The Way I See It

Archive for January 2011

Grand Palace

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Images from the Grand Palace in Phnom Penh, the residence of HM Norodom Sihamoni, the current King of Cambodia. The mercury hit 40C (104F) that day. I’m glad that shorts were allowed on the palace grounds. 😉

Palace Grounds



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January 29, 2011 at 10:20 pm

Ream Fisherfolk

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Our trip through the river and estuary of the park provided us with the opportunity to observe the fisher families at work. Once numbering in the hundreds, a sturdy few chose to remain when the area was declared a national park. They lead simple unhurried lives, living off whatever the sea and forest provide. Not the easiest of lives for sure, but whenever we came upon a family or group, we were treated to a friendly smile or wave. For me, this was the highlight of the trip out to Sihanoukville.

This set of images is dedicated to Chris – brother, fellow traveler and partner-in-crime. I look forward to our next adventure!

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January 23, 2011 at 12:16 am

Rugged Beauty

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Some images of the rugged beauty of the Preah Nihanouk “Ream” National Park. Very much unspoiled by the onslaught of modernization, the park is an amazing combination of tropical rainforest, mangrove swamp and tideland.

Off To Work







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January 10, 2011 at 11:37 pm

Storks and Stork-Bill

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I finally got around to processing the rest of the images from my trip to Cambodia last year. These two images were made at the Preah Sihanouk or Ream National Park, on the outskirts of Sihanoukville.

This first image is of a pair of Lesser Adjutant Storks, wading and feeding in the mud of the mangrove swamp (which covers a great deal of the park). These are not small birds. They’re about 4 feet (~1.2 m) tall, with wingspans of 6 to 7 feet (1.8 to 2.1 m).

Lesser Adjutant Storks


This second image is of a Stork-Billed Kingfisher. About a foot (~30 cm) tall, this noisy bird has spectacularly-colored plumage and coloring. This one was sitting at the top of a (fish) net stake. It was…well…fishing.

Stork-Billed Kingfisher

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January 7, 2011 at 1:24 am


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I made this image on a gorgeous sunny afternoon this past weekend. Shot from one of Seattle’s steep bluffs, it features an iconic Washington State Ferry as it plies it’s way across the shimmering waters of the Puget Sound. In the rear are the cliffs and hills of neighboring islands. It is scenes and days like this that make the seemingly interminable gray-wet-cold winter months more tolerable.

Across Puget Sound

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January 6, 2011 at 12:49 am

East Meets West

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Once a year – at X’mas time – I like to do what I call The Traditional Christmas Hot Pot. Wouldn’t it have been so good in that cold, cold manger all those years ago?

Ready for Traditional Christmas Hot Pot

Written by xinapray

January 4, 2011 at 11:50 pm

Uncharted Waters

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Uncharted Waters

If you’ve ever marveled at a child schuss over the lip of a black diamond ski run or cannonball into a swimming pool, you know the indomitable devil-may-care spirit of childhood. As we grow older, we become tentative. Life, culture, family, school – whatever – teaches us to value safety and predictability. We learn to pick expediency over making tough choices. We shutter our emotions, because being emotional is often seen as a character flaw. We develop rational, safe, predictable patterns in our lives. We become trapped within our comfort zones.

And little by little, we lose our grasp on that unfettered thrill for life.

We get to do this adventure called life only once. There are no do-overs; no gimmes, no second chances. We cannot choose when we are done; it chooses us. Tomorrow, I could discover that I have an incurable disease. Or be in a wreck. Or one of a gazillion bad things might befall me. Then what would have become all my rational choosing and careful planning?

So this is it – my resolution and my aspiration. To live my life with passion and with immediacy. To put myself out there, to lay myself on the line, to wear my heart on my sleeve. There are times that I will fail. Fail spectacularly, even. And that’s okay, as long as it is because I tried. Life isn’t a means to an end. It is the meaning at the end.


Written by xinapray

January 3, 2011 at 12:38 am

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