Shanghai in Black and White

The Paul Santana shares with us work showing a side of Shanghai that you don’t see in the glitzy images of the city. This is the other side of the city, where the people that have not been part of the great push forward have to live.

My name is Theo Paul Santana, 26 years old from Brazil living in Shanghai, working in the automotive sector. I have been in China for a major part of the last 3 years studying, traveling, working, and having fun. Photography came into my life the first time somewhere about 3 years ago when I borrowed from my mother a Sony Cybershot 7.2 megapixel to travel to China in 2011.

During the last 3 years, I have been traveling around the world quite often in more than 50 countries, so I decided to buy my first DSLR camera a Nikon D7000 who helps me to love and learn about photography. I use this camera for 1 year when I upgraded for a Nikon D800. Lens for me was always not easy to buy because of the price, so I always used a fixed lens because is cheaper and the results are what I want to achieve in my pictures.

During those years I always see many people using film cameras and I start to love it so after two years using DSLR cameras I decided to buy a Nikon FM2, so I could try out the film for the first time. After seeing the shots from my first roll, I fell in love! I was always excited to shoot on film, bringing my Nikon FM2 to my world to open my eyes and help me to understand more about technical and important things about cameras. Developing and scanning just take too much time it is not easy to juggle a day job, family, and a passion like photography, especially when you have to develop and scan film. Currently, I shoot mostly street and portrait photography in digital and film.

into CHINA is a series about my life in China. How I see China as a foreigner. It’s a mix of street, documentary, and photojournalism, and it’s a very individual project for me. I have been living in China for 3 years now and as with everything else in life, it has its good and its bad sides. These sides are very discrete and perhaps differ from person to person. My goal with this project is to make a book or an exhibition out of China. The photos you can see on my blog are a very small part of the entire project, a lot of the pictures it has not been published online at all. I am trying to save them for the book or exhibition. The main challenge for me is to avoid making a book with only clichés pictures; I am consequently trying to find ways around this. Let see how it grows and I hope to be able to have the book or exhibition ready in about two years from now.

Article from 2015 at Japan Camera Hunter

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