With the Western world inundating China with the best and worst it has to offer these past few decades, it’s no surprise that eventually even Big Bird would make a migrational trip over the Pacific to visit the Middle Kindgom himself. His inaugural visit was part of a water conservation project sponsored by Thirst, an Australian NGO based in Beijing that has done a series of ‘water dragons’ with school kids around China. This event also involved making a water dragon with a thousand elementary school kids from Baijiazhuang Elementary School in central Beijing. To shoot it I had to go up on the roof of the 6-story school building, attach my camera to a 3 meter boom pole (that’s not really made to hold more than a microphone, so I had to improvise), stand on the ledge of the roof, and extend the boom pole out as far as I could without falling off the building (I used Magic Lantern’s timelapse function on my 5D so it would continuously shoot a photo every 3 seconds while extended out from the roof). Let me tell you, a 5D with a wide angle zoom lens on it is already pretty heavy, but at the end of a 3 meter pole it produces a LOT of torque! So I would send the camera out for a minute or so at a time, bring it in and check the pictures while my poor arms rested, then send it back out for more pictures. I repeated this for about 15 minutes, and at the end I’m sure had I ripped my shirt and jacket off (which I never would have done in the subzero temperatures… it was COLD that day!) my normally puny arms would have looked pretty ripped. Not as ripped as Big Bird of course, and remembering this I quickly forgot about my sore arms and rushed back inside to prepare for Big Bird’s big entrance.