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Shenzhen, China 2011

It hasn't been that many years since I have been photographing things, maybe about 2-3 years actively? Surprisingly enough, the size of my library already has grown quite large, time to time I happen to find hidden treasure from the ones I have forgotten. While I was doing some cleanups in my Aperture 3 library, I revisited the previous projects.

These are the ones taken at Shenzhen, China in 2011. Despite the fact that they were taken not that long old, I discovered the way I do post-processing has very much changed since and I wanted to create different versions of images. Sadly, I didn't take the photos in RAW format at the time as I was travelling with limited size of memory, so these are all re-process from JPEG files.

Old Man with Life Engraved in His Face. Shenzhen, China 2011.
Street Cleaners. Shenzhen, China 2011.
GUCCI, Shenzhen, China 2011.


Shenzhen was one of the most dynamic city I have visited. It locates literally one train stop from Hong Kong, you go through the custom from HK, then after one stop you enter the country through Chinese custom again. Wherever you go in any time of the day you see people and people and people, that's not something you get to experience in Sydney, Australia :)


People call Shenzhen as the jewel factory of China. They say 80% of jewelries in China are imported and manufactured here. Year 2012 was in fact my second time visiting Shenzhen and when I was there for the first time in 2011, I was fortunate enough to visit one of the jewelry factories and encountered a huge diamond ring which just came out of the production line.

The Rock 1, Shenzhen, China 2010 
The Rock 2, Shenzhen, China 2010

I really wish I took some more photos in the factory, but it was my personal visit to the factory and I was not able to request to document the place. At least I had S90 with me, so took 2 photos above. I didn't even ask the price by the way, all I remember is that the size was so big. I'm 100% convinced the ring made a lucky girl smile.

Eye Contact, Shenzhen, China 2011.

Coca Cola, Shenzhen, China 2011.
Smoking Man, Shenzhen, China 2011.

While I was travelling I witnessed the enormous economic development of the country, and at the same time the dark side of the rapid capitalistic growth. Massive shopping centres co-exist with the people with no social security at all. Of couse China is not the poorest country in the world, in fact it's quite opposite, and the scenes you see is nowhere near the extent of poverty from Africa. However, the nature of the capitalism to polarize the society into two extreme ends was easily noticed in the city of Shenzhen.

Also, I, as an individual seemed quite meaningless there. That's a weird feeling to explain but I reckon many Asian countries like Korea or Japan would share the similar characteristic that one person becoming very small as the population is so large. The feeling of being isolated or helpless against the big power and that was the exact impression I got from China in the end.

Bicycles, Shenzhen, China 2011.
Quick Lunch, Shenzhen, China 2011.

And please don't get me wrong. That's just the sentimental part of my overal impression. The trip was exciting and really an eye-opening experience. There are plenty of great places you can visit and definitely I couldn't have been more satisfied with the amazing sea food they have. Oh my goodness, just picturing them in mind already makes me hungry. Hopefully, I will have a chance to go there again soon, and when it happens I will be prepared better for more shoots.

All the photos were taken with Canon 40D with 17-85mm f4-5.6 lens except for 2 diamond shots. I do not own 17-85mm lens anymore as I traded it for the fixed 30mm Sigma 1.4 standard lens. Although 17-85mm lens is not particularly respected or mentioned often among the photo enthusiasts, but it's still a great multi purpose zoom lens I believe, providing the most (again in my humble opinion and at least for me) useful focal length range. I just wished it to have wider aperture but again you get what you pay for.

Thanks for visiting.

All the images were published under the "Creative Commons" licence.

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