JamesyAndre.com fan club, in China?

Who deserves my thanks, the people of China, the Chinese Communist Party, both, or neither?. (Spoiler: I do not meet a definitive conclusion, but feel free to read between the lines) (1st draft)

I imagine it surprises few who know me that I’m not particularly a strong fan of your ruling Communist Party, China, but I do admire your citizens.  You’re a country with great people, whose freedom continues to be curtailed, unfortunately, by authoritarian government.  

I owe someone thanks for my the great spike in web traffic to this site.  I will not, however, be giving any thanks or applause to what may possibly be an extension of the Chinese cyber surveillance apparatus.  China, where webtraffic is greatly filtered and distilled into “approved” narratives for the average netizen, has become the second largest source of webtraffic to pages within the https://www.jamesyandre.com domain the past month alone.  Formerly it was not even in my top ten national sources of web traffic.

Year-to-date as of July 28,2019


Year-to-date as of August 28, 2019


I speculate that I (more specifically this personal business site  of mine, which frequently intersects with photojournalism) have become a target of at most bots monitoring information perceived to be potentially transgressive to the ruling elite within the People’s Republic of China.

Now at first guess I would certainly have been unsurprised if my website got blocked in China following my blog post commemorating the, then forthcoming, 30 year anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre of Pro-Democratic student protestors in Bejing by the the overbearing People’s Liberation Army (PLA).  Yet this was posted many moths earlier, on April 20th 2019.  <https://www.jamesyandre.com/blog/2019/4/20/thoughts-on-unofficial-leica-film-revolving-around-photojournalists-while-also-depicting-tiananmen-square-massacre> or the the reposting of the removed link to the Leica tribute to photojournalists on the ground.  This has since been removed too, most likely at the request of Leica which has business relationships within mainland China that make such publicity bad for the company’s continued business endeavors in the country.  <https://www.jamesyandre.com/blog/2019/5/17/o2fcc2ds16v1krcna66jf9r79hajn9>

This, however, does not appear to be the case.  Squarespace Analytics clearly shows the uptick in “web visits” from China (possibly bots, following a particular algorithm, something I’m not personally capable of determining) occurred over this past month.  Now, as I mentioned, I wouldn’t be extremely surprised if my mentioning of the “Tiananmen Square Massacre” were to place me outside the curtained-off internet that is accessible to the average Chinese national.  In fact, bringing up such a factual moment in history up in conversation whilst in China could foreseeably result in the person who discussed it, being forcefully removed from the country. 

Also it is certainly possible the bots filter sensitive materially from the prying eyes viewing the internet through the blinders of Weibow, took some time to identify and categorize my very small online footprint from a massive web of information.  And if it wasn’t flagged for removal from Chinese search results, I’m fairly certain it is now. But then again, why did this trigger more than a hundred page hits over the past month?

I think it is most logical to presume that my site’s twitter feed, which I have embedded at the bottom of each page on the Jamesy Andre domain, has been a rich target for for an increasingly vigilant information scrubbing campaign by the Chinese government- that is actually bred from the internet that is accessible within mainland China.

It is pretty reasonable to conclude that for the past few weeks a prevailing theme of my tweets and more frequent retweeets this past month have centered on the the excellent photojournalism coming out of the coverage of the Hong Kong Protests that have now passed 80 days, in their duration, surpassing the length of the historic Umbrella Movement protests in 2014.  From the immense crowd size that continues to take to the streets, to the severity of of the question of whether mainland China yields any meaningfully legitimate political power in Hong Kong, is for many people, an open question for the first time since It was transferred from the British to Chinese in 1997.  

China’s public communications surrounding this movement have probably not been that surprising to most.  They have acted mostly in a manner that you would expect of an authoritarian regime; that is, an authoritarian regime that knows a lot international viewers have their attention on this and need to act as much as possible behind a coordinated PR front, using the Hong Kong Police they’ve gained an upper hand with to carry out most of their directives thus far.

Nonetheless, the conjecture I’ve made here about the web traffic anomalies for my tiny site in addition to my less than novice geopolitical musings are just these things, pure conjuncture and musings that occupy my mind in these moments.

Best wishes for a free and democratic Hong Kong,


Good Afternoon. Sunday, Funday!

Apologies for the large gap of time between now and my last post. It has always been my aim to post frequently on the blog section of this website. It has been a busy couple of months, moving both residentially and business. It has required me to update many other thins outside of this website. Fortunately most of those things have been completed now or are close to completion.

