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Christian Ortiz
Attended University of California, Berkeley
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Christian Ortiz

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Door to the Other Side

If you found yourself roaming a desolate Tibetan Monastery and came across this blood-red door, would you walk through it? Of course you would! There is an inescapable human need to explore, especially when the outcome is uncertain. I don’t pretend to understand this primal human impulse or why it runs counter to our innate survival instinct, but I tend to follow it more often than not. Usually it turns out great, but sometimes I nearly end myself …

I was walking down a wide alley when I came across this door and had to do a double take. It was practically begging me to open it! I walked up to the door with the intense focus I usually get before an eminent trespass and I pushed up against it with my hands. At first it did not budge, so I put my shoulder into it softly and pushed harder. It begrudgingly started to open with a low rumbling noise and I was flooded with endorphins before I was rudely brought back to reality by a whistling sound.

Excitement turned to panic as I looked around for the source of the sound. The alley was empty. Had the noise come from the other side of the door? Well, I was not about to be stopped by a little sound so I went back to work on the door when I heard the same little whistling sound. I quickly backed away from the door and if I had been burned and that is when I noticed the old monk at the window sill above the door. He was looking at me wearing a pleasant, yet mischievous smile as he shook his finger at me.

Curses! Now I will never know what was on the other side. Monk wins this round.

Monk – 1
Christian – 0

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#travel #traveltheworld #treetuesday #travelphotography #travelthursday #photography #photooftheday #photosphere #tibetan  
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Great post! Love the shot! You could always go back.....
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Christian Ortiz

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Oasis

I have been land-locked these past few months with little time to go out and take pictures but after a particularly tough day at work, I grabbed my camera and went out looking for something to feed my starving creative side. I was walking around the North Park Apartments in San Jose when I finally settled down in front of their main pool at the Cypress village. This place is usually loaded with folks splashing about but since it was cold and dark, I got the place all to myself.
Well, not exactly. There was a cat hanging around on top of the fireplace. I don’t trust cats. They always seem like they are planning something and it usually isn’t good. I have visions of walking down a dark alley and being attacked by cats for some reason. This one did not seem to want to start something thought. I think he was too busy trying to keep warm. Either way, they are finicky creatures so I had a plan ready in case he wanted to throw down. It involved some dodging and ducking followed by some quick footwork ending with the cat in the pool and me cheering. Cats can swim right?
That will teach you to ruin my oasis, cat.
Imaginary Fight Score:
Christian – 1
Cat – 0

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#travel #travelphotography #travelthursday #traveltuesday #photography #sanjosephotographer  
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Christian Ortiz

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Mercury News Photo Contest Win!

A couple of friends asked if I had won a photo contest last week. Hmm, I don’t think so … then one of them bought in the newspaper and there was my picture of Reed Flute Cave on the front page of the travel section. It seems I won the first prize for the international category. Yay! I sent the travel editor an email to thank her and ended up having a great email conversation with her. In a few words, she totally inspired me to keep this crazy photo blog going. That was such a nice side effect of finding out my picture was published =)

Below is the wining shot. The judges included the following caption:
“FIRST PLACE, INTERNATIONAL: Christian Ortiz of San Jose won with this photo of an underground lake inside Reed Flute Cave, one of the cave systems under the mountains of Guilin in southern China. Ortiz wrote: “There were a good number of tourists around so I quietly waited for them to pass so that I could have the place to myself and take pictures. The problem was that they would turn off the lights as soon as the tourists passed by, so I was often left in the middle of a huge underground chamber with nothing but my cat eyes to guide me to safety.” Judges’ remarks: “This otherworldly scene of an underground lake in China kept us coming back…colors and lighting are perfect. Especially liked the long explanation from the photographer on how the photo came to be.”"

I am starting to think I only have one good photo because this one keeps getting attention.

