Tuesday, July 31, 2007

yangshuo, china

here is a photo of yangshuo at night. downtown yangshuo was very thailand like touristy mostly chinese though. but 10 minutes by bike you were in villages and it was very cool.

these are the digital point and shoots... there are 26 rolls of holga shots at the lab now. 15 B&W 11 color. should be cool stuff.

Bike ride through yangshuo

In yangshou bikes were only about 70cents to rent for the day. I ended up with a girls beach cruiser and ended up riding 35 km through the country side. i thought i was going around in a circle then after around 20km there was a little village on the river i realized it was another 16km back to yangshuoi so I drank a few pijous (beer) to replenish my electrolytes before the rest of the ride back to town . there was this old guy who kept passing me on a full suspension mountain bike. he would fly by me then 20 minutes later i would pass him while he was resting then he would go by again then the same again. it was liket he tortoise and the hare anyways y i was highly impressed with the performance of the 70cent girls cruiser.

river cruise

dragons backbone

This is the rice terraces outside yangshuo also called the dragons backbone.

chinese chili john's

this is the chinese chili johns. this place is 100 years old and has been serving the same spicey secret recipe the whole time. they dont serve chili they serve spicey rice noodles and on the tables is onions and vinegar like chili johns. I also believe i saw lisa fisher leaving when i first got there.

Friday, July 20, 2007

I am back!

After 10 days in paradise I am back in beijing.

this is where i was:
n 24.77718 e 110.483954 ( click link for google map )

I will post more pictures and stuff later.

another gem

this is another gem of a letter i recieved for my advice column. if your curious 2000rmb is about $250. i personally would have asked for more.

I am a university student.I had a boyfriend from Pakistan.He pushed me to make sex with him.He damaged my first time, then we splited up.Please guide me to perswuade him give me damages---2000RMB. Thank you so much.

love advice column

so i haven't been able to buy or post my last to columns so i feel as though i should make up for it. i am not sure if this breaks some kind of confidentiality or ethical boundries but screw it this is china. the recent letter i recieved is a gem!

Dear Ben,
I'm a high school student,I guess I 'm in love with my deskmate secrectly.However he's not my deskmate any more,he's even not in the same classs with me. He is such a fantastic guy,he does well in physics which is my weak point.
We share almost the same hobbies,for say,F1Racing,automobile.We are both Gemini. He gets sick when he eats peaches,so do I.
I once wrote a little poem for him which goes like this:(he said it was good and that's all)
I 've got a deskmate,
he's my high school classmate.
Craig, his name
Crazy about online game
He's Gemini
which is the same as me
He likes cucumber,
which is hard to find in December
Anyway, he's a smart guy
A deskmate of mine.
He's not in the same class with me any more, which makes me miss him a lot.I wanna tell him my interest in him,but I'm afraid his answer will turn me down.I would appreciate it if you can give me some advice on this.


yangshuo, china

i am going to yangshuo tonight by train. It is far in the south i am guessing roughly 5000 miles it should take roughly 27 hours.
if i remember i will bring my GPS.

yangshuo is the exotic part of china where the mountains look like sugar mounds. the film the painted veil ws filmed there. here is some photo* i got of google images to give you an idea.

* who ever this photo belongs to please don't sue me i assure you i am making no money from this!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

ox street mosque

i went to the super old mosque in beijing. it is like 400 years old and one of them main mosques in the chinese world. i bet xinjiang has more impressive. it looks chinese which is funny. how it survived the cultural revolution is beyond me.

i thought the portrait could have been a gem except for that crappy balcony behind him. this is the shit that is killing me with B&W film. i am also using kodak triX 400iso with a red filter which i am digging way more than the ilford delta.

Dead Powerbook

The hard drive in my powerbook died sunday hence the lack of posts. I got it back today it cost
$300 to fix... tai gui le!. the only back ups of files i had were on my 40GB ipod which also seems to be dead.

to quote the wise tyler durden:
"It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything."

if i get photoshop rocking i will post a few pics tomorrow

Friday, July 13, 2007

chai'd hutong

I shot tons of photos in a hutong that was getting demolished and saw this boy going home through the rubble. people are still living here as they get knocked down every day. i also though b&w is effective here. its not very readable and in b&w i am having a hard time with that. anyways heading to the muslim hutong district in beijing this afternoon and will shoot a ton of pictures there.

Temple of Heaven Holgas

so below are some temple of heaven holga shots. i tried to do some B&W color comparisons. i also shot the color ones with slide film. i am really digging the slide film but it has to be really sunny to get good results. i am really diggin the e200 slide film as well. its expired and the images tend to be more blue and its faster and more forgiving when the clouds roll in.
My feelings now are for the temples and normal things shoot color and use b2 on ancient run down stuff like the hutongs and urban ghettos. plus i lucked out and found a shop with 2 bricks of expired kodak 400tmax b&w film. i bought both of them at 17 yuan a roll.

anyways let me know what you think. and let me know which is the most effective temple of heaven shot.

ilford delta 400

kodak e100vs

kodak E200

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


Cuandixia “Cuan” Character

Here you can see the character “cuan”, the first character in the village’s name, painted on a wall. This is a difficult character to write because of its large number of brush strokes. It means: a.) to cook using a wood fire; b.) a cooking stove made of stone. Cuan is also used as a surname by people from the village.

