Climbing to the top of Hong Kong (and an interview on NPR)

This is an HDR from a single RAW file! I shot it while on an escalator inside a building… while the escalator was moving! I would have to say that one of the top three questions I get is “How do you make an HDR out of a moving subject?” Well, that is covered in page 3 of the HDR Tutorial here… Maybe some people don’t make it to page 3? I don’t know. It’s easy! :)

Also, I was recently interviewed on NPR for a the station WUKY. You can listen to the NPR interview here online. Enjoy!

Climbing to the top of Hong Kong (and an interview on NPR)

The Curious Old Chinese Village (and a BorrowLenses Review)

If you all want to try out “Netflix for Lenses”, read my new review of Lens Rental from BorrowLenses. I think it’s a great service. I gave the service a full run recently and came away happy!

This pic below was taken in China. It’s curious isn’t it? I’ll open it up for discussion… see who can figure out what exactly is happening in the photo… (don’t forget you can zoom into the original size on Flickr)

The Curious Old Chinese Village

Connecting in Hong Kong

Hong Kong airport is a great one, as are many Asian airports. They put US Airports to shame. The security is actually nice to you there, and you don’t get all the attitude of the TSA. The TSA looks so important with their little uniforms. I think they are just silly… but it is remarkable how people react to uniforms.

I was going to find a pic of the silly uniforms so we could all make fun of them, but then I found out that the TSA has a blog! How boring. It makes me real happy that my tax money is going for the TSA’s social media operation. Look at this TSA blog entry on the Fourth of July and the YouTube videos they provided (especially the charmer about the dangerous “Sparkler”). Don’t worry everyone, the US Government is now blogging for you.

Connecting in Hong Kong

Old China

I found this woman outside the train station in Hangzhou. She was sitting by herself waiting on someone or something. Like most Chinese, she didn’t speak a word of English, and none of my international gesticulations seemed to trigger a response. Except, that is, for the one when I asked if I could take a photo. She nodded happily and sat serenely while I grabbed a shot. I walked on, and turned around to wave. She gave me a little nod.

There are a lot of the older generation in China that I am sure are completely amazed by what is happening of late there. I wished I could have asked her a few questions, but my Mandarin is woefully inept. My 8-year-old son is taking lessons… maybe I’ll have to take him with me next time to act as translator!

Old China (by Stuck in Customs)

Even the Model of Shanghai is Huge

Look at this crazy place I found in Shanghai!

This was inside one of the many government buildings. It was a multi-story complex dedicated to the past, present, and future of Shanghai. It was filled with multimedia presentations on the water systems, photo exhibits of the Bund under British control, and video extrapolations of what the city would become in 2020.

Of all these cool things, the best was this gigantic model of Shanghai. I walked around it about five times, trying to get some kind of sense of how to photograph the dang thing. Then, finally, I decided to grab a shot that included a few tourists to show the scale of this monstrosity.

By the way, thanks so much for all the interest in the Newsletter yesterday! I put a map on that page showing where all the early subscribers are coming from. I was, frankly, surprised how many people signed up! Now the pressure is on to deliver something that is worthwhile!

Even the model of Shanghai is huge (by Stuck in Customs)

The Motion of Shanghai

I crossed under the river one night from the Bund to get a closer look at the Oriental Pearl Tower. There was a cool fountain at the bottom and no tourists around.

This is a good thing, since it is always hard to make tourists look “cool” in photos. No matter what, everyone ends up looking like a gawking Rick Steves. Speaking of which, his travel series on PBS called “Europe through the Back Door” always gave me cause for concern.

The Motion of Shanghai

The Glowing Forests of Endor

It was dark in Hangzhou, former home of the Song Dynasty in Southern China. The Songs ran the show until the Mongols invaded in the 1200’s. No one ever expects the Mongol invasion.

Now it is devoid of Mongols, but it is filled with cute Ewok-like creatures that live up in the hills and along the idyllic lake.

The Glowing Forests of Endor

The Magic of Shanghai

It was well after sundown when I finished some meetings, so I went down to the Bund to take some shots across the river of Shanghai. Even in the middle of the night, the river was full of boats coming and going, all lit up with various festive colors. Everything had an electric feel and I very much enjoyed walking up and down the river as the lights changed and new boats came and went…

The Magic of Shanghai (by Stuck in Customs)

The Dynasty’s Royal Retreat amidst the Lilypads

Ahhh… Chinese royalty. Of all the royalty in the world, I don’t think anyone lived quite as well as the Chinese. Maybe that’s open for debate? I suppose luxury is a state of mind, but they certainly had all the component parts.

Here in Hangzhou, the royals would summer, languishing about these gardens and lakes, staring out across these lily ponds.

In other news, I have a new article that is a short version of my HDR Tutorial up over at Abduzeedo, which is one of the world’s top design blogs. I keep that site in my RSS news reader and can usually find some good design inspiration there!

The Dynasty's Royal Retreat amidst the Lilypads (by Stuck in Customs)

Dragon Boats of Commoners on a Lonely Stream near Hangzhou

On the weekend while in Shanghai, I was in the mood for an adventure, so I went down to the train station to buy a ticket to Hangzhou. This was the capital of the Southern Song Dynasty in the 12th century and it was in the middle of the Yangtze river delta. The royalty established a number of temples around West Lake, the dozens of tiny freshwater lakes that were created for the emperor.

As I explored around, there were many beautiful things to be seen. Here is one of many more I have to bring you.

Dragon Boats of Commoners on a Lonely Stream near Hangzhou (by Stuck in Customs)

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