Mar 28, 2017

crossing paradise - a gloomy day in Yangshuo

a gloomy day 
yangshuo, guangxi, china
september 2016

perhaps, it was my least favourite part of the journey. despite our effort waking up that early, preparing the breakfast etc. and the early morning ride to this part of yangshuo, the day turned out to be a gloomy one. it was raining and there was no moment of golden sunset to be memograph. the rain finally stopped, but it was still cloudy.

we had our breakfast at the river bank, and then wandered around, crossing the old bridge, trying to find the best angle and light to at least make our trip worth. we got bored, and then decided to leave the place and proceed with our next plan - the bicycle ride around the village.

honestly, my memory of these moments is as gloomy as the day. i barely shoot, but just enjoying the ride while listening to the dramas and jokes of my travel buddies.


Mar 11, 2017

crossing paradise - Longji ... faces

what's auntie cad cooking?
longji rice terraces,
longsheng, guangxi, china
august 2016

one of our days at longji was spent with memo-graphing the locals in their daily life. it was a great experience to get up close and personal like this, rather than the typical paid-visit, watching performances etc.

our guest house's host family happened to be our subject of the day.

we waited for a while at the common area of the guest house, after had a big breakfast prepared by izz and the group - nasi goreng, mee goreng, telur dadar etc. then came the kids, woke up and wandering around the house, happily waiting to be fed by their elders for the first meal of the day.

syu-ha, as we were told to call the little girl, was a friendly little girl that not afraid of us, stranger. probably the family business - running the guest house, exposed her to the world of strangers.
it was time for the photoshoot, as the grandmother done feeding the little ones for breakfast. we were brought to the building behind our guest house. the session began!
the grandmother was the first subject for the session. she dressed up in the traditional yao's women costume and began doing her work - weaving on the wooden loom. well...coming from terengganu, i've seen this a lot..the local ladies weaving songket, hence i didn't feel that it was that engaging to see the work completed. #i'veseenbetter eh? hehe.

we had the ladies of the house from 3 generations - the grandmother, the mother and the daughter, in their traditional Yao's women costume, ready for the memo-graph. every single corners of the house became our spot, to have them posed for us for the photo-shoot.

it took about more than an hour. the time that we spent memo-graphing the ladies of Yao in that house. it was  good session, in my opinion. it took me to engage back with the lessons learnt about playing with the composition and light, to get a good environmental portrait. 
we had another session in the afternoon. well...the actual plan was to get one of the local old man that we met to be in his costume, but apparently he unable to bought the idea of the request. we walked and wandered around the village and met and old lady at one of the grocery shops, and asked our guide to ask her if she was ok to be photographed. she was delighted and took us back to her house and we spent time that late afternoon memo-graphing her. of course, everything has to come with tips. no free lunch eh!..
we left the old lady, and walked back towards our hotel and met an old man, that was enjoying his pipe with his buddy. well..another subject for us. we asked andy to ask him, and he was ok and not hesitate to pose for us. i mean we asked him to move around, stand etc. not and objection came from him. and the tip? well...cigarette from one of our guys. hehehe.

it was a long day, but well spent. we had another photo-review session after we had dinner, like the night before.

Jan 23, 2017

crossing paradise - Longji ... music from paradise

music from paradise
longji rice terraces
longsheng, guangxi, china
august 2016

one of the days when we were at Longji. we woke up early morning, when it was still dark, and had our morning hike to the view point to see these iconic 'music from paradise' of this rice terraces. the trail, wasn't that hard as we were actually just passing the locals houses, and there was a bit here and there steep trail that we had to deal.

there was sort of a platform, built next to trail that we walked. i wasn't that sure whether as part of the on-going construction, or as the place for visitors to view the place. we stopped there, and then start to set up our tripod and gear as the earliest light of the day started to shine.

i couldn't recall how much frames that i took, but it was plenty, as i felt that every seconds there worth to memo-graph.

i was shooting raw, and i am impressed with the amount of details that my a7ii managed to captured despite a wide range of light latitude you had to deal with, when sunrise, especially when you don't have any filter etc.the image above, by default, was almost 80% dark as the sun was dominating the camera metering, but it was all beautifully preserved and revealed as i opened the raw file and pull around the setting.
well...honestly, i can't get enough with this place. and i wish to come back, memo-graph it again at different time etc.

try google 'music from paradise of  longji' and you'll know why! :)

Jan 22, 2017

crossing paradise - Longji ... the nine dragons and five tigers

morning at longji
longsheng, guangxi, china
august 2016

the night ended early for most of us. other than lina being the only girl, all the boys stayed up for the photo-critics session. it was a good session for me personally, as listening to jimmy explaining the elements of AOS in our photos. well...most of us like me, didn't aware that by understanding the basics, we'd bring out the best of the moment that we were trying to capture. we bid farewell to the night, after more than an hour, discussing about the photo.

it was cold up there and we had a good sleep, hence able to recover our energy that drained by the long day, especially the hiking to our hotel. a deep good sleep, didn't need a longer hour, as i was able to wake up as my alarm rang, without any effort...other than freezing to touch the water for cleaning up myself and wudhu. 
i heard the boys' voices as the first light of the day appeared from the east. i went out at the balcony and saw zuky's and dudu already at setting up their gear to capture the sunrise, while abg fathul and abg man decided to photograph the moment from their balcony. i took my gear, as decided to join zuky and dudu.

the tripod was now set, and we began the day with shooting the sunrise from our hotel.
the later part of the day was spent wandering around the village, after we done with our photo-shoot session with the locals.

enjoy the pics!

Jan 11, 2017

crossing paradise - Longji ... the dragon backbones

from the golden buddha peak
longji rice terrace, longsheng
guangxi, china
august 2016

i slept almost throughout of our morning flight to guilin that day. obviously, because of my lack of sleep the night before, guarding myself to get readied for the meet up with the rarecation team as early as 3am. i recalled my short conversation with jimmy, and then sal. the 4-hours flight, for the part of where i stayed awake, turned out a smooth one. know my phobia with flying, aite?

we met andy, our guide and then rode on the bus to Longsheng for our first leg of the journey. the ride was a dreary one, as most of us decided to continue the affair with our rem cycle. we woke up as noticing the dwindling road as we started to ascend the hilly part of the region.

jimmy bought all the last available hot meals sold by the flight as our lunch, and we had a quick bite while waiting for our bus to the cable car station. once done, we were on our way to the cable car station, which was a short ride passing a more dwindling and narrow road. could drive straight away to the station, if yours is a small vehicle. another short cable-car ride brought us to one of the peaks of the county, feasting us with the magnificent view of this hundred years tradition that still intact. voila!
we had to hike up and down for almost 2 hours, to get to our hotel. was worth a journey, as the view was nothing short from breathtaking. obviously, everything made my admiration on Tegallalang and Jatiluwih of Bali went to the drain. this one obviously 1000x awesome, in my humble opinion.

so we arrived at our hotel. it was good everybody back into mood, after some of us struggling to complete the long hike, while entertaining Andy's non-sense of  everything 'just around the corner'. till then.