Posts from the ‘Canada’ category

Fotoeins Friday: “Green park, 2016.001”

4 cities, 8 hours: New Year’s Day 2016 in Vancouver

Morning, Deutsche Bahn, Regional Bahn, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Steinach, Franconia, Bavaria, Bayern, Germany,

15 for 15: Fotoeins’ Fotograms for 2015

The following are 15 key Instagram posts from this past year. They’re important in light of my growing desire to give into creative impulses to produce something a little different and meaningful than serviceable shots. There’s nothing wrong with “serviceable”; on the contrary, I’m looking for something extraordinary.

(1) ➙ “A new beginning”, North Vancouver : 1 January 2015

“And so we are told this is the golden age, and gold is the reason for the wars we wage. Though I want to be with you, be with you night and day, nothing changes on New Year’s Day.” (U2, “New Year’s Day”.) Under a winter’s noon sun, I wonder what this woman might have contemplated and hoped for the new year.

(2) ➙ “Ferried flight”, Puget Sound : 6 January 2015

Crossing Puget Sound, seagulls flew alongside M/V Kaleetan ferry for some 15 to 20 minutes. The light was very diffuse with low stratus overhead and thick fog on the water. After firing away a burst of shots, I lucked out with this shot of the gull “down wing.”

"Ferried flight" : on board the M/V Kaleetan, Puget Sound, WA – 6 Jan 2015

A photo posted by Henry Lee (@fotoeins) on

(3) ➙ “Also sprach Zarathustra”, Vancouver : 15 February 2015

With afternoon sun on a clear winter day, I’m playing with edge effects with the sun’s sky position coincident with the corner of the sculpture called “Gate to the Northwest Passage” at Vanier Park in Vancouver.

(4) ➙ “Day 4, Month 1, Year 4713”, Vancouver : 22 February 2015

The dragon parade for Chinese New Year has ended, and the crowds gathered in Vancouver’s Chinatown are beginning to disperse. The lead family of four and the parents’ open body language stand out tremendously well.

(5) ➙ “Hands”, Meissen : 23 April 2015

Porcelain figures with the famous two blue-swords logo are still made by hand at the porcelain factory in Meissen, some 45 minutes northwest from Dresden, Germany. I like how the sculptor’s hands “cradle” and surround the work and details of the tiny figurine hand.

(6) ➙ “Zwiebelkönigin” (onion queen), Weimar : 27 April 2015

At the time of this portrait, Stefanie was the reigning 2014-2015 onion queen of the Zwiebelmarkt (Onion Market) in Weimar, Germany. Every autumn a new queen is announced at the onion festival which has been held annually since 1653.

(7) ➙ “Gnadenlos Schick”, Weimar : 27 April 2015

As part of the activities welcoming international guests to GTM15 in Weimar, Germany, the artists’ group “Gnadenlos Schick” celebrated “Mode als Kunsttheater”, or “fashion as art theatre”. Oh, that gaze; oh, those eyes! “Drop dead posh,” indeed.

(8) ➙ “(Un)Amused”, Frankfurt am Main : 9 May 2015

With many taking pictures of the reconstructed buildings at Römerberg, I set my sights down to the people. This gentleman was left “holding the bag” and the leash, while his girlfriend went shopping for souvenirs. The body language of the biped and the look on the quadruped spoke volumes.

"(Un)amused." Frankfurt am Main, Germany – 9 May 2015.

A photo posted by Henry Lee (@fotoeins) on

(9) ➙ “After lunch special”, Vancouver Island : 13 June 2015

There’s much to contemplate with this stupendous view across Georgia Strait (Salish Sea) after a tasty seafood lunch at the Kingfisher Oceanside Resort, located south of the city of Courtenay on British Columbia’s Vancouver Island.

(10) ➙ “Holiday dusk”, West Vancouver : 1 July 2015

On Canada Day, the coincidence of a rising full moon, its trajectory over the summit of Mount Baker, and fading dusk light after sunset provide a winning combination of a photograph from Vancouver’s north shore mountains.

Full moon rising over Mount Baker, in fading dusk light – Canada Day, 1 Jul 2015

A photo posted by Henry Lee (@fotoeins) on

(11) ➙ Vancouver Instameet : 3 August 2015

Beautiful afternoon light, beautiful city, and the beautiful people: these are three elements found on the streets of Vancouver in the summertime. Plus there are cruise ships, countless visitors, and a lot of glass to round the picture. Schön aber langweilig, oder?

(12) ➙ “Backstage spotlight”, Vancouver : 5 November 2015

It’s a real privilege to go backstage and witness a rehearsal before a group’s opening night; thanks to Ballet BC Up for a glimpse and preview of their performance at Queen Elizabeth Theatre. Getting this shot of this dancer in mid-pose under the spotlight was a fortunate click.

(13) ➙ “Night visions”, Rothenburg o.d.Tauber : 11 November 2015

A kind of magic glow happens where the patrician or nobles’ houses of the Herrngasse (Lords’ Lane) ends at Marktplatz (Market Square). It’s what happens when golden light illuminates half-timbered houses in this attractive Bavarian-Franconian town.

(14) ➙ “Gonna be late”, Hamburg Speicherstadt : 5 December 2015

At the airport, taxis line up in the ready to pick up arriving passengers. For one particular ride, it’s gonna be one helluva wait. This is the taxi waiting area at the airport display inside Miniatur Wunderland.

(15) ➙ “Mind the gap”, Berlin Charlottenburg : 7 December 2015

At Savignyplatz, I’m waiting for several elements to converge: passing trains, passersby, the headlights from cars. It’s all too easy. “Please pay attention to the gap between the online world and reality; there may yet still be a difference between the two.” That I’m pointing this out on digital/social media isn’t lost on me.

