Being Alone Together~ 2

The Future is not written till we write it~ Byblos, Lebanon

This image illustrates to me the basic reality that we find ourselves living in: that life is a journey and our tomorrows are dependent on every action we take and every step we make. To author one’s destiny is a huge responsibility that most of us abdicate from. ‘Choice’ remains our greatest gift whether we see it or not.

It’s always a good time to restart a blog, but there is something more compelling about living through:

  1. a global pandemic
  2. a general breakdown of norms as we know them
  3. an increase in conductivity (trust me on that)
  4. incredibly strange weather patterns
  5. varied degrees of lockdown measures
  6. living vicariously through my photographic archived memories
  7. becoming great friends with my teenage daughter
  8. a complete change of domestic circumstance
  9. a complete halt on all travel plans and viewing humans as 2 dimensional beings through Zoom.
  10. adding a whole new set of skills to my arsenal (Motion Graphics)! (More on that soon)

Yesterday I decided to just go see what other people are doing during this almost 10 days of unusual arctic temperatures in Germany. So after spending one hour trying to remove thick ice from the car, I made it on the icy roads to Duesseldorf, to find joyful people, walking in the bright sun, on white frozen snow, next to a Rhein River in high tide, some masked, some not and I was in awe of finding out how much I missed people in general, the passing conversations with strangers and the funny smiles I get when I perform my weird acrobatics to get strange angled shots.

what have you been up to these days?

Living in Deep Freeze~

The magic of a rainy day~ Germany

There is a charm that can only be captured on a rainy day and a mood particular to that atmosphere of chilly raindrops, umbrellas and leaves blowing in the wind that I always long to photograph. It’s visual poetry that turns gloom into romance and magnifies the bit of light the day has against the dark background. I wouldn’t hide my camera from the rain, no, I would always choose to join it.

And don’t get me started on reflections…

Wanderlust~

yanghsuo portrait 2.jpg

an image of me meeting a local woman and child,  taken by a good friend on an adventure in Yangshuo, China, a few years back.

How gratifying it is to explore the spinning sphere we call home. Each time I plan a new trip, I feel a bubbling of excitement at the unknown that would undoubtedly meet, the amazing people who cross my path and the images my camera would capture. It is as soul nourishing journey when I am far from my routine, away from the usual comforts of home and when I get the chance to push the limits of what I know. It makes me think of how knowledge was collected prior to the industrial revolution and the schooling systems that created machines for the industry; before that time knowledge was sought through experience, apprenticeship and exploration. What an incredibly esoteric experience.

Where is your next journey taking you?

Forget me not~

miscalculated twist of fate~ Yunnan

As I go through my archives, I relive moments from my past travels and like a magical time travel machine, I find myself there again in the moment, looking into the eyes of other humans, feeling what I felt then and simply connecting.

This is one of the many reasons I love photography, the real connections that are made, human to human, where all the differences melt away.

Day 76 of 365~
Image taken in the remote village of Dayangjie, Yunnan, China

We are born alone~

According to the most recent statistics, there are 7.6 billion people living on the earth today. Absolutely none of these people shares your fingerprint or DNA structure. How incredible is that?!

Finding someone to share your beliefs, likes and dislikes would seems like an impossible achievement! Part of me believes it should be that difficult. Each difference of opinion matters because it makes me question mine and either reject my own after long consideration or become even more steadfast in my beliefs.

Day 62 of 365~

Image taken yesterday after a brief snow storm in Düsseldorf

In Street Photography Expect the Unexpected~ Yunnan

 

the wagon ride

the wagon ride

After about a 4 hour flight from Shanghai to Kunming in Yunnan and sorting out the small inevitable complications like changing cars, drivers, lunch and settling everyone to a journey of unexpected events, we set off to our first stop on the workshop, the town of Shiping.

After a first night not short of adventure and discovery in the streets of the old town, we set off in the morning with the freedom one gets after leaving a questionable hotel without having to look back.

girl in wagon~ Yunnan

girl in wagon

All packed, cameras charged, armed with snacks and water bottles we set off only to discover that our bus (that we grew to love) had a flat tire. We were informed that the repairs will take longer than expected. When asked why, the answer was “people in these parts are just not efficient enough”. I swallowed the answered and decided to make the best of a bad situation.

I invited everyone to use the 2 hours to explore and we found ourselves in an unforgettable market! Photo opportunities everywhere, people, children, faces, color, it was wonderful.

on a scale of old to new

on a scale of old to new

During the time there, I was utterly charmed by a group of children who followed me around jumping, giggling, acting silly, jumping into every frame I tried to create. It then dawned in me that the best thing to do would be to just stop trying and instead of capture life, just live it. I played with them and my students photographed them and the whole affair was effervescent and a special gift to start the journey with.

how they stole the show and my heart

how they stole the show and my heart

Saima and Petra with the children

Saima and Petra with the children

Photo of me taken by Saima with the children at the market.

Photo of me taken by Saima with the children at the market.

It is wonderful to be reliving the adventure in Honghe through the stories and images as I busily plan the next one in Dali this coming June.

 

 

The Moment of Truth

earlier this afternoon, just when the sun was ready to sail back home

earlier this afternoon, just when the sun was ready to sail back home

There is a moment, a split second, when you are with your camera in the streets, and a moment you were hoping for surrenders itself to you. I am referring to that brief time before your subject has a time to react to your lens. I love that magical click that finds the person inside of their essence; a line of connection between you, the lens and the person.