Across the Top of the Old Village

New eBook – The Tuesday Composition

Over the next month or so, we’re launching a bunch of new eBooks at We just released The Tuesday Composition by Joe Decker – go check it out!

The Tuesday Composition solves the mystery of why some images just seem more “effective” than others, bringing in ideas from the sciences and the arts. Addressing many popular misconceptions, this beautifully-illustrated 75-page book teaches the craft of creating incredible, compelling photographs, through both a discussion of principles and through in-depth looks at a number of “case studies.”


Getting Visas

Getting Visas for travel feels like a very 18th-century way of getting around the world!  As far as I can tell, the only REAL purpose of having them is as an extra revenue-source for the country.  But the process is always so silly!  Here’s two examples:

  • Each time I go to China, I have to fed-ex my passports to Houston where they process the Visas then send them back via fed-ex.  A little hint, btw, is that if you connect in Hong Kong, you can just do it there…
  • I connected in Australia and had about 10 hours where I could go explore and take photos.  What?  I can’t leave the airport because I don’t have a Visa?  Australia!  You slay me…  that’s a silly policy.

Daily Photo – Across the Top of the Old Village

The old town of Lijiang has these old rooflines that go forever to the horizon.  Part of the problem getting up above the roofline is, well, getting up above the roofline.  You have to head a bit out of town and walk up a hill to get this perspective.  I found the spot thanks to Stuck On Earth.

Across the Top of the Old Village

  • You are lucky to be born American. If you’d be born Russian, or Chinese, or whatever Iraqi, you wouldn’t just use word “silly” to identify the visa problem. 🙂 Entire nations have to pay for the individuals’ and govt problems. If you are Russian, no way you’re getting a travel visa to NZ or anywhere in Europe… Well, that’s the way the world works.

  • Casper van Zyl

    Yes,many countries have worse problems and  I know when I left for Europe in the 70’s to go from Greece to Italy had to wait 3 weeks in Greece to get a visa.  In portugal I was only aloud 2 weeks but stayed 3 when I got though customs they asked me why I over stayed ,I said did I? O your country is so beautiful and so much to see that time must of run away ,so they let me go. This is my September trip with my wife and Chinese friends will go to Yunan province but don’t think we can make it to high ground to take this kind of shot ,will try though.I love this kind photography its like pattern making.
    Looks like now you have the megapixels you need to do it all over again with the D800.

  • Scotty Graham

    Trey, couldn’t agree with you more. Visa issues are always a pain to deal with. Lucky for me, most all of the embassies are close-by here in Jakarta, so it is not such a pain to get the visa I need…but China and India are the worst…China charges almost 5 times more for Americans than other nationalities as well….go figure.

  • Joel Tarleton

    ……more importantly, when are you coming back to Australia to take some snaps and maybe do a photowalk ? 🙂

  • Wow, that’s a lot of rooftops to capture, Trey.  Thanks for climbing up that hill to get the photo, great job.  Have a great Tuesday!!

  • Super capture! I like how all of them have that slight rise – so different from the states!

  • Seriously?

    I wonder how all the Russian tourists in Barcelona have got here.  🙂

    Most countries work on a reciprocity process.  For example, if it’s hard to get into a country (e.g. Russia) for a certain passport holder (e.g. NZ), then NZ will make it hard for citizens of Russia to visit NZ.  Fees are often the same between countries.

    A NZ passport has got to be one of the easiest on which to travel – although Russia does try to make it hard for us also!  They need to know about every night’s accommodation details and often it is required that an invitation letter is sent from the hotel to the tourist, so that this can be presented to the Russian Embassy along with the travel application.  Russia cannot be visited on the spur-of-the-moment.  🙂

    One of my fondest memories was the first time we drove into Oman from the United Arab Emirates.  At the border I paid nothing (because NZ allows Omani citizens to visit NZ for free), while my German partner had to pay a fee!

  • Joe Decker

    Thanks!  Boy are you folks great to work with!

  • Unfortunately, I see many things in this world that we cling to even though they don’t make much sense when you really think about them. I think a lot of times it’s just a way we’ve become accustomed to and no one even thinks about changing it. LOve your rooftop photo and very interested in this e-book. Cool!

  • Myself and Greg Annandale have an appointment with the London Chinese visa place on Monday. They’ve changed rules recently, so now we need to account for every single night’s accommodation, as well as the usual inbound and outbound flights.

  • I feel compelled to buy this e-book, based purely on the fact that there’s a puffin on the cover and I’m in the midst of planning my first trip to Iceland. I may be a little obsessed.

  • Lucy Hill

    Ironically Trey I actually work for a global company that arranges travel visas (goes to the Embassies for you), let me know if I can ever help!

  • Matthew Lusk

    Super cool pic Trey, the sharpening tools made this pic incredible (I’m assuming you used them because I’ve heard you talk about them and I love using them too;)). The normal there is so similar to ours yet so different my eyes can’t stop following and jumping around to all the vertices in the intersecting roof lines. Maybe its just my eyes can’t get used to the proximity of the houses.

  • Graham Shepherd

    I with you on visas but we Austrayians are suckered to the American backside and reciprocate US requirements. We haven’t yet got to the stage of calling our visitors “aliens” but we’re working on it. Bring your funny little horns next time and sing “I’m an alien and I’m OK,  …” make up your own words from here. This will guarantee you a quick exit from the airport to our featured razor wire display where you will be treated to assisted yoga-like treatments, complete with liquid refreshments. 

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