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Environment / Climate change

This is the view from the top of the Shanghai Tower, China's tallest skyscraper

Now, we are not in the habit of rehashing PR fluff about expensive cameras. We’re just not that sort of website. I mean, at least buy us dinner first.

But this particular bit of fluff comes with some quite stunning pictures of Shanghai from the top of its tallest building – so just this once, we thought we’d make an exception.

This picture was taken by Paul Reiffer, an award-winning British photographer and former male model. It was taken on (let’s get this over with) the Phase One XF camera system, which comes with a resolution of up to 80 megapixels and lots of other large and impressive sounding numbers that we don’t really understand.

The top of the Shanghai Tower, was, we’re assured, the “tallest place a Phase One has ever visited”.

And to be fair, it is pretty bloody tall: the Tower, which is still under construction, will stand 632m high and have 128 storeys. It’s currently the second tallest building in the world, behind only the Burj Khalifa in Dubai: that’s 828m, but the observation deck is at 555m. In other words, these pictures are taken from the highest point in a city centre that any photographer can currently get to without the aid of a flying machine.

Here’s that view again, this time in daylight:

The towers you can see below you are the 492m Shanghai World Financial Center, and the 420m Jin Mao Tower, all three of which sit within a few hundred metres of each other.

The last of these is positively titchy compared to the other two, but it still scrapes into the 20 tallest buildings in the world. By way of comparison, London’s Shard, the tallest building in the EU, is only 306m.

The Shanghai Tower isn’t open to the public yet: on his blog, Reiffer explains that he was

lucky enough to get early access and shoot from above before the barriers and glass get installed, preventing a completely clear view from the public areas.

Here’s one last picture, this time with clouds rolling in. The river you can see in the background, incidentally, is the Huangou.

We know little of the Phase One camera system – but these are quite wonderful photographs.

You can read more about Paul Reiffer’s adventures above Shanghai on his own website.
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