Beijing Express (3 of 4): Hazy Streets

The consequences of breathing in unhealthy levels of pollutants every day have been extensively documented, but in Beijing, a city where a chemical-laden cloud perpetually engulfs anyone traveling outdoors, there is really no choice but to carry on with life as usual. While I don’t doubt that the city’s dire air quality impacts the long-term health prospects and quality of life of those who live there, it didn’t appear to me like it kept locals from getting out and doing their thing.

I took to the hutongs, away from tourist hot spots, to try to get a glimpse into the daily lives of those who call one of the world’s most populous (and most polluted) cities home. What I found was a breath of fresh air, a group of people whose passion for life shines through the haze.

26mm @ 1/125, f/5.6, ISO 200
24mm @ 1/5000, f/2.8, ISO 1600

I’m hoping the puppies were just for sale as pets.

50mm @ 1/125, f/2.8, ISO 200
35mm @ 1/125, f/2, ISO 800
5-shot HDR @ 50mm, f/2, ISO 800
85mm @ 1/160, f/2, ISO 800

I wonder where all this pollution is coming from? Hmmm …

50mm @ 1/200, f/5.6, ISO 400
35mm @ 1/125, f/2, ISO 800
35mm @ 1/250, f/2, ISO 100
70mm @ 1/500, f/2.8, ISO 1600

Check out more shots from my amazing trip in my Beijing Express set on Flickr.

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