On August 31st, I left for a 2 weeks trip in China to be part of a trade mission organized by our government. 34 canadian entrepreneurs were selected for that mission. The trip began in Shanghai then we went to Hong Kong and we concluded our adventure in Beijing with the G20 YEA Summit where 400 young entrepreneurs from around the world meet to discuss entrepreneurship challenges and develop our international network. I was the designated photographer for the event. These are a few of my non-official pictures.
SHOT WITH X-PRO2 IN SHANGHAI, HONG KONG AND BEIJING
For this trip I had 2 Fujifilm X-Pro2 and a few lenses. I wanted to travel light as much as possible with my Billingham Hadley Pro. This is probably the ideal traveling bag in my book.
According to my stats in Adobe Lightroom, out of 899 pictures, this is my lense usage:
- XF 10-24mm f/4 - 413 shots
- XF 56mm f/1.2 - 299 shots
- XF 16mm f/1.4 - 103 shots
- XF 35mm f/2 - 71 shots
- XF 27mm f/2.8 - 13 shots
So basically, on my next trip, if I only bring the first 2 lenses I could do 80% of my shots without any problems. This was basically my walking around kit, the XF 10-24mm and XF 56mm. I tried using the XF 16mm and the XF 35mm but it was too limiting in my opinion especially for this trip.
For me, using two body when shooting primes is key if you don't wanna miss shots especially in a fast paced trip like this one. The X-Pro2 perform flawlessly. My only complaint is the ISO dial. When you are in a fast footing environment to document an event and you don't wanna rely on Auto ISO, going from ISO400 to 6400 can't be done in a single spin and you are very likely to change your shutter speed while you are adjusting it. Since then, I got my self an X-T2 and the ISO dial is much better in my opinion for this kind of shooting. But this is very personal and should not be regarded as a negative point to the X-Pro2.
Ok enough gear talk!
This was my first time in China... Wow what a life changing experience. The feeling you get when you can't speak the language, you can't read anything can be very disturbing. One can feel very alone. How do you accomplish very basic tasks like taking a cab or ordering food? I was not prepare to such a cultural shock but I quickly adapted to the situation. It's called survival instinct.
Shanghai is a very good representation of what organize chaos is. For an outsider like me, it looks totally disorganize but when you stop and just pay attention, you realize that it's actually functioning very efficiently. If you want to go from A to B, scooters are your best friend. Everybody as one, they have their own reserved path and they move so much faster than cars.
Shanghai has approximetly 30 million declared citizens. If you count the illegals and non-registered, I was told that this number can go has high has 60 million citizens.
Macau & Hong Kong
Upon arrival in Hong Kong we took a Jet Boat to do a quick tour of Macau, the Las Vegas of Asia. It was great but not fantastic. After you've seen Vegas, Macau is pretty much a carbon copy only more modern and smoke free. We didn't stay very long but enough to understand that money is not a problem in Macau.
Hong Kong is a small city when you look at it's population. About 7 million citizens. But you can tell there was a huge economic boom when you look at the architecture. Hong Kong is not going to win an award for Urban Planning. In fact, you can see that they have this urge to just build buildings wherever they can find a patch of grass. Condos, office building or convention center anything goes as long as you can find space for it.
In Hong Kong, you can almost feel like you are in chinatown in a major European city.
The capital of China. If you've ever been in China, you will notice a lot of blue skies in my pictures. Something not very common in China. For the G20 Summit, China wanted to look good so they shut down all their factories that were causing pollution. This is a good solution to get back the blue skies.
I liked Beijing a lot. There is so much culture in that city it's amazing. We stayed about 6 days in Beijing but we were so busy that I didn't get to see as much as I wanted. I did a quick stop in Forbidden City and to the Great Wall of China. I had a bit of free time on my last day so I had a chance to do some street photography in downtown neighborhood.
My photography experience in China was too short. I want more and I want to go back already. The Fuji system amazed me once again. I took pictures I would of never taken if I had brought a DSLR system. Having 2 bodies is a luxury and not in anyway necessary but wow, what a joy to use. I never really liked switching lenses all the time. That's why I use 2 bodies especially if i'm using primes.
Recently I started playing with the X-T2. I think I will sell one of my X-Pro2 and have 1 of each flagship model. This will give me all the flexibility I can ever need.
Stay tuned for a full experience review of the X-T2 when I have more time :)