What I am reading this week

– Suspicion can make an environment hostile to a camera, as American National Public Radio (NPR) photographer David Gilkey discovered on his 16 day Trans-Siberian journey. Sometimes, we compromise on the original vision of how you want to shoot something. We’ve all been there in one situation or another. The Iphone has proven handy as an inconspicuous alternative, as have other smaller toy cameras and point and shoot.

I love the interactive project “Russia by Rail” put together by NPR, with excellent writing, audio and slideshows. Russia holds a soft spot for me, and I know one day, I’ll experience the Trans-Siberian route myself. One day.

– Along with millions of Chinese all over the world, I’ve decorated my homes both in Shanghai and Singapore in red and gold, in anticipation of the Year of the Dragon. How many ways can the Dragon be dressed up and gleam? Check this out.

– (Added) Just so you get the idea of the millions of people in China on the move and headed home in time for reunion dinner this Sunday night. Depending on your income and options, all channels are explored be it plane, train, bus, scooter and smuggling in all forms. This year, an expected 31.6 million (yes, imagine the rough population of Canada – 34 million) is expected to hit the road. (h/t Shanghaiist)

– I recently downloaded the podcast of Peter Hessler’s profile of the American crime reporter Jake Adelstein in the New Yorker, and will be sure to enjoy Hessler’s excellent writing. To my pleasant surprise, there is an accompanying photo essay by Haruto Hoshi who shadowed Adelstein through the Tokyo underworld.

– Eve Arnold, the Magnum photographer, passed away early January. All the major papers ran wonderful essays of her best images, including her vulnerable capture of Marilyn Monroe. You can glean more details from her obituary in the NYT. What I didn’t realize how petite she was, which I am as well, and I’ve always wondered if size mattered a great deal in perspective. Arnold was famed for her fearlessness and power, which I thought made her an inspiring role model for petite women (and photographers) everywhere.

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1 Comment

  • Reply January 23, 2012


    I’ve always fancied the idea of travelling from Macau to Paris by train, and pass by places like Xinjiang and Russia… I almost had the opportunity to travel on the Trans-Siberian train with my mentor years back, but because of her visa problems, the trip was postponed [indefinitely]. I guess I won’t be able to do it with her anymore, so I’ll perhaps do it after my next big adventure 🙂 I’m a big fan of train travels.


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