Posts tagged “people photography

Buddhist monks walking along Lamuyang Lake

Buddhist monks on a stroll at Sumtseling - © Christopher Martin-6325-2

A small group of monks from Ganden Sumtseling Gompa took a walk around Lamuyang Lake in the early evening.  I was strolling along the wooden pathway and stopped to photograph them as they approached.  The monastery sits on a hill above the lake a short distance from here and I was told monks often circle it before dusk.  I did love photographing Sumtseling that evening but this was a good moment where I felt a connection with this place and her people.

(please click on an image to open a higher resolution version)

Buddhist monks on a stroll at Sumtseling - © Christopher Martin-6323

Halloween Tricking and Treating

Halloween Tricking and Treating - © Christopher Martin-2519

The kids in Redwood Meadows were out on the prowl last night tricking and treating their way around the town.  Our troop of cousins, friends and a couple of adults headed out just before dark.  The neighbours were characteristically generous and all of the children made out like bandits.

Halloween Tricking and Treating - © Christopher Martin-2505

Halloween Tricking and Treating - © Christopher Martin-2566

Halloween Tricking and Treating - © Christopher Martin-2534

Kian was a skeleton assassin and Kezia was a leopard.  Both stayed in character for much of the night – except when daddy asked them to pose together for a quick shot together.

Kezia the leopard at Halloween - © Christopher Martin-2516

The Redwood Meadows firefighters had one of their trucks parked outside and stopping there was a highlight for the kids (and another source of heaps of candy!)

Halloween Tricking and Treating - © Christopher Martin-2537

Everyone had a really great time – running between houses, jumping around and sharing a lot of laughs.

Halloween Tricking and Treating - © Christopher Martin-2560

A few more scenes from Shangri-La’s countryside

Shangri-La Countryside - © Christopher Martin-6948-2

The countryside surrounding Shangri-La is a rural landscape of small farms, fields and villages divided by densely forested hills, soaring mountains and deeply carved rivers.  When I was in China last month I spent a couple of days driving the narrow roads that connect these places.  These are a selection of these scenes as I experienced them.

Shangri-La Countryside - © Christopher Martin-7202

Shangri-La Countryside - © Christopher Martin-7329

Shangri-La Countryside - © Christopher Martin-7110

Shangri-La Countryside - © Christopher Martin-7466

Shangri-La Countryside - © Christopher Martin-7461

Shangri-La Countryside - © Christopher Martin-0026

Shangri-La Countryside - © Christopher Martin-9077

Shangri-La Countryside - © Christopher Martin-6930

Shangri-La Countryside - © Christopher Martin-6941-2

Shangri-La Countryside - © Christopher Martin-8310

Shangri-La Countryside - © Christopher Martin-8321

Shangri-La Countryside - © Christopher Martin-8318

Shangri-La Countryside - © Christopher Martin-7176


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

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

The last night at the 2015 Calgary Stampede

July 12th was the final day of the 2015 Calgary Stampede and I had an invitation from good friends to join them for the Chuckwagon Finals and the Grandstand Show Finale that evening.  I jumped at the chance and enjoyed a great night down on the grounds.

2015 Stampede Chuckwagon Finals - © Christopher Martin-0351-2

The Chucks were exciting as usual with the best races coming in the last couple of heats.  This year’s champion was Kurt Bensmiller who successfully defended his title from last year in a great race, particularly down the stretch.  Bensmiller was riding on the Tsuu T’ina wagon, whose land we live on, so I was happy for them as well!  Above is my shot of him closing in on the finish line.

2015 Stampede Chuckwagon Finals - © Christopher Martin-520311

Another great race was heat 5 where Mark Sutherland pulled away from a tight grouping with all four teams and won by just under a second.

Swinging above the Stampede midway - © Christopher Martin-0152

Earlier in the evening, we walked down the midway, checking out the rides, the people and the crazy games.  I like riding these big swings with my kids and with the sun behind it made for a cool picture.

2015 Calgary Stampede Grandstand Showcase - © Christopher Martin-0398

After the races, the Grandstand Show was up and this year’s edition was called the Canadian Classic.  I thought it was great fun.  I was sitting above a group visiting from Ohio and, judging by their enthusiasm during and after the performance, it was well received by friends from afar as well.

2015 Calgary Stampede Grandstand Showcase - © Christopher Martin-0436

2015 Calgary Stampede Grandstand Showcase - © Christopher Martin-0526

The fireworks are a signature piece that ends each show.  The set on the last day were far and away the largest of the Stampede I was told by a friend who had seen several of them this year.  They were huge, loud and beautiful.  From our seats on the second deck, we weren’t too far below the average explosion height so they felt all-encompassing which is great when it comes to fireworks in my mind.

2015 Calgary Stampede Grandstand Show fireworks - © Christopher Martin-0492

Flying at the Canada Olympic Park



Our kids are in a WinSport Snow School program learning to ski and snowboard at the Canada Olympic Park in Calgary.  The hill is a great place to learn and the instructors are adept working with children.  Both of them are having a blast out there.


I watched them for an hour on Sunday and then wandered over to the terrain park to watch some very talented boarders and skiers fly.


There are great rollers, kick jumps and skate park features which these snow creatures were ripping off of.  I had a great time watching them.  I grew up skiing in the mountains but never aired things out like this – so cool!







And there was even a Superman laying it out…


When it snowed, we went sledding


Kian's airtime - © Christopher Martin-9801

When they returned from school in the middle of our strangely early snowstorm, my son and one of his friends headed straight to the shed and grabbed their sledding gear.  There was no disappointment with a suspension of late summer, they were ready to toboggan.  I was happy to join them and we had a great time playing around.

Sledding - © Christopher Martin-9726

Dismount - © Christopher Martin-9818

The bent and broken trees, power outages, traffic accidents and many other challenges that this storm has unleashed on Southern Alberta has been hard to believe.  I’m glad that we were able to find enjoyment in the snow but our thoughts are with those not near so fortunate.

Kian at the ready - © Christopher Martin-9787


Covering Shwe Dagon in gold

Gilding Shwe Dagon - © Christopher Martin-2895

The Shwedagon Zedi Daw is a nexus point for Myanmar’s Buddhists.  It’s history goes back more than 2600 years and it is an amazing place of humanity, faith and spirituality.  The main stupa is sheathed in gold foil as are many of the parapets and other buildings on the grounds.  I went there twice when I visited Myanmar in 2010 and think I could return many more times and always find new things catching my eye.  On my second visit, I watched these workers gilding a new, or maybe restored, tower.  It was a hot day and while one gentleman found a ball cap to be sufficient protection, the other preferred a more encompassing head cover.  This was detailed work and they were attentive to the task at hand.  I had to wait a little while until one of them looked up from the tower and glanced out over the crowds walking around Shew Dagon.

De-icing at YYC

De-icing at YYC - 2014 © Christopher MartinCanon 5D Mark III + 500mm f/4 lens: 1/6400 seconds at f/4 on ISO 320

A member of the ground crew at the Calgary International Airport does the critical work of de-icing the airplane during a cold sunrise well below freezing in Alberta, Canada.


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