Set up in my new location I have the opportunity to get a U-Verse Fiber Gigabit internet connection. I will go into this in more detail in a subsequent post.

I have really jumped on getting many of my printed photos hung over the past week and am making great progress. It may be about time for me to submit a new order of photos to print.

Additionally, business has seen some steady pickup, which is always great.

As the title of this blog post suggests it is Sunday afternoon . . .another hot summer day. I have all sorts of odds and ends that I hope to get ticked off my list of things to get done in this otherwise carefree day.

As always, thanks for visiting the site and I’m enjoying the interactions.



Inland Port Greer

I had the opportunity to capture some splendid scenery earlier this afternoon. I visited the Inland Port Greer to take photos of the the trains and watch as shipping containers were stacked. This is only a 15 minute drive from where I live approximately.

© James Andrew Aston III, 2019

About Greer Inland Port:

“Opened November 2013, the South Carolina Inland Port in Greer, SC extended the reach of the port more than 200 miles into the state's interior. Connected to the Port of Charleston via overnight rail offered by the Norfolk Southern, the inland port handles containerized goods to and from the fastest-growing part of the Southeast - the I-85 corridor.“ -Wikipedia

Applied for an apartment

Today (technically yesterday as of writing this) I found a pretty awesome apartment. I filled out all the applications and deposits. The real deal! This should actually improve things from a photography workflow perspective on things. I’ll be in a generally more centralized location that can diversify my photography locations. Also editing workflow should be optimized with my new work setup.

Jeep outside of apartment . . . Blah blah

Jeep outside of apartment . . . Blah blah

Here is a picture of a Jeep I photographed outside the place for unspecific reasons.  And yes, I know it is a terrible photograph.

Back in the States as well as my home state, finally!

White Stallion Ranch

Click the picture above to enter into the Flickr album. Much appreciated!

There’s been a lot going on! It’s been trip after trip with jet-lag in between. I’ve gotten a whole lot of editing finished already and posted on Flickr which is available for viewing. I would suggest starting with the White Stallion Ranch album as it is the best curated / finished work. I am still adding to and editing photos in the Australia album. Nonetheless, you will not have much difficulty finding a ton of great Australia pics. I intend to be posting on this blog much more regularly but that requires the time. I might just have to schedule my posts to push me to make the posts.

Anyhow, aside from photography I’m currently searching the Greenville area for an apartment or condo. I’ve really only begun to jump into this search this week but have already gathered a ton of information and found what I believe might make a great place to live.



Things that need to get done.

My eBay auctions both closed to my satisfaction. I got to transfer the sales proceeds in addition to two payments for services, so I still have some of that residual satisfaction of watching my bank account balance balloon with just a few clicks.

But that is past, and now I am living in the present. I’m linning all my things up for my trip to Australia. I think I’m going to make packing a little bit easier for myself this time than with Hawaii. What wanders my thoughts are which photography equipment remains in Greenville, and which special selections make it with my to Australia.

In the mean time I still need to be getting my things for my next work project organized. I always find too much clutter withdraws you from the task at hand.

Perhaps more on these musings later . . .

I’d call this yucky HDR, just one man’s opinion. 

I’d call this yucky HDR, just one man’s opinion. 

Items currently listed for sale on Ebay


I have two excellent used products of mine that are in great working order and in need of a new home.

• Sony Zeiss 35mm f2.8 FE ZA Lens - https://www.ebay.com/itm/173803508464 This lens is used- formerly by me personally and I can certify that it is a superb lens that is in terrific working order and has been properly cared for by an experienced photographer. This is very sharp full-frame prime lens compatible with Sony e-mount cameras. Use with other cameras is also possible using manual focus, if your camera has an adaptor of e-mount lenses. In addition to its build quality and sharpness, its small size also makes it an attractive lens choice. Be sure to check out more detailed information on this lens on its eBay listing page linked above. ** Auction closes approximately 7 days from this blog post's publication. The precise auction duration and closing is listed on the linked eBay page above.

• Apple iPad Pro 1st Gen. 128. GB, Wi-Fi, 12.9 in. – silver https://www.ebay.com/itm/173801161890 This another used item of mine that is in great working order from both a hardware and software standpoint. Cosmetically there are three minor abrasions of the silver aluminum back. More details can be found through the eBay link above. This auction ends approximately 5 days of this blog post. A precise display of auction time will be displayed on the item’s eBay link above.