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Posts Tagged ‘culture

Revising my notes on how to take beautiful photographs

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I love photos because photography literally means painting with light.
When we are taking photographs, we should think it as an act of our respects to beautiful scenery created by God.
Though photography is very subjective (I do like particular photographs but not others), photography enable us to connect to people across nation, geographical, and cultural boundaries.
I strive to have the curious eyes of children, the mind of philosopher.

Here are some tips:
Photography for the very beginners.
Mini shoot.
Photo shoot session as a date (cheaper than fine dining / watching movies).
Discovery projects
Study work by others (the same goes for every field of professional pursuit, though I am not a professional, but I strive to create work of high standard). As of early 2013, I have over 6,000 photos for reference. Perhaps, I have to declutter them, to focus more on quality than quantity. Some good online places that I have used include : Flickr, Pbase, Corbis, websites of bridal studios or professional photographers, travel / photography books.

How to photograph people?
How to photograph your little ones?
I am committed to photography my little ones once every month.

How to pose for photos?
Be photogenic!
Not to forget make-up, even for gentlemen.
“The best shots reflect a relaxed simplicity."

Celebrate and take photos. I especially love to celebrate the four seasons.
Do you want to travel and take photos?
Here are interesting locations:
1. China: Beijing (warning the sky is so often polluted that I had to degrain and make the sky blue in a photo taken at the National Palace that I cherish), Yunnan, Sichuan (especially near Chengdu), Hong Kong,Taiwan.
Korea: very romantic for autumn and winter shots.
2. Malaysia : Malacca, Penang
3. Indonesia: Bali (many couples are getting married at the island of God), you can get forever summer photos here.
4. United Kingdom because I lived there. I always love the England gardens! I even love their fine porcelain mugs printed with garden flowers. Think of Alice in the Wonderland, Harry Potter, all magical things! I love England in spring and autumn.
5. France: forever ROMANTIC Paris! Imagine perfume, Lavender, Mediterranean sea of French Riviera, and beautiful delicious food.
6. Oceania : Australia (because I think I am going there more often) and New Zealand (after I finish enjoying and experiencing The Lord of the Ring as promised by my lover).

Some reflections about travel photography:
1. Always bring TRIPOD when you travel, especially on your own. Tripod can help you take photographs with slow shutter and produce magical photos that our normal eyes cannot see.
2. "When we are taking photographs, we should think that they are our love letter to our beloved ones." My love letters sent from Canada.
3. I wrote "Shangrila (Zhongdian) in Yunnan reminds me on Switzerland."
Personally, I do not like Zhongdian.
Switzerland is a better travel destination.
Friendlier people / safer environment.
Lower altitude / more oxygen.
Better experience and memory.

Although I am not considering a career in photography, I believe that my photographic skills are improving with time.
I may also earn some pocket money from my passion in beauty and photography.
If I can, so can you!

Tips: Beijing

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Time flies. People come and leave.
Exactly 5 years later after my first arrival in Beijing.
Only now I realized that I visited a number of UNESCO sites.

Listen to 程永涂 (2nd son of 程砚秋 Cheng Yanqiu) telling the story of his father, at their residence with tea.
Cheng Yanqiu was one of the great twentieth century performers of the Dan role type in Beijing Opera (京剧).

Great wall at Badaling.
Great wall at Simatai. ❤
Summer Palace 颐和园 .
Old Summer Palace 圆明园. At the ruins of the European-styled palaces, we imagined how beautiful and magnificent 圆明园 would be today if 圆明园 was not destroyed and looted. The Chinese government decided to keep the ruined site as is to teach future generations about the consequences of being dominated by foreign powers.
Gugong (Palace) Museum. Built in 1420 in the Ming Dynasty. UNESCO. 9000 palaces and halls. surrounded by a 3km long, 10 m high city wall, a moat.
Temple of Heaven 天坛 . Emperors worship Heaven and pray for better harvest. UNESCO. The huge pillars in the hall represent the 4 seasons, 12 months of the year, 12 WATCHES of the day.
Ming Tombs.
Beihai Park.
Fragrant Hills Park 香山公园. not yet. To go in autumn for the red leaves.
Yonghe Lamasery 雍和宮. June 3rd, 2006. Han, Manchu, Tibetan, Mongol.
Great Bell Temple 大钟寺. June 3rd, 2006.
Grand View Garden 大观园. patterned after typical scenes in Dream of the Red Chamber.
Confucian Temple 孔庙.
Chinese Ethnic Culture Park 中华民族园. not yet.
Peking Man Site. note yet.

