Lens-Artists Challenge #29 – Cityscapes

“The life of a city is rich in poetic and marvelous subjects.”

Charles Baudelaire

GARDEN BRIDGE, SHANGHAI

GARDEN BRIDGE, SHANGHAI

This week Patti invites us to share some of our favorite cityscapes. For many of you, her subject is one that presents a marvelous opportunity to share your home city or that of your loved ones. Having been raised in a small town, and living now in an even smaller one, for me it’s a bit more challenging. I thought about some of the beautiful cities I’ve been fortunate to visit most recently – Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and New York. Looking further back, I’ve visited and photographed some of the world’s great cities: in the U.S., places like LA, San Francisco and Chicago.  Farther afield I’ve visited Sydney, Bangkok, Beijing, Hong Kong, Buenos Aires, Cape Town, Vancouver, Toronto, Vienna, Budapest, Paris, London and Rome among others. Quite a list when I think about it!

SHANGHAI BY DAY

SHANGHAI BY DAY

“A great city is not to be confounded with a populous one.”

Aristotle

Why then have I chosen to highlight just one of the many cities I’ve seen? First and perhaps most importantly I’ve loved all of the cities I’ve listed. Each is amazing in its own right with its unique sights and personality. Who could visit the Eiffel Tower, The Great Wall of China, the Colosseum, the Sydney Opera House, The Empire State Building or the Golden Gate Bridge for example, and not come away in awe?  Since I cannot speak to all of the great cities I’ve seen (well I suppose I could but I’m sure I’d have lost you long before I finished), I decided to choose only one. So then the question becomes, why Shanghai?

SHANGHAI BY NIGHT

SHANGHAI BY NIGHT

“The one thing that all great cities have in common is that they are all different.”

Cate Blanchett

First and foremost, for me Shanghai was the most surprising of any I’ve visited. I expected horrific air quality but got pristine, clear skies.  I expected ancient but got an equal amount of Disney-like new (such as Pudong, the area above, built in 1990 and thereafter). I  expected purely Chinese but got an internationally-mixed population such as that of the French Concession or the ex-pat communities involved in the business of the world’s busiest container port or the thriving financial industry. Last but not least, I expected city lights but was completely bedazzled by the brilliance of the cityscape at night.

SHANGHAI PORT

SHANGHAI PORT

“For those who are lost, there will always be cities that feel like home.”

Simon Van Booy

Another reason to highlight Shanghai is because it was there for the first time that I met a friend I’d known only through blogging. She was a Canadian ex-pat who had lived in China for years. We had great fun connecting and comparing experiences. Unfortunately once she returned to Canada she discontinued her blog. However  I’ve since met several others through blogging and found them all to be talented, interesting, warm and charming. I am proud to call them my friends and happy to have added a personal element to my blogging experience – proving (as usual) the benefit of stepping out of one’s comfort zone.

THE BUND, SHANGHAI

ALONG THE BUND, SHANGHAI

“A city is more than a place in space, it is a drama in time.”

Patrick Geddes

As those who follow me know, I love to travel and experience new places. While I am primarily a nature-lover, I also enjoy visiting cities and exploring their culture, their foods, their art scenes, and of course their people. I highly recommend Shanghai for all of those things, and hope your experience there is as rewarding as mine.

SUNSET, PUDONG, SHANGHAI

LAST LIGHT, PUDONG, SHANGHAI

“Cities are like people, showing their varying personalities to the traveler.”

Roman Payne

As always, timing is everything. While during our visit the air was pristine, my friend sent a photo of the city taken a week later and you literally could not see Pudong because of the dense air pollution. 

Wishing everyone a terrific week ahead. Hopefully the dire weather forecast for the U.S. will fail to appear. Remember to tune in for Ann-Christine‘s Challenge #30 next week, and many thanks to Patti for this week’s fun Cityscapes.  As always, we look forward to seeing your responses.

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106 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Challenge #29 – Cityscapes

  1. Those night shots inspire me to spend more time in the dark of night to capture those spectacular city lights. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have such a photogenic subject as Shanghai!

  2. It’s certainly a different city with the high-rise development and urban sprawl. Their past, though, is not that far ago in by looking through their photographic history.

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  5. You need to add San Diego to your list of beautiful cities that you’ve photographed.

