Salt Barge Soliloquy
The old salt barges still plough a furrow up and down Suzhou Creek. Of course, these days they are just as likely to be transporting silt or construction materials for Disneyland as sodium.
The barges are the last remaining signs of life on the Creek which — less than a decade ago — was one of the most crowded, polluted waterways in China. Now it’s a pristine river; the boat dwellers, squatters and river-rats have all been dispersed.
But if you are lucky, one evening as you are walking by the Creek on a moonlit night, a train of salt barges will chug by … and you will stand and watch, wave to one of the boat girls, or gaze in silence as the squat old boats trudge towards Waibaidu and the Huangpu River.
I had no tripod, the wall on Zhapu Lu Bridge was too low to use, so I had to shoot hand-held. Canon 24-105 lens at 24mm. I bumped up the ISO to 3200, f/5.6 at 1/60 secs. The high ISO means noise. I could have spent hours trying to remove it in Photoshop, but my view is if the noise is there - use it. Which is what I did: converting to black and white, and adding some additional film noise.
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