A Street Scene from Beijing

On Karen’s Blog

Karen has written something very cool over on her blog about The Arcanum. Go check it out!

Shooting in the rain

It goes against every instinct of mine to go out and take photos in the rain. It’s literally something I have to force myself to do because I know how interesting streets and places with people can be when there is a bit of rain splashing about. I usually always come back with at least one or two keepers, and that makes me thankful I forced myself to do it. I’m hoping some day that my instincts flip around the other way and I no longer have to force myself! :)

Daily Photo – A Street Scene from Beijing

This is one of my favorite new areas of Beijing. Even though I've been to Beijing four times or so, it was my first time to this area. I was also lucky that it was raining, so it was even more interesting. This is a very old part of the city that was razed and widened during the Olympics. I actually have no idea what is original and what is rebuilt… although I have a sneaking suspicion that none of it is original.

A Street Scene from Beijing

A Street Scene from Beijing

Photo Information

  • Date TakenMay 28, 2013 at 12:18am
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/100
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length10.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

The Charming Streets of Lijiang

New Alexia Sinclair video

Here’s a new video from my friend Alexia. She really hit it out of the park with this one! I’m so glad she’s one of the Masters over at The Arcanum!

Daily Photo – The Charming Streets of Lijiang

All the streets in and around this town in southern China are amazing and full of life right before closing, and then everything goes quiet and dead. It's so strange… it reminds me of those time-lapse photos where you see flowers open up when the sun comes up then close down as the sun sets.

The Charming Streets of Lijiang

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D3X
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time3
  • Aperture4.8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length15.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Boats in waiting

SmugMug Review

Don’t forget to go check out the SmugMug Review — I’m adding to it all the time!

Daily Photo – Boats in waiting

Along Beihai Park in Beijing is a collection of boats that wait for passengers. Some of the touring companies are so strange. I walk by these, and there is absolutely no one there. It’s not staffed and I’ve never actually seen anyone in a boat. If I wanted a boat ride, I would have no idea how to go about getting one! This is one of the strange things about some of the consumer-facing operations that are still under the full domain of the government — general confusion! Many (probably most that you see in public areas) are not under the thumb of the government, so they operate in the way you’d expect a normal business to operate…but not these boats… oh no, there’s no way you’re getting on them!

Boats in waiting

Boats in waiting

Photo Information

  • Date TakenMay 27, 2013 at 8:47am
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/5
  • Aperture1.8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Asian Blade Runner

I need a life-sized sheep that is not real

Does anyone in Queenstown know where I can get a full-sized or nearly-full-sized sheep? I need it for this Rather Strange Charity Thing I committed to with Patrick Rothfuss. Here’s a link right to the fundraising page.

Philip K. Dick Books

What’s your favorite? I’m on a new PKD kick thanks to a new friend. He is recommending book after book, and I am drinking them all in voraciously!

Daily Photo – Asian Blade Runner

Speaking of PKD, the Blade Runner city was based on Los Angeles, but I think it is probably the asian cities that are more likely to move into that future. Whenever we hit that, “Okay, this is absolutely Blade Runner” moment will be from some place like this. For example, this is Beijing. And it’s kind of a tight race between here, Tokyo, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and maybe a few others. Which city will be the first to escalate itself to this sci-fi ending???

Asian Blade Runner

Photo Information

  • Date TakenMay 25, 2013 at 9:20am
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time6
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length83.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

A quick pose between servings

Funny Amazon Reviewer

Okay I figured out that the Kleenex review was a fake, written by this guy who has 1,000 AMAZING reviews that are totally off the hook… haha man that guy is great. I wonder if there is a book that is a collection of these!

Daily Photo – A quick pose between servings

While in Beijing, we had this richly decorated waitress that would bring us serving after serving! It was non-stop food. She was dressed in such an ornate outfit (see those shoes?), and she was a fun subject for photos. When she was going back and forth between bringing me the food, I jumped out to take a photo. She saw me, and made a quick fun pose!

A quick pose between servings

A quick pose between servings

Photo Information

  • Date TakenMay 27, 2013 at 7:56am
  • CameraNEX-5R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/125
  • Aperture5
  • ISO250
  • Focal Length78.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Long Bridge to the Ancient Island

If I go to Beijing

I’m going to take drones. This will no doubt freak out the Chinese people. I wonder what they will think? I think we kind of take it for granted here in the Western world, but I have a feeling that they will just stare at it and wonder. Plus, these DJI Drones are super-noisy and scary-sounding. I don’t know what the Chinese government will think, either… so whenever I am approached by a policeman, I just say that I am with the Chinese government and it would best if they just left me alone. I’m not sure this is the best policy, but it has worked every time so far!

Daily Photo – Long Bridge to the Ancient Island

This was a new find in Beijing. I had never been out to this little island before — Beihai Weizhou Island. There are several long bridges that get to the island, and they are all an equally long walk. I guess that is one thing I notice about Chinese attractions — they all involve long walks! I mean, I’m not complaining… but I’m walking around these places carrying all my stuff and then the thought always strikes me, “My God! I’ve been walking forever!”

