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  • Keiko Watanabe-O'Dell

Photographer Heather Wu (Wu Hui Jun)


Photographer Heather Wu (Wu Hui Jun) (at left) can often be found travelling to inspiring global locations that capture the senses, open the mind and take you on a visual journey. When she's back in town, Heather can also be found operating her very own unique bar (called "Bad Panda") with rooftop views in the picturesque city of Yangshuo, China. I was fortunate enough to be able to ask Heather about her artistry in the world of photography.

Keiko Watanabe-O'Dell: "How did you get started in photography?"

Heather Wu (Wu Hui Jun): "I think it was when I was jobless and started travelling and also when smart phones started having decent cameras."

Keiko: "Do you have favourite places to photograph?"

Heather: "It’s got to be Yangshuo; it’s the place I love the most." Keiko: "Do you prefer to photograph people or landscapes?"

Heather: "Both. Preferably landscapes with people . A crowded spot with people walking around or just someone standing on the riverside from a distance. Whatever feels right at the time really." (below: Heather Wu Photography; Location: Germany).

Keiko: "I noticed that you were in Bali recently; do you have any recommendations for people travelling there? Is it safe?!"

Heather: "Bali was little bit messy in some areas,but it was definitely an amazing destination to visit. Personally,my favorite area was Ubud; it was calm and natural. It has many fantastic resorts and restaurants/bistros,less bars and almost no clubs, which I loved. (Being a bar owner really makes me seek quieter holidays)." (below: Heather Wu, photographer, spotted in Ubud, Bali. "This was one of the hardest challenges for me," Heather recalls, "because I'm scared of heights!")

Keiko: "Do you have any favourite photographers whose work you really love?"

Heather: "I don’t really have a specific favourite photographer, but I’m often inspired by my photographer friends and some photographers that I’ve found on Instagram." (below: Photography by Heather Wu; location: Xiang Gong Mountain,Yangshuo, China).

Keiko: "You've travelled a lot but if you could travel anywhere else in the world, where would you like to go?"

Heather: "It’d be South America, especially Cuba, (before the USA influences and changes the culture there, as they often do.)" (below: Italy and China feature strongly in Heather Wu's photographic exploration of landscapes and the outdoors).

Keiko: "Please describe yourself in 5 - 10 words!"

Heather: "Witty, funny, moody, intelligent, strong, loyal, creative and kind." (below: Heather Wu in Bali).

Keiko: "What are your photography plans for 2018? Do you have any upcoming projects/ideas that you are working on that you might like to mention?"

Heather: "One of my recent goals has been realised actually and it was primarily to get a decent camera that’s easy to travel with, so I have gone ahead and done that! It was important for me as I had reached the limits of what my smartphone had been able to do. There are variables to taking a photo that only an SLR camera can handle; the options are just not available on a smartphone. So now I have my new equipment, I'm going to continue to learn to how to work with these more elaborate elements of photography. Also I would to purchase a drone so that I can make videos, because at the moment I’ve been taking videos with my GoPro and obviously a drone can open your photos and videos to new perspectives. For 2018, I also have more travel destinations to visit, so I will see what inspires me."

Keiko: "If someone is thinking about getting started in photography, what would be your suggestions for them?"

Heather: "Definitely try to travel more or at least go to new places that could open your eyes or inspire you to look at things in a new way. Use what you have to take photos, rather than waiting for a better smartphone or a better camera. You can start with anything! Don’t try to copy other photographers; it is better to find your own unique eye and perspective to explore the world." GM (below: Tai Chi with Jamie in Yangshuo, by Heather Wu Photography).

(below: Austria, by Heather Wu Photography)

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