-- Past Photos of the Week -- 2008

All Photographs © Sam Oppenheim 1997-2010

"Rayman Circus Performers" - Maharashtra, India. -- (December 21st, 2008)
  • My last week in India, the circus came to town! It was incredible- I felt like a time traveler. We sat on cheap chairs on a dirt floor inside a temporary tent that was set up on the periphery of town. I think this is similar to Circuses of the 1930s-1950s in the USA - good old fashioned low tech fun. It was great! Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT 350 - Digital RAW

"Malkapur Mirch Market" - Maharashtra, India. -- (December 14th, 2008)
  • Here is a photograph from about one year ago. I am feeling very nostalgic lately, missing India and village life dearly. These show the local hot pepper or "Mirch" market in the town I lived in. Notice the guy in the middle? He begged me to take his photo and posed in what he thought was "sexy macho". The people on the right are unloading peppers from a truck. yes they are probably bare foot in your food, which is also dumped onto the ground! Well, Consider this the "Indian Pointsetta" - and Happy Holidays. Tomorrow is also my "brother from another mother's" special day - Happy Birthday Shekhar! Camera & Film: Canon Power Shot 70 - Digital jpeg

"Willows" -Lijiang, Yunan, China. -- (December 7th, 2008)
  • One of my last nights in China I photographed the charming city of Lijiang in Yunan provice. I was fascinated by the artificial lighting interacting with willow trees and rivers flowing through cobblestone streets. The central plaza also had water wheels. It was gorgeous and very hard to capture on camera without a tripod. Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT 350 - Digital RAW

"Smoking Man" -Rural Dali, Yunan, China. -- (November 30th, 2008)
  • My last week in China involved a trip to Yunan province. In Dali I rented a bicycle and ride out to rural farmlands and a local market, encountering the colorful locals and really getting to know this side of the Himalayas -partially in order to compare it to the Indian side! This man was one of the only people who let me take their portrait. The people in this part of China are very kind and friendly, but not as open to photography or interested in tourists as Indians are (in general). Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT 350 - Digital RAW

"Pagoda and Rapids" -Emei Shan, China. -- (November 23rd, 2008)
  • Same holy Buddhist mountain as last week's monkeys - Emei Shan. Here this is nearer to the base, below the monasteries where pilgrims spend the night (so relaxing and special!) Enroute to returning to busses and civilization, the hike returns via series of gorges and small waterfalls, including this picturesque "Must-photograph" spot. Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT 350 - Digital RAW

"Tibetan Macaques" - China. -- (November 16th, 2008)
  • Near the epicenter of this year's quake is a natural park and holy mountain called "Emei Shan." Atop its summit live colonies of Tibetan Macaques which get fed gratuitously by fascinated tourists (hence the apple) and have been known to be quite naughty so humans must be wary when walking in the woods. Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT 350 - Digital RAW

"Leshan Buddha" - China. -- (November 9th, 2008)
  • This is now the world's largest rock-carved Buddha (After the Taliban destroyed the Buddhas of Bamiyan). You can get a sense of scale by the people in the first photo... tiny behind the fence, the women posing below his foot, and then myself at the same place. He is repainted every decade or so, and photos of his newly varnished appearance (in postcards) look garish and almost comical, I prefer a weathered countenance. He is marvelous, but not as fantastic as the lost treasures of Afghanistan! Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT 350 - Digital RAW

"Chinglish Tryptich" - Leshan, China. -- (November 2nd, 2008)
  • Cheer up! These make me smile - fresh air? why are you in a restroom, and the last one - like who needs that sign? are people drinking from, confused by, or pooping in the urinal? Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT 350 - Digital jpeg

"Bell Tower at Night" - Xi'an, China. -- (October 26th, 2008)
  • Taking a cue from Lynn Saville, I often play at photographing cities at night! Here is one of my nicer ones from Xi'An, at the famous Bell Tower which is circumscribed by a traffic circle... and was also the view out the window of my hostel! As a side note, behind me is a Starbucks... Ah, Globalization. Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT 350 - Digital RAW

