China 2013 | The Photos, Part One

As I get ready to head out on another crazy adventure I've had a few people ask, "Did you ever post about your China trip?"

Good question! I didn't. Not because I didn't want to but because, you know, time gets away. 

First of all, it was awesome.

Where do I even begin?

I took 1982 photos with my DSLR (aka my "big" camera) on my two week trip to China last November.

I took 290 with my iphone.

Aaron took about 1700 photos all with his iphone.

Total photos in my China folder in Aperture: 3975 (before editing)

That could be the most I've taken on a trip but I don't think I've recorded any of the numbers in the past.

Here's how I tackle starting to even scratch the surface of those photos: 

STEP ONE | Look through all the photos. Delete the ones that are absolutely terrible - totally black, really extra blurry, really bad facial expressions, multiples of the same thing x10. This trip I shot in manual with my DSLR so I had multiples of quite a few photos that were either way too light or way too dark (so thankful I can learn via digital where I can actually see the mistakes I'm making). I'm pretty ruthless when it comes to deleting. I really don't need to have five of the same photo. Really. 

STEP TWO | Decide what to print. For this travel album I'm using an album from Basic Grey but I haven't tackled that at all yet.I don't print everything. I mainly look for my favorites or ones that really move the travel story forward. Could be favorite memories or monuments or something totally random. I'll choose a few to enlarge to the full page size in the album but I haven't made any of those choices yet. 

I started going through which photos I wanted to share here and it's quite a process in and of itself. For this post I started adding in photos until I couldn't keep my eyes open any longer. I'll do a Part Two with the rest of the trip sometime soon. 

Here's a look at the first part of our China adventure from November 2013: 

Our trip began with an overnight in San Francisco. It happened to be my 38th birthday.

And in case you didn't know, I love experiencing the world so it was a pretty fun way to celebrate. 

Aaron came along with me on this trip. 

Meeting someone who also loves experiencing the world was important to me. He is a darn good travel companion. 

Our hotel room in Beijing. 

The view when we woke up. We were super lucky with some very blue sky days in Beijing.

On these trips we tend to travel by bus. In the case of the China adventure we also took two or three flights within China as we moved from location to location.

So many great people joined us on this trip. 

We actually had amazing weather on this trip. Blue skies for days. 

I can't even fathom how old everything is there. 

I took a lot of shots of rooftops. The details were insane. 

Someday I'd like to get really good at photographing people I don't know. It's something I thought a lot about while we were there. So many weathered faces. So many faces with stories I wondered about. 

The Great Wall was so, so cool. 

Standing on the Great Wall, looking out, I saw this: 

The night market. We had just one adventurous eater in our group - that would be Barry. He ate a snake among other things. 

Just so beautiful. All of it. 

I loved walking down this long walkway and watching all the people playing games. Their faces. Their laughter. There was even singing. 

Looking back. 

A page in my travel journal. 

A group rickshaw ride that was one of my personal favorite moments. The air. The sounds. Being there. It was one of those memories you feel with your whole body. 

The Summer Palace. 

How can you not smile when looking at these people. 

The Birds Nest at the Olympic park. 

I'm a Chinese food fan so I was perfectly happy to have it breakfast, lunch and dinner.  

Visiting the Terra Cotta Warriors. 

Oh there's still so much more. 

Another day friends. 

PS | Did you notice we did a Shop update yesterday? I've now got four new clear stamp sets (BirthdayCelebratePhotos, and Thanks) and a few of my other go-to products available in the Shop. You can see it all here

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50 thoughts

  1. Cookingmylife says…

    Thanks so much for you patience in uploading such a huge # of images for us. You are the only person who has ever made me want to visit China. You definitely capture the humanity of that country but of course I'm not surprised. It's what you do best - help us see the real in the everyday.

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. johannahoerrmann says…

    This made me relive my own travel to Bejing quite a few years ago. So overwhelming and perfectly normal at the same time to walk down those streets. So many, many photos. So not even started on doing something with them - this was before I got my digital DSLR :) Thanks, Ali!

