What I am reading this week

The sun’s finally graced Shanghai in all its glory after weeks, weeks of depressing grey skies and irritating drizzle. I hope you’re out and about basking in nature’s warmth, taking in a little al fresco coffee or a nice, long stroll. I did a bit of both yesterday and it was glorious. Enjoy the links for the week, preferably outdoors.

– First, I’d like to plug my recent contribution to the growing number of books on Shanghai. French website URBAIN trop URBAIN has assembled a a fantastic collection of photography, art and writing which touches on all aspects of the city – architecture, history, society and style. My essay (translated in French) and photos are featured, along with Alain Delorme  (you’d want to look at his colorful and playful take on Shanghai’s delivery men) and Thierry Girard, whose work “Shanghai: The Last Station” I have discussed before.

– The recent weather has reminded me of how light and shadow are such key elements in street photography. It’s not always easy to manipulate and tame them into submission and London’s Ian Brumpton is by far one of my favorite photographers who is a master at that.

– If you’ve seen the ubiquitous yet quintessentially British “Keep Calm And Carry On” poster, here is the history explained.

– This made me smile. So much of art and journalism in China is focused on the darker side of China’s society. But Fan Shunzan, who graduated from Department of Photography at Chinese Academy of Fine Arts and France’s National School of Photography in Arles, has chosen instead to capture the dreams of ordinary Chinese folk.  Check out her “How much time does the reality leave to a dream?

– Finally, this message from Jim Mortram struck a chord in me.

Everyone has a story. You spend 10 minutes, ask the right questions and listen more than you talk. Everyone’s had an amazing life. Do not underestimate anyone. Ever. You can be in a room of strangers and in an hour have the making of a community. This may sound idealistic but ask questions, listen, listen harder and through the exchange trust flourishes, bonds knit and fuse together, common ground is discovered. These are the very building blocks of a community. At least, that’s the community I want to be a part of!.

Make your interest in the person you are photographing more visible than your camera, this will render your camera invisible. If you render your camera invisible, you can take all the images, in any circumstance you require to best communicate them and their story. 

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