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Showing posts from December 28, 2008

ISO 1600, Pre-focus and Shoot

(I probably like this best.  The smile is sweet, the gaze sparkling and the light pleasing)This is the first weekend in  2009.  A few days ago I borrowed a Canon 450D and did some candid shots.  Surely, a compact can do serious portraits.  But the DSLR is still undeniably something that a compact cannot match for now at least in terms of high ISO performance and the focusing speed.  The photos were done by pre-focusing the camera on a 200mm lens at ISO 1600, except for the colour ones in which the girl was less active.  The two girls were playing peekaboo with each other and with the camera.  The light was just right so that I could manage to get catchlights in their twinkling eyes.  Have a nice weekend.  Enjoy!

Tripod and iPod

(City in Posters: The streets of Hong Kong are covered with posters from the time shops are closed until they open the next day. Poster companies send their workers to stick posters on nearly every available space on the street wall during those hours. I hope to take more for this topic. These posters are posted on the gate of a bank. It was a Staurday )Do you use a tripod with your camera?When the GX200 first saw the light of the world, there was a common comment that Ricoh was making this camera as what a camera should be like: if you shoot in high ISOs, the images would be noisy; if you don't prefer the noise, use a tripod and sho0t in lower ISOs. (My mini-tripod) An excuse of not, the comment has some truth in it. A camera with a tripod comes naturally to me as the earbuds with an iPod. Surely, no user wishes to forsake the portability of a compact. So, I usually carry a tripod with me, a mini-tripod, because there are chances when a tripod will work wonder to a shot.Tak…

Bread, Hong Kong Style

(Assorted Bread: These are the bread in the special, traditional Hong Kong style. You may find them in some old bread shops and also modern bakeries. I once saw some mouse wrist-rests in the shapes of these bread in Tsim Sha Tsui East)This is the start of a new year, a time when we usually celebrate with an eating binge. So this first post is about some special local food: Hong Kong-style bread. Let me introduce them to you one by one:Called "Dan Kuen" in Cantonese (literally, egg roll), they are one of the favorite gifts which you can buy for the host on a casual visit, especially during the afternoon tea time. Children just love them. For adults, take them with tea (with milk). These are the favourite of all time, called the Bo Law Bao (literally, pineapple bun). They have crispy toppings and soft meat. You may either eat them this way or, as most locals do, have it in the "Bao Law Yau" style (literally, pineapple butter) in which the bun is sevred with a thick s…

2009 is Here!

Dear all,Happy new year to you all!  We are already in 2009 in Hong Kong.  May we all take even better pictures and enjoy a greater life in the new year.Best,

Windows to the Soul

(Keeping an Eye: This man in a suit, looking aimlessly into the distance, was heard having an animated argument over the cellphone on the footbridge as I walked past him. A footbridge in China can be a busy place to walk on because there are lots of selling and other activities on them. Some years ago, I was warned to be vigilant on a footbridge in China because thievery was more rampant up there. The warning has tested to be not really true.)
Some years ago, I read a story titled, "Compassion is in the Eyes" which is about Thomas Jefferson giving a horse ride to an old-timer. The old-timer thanked him for his help by saying something that Jefferson felt heart-warming, "I looked into the eyes of the other riders and immediately saw there was no concern for my situation. It would have been useless even to ask them for a ride. But when I looked into your eyes, kindness and compassion were evident. I knew, then and there, that your gentle spirit would welcome the opportunit…


(Rain and Tear: Late last night, the van I rode back home tore onto the road in the rain but at the red traffic light the driver still dutifully stopped the car, giving me a chance to take a shot of the medley of colours reflected on the windows full of raindrops. There was not enough light so I simply defocused the shot a bit)An OZ (Australian) friend of mine who took almost five years to travel around the world commented badly on China for its people. She was annoyed by the sly quality of the people she met during her China leg of the trip. Opinionated her comments might be, but there is some truth in it.
I have made regular trips to the Mainland China for some years. There are certainly good people I have met. But a large portion of the people can be summed up into two categories: the-without-morals and the-without-hopes.(Believe It or Better Not: Two youngsters with their hair dyed in golden colour are selling self-proclaimed medicine for skin problems. News about fake foodstuff an…

Soothsaying the GRD III, Again

The January issue of China's Popular Photography quotes the price for GRDII at RMB 3,500 and GX200 at RMB 3,200. I was around the Guangdong province in China during the last few days. The prices for the two cameras I saw in a big digitial store were RMB 3,980 and RMB 3,780 respectively.
So, the 30% price drop for GRD II is not just for Hong Kong. It is suspicious to me if the cut is to simply change tact on account of the economic downturn as told by the Ricoh distributor here. The prelude to GRD III has begun IMO. Ricoh is shedding the GRD II stock at a very low price. This is an unfortunate tactic, if my guess is right, because if I were a GRD user, I would be concerned about my future investment in Ricoh cameras. A 30% drop in value is a lot for a relatively expensive camera within such a short perio of time, not to mention the ever dropping price of the GX200 at least in this part of the world. In just six months, the GX200 is selling for around US$120 less here. Not a wise mov…

Reinforcing Your Holiday Mood

Nevin is probably coming back tonight. So, where have you been celebrating the Christmas holiday? Feeling a bit down to be back to work? Here are some more photos of the holiday in Hong Kong to reinforce your holiday mood.(Stop in the Name of Bus: Nathan Road, the lifeline of Kowloon Peninsula, was partially cordoned off from traffic during the holdiay at night when people were crowding the area near the Victoria Harbour for celebration)(The Mongkok Mob: I was amazed to see the street jampacked with people after a cup of coffee in Starbucks. For some seconds, I dared not walk to the crowd) (Great Shot or Not: The family was checking out photos on the camera) (Multitasking: Walk-checking photos is like drunk-driving a car. Both are dangerous thing to yourselves and other people)(Human Trafficking: Roads were turned into pedestrian precincts. There is something about this tiny city -- it has atmosphere!)(Look Alive: The dad was walking steps ahead of the mum holding the baby. Okay, tell…