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Cao Luning
Cao Luning
Cao Luning

Cao Luning

Country: China
Birth: 1990

Cao Luning is a street photographer who lives in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, China, a city of 8 million people. He only started to do photography 3 years ago and all learnt by himself.

For Cao Luning, photography is a means of getting to know and expressing himself. Just like the saying "You are what you read", he also believes "You are what you shoot". He's extremely crazy about Street, Travel and Documentary photography, and the uncertainty and infinite possibilities of them fascinate him. They are just similar to life, you never know what you are going to get tomorrow. You may capture some nice shots, or you might come back empty-handed. Street photographer is his identity.

Cao Luning is a street wanderer and likes to watch people. He can linger on the streets all day long without feeling tired or fed up. When he shoots, he focuses on the serendipity of specific colors, light and shadows, gestures and the implied humor of scenes. Cao Luning reckons framing is crucial to a good photograph, and he's been greatly influenced by Henri Cartier-Bresson and his "The Decisive Moment Theory", which He thinks is something that every photographer should pay attention to. His mentors are Mangum Photographer Alex Webb and his wife Rebecca Norris Webb, and they both helped him a lot in developing his own vision. In his opinion, given different situations and scenarios, a good street photographer should swiftly apply different compositions that best suit the scenes, instead of using one or two methods for all situations, because that's not a creative process, it's just mechanical repetitions.

Statement
I'm a street photographer who started to do photography 3 years ago.

For me, photography is a means of getting to know and expressing myself. Just like the saying "You are what you read", I also believe "You are what you shoot". I'm extremely crazy about Street, Travel and Documentary photography, and the uncertainty and infinite possibilities of them fascinate me. They are just similar to life, you never know what you are going to get tomorrow. You may capture many nice shots, or you might come back empty-handed.

I'm a street wanderer and I like to watch people. I can linger on the streets all day long without feeling tired or fed up. When I shoot, I focus on the serendipity of specific colors, light and shadows, gestures and the implied humor of scenes. I reckon framing is crucial to a good photograph, and I've been greatly influenced by Henri Cartier-Bresson and his "The Decisive Moment Theory", which I think is something that every photographer should pay attention to. In my opinion, given different situations and scenarios, a good street photographer should swiftly apply different compositions that best suit the scenes, instead of using one or two methods for all situations, because that's not a creative process, it's just mechanical repetitions.

Most of the works I submitted were shot during the pandemic in China.. On January 2020, The New Coronavirus Pneumonia (or COVID-19) outbroke in Wuhan, Hubei Province in China and soon spread all over the country. As a result, the Chinese government locked down the whole country, stopped all production activities, restricted intercity transportation, and people were advised not to go outside.

I live in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, a city of 8 million people, and when it was shut down, it was a bit like a ghost town in the beginning, not completely empty, but hard to find people on the streets. However, I found out by the Yangtze River and some parks, there are some citizens. People would go fishing, do sports, exercise or simply relax. So I often go to those places with my camera, trying to capture their life under the influence of Coronavirus.

The virus has pressed the pause button for most of us, though it's not a good thing, objectively speaking, it gives us a good opportunity to look inside and review our living states. It offers us a window to slow down and appreciate all the good and beautiful things around us as well. In the meantime, we are also given the possibility to do the things that we always wanted to do. We should cherish it and live in the moment, despite how dreadful the epidemic situation might be, life has to go on.

I hope you'll enjoy my works and get to know me better by them.
 

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It teaches you to look, understand and observe rather then just walk away.All about Gautam Narang:AAP: When did you realize you wanted to be a photographer?Well after high school, I pretty much knew that is something that I’ve wanted to do, and it’s pretty much all that I’ve pictured myself doing. I’ve tried office jobs, but they usually don’t work, for example being an assistant was not a great experience. Order wold be forgotten and i’m not a office type or person, the stress kills me. So i’ve always gratiated to something creative.AAP: Where did you study photography?I studied at HND Photography at City and islington. Was the youngest student, out of the program my closet friend was Robert Harper who does amazing fashion photography. We used to chill and take pictures, it was really nice experience. Education to me, especially in the arts isn’t what i’ve expected it to be. The real learning happens when your out of school, and making friends with like minded pepole, finding who you are, I know it sounds like a really simple question, but you get asked “Who are you? What is your favorite movie? Favorite Artist and etc.” These days things are getting competitive and to really stand out is to have strong connections with people. AAP:Do you have a mentor?Yes, the teacher at my school. He was in 60’s and was my best friend, he taught me a lot on business, being an artist, encouraged me, let me use his studio and gave experience in the studio with while doing still life photography. He would also make all his own equipment, was really cool learning from him. My other mentor was Jasper James, he introduced me to style. He showed me that movies could be arty, before that I didn’t really watch any arty stuff. We also traveled around the UK on projects and that was a lot of fun. AAP: How long have you been a photographer?12 years.AAP: Do you remember your first shot? What was it?They were pictures of cannel boats, in England I used to live near a cannel.AAP: What or who inspires you?Well Edward Hooper is a great inspiration. His images feel like movie scenes, they have such a powerful mood to them. Artist have always inspired me. William Eggleston is someone would really inspires me.AAP: How could you describe your style?As simple and bold. I’m a huge fan of bold colors and like to keep things simple.AAP: What kind of gear do you use? Camera, lens, digital, film?I use the Canon 5D Mark II and my iPhone 4, it’s great, you can take it anywhere and pepole aren’t imitated by it, you look like a tourist. The iPhone has a look, in 20 years when we have images that are so sharp that you can’t tell if your looking at something real. Images from are primitive cameras and mobile devices will be called “Retro” they come with a time stamp, the actually medium is a time capsule. It’s not about the quality, it’s about the message, that will last longer.AAP: Do you spend a lot of time editing your images?I’m not a fan of editing, i’ve never liked it, only the darkroom.AAP: Favorite(s) photographer(s)?Steve McCurry, Willam Eggleston, Dorothea Lange. AAP: What advice would you give a young photographer?Go out and find your own vision, and all this likes and things mean nothing. It’s hard putting yourself out there, and pepole don’t usually respond. You start to want to appeal to others and worry if you posting to much. Do it for yourself, who cares about all this fame? Who knows if these websites will be around, this data? One day, you might be recognized.AAP: What mistake should a young photographer avoid?Don’t point fingers, point them at yourself first. Don’t blame others, really look at yourself first.AAP: An idea, a sentence, a project you would like to share?My work is constantly changing and I like that. To keep evolving you need to keep changing.AAP: Your best memory has a photographer?Working on location in India, working in a old Indian palace, documenting Indian folk singers. It’s an experience the kings once enjoyed.AAP: Your worst souvenir has a photographer?A broken camera lens.AAP: If you could have taken the photographs of someone else who would it be?Steve McCurry he has my dream jobAAP: Anything else you would like to share?I’m into film making now, really want to be a DOP or camera operator. Currently i’m based in Toronto.
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