Yes. It is two in the morning. The perfect time to continue the throwback series!!
The summer after I graduated high school, I took a trip with five other recent graduates, a former teacher and his wife. We debated on where we wanted to go but we decided on Thailand, Myanmar and Laos. We were there for two weeks.
This was my first time out of the country. Here I was, 17 years old and ignorant to the world.
I don’t know how many rolls of film I shot. All I know is that I have contact sheets for film that I cannot find! NOT GOOD! Luckily, I also have a lot of digital images from the trip.
I entered one of my images into the Smithsonian Magazine photo contest the the following winter.
Days before the final day of notice, I received an email. At first, I thought it was a “we regret to inform you” letter. As I kept reading, I found out that my image was selected as an honorable mention. It was in the top 150 entries out of over 35,000 images entered from around the world. That was pretty cool.
Now that I have had some time to go through some of the negatives, I have found some of my favorite images from the trip. Like this one!
While my trip to Thailand was great, it was only a trip. When I was living in Shanghai for five months, it gave me a tremendous opportunity to make beautiful images.
One of my favorite images from China was shot in Longsheng. To get to this city from Shanghai, my friend Gavin and I took a train for 29 hours southwest. From there, we got on a boat for another six hours. After the boat dropped us off, we had to take buses and trucks for another few hours up the mountain. When we got to the base of the town, we had to hike for another few hours up the mountain on a narrow path. It wouldn’t have been bad at all other than the fact that it was midnight when we were climbing this path.
When we got to the village, after we taught a few Chinese people how to play the card game Uno, we hit the sack. We were getting up at 5am to see the sunrise come over the mountain side. There was only one problem. It rained all morning. The fog was so dense that we couldn’t see 20 feet in front of us. After waiting for five hours, the fog cleared for a brief moment and a mountain appeared out of the clouds in the background and I snapped my shutter. This is what I got.
While I was going back through some of my film, I found a black and white image that I shot at the same location.
Most of my time in China was spent in Shanghai. I went to many different temples and pavilions. So many that I can’t identify which one is which. I believe this next image was in Shanghai somewhere. It was shot on a lucky roll of infrared film. This roll went through the x-ray machine in Beijing and appears to have no ill effects.
More to come…