The View from Tiananmen Square

John Oliver – Tiananmen Square

Here’s a funny video about what is happening in China now around the Tiananmen Square issue… (I could not embed it for some reason)

Daily Photo – The View from Tiananmen Square

Two military police stand guard in the square here, with the photo of Chairman Mao in the background.

What I find very amazing every time I go back to Beijing (I've been six times now) is how young people there are really into Chairman Mao, talking about how awesome he was. This most recent time, my hosts saddled me with this 28 year old Chinese female assistant. She was annoying in many ways (in fact, most ways) — all she did was talk about how important it was to get married and how happy she would be if that happened. It was non-stop. But, anyway, she kept talking about how wonderful Mao was. I said, “Uhhh, you know he's kind of in the big three, right, along with Stalin and Hitler?” She just waved her hand and started talking about how happy she will be once she gets married.

The View from Tiananmen Square

The View from Tiananmen Square

Photo Information

  • Date TakenMay 25, 2014 at 5:32pm
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/250
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length300.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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Getting ready for the Wedding

Cheesy Wedding Photos

Do you know of any sites with crazy wedding photos? I’ve seen some crazy Russian ones… here, let me try to find it. Here’s a crazy one. Oh, and here’s another!

Daily Photo – Getting ready for the Wedding

We were on the outskirts of the Forbidden City then went into a temple area and there were about 20 couples taking their wedding photos. It was so funny to see everyone posing and all the photographers taking photos. They were all trying to find angles where they wouldn't see the other couples. The men wore the craziest tuxedos, but the girls mostly had on really pretty dresses. I took this one while she was moving from one position to the next.

Getting ready for the Wedding

Photo Information

  • Date TakenMay 25, 2014 at 6:38pm
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/4000
  • Aperture
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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A fisherman from a thousand years ago

47 Ronin

Did any of you see 47 Ronin? Some of the scenes in that movie are just unbelievable… in fact, I think that scene when they go to the slaver ships is one of the coolest backgrounds I’ve ever seen in a movie! Here’s a still from it. It didn’t turn out to be the greatest movie ever made or anything… but some of the scenes in there are really beautiful!

Daily Photo – A fisherman from a thousand years ago

There are thousands of little rivers that flow through these huge karst mountains. Fisherman have been around here forever, and I like this idea that this scene could have happened almost any time in history. There are fewer fishermen nowadays, but they can still be seen. We were with some locals that knew some of the fisherman, so we were able to go out on another boat to find them… He looked so cool from a distance as we were approaching, so I tried to grab the photo in that style.

A fisherman from a thousand years ago

Photo Information

  • Date TakenJune 4, 2014 at 12:20am
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/15
  • Aperture5
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length63.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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Little Girl Guarding a Store in Beijing

Leica Lens Buying Guide

Thanks for coming to check out the Leica Lens Buying Guide on the site. I made it as part of the Sony A7r review. I mention it now because this photo was taken with a Leica lens. And no, I’m not sponsored by Leica. I wish!

Daily Photo – Little Girl Guarding a Store in Beijing

I walked down a side street near an area called HoHai in Beijing to find all kinds of little treasures. This street was perfect. Dozens of tiny shops, from antiques to chocolates to perfumes to books to everything in between. There were many colors and outfits. From inside one of the little stores, this tiny girl walked out. She must have been the daughter of the proprietor. She leaned on the door and looked up and down the street, in her own zone.

Little Girl Guarding a Store in Beijing

Little Girl Guarding a Store in Beijing

Photo Information

  • Date TakenMay 30, 2014 at 12:54am
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/350
  • Aperture
  • ISO5000
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramShutter speed priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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In the streets of Yangshuo

I love Yangshuo!

I’m excited to go back to this little town. Be sure to sign up for the newsletter — we’ll be taking a trip there together, perhaps!

Daily Photo – In the streets of Yangshuo

I loved walking around this city in the rain. The colors and the umbrellas were so fun to photograph. I loved using the Leica f/1.4 at 35mm wide open. It made for nice quick shots. I, unapologetically, enjoy taking photos of interesting people. I'd say it's about 70% girls and 30% guys. It's just much easier to find interesting-looking girls in the streets. They dress more interesting, have prettier umbrellas, and often have a certain style to them. I don't know…anyway, here is one of them!

