Asia is best experienced as much with the eyes as is with the stomach

“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” ~ Buddha

I’ve just returned from my Southeast Asia trip – all be it, 3 days returned. It’s taken me some time to adjust to the 12 hr time difference. This was an amazing trip for the adventure, history, experience and that it was my first major trip with my new wife (our honeymoon) and as Buddha has said, I spent it all concentrating on the present moments during my trip.

I’ve taken 1000s of pictures during the nearly 3 week trek and already looking through some of them, there’s about 10% gems amongst the rushed pictures, improperly cropped and poorly exposed scenes. I realize that photography is as much about being in the moment as it is, being patient for that moment. When traveling like I did with my wife, where the focus of our trip was to get as much out of the places and people we saw as it was getting as much out of being with each other, our situations did not lend themselves to the patience and timing required for great travel photography. I was torn between the modes of relaxation and enjoyment of the scenes with my wife and capturing them with my camera and in my situation. I wasn’t able to effectively capture both – so I spent more time enjoying the moments with my wife sans lens to my face – and my wife thanks me for this decision.

In doing so, I experienced wonderful cultures, foods, people and history of Vietnam, Thailand, and even Hong Kong. We spent just under 2 weeks in Saigon and Hoi Ann, Vietnam, under 1 week in Koh Lanta, Railay Beach and Bangkok Thailand, and 5 hours in Hong Kong. Within that time, I ate some wonderful street food in Hoi an, experienced the daily life first hand in Saigon with my wife’s family, smiled widely at the sunset over Andaman sea at Railay Beach West, had dim sum in Hong Kong, shot live ammo from an M30 machine gun at the Cu Chi tunnels in Vietnam, boated down the Mekong River eating mud fish and drinking snake whiskey, and experienced first hand the chaos of street travel in Saigon white-knuckled in a cyclo.

I’ll be sorting through my photos to find the best of the lot, but my experiences and memories will carry me farther than my photos of this trip – I’ll hopefully will be posting these quicker than my wedding albums went up. Much thanks to my wife’s family and all the people that we met that made this trip wonderful. I hope to return sooner than later.

Sun nien fai lok


It’s the year of the tiger and 2010 will be an excellent year… Get out your 99 Red Balloons and have a living room dance party

Nena – 99 Luftballons

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Bad Day? …it Happens

I know it shouldn’t be a bad day; it’s Saturday, but I don’t have weekends so every day is the same to me. It’s not just me, as there’s always someone with a worse day than I. I’ll just listen to some late 90’s punk and feel better:

Against All Authority – All Fall Down

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Shy Ronnie the Seagull

I saw the Shy Ronnie skit on Hulu the other day… SNL still has a few jems with the music acts and this one, Andy Samberg makes it worth viewing (again). The pic I took on a short vacation in Santa Barbara.


Rihanna (featuring Andy Samberg) – Shy Ronnie (right click to download)

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Army of One

The original photo of this boy holding a toy grenade was taken in Central Park New York in 1962 by Diane Arbus. The original print of this photo sold for $408,000 in April 2005, New York. My photo is a wall stencil weathered by time, originally thrown up by JC2 on Lafayette between Prince and Spring st.

Nostalgia 77 ft. Alice Russell – Seven Nation Army (The White Stripes Cover)

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NYPD Gets Lesson in Photographer’s Rights

I read this a while back and am quite happy to report that the NYPD is finally getting some “training” in how to deal with terrorist plotters photographers in New York. Reported in NY Post:

Faced with complaints from photographers and tourists alike, the NYPD has issued a department order reminding cops that the right to take pictures in the Big Apple is as American as apple pie.

“Photography and the videotaping of public places, buildings and structures are common activities within New York City… and is rarely unlawful.”
the NYPD operations order begins.

It further states that the NYPD has no right to forcibly take the camera of a photographer, demand that the photos be destroyed or deleted, or request to view photos taken by an individual.

The Gothamist asks if this will help Arun Wiita a south Asian Columbia grad student who was detained by police for taking photos of a subway entrance.

There is no ban on photography in the subways in New York, yet there continues to be arrests and infringement on civil liberties by the NYPD for photographers trying to sample visuals of real and surreal life around NYC.

I keep a copy of the photographer’s bill of rights and hope that this new “training” that actually should have been taught in Policy Acadamey, helps but only time shall tell.

photo credit: Ryan Brenizer

Sweet tilt-shift and time-lapse photography

I just discovered Keith Loutit‘s work today on Vimeo (thanks D).

Metal Heart from Keith Loutit on Vimeo.

From Telegraph: He combines two techniques – tilt-shift and time-lapse photography – to create a “dreamy” impression of the monster trucks rally in Brisbane, Australia.

In tilt-shift photography, objects are made to appear small and toylike by altering the camera’s lens to narrow the image’s depth of field – the portion of a scene that appears sharp.

By running together 15,000 of these still photos – taken over three hours at the event in November – he created a magical time-lapse animation that has earned plaudits across the web.

“These easiest way to understand… [tilt-shift photography]… is to hold up a small object such as a pen very close to your eye. You will notice that your eye can only focus on the tip of the pen, and that the background is blurred out of focus. Tilt-shift photography can simulate this effect when applied to larger and more distant objects.”

He went on: “Time-lapse photography speeds up subjects to match the tempo of smaller subjects such as remote controlled vehicles. By manipulating time I can make crowds on Bondi Beach march like ants in a colony, or ships in the ocean bob up and down like toys in a bathtub.

“For each subject, whether it be boats, cars or people I work to find the right recipe of speed, vantage, light direction and focus to support the illusion.”

Check out the rest here.

Helpless from Keith Loutit on Vimeo.

What’s wrong with this picture?

I took a break with my former roommate in NOHO (that’s North Hollywood for the real estate marketer impaired), to help him shop for groceries at the local Ralph’s. I usually try to find some random items in new stores I venture into, like an antique Buddha, made in Japan I found at the Salvation Army in San Diego for $2. This Ralph’s I found in the Mexican food section only a few Dulce de tamarindo candies but I picked up a box of Pulparindo for $2 to share. Good Stuff!

The picture above I found reviewing travel items as I was missing the long over due of eargasam pleasure the deep twisting of cotton and ear canal creates in my head… One of the items above is definitely not designed for travel.