The Cathedral

Shanghai | The Cathedral | © DM Barlow (2017)

That glorious neon-lit skyline is not just for tourist consumption, it’s a place of worship – Mecca of the Mighty Yuan. And when the flashing, blinking, twinkling, shimmering, jiggling, mesmerizing lights have all gone out – as they do at 10pm every night (a not-so-subtle message from Mother State, telling her bairns it’s time to go to home and rest) you catch a glimpse of the darkness that lurks behind that dazzling façade …”


The darkness of night never completely engulfs the Pudong skyline. Even at 2am, there is enough reflected light to create a halo around the Oriental Pearl Tower. I spent months photographing this view after “lights out” – part of an ongoing series called Night Visions. All with a Canon 5D2 and 17mm tilt-shift lens: some monotone, others in colour; many sinister, a few breathtakingly beautiful … and even though they were taken from virtually the same spot – in front of the Monument to the People’s Heroes, – no two photographs are ever the same – not even close.

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