Postcards from China X – Rob Smith

Our tenth installment of Postcards from China comes by way of Shanghai based photographer Rob Smith. A native of the UK, Rob has been based in Shanghai for more than 15 years now. Initially, he came to work for a UK company as a project manager, but 10 years ago he and another Brit decided to go it alone when they opened a small consultancy to help foreign companies set up in China. In the beginning they were a rare breed. “Now we have quite a lot of competition!”  So where does photography fit in? “I’ve always had a great love of photography of all kinds really but without too much thought, I am attracted to people and capturing simple life. I take a lot of my street/ documentary pictures during my lunch time. I love to spend an hour or so just walking the streets around my office capturing everyday life or ordinary folk. I think a lot of people know me by now so I just blend in.”

Rob made Spinning while on a visit to the famous water town of Zhouzhuang, “I spotted this old lady spinning and wanted to get a natural shot so I prefocused my M8 and set a slowish shutter speed hoping to get a bit of blur. I just hung my camera around my neck and stood close and fired a couple of sneaky shots. The first her face was obscured by the wheel but the second was spot on, just a bit of luck, it turned out much better than expected and looked great once converted to B&W. I burnt in the edges a little to focus on her face.”



Spinning was taken with Rob’s Leica AG M8 and Leica 28 Elmarit lens. The aperture was f/11 with a shutter speed of1/20 (steady hand Rob) at 640 ISO.

Like may expats in China, Rob is experiencing a second life in The Middle Kingdom, he’s married to a local and they have a one year old boy. You can see more of Rob’s photos on his Flickr page. I saw some fantastic images there just this morning from his recent trip India.

Hey, if you didn’t see the very cool time lapse photo video I posted yesterday from The World Wildlife Fund, it’s worth spending a minute and a half to take a look here.

Lot’s going on for us here in south China. Wonderful things are happening. More to come…


One Response to “Postcards from China X – Rob Smith”

  1. Edna says:

    Stunning shot! What a bit of luck, love the way her face is framed with the blurry wheel.

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