Fire Cauldron in The Forbidden City, Beijing, China

Form and Function

Beauty has its place. Function is evident all around us. Perhaps that is why I so enjoy the ideas of Pop Art (sometimes the execution was lacking). Finding beauty in the form and function of every day items. Perhaps this giant cauldron in the Forbidden City of Beijing, China isn’t exactly an every day item (they are gold guided after all) but they are an expression of both ideals.

This process is an experimental combination of things. The idea isn’t original, but then all art is derivative right? The execution is all my own. Enjoy the beauty in the world, it is all around, just waiting to be explored! Perhaps if you but look, you too can find a whimsical joy in the world.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/3.5
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 21 September, 2014
  • Focal length: 28mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Location: 39° 54.941′ 0″ N 116° 23.4213′ 0″ E
  • Shutter speed: 1/200s
  • Title: Fire Cauldron in The Forbidden City, Beijing, China

Sunset on a Lava Rock Beach, Kauai, Hawaii

After Glow

After the sun sets with its magical rays and the light starts to fade, some photographers pack it in. The sunset watching crowd, all the time complaining that the people and their electronics don’t really SEE the sunset behind those gadgets, start to wander home. I tend to stay around and see what’s left very often there is a surprising calm or a last burst of light that makes your trip. Maybe that’s another of those good life mottos, stick around you never know what you will find.

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Awe in a Fur Coat, St Marks, Venice Italy

Characters

I don’t focus enough in my travel work on people. I always think I will offend, even though someone is lounging in the sun in public. There are, occasionally, characters who’s draw is too powerful for even me to resist. This woman was one of them. She seemed like she belonged in Venice, and was decked in an outfit most queer. It was not her attire that drew my attention, but the way in which she viewed her world.

She walked hurriedly as if unaware of anything or anyone, then suddenly would stop, and stare intently at some part of the Basilica di San Marco. She would stand for an eternity staring at one tiny facet of the ocean of art that IS the Basilica as if drinking in only one mosaic at a time was all her soul could stand. Today she would KNOW another piece of one of the most beautiful churches in the entire world world and perhaps in a lifetime, she would be able to piece together in her heart one of our greatest human triumphs.

I don’t know if this story is true, I never spoke to her, but I felt it when I saw her and I admire her awe.

Photo Technical Info

Waimea Canyon, Kauai, Hawaii

A Grand Canyon

Waimea Canyon in Kauai, Hawaii has been called by some (people say Mark Twain, but he never actually visited the island of Kauai) The Grand Canyon of Hawaii. I always hate it when that happens because to me it seems to insinuate this is a lesser version of something better. I have never seen The Grand Canyon (possibly next year), but it I have never seen color like Waimea in a similar landscape. It was, like all of Kauai, impossibly lush, even in its barrenness. This place is special and unlike anything I have ever seen and deserves to be know by its own merits.

Photo Technical Info

Forbidden City Artwork

Ancient Outdoor Artwork

The thing that struck me while wandering The Forbidden City (after ALL THE PEOPLE) was the vast amount of ancient artwork with was around the palace exposed to the elements. This slab is one of those amazing examples. They do have it carefully blocked off so tourists don’t walk down the delicate stairs, but I found myself wondering about the preservation of truly priceless cultural and artistic treasures that were designed to live outdoors. Does it effect the beauty of something when it is removed from its purpose and placed in a museum? Does its purpose inform it’s value to society? I’m not sure I know that answer. What I do know is these carvings in The Forbidden City are wonderful.

Photo Technical Info

Waikiki Beach Pier Sunset

I have visited pier on Waikiki Beach many times in the past. It’s not the main crowded pier, but one to the East that hardly gets any attention. This location always looks different to me and in much the same way my photos look different each time I sit down to work on them. The previous was bright and colorful, this one dark and moody. Perhaps my current temperament effects my processing decisions more than I think or perhaps I am drawn to darker images in the first place when I am feeling less than chipper. Despite the duality, I love both images and it’s a great reminder how different days create totally different moods, both in photography and in life.

Photo Technical Info

Traditional Chinese Dress in the Forbidden City, Beijing, China

People on Vacation

I almost never include people in my photos. I tend to focus on the history of a place, it’s details and what it feels like, but I generally exclude people. I couldn’t help myself on this one. This girl was having a really fun time playing dress-up in The Forbidden City costume shop, and got completely decked out in a traditional costume. She only posed for a second, but I caught the most wonderful hand gesture she made while in full regalia.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/4
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 21 September, 2014
  • Focal length: 35mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Location: 39° 55.0093′ 0″ N 116° 23.3948′ 0″ E
  • Shutter speed: 1/640s
  • Title: Traditional Chinese Dress in the Forbidden City, Beijing, China

Door Latch in The Forbidden City, Beijing, China

What to Say about China

China is difficult to describe to those who haven’t been. I have a bit of trouble describing it to myself and I have been many times now. It is a vibrant place…there is an energy there and you immediately feel you are where IT is happening RIGHT NOW. I spent my time visiting the ancient sites (some of them) in Beijing. This is a latch on a door screen leading to one of the buildings inside The Forbidden City. The entire site is very well preserved with many of the buildings undergoing restoration currently (and I think continuously). Much as modern construction moves forward, so to does it allow the Chinese to remember their heritage.

Photo Technical Info

2014 Instagram Favorites

Traveling Takes a Toll

I am just returning from Beijing, China today and as chance would have it, I decided it would be a good time to share a few of my favorite Instagram posts so far in 2014! I usually do a review at the end of the year of my favorite Instagram photos from the entire year, but there are just SO many fun shots I thought it was a good idea to do regular reviews. I maybe should do one every quarter! Instagram for me is a sketch book. I usually take a good deal of time to work on photos and they are not from where I just returned, but a conglomeration of where I have been on ALL of my travels. As such, Instagram lets me stay connected with friends, family and fans and let you all know WHERE I am right now! If you haven’t followed me before, follow me on Instagram now! Before you ask, yes this is all this year…actually January through May. I even visited Hong Kong twice! I really like to travel…Enjoy!


Lighthouse in Honolulu

Sunset in Venice, Italy

My Wife Pamela and Me

Tan Tien Buddha Hong Kong

Landscape Washington State

Point Zero Paris

Buddha in Bangkok

Wisteria on Lake Como, Italy

Lenny Kravitz at CiscoLive!

Greenspace in Hong Kong

Embarcadero in Reverse, San Francisco

Gondolas of the Venice Grand Canal at Sunset

Perfect Moments

It was January on the water, I had a respiratory infection, and the sea air seemd to do me no more good then it did for Gustav von Aschenbach in the novel Death in Venice. I actually spend a good deal of time later this night contemplating if my breathing got worse, how would I get to a doctor…does a water ambulance come and take you to the hospital? Luckily, my problems were run of the mill sick, nothing like the plague, but you can escape that history either when you visit Venice.

All of these problems and dark thoughts one would think could drag down anyone’s spirits, but not me…not in Venice. It is a jewel, one that specifically requires blinders, but even the most amazing gemstones have flaws. The people who built this city undoubtedly understood the sea, its power and majesty. They must have also been a bit mad, but standing on that pier looking at the sunset, I believe we have the same heart.

Photo Technical Info