Archive for July 31st, 2013

Weekly Photo Challenge: The Golden Hour

I agree with you, the “Golden Hour” is like the best time, to get the best shots, because the lighting is different everyday. There are no two Sunrises or Sunsets alike at all, and that also goes for the moon to. Which I love to take photos of the moon.


Photography 101: The Quality of Light

The Daily Post

Last week, photographer Wenjie Zhang introduced the fundamentals of light, talked about exposure (shutter speed, aperture, and ISO), and set us loose with some simple exercises to experiment with light.

Today, he discusses the quality and direction of different types of light, as well as shadows and highlights, and sprinkles quick tips throughout for those of you who want to hone your skills. We wrap up the light discussion with exercises for practice and experimentation, no matter your level. Let’s dive in!

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Daily Prompt: Stranger in a Strange Land

Daily Prompt: Pat on the Back

Planes, Trains and Automobiles – Transportation in Afghanistan


The wonderful photos in this piece are from Zok Pavlovic and are to be used only expressly with his permission.

One of my constant challenges, when interacting with Westerners about Afghanistan, has been the ever-present challenge of transportation.  In the past, Afghanistan strategic presence has been based on transportation infrastructure.  Once it was a key portion of the Silk Road from China to The West.  Then, during the “Great Game” years, it was perceived as the gateway to warm water ports by Imperial Russia and later the Soviet Union.

Today, Afghanistan is challenged by its radically compartmentalized terrain.  Many parts of Afghanistan are only accessible during good weather, or the mountainous nature of much of the country makes it practically inaccessible regardless of weather.  ISAF and GIRoA are trying to deal with this issue by the construction of a series of transportation infrastructure projects, to include the construction of a…

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Antiquities – A Quandary



Afghanistan is a very rich country, in terms of it’s archeological past. The remains of multiple empires and the detritus that accumulates for being such an important trade route are evident every where you look.  I would venture that if one would dig a hole in any inhabited area in Afghanistan, you would discover historic and pre-historic artifacts of great value.

However, it violates both Afghan and US law to take, buy or otherwise acquire such artifacts and attempt to leave the country with them.  According to the CENTCOM Website: 

CENTCOM’s Historical/Cultural Advisory Group defines antiquities as “all artistic relics and monuments, moveable or immoveable, made before 1748, including all articles of historic or prehistoric value and any natural objects modified by human agency prior to the above date.”[i]  United States’ law and General Order 1A applies to all Afghan laws concerning antiquities and cultural artifacts. [i] Islamic State…

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Buddha Park (Xieng Khuan)


In addition to tennis lessons, another outing I organized for the kids during their school break this week was a 1/2 day visit to Buddha Park, better known in Lao as “Xieng Khuan” (not to be mistaken with Xiangkhouang, a province known for the famous Plain of Jars). I had seen photos of the Hindu and Buddhists sculptures there and it looked like a cool place to visit with the kids since the park grounds provide green open spaces for them to run around in. I also wanted to give them a different environment to play in aside from the typical playground structures we’d been going to each day.

Boy was it different! Spooky in fact. While some figures were lovely and serene, others were monstrous and ghoulish. Seeing all of them together gave me the immediate impression of a dream in which you’re not exactly frightened…

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