For a while now I have been really enjoying the beauty of photographs posted by Bren at Ryan Photography. In her November 5th Flower of the Day post she describes how she post processes images using radial and graduated filters in Adobe Lightroom, which I actually have and know, more or less, how to use. So many of the techniques require photoshop or other fancy things I haven’t learned yet. Last week I had an afternoon free from other worries and while the chili cooked I took a few photos from a fall walk around my neighborhood and gave her techniques a try.
I found it to be relaxing, almost like meditation, to play with the light and shadows. A big thank you to Bren for sharing her techniques.
One really fun thing to notice when traveling is how people get around. I live in an area where it seems like all the cars look pretty much the same. Here is a gallery of some of the variety I saw while visiting my son recently in a small-ish Chinese city. Click on an image to see it larger.
I really admire how many options people have beyond taking the bus and owning a full size car.
I am rapidly approaching the end of this visit. Today is laundry day so things will be dry to pack day after. This has been a pretty low key visit. I didn’t try to go anywhere special just focused on being here in Shouguang. In a way that is to visit a place that is really Chinese. It is a 5th tier city and it’s main draw is the vegetable fair in April, so in October they aren’t really expecting out of towners to be about. People are friendly and I have felt very welcomed as I wondered about with my camera.
Here is an album of physical reflections from this trip.
Whimsical houses reflected in a small lake.
Trees in the Rose Garden.
Myself and the shop owners reflected in many happiness peach man.
Cattiwhompus reflections of an apartment complex in a shopping center.
I think this is the building I’ve been staying in.
This afternoon I had a serendipitous experience. I was doing my coddiwomple thing after having coffee with my son and his girlfriend. They headed off to work and I just headed off. I tend to wander in a spiral, keeping a sense of where my ground zero is, but at the same time getting farther and farther afield. As I was headed back toward the center I spied a fascinating looking lion. Of the mythical type you often see on either side of an entrance in China. The thing that caught was the colors of the lion. It turned out that it was ceramic and the amazing coloration was from a brilliant job of glazing.
The shop appeared open but empty. I first peeked in through, then pressed my nose against the window to get a good view of the lions and other merchandise. From the shop next door a woman came out and said “Welcome to Shouguang” and invited me into her shop. She was happy to have me take pictures and she and her assistant served me tea. I believe, and I may learn more tomorrow when I visit another of her shops with my son, who will be able to understand her, it is a special collector’s type of ceramic. I am certain that it is gorgeous.
Many happiness peach man.
Dragon (my favorite).
Lucky horses, san ma.
This is one of those times when I couldn’t have planned to do something I really enjoyed, because I didn’t know it existed.
These are pictures of a pedestrian bridge across the Mihe River in Shouguang, a bit to the south of town, one of three I have found so far. It was damaged by floods a couple of months ago, when a typhoon passed over the area on its way to Korea. Being, technically, closed doesn’t stop the local fishermen.
Even though I have a map of town it doesn’t show these pedestrian bridges. Maybe the map is old, as in the US most people seem to use their phone for navigation these days. I like a map myself. It doesn’t have a tiny, hard to read screen, connections to lose, or batteries to die.
Ah yesterday. Last night I tried to write a post about it and fell asleep. Jet lag plus busy day does not equal cogent prose.
Today’s RDP: Color brought a couple of things from yesterday to mind, so here goes again:
The day before yesterday there was rain and that resulted in a clear blue sky. These things don’t last: today is already hazy. Yesterday I rolled off the bed early, intending to enjoy the walk by the Mihe River in clear morning light. It was beautiful.
Walking back along a near-by road I saw this art studio painted in vibrant primary colors:
Later in the day I was walking back to my son’s apartment from his place of work, I had some time to kill so I decided to take a longer path, one that ran along a fun park/trail they had made from an abandoned railroad through town. It starts near where he works with a train station art installation:
As I started to wander up the line a man came over and introduced himself. After a bit of almost communication (I finally called my son and had him talk to the guy and translate back to me), I wound up going with him and another gentleman to a huge rose garden, 250 thousand square meters, along the Mihe, well to the south of the stretch I had wandered in the morning. They worked at this garden on the structures.
They wanted to let me take pictures of their garden. You could tell they were rose buffs and also very proud of the garden as a whole…and rightly so. I’ve been to a few rose gardens here and there in the world, and this one is wonderful by any standard.
Quite a few roses were blooming and the weather was perfect. Sadly my SD card filled up and my extra hadn’t made my backpack.
As we were leaving the man at the gate came out with clippers and went around, in conference with the two I had come with and sent me home with this colorful sampling from their garden.
One thing I always enjoy when traveling abroad is vehicle watching. Here in Shouguang city most of the trucks one sees are not what one sees in Seattle, in fact I don’t think I’ve seen a single American style pick up or semi since I arrived. But people still need to haul stuff. Here are some of the trucks I saw when I was out and about yesterday.
These vehicles are more practical in many ways: inexpensive to run, less resource intensive to make and nimble for getting around in narrow, often crowded places.
Interesting “truck” trivia: in Chinese they usually call trucks “ka che” which is “pi ka che” shortened. “pi ka” is from what Chinese think “pick up” sounds like.