Shanghai is the largest city in China, as well as the most populous city in the world. Its size, architecture, history and culture make it a world metropolis. It also offers an ideal playground for any photographer with a passion for architecture and street photography. We interviewed Maxime Schwebel (aka SpleenStyle) about his experience in this city of unique and fascinating beauty.
Hi Maxime, can you introduce yourself?
I’m 31 years old, I’ve been a professional photographer for 2 years. I work between Paris and Strasbourg.
How were you introduced to photography?
I’ve always taken pictures, it’s one of my passions with travelling. I started sharing my photos more regularly with the arrival of instagram. Other mediums existed but it was less practical and especially less fun. Very few street/urban photographers were present.
What do you want to communicate through your photos?
Above all the desire to travel and discover new things. I always try to bring a personal touch, a unique angle to my photos.
You are showing us your images of Shanghai. What inspires you most about this city?
What inspired me the most in this city is the contrast between the ultra modern architecture of the skyscrapers of Lujiazui and the small streets of the more modest districts. It gives a unique atmosphere to the photos that I don’t think you find in any other big city.
What did you find in Shanghai that you didn’t find anywhere else?
Certainly the magic sunrises with the horizon drawn (in shadows) in the foreground. It’s really one of the best experiences of this trip. With a drone the effect is even more magical.
If you had to describe this town in three words?
Modern, contrasted, unique
Your images of skyscrapers are particularly impressive, yet it is a complicated subject to photograph. What advice would you give to make interesting architectural photos?
My advice would be:
Get up early to explore the city.
Find a view in height to have a clear angle on all buildings.
Return to different times of the day to capture the mood that suits your style best.
You should also take the time to analyze the best time to leave before planning your trip. You will not have the same conditions if you visit in winter or summer.
If you could only take three things on a trip, what would you choose?
My SLR, a 24mm lens and my iPhone. If a credit card counts in the list of 3 things, I remove my phone 🙂 (except in Asia where you can pay everywhere with your phone).
Where do you dream of going?
I dream of going to Hawaii, to explore the different islands with their unique landscapes.
Where are you going next?
I am answering this interview from the airport, waiting for my flight to Japan.
See more of Maxime’s work on his Instagram