About China Sojourns Photography

China Sojourns Photography (作客中国摄影) is a simple project that started where I would post photos from China and around the world.  From a small town in the USA (Pendleton, Oregon) to living in international cities (Hong Kong, Beijing), there were many different paths I have taken with much to do, to see, to contemplate and in the end to experience.

While the focus is on photography, there will also be occasions when the mood strikes that philosophy via photography will be combined.  Often I believe that while writing & photography are both solitary pursuits, it is the inspiration of others that allows me to create: the sharing of ideas and learning.  A mutual exchange of ideas and inspiration.

As such, the theme for this site will be “us”, two souls dancing and learning as we move forward in life.

Us Dancing

The definition of “Us” in this blog can be explained by the Chinese word 缘分 (yuan-fen).

There is no direct translation of 缘分 (yuan-fen) to English.  It is often link to Buddhism and karma and defined as ‘pre-ordained affinity/fate/destiny’, where destiny awaits your action when opportunities arise.

This means, that while it may be fate two people should meet, whether they stay together is up to yuan-fen and destiny.  Yuan (缘) brings two people together, and Fen (分) is the work necessary to fulfill this destiny.  When you choose to take or forego an opportunity, 缘分 (yuan-fen) has arrived and depending on your commitment, becomes a part of your life forever.

It is in this blog that I hope to expand on the 缘分 (yuan-fen) between us, increasing our value and happiness.

Through contemplation & through the lens of a camera are where many of my ideas of life are created.  The constant search to find a choice moment in time where an idea will transpire via words or a photo to bring inspiration is a daily goal.  I see inspiration every day in the people I know.  Ideas are what keeps us dancing.

My blog is award free.  So much thanks and a great amount of respect and admiration for those who read & share with me.  It is a great community of inspiration and understanding.


254 Comments on “About China Sojourns Photography

  1. Och! It’s such a wonderful shot. Love your about me page (I have to brush up mine now’;) ) awesomely put!

  2. The picture is absolutely beautiful!:) My son loves photography,he’ll get a real thrill from this.
    Yuan-Fen huh? One brings together, one decides the fate, I think I can live well with that,lol
    the whole concept of making your own world so to speak. Thanks so much for your kind words, yes we are a lucky family.

    • I too like the idea of making your own world, makes me feel as if I am in control. Thank you for your kind words. Cheers!

  3. It’s a great pleasure to meet you in cyberspace. We have much in common – we’re both products of the Pacific Northwest who have spent considerable portions of our lives in Asia (in my case, Seoul and Hanoi); and we both have an affinity for photography.

    I look forward to seeing your updates … and though I’m back in the States now, I intend to add plenty of pics and back stories of my time abroad and hope you’ll find them interesting.


    • The Pacific Northwest, pretty much a slice of heaven, and fortunately for us also a passage to Asia. Much to see and learn out here. I am heading back to Seattle for a couple months (to enjoy the summer weather), and hope to shoot some when I am in the States as well.

      Look forward to remaining in contact. Cheers!

  4. What a beautiful and meaningful theme to set your blog upon. I shared with my mother your concept of Yuan-Fen. She is Chinese, so she understood the meaning. I have visited China quite a few times because I have several relatives there. Your beautiful photos bring back nostalgic memories. Great photography and a brilliant blog!

  5. I’m very pleased to have found your blog, Randall. What an interesting journey you’ve gone on in both the geographical and artistic sense. And what a beautiful, perfectly caught image this is.

    • It is great to discover a blog that offers a new view of something interesting. Chile is a place I would love to travel to at some point, and your photography (and commitment to your adventure there) is beautiful. A fascinating blog. Thanks Andrew.

  6. The images and articles on your blog are very inspiring! I’m glad to discover such an interesting blog!

  7. Lovely photos and idea for a blog. Thank you for following my blog. I hope you will visit again soon and often and comment on the posts. I will enjoy yours as well! Namaste. . . .

  8. That was a beautiful about description defining ‘us’ and tying in the Chinese translations. I love all the photographs on CSP.


  9. I am very excited about the idea of yuan fen. Thank you for sharing it with me, as well as your beautiful images.
    Also thanks for encouraging me by responding to my posts.
    Visit again soon!

  10. Hi Randall, it’s very interesting what you explain about the yuan-fen, and so kind for expand it through this blog… thank you! 🙂
    By the way… your pictures are awe-inspiring!

  11. I love following your travel blog! I am addicted to traveling and taking photos of all the places and things I experience and I love that I can travel to new places with you through your lovely blog and beautiful photos!!

    • Thank you! We are a good fit, as I feel the same with your blog…you have covered a lot of ground 🙂 Nothing like being inspired by another.

  12. “Where destiny awaits your action when opportunities arise”…this, to me is the crux of the matter. Just think how things might be if we don’t take the action when the opportunity arises. Wonderful ideas here, thank you so much for following my blog.

  13. Hi Randall,

    I just happen to see your blog, and feels happy about it.

    Super pictures and stories.

    Thanks a lot for sharing,

    Have a great day.


    • Thanks Sreejith, you’ve got some amazing shots as well, beautiful done. Wish you well and look forward to seeing more.

  14. “Ideas are what keeps us dancing.” Your quote…to be accredited to you?
    Writing it down…..you’ve made my day(s)…..
    Thank you for your comment on Otto’s post….

      • I shall give credit to “Dalo 2013″…seems I find simple jewels that resonant and keep them to remind myself of…the simple things in life. Thank you.

      • Thank you. It is something to finally understand that it is the simple things that bring the most happiness. Happy Holidays.

    • Thanks Cynthia, 2014 is already shaping up to be a pretty great year…best to you as well!

