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Polaroid: Beryl, originally uploaded by Akira2506.

Okay. So, two things. 1) National day has already come...and gone. and 2) this Polaroid of Beryl has nothing to do with it...I just wanted to share it. :)

Although, speaking of Beryl...
I found out she can knit! She knitted a scarf for my mum. Her skill set is so polar-opposite to mine.

Cross-stitch frog
and cross-stitch! She made me this super cute frog-shaped phone charm. :)

Streets of Weinan before National Day
Back on topic. National day! Flags are everywhere.

Streets of Weinan before National Day

Little Girl with Flag
Cute girl with a very faded flag. :)

Fly the Flag
and another!

All over town there are stalls like this selling mooncake.

China: Anything is Possible
and finally this shot. "Anything is Possible." and the Chinese flag.
I'm inclined to agree.


So many pool tables, originally uploaded by Akira2506.

Took my camera for a wonder around one night. These are the results.

Night HDRI
A KTV / Hotpot / Bank / Gym building near my apartment.

Number Nine
Stumbled upon this basketball game being played.

Calling for a timeout!

Night Outdoor Basketball Game
They looked quite tired.

Shooting Pool
Loads of people were playing pool.

Heading home
So many interesting colours at night, really makes for interesting photography.

Students Heading Home
Always see students cycling home at silly hours. Often as late as 10:30pm. Students in China work so damn hard. Shout out to them.

( As an aside, I'm actually back home now. At least for a few weeks. )

Oktoberfest at Sofitel, Xian, originally uploaded by Akira2506.

"Cheers!" or "Prost!" as they say in Germany.

So, myself, Beryl, Rudy, Joanne and Kai headed to Xi'an for the Oktoberfest held at the Sofitel hotel there. The Sofitel is a totally pimp hotel, and Rudy knows someone who works there, so we got hooked-up price wise, so kudos to him.

Oktoberfest at Sofitel, Xian
Beryl sitting on the bed in the hotel room.

Oktoberfest at Sofitel, Xian
The hotel room had this... interesting... feature. Behind this blind is the bathroom shower, so you can watch your partner shower from the comfort of your bed. Like I said; interesting.

Oktoberfest at Sofitel, Xian
The hotel is split into different buildings, this is the lobby of the 5 star section. We stayed in the slightly-less impressive 4 star section, but it was still great.

Oktoberfest at Sofitel, Xian
The exterior.

Oktoberfest at Sofitel, Xian
The whole thing was in collaboration with Paulaner

Oktoberfest at Sofitel, Xian
The interior of the festival tent. Blue-and-white Bavarian theme throughout.

Oktoberfest at Sofitel, Xian
Kai (who's German) toasts with Rudy (who's...not.)

Oktoberfest at Sofitel, Xian
and of course, one to call my own. :)

Oktoberfest at Sofitel, Xian
A very bad photo; but you get the idea.

Oktoberfest at Sofitel, Xian

Oktoberfest at Sofitel, Xian
There was LOTS of "cheers"ing and lots of clashing glasses while singing. For some reason "Alice, Alice who the **** is Alice?" is a theme of Oktoberfests. It was played about 5 times along with a few German songs which by the end of the night I could sing off by heart... but somehow forgot the next morning. Thank you beer. :)

Oktoberfest at Sofitel, Xian
Zee Germans!

Oktoberfest at Sofitel
The music was pretty cool. :)

Oktoberfest at Sofitel
Check out the beaut' on the tuba.

Oktoberfest at Sofitel, Xian
I want his hat.

Oktoberfest at Sofitel
Then this pretty lil' lady chugged a whole 2 pint glass in under 10 seconds. I was impressed.

Oktoberfest at Sofitel, Xian
Rudy being outnumbered by zee Germans. So many jokes, so little time.

Oktoberfest at Sofitel, Xian
Beryl and Joanne enjoying themselves!

Oktoberfest at Sofitel, Xian
Hat-swapping competitions. Awesome.

Oktoberfest at Sofitel, Xian
At the end of the night, things started going a little dark and blurry.

