May 31, 2008

I'm Living in a Spaceship

Last night my parents took me to dinner at Epicure, the revolving restaurant on the 45th floor of their hotel. INSANELY expensive, of course, but far far below what you'd probably pay for a comparable night out in a place like NYC, LA, or Chi-town I'd imagine. Just one of the bonuses of living in Shanghai -- sometimes you can pretend you're a rich industrialist. Muhahaha.

Anyway, aside from the great food, the opportunity afforded me the chance to snap some incredible pictures of the neon apocalypse that is the literal and figurative heart of Shanghai: The People's Square / Lujiazui interchange.

As always, click a photo to be taken to its page on flickr (and subsequently view related pictures).

For your perusal:

Neon Apocalypse

The close-up building on the right, outlined in blue, is the Shimao International Plaza, which I like to call the "Batman Building" (you'll see why if you click the link). The lit-up street leading into the distance is Nanjing Dong Lu.

Further back, the lit-up spire in the upper-left of the picture is the Oriental Pearl TV Tower. From there, across the picture to the right, is a taller building with the triangular top lit up -- that's the Jin Mao tower. To its right, not lit at all (since it's still under construction) is the World Financial Center.

Another view, from 20 floors below:

Neon Apocalypse

Here's another view where you can see the buildings a bit more clearly, as the photo was taken earlier in the evening:

Neon Apocalypse

Here's what it all looks like in the daytime:

Pearl Tower, Jin Mao, and WFC in the Distance

Back to the neon. Here's my favorite: a zoomed-in view of the pedestrians on Nanjing Dong Lu on a Friday night.

Neon Apocalypse

Here is the same scene viewed at ground level:

Neon Apocalypse

Perpendicular to Nanjing Dong Lu is Xizang Zhong Lu (Central Tibet Road). It looks like this:

Neon Apocalypse

The large building with "Capital Land" at the top is Raffles City Plaza.

And here's another high-up view: this time of the Shanghai Museum (small yellow-lit building) and the, well, I'm not entirely sure what the other building (in green) is.

Neon Apocalypse

Notice the lone non-lit-up building in the lower-right, a model of restraint! I think this is the Shanghai municipal gov't building.

As always, you can see these and more pics at my photostream.

Many of these pics are blurry at their original size. The reason is that a) I have shaky hands, b) lack a tripod, and c) when taken from a revolving restaurant, pictures with a slow shutter speed (like 1/2.5 th of a second) will blur by default :-) But some of them came out really nicely, regardless. And if you think these are blurry, you should see the ones I didn't upload to flickr :-)

The new camera is holding its own even though it has some UI deficiencies relative to the DSC-H1. For example, on the DSC-H50 there's no way to instantly review the last picture taken, a feature I really liked on the old model. On the H50 you have to switch into 'Playback' mode. And for some reason, although pictures taken vertically (with the camera held sideways) auto-rotate during playback mode -- which is great -- but they download to my computer as un-rotated. And when when I manually rotate them and place them in the flickr uploader -- the manual rotation doesn't come through. (I still had to do manual rotation on the DSC-H1 -- but those settings were preserved in the flickr uploader.)

Strange. But these quibbles are terribly minor. (I suppose that was redundant.) In every way shape and form, this camera kicks serious ass. I can already see the increased image quality in the pictures I've taken just this week. Sometime soon, possibly tomorrow, I plan to get a tripod and then map out some nighttime shooting locations for even MORE neon insanity!!

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