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Thread: Street Photography in China. Hostile?

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    Member iamryansaw's Avatar
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    Default Street Photography in China. Hostile?

    Hi. I'm heading to China in december for a holiday with my family. Chang Chun District in Jilin State.

    Besides the usual Landscape and city scape, i'm thinking of doing some street shots there.

    Would just like to find out from you guys whom had done street in China in general. How are the people there? I'm not gonna be like Bruce Gildan but i just wonder if the chinese like being photographed.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Street Photography in China. Hostile?

    Dont really think Chinese are different from say Italians, English or Spanish in terms of getting their faces snapped. of course, in some areas, some people are more courteous and friendly and it's less of an issue.

    Based on my knowledge, Changchun is considered Dongbei, thus they are generally more open and direct, which will probably means they may welcome you to shoot them and for those who don't like, they will probably tell you off straight in your face... good luck and keep shooting.

    P.s. i have so far no problem shooting in China. However, use some common sense and try and use a long zoom for candid instead of insisting of a 50mm if you know what i mean :P

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    Member iamryansaw's Avatar
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    Default Re: Street Photography in China. Hostile?

    wah. sounds.. Dangerous hahah. Currently i've got 50mm 1.8 , 55-200mm , 10-20mm .

    Shouldnt be a problem right..

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    Default Re: Street Photography in China. Hostile?

    I've been to Changchun and travelled 5h+ by car all the way to a town called Linjiang just at the N.Korean border. People are generally ok with photography but there may be sensitive situations, e.g. for those selling pelt (animal fur).

    Hunting endangered species in China will put one behind bars a good 2 years so I heard. Hence these peddlars are very aggressive when I asked to photograph his stall. So I backed off in that instance.

    By and large, my experience was ok.

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    Default Re: Street Photography in China. Hostile?

    So was mine Relatively fine same place i went to Chang Chun peeps are usually more friendly than that of the rural areas like in JiuZhaiGou or so been to quite a few places in China due to dad's and grandad's fascination about China and overall it's good just take, sometimes no one really bothers about you anyway :P

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    Member iamryansaw's Avatar
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    Default Re: Street Photography in China. Hostile?

    ok guess what. change of destination.

    dad wanna go south china. Guilin in Guangxi.

    Heard it's a "tourism" city. Saw some pictures on flickr. Like okay la..

    So well, i'm guessing the same feedback applies right, generally for china. Btw thank you ppl!

    kinda excited. Been to Shanghai and beijing. But was a kid back then, playing with pokemon instead of cameras. Wasted.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Street Photography in China. Hostile?

    friend of mine did some street photography in Beijing.
    Some were alright with it, most asked for money. Ah well, it's a materialistic world out there.
    China is going to be a capitalist society.
    Either get lots of small change or be prepared to move on, like my friend did. He didn't believe in paying money for street photography even though he's filthy rich. He says it cheapens the experience.

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    Member iamryansaw's Avatar
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    Default Re: Street Photography in China. Hostile?

    pay money?! wow. first time heard of it. So i will come back to s'pore broke?

    Do you remember the scenario well?

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    Default Re: Street Photography in China. Hostile?

    I think many of us know it already, but it's worth saying again at the risk of sounding paranoid - don't leave your camera alone on timer whilst trying to take a group photo. It will almost certainly be gone.

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    Moderator teerex's Avatar
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    Default Re: Street Photography in China. Hostile?

    Quote Originally Posted by iamryansaw View Post
    wah. sounds.. Dangerous hahah. Currently i've got 50mm 1.8 , 55-200mm , 10-20mm .

    Shouldnt be a problem right..
    You can always "steal" some shots.

    With your 10-20mm wide - know the estimate of your lens converage, shoot at waist level. Without looking through the view finder it will not be so obvious that you took a shot.

    With the 55-200mm - you can easily get some shots from a distance.

    Here're are some "blind" shots done at waist level. I just stood in front of the subjects pretend to see what they're doing or selling, then shoot.






    Here're a couple done from a distance, 200mm lens


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    Member iamryansaw's Avatar
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    Default Re: Street Photography in China. Hostile?

    thanks!

    Looks promising.

    Still thinking if i should bring my tripod. I'm going with a tour group. guess no time for tripod and all that stuff right? And also. Ruling out using tripod to take group photo on timer, which i dont do at all anyway.

    I'm thinking overall should be fine. Just worried about pickpockets and angry mobs who realised im shooting them.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Street Photography in China. Hostile?

    Quote Originally Posted by iamryansaw View Post
    thanks!

    Looks promising.

    Still thinking if i should bring my tripod. I'm going with a tour group. guess no time for tripod and all that stuff right? And also. Ruling out using tripod to take group photo on timer, which i dont do at all anyway.

    I'm thinking overall should be fine. Just worried about pickpockets and angry mobs who realised im shooting them.
    with the angry mob, just pay them off and you'll be fine. So keep lots of small notes at hand. People are quite mercenary these days. Always keep your stuff close to you, especially when you're at a restaurant or some public places. When not using camera, keep it inside a discreet bag that doesn't say "CAMERA BAG".

  13. #13

    Default Re: Street Photography in China. Hostile?

    Quote Originally Posted by iamryansaw View Post
    pay money?! wow. first time heard of it. So i will come back to s'pore broke?

    Do you remember the scenario well?
    you'll be broke if you pay them all. For candid shots, you can try to steal a shot here and there. For posed shots, you'll have to ask them first. If they want money, just thank them and walk away.
    Maybe you can say you're shooting for a website and that they'll might be famous if they agree to the shot...... after all, clubsnap is a well known website isn't it?

  14. #14
    Member iamryansaw's Avatar
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    Default Re: Street Photography in China. Hostile?

    haha. good point! Thanks for the advice.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Street Photography in China. Hostile?

    the 20 yuan note in China is based on the scenery in Guilin, haha~

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    Default Re: Street Photography in China. Hostile?

    I haven't shot in China, but have done so in Hanoi..
    I simply stood in the open at a busy street corner and fired away with my 28-75mm..
    Those who din like being shot just slinked away, everyone was fair game I guess..

    My cousin employed different tactic: she used her friend as a 'shooting blind', grabbing frames from behind kaki's shoulder using a 200mm lens..

    Just my say..
    Canon 30D 100-400mm L IS|Tamron 17-35mm/f2.8-4,28-75mm/f2.8|Cosina Voigtlander Bessa-R 35mm/f2.5C

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