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Beijing Update

Oct 12

In Links, Travels at 10:24am

Been back from Beijing for a bit now, and cranking away, finishing a new book, Sketching Light. I’ll be done writing in a couple of days, which is good, or I’m gonna go blooey. My long suffering editor at Peachpit, Ted Waitt, probably thinks I already have, and I’m holed up like the Unabomber in a shack someplace, with an old Royal typewriter and a kerosene lamp, laboriously typing out a change of heart manifesto titled, “Flash is Bad.”

Had the pleasure of shooting with a bunch of good photogs over there, Trey Ratcliff amongst them. He’s a terrific shooter, with an amazing touch for HDR. He also uses his Ipad as a bit of a flying carpet, zooming around, doing videos, interviews, and BTS stuff with it as he shoots. By contrast, Mongo here just use it to see movie on plane.

Very graciously, he shot a couple of chats we had and posted them up over on G+. We talked a bit about the picture above–this elegant Chinese musician at the Peony Pavilion opera. It’s an ISO 2000 shot on a D3S, out of camera, with no noise reduction. Not a photo to rattle anybody’s timbers, but I simply enjoyed the serenity and the expertise this young lady demonstrated during the performance. I found myself tuning into the music, honestly, more so than the actual staging of the show. Trey has since posted up a part 2 of the Ipad chat here. Speaking of Google Plus, we’re going to get more active on it shortly. Right now, just about every keystroke is about the book. Sigh….

Beijing was fascinating, as it has always been. Eventually going to post some stuff that dates back to my original visit there in 1987, but for now, thought I ‘d throw some stuff up from the recent trip.

At the Water Cube…..

Science Museum. Amazing the tools we have now. ISO 1600, D3S, 16mm fish, AF. I’m not looking through the camera. I’ve got it extended at arm’s length, over a glass splash board down into the bubble bath these kids are playing with. Try that with a non AF film camera….

More tk….

Ken Toney says:

on October 12, 2011 at 10:35 am

Joe, between you and Scott Ted is probably immune to insanity! 😎

Kim says:

on October 12, 2011 at 10:59 am

I love the Science Museum photo!!

MaryT says:

on October 12, 2011 at 12:27 pm

I love the opera photo! Looking forward to seeing your 1987 photos. Ah Beijing … what memories! I made my initial (an only so far) trip there in 1983 with my brand spanking new very first 35mm camera in hand – a Canon AT1. Got a very quick painful lesson too on how to make SURE your film was properly loaded and advancing. :)

I took a pic on that trip that still haunts me … as I want to find the people in the pic so they can have it. I even set up a blog about it and put it on Flickr, even though I have been scoffed at by others saying it was useless. Oh well – I remain hopeful.

My best and thanks for all you do, Joe.

Ahmed Sharif says:

on October 12, 2011 at 1:53 pm

can’t wait to see more of Beijing…
great ideas there at the Science Museum!

Doug Pruden says:

on October 12, 2011 at 6:21 pm

Always a treat to see where you have landed and what you are shooting. Looking forward to the new book.

Jay Mann says:

on October 12, 2011 at 7:33 pm

The magic of Asia. Where else can you get ancient culture and state of the art science and architecture almost with in earshot of each other? It is photog heaven. And some people question why I live here?

Looking forwrd to the new book, I see your Life book in the Jakarta Airport whenever I pass through.


Linnea says:

on October 13, 2011 at 4:30 am

Wonderful and highly enjoyable blog. Best of luck with the manifesto:D !

Lulu Niu says:

on October 13, 2011 at 8:14 pm

Dear Joe,

Thanks for love Beijing.
May I know where you shoot the Opera photo?
I lived in Beijing,I am considering maybe I can go there to have a look~~

Thanks and nice day~

Lulu Niu says:

on October 13, 2011 at 8:51 pm

Dear Joe,

I hesitated and I want to say:actually it’s really more Korean Style not Chinese Style…

sorry about that.But I still love the photo.

wong says:

on October 14, 2011 at 1:52 am

Hey, blog walking, nice blog here, nice photos, especially the cute kids in the science places

JohnJ says:

on October 14, 2011 at 10:10 am

Hi Joe, I’m also excited about your new book, any idea of when it’s scheduled to be released ?

Pamela says:

on October 15, 2011 at 10:10 pm

I’m glad to hear you will be frequenting G+ once you finish your book as I enjoy your blog. I’m currently reading your “Guide to Digital Photography” and am enjoying it and of course…learning. I was very happy to come across it in a local bookstore my very small locale that I snapped it up! I would admittedly get through it faster if it weren’t for all the great images on G+. :)

Gianluca says:

on October 23, 2011 at 2:12 pm

Hello Joe ! Am I wrong, or you were supposed to come to LA in October?

Jacob says:

on October 24, 2011 at 1:38 pm

“Try that with a non AF film camera…”

Or hell, try that with a Canon DSLR… it won’t autofocus either. Snicker, snicker, snicker…

Coty says:

on October 26, 2011 at 3:00 pm

Great pic. love the bubble shot.

Konfral says:

on October 28, 2011 at 2:33 am


Can I offer to do the “copy editing” of the manuscript of your new book 😉 ?

Arron says:

on October 29, 2011 at 6:15 pm

Great photos. I am anxious to see the photos from 1987.

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