Posts Tagged With: monk

Lhasa, Tibet – The Jokhang and Barkor

The Jokhang Monastery (ཇོ་ཁང་) is the most holy of Tibetan Buddhism’s holy places.  Unassuming from the outside, one needs to connect with the enthusiasm of the throngs of pilgrims walking around it to feel its allure.  As it probably will be for you, visiting the Jokhang is a once in a lifetime experience for many of the pilgrims.  Unlike you, many of these pilgrims walked to be there… and some of them even walked in a special way to show their devotion: They take three steps, say a prayer, and lie face-down on the ground.  Then they stand up, take three more steps and repeat the process.  The act of taking a prostrating pilgrimage can take the devotee years to reach the Jokhang from their home towns.  But many do it, as a sign of devotion and a way to help improve their karma in this life and the next.

Tibetan Buddhist Praying

Pilgrims and merchants walk and pray in the juniper smoke early in the morning on the Barkor at the Jokang Monastery, Lhasa, Tibet.

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Categories: PHOTOGRAPHY, Tibet, TRAVEL, UNCATEGORIZED | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Yushu, Tibet (China)

Yushu (aka Jyekundo (སྐྱེ་རྒུ་མདོ་) in Tibetan) is an Autonomous Prefecture in the Qinghai Provence of China. Located 800km south of the nearest city Xining, Yushu used to be a daunting 12-16 hour bus ride from Xining in the north or about 10 hours to Gantze in the south (where I came from).  Now, it appears that Yushu has it’s own airport and has become quite a hot spot for tourists.

I was only able to spend two days in Yushu due to visa restrictions, but it left a wonderful impression on me.  I also did something a little different while I was there.  I only spent one day site-seeing, and I spent the other in the market, shooting lots and lots of portraits.  Click “Read the rest of this entry” to see some of my favorites.

Tibetan Woman Smiles

I was in Yushu just after a huge annual horse festival. This is an exciting time for Tibetans and they will often dress to impress. This woman is wearing some very expensive (and very heavy) jewelry in her hair.

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Categories: PHOTOGRAPHY, Portraiture, Tibet, TRAVEL | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Ganze, Tibet (China)

Moving northwest from Dawu (Daofu), the next town you come to is a dusty, unremarkable one called Luhuo.  I stayed here for a night, but quickly regretted it as I couldn’t find any decent economy lodging and even the local gompa (Tibetan monastery) wasn’t very exciting.

SO ON TO GANZE!  (aka Gartze, Gantze, Ganzi, and a few other spellings)

Despite being yet another dusty town, Ganze has a certain charm to it.  It’s a major town for trade and Chinese trucks can be seen (and inhaled) barreling down the main street.  Ganze is also about a full day’s bus trip from Kangding so if you’re on a long haul bus to Yushu or Dege or any other town north of here, you’re going to have to overnight.  I would highly recommend staying in the affordable, but quite nice hotel above the bus station.

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Categories: PHOTOGRAPHY, Tibet, TRAVEL | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Dawu and Tagong, Tibet (China)

Tagong

From Litang, I caught a bus (again, through some stunning scenery) to Xinduxiao where I had to transfer to a share cab going towards Tagong.

The Tibetan Monastery in Datong, Tibet (China).

The Tibetan Monastery in Datong, Tibet (China).

Tagong is known mostly for its beautiful grasslands.

It’s a town that has become very popular with both foreign and Chinese tourists because of it’s relative proximity to Kanding, a small city that’s a day’s drive to the southeast.  One can easily arrive in town and set up a tour and home-stay with some of the nomads that live in the nearby grasslands.

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Categories: PHOTOGRAPHY, Tibet, TRAVEL | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Tibet Rally and March

There was a rally and march for Tibet this past Saturday on Zhongxiao Road in Taipei, Taiwan.

Thousands of people marched to show their support for Tibet and to show their fears that Taiwan might be next.

It was the 50th anniversary of the 1959 Tibetan Uprising, a rebellion to Chinese rule that led to the death of thousands of Tibetans and exile of the Dalai Lama.

Edit: For some much better writing on the march, have a look at David on Formosa.  Also have a look at Craig Ferguson’s photographs.

An exiled Tibetan monk joins in the protest in Taipei, Taiwan.

An exiled Tibetan monk joins in the protest in Taipei, Taiwan.

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Categories: PHOTOGRAPHY | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Techniques #4 – Natural Light for Portraits

Getting good natural light for portraits is an easy concept to understand.  It can often be difficult to find the perfect location, but once you know what to look for, it becomes easier.   This post is dedicated to helping you take good portraits and learn how to see and use good natural light.

I recently posted a series of portraits on Flickr. I got a great response, so I though I’d explore why these portraits were successful.  I was just playing around with a new camera and decided to shoot some quick pictures of a bunch of kids that I teach English to here in Taipei, Taiwan.

I use the term “quick pictures” very deliberately.  All of the portraits were taken on a playground at playtime and I’m sure you know that 5 year-olds don’t stay still for very long.

What’s nice about this playground is that it’s got great light that is fairly even all over it.  Before we talk about the light specifically, let’s look at some other things you need to remember to get a good portrait.

First, of course, you want an interesting subject.  Cute kids, old wrinkly people, skateboarders, and monks are among my favorite subjects.

Learn more about natural light portraiture after the jump…

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Categories: PHOTOGRAPHY, Portraiture, Techniques | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

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