If you ever make it to China, try to take a week or so to explore the more rural areas. Some of my best adventures have been outside Beijing, Shanghai and the like. Even the Great Wall is in many ways better in the more overgrown parts. Here in Phoenix Ancient Town (Fenghuang Ancient Town) I wandered for hours. Regardless of the time of day there was something amazing to photograph.
Here in Feng Huang, it’s good to go on a bit of an adventure at night to get the best shots. Then the entire city is very walkable, but there can be a lot of confusing twists and turns. I love getting lost in these old cities because inevitably, you end up finding some incredible photo locations.
The ancient town of Fenghuang in China. This was not an easy place to get to and required a long and bumpy drive from the closest airport. As you can see, it was definitely worth the long journey… I basically spent all day taking photos, drawing, and eating… it was a great few days!
In most of November I’ll be in Japan and I am super duper excited. It’s a great place for photos and I’m a huge fan of the culture. I’ll release more info on all of the events soon!
Daily Photo – Night in Feng Huang
I took this photo about 6 years ago. I have been thinking about going back, but I wonder if it still looks like this. Things change so fast in China and I’m afraid maybe it’s lost a lot of its charm. Or maybe its overrun with tourists now. I was only there for 2 days, but now I wish I would have stayed longer because there was a lot more to shoot there.
Here’s another show recommendation: Billions! It’s a drama based on Wall Street. Sounds kind of boring, I know… but still very entertaining! It’s one of the only shows I watch not on Netflix… it’s on Showtime and maybe a few other places?
Let’s talk about one of my favourite features in Aurora HDR 2018, Image Radiance.
The latest version of Aurora 2018 (for Mac and Windows) is here! I’ve been using it a ton and I think you’ll be blown away by all the new features, especially combined with all the features that you’ve come to know and love with previous versions. If you Pre-Order you’ll get a bunch of goodies as extras and a discount!
Daily Photo – A Painted, Moody day in Feng Huang
I remember at the time I took this that I almost DIDN’T take it. The colors seemed muted, it was quite steamy/foggy/moody, and also, I was quite tired. Maybe I was feeling a bit melancholy or something. Anyway, for whatever reason, I took it. And then, when processing, I recalled the melancholy mood and decided to give it a nudge in that direction.
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!
You’ll notice today’s photo has a certain “look” — that comes from one of my favorite presets in Trey’s Lightroom Presets. Thanks again for all the good feedback and whatnot… I’m working on a special secret gift for everyone that has already purchased it! 🙂
Daily Photo – Old Boats in the Afternoon
Maybe I arrived in the low part of the tourist season, but I rarely saw these boats out and about on the river. They were always tied up here on the dockside. This was good for me, since it allowed many easy shots after I got around all the slippery bits. BTW, if you are by a dock in a small town in China, and the dock looks slippery, well it probably is SUPER SLIPPERY. That’s my little hard-earned piece of advice for the day…
In addition to our new dog, my wife has also found it necessary to get three chickens. We built a special coup and stuff. And then after we built it, she decided she wanted it on the other side of the house. The chooks did not help with that move. And here we are, about 15 weeks into it, and these chooks have only laid THREE eggs. She says it’s because their too young… I don’t know what to believe any more with these damned things.
Daily Photo – Feeding Chooks in Feng Huang
When in Feng Huang, I decided to go down to the river to take some photos. There was a direct way, but I thought it might be more interesting to zig-zag my way there through alleys. One of the most wonderful things about China is how safe it is. I never had any fear for my life or anything as I move around these places. It’s so safe, in fact, that it’s almost eerie! But, eerie in a good way, of course…
Have you seen those videos of Marines disassembling and reassembling their gun blindfolded? I can do this with my tripod and camera. It’s not nearly as cool or impressive, and I usually do it while I’m alone. It’s just really from habit, since I’m always opening and closing my system. It’s become more of a meditation than a hassle.
Daily Photo – Driving through Remote China
I took a six hour drive through part of the Hangzhou. At some point, it began to get very hilly and moody. The ride was a little rough, so I would pull over from time to time to take breaks.
One time when I popped out, I thought the road and the scene felt fairly cinematic. I went through the old routine of opening up the tripod for a shot…
These out-of-the-way places are some of the best for photography because the locals actually like photographers from the west. About 98% of the time they find us interesting and worthy of a smile. They seem to like the attention we give them with our cameras and there are many smiles to be had.
I don’t take a lot of photos of people smiling, because I like to take photos before people notice or right as soon as they notice. Usually though, everyone smiles after I take a few… I do a few facial maneuvers so that they feel more comfy.