For the Love of People~ Yunnan

the boy who saw through me

the boy who saw through me

flying dreams

flying dreams

early bonds

early bonds

indelibly connected

indelibly connected

Attempting documentary photography and not feeling compassionate love for people would be pointless as far as I am concerned.

I love feeling the humanity in other people’s eyes, to guess at what they are feeling, to lock eyes with them even for a brief moment, to be part of their world for the time I that I am there and later again and again through their photographs.

With each visit to Yunnan, my connections are deepened and I feel compelled to return. Simplicity is a gem in our complex world of today, a fountain of peace to a busy and crowded mind.

More soon from this amazing region of China…

Chasing Time~

chasing time~ Boracay

chasing time~ Boracay

It’s a funny thing, time. I remember as a child not minding time at all; being and living in the moment; existing in a plane where time had no say in my business. Then slowly things begin to change. Time would no longer allow itself to be ignored. It wants to assert its managerial role in the affairs of my human existence. Freedom is replaced by deadlines, strict appointments and duties to be fulfilled on ‘time’. But little does time know that I remember what it was like to be free, and that I can escape to that place where I kept my childhood alive and well. Don’t tell time…

Wales ~ sprinkled with bits of magic

color lives here

color lives here

how to think

how to think

peace starts from within

peace starts from within

in love with life

in love with life

a world of color

a world of color

Quirky, friendly, magical, puzzling, odd, beautiful, colorful, breathtaking, inspiring, legendary, mystical, smiling faces, enchanting grasslands, buzzing bees, fluttering butterflies, overpowering cliffs over deep ocean waters, reflective beaches

tree in the sky

tree in the sky

… Wales, a land that filled me with awe.

Behind the glitzy face of Shanghai

gambling women behind barred windows

gambling women behind barred windows

residents of the old and slowly vanishing alleys

a resident of the old and slowly vanishing alleys

a witness of the whirlwind of changes that took over the glamorous city.

a witness of the whirlwind of changes that took over the glamorous city

Behind the modern facade of Shanghai and the fashionable lifestyle of its rich, is a world of tradition hidden in the city’s old alleys. Every week when I visit these neighborhoods, I find less and less of them left. The city is changing so rapidly and the new has no room for the old. Modernization is consuming tradition and Starbucks cups are quickly replacing the famous tea containers of the Shanghainese. A paradise for street photographers, I feel so lucky to have lived in Shanghai as long as I have.

a process inside a process~ why do I edit my photos?

love is like oxygen

love is like oxygen

another year about to fly by

another year about to fly by

smiling at her future

smiling at her future

the big church

the big church

stepping into a story

stepping into a story

stretching the truth

stretching the truth

When I edit my photos, I set in motion a whole new process that allows me to see beyond the actual image. I begin to feel emotions and to imagine worlds that the image open doors to. So my initial photograph becomes a key, a starter and a catalyst to a brand new process. I leave myself open to what the moment suggests, what level of contrast it wants, what degree of clarity or blur, saturation or absence of color, and what lines to highlight, and inside of all this (which sometimes takes not longer than a few minutes), a new image is born, one that is layered with sketches of imagination and brush strokes of feeling. I attempt through that to marry the past with the now in anticipation of the art that might wish to join my future.

 

Wishing all my readers and subscribers a wonderful and inspired new year.

All above images were taken with an iPhone during my recent trip to New Zealand and edited with phone apps.

as it should be~ New Zealand

where beauty gives you wings

where beauty gives you wings

redefining magic

redefining magic

Being in New Zealand feels as close as I can imagine a healthy planet to be. I visited and was enchanted with this beach at Karekare about 20 years ago and coming back to it now, it still is as clean, as unpolluted and as undeveloped as it was back then. What a stark contrast to the pollution we live through in a city like Shanghai, and how refreshing it is to find ourselves under big blue skies.

Merry Christmas to you all from warm and fresh New Zealand. Kiaora!

 

 

 

a future we never bargained for~ Shanghai

pollution~ Shanghai-2 pollution~ Shanghai-3 pollution~ Shanghai-4 pollution~ Shanghai-5 pollution~ Shanghai-6 pollution~ Shanghai-7During the last few days, Shanghai was submerged in a large cloud of gray pollution that seemed to call over terms like ‘apocalypse’ and ‘end of days’ from many of its residents. A look of worry shrouded everyone’s face and all conversations centered around the same theme: the toxic smog. It felt so bizarre to walk around in a dark city with masked people and alarmed eyes everywhere you looked. The pollution was literally off the scales (over 500) and no comforting answers anywhere as to when and if it will end. Now, a few days later, it has dropped to 195, still an alarming number in any country, but here in Shanghai, it calls for a celebration. What kind of world are we bringing our children into? What levels of abuse are we subjecting our planet to in the name of progress, money and power?

 

The inevitable change

secrets in the rain~ Shanghai

secrets in the rain~ Shanghai

once upon a rainy day~ Shanghai

once upon a rainy day~ Shanghai

fall games~ Shanghai

fall games~ Shanghai

fall mosaics~ Shanghai

fall mosaics~ Shanghai

legends of the fall~ Shanghai

legends of the fall~ Shanghai

Every year at about the same time in November a new wind blows in Shanghai bringing with it the promise of a heartless winter to come. But there is so much to love about the way the fall forces itself on summer, not offering any apologies, simply making a bold statement, stripping the trees of their leaves, forcing us all to alertness and away from the laziness of summer warmth.