NZPhotographer Issue 27, January 2020

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SHAMIAN

F4, 1/500s, ISO100

I was taken to visit a very western looking quarter of

the city - Shamian Island. Previously it was the home

of many foreign consulates and banks. Streets are full

of churches and buildings of western architectural

design, and the largely pedestrian streets are lined

with huge, leafy trees. Scattered throughout the area

are several bronze statues, depicting life in the area,

past and present. We visited on a Sunday, a time

to see people engaged in a wide range of social

activities - tai chi, singing, practicing dances - at the

water’s edge. Shamian presents a broad view of

Guangzhou across the water but unfortunately, I only

took a 360 degree photo on my phone of this.

I then flew to Zhangjiajie to join Susan Blick on her 12

day Real China photo tour. As a woman in her 50s

who would otherwise travel alone, being part of a

specifically organized photography tour is my travel

nirvana. I’ve previously travelled to India with Susan

so I knew the absolute focus (excuse the pun) of the

China trip would be on photography and that with

Susan’s research and experience, every place we

visited would be guaranteed photography gold.

China itself is so vast that I would not have known

where to start if planning a trip there on my own.

I certainly accomplished things and ventured to

places my solo photographer self would not have

thought to do, or pushed myself to do. What I loved

about China was that every experience was one I

would not get at home. The lack of familiarity meant

every day presented you with something new to see,

photograph, and learn. Since being home I am backmapping

my experiences through my photos, and

researching places we visited in more detail.

18

NZPhotographer

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