A Path of Adventure in Guilin, China

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” This ancient wisdom by Lao-zi is one of the most famous pieces of advice from the Dao de Jing.  No matter where you are in life or what difficulties you face, the philosophy is simple: begin resolving the issue by taking that first step. The smallest of efforts, if consistently taken over time,…

Ancient Fisherman of Folklore

Silence. Prior to the break of dawn, there is the pure ‘silence of nature’ as a man begins his day.  There are no beeping alarm clocks, no blare of traffic and it is the noticeable absence of the incessant sounds of technology ~ a staple of our every day existence ~ that creates greater peace to this calm. The silence of nature, with only…

To the South ~ in North Korea

What lies beyond Pyongyang?  This was a question that I have been pondering for a few days.  The city, as any capital city in the world, has its moments of allure.  As I mentioned earlier, it is a place where I could spend a fair amount of time learning and enjoying a new culture. The DPRK has already been a far cry from what…

Watershed Moments in the DPRK

What is the feeling of receiving a genuine smile from a stranger, where the eyes light up and there is no mistaking the emotions of wonderment, curiosity and delight? A watershed moment in the DPRK.  It is strange, it was one of those off-chance smiles from a local walking along the street with nothing particular happening.  A spur of the moment release of joy…

The DPRK ~ Shooting in Pyongyang

Standing beside a small garden, a simple scene transforms into a moment that will never be forgotten.  A heart-warming conversation between a mother and her child as they laugh and happily correct the very rudimentary Korean they heard (a simple ‘hello’).  Their smiles and eyes communicate more than words ever could as they look towards this ‘big nose’ foreigner, giggling again as they helpfully…

The DPRK Fog ~ What Lies Beyond The Mist

Major Trade Bridge between Dandong, China and Sinuiju, DPRK What lies across the border? Looking into the DRPK from across the Yalu River (鸭绿江), I was met with a beautiful sight of a bridge from a thriving Chinese society venturing ahead into a shrouded mist of mystery, taking the question of “what lies beyond the DPRK border?” and putting it into physical form. A…

The DPRK on the Brink of Peace ~ Moonlight Over Pyongyang

The brink of peace?  OK, perhaps it is just the absolute stillness of the night, the crisp fresh air (anything is fresh after a few days in Beijing) and a calm that penetrates the dark night that gives me this feeling of ‘peace’.  Having just arrived in the DPRK, I am still in a bit of a bewildered state.  [FYI: this will be a…

The Golden Bewitching Hour of Photography

In my previous post on the ‘Blue Hour’, I insinuated shooting the blue hour provided more of a challenge to achieve a great exposure than one could get in the golden hour.  Quite a few people disagreed with me, with the complaint that shooting into the sun (and handling the glare of the sun) was much more difficult to manage.   Granted, these two…

The Bewitching Hours of Photography: The Blue Hour

Through ‘bending of light’, an artist is able to create unique, emotional and stunning photographs. Unfortunately, light also is the most destructive force as well, as I have an endless supply of photographs with blown-out highlights or underexposed noise (aways sad news after a shoot, but good to learn from those mistakes).  I have learned that while the scene may look beautiful, if the…

Of All the Tea in China, One Place Rules…

The sweat of migrant workers is essential to bring the famous West Lake Dragon-Well Tea (西湖龙井茶) to tea mugs around the world.  It is in the village of Meijiawu, the heart of Longjing tea production, where the workers proudly offer us these roasted green tea leaves, and do so with smiles on their faces and laughter in their hearts. Today, as I sit back and…