Published on: 12th Jun 2017
The first afternoon I went alongto the class, but soon realised my attendance is a huge disruption for Xiaoyi as well as the other attendees (foreigners partaking in any local activity is still a rarity). Walking the streets of Shenzhen is in any case much more satisfying than attending a class in chinglish…
Lychee Park is one of 27 recreational parks in Shenzhen(this is excluding the 12 theme parks where you need to pay entrance fees) and is about the size of 15 square blocks of New York City. It will take you about 4 hours to walk all the pathways. The locals also refer to the park as “Central Park” as it is situated in the heart of the financial district. The Park’s name actually comes from the fact that it has many Lychee (also spelled Litchi) trees and when lychees are in season it is customary to buy the local lychees while strolling through the park.
I have visited Lychee Park on several previous occasions but because of its close proximity to Xiaoyi’s English classes it was natural for me to visit it again.
This afternoon, I entered the park from the North Eastern corner, also known asDeng Xiaoping Portrait Square where a huge poster of this former Chinese revolutionary overlook the little square. Deng Xiao Ping is an important figure in the Chinese financial reformation and especially in Shenzhen’s history. He was instrumental in the creation of the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone which was in fact the start of the modern Shenzhen. He is therefore by many seen as the father of the modern Shenzhen.
This specific afternoon I was in no hurry. I did not plan to walk the whole park in the 3 hours I am on my own, in fact, when I arrived, I actually sat down in front of this huge poster tosee what the locals are doing. They were mostly rushing past the poster as if not even aware of old Deng Xiao Ping looking down on them. I quickly noticed that they were basically just using the square as a means to cut the corner of the streets on their hasty way to some or the other appointment.
This gave me theidea to use a slow shutter speed to emphasize the rush of these passers-by on this slow afternoon. So I took out my tripod, my ND filters and mount my camera to experiment for the best combination of filters to get the movement of the people in these photos.
After taking the photo at the square I entered the park and continued to take thephotos with my setup to blur the pedestrians and concentrate in using their blur figures as part of my composition.
Footnote on my setup.Being a Fujifilm user, I am in the fortunate position to have a very lightweight and small setup for my street photography. I used my Think Tank Retrospective shoulder bag (mainly to carry my set of NiSi ND filters and an umbrella). The Fujifilm X-T2 with the Fujinon XF10-24F4 R IOS lens was what I used for all these slow shutter speed photos (except for one), while I also carried in the bag the XF35mmF1.4 R. I used Xiaoyi’s Sirui T-024X tripod because it is so small and lightweight. During this trip I totally fell in love with this tripod and on my return to South Africa I ordered my own through Kameraz in Johannesburg.
(If you have read up to here and did not click on a photo yet, do so to see them in larger format and also to browse through the rest of this gallery)