More at www.pathosphotos.com

#photography #photocontestlandscape #photoshop #china #chinatravel #guilintraffic #cave #cavediving #travel #traveltuesday #travelthursday #travelphotography
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amazing
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Christian Ortiz

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Mole Holes 2.0

In the not so distant future, human kind was enslaved by the then superior race of Moles.  Something in their genetic code enabled them to leapfrog us on the evolutionary chain and before we knew it, we were merely their peons.  They had us build these high-tech mole habitats all over the place.  On the plus side we no longer have to take complete ownership over screwing out planet.  Always have to think positive, guys.  Even though we got spanked by the moles.

Academy of Sciences - San Francisco

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Limited Prints: http://www.pathosphotography.com/buy/15066728_hs5NJM/2080250273_SSPfx6t/

#sanfrancisco #photography #photoshop #travel #travelphotography  
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Christian Ortiz

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Gautama

Everywhere I seem to travel, there is the Buddha. Maybe because I tend to travel in Asia a bunch, but that is besides the point. A few years ago, one of my co-workers gave me a tiny Buddha travel companion which I took everywhere. About a year ago my one year old daughter found it among my travel gear. She picked it out, looked at it, and then gave it a gentle kiss. =) Interesting ...

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Limited Print:  http://www.pathosphotography.com/buy/15066728_hs5NJM/2114929448_qVTC2hX/


#travel #travelphotography #buddha #buddhism #gautamabuddha #sanfrancisco #photography  
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Impending Tibet Exhibit

Some of my photos from Tibet will be part of an exhibit in Oakland, hosted by ArtX Gallery. If you are in town on March 29, come out and check out the pseudo-hippie-political-propaganda … yeah!

Dufwin Building, 519 17th Street, Oakland
Friday, March 29, 2013
6:00 – 9:00pm

The art will be on display at the Dufwin Building until April 30. So if you miss the reception please feel free to stop by the building during the weekdays around 8am to 5pm and view them.

Light at Sera Monastery

I met this little Tibetan monk at Sera Monastery in Tibet. He was in the middle of a verbal sparring match with his teacher. The practice is called the Monk Debates and it is a method for teaching monks about Buddhism. The basic premise is that one monk asks a questions and the other has a limited amount of time to answer. It gets exciting though because the monk asking the questions makes martial art-like gestures while the monk sitting on the floor tries to retort before he gets a figurative karate chop to the head. The questions are all relating to the teachings of Buddha. It was fun to watch these otherwise, peaceful dudes, let out some steam with all their crazy gestures and yelling about.

Why the heck did I process this photo so that the little monk is shrouded in darkness? Well, just look at the relentless peace and optimism emanating from his face, despite of everything going on out there. It just seemed appropriate that he would give off light in the darkness.

www.christianoz.com

#tibet #tibetanbuddhism #travelphotography #travelthursday #traveltuesday #traveltheworld  
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Todd Green's profile photomamo delpero's profile photoAngelika Marianne Sarkiler's profile photoChristian Ortiz's profile photo
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Thank you for the good wishes.  I will let you know how it goes!
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A Dying Breed

Tibetan Monks are a dying breed. There is no way around it. It is sad and it is unfair, but the reality of the situation is that they have been under the control of an occupation state who’s interest lies far from that of the Tibetans. To put it bluntly, it may be another few decades before they are technically extinct.

Those were the thoughts going through my mind when I was watching these jovial monks go about their daily chores at the Tashilhunpo Monastery next to the city of Shigatse. I was trying to reconcile the images I had formed in my mind when I was a boy with the reality I saw as an adult. As a kid, I had imagined coming here to see a thriving culture bustling with life and ancient wisdom. As I walked around the monastery and the surrounding town, the acute absence of life almost seemed to echo off the walls of hundreds of small, vacant buildings. There were certainly people around, but the people were disconnected from the purpose of the structures in some strange way so that you knew that time had passed the monastery by.

