Burning of the Joss; Longhua Temple, Shanghai

A woman is deep in prayer between the flames at Longhua Temple.

The scene was surreal. Surrounding me were thousands of people, holding burning joss sticks and praying for the start of the Lunar New Year. Every minute a bell would ring. GONG. The entire crowd would bow simultaneously with the bell. It was an epic sight to see. The mood was solemn as everyone was focused on their prayers. I was overwhelmed. The masses. The fire. The striking bell. Not only was it intense just to be in the middle of it, but the photographer in me was going crazy trying capture its magnificence. In between firing off shots, I was trying not to trip over people or get burned by the fiery sticks in everyone’s hands. Wafts of smoke were overtaking my nose and lungs, and my eyes were tearing up in the stinging heat. It was powerful and truly an awesome event.

Longhua Temple is the oldest and largest temple in Shanghai. Joss sticks are a type of incense that is used during prayer. Here are some shots from what is one of my most favorite photo experiences yet.

When the fires became too big, a crew of firefighters was ready with hoses to keep things in check.


Sunday afternoon in Maryang

It was a beautiful day and I just had to explore. I looked at the map and Maryang called out to me. It's a harbor town in Gangjin County not to far away from my place. So I went there. I stumbled into a fish auction, ate some octopus, and was given a ridiculously nice sunset. A lovely afternoon indeed!

This guy was a friendly local. I was walking by and he just wanted to say hello and welcome me to his town. We used the translators on our phone to communicate for a few minutes. Wish I could have talked longer but the sunset was exploding into magnificence and I had to head to the harbor the catch the shot up at the top of this post.

Bidding for baskets of fish and other sea creatures

Super Blood Moon: Lunar Eclipse in Korea October 2014

I think eclipses are pretty dang cool. But I always feel like I want to find a different way of shooting them. Everyone has got the same picture of a moon against the black night sky, makes it hard to be creative. I try to look for a mountain or a tree or a building to include in the composition, something to give the lonely moon a friend. This year I was lucky to be in Korea, where there is always a neon red cross burning against the night sky somewhere nearby. These shots were taken right by my house in the little town of Daedeok. It was a Super Moon as well, so the moon was extra big and brave.

Is the blood moon a sign of the end of times? I sure hope not! I have far too many awesome things to do in my life before that happens.

Hello Korea

My first few months in Korea was a phenomenal experience. Being immersed in a new country and culture is like jumping into a lake. It's shocking and exhilarating. Life is refreshed and the feeling is incredible.... something new for the soul. Here are some shots from my first few adventures.

I was wandering around Seonunsa Temple early in the morning and three cleaning ladies were sitting outside this temple drinking coffee. They motioned for me to come join them. I happily did, as I always love hangin' with the locals. They gave me hot coffee and apple slices. We relaxed and enjoyed the morning for a while, and even though I couldn't understand a word they said, it was wonderful company. I snapped this shot as they were shining up this gorgeous building.

Morning sun is warming up the river at Seonunsa Temple.

Drying fish and incense in Sokcho.

I was hanging out by this close-line-style drying squid in Sokcho because it was an interesting subject. This kid was curious in a different interesting subject, which had orange hair and a big camera.

Fresh fish and a lovely lady at the Jangheung Saturday Market.

Surrounded by bamboo in Damyang.

A vine crawls up the bamboo.

Puppy Love in the city of   Mokpo  .

Puppy Love in the city of Mokpo.

Hanging out in a city park in Mokpo.