Daniel Zvereff: Negative Thirty-Four In Harbin

Daniel Zvereff is a freelance designer, illustrator and photographer. He travels to the far corners of the world documenting his journeys through images and journals.

Harbin is the tenth most populated city in China. Located above the 45°N latitude, the winters are bitterly cold and long. I traveled to Harbin in January, when the city was experiencing its coldest winter in 43 years. Temperatures in the day dropped below -34°C, and I was seriously unprepared. This experience completely transformed the meaning of the word “cold” to me. With every breath I took, the hairs in my nose would freeze, stab me from the inside and then defrost upon exhaling. Life here requires 24-hour maintenance to keep the city moving — everything freezes, and cars barely run. There’s a constant and tireless mindset of maintenance and preparation that keeps this part of the world from being completely enveloped and lost in the winter. Although many people visit Harbin for its stunning yearly ice festival, I found the daily life to be much more spectacular.

-Daniel Zvereff

To learn more about Daniel and see more of his work, please visit his website.

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  • Hello Daniel! I’m very glad you’ve found my home town to be interesting, love the photos you’ve taken!

  • Great Pictures!
    I enjoyed viewing them like this…
    please post the pictures more often like this, it really is a pain to click through the images with your pictureviewer – i often don’t go through to the end because i’m getting annoyed searching the “next” button again

  • In spite of your frightening description of Harbin you pictures make me desiring to put some heavy cloth in a bag, take my cameras and a few films, jump on a plane and visit this place! Thanks.
    PS: I find very iconic the photo of the man walking on the ice and snow toward a city. And the photo of a frozen window (I suppose) with the handprints on the ice and two “mysterious” eyer looking out is a superb photo. But it must be a real cold place!

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