Kampung House

From Idea to Print

Technology is amazing these days!

I had just dropped my youngest daughter off at a birthday party, and I was driving home. I took a side road I had never taken before, and as I was driving down this side road, I saw this amazing “kampung home” off to my right. I commented to Kayla as I passed the house, “wow, that’s cool…I should take a photo of that”. Usually, I never go back, or forget where I saw something, but the next day (yesterday), I grabbed my camera, jumped on my Vespa, and drove to the spot.

When I got there, there was a pretty high wall that ran along a small river. I had to get on top of the wall to get a photo of the house. I found a place about 100 meters “downstream” where I could get up on top of the wall. There were banana trees growing right next to the wall, so it was tricky walking on top of the wall and around the trees…kind of scary…I had visions of falling off of the wall into the water with my camera. I took several photos, climbed down the wall, and drove back to work.

I then opened the photos on my computer and began the editing process. I first had to stitch five photos together to form a panorama. I then worked some magic in Lightroom, and then did some further editing in Photoshop. When I was finished, I showed my final product to my office mate, Larry. He loved it, and said it would make a great print. Then another co-worker came to my office, and saw the photo on my computer screen. He said, “Oh man, I want a print of that!!” We negotiated a price, and I told him I could make a print that night, and deliver in the morning.

I went home, made two prints, and then handed the final product to my friend this morning.

So what is my point? Well, can you imagine doing this 20 years ago?? No way…



Finally Found The Spot

Funny story about this photo. I had seen on-line a fantastic panorama taken by Trey Ratcliff of a scenic spot in Yangshuo. Two years ago, I sent the photo to our travel company in China to see if they could find the location where the photo was taken. They wrote back saying they knew the location. However, when I arrived, and they took me to the location they THOUGHT was the spot, it was NOT the location. It was another scenic spot just as beautiful, but not the spot I was thinking.

So, a couple of months ago, I again tried to find the spot before my return trip to Yangshuo last week. I wrote to my travel agency, and they wrote that they still didn’t know where the spot was. So, I sent an email to Trey asking him if he could tell me where the spot was located. Graciously, he wrote back, and told me to contact the travel agent he used. I then contacted his travel agent, and was able to arrange a time to meet so that they could take me to the “secret” spot. The problem was that I was traveling with 19 students, and I could only take two students with me. Since I couldn’t just leave 17 other students stranded, I had to abandon my trip with Trey’s travel agent to take me there. Back to the drawing board.

A week later, my travel agent wrote back saying they found the spot…it was actually a pretty famous spot for photographers. They sent me the name of the hill, I “googled” it, and YES! It was the spot.

BUT, not really….Trey apparently hiked up a different hill close to where we were. Reading his description, it sounded like he forged a new trail hacking his way up with a machete…the hill I climbed had stairs to the top, and a small gathering of Chinese Photographers were all up top with their tripods already set up for photos. For the life of me, I can’t tell where he took his panorama…I can see some similar things in our two photos, but they were for sure taken from a different perspective…or maybe he had done some clever Photoshop work. Either way, his photo is one of my all time favorites…but I also like mine…just wish there was some color from an actual sunset. I was told by our guides that the sun only comes out in October or November….gotta come back, I guess!

By the way, this is a 17-photo panorama…

Pulau Padar in Komodo

Kayla (my daughter) and I went on a dive trip to Komodo last week on a live-aboard dive boat called, “The Moana”. To say the least, the trip was awesome. The other 8 guests on board became quick friends, and the scenery and diving was little short of spectacular! If you ever get the chance to get to Komodo, don’t miss the chance to climb to the top of the hill of Pulau Padar for one of the most incredible views you will see in Indonesia.

Duck Herder in Mandalay

The Bridge in Mandalay (Myanmar) is one of those iconic photo places. The actual name of the bridge is U Bein Bridge, but I don’t think anyone knows it by that name. I was really excited to take photos of monks walking on the bridge, but was disappointed to see thousands of people walking on the bridge and thousands more sitting in boats waiting for the sunset. So, I didn’t take any of the typical photos that all the other tourists were taking. Instead, I saw this duck herder with his flock of ducks…the way the shadow of the bridge falls on the water is classic coupled with the ripples of the water. I thought it made for a nice composition.