When my time living in Shanghai was coming to an end, I thought it would be a good idea to get a couple of city-wide photography projects done while I still had the chance.
One of these ended up being called the Double Shanghai Film Photography Project, due to it being shot on the Shanghai GP3 35mm film that had recently been released. The other was made using an Instax Mini 9 that I’d bought for my better half one Christmas, and found itself named Shanghai in an Instant.
Because I wanted to include a few of the same locations in each project, I went around with both of those cameras and shot them at the same time. And then because I wanted to have something to shoot between locations to further maximise my time, I loaded a roll of Kodak Pro Image 100 into the Canon Sure Shot AF-7 and took that with me too.
A lot of those in-between shots have already been published in this post here. What follows as you read on now is the ones that feature the same locations as the other two projects.
Three cameras at the China Art Museum
Before I got into film photography, I shot a lot of Shanghai with vintage lenses on a Sony NEX. This kind of climaxed with the #leesixtyfive project, as the end of that was really when I went to 99% analogue.
When I was shooting digital, I’d never carry a second lens with me. I much preferred to choose one before I went out, attach it, and concentrate only on what I could shoot with that instead of wondering if each scene would be better if shot with a different focal length.
This meant there was often a shot or three that I couldn’t get – especially if I had the 55mm Super-Takumar on and needed something just a little bit wider. At the same time though, I enjoyed not having that to worry about.
I also believe having just one focal length to work with led to more good shots than if I’d been trying to swap for the more optimal lens every five minutes, as it just led to more shots being taken and with all my attention on them.
That thinking carried over and meant I never carried more than one film camera with me either, until I had a genuine reason to while shooting the Double Shanghai and the Shanghai in an Instant projects.
It was just too efficient not to shoot more than one at a time then, and adding this lesser-known Kodak film to shoot as I walked between their pre-determined spots boosted that productivity even further.
So here we are, with some shots taken on Pro Image 100 at one of those projects’ locations. The big red China Art Museum. They feature some children in uniforms that match the building well and one shot that shows three cameras of its own – security cameras, of course.
Some repeats from People’s Square and Yuyuan Garden
Another few spots I included in those other two main projects were ones that I went to and shot both film and digital at quite a few times during my time in Shanghai.
All high on the tourist sightseeing route, People’s Square, the adjoining People’s Park, and the area around Yuyuan Garden and the Old Street aren’t places many long-term Shanghai dwellers visit very often, but I always found them good for shooting when I had no other ideas.
In all honesty, when I was out of ideas, I should have just taken more punts on random subway stops on the map and gone to see what was there. It’s likely I’d have been met with something worth shooting, and I would have covered and discovered a lot more of the city if I’d done that too.
That’s not something I could have done in this case though. In fact, this went further in the other direction with some almost identical shots taken on the three cameras in quick succession. Let me show you what I mean.
Below is a monochrome group shot from the Double Shanghai project. You might recognise it as very similar to the image at the top of this piece.
Next to it is another photograph that features a monochrome photograph of the scene in the photograph – if that makes sense. I repeated that on this Kodak Pro Image also. The light was too good not to give it a go.
A few more from Longhua Temple and Martyrs’ Memorial Park
The twin attractions at Longhua, those being the temple and the Martyrs’ Memorial Park, are two places I’ve been to many a time before too. But that didn’t stop me going again with the three cameras in my bag.
To be frank, Longhua Temple is somewhere I would always like to go back to if I’m ever in Shanghai again. Ever since I learned about the connection its pagoda has with the Empire of the Sun film, which I remember watching as a child, I’ve felt something when I went there.
The Martyrs’ Memorial Park holds some fond memories too, especially from the first time my better half and I took a picnic there not long after first moving to the city.
Rather that than taking a Communist Party flag like the people in the final shot below did, but each to their own I suppose. They probably wouldn’t have wanted to get through all the unhealthy food and weak beer we did on our first time there either.
Wrapping up the shots from this lesser-known Kodak film
And that’s all the photographs I have from my time shooting this lesser-known Kodak film in the Canon Sure Shot AF-7 as I wandered around doing those other, more important – to me at least – projects. So I guess I’ll wrap this up with a couple of different points.
First is that, despite still believing it’s generally best for me to carry as little camera gear as I need at any given moment, it does sometimes pay to bring more. But still only when that’s for a specific purpose.
Walking around with three different film cameras was good on this occasion because I had three things going on at the same time, but I don’t think I’m going to start carrying extra cameras or lenses with me just in case at any point soon.
The final thing to mention here is something that I’ve skipped over a little too much so far – the pretty good Pro Image 100 that I shot the images on this post on.
Briefly, this lesser-known Kodak film is an inexpensive yet well worth shooting stock that wasn’t officially available in North America or Europe for a long time but now is. It’s sold in boxes of five but most shops will let you buy single rolls too.
I’ve written a full review of it that you can read here to learn far more.
Put some in your camera, head out, and make some photographs that you’ll love too. And whether that’s the only camera you have on you at the time or one of a multitude is completely up to you. I just do me. 🙂
- Outstanding flesh-tone reproduction, color accuracy, and saturation.
- Intended for room temperature storage.
- Excellent latent-image keeping characteristics.
- Printing characteristics similar to those of Kodak gold films.
If you found that post useful, why not take a look at these others to stay inspired or learn more about some other films I’ve shot and reviewed:
- My comprehensive review of this Kodak Pro Image film
- Shooting another cheap Kodak film in the streets
- Some colour street shots on Kodak Portra 400
And if you think others will enjoy this post on shooting multiple projects at the same time too, help them find it by sharing or pinning. 😀