Watch 越剧 at Tsinghua U auditorium 大礼堂. free. The Auditorium is of Roman-Greek style.
study MBA (Tsinghua biz school, MIT Sloan).
Stroll, drink at 前海 后海
watch students-made movies at 北京电影学院

April Rhapsody (人间四月天). 46 min x 20 episodes. Xu Zhimo.

Peking Roast Duck 全聚德
dumplings at Zi Jing Can Ting, Tsinghua campus.

Beijing Hotel. I love this place, so close to Wangfujing where I bought a lot of books, cosmetics for the woman whom I love most.
The New Foreign Students Hostel (清华大学紫荆留学生公寓) at north east gate.
The older the bike, the safe it is.
Always get receipts from taxi driver.

About Tsinghua U:
outstanding Tsinghua’s graduate 300 officials, among them are
former PM Zhu Rongji (electrical engineering 1951, chairman of Tsinghua Student Union in 1951) and wife. Deng once said that Zhu “has his own views, dares to make decisions and knows economics.”
Hu Jintao (1965 grad of hydraulic engineering) and wife
Wu Bangguo 吴邦国 (electron tube engineering 1967)
Wu Guanzhen 吴官正 (thermal engineering 1968)
Huang Ju (1st Vice Premier)
Zeng Peiyan

A Catholic priest Mr Roosevelt persuaded to return 12 million that Qing dynasty had overpaid, not in cash, but to do something useful. Hence 1911 Tsinghua U.

4 kinds of architectures:
1. XianFeng
2. American architecture e.g. Auditorium
3. traditional Chinese and USSR style
4. modern. after 1978 Deng Xiaoping liberation.
Beijing Tourist map May – June 2006 : Olympic Park is still under construction.

Having been twice in Beijing during hot summer. Perhaps, one day we could see the Palace Museum (Forbidden City) being covered by snow. A winter trip!
卢沟桥 (Marco Polo Bridge)

Written by blueroselady

May 21, 2011 at 4:30 am

Antigua Guatemala – Central America

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Don’t get confused with Antigua and Barbuda.


Arch of Santa Catalina

Lago de Atitlan
* a caldera-lake with an elevation of 1.5 km surrounded by deep escarpment and 3 volcanoes — Volcan Atitlan, Volcan San Pedro, Volcan Toliman.

Chichicastenango village
* 2 hrs from Panajachel.
* a picturesque cemetery with candy-colored mini mausoleums for family.

Chichicastenango’s market is a colorful affair where buyers and vendors from the entire Quiche region and beyond meet to trade. Based on the pictures available on net, it reminded me on Sapa market in North Vietnam.

Santo Tomas Church
* a fusion of Mayan beliefs and Catholic rituals

Written by blueroselady

February 28, 2010 at 1:53 pm

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U.S. educational programs

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Global Young Leaders Conference (
International Scholar Laureate Program (
National Youth Leadership Forum on Medicine (
National Youth Leadership Forum on Law (

Possibly, I could work as a tour leader / assistant for such programs, as I love to 1) meet the future leaders of tomorrow 2) learn and travel simultaneously.

