Street scenes from Shangri-La

On the street in Shangri-La - © Christopher Martin-5942

When I was in Shangri-La in China a couple of weeks ago, I spent a fair bit of time before and after the award ceremony and activities walking around the city’s old town area.  I enjoyed photographing the street scenes I came across.

On the street in Shangri-La - © Christopher Martin-5880-2

Motion blur on the street in Shangri-La - © Christopher Martin-6068

On the street in Shangri-La - © Christopher Martin-5667

On the street in Shangri-La - © Christopher Martin-6876

I loved the three wheeled vehicles that thread through traffic carrying fruit, people, propane and almost anything else.

On the street in Shangri-La - © Christopher Martin-0243

On the street in Shangri-La - © Christopher Martin-5930

On the street in Shangri-La - © Christopher Martin-5936

On the street in Shangri-La - © Christopher Martin-5917

On the street - © Christopher Martin-5660

Above and below are from my first morning in China, before heading up to Shangri-La.  I stayed in a small town called Ka Fa Chu perched on the side of a steep valley above the Yangtze River.  I woke up and walked around the town visiting a small temple and ending along a busy street where the traffic heading up to Shangri-La passed close by.  These gentlemen were focused on this game which was not familiar to me but appeared to be equal parts chance and skill.

On the street in China - © Christopher Martin-5859

Working with clay in Ni Xi

Na Xi Potter - © Christopher Martin-7016

A good friend and great photographer, Jorge Sarmento, and I rented a van and driver yesterday and drove out into the countryside.  We didn’t have any set agenda so we were just exploring the mountains and valleys as we went.  Our driver was a Tibetan and was from a small village called Ni Xi about 40 kilometres from Shangri-La.  We found that out when we asked about visiting that town which is renowned for its black pottery which results from baking it in the kiln without any coatings or glazes.  He drove us to his friend’s home who is an apprentice potter.  When we arrived, we asked if he would mind if we photographed him at work and he had no problem with that.  As we watched he created a tea-cup on this small wheel.  It was great to watch him work with his hands and tools to shape the final piece.  Along the way I learned that he was five years into his apprenticeship but I was not able to ask how long he would study under his teacher.  I absolutely loved watching the craftsmanship and ease with which he worked.  There was mastery in his work.  The two men were smoking while the cup was being made which gave Jorge the idea to increase the volume of smoke.  We had a puff of smoke blown in through the open window, with both men’s approval, which rolled and wrapped around as seen in this image.  It was a great idea and elevated an already compelling scene considerably.  Thank you Jorge!

A friendly monk at the Sumtseling Monastery

A friendly Songzanlin monk - © Christopher Martin-6116

I spent the morning and evening at the Songzanlin Monastery (also called Sumtseling Monastery and Ganden Sumtseling Gompa) yesterday.  Sutra chanting, deep tones which carried around the upper complex, drew me to the Duke Khamtsen building.  Prayers were ongoing in the hall behind this gentleman with roughly twenty monks intoning and drumming.  This was marked by the occasional sounding of a long horn.  I stayed there listening for a long time during which I spoke with this monk now and then.  He was very friendly and when I asked whether photographing this outer entrance was allowed, as photographing the inner hall during prayers is not allowed, he said it was and offered to be in the picture.  The photographs were infinitely better having him in them.  When I showed him, he approved and pulled a couple of his friends over to show them too.  It could not have worked out better.  The photographs are one thing, but he best part was being able to be in this moment enjoying the prayers, the feeling of well being and a little time with my higher self.

First day back to school


First day of school - © Christopher Martin-4988

Kezia and Kian were excited to start their new school year at Banded Peak today.  The first morning had a good dose of chaos but we still had a few minutes to take a few photos before the bus picked them up.

First day of school - © Christopher Martin-4975

I’m looking forward to a great year for these two wonderful children who I love so very, very much.

Parkour Kian at Red Rock Canyon

Red Rock Canyon Parkour - © Christopher Martin-3260
When Kian and I were visiting Waterton we went up to explore the Red Rock Canyon.  Kian loved running on the slick rock and leaping back and forth across the stream.

Red Rock Canyon Parkour - © Christopher Martin-3257

I always love photographing him and when he’s in motion doubly so!  This was on the first day of our boys trip and set a great tone for the weekend.

