Chinese Photography: Art Course & Useful Travel Photography Tips

The Online Hub Connecting Chinese Photographic Circles planned specialized art course in collaboration with the SOAS Diploma in Asian Art has us extremely thrilled. The course "Photography of China: 1839-2022" will be offered online every week.




Landscape Photography in Depth

An extensive 15+ hours tutorial on landscape photography.

Full workflow: from the on-location capture to post-processing technique.


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“I'm looking forward to working with Marine Cabos-Brullé on this fascinating course! She has worked so hard to make Photography of China the premier gathering place for researchers, collectors, and photographers to come together and share their love of this magnificent art in all its diversity. She is the appropriate partner for the Postgraduate Diploma in Asia Art because of the extraordinary variety of viewpoints on the history of photography in China that her collaborative, open-minded approach brings together!” - Malcolm McNeill, Senior Lecturer in Arts Education and Director of the SOAS Diploma in Asian Art

As a revolutionary new method of creating pictures, photography fascinated Chinese and worldwide audiences when it first arrived in China in the 1840s. In China, photography has consistently served as a catalyst for creative discussions between tradition and modernity, the past and present, and human and machine replication. A nationalist fervor was stoked, public interests were shaped, and new interpretations for China's history were given thanks to photography's resonance with the country's existing cultural environment. Photography has been a key component of the artistic, cultural, political, social, and economic difficulties and changes that have created modern China from its inception in the early 19th century to the present.

Leading worldwide academics, artists, and curators will instruct you in a course organized by Dr. Marine Cabos-Brullé, enabling you to see this complex cultural phenomena from a variety of angles.

You will learn about the many practices and trajectories that have formed photography in China from its invention in 1839 to the present.

How have images connected with regional and global cultures?

What themes, topics, and subjects have interested photographers throughout the last 182 years?

What role do historical picture archives have in shaping modern experiments?

How is contemporary Chinese photography managed and received?

These eight monthly lectures will examine how photography has shaped and changed almost two centuries of Chinese visual culture by bringing together academic experts, museum workers, and artists.

If this course motivates you to visit China, consider these travel photography advice from professionals.

  1. Rise early and stay up late

The worm is for the early bird. Indeed, that holds true for travel photography in China as well. The key to excellent photography is light, and early light's gentle, warm quality produces stunning pictures.

You'll encounter fewer tourists and other photographers if you get up early. Want a breathtaking photograph of a well-known site like the Taj Mahal or the ruins of Chichen Itza? If you arrive exactly when it opens, early, you'll essentially have the place to yourself.

In contrast, midday on a sunny day is perhaps the very worst time to take pictures while traveling! In fact, there are instances when I'll just take a sleep in the middle of the day to give me more energy for photographic missions in the early morning and late at night when the light is ideal.

  1. Researching Potential Trip Locations

Consult travel guides for China. Look up articles and blog posts online to get ideas for pictures. Consult with friends who have visited. Contact other photographers. Learn more about the kinds of photos that best convey a place's character.

Instagram, Pinterest, and Google Image Search are some of my favorite resources for researching vacation photography. I utilize them to find out the whereabouts of famous places.

  1. Request Locals' Permission

Chinese subjects are challenging for many photographers. What happens if they don't comprehend you? What if they reject you? Can they insult them? It took me a few years to get comfortable taking pictures of locals, and even today I sometimes become a little apprehensive.

But I've discovered that talking to people first is the secret. Welcome back. Request instructions. Buy a memento. Give them a compliment on something. TALK for a while before requesting a picture. This way, it's much less intrusive.

Always get permission before taking close-ups. Before you go, spend 15 minutes studying how to say "may I take your picture" or "can I create a snapshot of you" in the local tongue. You may learn the fundamental phrases with the aid of Chinese tutors online. Tutors will set up a schedule of sessions for in-depth language study if you want to go further into the culture. Additionally, you'll be considerably more certain while interacting with the natives. It's a terrific approach to meet new friends and people genuinely appreciate the effort.

Some will respond negatively. Some will want payment (I sometimes do, but it's your choice). The world will not end as a result. Move on to the next person and try again after thanking them for their time and grinning. Actually, it becomes easier to ask the more times you are denied.

  1. Continue to learn

Enroll in various online courses for photography. Invest in a workshop for trip photography. Regularly practice in the open air. This is how you improve, not because you use trendy Instagram effects or the newest equipment.

  1. The Photography Rule Of Thirds

Understanding the Rule of Thirds will enable you to make more harmonious compositions and is one of the most fundamental and traditional photography ideas. Imagine dividing a picture into thirds on both the horizontal and vertical axes to create distinct portions.

The objective is to include key elements in certain areas and aid in visually attractive framing of the entire picture.

    6. Bring a Compact Travel Tripod

A tripod enables you to place your camera and maintain that position. You may then take your time creating the ideal composition while the camera is fixed.

Additionally, you may alter focus points and exposure settings, as well as take your time carefully considering the picture you want to produce. Or use more sophisticated methods like focus stacking, HDR, and panoramas.

You may capture subjects that need much slower shutter speeds (waterfalls, dim lighting, stars, etc.) using tripods without having to be concerned about hand-held camera shaking. You may use narrower apertures and low ISO settings to keep more of the picture in focus and reduce sensor noise.

Always your,

Daniel Kordan