International Scholar Laureate Program
2010 Program Pricing Diplomacy – China Tuition: $3,199 Optional Extension: $1,250. Length of program: ~ 12 days.
2010 Program Pricing Medicine – Australia Tuition: $3,299 Optional Extension: $1,450 ~ less than a week.
2010 Program Pricing Medicine – China Tuition: $3,199 Optional Extension: $1,250

International Scholar Laureate Program Delegation on Medicine Commonwealth of Australia Summer 2010 Sample Schedule
Day 1
G’day and Welcome to Australia!
Arrive in Sydney
Independent Exploration of Sydney
Program Orientation: Academic Expectations and Cultural Overview
Welcome Session and Dinner
Day 2
Understanding Australia’s Comprehensive Medical Environment
Comprehensive Look at Australia’s Health Care
Introducing Australia’s Medical System
Australia’s Bold Initiative: Principles of Universal Health Care
Q&A with Medical Professionals
Inside the Sydney Opera House: Cultural Center of the City
The Rocks: Site of the Original Sydney Town Settlement
Day 3
The Art and Science of Healing
Scope of Australian Health Care Facilities
Ward Tour at a Traditional Urban Hospital
Tour of Health Care Facility
Q&A with Doctors and Other Medical Staff
Day 4
Sensations of Sydney: Gem of the Pacific
Day of Independent Exploration: Your Day to Enjoy Sydney
Royal Botanic Gardens: Showcasing Sydney’s Natural Beauty
Sydney Harbour: Australia’s Vibrant Gem
Manly Beach: Thriving Harbour Community
Sydney Aquarium: Australia’s Aquatic Action
Taronga Zoo: Examining Australian Wildlife
Darling Harbour: Spectacular Waterfront District
Day 5
Medical Colleagues of the Future: Challenges & Opportunities
University Visit: Immersion and Social Interaction with Australian Medical Students
Medical Education Curriculum Overview
Career Preparation in Australia
Q&A with Faculty and Students
Dinner with Medical Students
Day 6
Beyond Hospital Walls: Caring for the Community
Welcome to the Land
Aboriginal Health and Medicine
Providing Medical Care in Non-Traditional Settings
Overcoming Cultural Barriers to Deliver Care
Australia Wildlife Walkabout Tour in Calga
Animals of the Outback Nation: Kangaroos, Koalas and Wallabies
Indigenous Medicine
Bush Walk
Farewell Dinner
Day 7
Depart Australia or Fly to Cairns for the Optional Extension
Optional Extension: Cairns & the Great Barrier Reef
Day 7
Cairns: Home of the Great Barrier Reef
Fly to Cairns
Afternoon at Leisure
Day 8
The Great Barrier Reef: Spectacular Gem of the Coral Sea
Sail to the Great Barrier Reef
Swimming, Snorkeling and Sun: Recess on the Reef at the Lower Isles Coral Island
Tropical Lunch
Day 9
Independent Exploration: Create Your Own Adventure!
Relax in Cairns
Beach Fun
Rainforest Tours
Island Day Trips
Aboriginal Culture Park
Day 10 Homeward Bound: Depart Australia

Global Young Leaders Conference (For 15-18 years old)
2010 China Sample Daily Schedule (For US students, this costs $5,390 and includes airfare to China from the designated gateway cities, housing, program materials, breakfasts, dinners and private motor coach transportation within and between Beijing, Hangzhou and Shanghai. If you excludes the US-China air-tickets for non-US students, it costs $4,390).
It is EXPENSIVE in my humble opinion. I also found that there are too many activities in a day, this may make a learning experience less fruitful due to overloaded information. Furthermore, there are too many touristic / sightseeing activities which can be done by any normal tourists. I expect something more, meeting the learders of host countries, etc.

