China on Film

 
Photographs by  William Trang

Photographs by William Trang

Bustling. Tenacious. Beautiful. Before seeing this country with own eyes, I had heard so many different descriptions of China. These three words capture my experience of this incredible place when I visited Beijing and Shanghai earlier this year. And all I knew was that I needed to capture what I saw on analog film.

Bustling. With over 1.3 billion people, China is filled with hustle and bustle. People are constantly on the move. Getting quiet shots, free of people, using a bulky medium format camera is almost an art form in itself, requiring the perfect balance of patience and speed. There are people everywhere, but that’s a part of the beauty of everyday life there. Everyone has their individual stories and insights about the Chinese culture. It was fascinating to meet people and watch how things moved in China.

Tenacious. China is home to so many historical sites that have withstood the test of time. The most incredible is the Great Wall—one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Seeing the Great Wall in person is breathtaking. It requires a hike and is scenic in all directions. It’s hard to imagine that this man-made Wall spans 4,000 miles, and I was out of breath just seeing a small subsection of it. In Beijing, I visited the Forbidden City, which was the imperial palace in the heart of China back in its time. The attention of detail in everything from the golden roofs to the red walls are meticulous. I couldn’t help but appreciate the scale of immense courtyards and magnitude of the structures.

Beautiful. This is how I would describe Shanghai, where old meets new, and where modern structures are kissed with touches of history. I especially loved visiting the Bund, which is a viewpoint on the waterfront. Here, I marveled at the modern city skyline as I reflected on all that I had learned about China’s rich history. And in the heart of Shanghai is Yu Garden, which had so much to see. Rich red and creamy white walls, emerald waters filled with lively koi, and vibrant lanterns hanging among cherry blossoms—there was so much to capture.

China is rich with culture and history—full of unique sights and memorable experiences. It truly is a photographer’s dream.

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Photographs by William Trang Film Lab, the FIND Lab

 
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