Shell Jazz bar, Onomichi

By Xue Feng

“Because I like sea. And I’m crazy.”

Onomichi city, Hiroshima prefecture

The “Shell” 貝の店ロダン

“This is a drinking cafe in a museum where jazz flows.” – Mr. Seiichi Ishikawa

Introduction to the Shell Jazz Bar

A lover of Japan, Xue spent more than one year in this incredible country, most of the time off the beaten path – that makes her stories and photos so much unique.

This time Xue discovered a hidden gem in the Onomichi city in the Hiroshima prefecture: the “Shell”. Read More

Bangkok

By Arun Sharma – Guest Blogger

“Everyone living abroad has their own story and their own little quirks to say and express, so, this is me and this is my experience as a student in Bangkok, Thailand.”

A few months ago, everything was different and now that I look back, I realize that time can do a lot to a person. Today marks the hundredth day living in Bangkok, Thailand away from home and my family for the first time in my life. Read More

Message in a Bottle

I’ll send an SOS to the world…

“Walked out this morning

Don’t believe what I saw

A hundred billion bottles

Washed up on the shore

Seems I’m not alone at being alone

A hundred billion castaways

Looking for a home.”

– Police, “Message in a Bottle

Read More

Little Italy Good Friday Procession

Good Friday is a Christian holiday commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. In Toronto the commemoration takes place in Little Italy. The Good Friday procession is a reenacting of the 14 stations of the cross, symbolizing the path Jesus walked before the moment of his crucifixion.

The preparations for the procession take place at the Church of St. Francis of Assisi. Hundreds of people line the streets of Little Italy to watch the procession where parishioners are dressed as Jesus, Roman soldiers and disciples – carrying statues and banners telling the story of Jesus’ crucifixion. Read More

Singapore

“Let’s Go to Singapore!” is the entry page to a series of posts exploring the island city-state of Singapore.

Planning

One of a sudden I decided to go to Singapore. I checked the AirAsia.com promotions for Bangkok and I booked the flight and the “Fragrance Hotel Ruby” in the middle of the Singapore red light district, Geylang.

I did a quick planning of the trip using the Frommer’s Singapore online guide, letting the details out for the fate (or whim) to decide.

For the five days trip I renounced to the checked baggage (that would cost me extra) and I took only my backpack as a carry-on luggage.

And, of course I left my chewing gum at home. Singapore banned the chewing gum since 1992! Read More

Niagara Falls - Polar Vortex

One of the harshest and coldest winters in Canada was the winter of 2013/14 – with a Christmas ice storm that downed trees and hydro lines, cutting power to half million people – and a series of polar vortexes. The polar vortex from the beginning  of January froze the Niagara River and the two smaller waterfalls, creating an unusual winter landscape. Read More

An Essay in Photography Ethics

Photo Manipulation in the Digital World

Photographic and video images can reveal great truths, expose wrongdoing and neglect, inspire hope and understanding and connect people around the globe through the language of visual understanding. Photographs can also cause great harm if they are callously intrusive or are manipulated. – National Press Photographers Association’s Code of Ethics Read More

Kabukicho RED Light District

The “Sleepless Town” (眠らない街)

“I can resist everything except temptation.” – Oscar Wilde

When I arrived first time at the Shinjuku Station in Tokyo, I was lost. 3.64 million passengers pass through the world’s busiest transport hub each day, more than the population of Toronto! Once you find your way out (from over 200 exits), you may head to the famous red light district of Tokyo, Kabukichō – the “Sleepless Town”.

Kabukichō (歌舞伎町)

Your first clue that you are in the area is when you will see well dressed young Japanese men with very long hair. You find them at the main entrances to the Kabukichō district, every day and night. Read More

Daisen Fishing Trip

By Xue Feng

This time my adventure takes place in Daisen, a small town located along the west coast of Japan. Daisen is also the name of the local mountain, elevated at 1700 meters. Having a giant mountain be so close to the Sea of Japan is a rare topographical trait that makes this area so unique.

To enjoy the beauty of the sea and to appreciate nature’s gift, my friend Yabu-chan invited me to go on a fishing trip with local fisherman Mr.Takami. Read More

People of India

One of the most amazing places on Earth is India. And India is a photographer’s dream adventure! “People of India” is an intro through photography to the beautiful people of India. The photos were taken during my 2010 trip to Asia.

The subjects were always more than happy to have their photo taken with one exception. While I stumbled upon a wedding and tried to take a photo of the bride, the crowd started to shout: “Don’t take photo of the bride!”. I was surprised by the spontaneous and playfulness of children, most of the time forgetting to change the camera settings. Everyone wanted to see themselves on the LCD screen and to play with the camera. Read More

An Adventure in Bread Tasting

By Xue Feng

Being Addicted to Bread

I wasn’t  that addicted to bread a year ago. However, after a half-year stay in Japan, my love towards bread is unstoppable. I drool in front of any bakery store and fascinate about their texture and aroma; wonder what kind of jam or cheese to pair with; give a deep thought about what kind of liquid to soak my bread in. Is it milk or hearty soup? Coffee or congee? Read More

Frozen, Toronto Islands

Winter in Toronto Islands

I don’t trust any country that looks around a continent and says, “Hey, I’ll take the frozen part.” – Jon Stewart

It may be -30 degrees Celsius with the windchill and half a meter snow. Welcome to the Canadian winter!

One day in February, a winter storm hit Toronto. The perfect timing to go out and confront the nature with a camera.

Fresh snow covered the city, and amazingly, for a metropolis such as Toronto, there is a oasis of peacefulness: the Toronto Islands. A 15 minutes ferry ride from Downtown Toronto and you are in the wilderness, well just during a winter storm! Read More

Christmas on Four Continents

“Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.” – Norman Vincent Peale

It is the time for Christmas – a time for joy, celebration and reflection, a time to look back to the year that has passed and prepare for the year ahead.

Looking back many years, the Christmas caught me in some unusual places such as in the airplane flying from Toronto to Bucharest, in a deserted lounge of the Lagos airport, near the bridge over the river Kwai in Thailand, on the top of Carpathian Mountains or at a cabaret show in Havana. Read More

Dog enjoying the view from the car

High Contrast Black & White Images from Thailand

Seeing the world in black and white allows you to discover details and shapes that may not be visible at a first look. It may help you concentrate to essentials.

“Black and white are the colors of photography. To me they symbolize the alternatives of hope and despair to which mankind is forever subjected.” – Robert Frank

To take high contrast photos I mostly used the Ricoh GR camera with the “High Contrast B&W” mode setting. The location is in Thailand. Enjoy the selection! Read More

Taj Mahal, Agra, India

The Border Crossing from Nepal

India is a country of huge contrasts. In 2010 I visited just a small part of the country, the North-East India including Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. The first impressions can be shocking when you pass the border from Nepal to India.  The crossing was done by walking and what a difference few meters can make! Read More