Beijing – Hangzhou – Shanghai
Day One: Welcome to Beijing; Inside Beijing: China’s Many-Splendored Capital; Welcome Session and Dinner
Day Two: Artistic and Ancient Treasures; Leadership Group Meeting: Identifying Your Role in a Cross; Cultural Global Society; Leadership in a Global World: Cross Cultural; Communication Plenary; Beijing Zoo: On-site with China’s Iconic Pandas; Leadership Group Meeting: Chinese Culture and Etiquette-Applying Lessons Learned
Day Three: Out of Pages of History; Diplomatic Reflections, Contemporary Issues: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China; Lunch on Wangfujing Street; Monuments and Treasures of the Imperial Era: Tian’anmen Square: Monument to Mao; Forbidden City: Seat of Imperial Power; A Taste of Beijing: Traditional Peking Duck Dinner; Visit to the Olympic Green
Day Four: 4,500 Miles of Engineering Ingenuity; Leadership Group Meeting: Approaches to Conflict Resolution; International Organizations Site Exploration; Excursion to the Great Wall: Passing Through Badaling Gate and Hiking Along the Great Wall; Night Market on Wanfujing Street; Day Five Journey to Paradise on Earth; Air Transfer to Hangzhou: China’s Ancient Capital of Commerce and Culture; Hangzhou City Orientation; A Step Back in Time: Bucolic West Lake; Welcome Dinner
Day Six: A Peaceful Respite; Leadership Group Meeting: Simulation Meeting; Leadership Group Meeting: Looking Forward; Peaceful Reflection: Laughing Buddha at Ling Yin Temple; Bargaining and Exploration on Hangzhou’s Silk Street; Traditional Boat Excursion on Secluded West Lake
Day Seven: The Dragonhead of Asia: Shanghai; Guo’s Villa: Traditional Private Gardens of China’s Ancient Elite; Innovation and Technology in Action: High Speed Train Transfer to Shanghai; Shanghai City Orientation; European and Chinese Influences: Exploration of The Bund and Frenchtown
Nanjing Lu: Symbol of China’s Capitalism Boom; Shanghai Welcome Dinner
Day Eight: The 2010 World Expo: Urban Innovation; Shanghai World Expo: Exploring the World’s Many; Diverse Nations
Day Nine: Bustling Shanghai: A Celebration of Culture; International Youth Empowerment Closing Keynote Plenary; Final Meeting; Lunch at Yu Gardens and Exploration of Old Shanghai; Farewell Dinner; A Night of Spectacular Feats: Chinese Acrobatics Show
Day Ten: Farewell to China; Depart Shanghai International Airport or; Depart for Optional Add-On
Day Ten Hong Kong: China’s Cosmopolitan City; Air Transfer to Hong Kong; City Orientation; Hotel Check In; Welcome Dinner
Day Eleven: Asia’s Economic Powerhouse; The Politics of International Trade: Hong Kong’s Thriving; Business Community; Exploration of Kowloon Peninsula; Nathan Street; Jade Market; Open Top Bus Excursion and Laser Light Show at the Hong Kong Harbour
Day Twelve: Exploring the Former Colony; Morning Exploration of the Hong Kong Islands; Victoria Peak; Aberdeen Fishing Village; Cantonese Delight: Dim Sum Lunch Aboard the Famous Jumbo Boat Floating Restaurant; Afternoon Fun and Sun: Repulse Bay Hong Kong Bauhinia Farewell Dinner Cruise
Day Thirteen Homeward Bound
Depart Hong Kong International Airport
Optional Add-On Day
Day Ten Xi’an: The Ancient Capital of China; Opening Gate Ceremony: Great Tang Dynasty Hospitality; City Orientation; Cuisine Artistry: Dumpling Dinner
Day Eleven: Flint, Stone & Dynasties: Through the Portals of Discovery; Guardians of the Imperial Tomb: Excursion to the Amazing 8,000-Man Terra Cotta Army; Authentic Noodle Lunch at Museum; Ancient Cures: Traditional Chinese Medicine Herb Market; Perspectives on Youth in China: Elementary School Visit
Day Twelve Xi’an Exploration: China’s Many Cultural Influences; Rickshaw Ride on Xi’an’s Ancient City Wall; Great Mosque and Market Area: Center of Xi’an’s; Muslim Quarter; Big Wild Goose Pagoda

Written by blueroselady

January 10, 2010 at 11:47 pm

Posted in study, travel

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