During the Ming and Qing dynasties, the "Western Road" from Beijing led through the mountain ranges and connected to far-off Shanxi (the name's literal meaning is "West of the Mountains") and all points in between. Along that road, spaced a day's hard ride apart, were villages serving the passing trade, where every room was for rent and breakfast and dinners comprised hearty travellers' fare.

These days the highways have forced that ancient way of life into a relative cul-de-sac. So what one finds, should one shun the car-choked freeways and follow the "old road" west, are travellers' rests with no travellers, allowing instant time-travel into China's many versions of the past.

The road to Cuandixia - once a one-day ride by horse from Tian'anmen Square - is now a three-hour drive through modern China. High-rise apartments give way to low-rise industrial suburbs as you escape the city, passing one of Beijing's many power stations on the way to a mountain road that winds underneath Brobdingnagian overhead heavy-rail interchanges and alongside fields continuously cultivated since the dawn of time.

Arriving at the village still gives some sense of the same kind of relief that might have flooded the ancient traveller, as a mountain spur is drawn back suddenly by a sweep of road and the village appears, wedged securely against one side of the valley, an island of civilisation in the cold high barrens. It appears so idyllic, that learning this was once also a provisioning town for the Forbidden City comes as no surprise. What emperor wouldn't want their goats supplied from a "goat heaven" such as this? The unique and complex character for the village's name 爨 Cuàn -- was emblazoned on the side of the carts that travelled directly from here to the imperial storerooms

Later, after one has enjoyed a splendid lunch with "mountain tea" -- the light-yet-filling goat-meat soup, and several uniquely spiced and utterly fresh cold dishes, (or, in summer, the same as an early dinner) -- and begins wandering the narrow, steep laneways that lace between the several dozen courtyard houses, the steep elevation of much of the built environment becomes less fortress-like. It allows the would-be time-traveller more of an opportunity to shut out the visual distractions of such anachronisms (in this place, anyway) as cars and power-lines. The time-travelling begins. First stop, the Cultural Revolution (1966-76).

Scrawled in red paint bleached by the sun, or insistent regular black atop a more ancient fresco, slogans entreat villagers to keep in mind the political realities of the era, and invoke the passions of a different time.

village B&W holgas

Anyways last weekend i went to this old village. see article above for historical info. I shot a bunch of pictures with my holga. This time i tried shooting just B&W. partly because i knew it was an old village and b&w in a holga would give the photos a vintage feel. also becasue i want to work more on composition and storytelling in photos. I figure seeing as my job was coloring i figure i would stop doing color for a while.

anyways let me know which ones you like and what you think of the b&w versus color.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Beijingers 'still need to work on manners' for 2008

Beijingers 'still need to work on manners' for 2008

Mon Jul 9, 5:09 AM ET

BEIJING (AFP) - With most venues for the 2008 Summer Olympics near completion, organisers said Beijingers still had to work on improving their behaviour in order to hold a successful Games, state press said Monday.

"The Olympic Games is not simply a matter of competitive sports -- it is also a question of raising the quality of the people," the China Youth Daily quoted Zhang Faqiang, vice head of the Beijing Olympic organising committee as saying.

"You cannot deny it -- the difficult area in staging a civilised Olympics rests in the quality of the people," Zhang said.

"We are still a ways off from meeting the demands for a real civilised Olympic Games, so we will continue to do important work on this."

Zhang said China had only recently overcome basic issues like food shortages, and many people across the nation were only beginning to consider how to live healthier lives and be more civilised.

"We want to use the Olympics to get into the hearts of the people and get them to develop a new lifestyle," Zhang said, while noting that "hardware" infrastructure projects were on schedule, with many venues holding test events.

Beijing has already implemented a series of measures to improve its residents' behaviour ahead of next year's Summer Games, including campaigns cracking down on spitting, littering, queue-jumping and smoking in public.

On Saturday, the capital announced plans to start clearing beggars and other "uncivilised" elements from major underground rail stations.

Efforts to clean up the capital's image have gone so far as to ban male taxi drivers from shaving their heads and growing beards, while women cab drivers are prohibited from sporting hairstyles that are "too fancy".

monday morning propaganda


i tried to tell a cab driver where to go he then replied

ni shou de bu tai hao.

he said i spoke shitty chinese.... the bright side is i understood him perfectly!

Sunday, July 8, 2007

chang chang

This is where the great wall or chang chang in chinese meets the ocean this is the end or the beginning who knows.

more holgas

more pics from the leaky holga. i also tried shooting some B&W with a red filter. the days was super cloudy but htey still have an interesting qaulity. and thoughts on which ones are usable for my toycamera.com gallery?

Thursday, July 5, 2007

read this book

this is the ultimate cliche expat in beijing book. the book isn't cliche. its cliche for an american in china to read it. anyways i read it and it is great. it is the story of an american peace corps soldier of fortune... or something like that. anyways he writes about his experiences living in a small town. after reading it he really captures china and zeroes in all the types of things americans notice,

go read it.

beth is going to the usa

Last night was my friend beths last night in beijing. she is moving to san francisco... well actually oaktown. the party was at rickshaw then moved to china doll where it was ladies night. that meant the ladies got free beverages after which they would give them to us. it was also a 4th of july spectacular where you got free drinks with an american ID.

interesting beth fact one time she came over to our house to watch the big lebowski and me and her drank a white russian everytime the dude drank a white russian.