    Reply 0 Replies
  3. edillow says…

    WOW, would my camera and I have loved to have gone on this trip. : )

    Reply 0 Replies
  4. littletoki says…

    Love your photos! My husband and I took a trip to China years ago. When we visited the Great Wall, it was raining and pretty cold. We hiked to the top and... all we saw was fog. We didn't get to take in the view or see any part of the wall that wasn't beneath our feet but isn't it just amazing to stand on those stones?? Can't wait to see the rest of your photos!

    Reply 0 Replies
  5. hannie says…

    Ali, I love love love your photos, they are just in the nice angle and view, Beijing looks so pretty under your lens.

    Reply 0 Replies
  6. mrsbandco says…

    Wow! Amazing trip, love how you have captured the moments!

    Reply 0 Replies
  7. Sphorton says…

    Love you pictures of Beijing and Xian!! I am sitting ere very smugly and happily looking at them. Mostly because many of my pictures taken in 2008 are exactly the same!!! not sure why that should be thrilling, but nice to know we have the same eye.

    Reply 0 Replies
  8. clippergirl says…

    You've captured your trip so beautifully!!!! Makes me want to totally go there, love your photos, the images are stunning!

    Reply 0 Replies
  9. scraplea says…

    Wow! Amazing trip. Hope Peru is just as fabulous and that your awesome travel companion is going with you! Have a great weekend!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  10. J3SS1C4 says…

    Wow, China looks amazing! I think it would have been such an amazing experience being there! I especially love the repetition photos!

    Reply 0 Replies
  11. cannycrafter says…

    Just wow! Total wow!

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. froggywinks says…

    I just marvel at how your post is so awesome! My eyes were glued to every picture, every if I was there with you. Thank you so much for sharing!

    Reply 0 Replies
  13. librarygirl says…

    Ali, this post brought me such happy tears! Three years ago this month, my husband and I travelled to China to adopt our little girl. She has changed my world! These photos brought back so many memories. She is three now and I will show her these pictures. We talk often of her country and strive to bring as much Chinese culture as we can into our lives, this is her heritage and we always want it to be a part of our lives. Thanks for posting, these photos are beautiful.

    Reply 0 Replies
  14. Dcorder says…

    Man that takes me back to my trip to China!

    Reply 0 Replies
  15. glicelle says…

    Worried about Fading Pictures

    Hi, I have been scrapbooking since I was young but didn't realize there was a whole world of it until a year ago when I was pregnant with my daughter. Now, I'm going through an overwhelming sense of wow-there-is-SO-much syndrome.

    Because of my perfectionist nature, I get stuck often!
    My current road block is printing pictures. I don't know what the best way is, print at home or print through Persnickety Prints.

    You use a Canon printer right? Aren't you worried that the pictures will fade with time?

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…

      Hi! I use Epson printers and have been really happy with them. For me it's really a matter of convenience. I like being able to print from home on demand in sizes I choose to go along with my projects.

  16. CathG says…

    Breakfast is right. I studied abroad in China and I will never forget cold clear noodles every morning for breakfast. Clearly I gotta go make a page.

    Reply 0 Replies
  17. jodisloane_me_com says…

    Ali, thank you so much for sharing these photos. I don't know if I will ever make it to China myself - but the experience of looking at your photos made me feel like I was there! You tell such great stories with your pictures. I'm signed up for your lens of joy class and looking forward to it - but feel like already I've learned so much just from this post. I love how you are in so many of the pictures. And I like it that you took pictures of the strangers you saw there, too. Also, wow, those terra cotta warriors, that takes my breath away! I hope you are enjoying your current adventure! Take care!

    Reply 0 Replies
  18. jocelyn55 says…

    Ali- Did you ever share images of your travel journal? Would LOVE to see how you put it together and what it includes!


    Reply 0 Replies

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