Profile of Zhu Kuan

Shanghai urban shooter 3dk129

Zhu Kuan is a native Shanghainese urban photographer. By day Kuan is a financial analyst, but by night and in his spare time, he is an urban explorer of Shanghai’s rooftops and back streets, documenting and shooting the city he was born and raised in.

Photography for him is “a method for capturing a scene, of recording life.” He describes his style of photography as darker and heavier, a visual style which perfectly suits the dramatic urban cityscapes he likes to capture.

For the heavier texture and look that Kuan likes in his photography, he usually uses Snapseed and VSCO Cam for photo editing. “With Snapseed, I can lift the colors in the picture, and then switch to VSCO Cam to use their filters, depending on the lighting of the photo,” he says.

Although photography is just a side passion for him, Kuan hopes it can one day become his full-time profession as he enjoys fully immersing himself in it. As for any future trends in photography, he thinks that urban exploration is an emerging style that has a lot of potential.

Some of Kuan’s favorite photographers include 13thWitness, Trashhand, and Cocu Chen Liu. He also often finds inspiration in the small things he sees in everyday life when exploring the city.

His advice for photographers who are just starting out is to “take your emotions and ideas, and put them into your photos.” They are what will make your images unique. While composition for him is the basic foundation of a photograph, one shouldn’t get overly caught up on it.

Kuan describes his photography as a combination of urban and trendy, but also a combination of urban and classic. “This will always be the main driving philosophy behind my work.”

Instagram: @3dk129

Contributor: Leon Yan

Originally published at on August 18, 2015.

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