Before the Opera

Ordering Birth Certificates

I’ll go on a little rant here about how hard it is for me to get my birth certificate. This is the only missing piece for me to get my New Zealand citizenship and new passport (I’ll be a dual citizen in NZ and the USA). Well, firstly, I don’t really understand why NZ needs my US birth certificate, as I already provided it to them when I applied for residency. It’s gotten lost in the move, I guess. Anyway, they need it again.

I was born in Texas, and after spending hours navigating their 1998 tech web page, I learned I cannot do it online because I don’t have a Texas driver’s license. What does that have to do with anything? And I can’t send a friend, because it has to be a family member. So, I guess I have to FLY TO TEXAS to get a copy of a piece of paper that proves that I was born, a fact which I believe is more than self-evident. Oh, governments… It would be a lot better if you just got out of the way instead of slowing down an otherwise productive life.

Daily Photo – Before the Opera

This is one of my favorite little photos from the time I spent behind the scenes the opera. All the men and ladies were getting ready, and they take quite a long time putting on all the make up. These to ladies were sitting on opposite sides of a mirror, doing very similar but very different things.

Before the Opera

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-06-15 21:38:20
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/125
  • Aperture4
  • ISO1600
  • Focal Length105.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

An Old Tea House Near Chengdu

Updated Burning Man Camera Survival Guide

I’ve committed to updating my Burning Man Guide every year. Now it’s got a bunch of new stuff in there, also updated with some of the latest gear I’m taking with me.

Daily Photo – An Old Tea House Near Chengdu

Check out this old-timer. We drove about an hour outside of Chengdu to see some of the “old ways” since a lot of that has been swept away in the urban growth of China. We came to this old tea house were people were just sitting around having tea and smoking some rather insane looking pipes. That is literally all they did… all… day… long… But it was really interesting and great for photography. I even sat down and had a little tea for myself!

An Old Tea House Near Chengdu

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-06-15 15:06:00
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/60
  • Aperture
  • ISO640
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Five Year Old Girl in Chengdu, China

Pandas in Chengdu

I kinda wanted to go see pandas in Chengdu (they are famous there), but I don’t really like zoo-environments. I feel like putting money into that system just encourages them to do this more. On the other hand, if the pandas were in the wild, they would have a lot of trouble surviving in China on their own. Anyway, I have mixed feelings!

Daily Photo – Five Year Old Girl in Chengdu, China

This little girl was really something else! We went to the Chinese opera there beforehand and some parents would bring in their little kids to get all fixed up like the stage actors. This girl was very very patient, and she was already naturally doll-like. She was never fussy and was totally calm and she moved very slow. It was all kinda surreal, almost to the point of being scary.

Five Year Old Girl in Chengdu, China

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-06-15 21:19:30
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/320
  • Aperture
  • ISO1000
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Hot Pot in Chengdu

Need Towing Advice!

Hey all you smart people out there – I need some advice! I’m going to Burning Man again this year with my bestie Rene and we are going to tow our 5th Wheel out there. It’s a “2017 KZ-DURANGO G380FLF” – anyway, my question is what kind of truck do I need to rent to tow it? A F-250? 150? I don’t know much about these sorts of things, so any advice is welcome! Also, I don’t actually have US Driver’s License (I have an NZ one), but I have a friend from my camp that can tow it in… I just need to be sure what kind of truck to rent!

Daily Photo – Hot Pot in Chengdu

One of the most popular things to do in Chengdu is to eat out at these hot pot places. They basically give you some giant boiling vats and lots of random raw stuff you dump inside until its disinfected. Then you douse it in some incredibly spicy sauce and swallow it before asking too many questions. It wasn't my favorite thing if you can't tell. It's quite communal… everyone's food and eating-sticks are all mixed together into a confusing food situation. I also spent about 10% of my time at the table and the other 90% roaming around to get photos of the place… I think the environs were much more interesting than the food!

Hot Pot in Chengdu

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-06-14 23:45:08
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time0.5
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Two Girls Wander Through a Bamboo Forest in China

Editing Fireworks Quick Tip

Two days in a row for a Luminar Tip! Don’t forget you can download it here. This is a quick n’ dirty video that shows you how to edit fireworks and give them a bit more pop!

Daily Photo – Two Girls Wander Through a Bamboo Forest in China

This was my first trip to Chengdu, China, and I was surprised to find they had this giant bamboo forest near a temple complex. There are these cool red-walled tunnels that weave all around and through the forest. This area is also known for their giant pandas. I was kind of hoping to see one swinging around the trees, but no such luck. But there were a lot of festive people out walking around, like these two girls.

Two Girls Wander Through a Bamboo Forest in China

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-06-15 19:01:02
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/100
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO1000
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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