Weekly photo challenge: eerie

What you see is not what you think!
These are exposed roots of a tree. The density if the tangled roots did and still give me a weird disturbing feeling whenever I see this picture. Eerie, isn’t it?

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Fresh

I took this photo after an hour of boxing training session, as a matter of fact, it was my first boxing session. I used to think boxing was all violence, after that session I started to see the sport with new respect. Anyway right there I was exhausted yet excited, gym attendant kindly brought me freshly brewed ginger tea, steaming with soothing fragrance, paired with the arrangement of floating rose petals. Fresh was how I felt there and then.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: The Golden Hour

I took this picture last July in Cape Town, we stayed at a friend’s place, sun was setting when we arrived, waves crashed on cliff, seals waggled their way on rocks, and clouds were gathering, everything was in a pink hue… Now it has been a year, I can still see that spectacular view in my head, as if it’s yesterday….

Thanks to this week’s photo challenge, I get to share the moment with you dear readers.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Nostalgic

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In my early childhood years, on my birthday, mother would take me to a photo studio to have a photograph as a way of celebration, so there I was, in this picture, standing awkwardly in front a backdrop depicting a country road, smiling sweetly to the camera. The backdrop might have been a colored one, however mother must have been watching her budget, for colored photograph would cost a lot more than black/white ones…

Going to a photo studio to have picture taken was a significant event in my younger years. Camera was not a household commodity in China until late 1980’s. Mother always dressed me up as much as she could for the occasion, I’d be excited about it way ahead of it, then i’d be anxious for a few days till mother fetched the prints from the studio. I haven’t developed to be camera shy yet, at least not as bad as i am now.

I often wondered how much life has changed over the years, most photo studios are out of business by now, even kodak had to do something about their film business. Camera is no longer a luxury for Chinese families. On the contrary, we have developed this unstoppable tendency of taking photos, food, place, friends, or self portraits, you name it… some travelled afar to search for breathtaking scenic shots while some wandered around the city for a suitable background…  

No more scenic backdrop required for photos, but I do miss those days for its simple yet ceremoniously ways. Moreover, I miss the little girl who smiled so sweetly to the camera, alas, that smile has long gone!

 

  

 

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: The World through My Eyes

I was born and bred in Shanghai, the capital of commerce and finance of China, a city that has changed tremendously over the years.

Despite its humble beginning, Shanghai had always been and is still the window of China to the world. Huangpu River runs through the city and splits it to two distinctive parts, the rice paddies on the east side have given ways to the skyscrapers featured in the latest 007 movie Skyfall, while the west side of the river continues to charm tourists with its European styles architectures and colorful stories from the early 1900.

Ferry was the only means of river crossing until 1970, now there are 12 under river tunnels, 5 bridges, and 1 metro line connecting the two sides of Huangpu River.

I took this picture from a hotel restaurant located on 56th floor on an overcast summer day. Outside the window the river runs towards East Sea and cargo vessels travelled with various goods – an every day scene has carried on for centuries. A bridge is standing around the river bend. ‘The Oriental Pearl’, the highest TV tower in the Far East and the world’s third, appeared through its reflection on the tinted glass, together with another skyscraper under construction.

All these in one frame, the past, the present, and the future of my beloved Shanghai, my window to and of the world. You can’t beat that.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: The Sign Says

Our home in Cotswold is a 400 years old stone cottage, although tiny in size it is a cute little house with a quiet charm. Located in scenic English countryside, every summer tourists from overseas snap numerous photographs around the village. My father-in-law got very upset a few times when working in the garden – somehow tourists often mistook him as a gardener, so they would ask him to hide behind the cottage, not to get into the “perfect” pictures of the building. Sometimes we have studious travelers buried their noses in Lonely Planet, cross checking everything they read in the book with everything they saw in the street. We thought our visitors might like to see something “historically” trivial – so we put up this sign outside the house, in a position that will make in to a perfect picture.

Wish everyone a nice week ahead.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Culture

OK this is the second time I am here for the Weekly Photo Challenge. From the brief the submissions are supposed to be thoughts provoking, curiosity provoking, and hopefully a glimpse of different culture foreign to our own.

So I decided to cheat a bit, I chose a subject that most cultures will either shy away or try to be quiet about it, but not in Bhutan, a country that Buddhism religion, mythology and history have interwoven tightly into each other for thousands of years…

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Yes you are seeing it right, your eyes are not playing a trick on you. What painted on the wall of this humble cottage are a Garuda – a mystic bird, and two Phalluses – erected penis. Both are considered auspicious signs that would ward off evil spirits and protect households and habitants.

The story goes back to 600 years ago, the legendary Drupka Kingley, aka “The Divine Madman”, subdued demons in a form of flying phallus so as to protect villagers and their processions. Drupka Kingley holds an important role in Bhutanese history and mythology. Many stories are related to him and his unique ways of teaching through dances, songs, and sometimes erotic forms.

I guess that’s why we travel – to see the world from various angles and to hear stories from different sides. I love it!