In the streets of Yangshuo

In the streets of Yangshuo

Photo Information

  • Date TakenJune 5, 2014 at 1:16am
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture
  • ISO3200
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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Inside the Infinity

Working from home

I’m curious… do you work from home instead of going into an office building? I was thinking about this when looking at today’s photo of a cool office building… I wonder if a cool office building even helps. If you like your job, then you don’t really mind what the building looks like, I think.

Daily Photo – Inside the Infinity

This is the inside of an interesting office building in the CBD (the boringly named Central Business District) of Beijing. Tom and I wontonly walked inside here and started taking photos. The security approached us and there was a lot of confusion. Then the manager showed up and everything went a bit pear-shaped. But at least I got this photo… I find it so strange… the design of these buildings… they are wonderfully inhuman, but kind of beautiful.

Inside the Infinity

Inside the Infinity

Photo Information

  • Date TakenMay 25, 2014 at 4:05am
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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Wild horse on the Li River

Horse Photography

I love taking photos of horses… I’d love to have even more chances to try different things… I think I like horses in the middle of dramatic backgrounds, cool barns, nice textures, etc. So I’m always trying to get horses into interesting background contexts… I just ended up lucky here.

Daily Photo – Wild horse on the Li River

Okay it's not wild. That's kind of wishful thinking. But, let's just say it was temporarily wild! Local villagers would bring their horses down to the river to wash. This one villager brought this beautiful white horse. I had my guide ask them if we could take photo before she got all wet. So, she was temporarily free, splashing in the water while I took this photo. I hope she enjoyed it — I did! :)

Wild horse on the Li River

Wild horse on the Li River

Photo Information

  • Date TakenJune 4, 2014 at 2:56pm
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/8000
  • Aperture4
  • ISO320
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias-0.7

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Where the Warm City Meets the Blue Karst Mountains

When visiting Guilin

Be sure to sign up for our Newsletter there on the right, btw. I think we might do a big event in this area in 2015. You can click on the “Guilin” link there under the date of this post to see more photos from the area. Anyway, when you are here, the two main places to visit are Guilin and Yangshuo. I spend most of my time in Yangshuo… Just thinking about it again is getting me excited! :)

Daily Photo – Where the Warm City Meets the Blue Karst Mountains

This is a great city to watch from above. It's so electric and buzzing underneath the cool night air. It's so electric, in fact, I thought perhaps maybe there was legalized gambling here. But of course, there is not. The only place gambling is legal in China is in Macau, and I look forward to going there one day… it looks absolutely insane!

To get to this spot, it was a rather sweaty climb. It's one of the most popular hikes in the area, so you can't miss it, really!

Where the Warm City Meets the Blue Karst Mountains

Where the Warm City Meets the Blue Karst Mountains

Photo Information

  • Date TakenJune 3, 2014 at 12:37am
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time2.5
  • Aperture4
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length70.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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Walking Through Yangshuo

A buddy with an umbrella

Can I tell you what a luxury it is to have someone hold an umbrella for you in the rain while you take photos? It is unbelievable! I love to shoot in the rain, and always struggled with also holding an umbrella and trying to operate all my equipment. Plus, I refuse to get one of those hat-umbrella things… I must have at least a little bit of dignity!

Daily Photo – Walking Through Yangshuo

This was the only moment in the night where it stopped raining long enough for me to get a shot with a tripod. I took many other handheld shots this evening with my other Sony A7r, using Leica lenses. Of those, probably only 10/200 turned out interesting… but I was happy this one came out good. I do like to set up for the occasional wide-angle shot to try to capture the whole scene.

Walking Through Yangshuo

Photo Information

  • Date TakenJune 5, 2014 at 1:37am
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/250
  • Aperture4
  • ISO3200
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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Spire through the Morning Fog

Thanks for signing up for the Newsletter!

I wanted to thank everyone again for signing up for the Newsletter. We have more special treats coming soon. And, as usual, we send out about one a month… it’s not to be missed! :)

Daily Photo – Spire through the Morning Fog

Every morning here near the Li River is different. I walked all the way up here one morning only to be surrounded by pea-soup the entire time! This time I woke up again at 4 in the morning to come up here to try again. This time, I was rewarded with some truly beautiful mists and foggy cloud layers that made everything feel like a dream!

Spire through the Morning Fog

Photo Information

  • Date TakenJune 7, 2014 at 11:21am
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/60
  • Aperture4
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length15.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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