    On Sat, Jan 19, 2019 at 1:20 PM Travels and Trifles wrote:

    > Tina Schell posted: “”The life of a city is rich in poetic and marvelous > subjects.” Charles Baudelaire This week Patti invites us to share some of > our favorite cityscapes. For many of you, her subject is one that presents > a marvelous opportunity to share your home c” >

  6. Wow, fantastic! – you certainly were very lucky with the weather! Amazing shots! Our Yangtze cruise was followed by rain the whole trip, and also in Shanghai…our final destination. Glad to see it in another, more positive light! Unfortunately we will never return to China, as we have traveled there 6 times already. I am happy and content with your shots instead!

  7. Beautiful cityscapes, Tina. Shanghai is a thrill to see and your night shots are terrific. I was amazed by Pudong and how fast it was built. Your images, Shanghai by Night and Along the Bund are wonderful. Yes, you are a lucky traveler.

  8. Magnificent! I have never gotten the knack of capturing a good, sharp city scene. In fact, my photos of Shanghai are among my worst ever! 🙂 You did a great job of photographing this beautiful skyline.

    • Thanks Lex, although I’m sure u r shortchanging your own skill set! I was fortunate to be there for great skies and an unexpected flower event (the wall of flowers in my photo)

  9. Fantastic photos Tina. Not a city person myself, although I am happy to explore on foot for a couple of days if there is some interesting architecture etc. and always nice to experience a different culture.You struck it lucky in Shanghai with the light.

  10. Ahhh so vivid, vibrant ! Beautiful! Wow you have traveled far and near – appreciate your sharing the sights .
    I thought too there was daily smog there – wonder why intermittent ? Winds, day of week-working factories?
    Thanks T – see ya soon !

  11. Amazing write up and captures of Shanghai, Tina. Love the Shanghai By Night long exposure shot. Very well done and the clouds were in the right place at the right time. I think you summed up what is so good about cities – the culture, different scenes and people. I’m a city person all the way and love cities. Love the movement and the buzz, and the constant air of change about them. You’ve definitely visited more cities than me…very impressive and many more cities for you to come 🙂

  12. Beautiful photos, Tina, and amazed at the cities you’ve been able to visit and shoot. Loved your Shanghai by Night shot, captures the city perfectly ~ one of those timeless, amazing cities. Reading through your list of cities traveled, I did not see Prague on your list 🙂

    • Hi Randall, great to hear from you as always. While it’s true Prague wasn’t on the list, in fact we have visited, explored and loved it 😊. To be honest I went thru a bunch of my blogs for city reminders and Prague wasn’t there. I shall have to correct that!

      • Ha, yes I knew you must have traveled to Prague. Budapest and Prague have become my two favorite European cities so I figured since you had Budapest, definitely Prague too. Cheers to a good week ahead.

  13. Each photo is gorgeous. Tina. My favorite is the first, with the couple leaning on the bridge. I’ve also visited Shanghai, but I was working and it was before my photography days. Now I feel like I need to go back!

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  15. Thank goodness, the focus is only one city otherwise I would have to visit all the great places you’ve been. Bedazzled by the brilliance of your shots, Tina. As a canadian, I have to stay from China due to current political reason.

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  17. Beeyoootiful! The crisp, sharp clarity of your photos are a sight, even on my iPad. Give me one little hint on how you get such sharpness. Pleeeese!?! I would love to visit Shanghai, Singapore, and perhaps Tokyo or other Asian cities that have totally embraced modern architecture.

    • Many thanks John. Sadly my hint is that I used a tripod for these shots. Not my favorite device but it does make a difference, especially at night. And yes, the modern architecture is simply gorgeous. But then, it’s easier when you can just move people out of the way and start fresh isn’t it ?!

  18. Stunning shots, Tina! So glad to see these beautiful photos of Shanghai. We were there a few years ago, I didn’t take good photos of the city. Mainly, because we spent two days with my brother (he was there at the time.) and we took a high-speed train to Suzhou for a day. Your photos make me want to visit Shanghai again.

    • It really is Jo — a very unexpected but much appreciated side benefit of the blogosphere. As for Shanghai, it honestly felt like Disney’s Tomorrowland to me! Thanks for your visit and comment

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