Nothing to See Here … Move Along

I have really been enjoying my vacation over the past few weeks.  I have actually “done” very little.  Well, I mean I shower and stuff but I have to say it has been so nice to have no agenda, no set plan.  I’ve basically been filling my days putzing around the apartment, doing some basic repairs here and there.  I have also been working on processing some photographs, making (yet another) attempt to understand Lightroom and Photoshop.  I have been painting (for the first time since coming to China) and I am becoming reacquainted with my guitar.  While it has been nice, I realized last night that there are some things I have been avoiding.  In fact, there are some things I must do before the next semester begins.   I have the photo-documentary I need to get rolling on and while the dead-line is not until the middle of May I don’t want to put it off and then feel rushed at the end.  I also have a few things to prepare for school before the beginning of the term but I am finding that soooo easy to put off.

If I had my way I would spend  ALL my time trying to make art.  I am not an accomplished artist in any one format, more of a jack-of-all-trades kinda’ guy.  I paint a little.  I can make a decent sketch.  I enjoy writing and taking photographs and I play a bit of guitar and dabble at the keyboard.  I do none of it really well and I have no more youthful illusions of grandeur.  I have come to accept my limitations.  A ner-do-well in the truest sense and I am OK with it.  Yeah, I’m all Stuart Smalley about it.



I have been experimenting with different aspects of photography, getting out of my comfort zone and trying to improve my technique while doing some things I haven’t done so much of in the past. I prefer to shoot on the street but it is a nice change of pace sometimes to use studio lighting and have access to all the props and backdrops and “stuff”.  My friend Alex owns a small studio so Lily and I sometimes go over to “play” in the lights. Lily says it’s like being a little girl playing dress-up.

Portraits of Lily - II

Portraits of Lily – II

You can see more of Lily’s portraits here.

I have been asked to strengthen my China portfolio, in as far as landscapes and wide angle presentations are severely lacking.  I actually have a decent lens for shooting landscapes and architecture but it doesn’t come naturally for me. I don’t “see it” like others do.  I am not so satisfied with the lens (17-40 f4 L) but admittedly it may be more of a “me” problems than it is a lens problem.

Close Encounters India Ink

Close Encounters India Ink

I am vowing to get out and take some landscapes as well as some architectural shots sometime over the next couple of weeks.  Of course that means I need to go get them.  That’s not too difficult in south China, a couple of hours in any direction on a train will do the trick.  A hike to the top of Ma’anshan might do it as well, but that sounds like a lot of work. The base of the mountain is about 1,000 yards from where I sit now as I type this.  Getting to the base is no problem, getting to the top, that’s a different story!  I could take the cable car, but a guy my size in a rusted out Chinese cable car seems like a death wish doesn’t seem to be the best idea.

OK, I need to get back to… well… OK, there is nothing I need to get back to.

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~ by Expatriate Games on February 5, 2009.

3 Responses to “Nothing to See Here … Move Along”

  1. Mmmwaahhh!!!

    For ‘painting a little’…

    And for all your other talents.

  2. The 17-40 happens to be a really strong lens, the last image showcases all of the great qualities of it. The image above that showcases other great qualities but I’m sure you could use a Brownie and she’d make you look good…

    R(etc… )

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