Right, before we do anything else, we need to address the elephant in this room. You know what I’m talking about.
Shitang. A town sitting on a peninsula south-east of the city of Wenling in China’s Zhejiang province.
Shitang. It’s not pronounced how you might be thinking. It’s more like shir-tang. Incidentally, Xitang, a water town I went to a few years ago, is pronounced like she-tang.
Now that’s out of the way, we can get on with the serious business of presenting some film photography I did in Shitang, shot on my first roll of JCH Street Pan 400.
It’s from two spots in particular: an old stone village still under its morning mist and a fishing port under the afternoon sun.
Come take a look. And actually, feel free to pronounce Shitang however you like. Get puerile. Nobody will know.
A misty village morning
I’d been looking forward to the day trip to Shitang, which we took from nearby Yuhuan during Chinese New Year, chiefly because the weather was forecast to be good after a few days of rain.
By good I mean bright, sunny, blue skies and plenty of light for shooting in.
The misty conditions I woke up to that morning were not what I’d been expecting and didn’t seem ideal for a day by the sea. That said, there’s nothing you can do to change it, so you’re left with the same question you would have had anyway.
That question is are we going to make the best of what we’ve been given and do some photography? The answer, of course, was yes. Yes we are.
First stop was this old stone village. I’m not sure its name but it was near Leigong mountain, south of Wenling. Just for if you’re ever in the area and need to know.
In truth, I think the morning mist worked out well for the photographs there. It certainly added an atmosphere to them that they wouldn’t have had otherwise.
A sunny seaside afternoon
After leaving the stone village, we headed over to Shitang’s colourful fishing port – which I helpfully shot in monochrome.
If you’ve ever seen the coloured buildings on the waterfront at Bergen or watched an episode of Balamory, you have an idea of how it looks here. Certainly a better idea than you’ll get from my photographs.
Still, the morning mist had by now gone and that earlier-promised good weather had finally shown its face, with the afternoon sun giving some good light and contrast for these shots.
The pastel coloured buildings are on a tiny islet joined to the mainland by a couple of causeways.
It’s good for an hour or so of exploring the narrow streets, checking out the view from the top, and practising your cutting-through-the-crowd skills if you go during a national holiday like we did.
A lesson learnt from shooting in Shitang
This wasn’t a bad day trip and it was good to shoot some JCH Street Pan while I was on it.
I also like how the weather changed from morning to afternoon to give two very separate parts to the photographs I got there.
Maybe I worry too much about how ideal the light is before I go out with my camera. Obviously brighter days make for more contrast in your work than dull ones, but I shouldn’t put mist in the same bucket as that.
The nondescript kind of dull days where everything looks flat are still not very good because I feel they don’t bring anything to my work. Mist can though. It’s like the opposite side of the same coin as bright sun. It brings something.
In future, maybe I’ll look forward to these days rather than hoping for the sun every time.
More mist shots, less missed shots.
… p.s. if you’ve enjoyed this post on these lesser-known Chinese fishing villages and think others will too, why not share or pin it?