Chu Weimin, a post-90s outdoor photographer from Chongqing, China, took the championship of the 2019 National Geographic Travel Photo Contest. The contest has been held for 31 years by the National Geographic Society. The award-winning photo by Chu won both first places in the city category and the global championship, which is quite a feat.
In the summer of 2017, the Chu, who had graduated from college and worked hard for three years as a full-time software engineer, made a significant decision—to become a professional travel photographer!
After the career transition, Chu has photographed outdoor landscapes, including snowy mountains and polar regions, as well as the natives and explorers in these places. Every year, he goes to Greenland and Pakistan and also carries out long-term photography projects related to the two sites in China.
In 2018, he went to Nuuk, the capital and largest city of Greenland, and its central tourist town Ilulissat. It was on this trip that Chu took the winning photo in the town of Upernavik. Upernavik is the 13th largest town in Greenland, with a population of nearly 1,000. Chu had walked almost all the streets and lanes there before finding this interesting photographing angle with clear priorities and highlights on a hillside near an airport. The town looked dreamier in the night light.
However, it was a little bit lifeless with only buildings, so the Chu waited in the biting wind. Finally, several residents came out, and Chu pressed the shutter release; thus, the prize-winning work was born.
Having traveled all over the world for a long time, his return to Chongqing this time can be regarded as the real beginning of the exploratory shooting of his hometown.
Through his lens, Chu suddenly found that Chongqing is so charming! He believes the combination of cultural atmosphere and unique landscapes of the mountain city renders the city enchanting in its own way. Stilted buildings, bridges, tunnels, magic interchanges, and parking lots on the roof are all landscapes created jointly by man and nature.
Without high-rise buildings and tunnels, mountains in the city would look ordinary, so the real charm of Chongqing lies in the wisdom of its people in construction and its rich life atmosphere. What Chu is most concerned with is the contrast between tradition and modernity. In his view, Yuzhong Peninsula is a blend of historical, modern, and future elements.
He said that professional photographic equipment is not necessary for ordinary shutterbugs. They should pay more attention to the improvement of their thinking and aesthetic level and enjoy the process of photographing.
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