"Spooky Garden" - Xi'an, China. -- (October 19th, 2008)
  • One night I took a tour of a traditional home with elaborate furniture and decorative courtyard gardens, all cared for and colorfully lit. They also served me delicious specialty teas (and sold me some, I had a cup tonight when I found this photo!) Anyway here's a fun, almost spooky image from that evening! Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT 350 - Digital RAW

"Make A Wish" - Hua Shan, China. -- (October 12th, 2008)
  • Hua Shan (mountain) has many Taoist shrines on each peak, but my favorite section was where people tie red ribbons on the chains and attach locks. If I understand it correctly it is a way of wishing and achieving blessings. To see the rest of Hua Shan please visit my new mini gallery: Hua Shan. Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT 350 - Digital RAW

"Western Peak" - Hua Shan, China. -- (October 5th, 2008)
  • This holy Taoist mountain is now accessible by gondola and filled with pilgrims/tourists. It is unbelievably beautiful and reminiscent of Yosemite in places. The single mountain consists of five peaks, all nearly or slightly above 2000 meters (6,300 feet) high, connected by footpaths and steps. Views from each peak show crenellated peaks and glorious views across a natural landscape. This is the Western peak viewed from the central peak, the other 3 peaks are named after the remaining cardinal directions. More photos from Hua Shan Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT 350 - Digital RAW

"Tough Kid" - Guoliangchun, China. -- (September 28th, 2008)
  • The alternative title for the photo is "Beer baby." I shot a few photos of this character. He had real attitude, holding an empty beer bottle next to his daddy's motorcycle! Unfortunately I can't show the other 3 shots because there is a little surprise hanging out of his pants! His clothing has a crotch-slit! Many Asian countries don't use diapers, instead knifing a portion of the pants so that when a child squats he can just go potty anywhere... Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT 350 - Digital RAW

"Laotian Grandmother" - Luang Prabang, Laos. -- (September 14th, 2008)
  • A wonderful portrait of an elder matriarch. Camera & Film: Canon Rebel K2 - Kodak Film

"Chinese Village Portals" - Pingyao and Yujiacun, China. -- (August 31st, 2008)
  • Iwanted to share the continuation of my portals project - here are three ones from small towns and villages in China - the central "Main image" is "Pingyao Coal Briquette Portal" and you can see the storage of so much coal - the town is covered in dust and is almost black-and-white in its coloration from dirt or paved roads to cinder-brick walls to dusty windows and ash-grey roof tiles. The two smaller images are from a mountain village built in all stone architecture. I slept in the guestroom inside the courtyard that has a cat. Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT 350 - Digital RAW

"Cycling Elder" - Pingyao, China. -- (August 23rd, 2008)
  • A Great moment in a charming old town. Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT 350 - Digital RAW

"Fuji Sunrise Portraits" - Japan. -- (August 8th, 2008)
  • To Celebrate my birthday (August 8th, 2008, or 8-8-8) 3 friends and I hiked to the summit of Mt. Fuji - the highest point in Japan. We began at 8pm and hiked without sleep until dawn at the volcanic rim/caldera. Later we hiked back down, exhausted and exhilarated. These portraits record the glorious sunrise, and the haggard-yet-ecstatic appearances of Rob, Sean, Rachel, and myself! Camera & Film: Canon 40D - Digital RAW

"Mashu-Ko" - Hokkaido, Japan. -- (August 2nd, 2008)
  • I'm in Japan! Here's a quick update from the field - last week I road tripped in a rental car across Hokkaido (northern Japan bordering Russia/Siberia). Left side drive, baby! Enjoy the 'tourist view' of the gorgeous volcanic lake of "Mashu-Ko" reputed to be the most beautiful lake in Japan, and similar to Crater Lake, Oregon! Camera & Film: Canon 40D - Digital jpeg

"Driving North Dakota" - USA. -- (July 26th, 2008)
  • >Well, Last week I flew with my brother to Portland, Oregon, packed his car, and drove across the USA. 2200 miles in 2 days across America. North Dakota was the most memorable, where we stopped at Teddy Roosevelt National Park and left some of our grandfather's hair, as he had been to 48 states, and wished to make it to North Dakota. This is a photographic memory, a recording of the great Northern expanse of the USA.

