Visitors enjoy Huang Shiyong's photos at Wuhan's busy Hanjie Street. Zhou Lihua / China Daily
Photography enthusiast Huang Shiyong has uploaded 16,000 pictures of Wuhan on his forum since 2003. Provided to China Daily
Huang Shiyong has probably walked passed the East Lake at Wuhan more than a dozen times. And he has taken a few dozen shots of the famous lake in Hubei province during those visits.
Yet, as the photography enthusiast strolled by the lake recently, his creative juices prompted him to capture more pictures.
Some of those beautiful early autumn photos were uploaded on his forum, Bbs.cnhan.com, under the post named "cloud-drifting Wuhan, water-flowing three-town".
Since 2003, Huang has uploaded 16,000 pictures of Wuhan on his forum to show the world the various corners of his hometown. He has worn out eight digital cameras so far.
"Many people feel that my 10 years of effort is a big deal. I don't think so. It's become a habit, just like smokers light up every day," Huang says.
In 2011, his forum attracted some 2.4 million page views. Yet the 50-year-old remains low-profile. Before he accepted his first media interview in 2011, his family did not even know he is the man behind such a grand project.
A librarian at Tongji medical school in Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Huang has since been called the "Chinese king of posts".
But Huang does not think of himself as an artist or a photographer. "I am just an ordinary citizen. For me, taking pictures is just one way of expression that's simple and direct," he says.
A common theme runs through his collection - the beauty of Wuhan. His posts have drawn some naysayers, who questioned the one-sidedness of his photos - they all show only the good side of Wuhan.
"I have taken many pictures that show the negative side of the city, but I didn't post them because I want to wait until everything gets better. I am more drawn to conveying positive energy. With expectations, life can be more hopeful and relaxing," Huang says.
Shen Yanwei, forum department director of Bbs.cnhan.com, has been tracking and supervising the post since 2003.
"The first moment I saw Huang's postings, I knew it was unique," she says. When it first started, there were not many followers, but there were hundreds of page views.
As the forum became increasingly influential over the years, Shen became more curious and decided to meet the creator. "We organized netizen parties and a year-end award ceremony, but he has turned down every invitation" Shen says.
It was not until 2011, when the Web forum was planning a photo exhibition on the beauty of Wuhan, that Huang was finally moved to show up.
During the recent National Day holidays, Shen held a photo exhibition to showcase 300 of Huang's photos at Wuhan's busy Hanjie Street, which attracted thousands of visitors.
He says he will continue to post on his forum to update viewers on the city's development.
Bian Delong and Cheng Chen in Wuhan contributed to this story.