Chengdu – Stuck in Customs

In the Chengdu Tea House

Blog Report!

Here is a rather detailed report about bloggers. It’s based in the UK, but is a pretty good sample size for the whole world. If you ever wanted to know more about the “biz” side of blogging, that is chockfull of data.

Daily Photo – In the Chengdu Tea House

Man, these old dudes in the outskirts of China really seem to get a kick out of drinking tea and smoking all day. It seems like the thing to do. And everyone seems really quite old… someone they just keep tickin’ along. Although, I guess this is not really a fair sampling because I’m technically not seeing all the dead ones.

In the Chengdu Tea House

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-06-15 15:00:39
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/50
  • Aperture
  • ISO400
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Comments

Haircut in Chengdu

The Headmaze!

I’m Sooooo excited about this art piece… I want to mention it to help raise money to make it happen. It’s created by some of my favorite artists at Burning Man, so I hope you can contribute!

Here’s the link!

Daily Photo – Haircut in Chengdu

It’s a pretty fun little photo idea to go to old barber shops in old parts of distant cities. There’s always a bunch of characters in there and no one seems to mind the photography even though nobody speaks English. I think they are just happy to be interesting enough to get some attention!

Haircut in Chengdu

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2019-11-16 00:59:29
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperture
  • ISO
  • Focal Length
  • Flash
  • Exposure Program
  • Exposure Bias

Comments

More from the Opera

New Zealand Workshop!

It’s not long now until our New Zealand Workshop! If you can’t make it this year, that page has a new link to next year’s event!

Daily Photo – More from the Opera

For all you awesome daily visitors, this is from the same opera in Chengdu that was mentioned yesterday. We were allowed into the dressing room to take photos as the stage actors did their make-up for the event. I didn’t actually stay for the entire opera because I’ve already been to four Chinese operas. This sounds very jaded, but they are all the same as far as I can tell. There are a few very interesting Chinese musical instruments that I have never heard played live, but, otherwise, the singing and tenor of speech becomes a bit grating (at least, to me).

More from the Opera

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-06-15 21:44:10
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/125
  • Aperture4
  • ISO1600
  • Focal Length105.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Comments

Young Girl in Chengdu

Ping Pong

I used to play a lot of ping pong. I was never very good… but I had a lot of fun with it. I’d like to think this is the Chinese version of me. One important note, however: I am not nearly this skilled.

Daily Photo – Young Girl in Chengdu

This is a five-year-old girl who arrived early at a Chinese opera so she could be dolled up for the event. I was here for about 15 minutes taking photos of her while I had an extremely broken chat with her mom and dad. After a bit of work, I got the mom’s WeChat and sent her the photos. WeChat is kind of like the Facebook Messenger of China. Anyway, I often wonder why parents subject their kids to this sort of thing… it’s clearly 100% for the amusement of the parents. Well, 99%, as the other 1% was me. Nothing wrong with it, I suppose… 5-year-old kids have very little idea what the hell is going on, anyway. As long as everyone was happy and kind around them all the time, it’s all okay.

Young Girl in Chengdu

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-06-15 21:15:28
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/320
  • Aperture
  • ISO1000
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Comments

The Old Street in Chengdu

Pixel 3 Phone

I’m convinced this is the best phone out there! I haven’t had time to write a full review yet… but, quickly: It’s awesome and it’s the best. No, they didn’t pay me to say that. Yes, I did get a free phone, but that has nothing to do with it… for reals.

Daily Photo – The Old Street in Chengdu

A lot of the “old feel” of China is being wiped clean and more and more of these old streets are lost every year. Finally, there is a movement to keep some of the old charms and keep a few streets here and there preserved. Chengdu is one of those “smaller” Chinese towns with over 7 million people, so it’s safe to say most of the city does not look like this.

