Sophomore Peter Pan Keeps His Eye in the Sky

Pan developed his passion for photography from a young age, and grew up taking photos of the city of Shanghai, China.

Jordan Lee, Front Page Editor

While most high school teens spend their Friday nights hanging out with friends, sleeping or playing video games, sophomore Peter Pan flies high in the sky, taking stunning photographs from above. Pan is a passionate travel and aerial photographer who loves to explore new places and document cultures within them.

“When I am traveling, I enjoy seeing how different cultures have their own way and talent of living,” Pan said.

From a young age, Pan has possessed a deep passion for photography. Growing up in the picturesque metropolitan city of Shanghai, China, he learned how to tell stories and share his experiences through his photographs.

“Shanghai is my hometown, my favorite place in the world. The skyline of Shanghai is one of the sites to photograph every time I am there,” Pan said. “Shanghai is the city that inspires me to photograph. There is so much going on everywhere, with so many stories for me to capture!”

In addition to his love for capturing diverse lifestyles through his travels, Pan also enjoys taking aerial pictures with his drone. Though operating a drone is challenging due to flight restrictions and required licenses, the unique angles and shooting possibilities are worth it to Pan.

“Drone photography gives me a different perspective. Drone photography requires more skills and experience,” Pan said. “It is never relaxing to control a flying camera from several miles away, especially when something doesn’t go to plan.”

Pan’s work has been featured in several highly acclaimed photography competitions; one of his images was awarded first place in National Geographic’s 2017 Youth Photographer of the Year Contest.

“National Geographic was one of my great pleasures and a new starting point for me as a photographer,” Pan said. “It was comfortable to be accepted by others. However, it also comes with pressure: the pressure to get better.”

Pan is also is a member of the Portola News Network and is vice president of the photography club. Pan’s involvement in photography at school has exposed him to new career opportunities and interests, which he said he believes will play a large role in shaping his future.

“My goal is to work in the visual art industries, like the film industry, magazine picture editor, etc. Photography will always be my number one hobby,” Pan said.