Red Rock Canyon - © Christopher Martin-3252

Red Rock Canyon Parkour - © Christopher Martin-3231

Red Rock Canyon Parkour - © Christopher Martin-3280

Red Rock Canyon Parkour - © Christopher Martin-3281

Red Rock Canyon Parkour - © Christopher Martin-3282

Red Rock Canyon Parkour - © Christopher Martin-3286

Red Rock Canyon Parkour - © Christopher Martin-3244

Saddle Bronc Finals at the Tsuu T’ina Rodeo

2015 Tsuu T'ina Saddle Bronc Finals - © Christopher Martin-1561

The Saddle Bronc was a great event to watch at this year’s Tsuu T’ina Rodeo.  The goal is to hang on for 8 seconds during a torturous ride that often finds the horse whipping the cowboy around like a rag doll tied to a rocket.  Here are a few images from the finals on July 26th.

2015 Tsuu T'ina Saddle Bronc Finals - © Christopher Martin-0781

(click any image to open a larger version of that image)

2015 Tsuu T'ina Saddle Bronc Finals - © Christopher Martin-1003

2015 Tsuu T'ina Saddle Bronc Finals - © Christopher Martin-0945

2015 Tsuu T'ina Saddle Bronc Finals - © Christopher Martin-0854

2015 Tsuu T'ina Saddle Bronc Finals - © Christopher Martin-0915

2015 Tsuu T'ina Saddle Bronc Finals - © Christopher Martin-0898

Canada Day at Redwood Meadows

Canada Day Fireworks - © Christopher Martin-6016

Canada Day is always a great event in the Redwood Meadows community.  Due to enthusiasm, organization and efforts of the small army of volunteers a super fun day is created.  From the bike parade led by the Redwood Meadows Fire Department, the entertainment on the outdoor stage, the adults tea party in the shade and all of the great children’s activities (face painting, bouncy castles, slip and slide and more) to the fireworks at the end of the day – they were all fantastic.

Canada Day Fun - © Christopher Martin-5989

Our children had a great time down on the grounds and I wasn’t far behind.  The weather cooperated, after a nasty hailstorm the night before, so I have a bit of a sunburn to show for my time listening to music and watching the kids play.

Canada Day Fun - © Christopher Martin-389920


Canada Day Fun - © Christopher Martin-789971

Canada Day Fireworks - © Christopher Martin-6040

The fireworks are always good and I think they were really great this year.  They started at 11pm under a still fairly bright sky.  We sat facing northwest so I enjoyed having that element to frame the explosions against.  A great day and we were all worn out at the end.  Thank you to everyone who made this happen!  Happy Canada Day!

Canada Day Fireworks - © Christopher Martin-6046

Happy Birthday Kezia!

Kezia in the winter-9374

To our sweet daughter – you are magic and everyday you bring that magic into the lives of the people you touch.  I love you and wish you more and more of the wonderful things that you care about.

Kezia and candles-1294

Morning fishermen

Casting into red gold - © Christopher Martin-1026-2Along the coast in Los Cabos, I often came across fishermen casting among the rocks before sunrise.  We would exchange greetings on passing by but they, like me, seemed intent on what they were about and enjoying the quiet the comes with the early morning.

Sunrise and a fisherman - © Christopher Martin-1055

Pre-dawn fishermen - © Christopher Martin-4432

I liked making the occasional photograph with them silhouetted against the colourful sky as they provided an interesting element to these beautiful scenes.

Catching the sun - © Christopher Martin-9276

Shorebreak fishing - © Christopher Martin-9230


Merry Christmas!

Kian recalling his wish list - © Christopher Martin -8616

We are enjoying good family time over the holiday break and hope you are doing the same with those you love.  The kids had a chance to meet up with Santa Claus a couple of days before Christmas.  They took the opportunity to review their lists with St. Nick and had fun running around the sleigh with the neighbourhood kids while they were waiting.

Kezia and Santa Claus - © Christopher Martin -8620

Kezia’s tricky ways caught the eye of one of the elves and they had a good game of tag while the procession was stopped in front of our house in Redwood Meadows.

Caught by an elf - © Christopher Martin -8622

Thank you for following my photography through the year.  I appreciate your visits and your comments.  I wish you a happy holiday and look forward to sharing more images this year – what’s left of it!



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