Camping on The Great Wall

Last weekend I went camping on the Great Wall. It was a lot of hiking and climbing on some non-existant paths through trees and brush, but was worth it when we got there. Just wish the sky would have cleared up more…

Lots of Scanning Recently.

Sometimes I think about my photography and where I am with it. Sometimes I think I could push myself more and get more exposure. Then I think about many of the people who do that. Many are pretentious ass hats. I don’t want to turn into one of them. Don’t get me wrong, many are very nice and have great work, but there seems to be a large number who give their work too much meaning and use ten thousand words to describe a photo of someone eating a cheeseburger.

In the end, I just want to take my photos.

Don’t Cheap Out

I thought about long and hard whether to post these photos unedited like I have. I did my standard base sharpen to correct for my scanner and I adjusted the colors slightly. I did not, however, fix any of the spots on the film. This is the cheap internet re-rolls that I bought for 7 RMB a roll. They were rolled in Kodak Gold cases and packed in what were clearly laser printed Kodak Gold boxes. The film was NOT Kodak gold. The film is not sharp, it has the grain of an 800 speed even though it is 200 asa, and there here are hundreds of little pin pricks in the different color layers of the emulsions. They show up as colored dots on the photos. I could clone them out in PhotoShop and I have on a few frames, but it is a pain and it will serve as a good reminder to only buy quality film. It just isn’t worth my time to save a few rmb.

This leads me to my next point. Saving RMB. I am doing a lot of that lately. For anyone not in the know, I am taking off most of next year to travel around the world… again. This, of course, means saving lots of money. I have a pretty large chunk saved up so far. Somewhere to the tune of $11,000 CAD. With my current calculations of $50 a day, that puts me at the 220 day mark. I still have around 6 months of saving to do.

My big dilemma as always is what camera to take. There are so many good choices. I’ve got a couple DSLR’s with L lenses kicking about. I have a Leica M2 and a few lenses. I have a slew of old Minolta SLR’s that are dandy. I even have a 4×5 that is great, if not somewhat big… Ahh the choices.

Blossoms in Bloom

The cherry blossoms are in bloom, that means that the parks are full of people and the city is regaining some of it’s color. The winter here is really quite ugly. This year there was only one day of snow and it all melted before lunch. That means that everything was a crappy brown color for months. Now with the sun out, the flowers are in full color. Suddenly I remember some of the reasons that I like Beijing.

Digital. Meh.

This is a good representation of Beijing for me. There is a good mix of beauty and ruin. People go about their busy lives. They take the subway, they wander by the lakes, they enjoy their free-time. Something that I hope to do more of now that the weather is starting to get better. What I need to do is take the bloody headphones out and just listen. The city if full of life. I often let it pass me by these days. For the record, I have been in Beijing for one year and seven months. This is the longest that I have stayed in one place for a while.