First “Face(s) of China”











This gentlemen was resting at the DaXingShan Temple yesterday and by habit I gave him my head bobble (used in Chennai during photowalks to get the okay to photograph).  He looked at this strange Laowai (foreigner) and was okay with a photo.  Need a different introduction in China for street portraits.

Today is Chu Er – 2nd Day of CNY which dictates a gathering of the family for a great meal.  We’re headed for a great local Hot Pot restaurant at noon (

Chu Yi – 1st Day of Chinese New Year: Time to Visit Your Local Temple

Every year on Chu Yi, we visit our local temple – Da Xing Shan where we are amongst 1000s of worshipers.  As usual, fireworks never cease at the front gate as seen in this series of stills.  Very loud as intended to keep the xiao ren (devils) away and keep your luck for the year.

Xi’an, China 中国 陕西省 西安

Now in Xi’an China for Chinese New Year.  Tonight is News Year Eve with the roar for your ears, smoke for your eyes and smell for your nose of fireworks (crackers) everywhere from 9p to 8a.  Hope to get some good shots.

From Hong Kong to Xi’an, had my D300S in the plane ready for a few IR shots. I’m still learning the WB conversion in Nikon Capture NX-D, Photoshop Channel Mixer/H-S and selective control point adjustments with NIK Viveza for faux colors.

Happy New Year  xīn nián kuài lè  新年快乐




Faces of India and a Cow

You may wonder why I opened this post with a B&W infrared image of a cow  crossing the bridge as the featured image.

I chuckled when I saw this cow as the only living thing using the pedestrian walk(s) along the side of the bridge in either direction.  What the heck??

All other 2-wheeled, 3-wheeled, 4-wheeled, 4+wheeled, two-legged, 4 legged… travelers were using the roadway to cross the bridge – hmmm.

Only the cow got it right.

Enjoy these Faces of India (Andhra Pradesh north of Chennai).

An Offering of Hindu Faith

If I understand this Hindu ritual correctly, one must offer the loss of their hair by shaving at the temple 5 times in a lifetime.  Most start as children around 1 years old reaching their 5th offering by 5-6 years old.  Others later in life make this personal offering on a religious, voluntary basis.

On this day multiple families were making this offering of faith with everyone  shaved.

I haven’t seen a straight blade razor in active use in years.  These “Barbers” are truly talented as rarely is there any accident.  Secret – keeping the blade razor-sharp avoids issues.

DaShanSheYing-918 DaShanSheYing-917

Here’s Mud in Your Face

He had the throttle full open as the tractor’s wheels kicked up mud in all directions.  No part of the man nor tractor was safe from mud slinging.  Sounds political in nature, not.



The IR Challenge – WB

With infrared photography, it’s all about getting “white balance” correct in camera and/or post processing to bring about subtle faux colors when using a Standard IR 720nm filter.

As recommended by LifePixel (Daniel), I tried Nikon’s Capture NX-D software (free) to set the white balance.  See two images below.

Works well yet it expands my workflow, i.e. camera NEF raw files to Mac, opened in NX-D, save the TIF.files to Mac, import to Lightroom for file management, over to Photoshop and finally back to Lightroom.  Using NIK Viveza too for fine-tuning colors from Lightroom.

I’m pleased with the colors for non-B&Ws.  Still lots to learn.