photo of horse and hill
animals, music, photography, really?

Lonely Horse

Remember that song from the ’80s by Yes? “Owner of a Lonely Heart.” When I heard that as a kid, I misheard the lyrics. I was convinced they were singing about the “owner of the lonely horse.” (I also thought Starship “milked this city.” I was wrong.) It was not until I was nearly out of high school, while standing in a grocery store in Fairbanks, Alaska, that I realized this was not, in fact, the case.

For years I felt bad about that horse.

[Photo above taken outside of Olema. Point Reyes, CA. October 2005.]

photography, San Francisco

Maiden Lane

A lot of text, lately, on this blog, so I’ll keep this brief. This is a picture I took after some rain in downtown San Francisco. This is Maiden Lane, near Union Square, a stretch of high-end boutiques and shops. A pair of opera singers used to set up at one end and sing, but I haven’t seen them for some time.

Once called Morton Lane, the street housed brothels back when San Francisco was wilder. They were destroyed in 1906, but the pursuit of lucre remains.


photography, ridiculousness

Scenes from a Holiday

Three interesting holiday visions, caught on the old camera in the last few days.

1. The upside-down tree, a short walk from our place.
upside down christmas tree

Crowning angel:
upside down christmas tree angel

2. Tom and Jerry’s Christmas tree, a longer walk from our place. Requires a building permit from the city.
Tom and Jerry's Christmas Tree

Beach ball ornaments.
Tom and Jerry's Christmas Tree detail

3. Eighth night of Hanukkah, our place.
lighting the menorah

India, international, photography

Everyone Loves a Parade

A band pauses during a parade held during a Sikh holiday.

I’ve run into parades by chance in several places, including a Shriners parade in New Hampshire, a children’s parade through Quepos, Costa Rica, and the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York City. In the picture above, a band pauses during a parade in New Delhi, held as part of the events observing the birthday of Guru Gobind Singh last January.

These aren’t the first musicians I’ve featured on this site, though probably the first marching band. A couple of years ago, I stumbled on a Chinese night market here in San Francisco. That’s where I saw this band. I’ve posted this photo before, but why not once more?

A band plays at a Chinatown night market in San Francisco.

China, photography

Farmer Lu

lu through neighbor's window
This is Mr. Lu. He is a farmer.

He lives in a village in northeastern China. He has traveled throughout the country but his favorite part is this little valley. His family has been here for centuries. These are his cattle:

Every morning he takes his cattle out to graze, then brings them back around lunchtime. He usually orders lunch from the village restaurant.lunch with lu

If there are guests, there is beer. Lu says he can drink 27 bottles in one sitting. beer in lu\'s house

He was one of the poorest people in his village when he was a boy. Now he is among the most prosperous. He’s got the cash to prove holding up money as daughter stands by

That’s his younger daughter. She refused to hold up any of her dad’s cash.

There is a cat that hangs around their property. It showed up one day, unbidden. The next morning, it had deposited eighteen mice on their doorstep. Eighteen.

He’s a good cat, says Lu. They haven’t had any problems with mice since then.

Lu’s daughter refused to hold up any of her father’s money. But she was happy to hold the cat.daughter holding cat


The Uncontacted Remnant

Survival International raised a lot of eyebrows–and recharged our collective sense of wonder–last month when it released a set of images of an uncontacted tribe living in the remote Amazonia of southeast Peru.

How strange it must have been for these people to have strangers flying low over them.

The drawn arrow photos reminiscent of the 2004 Sentinelese islander, who had spotted an Indian Coast Guard copter on reconnaissance after the tsunami.

multimedia, photography

Try PicLens

the xian souvenir seller

PicLens is an extension that creates what looks to me like a javascript slideshow, or, if the viewer adds it to his copy of Firefox or Safari (or even Internet Explorer), can create a three-dimensional wall of photos. It’s kind of confusing until you see it. I’ve enabled PicLens on the Xi’an gallery that includes the photo above. If a little play button shows up on one of the thumbnail images, press  it. At least, I hope so. The instructions are murky, so execution is still hit or miss. In any case, you ought to download the extension if you want to play around with it. I don’t usually plug products, but this is cool. When it works.

Asia, international, irony, journalism, photography

Lost Boyz, Cambodia

Straight Refugeez 21

Photojournalist Stuart Isett will be speaking at Berkeley with author Navy Phim next Monday. Isett has been documenting the lives of young Cambodian men who came to the United States as refugee children, did not officially become citizens, and now are being deported.

Isett does good work; you can see some of it at his web site or his Flickr page.

Last spring he did a good audio slideshow on the palaces of Calcutta for the Times.

Monday, February 4, 2008
4:30 p.m.
IEAS Conference Room, 6F
2223 Fulton St., Berkeley CA 94720

anticipation, India, photography, ridiculousness

Meanwhile, India Waits

Sorry for the delay on the India photos, for those who’ve been asking. I hope now that the FLW project is done (will believe it when I see it), will have time to take care of all the India, Shanxi, Liaoning stuff. As for the above picture, my understanding is that this building exists purely for the sake of symmetry.
anticipation, Asia, China, international, journalism, multimedia, photography


village boy

So there’s a story related to this picture. Actually, the story I’m telling is about the village where this boy lives. It’s the reason why I’ve embargoed all of my photos from China last August. Check Frontline/World tomorrow (Thursday, the last day of January) and you’ll see what I mean.