Images of China, June 1999:
Ken and Kelly’s great adventure

    In fall 1998, I agreed to serve as advisor to a new state key project in China that my colleague Prof. Guoshun Zhuang, recently of Beijing Normal University in P.R. China, was participating in a big project along with Peking University and the Institute of Atmospheric Physics, also of Beijing. Among other things, it was concerned with gaseous and particulate sulfur in China's atmosphere, a subject that has interested me for some time. This first of a regular series of annual visits was requested for 1–18 June 1999. As we planned the visit, the time in Beijing grew to more than 20 days, and I decided to stop and visit colleagues at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology for the first time. Then Guoshun arranged a few days in Nanjing, where I had never been. Before we knew it, the trip had reached one month.
    I did not want to make such a long and interesting trip alone. I thought for a while and decided that Kelly Kryc, my recent M.S. student, who was then a Ph.D. student in earth sciences at Boston University, would make the ideal traveling companion. She travels well, she has a disposition that is calmer than mine, and she has energy enough get me out and about at times when I might otherwise sit in the room. So I invited her, and she accepted eagerly.
    We wound up spending more than a month in China—from June 1st through July 2nd. We spent the first two weeks in Beijing (1–13 June), then the next five days in Nanjing (14–19 June), and finished by spending nearly two weeks in Hong Kong (20 June through 2 July). All in all, it was a truly memorable experience. I got a new camera for the trip —a Canon Eos Rebel with a 28–200 mm zoom lens, which was easily the finest camera I had ever owned up to that point—and shot 17 rolls of film. Kelly took a vintage camera from her father and shot 12 rolls. When I saw the kinds of images I was capturing, I knew I had to make a Web presentation from it so that all our friends on both sides of the Pacific could share in the entire trip. If these photos bring you even a tiny fraction of the happiness that we experienced, I will be gratified.
    Because I chose to scan so many photos, I have broken up the trip into its three logical segments of Beijing, Nanjing, and Hong Kong. When you click on each of the parts you will find them subdivided still further.
    These pictures were originally scanned from large prints. I have now rescanned them from the negatives, with superior results. Now you can really smell the incense smoke drifting around the Lama Temple, sweat out the Great Wall with us, and get vertigo 100 meters up the meteorological tower of the Institute of Atmospheric Physics overlooking Beijing. In short, you can go all over China with us. Enjoy!
    I have deliberately made these images large and sharp so that viewers can get the most from them. You should view them on a monitor at least 17 inches in size (diagonally) and sit close to the screen. That will let you see many little details that you might otherwise skip over. In photographic terms, try to put yourself at the center of perspective, so that you can see the scenes as they really were.

Ken Rahn
July 1999; updated July 2008

Back to Home Page
Ahead to Beijing

Ahead to Nanjing

Ahead to Hong Kong