Thursday, May 27, 2010

Favorite image ( continued )

We got on the plane to fly to Hong Kong and after we were in the air one of the stewardes' came back from the forward part of the plane and stopped at my seat. She then ask me to collect my belongings and follow her. I did, and she took me to First Class and gave me a seat. A friend of mine, Dixie Mitchel, was a stewardess for American Airlines and alerted some of her co-workers that I would be on the plane and if a seat was available, bump me up to First Class. It was a great trip over and hell on the way back, I didn't get bumped up and really didn't realize how tight the regular seats were. I also didn't realize the implications the move had for me in the eyes of the other photographers on the trip. They immediately started wondering who that guy was and why the perks....I didn't have a clue the buzz had started. We flew into Hong Kong went through customs and then into China. We traveled mainly south and west getting eventually very close to Viet Nam. We talked to different photographers in different cities but also traveled in the backwoods so to speak. In fact we were in one area where Caucasians had never been seen and people ran from us.

The Chinese culture has always been somewhat of a magnet to me, I like their design, history is fascinating, and the geography simply amazing. The photograph of the boat on the Li River speaks a volume of what the trip did for me. In College as part of my degree track I had to take 12 hours of Art History in addition to the 45 hours of other art classes plus the 18 hours of my major area. This doesn't sound like much till you consider we were in class 2 hours for each credit received and expected to spend at all other waking hours in the discipline were were studying...were spent a lot of time in the Art Department. I never quite understood the Chinese watercolorists.....mountains just don't have fog and look like the ones I had constantly seen in the paintings in Art History.

We got on the boat in the dark, about 5 in the morning. I had my 4 x 5, Nikon 35mm, and my Mamiya RB 67. I was loaded for bear. As we slowly moved down the stream daybreak slowly started to replace the pitch black night. I started noticing strange forms along the river bank, not quite able to make them out. As it got lighter I started getting goosebumps......Like the Chinese paintings I was surrounded by huge rows of spiking mountains. We stopped the boat and I scampered up the bank to capture the image of something I thought didn't exist.

To be continued...........

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