Beihai Weizhou Island

Long Bridge to the Ancient Island

Photo Information

  • Date TakenMay 27, 2013 at 8:44am
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1.3
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length80.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Parallel Universe In China

Should I go back to China?

XI got an offer to come back to China again from the government. They are always very nice to me. They give me a driver, an assistant, and a translator, and I have carte blanche to go anywhere and shoot anything. The only thing they ask for in exchange is a few dozen photos that they can use also, but I still own all the rights. It’s a pretty good deal, I say! Plus, I simply like having all the access and freedom, which you don’t otherwise have in China! But, the pollution always gets me down so much… I don’t know if I want to go subject myself to another week of that. I’m completely undecided.

If I go, I was thinking of taking a few drones and going drone-photo-crazy in China. I think that could be a pretty unique thing to do… but I wonder if my drones would shut down in the polluted skies and drop like birds from a horror movie!?!

Daily Photo – Parallel Universe In China

Whenever I visit China, it’s a bit like when crew members of the NCC-1701(n) would visit the Klingon home world. Everything is so foreign and isolated that everything feels a bit “off.” But then I go into a shopping mall like this and I get back into parallel-universe mode. The whole scene seems strangely familiar, but also a little bit “off.” It’s like I am out of phase with time or something. I enjoy it, am observant, take photos, eat snacks, and all the normal kinds of things I do, but I have never felt totally in vibrational sync in these sorts of places. I don’t know if that makes any sense to you or not, but maybe.

Mall in China

Parallel Universe In China

Photo Information

  • Date TakenMay 26, 2013 at 5:50am
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1
  • Aperture10
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length10.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Temple in the Trees

Better by Design CEO Summit 2013: Trey Ratcliff – Disruption through Visual Design

Below is a talk that I recently gave up in Auckland at the Better By Design conference that is put on by Icebreaker and Jeremy Moon. It is a private function that has about 400 CEOs from the biggest New Zealand companies that attend. It’s a really fun and thought-provoking two days where everyone is challenged to evolve design and design thinking.

Check out Bokeh

My friend Michael Zhang just launched a new app called “Bokeh” — follow that link to find out more! Also, here is a direct link to it in the App Store.

Daily Photo – Temple in the Trees

It was a hot and humid day in Beijing. I was getting a bit tired around mid-afternoon, but I still had that itch to take photos, you know? I found my way into this temple complex here that was covered with trees. I mostly hung out under the trees for an hour or so to recoup… and, whilst in recoup, I took a few photos like this! :)

The Temple

Temple in the Trees

Photo Information

  • Date TakenMay 25, 2013 at 12:48am
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/30
  • Aperture10
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length10.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+2

Reflections of Old China

Reminder about the New Smugmug Look

I’m still so happy with my new SmugMug portfolio. If you haven’t seen it yet, be sure to check out my Smugmug Review here on the site!

Daily Photo – Reflections of Old China

I love these old parts of China that could be from almost any period in history. The riverside part of Feng Huang is a bit like this, so it is one of my favorite areas to photograph. I really need to go back… I’m looking forward to returning and re-imagining these places with new equipment. And maybe the weather patterns will be better, but I usually doubt it in China where it is commonly grey and morose in the sky!

Reflections of Old China

Reflections of Old China

Photo Information

  • Date TakenOctober 7, 2010 at 5:29am
  • CameraNIKON D3X
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time3
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length20.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+1

The Mysterious Table and Don’t Forget about the Contest!

Don’t forget you can win a Quadcopter with a camera!

Be sure to pop on over to This Post from a few days ago and enter a comment to win this awesome thing you see to the right. I have one on the way, and I am so excited! It’s called the Phantom 2 from DJI, and it looks pretty incredible. It even has a 14 megapixel camera, which is not too shabby. I’m starting to think about some crazy photos and videos I can shoot with it!

And Speaking of Drones…

Amazon just announced they are working on some package delivery drones. They look like they’re pretty far into testing them! You can see this rather amazing video over on the right… whoa… I wonder how long before we just see drones all over the skies… probably not too long if this looks to be happening. I’ll probably order all kinds of useless stuff just so I can see the drones come over again and again!

Daily Photo – Secret Photo Day

Can anyone tell me where this amazing place is located?

I found it on a recommendation from Sir Richard Taylor (the gentleman from Weta Workshop), and he told me it was absolutely crazy inside. He was right! There are so many crazy pieces of art, every chair is unique, and, well, the list goes on and on. I think there are over forty rooms, and they are all different. This is just one of them!

The Crazy Chinese Table

Secret Photo Day

Photo Information

  • Date TakenMay 29, 2013 at 12:48pm
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time6
  • Aperture4
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length10.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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