What would happen in another few decades? Would the last of the Tibetan Monks be replaced with Chinese actors for the sake of continuing the lucrative tourist industry? I think that in some way, that mockery would injure the essence of this once-sacred place beyond repair and the world would have lost yet another reason for being proud of its heritage.

Tibet Art Exhibit

I got linked up with the nice folks at ArtX Gallery and they will be displaying some of my photography from Tibet at their exhibit on March 29th at the Dufin Building in Oakland along with other artists. If you are in the area come by and say hi. I am going through my portfolio and will be posting some of them over the next few weeks so you can get a sense of what will be on display.


#tibet #tibetan #tibet生态环境 #everest #basecamp #mountains #mountainmonday #mountainphotos #traveltuesday #travel #travelthursday #travelphotography #photography 
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+mamo delpero , yes after reading it over I did come off a bit pessimistic.  I have every hope that the culture will prevail but I guess I was just writing out of concern.  +faeze safarali , hello!  How have you been?
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Christian Ortiz

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Lines

I recently had to take an emergency trip down to Mexico. I was really not in the mood to take pictures but it is now second nature to bring my camera everywhere I go, so I had it on me when I was watching the sunset from the rooftop of a house from my youth. I had quietly sneaked away to be alone for a while and watch the day finally come to a rest. My vantage point was far from beautiful with the crisscross of power lines dividing the sky into rectangles, almost as if I were watching the sky change color from behind an enclosure, but it felt right and it felt like home.

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Christian Ortiz

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Your Journey Begins

It is said that the journey, not the destination, is the reward. Whoever said that clearly did not have to climb up and over the Yellow Mountains. No, the reward in this case, is making it through these ridiculously steep mountains without calling in the evac team. What is on the other side, you ask? A heavily industrialized Chinese city and a bowl of rice dumplings.

Cloud Dispelling Pavilion - Yellow Mountains (Huangsheng), China

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#travel #china #mountains #photography
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Christian Ortiz

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Beautiful Grace

This is another picture from the beautiful Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. A common occupational hazard for photographers is the strange and irrational hatred security people have of tripods. Three times out of four, I will get yelled and harassed for setting up my tripod to get pictures but this was one notable exception. Not only was there a notable lack of overeager security but I suspect they would not have minded if I was hanging from the rafters cirque du soleil-style. I spent my time here in complete freedom and mutual respect. Isn't that the feeling you want to impart inside a church?

More at www.pathosphotos.com

Limited Edition Prints:  http://www.pathosphotography.com/buy/15066728_hs5NJM/2127937080_xNPLzMH/

#sanfrancisco #episcopal #episcopalchurch #episcopalchurches #photography #photo  
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Wow, nice
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In his circles
1,317 people
Have him in circles
7,234 people
Justine Hong's profile photo
Design Tracy's profile photo
Education
  • University of California, Berkeley
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Photographer, traveler, family man ...
Introduction
I am an amateur father, husband and photographer.  Through my travels I came to admire the uniqueness of our world's cultures and as time goes by, I feel an ever increasing sense of urgency to document them before they become homogeneous.  Thanks for visiting!

Feel free to use any of my images as wallpapers, for fun, etc, but you must:
2) Give credit to Christian Ortiz
 
To purchase prints click here: Buy Prints
To see my ebooks click here:  eBook

Use of Images: All images are Creative Commons, Non-Commercial. For details click here:  Licensing
 
For Commercial Use email: pathosphotos@gmail.com
 


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I'm also involved in the Public Circles Project!

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Here are just a few of the Google+ photo-based users I heartily recommend, each for a very different and unique reason! I'll change this up from time to time... because inspiration comes from SO many amazing people around here. But this is a start. I hope it helps my new followers find some more cool folks to enjoy!

Trey Ratcliff

Jaime Ibarra

Mike Shaw

Mikko Lagerstedt

Josh Adamski

Alexandre Deschaumes

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Learn about the Public Circles Project:

https://plus.google.com/111873853137122484021/posts/PtKotY6hLGg



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