Saturday, September 24, 2011

Gnarly Trees

I wrote a short story for a class at college once and mentioned live oaks in it. My teacher crossed out live, not realizing that it's actually a type of oak–deep rooted trees that stay green year round. There are thousands of them down on the Gulf Coast. In some places, the live oaks are the only thing left standing in lots where there used to be majestic houses overlooking the sea.

And this is a gnarly old cypress tree that probably saw better days before Hurricane K. It's it awesome?

Friday, September 16, 2011

Last Days in Shanghai IV: The last of the early morning pictures

Last ones I promise although I'm sad to be coming to the end of this little series (of course there's at least a hundred more...)

I always loved these posts with the streets spray painted on them. Chinese characters look cool.

This is a seductive old bicycle cart.

This guy was nice. He really loved his bird. He could speak Chinese that bird.

Bamboo birdcages are gorgeous.

Fresh soybeans

A great way to travel after hours of walking in the sun.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Last Days in Shanghai III: More early morning pictures

I was determined to get more pictures of Chinese people before I left Shanghai...very devil may care of me, I know. People were so much nicer at 6 o'clock in the morning than when I've taken pictures later in the day. I guess the city gets to you by 10 a.m. or so.

I loved this lady.

After I took some pictures of her, she came over and touched my arm and looked at them. She was so sweet.

This guy did not want to let me take his picture.

But I did it anyway and then he wanted to see the pictures. I gave him some lip for that.

Chinese city folk have a certain knack for sleeping on noisy streets.

Right after I took this picture, I scooped up this lady cause she was so tiny.

I only show you that last picture to remind you about the courtyard with that awesome view of the temple. And here is the lady who showed it to me after she took me on a short tour.

Monday, September 12, 2011

In the News: My first centenarian

This weekend I got my first freelance gig since I leaving Shanghai. I was really excited and a bit nervous since it was a trial run.

I covered the 20th Annual Mississippi Gulf Coast Blues & Heritage Festival. While I didn't get to hang out for long and enjoy the music, I did chat with a number of very friendly folks. My favorite interviewee was a 103 year old woman who has been part of the festival since it started.

Please head over to the Sun Herald's website and give it a read!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Last Days in Shanghai II

Most of these are from a jaunt in an old, well preserved neighborhood I discovered in the French Concession area of Shanghai. I love that area. Also, these pictures do not betray the searing heat and humidity of that day, thankfully because that would be as unpleasant as my sweat drenched self traipsing around with two cameras in July.

Nothing dangerous about these power boxes.

Like doors, old mailboxes are endlessly photogenic.

I did a Kel El on this picture.

See...a door and mailboxes.

An advertisement for the "dentist". Don't go to a dentist with a painted sign attached with old wire. Serious.

More Kel El-ling it.

This is where bok choy comes from.

Most people run from the camera but this guy wanted me to take a picture. He's one in a billion.

Hilarious, random Chinese cowboy flour (I think) bag. I'm glad it's a registered trade mark.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Just Finished: Understanding Exposure

Understanding Exposure: How to Shoot Great Photographs with a Film or Digital Camera by Bryan Peterson

If you want to take better pictures, read this book from cover to cover. From the title it might sound like Understanding Exposure covers a very limited area of photography, but that's where you're wrong. Peterson, a successful photographer, has everything the beginner needs to take beautiful pictures. The book begins with how to use ISO, shutter speed, and aperture together to create pictures that are technically and artistically good. From there Peterson explains the different techniques to get a variety of cool effects such as panning. Even though I had been taking pictures for over a year, I found the book extremely helpful and the lighting section provides invaluable information on how to adjust exposure for different times of day and situations. There are pictures on almost every page to illustrate Peterson's instructions. My only criticism is that some terms are mentioned numerous times but not explained until the last third of the book. But that's just another reason to go through the whole thing.

Do you photographers out there have any other recommendations for photography manuals?