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?
on the move
We seem to go through our days without ever being aware of the most common fact of life: we are living on a sphere which is zipping in space at a staggering speed of 67000 miles/hour and spinning around its axis simultaneously at a speed of about 1000 miles/hour. And somehow all this is engineered in such a way that we feel no movement at all. The most awe inspiring of life’s mysteries are the simplest ones.
amber eyes in a village called Opal
One hour from Kashgar, along the old silk road and just before the start of the Karakoram highway, lies a small village called “Opal”. In the middle of the hustle of the village market, the busy bread stalls, the people milling around and moving goods from place to place, I saw this pretty woman with the amber eyes. She stood there in the sunlight near a row of trees, alone, maybe waiting for someone. I approached, we did not speak, I looked at her, she looked back, I flet a silent agreement from her to photograph her, so I did. After clicking several frames I had the strangest feeling that with some people, as you photograph them, they are photographing you back. Her eyes were steady and piercing, blinking occasionally, just like a camera would. Weren’t cameras fashioned after human eyes in the first place?
it's a love affair
when you think of something every hour of your day, when you lose sleep for it, when you long to speak of it, when your heart flutters and misses a beat as you think of your passion for it, when you walk in the rain, in the cold and in the desert to be with it, when you spend your last extra cent on it, when you realize you are happiest when engaged with it, then whatever that something is, you are having an affair, a passionate love affair.
I am guilty of being in love with photography. As I near the end of my 365 project, I realize that I am not ready to break up yet, not willing to have a separation.. it must go on.
photo taken: Chiharu on a cold night shoot in shanghai
my first love
It was New Zealand, 1995 when this camera found me on a deserted beach. Since that day I fell in love with the mystery camera and it has been a journey of strong companionship and great mystery. The first trip we took together was to Egypt where I shot 35 rolls of film, a wonderful, unforgettable adventure.
Today this old friend called me back. I will be getting some film again to take it for an outing or two.
living the future now
Living in this giant expanding metropolis, we sometimes forget how impressive its rapid growth is, until someone visits and we play the role of tour guide only to rediscover and be awed again and again by the speed at which the future is catching up with Shanghai. Everywhere you look, new construction sites are mushrooming and high rises appear as if out of no where. What is the master plan here? How far is it going and to what end? It certainly is fascinating to be at the center of it all; another human race empire in the making.
photo taken: woman making a video of the 360 degree movie in the urban planning museum in Shanghai
the fellowship of the lens
When you do something so much, day after day, week after week, you put yourself on its frequency. It is like that with everything isn’t it? Food lovers are drawn to food, drinkers can spot a bar a mile away, smokers can find a cigarette in the most unlikely of places, flirts can sense an attractive person on the other side of the street, photographers can feel other photographers. When I meet another photographer, it is almost a sense of kinship, a similarity of things shared, experienced, sought after. A relationship with light, with color, with motion. Today on an afternoon walk down the Huang Pu river in Shanghai I met this white gloved photographer and we just smiled at each other for a few moments, took shots of each other and just giggled like children before I walked away…
nothing is as it seems
This is a musing that has been with me the last few weeks, “nothing is as it seems”…
I was taking photos today and I stopped at the shadows reflected on the wall in the afternoon sun and contemplated again that we actually never see ourselves. We always see a reflection, a shadow, a reverse image of who we are and what we look like. The greatest challenge of all is to know and see who we are on the inside, the everlasting part, the part that inhabits the physical form. For that there is no camera, only the mind.