from My Favourite Lens

Hong Kong Taxi

Toyota Crown Comfort.

In red.

Thousands of them in Hong Kong.

I didn't take one.

I just took a photo of one.

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Visiting Chongqing's Luohan Temple | a blog post from My Favourite Lens

Visiting Chongqing’s Luohan Temple

Chongqing's Luohan Temple is probably best known for the 500 clay arhat figurines from which the complex takes its name. It's also a calm oasis in the middle of one of China's most populous cities.

While not the most photogenic temple I've ever been to, it's certainly worth a visit, should you ever find yourself in the neighbourhood. Which I would recommend you try to make happen, as Chongqing was a pretty cool place to visit in its own right.

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Chongqing's Bang Bang Men | a street photography article from My Favourite Lens

Chongqing’s Bang Bang Men

Much like travel itself, travel photography becomes more interesting when you consider the people as much as, if indeed not more than, the scenery. The huge Chinese city of Chongqing certainly has some great vistas, should you be lucky enough to get a day clear from the smog. However, what of the local people?

A unique employment opportunity exists in Chongqing. Due to the steep hills upon which it is built, the city is home to thousands and thousands of street porters known as bang bang men and women. Armed with a bamboo pole and some rope, they will for a fee carry anything that needs carrying.

As iconic as the city's signature spicy food, this is my photoblog of Chongqing's bang bang men.

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Checking out Chongqing's Cable Car | a travel photography post from My Favourite Lens

Checking out Chongqing’s Cable Car

Although Chongqing is technically China's biggest city by area, it's often not on the tourist map for those visiting from outside the country. It was never on my list either until circumstances made it the best option for a short trip. For those tourists who do make it to Chongqing though, its cable car is one of the more famous things to see and do.

But is it worth it? Both the city and the cable car? Should they go onto your own list? I went to Chongqing expecting to enjoy it, but not knowing why. I came away having enjoyed it and for a reason I could never have anticipated.

With a few lovely pictures to look at too, this is me checking out Chongqing and its cable car.

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A Lap of Ko Samui

Despite having been to Ko Samui numerous times, and spending longer there than I have on any other Thai island, I'd never really been and explored away from the tourist centres in the north and east before. I'm not sure many visitors do. During my most recent trip there, I decided to remedy this by renting a scooter and doing a lap of Ko Samui.

Although the island is very well developed, I'd heard its southwest area was quieter. Keen to see it for myself, and looking forward to documenting some of the tourist activity in the towns of Chaweng and Lamai too, I devised a rudimentary plan and set off on a day of riding and shooting.

With plenty of sights, beaches and people to photograph with the Super-Takumar 55mm f1.8, this is what I came back with.

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Lopburi, Thailand – a Day in Monkey Town

Sitting around three hours north of Bangkok and easily reachable by local bus or a cheap train, Lopburi is unlike any other place in Thailand. While having a whole area of a town overrun by hundreds of small monkeys may seem like the stuff of nightmares for some, it makes Lopburi a dream stop-off for travel photographers.

It's also small enough to do in a day if you don't want to stay the night. I arrived on an overnight train from Chiang Mai just before 4am and left for Bangkok around 3pm. In between, I went shooting monkeys. With my camera. In monochrome.

From a pre-sunrise market to an afternoon festival, and with enough shots of the local primates to make the title work, this is Lopburi, Thailand - a Day in Monkey Town.

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road sign between chiang mai and pai

On the Road to Pai

Chiang Mai to Pai on a scooter. I'd done it before, but I wanted to do it again, and I wanted to do it differently. Photographically differently. The previous times I'd been to Pai I'd shot in colour, because that's what people do when shooting travel photography, isn't it?

To make this trip different, I decided to go less 'travel' and more 'road trip'. A classic, monochrome, echoes-of-the-50s road trip. That didn't mean merely shooting the same pictures but in black and white. It meant a whole different feel to both the individual images and the set as a whole.

A classic monochrome road trip then, in Northern Thailand. Come and see how it turned out.

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Shooting the Chiang Mai Nomad Summit | a blog post from My Favourite Lens

Shooting the Chiang Mai Nomad Summit

Volunteering to shoot the Chiang Mai Nomad Summit was one of the most rewarding photographic projects I have ever undertaken, and photographs weren't the only thing I took from the day.

Just attending the event and listening to the speakers would have been enough to make it a fantastic day, but trying my hand at a different kind of photography than I usually do made it doubly worthwhile.

If you're curious about what went down on the day, what I learnt about photography, what I was able to take from the speakers, or what a digital nomad even is, come take a look.

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