China Travel Photography

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I have the Sony 109 miniDV video camera with a Sony ECM-S930C microphone always inserted on the machine for better sound quality. The Sony camcorder is small and flat on both sides, and even with the microphone, it easily slip into the small pouch on my belt. I usually carry 20 miniDVs on a trip. In another year or two, I will have some up (Update: I have a few up already).


Besides my camera and video equipments I also carry art materials on my travels, so I can do some artworks when I feel like it. In my past trips, I collected a load of fine art materials: inkstones and inksticks from Shexian county, Anhui; xuan paper from Jingxian county, also in Anhui; brushes from various places, mostly from Huzhou city, Yangzhou city and Beijing City; and seal carving materials in various places -- Suzhou, Lanzhou, and Beijing city. I carried my paper and painting mat rolled inside an adjustable tube.


I don't have a photographic memory, so I keep a detailed log of everything when I travel.   Although writing (not fine or specialize writing, just writing notes or more commonly emails today) is a very common and universal activity, it takes discipline and persistence to maintain it as a habitual activity.   In my view, to travel seriously and not keep a journal is a critical lack.   And unforgivable since the materials for writing can be gotten almost anywhere and they can be more compact than your Blackberry.   I like ink, so I carry a few fountain pens.   China likes ink too, so getting it there poses no problem.


Unless I have a wife who has nothing better to do but to help me with the website, it would be impractical not to do it myself. Websites like mine need more than casual maintenance, and having to bother someone too often just won't do. So I decided that I ought to know the nuts and bolts of a website and its development. Developing and maintaining a website is a creative process and getting involved in these sort of things is sometimes an innate urge. So I spent a year planning, designing, and coding this site; and since the launch of the site on September 18, 2005, the site had gone through several major phases. The majority of the pages are static and are written using XHTML and PHP, with a few Javascripts here and there. My webserver runs on Apache inside Linux(Red Hat). My database is MySQL. For Chinese inputs, I use NJStar on my Windows and CXTerm on Linux (I used Linux in the early days but now everything is done on Windows and uploaded to the Linux server).

The majority of this site's webpages are static with the exception of a few dynamic pages such as the in-site search engine page, the large thumbnails page, the lightbox and the shopping cart page; these are self-generated through the very common combination of PHP and MySQL. The screen resolution chosen for this site is 1024 x 768 pixel, which seems to be the most common for now. I do my web development on Windows and upload my files through cable connection. I also have a Mac labtop that I use mainly for browser testing (I no longer use the Mac). My web pages are all hand-coded using Macromedia's Homesite editor. Images are edited using Photoshop on a 21" LCD monitor that I calibrate with GretagMabeth's EyeOne Display. I have backups on harddrives. I backup three times - one set remains with me, the second in a safe depost box, and the third in outter space.