The Old Street in Chengdu

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-06-13 15:53:20
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/100
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias+2

Comments

Walking in Chengdu

Send me some feedback for a chance to win a B&H Gift card

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Daily Photo – Walking in Chengdu

I didn’t even realize Chengdu had one of these cool bamboo forests like Kyoto. It might even be a little better because of the red walls that complement the green so well. This was my hostess here, and she offered to act as a model, walking slowly right down the middle. At first, I had a shot without a person, but I think it’s a little better with her in there. I kind of wish she wasn’t wearing that color shirt, but, hey, I’m really looking for stuff to complain about, I suppose.

Walking in Chengdu

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-06-15 18:44:40
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/30
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO400
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias+2

Comments

Between Operas

Trey’s Bulletproof Coffee Recipe

Have you ever tried Bulletproof Coffee? I have it almost every day and it provides a very good energy balance through the first chunk of the day. There is a recipe on the official site, but I will reduce the recipe to something more simple. That site seems to be trying to upsell some products. The recipe actually works, but you don’t have to follow their links. Here’s my recipe, link-free:

1) 1 full cup of coffee (made from coffee beans or instant)
2) 1-2 tablespoons of MCT oil (available from any health food or bodybuilding shop)
3) 1-2 tablespoons of Unsalted butter

I know it sounds strange to mix butter and oil into your coffee, but it actually helps to slowly deliver the caffeine to your body in the most efficient manner.

Daily Photo – Between Operas

I was in Chengdu near a hot pot place that was entertaining the diners with a little opera variety show. Between shows, the girls would go sit outside and eat snacks, still with all their makeup on. I just kinda sat there and watched them for a while, drinking the whole thing in.

Between Operas

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-06-14 22:34:37
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/250
  • Aperture4
  • ISO320
  • Focal Length105.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Comments

Fake Music at the Hot Pot in Chengdu

Simon Shackleton

I’m getting to be friends with this DJ now. I’ve always liked his music and we’ve started chatting a little. I first discovered him at Burning Man. Here’s a link to his page on Soundcloud if you wanna have a listen.

Daily Photo – Fake Music at the Hot Pot in Chengdu

This was sort of a funny scene.

People love their hot pot restaurants in Chengdu. If you don’t know, a hot pot is when they bring you a lot of raw meat and veggies and then you dip them into a communal boiling pot. I don’t really enjoy this sort of activity, because it feels like I’m doing too much work at the restaurant. I would prefer, when paying, to have maximum laziness.

Anyway, during dinner, performers come onto a stage in the middle of the restaurant and perform a dance or play music. This lady was playing some Chinese instrument (forgot the name – I’ll call it supine-guitar) and the music was coming through speakers everywhere. I thought she was very pretty so I took a bunch of photos. But then, I looked closer, and I realized the supine-guitar was not hooked into the speaker system and there was no microphone. So she was just faking it. But at least she was pretty, so that was entertaining for a little while.

Fake Music at the Hot Pot in Chengdu

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-06-14 22:27:30
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/50
  • Aperture4
  • ISO800
  • Focal Length86.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Comments

The Mighty Bridge in Chengdu

Delaying Scotland

Right about now I was supposed to be in Scotland for an epic adventure! But it looks like it’s gonna be postponed a few months. I’m kind of bummed out about that, but I assume Scotland won’t change too much in a few months. I’m looking forward to seeing Stu as well. Stu, don’t drink all the whiskey in Scotland before I get there! 🙂

What will Stu be doing instead?

He’ll be fuelling himself with Irn-Bru and haggis before sorting things out for the Aurora HDR 2019 launch! There is only about 24hrs left to pre-order and get all of the bonus items with your purchase. Check out the video below to see just how great it works with single RAW files and then grab Aurora HDR 2019 here.

Daily Photo – The Mighty Bridge in Chengdu

Man, these Chinese really know how to add a bit extra to their bridges. I can’t figure out if it had some kind of a military advantage. It must have. In Europe, some of the biggest castles are on the waterways so they can charge taxes and enforce the flow of foreign boat traffic. I can only assume it was the same in China. Except, in China, many military installations are like this one, right on TOP of the river. It’s not easy to sneak through there.

The Mighty Bridge in Chengdu

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-06-15 00:39:39
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1.3
  • Aperture4
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length61.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Comments

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 at 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

Comments

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