Harbin is the most northern majority in modern day China and it is also the home town of my wife, it has also become my second home. I have visited Harbin before (mostly during the summer months) and it was the first time to drop by the city as it begins to enter the deep freeze winters it is well known for.
We only had a few days to spend in Harbin as we are tight on time and had an even more fun trip planned to Taipei once we depart Harbin. Climate wise Harbin is quite similar to Toronto albeit a little bit colder during winter. We had some great food there as well, those traditional northern Chinese dishes are just too memorable and tasty to forget. I also had the chance to introduce my parents to this wonderful northern city known for its unique charm that does not exist in the south.
During my previous trips to Harbin I have always brought my DSLR there so this time I went the other direction and brought the Leica M9 and also my new acquired Pentax 67ii. As a result I captured two different types of photos, the more photo journalistic were done with the M9 due to it’s discreet size which is great for a “carry it everywhere” and the more special moments ones were done with the Pentax 67ii. Despite the weight of the Pentax 67ii, it was not a hassle to carry around for day trips by car. I definitely felt much more comfortable to shoot the 67ii for the second leg Taipei trip due to prior hands on experience in Harbin.
One thing worth noting is that the 67ii can and do lock up sporadically sometimes if I don’t advance the lever all the way to the end. This can be fixed by repeat light strokes to the lever and it will free up eventually. I shot the 67ii so much that I actually end up using all my films before I arrived in Taipei, that’s ok because I restocked some great film there.
All in all, I would really like to spend a longer time in Harbin next time and shoot alot more photos of the local life there, there are many things worth documenting and that golden hour haze on the street is just magical and a dream for any passionate photographer.
Photographer: Ricky Cheong
Model: Elva Sun
Location: Harbin, China
Leica M9, 35mm f2 iv, Pentax 67ii, 105mm f2.4, Fujifilm 160NS, Kodak Portra 400, Fujifilm Provia 400x, Kodak E100VS