    A second recording accompanies this photograph - my brother's newest recording. Cosmopolitain (featuring Ryan Dicker) Please listen/download this by following the link here and visit his website to hear more of his music and read his writings. Mike's website: www.mikeyopp.com Camera & Film: Canon 40D - Digital Jpeg

"Number 7 Train" - Queens, New York. -- (July 12th, 2008)
  • I Guess since I'm back in New York City I should practice my art here as well. I still have a zillion Asia shots to share, but this week I'm focusing on a recent photograph of the New York City Subway. Camera & Film: Canon Powershot 70 - Digital RAW

"Tropical Village Boy" - Northern Thailand. -- (July 5th, 2008)
  • After Trekking for 2 days, we rafted downriver and stopped for lunch at a village that caters to trekking tourism. This boy was enjoying his watermelon, in his mother's lap, in a hammock. How much more "Summertime Tropical" and adorable can you get? Camera & Film: Canon Rebel K2 - Kodak Tri-X 400

"Melaka Dusk" - Malaysia. -- (June 29th, 2008)
  • One of the main thoroughfares into town is lit up like a dreamscape at dusk. I was so anxious to take this photograph, that I hopped off a bus in midtown without knowing where to go for a hotel. It was so painfully gorgeous at dusk, that I carried all my luggage, and photographed Melaka at night, quite encumbered, BEFORE finding a hotel room. Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT 350 - Digital RAW

"Petronas Towers at Night" - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. -- (June 22nd, 2008)
  • The world's second-tallest building: a pair of towers connected by a skybridge, the famous symbol of Kuala Lumpur & Malaysia. Photograph taken from an overpass on 5 second exposure. Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT 350 - Digital RAW

"Dusky Bay" - Ao Nang, Thailand. -- (June 15th, 2008)
  • A Thai longtail boat rocks on the waves during a long exposure at dusk. Taken from the rock wall along Ao Nang Bay in Southern Thailand near Krabi (Across from Ko Phi Phi and Phuket). Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT 350 - Digital RAW

"Banteay Kdei Portal" - Angkor Wat, Cambodia. -- (June 8th, 2008)
  • Angkor Wat, the famous majestic grouping of a hundred temples or so, in central Cambodia. Here at sunrise I found one of my favorite subjects: a portal! (The colors are not manipulated, the rock is weathered and growing moss, lichens, etc.) Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT 350 - Digital RAW

"Dancer" - Ubud, Bali. -- (June 1st, 2008)
  • Bali is famous for traditional and modern dance. I saw a few shows and tried my best to capture some of the colorful costumes, body movements, and facial expressions with a hand-held camera and no flash. half or more came out blurry, but I just LOVE this one and am happy to share it with you. Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT 350 - Digital RAW

"Summer Day" - Nong Khiaw, Laos. -- (May 25th, 2008)
  • Looks like Memorial Day! These are some young kids playing on a hot day. Nam Ou River, 6 hours upstream from Luang Prabang. Photograph taken from bridge. Laos was so Idyllic! Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT 350 - Digital RAW

"Monk Buddies" - Luang Prabang, Laos. -- (May 18th, 2008)
  • In the late afternoon I hung out with the playful monks at Wat Wisunalat (Wat means temple). Some of them were shy, while others posed. Spending time with monks was a part of my everyday experience in Luang Prabang, and many spoke some English! Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT 350 - Digital RAW

