The Way I See It

Archive for June 2011

Just a Boy and His Trike

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We have probably all seen the strangely-wonderful images of people and their overloaded tricycles from from such exotic places as Hanoi, Bangalore, Phnom Pehn and what-have-you. But with the introduction of motorization, the Chinese manufacturers seem to have taken this workhorse to a new level (and understandly so – faster, further, more – what’s there not to like in the pursuit of progress for a hypersonically-industrializing nation?)

I made this images during my last trip.

The first is of a construction entrepreneur (I think his name was Yang), zipping along the countryside on his scooter-trike. The thing was faster and more manueverable that we were in our Ford 4×4.

Just a Boy and His Trike, I

Just a Boy and His Trike, I

This second image was made on the major highway out of Zhongdian. We had stopped, in an odd sort of coincidence, to check out tricycle features and prices. A fair bit of tire-kicking took place but no, we did not buy one 😉

Just a Boy and His Trike, II and II

Just a Boy and His Trike, II and II

 

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Written by xinapray

June 30, 2011 at 3:29 pm

For Viv

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Tranquil / For Viv

Tranquil / For Viv

Made at twilight last night, this image is for cousin Viv; today is her special day. A Very Happy Birthday to you dear, and may the coming year be filled with special days, every single one of them!

Written by xinapray

June 28, 2011 at 12:01 am

Winter Night, Shanghai

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Shanghai Winter Nightscape

Shanghai Winter Nightscape

I made this exposure from my hotel room in the Jingan District of Shanghai during my trip in February. Shanghai winter nights are usually foggy-hazy-dewy but I was lucky on this particular evening. I was even more lucky to have the company that I had on the trip. Family and old friends Bernard, Cal, Chris, Pete, Sam and Tim all made it over. Thanks also to local hosts Eric, ML and TS. What a crew! What a time!

Written by xinapray

June 23, 2011 at 8:02 am

Springtime on the Plateau

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We’d spent a great deal of the afternoon exploring. This time of year, the sun stays high in the sky for a long time, making for unflattering flat light and short, harsh shadows (and an easy burn for unprotected skin!). Not the best for photography. But towards the end of our adventure, as we were traversing this meadow, the spring blooms and foliage were lit just right. This is what we saw…

Springtime Meadow

Springtime Meadow

 

Written by xinapray

June 19, 2011 at 1:38 am

Symbols

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Here are a couple of characters that I ran across while wandering around Shangri-la. This first one is the word “da” or “large”. It stands on the side of a new establishment in new town, waiting to be fastened into place.

Living Large

Living Large

I found this second character painted on the mud wall of a traditional Tibetan building in old town. It is a stylized version of the word “zhong” – medium or middle. In this context, I think it symbolizes the zhong in “zhong guo” (i.e., the middle kingdom, aka China). Or perhaps the zhong in “zhongdian”, the former/Chinese name for Shangri-la.

Zhong

Zhong

Written by xinapray

June 18, 2011 at 12:40 am

Magicland

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Magicland

Magicland

We arrived to a cold, misty Shangri-la morning. I made this image as we circled past town on our run into the airport. It’s pretty dry and dusty this time of year. But when the the mist and light come out to play, magic happens. One of my dreams is to live in the area for several weeks and do nothing but make images of this amazing part of the world.

Written by xinapray

June 11, 2011 at 11:48 pm

Home Again

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Self-Portrait in Acrylic

Self-Portrait in Acrylic

Shanghai – Chengdu – Kunming – Shangri-la – Lijiang – Shanghai in 11 days. Wow, what a trip. I caught a cold in Shanghai, an auspicious start that was followed with a bit of altitude sickness in Shangri-la. But all the while, the company was great. I got to see lots, do lots, accomplish lots. Caught the holidaying crowds in a festive Lijiang on Duanwujie, strolled down a Chengdu boulevard where the entire street smelled like Ma La (Sichuan hot pepper) cooking, had dinner and drinks with a celebrity hairdresser in Kunming, even got to belt a few at a Tibetan-style KTV in Shangri-la.

But by the end, I was glad to be heading back. To the quiet and tranquility and solitude of my special space; to the safety and steadfastness of the rock of my life. Ask me in a couple of weeks and I’ll probably tell you that I’m ready to go again. But for now, nothing beats being home.

Written by xinapray

June 10, 2011 at 3:58 am

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