I’m on Instagram

•   Follow me on Instagram here
•   14 for 14, from 2014
•   13 for 13, from 2013
•   12 for 12, from 2012

Featured image at top: morning mist, on board Regional Bahn train from Rothenburg ob der Tauber to Steinach in Bavaria, Germany – 13 November 2015. I made all of the photographs above with a Canon EOS6D full-frame DSLR camera. After uploading photos onto an iPod Touch, I edited the photos with SnapSeed, primarily for dodging, burning, sharpness, structure, and white balance, before I posted the final versions to Instagram. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at as

YVR-TXL, Vancouver-Berlin, Great Circle Mapper

The familiar and the food, in Berlin and Vancouver

I find myself thinking a lot about the familiar.

And how that familiarity manifests itself, in two languages with which I’m very familiar.

Neither of them is English.

Vancouver, Canada : Keefer Street, Chinatown

Keefer Street, Chinatown, Vancouver, BC, Canada, photo by Shinsuke Ikegame (tequilapartners), Flickr, Creative Commons, CC2.0

Keefer Street, Vancouver Chinatown: photo by Shinsuke Ikegame (Flickr, CC2.0)

A woman bellows in Cantonese at the top of her lungs …

“牛腸,兩個!” (Beef noodle roll, two orders!)

Walking into the shop, a small group of women crowd around the front counter. Plastic bags hang on one arm, while their hands are clasped together with money in their hands.

A customer shouts her order, also in Cantonese …

“三個咖哩牛肉包 … ” (Three curry beef buns …)

I stand in the corner and close my eyes. The language and smells of childhood are everywhere. I know where there’s barbecue- and roast-pork, fresh seafood, and baked buns, and two restaurants where our parents introduced dim sum (點心) and yum cha (飲茶) to us. One is boarded up and derelict, and the other is now a music bar and lounge.

In our wonderfully blended mix of Hoisan (Toisan) and Cantonese, I’ll take mum out for the occasional “yum cha”. An octogenarian isn’t expected to eat much, but what she wants I can anticipate. One of which is the rice noodle roll; specifically, the beef roll (牛腸). Oh, it’s good: it’s slippery good, filled with savory beef. Sometimes, we’ll mix it up with a barbecue-pork (char siu) noodle roll (叉燒腸).

Now, the area includes the encroachment of unfamiliar elements, only expected with an absence of years. The remaining elderly Chinese who’ve stayed and new hipster elements breathing new different life will call this place ‘Chinatown’ in name only. Change is everywhere and inevitable: when one group leaves with their money, another arrives with theirs.

But for me, this neighbourhood of my childhood and adolescence will always be ‘Chinatown’: 唐人街, or 華埠.

Rice noodle roll with beef, beef roll, SoRMuiJAi, blogspot, Creative Commons, CC2.5

Beef roll: photo by SoRMuiJAi

Berlin, Germany : Wilmersdorfer Strasse, Charlottenburg

Bäckerei, photo by Spacekid, Wikimedia, Creative Commons, CC1.0

Typical bakery: photo by Spacekid (Wikimedia, CC1.0)

On the hunt for breakfast at 8am, I get what I want for about 5 Euros. I push the door and walk into the unmistakable smell of bread and sweet baked goods. There’s a lot of sugar in here: all the good stuff I’ve come to know over the years. There’s also the din and chatter between customers and staff, in a mix of accented German and Turkish.

One of the women behind the counter walks in my direction.

“Nächste, bitte …” (Next, please …)

“Morgen. Ich hätte gern ‘nen Mohnstrudel, ‘ne Quarktasche, auch grosse Kaffee. Alle zum Mitnehmen.” (Morning. I’d like a poppy-seed strudel, a quark turnover, and a large coffee. All takeaway.)

“Noch was?” (Anything else?)

“Das war’s.” (That’s all.)

When the clock strikes twelve, I know where to look for “döner kebap” in the German capital. On the Kaiserdamm in the city’s Westend, I walk into Lokanta, busy with the lunch crowd. Two big bulky rotating spits provide beef and chicken alternatives.

I catch the attention of a gentleman behind the counter.

“Bitte.” (Yes, please.)

“Döner, bitte.” (I’d like a Döner.)

“Welcher?” (Which kind?)

“Rindfleisch, bitte.” (Beef, please.)

“Komplett?” (With everything? lettuce, cabbage, onions, cucumber, tomatoes)

“Mit allem. Knoblauchsoße, Scharfsoße. Bestimmt scharf.” (Everything. Garlic sauce, hot sauce. Definitely hot.)

“Sicher?” (Are you sure?, he eyes me dubiously.)

“Natürlich. Ich bin kein Deutscher, sondern ein Kanadier.” (Of course. I’m not German, I’m Canadian.)

“Echt?” (Really?, he eyes me curiously.)

Ah, food: conversation starter, and the great uniter of people and nations.

I’m hungry, but the conversation remains short and sweet to the extent that yes, I’ve been here countless times with much time spent in country, and yes, I’ve tried to keep this language “akzentfrei.”

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to stuff my pie-hole with your beautifully delicious Döner …

Döner kebap, photo by Sarazyn, Wikimedia, Creative Commons, CC3.0

Döner kebap: photo by Sarazyn (Wikimedia, CC3.0)

Perhaps, the divide is only in my mind. If “absence makes the heart grow fonder (or fungus),” I prefer to think about my impending return: the sooner that day comes, the better it always is. For me and what Berlin means to me: art & culture, food & her streets, and that elusive thing called love.

This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at as

Fotoeins Friday: “Everything is going to be all right”


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