Month: February 2014


As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, there have been substantial renovations of older apartment buildings in Beijing over the last couple of years. The buildings on the left have both had recent makeovers.

What also happens during such work is that more makeshift buildings are torn down. This courtyard used to have a long line of such structures.

Although probably not safe or legal, I think the businesses that used the buildings added a certain vibe to the city… people sitting outside during the hot summer nights, talking, smoking, eating chuan, and drinking beer.

Ice Fishing

Today has not been a good air day. Although we’ve had our share, today just wasn’t one of them.The AQI is at 377 right now (anything above 300 is considered hazardous), and I wouldn’t doubt it if it gets close to the 500 mark before the night is through… this being the last night of the lunar new year festivities (read fireworks galore) and all.

One extremely small upside is that it allowed for a wonderful reflection in the above shot. I actually didn’t see it when I took the picture. I was starting out wide as I zoomed in on the man ice fishing, which I thought was interesting enough by itself (himself?).


Forbidden City. Blue Skies. White Clouds.

This photo was also taken during my first trip to Beijing. I think the stones I photographed in the previous post were to the right of this pathway.

My friends and I were at the Forbidden City pretty early on a weekday morning, so there wasn’t a crowd (the photograph was taken at 10:30 am).

If you click on the photograph (which brings-up a larger version on flickr), you’ll see a man in a white shirt and beige jacket making a peace (or victory) sign with his left hand. You’ll see this a lot in pictures taken in China.

Oh, except for some minor tweaks to clarity, shadows, and contrast (with Lightroom 5.3), that is how the sky looked when I shot the picture. Yeah, we can get some really bad days here, but we can also get some beautiful ones as well.


Taken in the Forbidden City during my first trip to Beijing, now almost eight years ago.

I think the guide said that, in order to stop enemies from tunneling up into the courtyard, there were nine crisscrossing layers of stones.

The picture was taken with my old D50 and 300 mm.

Red Lantern with Snow

It snowed yesterday. Just a light dusting, but still nice. It was strange to hear the sound of firecrackers (and loud booms of bigger stock) amidst the landscape… but, one must chase away the evil spirits during Spring Festival.

Although yesterday was a workday, many people still haven’t returned from their hometowns… which was a good thing since even this little amount of snow can play absolute havoc with the traffic.

Today is “converted” into a workday. Seven years here, and I still haven’t used to the swapping that happens in order to make holidays longer. (There is one less swap this year then last year… I’m hoping this is a sign of a downward trend.)

I went back to my D300/14 mm for the above shot. Such a great combination for doing photography in close spaces, or when you’re shooting from the hip and want to get as much of the subject in frame as possible.

Bicycles on a Fence at Night

More testing of the Lumix DMC-GX7. This was a hand-held shot taken at almost 9 pm with little light. I’d maxed the ISO at 25600. Other settings were 1/6 sec at f 4.6. The original was raw at 18.63 MB.

Extremely impressed with the amount of detail captured, and the small grain size. Gave me a lot to work with when I developed the photo in Photoshop Lightroom 5.3.