"Vietnamese Women" - Vietnam. -- (May 11th, 2008)
  • Happy Mothers Day! Two of my best photos of Vietnamese women, I couldn't decide which one to share with you so I put both on even if that detracts from their individual splendor. The first one showcases a girl working at a beautful tea garden in Danang (Central Coastal Vietnam). The second is a woman piloting a boat in the Mekong Delta (South of Ho Chi Minh City - AKA Saigon, in Southern Vietnam). Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT 350 - Digital RAW

"Golden Smile" - Hoi-An, Vietnam. -- (May 3rd, 2008)
  • Hoi-An, a charming Unesco World Heritage City, has many colorful locals plying the waterways. This boatman wanted to take me for a ride, but I asked for just a few photographs instead. Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT 350 - Digital RAW

"Chengdu Pandas" - China. -- (April 27th, 2008)
  • One thing Chengdu is famous for, other than spicy Sichuan food, is the panda research center. Here, tourists come to get very close to the baby and full grown pandas during feeding and play time. I have put together a montage of a few cute shots for you to enjoy!
    I don't know why they had signs up about wildlife not being food, it is NOT a mistranslation of "do not feed the wildlife" It DOES say not to eat wildlife! This actually makes sense in light of what an American businessman I met told me: he was served endangered fish as a welcoming dinner to honor his visit to china last week, and was proudly told that this delicacy was selected for him! Ugh! Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT 350 - Digital RAW

"Guoliang Villager" - China. -- (April 20th, 2008)
  • On a gut feeling that it would be beautiful, memorable, and not too touristy, I spent 3 hours traveling by bus to the middle of nowhere. Completely off the tourist map I hired a taxi for the next leg up to the rim of a grand-canyonesque landscape made famous by chinese film and tv using it for sets. Although it had one bus of chinese tourists, I was the only foreiger there that day. The village population is under 500 people (Only one of whom consented to be photographed, and you see him here).
    Most of the people there were art students who go there for recreational study-holiday and learn charcoal, pencil, ink, or watercolor painting. They come to be inspired by the old stone architecture, stunning vistas, red-orange rocky cliffs, and gorgeous spring blossoms coming into their own on otherwise winter-naked branches. There are a few artists colonies with teachers who give tips and critiques, and old buildings housing three students to a room. Everywhere you go you find natural beauty, and a few college students under a tree painting or drawing it. It was wonderful! Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT 350 - Digital jpeg

"Great Wall Portal" - China. -- (April 13th, 2008)
  • I traveled 3 hours outside of Beijing to see the Great Wall. I went from Jinshanling to Simatai, a popular 8 kilometer hike along a crumbling ruined section between the two restored sections. This is a shot through one of the guard tower windows, toward the wall climbing the mountains. Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT 350 - Digital RAW

"Peking Opera" - Beijing, China. -- (April 6th, 2008)
  • This week I'm sharing a striking pose I captured while viewing the acrobatic and heavily-costumed "Peking Opera" style of theatre in Beijing. The performance was excerpted from a longer piece for our enjoyment, and we watched both a comedy and a martial arts performance (separated by intermission). It was definitely an interesting and fun part of experiencing Chinese cultural traditions. Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT 350 - Digital jpeg

"Angkor Sunrise" - Angkor Wat, Cambodia. -- (March 30th, 2008)
  • Sunrise at Angkor Wat is the only time it is quiet, and has few tourists. Wake up at 4:30am and by 5:00 you ride on the back of a motorcycle taxi speeding through the city and the jungle into the park to walk in quiet magnificent temples with pink-hued skies. Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT 350 - Digital RAW

"Bayon Faces" - Angkor Wat, Cambodia. -- (March 22nd, 2008)
  • Here is a classical shot of the famous face-carved towers of Bayon Temple inside the Angkor Thom area of the greater Angkor Wat Temples area! Shot at sunset on my 3rd day visiting and enjoying the ancient temples Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT 350 - Digital RAW

"Inside the Monastery" - Luang Prabang, Laos. -- (March 16th, 2008)
  • Spending a few hours in different monasteries, I found the monks very friendly. They are kind toward tourists, kids, and dogs. Unlike India, where many people kick dogs and consider them unclean, in Laos dogs are kept clean and as pets mostly- there are much fewer street dogs, and even those are better treated. (except where they are eaten by Tribals in the hills). Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT 350 - Digital jpeg

