At Shanghai’s riverfront, the Bund, magnetic forces seem to compel all cameras to point east to the giant, gleaming towers of Pudong across the Huangpu River. Reversing the direction – shooting west from Pudong towards the Bund – never seems to work. The Bund falls flat, and Shanghai’s old colonial buildings are lost in the glass and glitter and the dark waters of the Huangpu.
One evening, in a lucky glance out a window from the Peace Hotel, I found this perspective. The warm tones of the old stones present a richness and sentiment the monumental glass towers will never have, while the gentle curve of the river brings the eyes back down to Earth. Shanghai locals really responded to this view — it seemed to capture the genuine spirit of the waterfront. Old Shanghai clearly has few things left to teach the New Shanghai. (Price Schedule D)
China possesses hundreds of man-made wonders that stagger the Western observer…and a few wonders that fall a bit short. The Shanghai Tourism Tunnel is one of the latter. Connecting two popular visitor sights in Shanghai — the Bund and the Pearl Tower — with a tunnel under the Huangpo River, the light show along the mini-railway is a little underwhelming…until you see it through long exposures in a camera, that is. There, the lights and lines assault you in a psychedelic riot. It takes some experimenting to get the technique just right, and at 50 RMB a trip you want to catch on quickly. I gave it my best shot, and the results remind me of tie-dyed fabric. (Price Schedule E)