SUZHOU, Jiangsu 2011: During the day, the skies in Suzhou were blue, but as dawn approached they turned pink, then red.

SUZHOU, Jiangsu 2011: I snapped this shot by accident. I liked how the staircase bent up toward the sky and when I was about to take the photo, this little girl with a cotton candy stepped into the frame.

SUZHOU, Jiangsu 2011: I like the blue tint of this window in the otherwise gray and dull alley. The tint matched the color of the skies around the city during my visit in October.

SUZHOU, Jiangsu 2011: Away from the major tourist spots, the people of Suzhou were busy with work or living their daily lives. I wandered down a few small alleys to see what the real Suzhou was like.

SUZHOU, Jiangsu 2011: I was crossing a bridge over the main river in Suzhou when I saw this scene unfold.

TONGLI, Jiangsu 2011: This old man, blind by my guess and the fact that he never opened his eyes, sat along one of the canals playing his instrument. Most people just passed by, but I stopped to listen and shot a few photos, tossing in a generous donation after I was finished.

HANGZHOU, Zhejiang 2011: I spent most of my time in Hangzhou exploring the tea fields around the West Lake. Even this late in the season (I was there in October) people were still out, picking tea leaves for the many shops in the towns nearby.

JINGHONG, Yunnan 2011: One of Yunnan's many minorities ushers in the new year with a water splashing festival. At one of the park's near Jinghong (close to the border with Vietnam and Laos) the minority group re-enacted the celebration for tourists

JINGHONG, Yunnan 2011: Elephants are a sacred animal in Yunnan part of the cultural crossover with the rest of Southeast Asia. These tiny wood carvings are popular souvenirs in the city and region

TIGER LEAPING GORGE, Yunnan 2011: This gorge is one of the deepest river canyons in the world. I trekked through the gorge over two days, taking hundreds of photos and enjoying the pristine blue skies and green environs

TIGER LEAPING GORGE, Yunnan 2011: This was the first trip I took with my Canon 500D. While practicing using different shutter speeds I took this photo of a waterfall next to the main trail through the gorge

SHANGRI-LA, Yunnan 2011: The Tibetan Buddhists in the northern part of Yunnan province hang prayer flags on just about every spire and peak in the region. Each flag contains an inscription of a prayer which the locals believe will be carried away by the wind.

SHANGRI-LA, Yunnan 2011: This cat was watching over the grounds around one of the many temples in Shangri-la. Aside from warding off evil spirits, cats do a pretty good job of taking care of any rodents.

DALI, Yunnan 2011: The rice paddies and fields around Dali, a relatively well developed city that attracts a large number of tourists, still teemed with local villagers. I spent a few days out among them, taking photos and enjoying the weather.

DALI, Yunnan 2011: I got suckered into going to an "authentic" tea ceremony held in one of the local minority's villages. Despite the touristy aura, the tea was some of the best I've had since coming to China

DALI, Yunnan 2011: I liked the blue ink used to etch these Chinese characters into the soft white granite walls.

DALI, Yunnan 2011: Finding a field without hundreds of people working away proved difficult, but around lunch time each day the workers took a break allowing me to get some of these shots.

DALI, Yunnan 2011: Not many foreigners must wander into the villages near the main city of Dali. From the moment I began walking down the street, this little kid kept his eyes on me as he tried to figure out who, or what, I was.

DALI, Yunnan 2011: Walking through the streets of some of the smaller villages was like walking back in time. Many of the roads and alleys were unpaved, and the houses were build of stones varying in size from massive to minute.

DALI, Yunnan 2011: This little guy was taking a nap next to a road when I came walking by. He watched me cautiously for a while before running off across one of the fields.

DALI, Yunnan 2011: The sky around Dali was the only impressive natural element in the area: the waters were an unreal blue as well. While taking a cruise out on Erhai Lake, I was able to photograph the blue above and the blue below.

YEYA LAKE, Beijing 2011: I took this photo during a field trip my company organized for the foreigners. Not sure what the characters mean, but the light blue bench against the red background made for an interesting photo.

KASHGAR, Xinjiang 2009: I saw these children while walking through an old part of the city. They were playing in the dirt with an old worn out tire in a small alley. I snapped this shot before they noticed I was watching, and even after they saw me, they just went back to playing.

KARAKUL LAKE, Xinjiang 2009: A Tajik woman looks out over Karakul Lake in southwest Xinjiang near the border with Afghanistan. I was only using a Kodak point and shoot camera at the time but the landscape and skies were so immaculate that my cheap camera was still able to capture their beauty.

KARAKUL LAKE, Xinjiang 2009: A few of the Tajik families around the lake had herds of animals; sheep, goats and cattle roamed the lake's perimeter.

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