Weekly Photo Challenge: Infinity

“Looking up into the night sky is looking into infinity.”

Douglas Adams



This week, Ben has challenged us to show “Infinity” – not a simple task.  I’ve chosen the night sky as one of the best examples I can imagine.  Above, we see the brilliant city of Shanghai, China casting its lights up to compete with the stars.  Below, the night sky over Hong Kong.



“Be clearly aware of the stars and infinity on high. Life seems enchanted after all.”

Vincent Van Gogh

Both cities are are beautifully positioned on the water with active, bustling harbors.  Both are known as world financial centers, and since Hong Kong was returned by the British in 1997, both are Chinese.  Interestingly, this presents China with a bit of a conundrum.



Green is the prime color of the world, and that from which its loveliness arises.”
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/search_results.html#uETE7pHxFJkOzir5.99
Green is the prime color of the world, and that from which its loveliness arises.”
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/search_results.html#uETE7pHxFJkOzir5.99

“I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite.”

E.E. Cummings

Because the Chinese have tremendous pride, they want very much for Shanghai to be the finest city in the world.  However Hong Kong was for many years a world-leader under British rule.  Should Shanghai greatly eclipse it, the world could say – ‘The British gave Hong Kong back to the Chinese and they ruined it’.  On the other hand, should Hong Kong outshine Shanghai, the world could say – ‘Well it’s a world leader, but only because of the British’.  Quite a quandary, isn’t it?  Then again, what’s so bad about having TWO of the leading cities in the world?  (With one of them looking like a modern-day OZ / Emerald City if you ask me!)



“Don’t say infinitely when you mean very; otherwise you’ll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite.”

C.S. Lewis

Shanghai is the largest city in China, and the most populated city in the world.  In addition, it is the world’s busiest container port.  Hong Kong has one of the highest per-capita incomes in the world, and in 2012 was designated by both the UN and the World Health Organization as having the longest life expectancy in the world.  (Note: Hong Kong, although part of China, is governed by completely different political and economic laws from the mainland). Each is unique and each has its own strengths.

There is one area however, where they are very different. Shanghai is relatively new to its leadership position, while Hong Kong has been an international center for commerce since the 1800s.  This has created an environment of dramatic old vs new contrasts.



“Some infinities are bigger than other infinities.”

John Green

In the photo above, for example, we are looking from Hong Kong across an open area to the Chinese mainland.  The structure in the middle is indicative of life in days gone by, while the city in the distance illustrates China’s incredible growth in the modern world.  Below, two further examples of modern vs historic Hong Kong.



“In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you.”

Oscar Wilde



 “Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent.” 

For me, both cities are truly beautiful, magical places of infinite possibilities. To see how some others view “infinity” click here.

89 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Infinity

  1. Pingback: Nighttime Shooting – Weekly Photo Challenge | Travels and Trifles

  2. You are such a great photographer Tina, I admire your work, and your posts are so interesting. My boyfriend was in China last week, he went to the North, then to the South to Shinzen and will go to Vietnam and Cambodia next week. I love your posts about China, I will try to look at all of them in the next few weeks. Thanks so much for sharing them 🙂

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  4. Beautiful photos of Shanghai and HK. There is plenty of history associated with both cities, especially regarding the commerce flowing through both places.

    BTW, like the new format.

  5. A true admirer of this collection, Tina – such a variety! Must admit I am quite a bit into city nightscapes therefore yours were exactly on place to make me go “Wow!!!” 🙂 And I love your choice of quotes – as always.

    • Thanks Ese! I don’t often do night shooting, am actually doing a class on it next month. But I was pleased with these. I thought it was interesting seeing the day and night cityscapes compared with each other. Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Hi Tina, I really like this post, and am really curious about that first photo. Is it a long exposure? what kind of post editing did you do to it? Also, I tweeted this post. I don’t have many followers, but I wanted to share 🙂

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  8. Great shots, Tina. I especially like your shots of night city-scape of Shanghai and Hongkong. Been there many years ago and took the city-scape pictures from other angles, but the result is far below your results.

    • Completely!! Saw many bicycles in the more remote areas but none in the major cities. The auto traffic is incredible in Beijing – Shanghai not quite as bad and they have more streets that are closed to traffic. Amazing changes in such a short time!

  9. Looks like we were standing in the same place to get that night shot of Hong Kong 😉 Great photos Tina… stunning as always. I see a familar sklyine in the banner here too…
    Thanks for pointing me back over here. I check my reader daily to catch posts and some how I missed this. It would have been a shame not to see it. Thanks again.

    • Thanks Pam! The juxtapositions were everywhere. I found them especially interesting, thanks for commenting on them!

      Sent from my iPad

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  14. Just MAGNIFICENT….STUNNING!!! The Shanghai nightscape is so powerful visually……speaking of color (your last blog)…WOW!!! Also loved your commentary re Hong Kong vs Shanghai….spectacular!!

  15. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Infinite | patriciaddrury

    • Thanks Gin, I thought so too. The city is actually Disneyesque! I did nothing to enhance the colors on those shots, that’s the way it really looks.

      Sent from my iPad

    • Thanks! We had a very interesting conversation about it with some of the residents. It was nice that because of the British history most everyone spoke English!

      Sent from my iPad

  16. Very nice pix of HK and Shanghai. Good snapshot of a comparison of the two. HK is #1 in many ways, but it was only a colony under the British rule. It is now called SAR ( special adm region) and promised by China of no changes in 50 years. Now China is not really communist. Therefore it does not make a big difference for HK. One big difference though: HK people can go to any websites and do Facebook, blog etc like anyone in the US, but not in China. I couldn’t get into WordPress when I visited China. How did you do that, Tina? Are you already back home?

    • Hi Denise and many thanks! While in china I used a Virtual Private Network (VPN) which was recommended by an ex-pat blogger who lives there. It was only $30 for 3 months. My husband was happy because he could also do his Fantasy Football LOL. It was an invaluable tip which I really appreciated. We actually met while in Shanghai which was terrific.

      Sent from my iPad

  17. Beautiful pictures of the two cities, at night and during the day. Plenty of Hong Kong citizens wish they’d never returned to be part of China. An awkward situation.

    • Thanks Milka! I’m sure that’s true although we didn’t really hear any complaints. Most said there was tremendous concern but life hasn’t changed at all for them so far. The number of tourists and ex-pats is amazing!

  18. Both cities look incredible. The fourth image has a great POV. The elevated angle gives a fine view of the city. I love the information that comes with all your posts, Tina. The images along with your description really make your posts a pleasure to read.

    • Many thanks Uday! That one was taken from the Peak and finding a spot without a bunch of tourists in it was quite a challenge! Also it was very, very hazy while we were there which added to the challenge, so thanks for commenting on it–it took lots of extra effort!!

  19. Beautiful night shots of Shanghai and Hong Kong. I never thought about the dilemma of the two cities before. Let’s hope they both do equally well.

    • Thanks so much Magdalene! After a month in China I’m happily nestled back home enjoying the comforts of familiarity. Knowing us tho, I’m sure my husband and I will be planning our next trip soon LOL!

  20. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Infinite|UP Diliman | lifebydmagdalene

  21. Lovely photos, Tina, but rather big for me. Thanks for reminding me of the e.e.cummings line. As for the Lewis quote, that’s how I feel about the current use of “awesome” as well as the use of bad language.


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