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. Hi! I just wanted to thank you for your kindness, and for the amazing talents you have been sharing to us. I can’t wait to see your next post. Keep shining!

  2. Thanks for stopping by! I’ve just spent a long time looking at your blog…. and photos are stunning!! I can’t wait to see more!

  3. I’m a Singaporean and I enjoy sprinkling some chinese in my blog posts. Glad to see chinese characters in yours too! Great photos by the way! 🙂

    • 非常感谢!Chinese characters are so beautiful/meaningful. Singapore is one of my favorite places 🙂

      • I’ve lived in Xi’an, Beijing, Hangzhou and now Hong Kong…four of my favorite cities.

      • I’ve not been to Xi’an but I’ve visited the other places. Hang Zhou is very beautiful but I love Hong Kong the most (for its shopping of course! – 买东西、吃东西) 🙂

      • 吃东西最好!下次到香港跟我联系,一起去吃最好的点心 🙂

  4. Just spent some time reading through your blog. You are an awesome photographer. All the pictures are breathtaking, especially the ones with long exposure.

    • Thank you very much, the long exposure shots are to me a perfect way to practice patience and enjoy the scenery & lighting…so very relaxing 🙂 Cheers and wish you a great weekend.

  5. Beautiful introduction. My heart is also forever in the Pacific Northwest!

  6. Like you, I find photography primarily a solo pursuit. I can spend half an hour in one spot, so I don’t expect other people to wait for me. When I participate in a nature field trip, which has the advantage of being with an expert who identifies things, I always struggle to keep up because of the pictures I take.

  7. Wow, your photos are beautiful! I’m glad I stumbled across your site. Keep up the great work! 🙂

  8. Fabulous photographs – and compulsive reading too! I’m struggling for time at the moment but will definitely revisit.

    • Thanks Noeline, you have an incredible site yourself ~ great to be able to see your shots & learn!

  9. So how come I have only discovered your blog?

  10. Hi Randall, I´ve just discovered your photography and blog when looking for Bagan photos. Congrats for the beauty
    and depth of your posts! Really lovely stuff.
    I´m a freelance writer from Brazil, looking for an image for a book cover — a fiction that I´m self-publishing.
    Wondering if you´re selling your pics somewhere? Please let me know.
    Warm regards,

    • Thank you Simone, if there is a particular photo you enjoy please let me know and it would be great to talk with you about those shots. Cheers!

  11. Hey Randall !!! Thank you for dropping by and following Keep Picturing. Your visit brought me here. Your work is fabulous. The colors and culture you capture is really beautiful. Truly exceptional. Would love to follow your journey. Nice to meet you. Have a good day… 🙂

  12. Good morning, my dear.
    I am writing you today as the sad event of René Burri’s death made me think of you and your photos… why? Because he was one of the great postwar photographers, and also a very generous man. Should I say more??

    PS: I would steal your photographs and present them to Magnum… maybe one day, I will.

    • Hey there my dear! Just returned to HK and learned about René Burri’s death…an amazing artist, and as you said just an amazing man. Let me know how your presentations to Magnum goes, perhaps we can share the spoils 🙂 Cheers to a great weekend ~

  13. Beautyfull intro. You engage and inspire ☺ Many thanks for visiting my new blog, I’m honoured and grateful. Your photography is magnificent, sublime…and inspiring also. Peace, love & light, jules

    • Thank you ~ photography is such a great companion at times and look forward to seeing more of your work.

      • Yes it is isn’t it. I hadn’t thought before of it being my companion…you’re right, it totally is ☺ my favorite thing to do. Thank you.

  14. Hi Randall,

    Great blog you have here, very inspiring. And I love your photographs 🙂
    Looking forward to read more of your posts.


  15. Sometimes i feel that this is everything that we are looking for. We may mask it with other engagements in our lives but at the end of everything, it is this connection that we so desperately need. But we forget that the connection comes first from ourselves and perhaps that is the only way to achieve yuan-fen.
    Blessed be.

  16. Pingback: The Liebster Award – December 2014 | Paintings by Swav

    • Thanks Swav, and the “sunny and a bit rainy” sounds a lot like Seattle right now…weather that is perfect to enjoy a pint or two ~ Cheers!

  17. Blog may be award free but you have been Freshly Pressed twice back to back. Very proud of your work. Keep on inspiring us.

    • 🙂 Thank you so much Seeker ~ it was a nice surprise, and thank you much for the kind words. Wish you a great ’15, look forward to more adventures 🙂

  18. I love the concept of yuan-fen you described here. Also, thank you for creating a touching feature of Tacloban in your latest post. I am Filipino and appreciate it very much. 🙂

    • The concept of yuan-fen makes meeting new people/situation interesting, more calming. The Filipino culture seems to take that to heart as well, an amazing culture. Cheers!

      • True. And it answered the question I’ve been struggling with, regarding destiny vs. free will. Do you have a Facebook page of your blog or photography?

