SKP Beijing

John Salvino
Sep 1, 2020
4 min read

I can’t believe it’s already been one month since I got back to Beijing! My three months in Yangshuo are done, and after a short stopover in Nanjing, I’m living in Beijing again.

I’m so glad to be back, I really enjoyed my time in Yangshuo and it was such a fantastic experience, but I did miss living in a big city.

After settling into my apartment on the first evening, I was eager to get out and do some photography again the next day. Although I’ve lived in Beijing for over two years, I feel like I haven’t done a lot of photography here. Now that I’m back again, I want to make sure I don’t take the time for granted.

I wasn’t really sure where to go for my first photo walk, so I decided to head to one of Beijing’s most popular tourist attractions, SKP Beijing.

Only kidding of course! SKP Beijing is one of Beijing’s high-end malls, and while I’m not currently in the market for a new LV bag, I thought I would go check the place out.

I will share five photos and talk a little bit about each of them.

As you will see, I decided to go black and white with these photos. While I was taking the photos, I wasn’t specifically thinking black and white, but as I was editing them, I wasn’t really happy with the colours so decided to just eliminate them.

As is typical with a lot of the photos I take, it’s more about the composition or the patterns, not about the colour. Often times with my photos, I decrease the highlights and increase the shadows, but for these ones I did the opposite.

Man Sitting Down

This is an example of a photo that when I’m taking it, I pretend that I don’t notice the person in the photo. I didn’t want him to look into my lens, so I just kept looking at the wall behind him, in between taking photos.

In this photo, I like how busy the wall behind the man looks and how small he appears with it behind him.

I also like how the shadow on the ground beside the ashtray cuts in, almost like it’s leaving some extra space for the ashtray. I think it’s interesting how the ashtray and the building in the distance are of a similar height.

Look Up

While these ‘look up at the ceiling’ shots are not the most imaginative photos, I do find myself drawn to them.

I find this one interesting because it’s not perfectly symmetrical. Whether it’s because of my bad shooting, my wide-angle lens, or the ceiling itself, I just think it looks better than if it had been perfect.

Mind you, if it had been, I probably would have said “I think it looks good because it’s perfectly symmetrical”. 🙂

When I look at the shadow in the bottom right it almost looks like a distant mountain range. Like we are looking out into the distance instead of looking up.

Black and White

This is a black and white photo of a black and white scene.

When I originally edited this, I made the right side almost completely black. But eventually I decided to bump up the highlights instead.

I like how the left side is mostly white with a little black showing through, whereas the right side is mostly black with a little white showing through.

People Under the Overpass

This is taken almost from the same spot as the lookup photo, except obviously I’m not looking up this time.

I liked how the couple on the ground floor kind of mirrored the mannequins on the second floor. Not an exact match, but pretty close.

As I mentioned earlier, with these photos, I decided to increase the highlights and decrease the shadows. For this photo, the darkness makes the people on the bottom look like mannequins too.

And of course, I always like showing lots of lines going in various directions and various angles.

The Slats

Not sure if those are even called slats, but I couldn’t think of a better name to call them.

I just found this composition to be interesting. The slats are kind of loud and dominate the photo, but there is also a quiet area in the bottom right.

I like the contrast of the very straight slats (wow how many times can I use that word) and the rounded lines on the ground.

The Mall Itself

I did go inside and walk around the mall for a while, but the only thing I bought was a coffee. I thought about maybe doing some photography inside the mall, but I just didn’t feel comfortable walking around with my camera inside. In the past I’ve done photos inside a mall, but this mall has more security than most malls, and I didn’t want to cause any issues.

Closing Thoughts

So, nothing groundbreaking here, but I was just happy to walk around Beijing for a while on my first full day back.

Usually I like to take my time when I’m out taking photos, but I guess maybe I was just so excited to be back, I took all these photos very quickly. The first photo was taken at 13:02, and the last one at 13:18.

There’s nothing like going away for a while and then coming back home, it really makes you appreciate where you live.

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