Category Archives: Travel
Xizha Watertown – Venice of the East
A picturesque ancient water town in Wuzhen that has more than 1300 years of history, built south of the Yangtze River, these canals divide the town into 6 districts.
Delicate wood carvings and stonework decorate the bridges, streets and buildings.
A town rich in culture that can be seen to this day, with unique food and various folk festivals, it is also the home of Chinese literature, many famous poets and calligraphers moved here to pursue their dreams.
Top of The Peak!
It was a 3km hike from the tourist area of The Peak to get to this location where the telecommunication towers of HK are. The elevation is about 554m above sea level, but not the highest point of HK, to which Tai Mo Shan holds that title. Here can be seen views of Lamma Island, Central, Victoria Harbour and the surrounding islands.
The air was so fresh up here! People here were enjoying the sights, hiking, chilling out and doing tai chi and taking pictures. I was thankful the sky was so clear after a typhoon blew all the smog and clouds away for my photographic expedition.
I took this shot from The Bund, over looking the Hangpu River onto the stunning Pudong district skyline.
It’s not often we get a clear day in Shanghai! Pudong is usually covered in smog and fog.
It was summer holidays and the city was packed with mainland Chinese tourists, all wanting to get shots of this magnificent view.
My favourite shot of the day, sadly the actual Chongyuan Temple in Suzhou (which houses China’s largest Quanyin Statue) was closed for re-construction.
It’s been around for 1,500 years so I’ll forgive them for closing it during my holidays there!
In a short 30 minute window I had to capture as many quality shots of the Chongyuan Temple grounds. This spot caught my eye as I was jogging past it, which had a nice warm sun-lit pagoda showing off its beautiful colours and had a calming and meditative feeling. I decided to do a 9 shot panoramic capture to create this image.
Dogs sleeping, monks walking, fishermen setting sail and a few tourists and locals enjoying the stillness and silence of the early morning.
Hua Hin is a beach resort district where royalty stays on a permanent bases or during the summer holidays, and has lots of beautiful scenery and tourist attractions, another jewel of Thailand.
The rock formation off in the background is Hua Hin’s ‘Stonehead’ which in fact, is the English translation of ‘Hua Hin’. A temple is also mounted on this stone-head, where the monks walk on the beach to gather donations, As well as a few hotels, restaurants and Buddhist statues.
There wasn’t much time for me to capture images in Thailand, plus the weather was abysmal, but I did dedicate one morning to go out to the beach while in Hua Hin. Luckily the gods cut me a break, and it was a pretty magical morning, enough time to get some shots before the clouds covered the skies. The sun-rise was covered by the low hanging clouds along the horizon so it wasn’t completely ideal, but was definitely worth going out to capture the silence before the sunrise.
Special thanks to Mr. Long for taking us out that morning and a having my family over during our stay.
Hey everyone, just posting my pics of the Sylvia waterfall in colour and black-white-brown-tone.
Be Water, my friend…
“Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves.
Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”
― Bruce Lee
Sylvia Falls, Valley of Waters, Blue Mountains
Water flows through all gaps crashing into and eroding earth elements while feeding wood elements along the way as depicted here.
Water teaches me to be stoic towards the extreme negative and positive occurrences in modern life, to drink plenty of clean filtered and re-mineralized water, to have concern and take necessary action for keeping our sources of water and the eco-system pristine, to flow through life according to nature and my true nature, to be both physically flexible and strong, soft and hard in thought and actions.
This is a 4 shot vertical hi-res panoramic image of Sylvia Falls, in the Blue Mountains, my landscape lens was damaged while on a previous photography expedition, so I was forced to (and gracefully adapted) use my portrait lens to capture this vast landscape, minimizing camera shake made it more challenging because I had to manually hold a polariser in front of the lens and adjust it while taking the shots. The best 4 of 14 shots were stitched together using PhotoShop and then manually stretched and warped the perspective of the image to represent the final composition, I liked the colour image, but decided to try black and white, eventually I applied a brownish-black and white tone that I had modified with some grain to the image. I feel that it conveys the philosophy and has more emotion by using this dark brown-earthy tone (although it doesn’t look brown on the jpg). I also emphasized the movement in the water and isolated it from the details of the rocks and the surrounding foliage as they made the image more cluttered.
Updated: This shot is one of 2 images where I received Bronze Awards at the International Loupe Awards out of over 5000 entries. Full article here [Click Here]/
This is a very special image to me, from my travels to my old home, Hong Kong, a mega-city that never sleeps and a truly unique version on the most photographed scene there. Lots of work went into photographing and editing this panoramic shot and I am thrilled to share it with you.
The visit to ‘The Peak’ to get this shot was the last destination of a whole-day photographic excursion with an old friend of mine. It was magnificent day, catching-up with an old friend, fantastic weather (just after a category-3 typhoon and the sun was out), so many great scenes and lots of walking/hiking. It was just tough because as I had fallen ill and was stuck in the hotel recovering a few days before, which also made a 3km steep hike above ‘The Peak’ (yes we went higher) very challenging, but all worth the hard work. 🙂
This 1920 x 770 resolution version doesn’t render very well after re-sizing compared to the original size of 14636 x 5870 res.!
If anybody would like a full-size print out on high quality paper or canvas, let me know, it’s 154.9 cm x 62.12 cm but can be blown up bigger, I’m definitely getting this printed! Visit my Redbubble site to purchase this image if you want a small to medium-sized prints, framed, matted, canvas, greeting cards or more!
[UPDATED] This image is one of 2 Bronze award winners in the 2013 International Loupe Awards. Click here to see the article.