Chengdu is not a city that immediately jumps when it comes to a visual aesthetic. Although certain small areas of the city contain pleasing visuals, it doesn’t contain those strong identifying factors like Beijing with the Forbidden City and Temple of Heaven, and Shanghai with the Pudong and The Bund. Not to be left behind, though, Chengdu derives it’s strong identity from the way of life defined by the everyday people of the city. Weather it be early morning Taichi, dancing in people’s park, or eating a spicy meal, the people of Chengdu are full of character which flaunt what other Chinese commonly refer to as “lives of leisure”.
The planned itinerary is as follows*:
– Morning: Visit a park early morning where we can observe people practicing Taichi amongst beautiful bamboo surroundings. During this time, we will explore ways of capturing the scene, as well as unobtrusively capturing portraits of the people in the area. We then head to People’s Park where we will continue to photograph a variety of different social activities in among the many visitors there. We will also enjoy a cup of tea in one of the park’s many outdoor areas, and for those brave enough, you will have the chance to experience traditional ear cleaning. We then head to lunch at a local restaurant.
– Afternoon: Head to Kuanzai Alley to photograph one of Chengdu’s “New Old Streets”. Here, you’ll learn to deal with crowds and crowded scenes as we continue to take photos of people in a more “urban” environment. Try a variety of snacks at the “snack street” area before having a quick break to wander around on your own, or rest your legs a bit.
– Evening: Before the day gets too dark, we’ll head to Jinli where we can practice a bit of night photography. Here we will focus on getting the best colors using available light, and also learn how to best control your gear in lower light situations. Finally, no visit to Chengdu would be complete without either a hotpot or dry-pot dinner where we will enjoy some local flavors and re-cap some of the day’s lessons.
*This walk is extremely flexible, depending on the subject matter and time of day that you and your group would like to embark on this, and thus the provided schedule serves as a basis of a plan, and not the plan itself. Optional activities also include Taichi lessons, a visit to the Panda Breeding Center, and WenShu Monastery. Group sizes are limited and are on a first-come-first-serve basis.
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