Green Development

Photographer captures region's icy charms

Updated: May 8, 2023 By Zhou Huiying in Harbin China Daily Print
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Xu Lin's photo of winter and early spring in Heilongjiang province. [Photo by Xu Lin/For China Daily]

Xu Lin's pictures show wonder of winter in northern province

Every spring, when frozen rivers in Heilongjiang province melt as temperatures rise, Xu Lin gets busy with his camera.

Since 2017, the retired researcher, who used to work at the Federation of Literary and Art Circles in Daxing'anling prefecture, has visited 80 rivers in the vast northeastern region. He has taken 40,000 photos, mostly between October, when the waters begin to freeze, and late May, when the ice finally melts.

"The eight-month period results in an almost polar landscape," he said. "The green trees and red flowers appear beside thawing rivers, creating unique views in the spring."

Since he purchased his first camera 43 years ago, the 60-year-old has taken tens of thousands of photos.

"I borrowed 80 yuan from my father for a camera," he said. "That was one month's salary for my parents."

As there were no digital cameras then, the cost of film became another burden.

"So I only used the camera to record the most important moments in my life," Xu said, adding that due to work, he didn't have time to take many photos, anyway.

When digital cameras became popular around the turn of the millennium, Xu bought one without hesitation.

"I'd never forgotten my hobby and really love being able to press the shutter without limit," he said, adding that he then began to take photos in his spare time.

As he got deeper into photography, he decided to take pictures of mountains and rivers all across the country. He has since visited many places, including Chongqing and the provinces of Sichuan, Gansu and Shanxi.

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