As Shanghai grew into the trading center of East Asia, the warehouses and other businesses along The Bund were joined by embassies, banks and newspaper offices. They were all built in the differing styles of various colonial powers, from France and Germany to Japan and the US.
Shanghai – Photo Tip

When shooting cityscapes, include people for scale

Photo by Peter Adams

Shanghai – Photo Tip When shooting cityscapes, include people for scale

Shanghai is an overwhelming city – modern and big. It’s hard to find places where you can do justice to both the city and the people that live in it.

Peter Adams
Peter Adams Travel Photographer

This explains why this particular spot on the famous Bund promenade is so popular with photographers.

The river and the skyline immediately say Shanghai. But with the people in the foreground, whose lives play out in front of you, the human scale is preserved. It is my favored spot too: I can sit here all day and wait for Shanghai to come to me.

I like the contrast between traditional China against the modern and ever expanding backdrop of skyscrapers that is Pudong. Men are out flying kites and there are groups of people going through t’ai chi exercises. Some older men dress in a more traditional style that reminds me of Chairman Mao.

And the hazy light is amazing. It creates an atmosphere you would normally associate with a rural setting. Shadows become soft, people turn into silhouettes and become one with the scene, and colors disappear.

Tai Chi early morning, The Bund, Shanghai, China

T’ai chi exercises in the early morning on The Bund. The 1.5km-long Bund has been synonymous with Shanghai since the British first built a trading post here in 1846 and turned a muddy riverside path into a paved road guarded by a flood wall. Photo by Peter Adams

Peter Adams

Peter Adams

T’ai chi exercises in the early morning on The Bund. The 1.5km-long Bund has been synonymous with Shanghai since the British first built a trading post here in 1846 and turned a muddy riverside path into a paved road guarded by a flood wall.

Other stories about Shanghai