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Showing posts from December 14, 2008

Ye Heung and Si Taup

(Classical Mailboxes: These tin mailboxes were characteristic of the 1970s when the general domestic buildings in Hong Kong did not have a place for mailboxes.  I took this shot on the ground floor of a tenement building) Some weeks ago, I published a post about the tenement buildings in Hong Kong. Most of these old buildings remain in Mongkok, Yaumatei and Shumshuipo on the Kowloon side, with some declared as monuments in Wanchai and Sheung Wan on the Hong Kong Island. Let’s get down (or up?) to the nitty-gritty of these buildings.In most cases, these tenement buildings are closely packed together from  wall to wall, making it possible for residential units to have front and back windows only. Most of them are still poorly managed. There is no proper place even for mailboxes. The communal electrical and TV cables are lined casually in the common areas as you see in the photos below.                          (Letters are frequently stolen)
A large number of them are of three to four …

Photography: What Counts?

(Featuring photos and comments on DP1 by SW Kuo from Taiwan)A previous discussion on compacts for portraits triggered off the a photographer to say that street shots photograph was for wimps, quoting Norman Parkinson's 'Wimps make bad photographers'. This thought-provoking comment made me write something to share my views on street photography, which is in the process. Until then, I wish to illustrate an important question first. Let me start by showing you some portrait works of SW Kuo from Taiwan. He wrote to me that there were much left to be desired in the following shots but was brave enough to let me publish them. Typical oriental politeness. My salute to Kuo. He uses a DP1. Despite its CCD of a larger size, I consider the DP1 compact enough to be relevant to the contents of this site. (A portrait taken with Minolta 7000i in my greener days) If we compare Kuo's works with Ye Li's (here and here), also a DP1 user, there is an obvious conclusion which should…

Temple Street Night Market

The following photos were done during the shootout with Cristi, a Ricoh camera user from London. He lent me his GRD which was set to the B&W setting at ISO 1600. As a GX200 user, I found myself fumbling for the zoom button without success. As I shoot primarily in colours and seldom shoot in such a low night situation, I was quite unaccustomed to the setting until almost ten shutter clicks or so. After the shootout, I agreed with Cristi that the ISO1600 was exceptionally useful in such a situation for B&W; he simply skipped ISO 400/800. The noise gives a wonderful film-like grainy look to the images which I like a lot.(Can't Get My Eyes off You: The sungalsses kiosk owner is busy counting the money) (Look Up, Look Down: A tourist buying some hair accessories) A brief note about the Temple Street night market: it starts from Yaumatei to Jordon. If you walk leisurely without stopping, it will take you some 30 minutes to finish it. The lesser known facts about the market are t…

The Sound of No Silence

(Stark Contrast: Some rich people's expensive fancy car was parked at the roadside where the poor was having cheap food for dinner. It was taken at the end of the Temple Street night market with a GRD lent to me by Crisitian at out meetup on Monday night) It was interesting to meet someone living thousands of miles away who shared your hobby. Cristi from London, his friend and I met on Monday. After dinner and then desserts at a popular sweetshop, we had a shootout at the nearby interesting Temple Street night market. He will probably post some of the shots on his blog.Focusing SoundCristi and I talked about some issues of Ricoh's cameras. The one question that interested me the most was how he managed in his street shots to have the subjects looked right into the camera. I asked if it was because he asked for permission to shoot and people posed for him. He said no. The secret was, he revealed, in a "flaw" of the Ricoh cameras. When he showed me how the GRD gave ou…

Update: Price Cut Not to Herald GRDIII?

This is an update on a previous observation on Ricoh's price cut in Hong Kong. Cristi, a Ricoh user from Britain, met people of HK's distributor (Laikok) for Ricoh cameras recently. The Laikok people commented that their recent price cut for some of Ricoh's cameras, including the deepest cut of 30% for GRDII's, was rather a strategic move for economic consideration than a prelude to the coming of any new Ricoh's model. A new release would be in 2-3 months but rather later. There is certainly credence in the comment. But let's reason further for a fuller picture: 1) Around nine months before the release of GX200, HSBC offered its local VISA card customers an approximately 30% off the price of GX100. 2) So, shedding a reasonable amount of the old stock requires a period of, say, nine months. 3) The price cut this time for GRDII is the deepest; coincidentally, for 30% (making it at the same price level of a GX200!). 4) Some informed GRDII users commented tha…

Playful Reflections

(Down Under: The puddles look "bloody" like the iconographic shapes of Australia and the New Zealand. This photo was taken on my way to work. I didn't figure out why at the time I found the shapes very familiar. When I downloaded the files to the computer and viewed it on the screen, Eureka!)(Stealthy Man: Tell me, is the man with the backpack waiting to cross the road real?)(Butterfly's Dream: Zhuang Zi, an ancient Chinese philosopher, wrote a famous piece speaking of his wonder of whether it was he who just dreamed of a butterfly in a dream or it was he who had actually been in the dream of the butterfly.)