      • I have FB page that shows my blogs, but not yet for photography…need to do that 🙂 Cheers!

  19. Randall, just met your through Eric Tonnigsen’s guest post. Love your photography and that you live in the PNW (Seattle?). I have family in the Seattle area. I found your awesome sunset photo on Eric’s post and would love to showcase it on my Welcome Page Sunset Gallery (world-wide sunsets). It’s one inspirational “choice moment in time.” Of course, full credit to you! I’m working on the gallery this morning and know it may take a while for your yes or no. If you decide no (hope not), I’ll just take it off. Happy New Year! Christine

    • Thanks Christine, yes I spend a part of every year in the PNW (Seattle & Eastern Oregon/Pendleton). Thank you very much for showcasing the photo ~ that would be great. Wish you a great New Year!

      • Thanks Randall. Your sunset is there in it’s glorious showcase! Thanks also for reading and liking some blog posts. I’ll be back to see more of your site! Christine

  20. What a treat to discover your blog through Eric Tonnignsen’s blog. I look forward to looking and reading further. You have definitely inspired me to put more of my photography in my blog, as photography is my first and most enduring passion. Happy New Year!

    • There is something about the blend of photography and words ~ look forward to seeing more in the new year!

  21. So glad we met through Eric’s blog, you are an inspiration and show quite wonderfully how we can live a most sensual life if we choose… Barbara

    • Very nice, there is such a good life beyond the frazzle of work/pressures that if you can take the time to acknowledge it, life is there for the taking 🙂

  22. Dear Randall,

    My name is Ashlee. I’m co-founder of the Youshare Project, with the mission to connect people around the world through stories. I recently stumbled across your blog and looked at/read through several of your posts. It looks like you’ve been to some amazing places, and your photos are gorgeous. I’d like to invite you to check out our website (www.youshareproject.com) and ask if you would consider sharing a story or photo essay about an “Inspiring Place”? If this sounds interesting to you, I would love to email you directly with more information and formally invite you to share your story with the project.

    You have my email address and website (although please note the site is still under development). I hope to hear from you soon.


    • Thank you Ashlee. I’m traveling now, but will contact you about this, as it sounds interesting.

      • That sounds great! Thank you 🙂 I look forward to your email. Meantime, I’m wishing you safe and happy travels!

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  24. Hello. Thanks for visiting my blog and commenting — I’m glad you did because I’ve really enjoyed reading your thoughts on this About page. I’m looking forward to more of your photos and thoughts. I find your writing very relaxing, at the same time thought provoking. Thank you for sharing this with us. Best wishes from Brisbane, Australia.

    • Thank you very much Kim ~ I look forward to more posts & photos and then most importantly learning and being inspired at what you (and others) put out there. Cheers!

    • Thank you Darcy, it seems life works this way; good things happen if you let things flow instead of pressing forward regardless of nature so to speak. Cheers!

  25. Hi- Thank you I hope you are inspired. Your blog is beautiful and I look forward to sharing more images in the future.

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  27. Hi! I am currently working on a new website for a non-profit in Pendleton and, if allowed, your photos would be a beautiful asset to their new site design which will help them support Umatilla, Union, Morrow, and Wallowa counties. I am wondering if you might license your photos for something like this? Please email me to discuss in more detail. Thanks!

    • Thank you Fara, I would be open to licensing my photos for a non-profit in Pendleton and I will send out an email so we can discuss further.

  28. Greetings from Romania Dalo!!! I did not written so now, because you have a successful blog with many followers and more comments, and you do not have the necessary time for talk to everyone. I kidnap shortly time from you now, just to tell, that you have a great blog, which to me is in top 3, and i follow with great pleasure. Oriental philosophy, which you presents, is interesting and exotic to me, as resident in Eastern Europe. You are so, a very good photographer, with premium equipment, and lot of inspiration. My only regret is that you do not posting more. When i found your blog, i did not think any time that you could be interested to my little (unprofessional) photoblog, from other side of Earth. It’s been two months, and still receive “like” from you. This stimulates me to posting more interesting, and more quality pictures. For that, i thank you, and remain a fan of your blog!!!

    • Wonderful, and there is so much beauty in Romania ~ thank you for the great comment. It is always something to see nature whether in sunshine or rain, Mother Nature always looks great. Look forward to see more from you & your blog. Cheers.

  29. 緣 has brought me to your posts; they are wonderful. I was born in Hong Kong and I always visit Tai-O when I return. Thanks for the images but also your words that give meaning to them.

  30. Hello from Belgium. China Sojourns Photography in one word : great. Stunning photography with breathtaking sights and views. Good reads as well. Thank you for having visited my blog.

    • Thank you very much Marc ~ great thing about the places I’ve traveled, the photos almost take themselves (and the culture so rich that words come pretty easily). I think you’ve experienced the same. Cheers and safe travels ~

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