"Prayers" - Sukhothai, Thailand. -- (March 9th, 2008)
  • On my last day in Thailand, I visited the ruins of Thailand's first Buddhist Kingdom, still visited and revered by monks. Here, I found some monks and laymen praying at the feet (and hands) of a restored giant seated buddha inside an open-air temple. Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT 350 - Digital RAW

"Elephant Driver" - Northern Thailand. -- (March 2nd, 2008)
  • During a two-day guided trek in the northern Thailand hills (2 hours north of Chiang Mai) we arrived at a riverside staging area for elephant rides as the locals were bathing the beasts and maneuvering them toward where they added howdahs for us to sit on. Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT 350 - Digital RAW

"Plugged-in Purohit" - Pushkar, Rajasthan, India. -- (February 23rd, 2008)
  • In Pushkar I encountered a common sight nowadays in India - the contrast of modern and traditional lifestyles. This Purohit, or priest, was going down the ghats, or steps, to do a prayer at the lakeside over the mobile phone to a client. Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT 350 - Digital RAW

"Cordillera Blanca Lagoon" - Peru. -- (February 16th, 2008)
  • From way back in July, I always wanted to share this image but didn't process the file until I was busy in India. High in the Andes, I felt so blessed to hike over a mountain pass on the Santa Cruz Trek and then see these glimmering Aquamarine waters below the trail. Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT 350 - Digital RAW

"Temple Bath" - Lonar, India. -- (February 9th, 2008)
  • During the hot summer, we went to a famous meteor crater (Lonar), that, like all spectacular natural settings in India, is a place for worship. The crater is ringed with temples, one of which has a natural spring shower people come to bathe in. It is odd to me, that in a country so obsessed with covering up their women and repressing sexuality, boys can bathe nude or in skimpy underwear while women must do so fully clothed. I suppose its just another example of Misogyny. Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT 350 - Digital RAW

"Proud Boatman" - Kashmir, India. -- (February 2nd, 2008)
  • One morning we boarded a shikara, or single-oared flat-bottomed boat, before sunrise and skimmed across our lake to see the traditional floating wholesale vegetable market. For some reason farmers' produce is divided and redistributed according to a complicated marketplace dance, acted out in boats by dealers every early morning. This man was coming to buy produce. Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT - Digital RAW

"Elder Saffron Queen" - Kashmir, India. -- (January 26th, 2008)
  • Visiting a family that hand-processes saffron was a highlight of visiting Kashmir. The matriarch of the operation was a wonderful, if stoic, woman who tolerated our presence. Saffron blooms in the fall, multiple flowers from each perennial bulb. Flowers are harvested daily both to encourage re-growth and to prevent theft. Then the delcate stamens, worth more by weight than gold, are hand-plucked, dried, and packaged. Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT - Digital RAW

"Threshing Grain" -Ziro Village, Arunachal, India. -- (January 19th, 2008)
  • I really love the primal feeling in the photograph. Amazingly, she still looked like this AFTER I asked her for permission to take a photograph of her threshing grain in the strong mid-day sun. I feel like it portrays her (and by implication her whole tribe) as quite wild, although that is not my intention - she is probably a sweet old grandmother. However, I think it is a beautiful, stunning portrait. For more information about the Apatani Tribals check out my travelogue or wikipedia.
    Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT - Digital RAW

"Rajasthani Dancer" -Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India. -- (January 12th, 2008)
  • Inside the fort a dance troupe brings joy to weary tourists.
    Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT - Digital RAW

"Rural Rajasthani Rancher" -Osiya, Rajasthan, India. -- (January 5th, 2008)
  • While driving home from visiting a rural Rajasthani village, I asked the driver to stop so that I could create a portrait of this man, who caught my eye.
    Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT - Digital RAW

All Photographs © Sam Oppenheim 1997-2010