Qiantang River tide is one of the most renowned tidal bore in the world. Ancient Chinese poet Su Dongpo ever praised the Qiantang River’s autumn tide in his poem as “The tide on August 18th is the most spectacular scene in the world”. The custom of watching tide along the Qiantang River has a long history. It is said that Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China during the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC) and the Emperor Qianlong in Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) had ever come to see the tide at Haining. Memorial pavilions and bronze statues of Sun Yat-sen, Mao Zedong, Xu Zhimo and Hu Shi in watching tidal bore are still kept at the riverside in Yanguan of Haining. Now the tourists coming to watch tide have expanded overseas. Each year at the tidal season, watching Qiantang River tide has been a visual feast for tourists home and abroad.
According to the traditional practice, the tidewater gets to its climax on Aug 18 in the Chinese lunar calendar each year. Actually, the Qiantang River has tide every day, and it’s just smaller at normal days. I started to pay attention to the tide since 1995, and I was intended to capture the dangerous and monstrous tide on the film, to warn tide viewers. While things go contrary to my wishes, and after the photos were released, more visitors went to see the tide. Some tide viewers, seeking for a thrill, get close to the tide in “zero distance” without listening to exhortation. If it is for shooting, that’s also very unsafe. After each spring tide, camera repair stores will receive numerous cameras that have been dampen by tide water, and some of the cameras have been totally scrapped. The tide water has unexpected habits, and the risk rises if you want to shoot extraordinary photos.