Shanghai Street Scenes

I was impressed by the magnificent old buildings of the Bund and the sleek towers of the new architecture; however, my heart was drawn to the other side of Shanghai. While I felt I was intruding on their lives, I was blessed with the opportunity to share a small morsel of ordinary life.

 

Shanghai Buildings

My friends had to drag me away from the Bund area of Shanghai. I wanted to photograph every single building from every possible angle. Most of my shots were snap and run and because I’m still a fledgling photographer, most of them are pretty awful.

Shanghai Confluence

I like this shot, taken from the large river walk (promenade) along the Huangpu River facing the Bund. It shows the confluence of the old architecture (1920s) with the modern. The new building doesn’t compete with the old; I believe that it accentuates the beauty and character.

Shanghai

I struggled with this image, trying to clean it up, make the buildings sharper, get rid of the mist, make the river look better…… and I finally realized that NO! this is what I saw and felt. I took this during my first day in China after a walk along Nanjing Lu. This is Shanghai in misty rain. I am looking at the Pudong Skyline located on the east side of the Huangpu River. Behind me are the beautiful old buildings of the Bund.

I was in China for 5 1/2 weeks and never saw the sun; occasionally I saw a hint of blue sky. Not every day was overcast like this, however; many days the skies were simply flat gray. I wonder if I stayed there for a year, would see the sun and blue skies? It must happen because I’ve seen spectacular images of blue, sunny, panoramic views. This image, though, is my experience. It casts a bit of mystical mood for me…a softness which I like.

Shanghai in mist

Garden Peace

The Yuyuan Garden in Old Shanghai

I like this image, but the original just didn’t do anything. The colors are washed out — the garden is old and the colors actually are faded and worn. The images was just too “OK.” I think it makes a stronger statement in black & white.

Old Shanghai Garden

A toddler and 50 mm

Elle is frequently my model, whether she wants the job or not. In this shot, I used her to practice with a new fixed lens.

10 months old

It was quite a challenge to get a good focus on a toddler who had just learned to crawl. This image is one of my all time favorites of her. (Oh alright, I have a lot of favorites of her.)

My First

For those of you who are young, this may not interest you. Somewhere around 22 months ago, my world was turned upside down. I’d been warned. I said, OK sure, it will be wonderful. Believe me, there was nothing in my prior experience that could have prepared me… not even birthing and raising my two very active sons (whom I adore by the way). But there’s a special kind of love that happens when one holds her first grandchild. I don’t know if it continues with the 2nd or 3rd or 15th; I just know the incredible, indescribable joy this little human being has brought into my life.

My first look at her perfect little toes, March 14, 2010

Ordinary day with Elle

My granddaughter delights me. She warms my souls and tickles my spirits. She squeals “Mama” (accent on the second syllable) and my heart sings.

Doorways

I snapped these doorways in the Yuyuan Garden in Old Shanghai. Each one beckons the visitor into the peace of the gardens, which were established in 1559 as a private garden created by Pan Yunduan, to please his father, Pan En, a high-ranking official in the Ming Dynasty. The gardens had fallen into disrepair and were almost completely destroyed by the British during the Opium Wars.

Doorway into ordinary lives

Hutong Door

This is a typical entrance into a courtyard in the Hutong Area of Beijing, with the symbolic red door and frame and the worn threshold. Red, the emperor’s color, is used for good luck. The ancient threshold, now worn to almost ground level, was believed to keep out evil spirits. Look inside. Can you imagine the people who make this small courtyard their home? Can you see the bicycles, the mop, the stool? Deep inside, there’s another door, leading to yet another living space.