Shanghai Taxis

By: Gustav Hoiland

Apr 16 2010

Category: china


Focal Length:44mm
Shutter:1/0 sec
Camera:NIKON D80

Behind the Rain

To my #1 pleasure in Shanghai: cruising around in taxis. You’re with friends, hanging out for ten minutes or a half hour, just watching one of the world’s largest metropolises pass you by. Also a 20 minute ride might only cost a total of $4, which split 4 ways is…

When I see this I’m immediately aware of the fact that it was shot behind glass (within a taxi). I realize that might not be completely obvious to a first time viewer though. Is it? Does it instead look like there are great fires/explosions going off all over the place, under a sky that hints towards evening but hasn’t yet fully realized it? Hmmm

The next thing I like is how much the orange light is picked up throughout. It’s reflecting off every car, the typically chaotic power lines get some, and of course there are the blurred droplets of water that blow up into orange circles. This effect was first pointed out to me in an 11th grade painting class I think, where we were examining a Monet work of a cobblestone street scene, perhaps in France. The splotches of color, when viewed up close, were heavily influenced by the light that made their visibility possible, though I had taken that for granted since it looks totally natural when done correctly.

What else… there’s a lot of black in the lower part of the image. I like that. Everything you see kind of fades into the void – the car door on that taxi is shown as nothing more than a dark teal line that eventually disappears. There’s also a busyness to it all, with gridlock traffic in both directions and the very energetic lights that, when moving, dance around the window in a very fleeting and delicate fashion. I like the Chinese characters which give it a sense of place (or … area of the world), which explains the unrecognizable Volkswagen model and disaster of electricity infrastructure.

Ahhh, the casual observation of Shanghai.

3 comments on “Shanghai Taxis”

  1. You mean I don’t have to pay for expert avdcie like this anymore?!

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