Winter Scenes

My husband kindly took me to Ohiopyle State Park this week since the weather’s been letting up a bit. I was excited to soak up the winter scenes since I haven’t experienced them in years. I also forgot how slippery ice can be! I got teased (rightly so) about being scared to trample on the snow. Thank goodness there were fences on the icy steps or I might have fallen over a not so safe cliff by now. I passed by a lot of places where I’d really like to take some winter portraits of friends/their pets, but I’m not sure who would like to brave the cold for me.

Photos from the jaunt below:

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Limbo

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I’ve got two more days to go and off to USA! I’m getting quite excited as it’ll mean that I’m going to find a new place, and plan all this junk with the hubby. People may think I am crazy, oh well.

We didn’t see much in Toronto this time around as we were pretty jet lagged and there is only so much tourist-y places you can show someone, particulary when they’ll probably be back more than once a year.  We headed to the ROM (was going to blog about that but was kind of disappointed in the new layout of it) but that’s about it. I forgot that hubby hasn’t gone to Honest Ed’s until a friend pointed it out to us while walking out of a restaurant. For those who don’t know it, it’s a store which is pretty much a Toronto icon. I was wandering around thinking “yeah I’ve done this before” until I dropped my jaws at 10 cent underwear. ahah.

My photography has sadly taken a backseat during this but I’m in lazy vacation mode. I’ve got some new photography goals coming up because I’m putting film on hold perhaps for now. I have to see if it is in the budget or it is more cost effective to get a DLSR again. I’m going to play around with the manual controls more with my Lumix LX3. Googling images that amateur hobbyists have taken have really convinced me I can do more with the camera than I gave it credit for initially. I’ll probably do a post about the trial and errors of it soon. It’s hard to blog consistently when you don’t have access to the internet regularly.

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Bohol, Philippines

Spent a lovely five days over CNY with the hubby, just relaxing. It will be my last trip for quite a while, as we’re going to relocate in about 5 months or so, so there really is no budget for that kind of expense. Not going to disclose where we’re moving just yet, as I don’t want to jinx it!

Bohol is a nice island, though it was apparent after the second day how poor some of the people were, which made me a little sad.  I figured if I can get a haircut at a midrange salon for about 1USD, I’m considered well off.I liked staying near the city of Tagbilaran as it was nice to see locals and their everyday hangouts, and it provided more eating (and cheaper) options. Staying near Alona beach can get semi-isolated, unless that’s the sort of holiday you want.  Try to rent a motorbike if you can, or get a jeepney, taxis usually cater to tourists and are expensive, even by western standards.  We took a jeepney back to our hotel from the city for about 80 pesos, whereas a taxi would cost about 250 pesos, which is the equivalent of 6 USD for less than a 10 minute ride.
Some random photos below:

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10 Best of 2011

I’ve been thinking about what kinds of images I want to continue to create, and as a result I’ve been obsessively looking through photos I’ve taken. I am just in awe of places I’ve been able to visit and gain a better insight to Shenzhen migrant culture as a result. I hope for more in 2012 and be able to speak to some of the people I take images of.

Here are what I think are my 10 best in 2011.  You are more than welcome to pop over to my flickr site to see more.

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Fallingwater

My husband is awesome because he worked at the coolest places! We were back just in time to celebrate the 75th anniversary of this cool place.  I got to meet some original tour guides of the place, and walk around freely inside the house.  I got to take photos, which is  awesome, because it’s usually reserved for people who pay like 60 bucks for a special tour.

Here are some images. It was a bit dark and my little digital camera wasn’t handling the low light conditions very well.

another view when you first walk into the house
view when you enter the house
leading to Edgar Koffman jr’s room (I think!)

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BaiShiZhou 白石州

Wandering around Baishizhou a few weeks ago was a bit of an eyeopener for me. I’ve heard about this place from several sources, including a coworker who is nervous walking there because she claims, in her own words, a bit “too dirty and ghetto”.  Not sure what it is, but I am attracted to these places. Living in a nicer area of Shenzhen makes me take for granted sometimes how people come here and struggle for a better life, even if it is far from what I would call getting your basics.  The people that live in these less than desirable places are also some of the nicest people I’ve met, open to conversation.

My first impression about Baishizhou is how calm the place was. You see children playing, adults working, and cool old people just sitting around and chatting.  I’m not trying to romantize the place, there are obviously unpleasant smells, fresh food lying out in the open all day (are refrigerators unpopular here?) and dirty ground.  But I’m also not looking at rich spoiled people thinking they are better than the average person. It seems to be like (for lack of a better term) that these people understand for their role and strive for a simple goal.  The children here aren’t spoiled (unlike many of the students I teach who have everything and still aren’t happy) and running into a number of them I am reminded of how wonderful innocence is.  I used to feel uncomfortable taking photos of people off the street, but the ones here almost, without speaking,  invite me to do so.  I will probably return there again with a lighter camera next time, once I finish all my expired 120 film (I have about 10-12 more to go, not sure why I bought that much in the first place!).

For some history about this place, head on over to Shenzhen Noted. If you happen to be in Shenzhen and want to wander around there some, free to contact me.

A few photos from my jaunt. I’m not posting a lot simply the files are huge, plus I’m editing some for the show I’m doing next year. Still working on an artist’s statement for that. I hate writing about myself.

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