Oktoberfest at Sofitel, Xian
The last thing I remember seeing. :-P

The next day we woke up and wondered around Xi'an. I didn't really take any good snaps, until we got to a restaurant. The service was so poor, and the food wasn't much special. But we then noticed this in the menu, and things started to make sense.

The Profession's Quantity Assurance. Chinglish is alive and well in Xi'an.
Quantity assurance.

Waiting for a bus
A typical sight at Xi'an bus station.

Leg room can be an issue on Chinese buses.
Then on the bus, Kai (who's tall, but not giant) displays that leg room on Chinese buses isn't great.

It was a blast, and I'll probably do it again next year! :D

Weinan Glory Quest 2009, originally uploaded by Akira2506.

So, back at the start of August I got wind of some sort of fashion show happening in the square. Unfortunately that night I had to teach, but I figured I'd go down after work and see what I could see. Armed with my camera; of course.

Anyway, when I got there, this is all I could see. The backs of heads. Now, Chinese aren't the tallest people ever, but they're not quite short enough to shoot over a thousand of them.

I tried moving to the other side; but still no luck.

So, I decided to pretty much write the night off, and grabbed a few photos of people in the crowd.

Then I met this group of dancers, that I'd met earlier in the day. Anyway, they saw I was armed with my camera and asked if I wanted to go take photos from the front of the stage. Sure enough, they took me up to the security, said some stuff in Chinese, and we were let through into the photographer pit. There were about 10 photographers there with semi-pro gear, and a few with AAA stuff.

The event was primarily to showcase wedding dresses from the Mona Lisa wedding company.

Some nice dresses.

The lighting was a bit too top-heavy making some nasty shadows on the face in most photos, but at least there were some interesting colours.

Interesting colours all round.

It wouldn't be a Chinese event without a bubble machine... ah... they love their bubbles.

Lots of shots ruined by the gash lighting. :(

Some interesting looking models


I liked this hat :D

I love them bubbles!

I don't know what this pose means.

Not just white dresses!

Someone must have told this chick it was attractive to lean back.

Thinking of captions for these is tough...

Did I mention I liked this hat? :)

Not sure I'd wear this for my wedding.
Not that I'd wear any dress.
No, Really.

Interesting make-up



An idea of the crowd that we'd gotten in front of.

and yellow dresses!

Colour temperature was hard to lock down.

Some of the photogs.

More photogs.

Including this chick with £2500 of camera that was bigger than her.

This chick was Adam's family scary.

Between fashion segments there were various musical acts. These kids were hella-good dancers.

Weinan Glory Quest 2009
Dance, Dance, Dance!


All the parents rushed in with their points-and-shoots.

Then this guy came on stage and started singing...

...and then the photogs decided we were more interesting than him. All of a sudden every photographer was taking photos of me and Tim, and asking us to pretend we were taking photos of the guy on stage, it was very surreal!


These two dudes were cool. A singing, dancing, ass-kicking performance.

Too manly for bubbles; they got smoke.


Lookin' mean.


They were pretty good singers.

Although they did do some strange stuff...


Then they kicked each other's asses.

and got airborne.

et voila.

Then lights up on another act.

Weinan Glory Quest 2009
Another kid's dance school.

Dance, dance, dance!
All very good at what they did.

Dancing away

Then a three-piece band took to the stage and plugged in their own stuff. No roadies in China, apparently.

This girl cheered them on rather prematurely.

But they were very good

The lead singer / bassist trying to signal to the sound guy to turn down the bass.

Then a strange tradition of all Chinese rock shows. Someone comes on stage mid-song and tries to give the lead singer some flowers...while he's singing and playing. It's a very weird tradition, the song gets a bit trashed, but its very amusing.

Weinan Glory Quest 2009
The smoke made for some cool shots

This guy came back for some singing

This dude could jam

Slappin' da basssss

The whole thing taking place under a full moon

a few more wedding dresses.

This model looked like she'd had enough...

and this model looked like she'd had...well, you can finish this caption.

All the performers hit the stage to take a bow

The sound desk

Powered by Mac... boooooo!

Lights off...time to go home.

That concludes my first foray into fashion photography, it was pretty fun! Something I hope to try again. I need a 70-200 2.8 IS L though. ;-)

More soon!