  15. I really really love your photos! The photos of the birds are stunning and the hallelujah mountain looks like a Chinese painting. I was a month in China over a year ago traveling around but never went there.

    • Thank you, the Hallelujah Mountains are not yet a big tourist draw ~ although a lot of locals do visit whenever they have time.

  16. I just want to thank a very special person that brought me to your blog….
    As someone said, in nature, nothing is perfect and everything is perfect….Your pictures are the proof. Trees can be contorted, bent in weird ways, and they’re still beautiful….
    Beauty is everywhere around here.
    Thank you for sharing, Luana.

    • Thank you Luana, I too would like to thank that person as I have found your blog. One of the best things about shooting & posting is being able to share in the many great photos and talents out there. Cheers!

  17. Thanks very much for the recent visit to/follow of my blog. It led me here and I’ve been perusing your recent entries; you’ve posted some absolutely marvelous work. I would be remiss if I failed to mention that I enjoyed reading the accompanying text as well.

    • Thank you Kerry. It seems whenever I view or take a photo, it also leaves an impression on me…and thus I enjoy writing as well. Much like the work I have seen on your site. Very inspirational.

  18. I’m very impressed by your blog. One can feel that you put all your heart in it. I like it and will be coming back for sure. Thanks for the inspiration and take care! Greets from Germany

    • Hey, just mentioned the same on your blog…mutual inspiration is at the heart of photography.

  19. I feel quite dramatic after the comment above … given your aesthetic, spirit, glimpses here and there, I have quite a “crush” on you … more in the way on cinema idols, since I don’t really know you, just your geese and things. So, then … oh, yes, lest I forget: a very nice blog. Yours,

    • Thanks Mark, the concept of yuan-fen is pretty cool…and while life generally doesn’t need any more drama than it already has, the concept of yuan-fen makes things interesting. Cheers to a good week!

  20. I think I’m going to learn a lot by following your blog. Amazing insight, Randall. I couldn’t agree more, actually. I’ve learned so much about destiny this past year. Sharing my words on my blog has been a transformation with hellos and good-byes.


    • Destiny is one of these great ideas that fit with my thoughts of multiple/parallel universes ~ we will live through many such moments, but what we have in front of us today is unique to us, so take advantage of what is there. Thank Audrey, wish you a good evening.

  21. I’m enjoying your blog immensely. Thank you for sharing your beautiful photographs. 😀

  22. I’ve been through Pendleton Oregon many times, love that town!

    • Wow, next time really must get a hold of me (although I’m likely elsewhere). We can grab a coffee at Great Pacific, beer at the Rainbow (or ‘bow) and if it is during the Pendleton Round-Up, watch a great rodeo and a nice steak dinner at Hamley’s 🙂

      • That sounds great! I’ll be passing through there on my road trip end of June. Cheers! 😀

    • Ah, definitely right in my neck-of-the-woods. I love this place, gives me so many opportunities both professionally and to explore.

  23. Impressive photograph, beautiful project. It is very thoughtful one.I enjoy the photos in your blog, they are truly inspiring..

  24. Pingback: Yuan-fen 缘分 | Oldest Daughter & Red Headed Sister

    • Loved it, loved it…you nailed the essence of the word ~ plus the flow if it is perfect. Such a talent you are Audrey. 🙂

      • Did you like how I told you a thousand different ways that the poem was done? 🙂 I didn’t know where to place the comment so you’d see it. One never knows if people read each notification. Ha!

        I’m so glad you loved it. Even if you didn’t thank you for saying you did, you eased my mind!!! The flow, like I said, was very much like a conversation with you. One we’ve never had, yet I got to have with you via poetry, sadly you didn’t get to hear as I was thinking it out, but in the end you heard every word. Yay! Thank you, Randall.

  25. Hi! I found your blog via Otto von Münchow. Your photos are so beautiful and inspiring! Really wonderful work, I will be following with interest! 🙂

  26. This is such nicely written! It is not only telling about the theme but also the foundation of it is created… As other have said, it is inspiring and beautiful!

  27. Hello Randall, and greetings from Tokyo 🙂

    Thank you very much for making time to stop by my site and even leave a few “likes” and comments. I discovered your blog through ‘Life in Russia’ and am so happy for it. As others have already commented, your photography is simply amazing. I also appreciate the stories you share with each series. I will definitely stop by on a regular basis 😉

    Warm wishes,

    • It is great so find links and see inspiring work from others such as yourself…keeps the passion moving forward to get out and shoot/create what we see and experience life. Cheers!

  28. Hello, I’ve followed you blog for a while but thought I’d let you know I’ll be voting for you for this round of Otto’s best photo blogs. All the best Mark

  29. Dalo – after my long MIA from WordPress this spring, I came here this a.m. to catch up and reconnect – you are always such an inspiration to me and your photos/musings bring such grace and beauty to my soul – thought you should know, that from my perspective, you are definitely expanding the 缘分 (yuan-fen) and bring me much happiness! 🙂 Well wishes and happy thoughts sent to you from Colorado.

    • Okay – think I’ve gotten caught up to where I left off! Hope I didn’t overwhelm you with all the likes/comments as I got caught up on my reading! Thank you again for sharing your gift of photography and words of beauty! 🙂

    • It was great to have your visit today ~ and rekindle the 缘分and especially spread the happiness. Spring in Colorado is hard to beat, enjoy the weekend!

  30. Hi, nice to meet you! You charming blog and I like it! I lived over 4y in SHA and have a lot experiences from this part of the world. I look forward to see new post. Have a nice weekend. Kamila

    • 你好吗?上海不错… I am still out in HK, but get back to Seattle/States quite a bit. Enjoy the weekend Kamila!

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