Xingfu means happy and blessed in Chinese. Even though 2014 has been a busy and, at times, difficult year that is the word I thought of for this space. Mama not because I have many children but because I seem to fall into a caregiving role. Sometimes I feel like Mama to the world.
The name XingfuMama means Happy Mama with undertones of being blessed.
I can’t seem to finish anything right now. I’ve started several posts lately and find myself either going on randomly or speechless. One more try.
What is your earliest memory? Standing in the back seat of my parent’s old VW, looking out between the two front seats on my way to my babysitter’s house. I was pretty young, less than three based on when we moved away from there.
Which way does the toilet paper roll go? Over or under? Over. That’s the only way it works. My mother always did it the other way and it always bugged me. Maybe that’s why I’m so strange.
What makes you feel grounded? Is it wrong for me to say “nothing”? I’m not grounded. I’m trying to see it as not a bad thing…and maybe it’s a good thing. It’s time in my life to just live along, not making goals or trying to achieve anything, not trying to make things move along faster. It doesn’t come naturally.
What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week? Clouds and flowers.
My first foray into both going off of auto and night photography, came from a desire to capture the Takae Lantern Festival in Nara Japan in 2007. These were taken with my trusty old Canon A510, using ISO 400 and a walking stick mono-pod.
Stairway to a small shrine.
Fields of lanterns.
Festival go-ers in yukata (summer kimono).
Elaborate lantern assembly.
Since then I’ve moved up, a bit, in both camera and skill, but I continue to use a walking stick/monopod and do not use a tripod. It just doesn’t work for me to carry one around. I am still quite challenged by dark pictures, in part because I don’t use a tripod and in part because I use a “bridge” camera, Nikon P610, which has a relatively small sensor so it wants longer shutter speeds and it gets grainy pretty fast at higher ISO settings.
I keep trying because I think night pictures often give you a better feel for the atmosphere of a place than day shots. People are off work and going about their business.
A few night street scenes in China and Japan:
Street vendor in Weifang China
Street and pedestrian traffic in Tai’an China
Beihai Lu in Weifang China.
Street scene in Takayama Japan.
Street scene in Takayama Japan.
I am often disappointed by the moon. My eye sees it bigger than my camera lens does:
The darkness of the night and motion of the boats in these pictures of cormorant fishing in Gifu, Japan, meant that all the pictures were blurry. I tried a “painterly” effect to make it seem like art instead of just a blurry picture.
I’m not a morning person so I only have sunrise pictures from far away places (where I have jet lag). Here are a few from Kenya.
Every morning (usually late morning) the pups and I meander through the neighborhood. They sniff and do other doggy stuff and I take my camera and do some visual sniffing. Every day different things catch their noses and my eye. Today was a mountains and blossoms day.
It felt like someone flipped the switch and now it’s really spring. Meander