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The Bund

Shanghai at night is something I have wanted to photograph for a while, but every trip I make to the city seems to have me staying so far away from the Bund that I just have never summoned  the energy to go an spend a couple of hours there.

This time it was minus 2 degrees Celsius and a perfectly clear night. I had a tripod with me for the 10 second plus exposures on TriX 400 using the Nikon F2A with a 50/1.2 and the Voigtlander Bessa L and the 15/4.5.

As you can see, the whole area is cleaner and so much more set up for tourists and people just wanting to see the view than the Harbour in HK. Unfortunately HK is falling behind the standards of Singapore and now main land China for Urban development and making use of the statement buildings it already has.

These last couple are on the road behind the Bund where the scenery becomes more what you would expect of China almost immediately.

On all of the photos I metered off a separate light meter (Sekonic L-380S) for the shadows density and then instead of changing from standard processing times for the film I used Photoshop Elements to change the highlight density – as they were obviously blown out from long exposures. In areas where there are such extremes of light and dark and no real middle ground; it is more or less impossible to meter for both as they are at opposite ends of the zone system grading.

If there is any advice for extreme conditions like this then please leave me a note in the comments below.

Posted by simon on February 26, 2011
1 Comment Post a comment
  1. 02/26/2011
    Darko Bojanic

    Beautifull pictures!! I really don’t know any other way then to overexpose a little to accomplish that results. I also try to find a way but being in a city where there is a lot of lights and nothing in between it is hard to find something in the middle. Working with film is hard but fun though.

    Keep up the good work!


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