Bengaluru, formerly known as Bangalore, is indeed a beautiful mess. Our visit last November was my first introduction to India and I must say that it wasn’t a good first impression. Blondie was there to attend a conference so, naturally, I tagged along, but I wasn’t ready for the full-frontal assault on my senses. The first thing I noticed was the traffic – millions of cars, auto-rickshaws, scooters, trucks, and buses going somewhere fast – all the while laying on their horns using them as part warning and part bat-like sonar. The second thing I noticed was that there were people everywhere. Bengaluru has a population of nearly nine million people and apparently none of them like to stay at home. Thirdly, and I say this not as an insult but more of as an observation, the city has a dire waste management issue as well as a number of other infrastructure problems, but I won’t get into all of them here. There are piles of trash of varying sizes and consistencies all over the city. Someone told me that occasionally the trash piles spontaneously combust, which must be a solid gold drag for the people who live near them. Lastly, one is never truly ready for their first encounter with a gigantic cow ambling down a crowded city sidewalk or the amount of stray street dogs giving you the stink eye – every time I encountered dogs I either felt bad, like I was sitting through one of those Sarah McLachlan animal cruelty commercials, or I felt like they were sizing me up as a possible meal. Continue reading
I have been experimenting with time lapses again and here is one I made just the other day. I made a few mistakes with the metering so it flickers a bit, and you can actually see my windows getting dirtier during the interval, but I can’t abide putting in the work and not showing it to you. The music is Love and Happiness by Al Greene because that’s what a Moonrise does for me.
My very first video on Afield. I set the camera to shoot the intersection below our hotel, went to bed, and this is what I had in the morning. I am accepting suggestions on which music to add to it.
This past summer, long before the Siberian winds started keeping me indoors for days at a time, we made a quick weekend trip to Seoul, South Korea for some shopping and a little dose of the western world (and Mexican food). Blondie, being the family travel agent, made the reservations and bought the tickets well ahead of the trip, but, unbeknownst to her, at around the same time some cosmic jackhole didn’t wash his hands and brought a terrifying infectious disease (MERS, also known as Camel Flu) to one of the most densely populated metropolitan areas in the world. The fallout and general madness that followed the outbreak gave us a little pause – should we be like the 100,000+ other tourists who said “f__k that!” and cancel our plans or should we just go and see what happens? Continue reading
I recently saw a post on Atlas Obscura by an airline pilot who wrote a book about his job/life (I like the idea of a book-worthy occupation), and in the introduction he displayed window seat photos that were sent in to him by airline passengers. Having taken seemingly countless flights around the world, I too have amassed a large collection of window seat photos since first purchasing a digital camera back in 2004. I’ve always kind of considered these photographs to be a bit of a cliché, but I continue to shoot them anyways because the world looks very beautiful and foreign from way up there. Here is a collection of some of my favorites in chronological order from 2005 until just a few weeks ago. I hope that you enjoy them.
The Republic of Maldives is a wee tiny chain of islands southwest of the southernmost point of India way out in the Indian Ocean. There are a few interesting facts about the Maldives that you may not know. First, it is the smallest country in Asia both in size and population. Second, it is made up of 1,192 coral islands in a chain of 26 atolls spread out over ~35,000 square miles. Third, the highest elevation in the entire country is just under 8 feet, making it the lowest country in the world, which also means that when there is a tsunami warning anywhere in this hemisphere the locals clench up a bit – unsurprisingly, there are few, if any, climate change deniers living in the Maldives. Lastly, the Maldives is a Muslim country so the culture is rather conservative especially when it comes to drugs, alcohol, showing skin, and many other things that people like to do when they take their vacation, however, the big resorts have worked out a deal where they can serve alcohol and people can rock their teeny bikinis, but god help you if you try to smuggle in drugs or alcohol because the punishment is dire. Continue reading
We have landed back in the cold northeastern corner of China and already we are planning our next escape to warmer climes. I did, in good faith, write up a blog post last week but had some technical issues with my tablet as well as some connectivity issues (yeah right, A-Hole) on location in the Maldives – did I mention that we went to the Maldives? Now that post is completely lost somewhere in the ether so instead I will just post a few pics and then give you something to look at next Monday once I remove my head from vacationland (my ass) and get all the photos edited. I also shot some film there as well so hopefully that all comes out looking good. Working with older cameras is such a weird feeling for me because you never know what you have until the film is processed. Lastly, I was also able to shoot some underwater photos as well and let me tell you something – I am not very good at it. It is so hard to keep everything still and in focus. A first-world problem if there ever were one. Continue reading
Those of us that live here in China and want to use western websites and online services have to deal with internet shortages, outages, and outrages on a pretty regular basis. Tonight I have been trying in vain to upload photos to this here site so I can keep my promise of giving you the weekly Monday goods, but now that it is ten minutes until midnight I am going to say screw it and try again tomorrow. If for some reason this problem persists you needn’t worry because we will be getting the hell out of town for the Chinese Spring Festival next week. I will be sure to post as much as I can from our sunny destination. Also, if you want to keep up with us in China as well as on the road be sure to follow Afield on Instagram, Tumblr, and Twitter.