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Showing posts from April 19, 2009

Let Them Go

(These closets are not selling not because more people constipate. It is the economy which suffers from constipation. The shopkeeper looks puzzled) When people constipate, they take laxatives to let "them" go. It is the same case for the economic constipation. Its bowels are stucked with toxic assests.With the threat of losing jobs looming over the illed economy, people are cutting back consumption, not least in the real property market. Just as most other shops, these sanitary shops are facing a grim sales prospect because there are simply fewer home buyers. No wonder the shopkeeper looks puzzled.Just in case you wonder, I took this photo while traveling on the upper deck of the bus with, of course, my GX200 :)

Dai Wok ! (Big Trouble)

This is live report from Nevin at Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong. A reckless taxi driver has just got himself into a big trouble by banging into a police bike, knocking it down and almsot running over the police rider, who was clearing the taxis parked along the prohibitied parking area. The taxi driver was apparently too busy leaving the area before the poilice issued him a fine ticket that he missed the police bike moving ahead of him and hit it.
The bike went "boom" and the police was seen crawling away as quickly as his hands and legs could carry him. He could have been devoured and run over by the taxi if the driver had taken a second of two more seconds to brake the car. It was a near miss and really horrifying. A police was killed just last month when a van sent his bike like a cannon hitting a railing.In a situation like this, any local would gasp and exclaim, "Dai Wok" or big trouble.  The taxi driver is really in big trouble now.  The road is cordoned off for in…

Kai Jiu Phenomenon

(Self-Mockery Intended: Outside this empty shops, the big hanging banner by the property owner says, "Bills are strictly forbidden. Any breach will be reported to the government departmentts for law enforcement." But it falls to intimidate. Some bills are even posted on the banner itself)Kai Jiu in Cantonese means "bills in the street", and is a must-see for tourists on a photography trip if you ask me. Kai Jiu or, to be exact, Tip Kai Jiu (literally "posting bills in the street") has long been a cultural phenomenon in Hong Kong. To the locals, whether for seeking part-time working opportunities, finding lost pets or persons, selling goods or renting out properties, the first thing springing to mind is Tip Kai Jiu. Actually, the Tip Kai Jiu phenomenon has been so popular that it even informs the marketing tactics from the entertainment to loan sharking businesses. For promotion of new movies or albums, Tip Kai Jiu is a surefire, cheap way to draw a…

Tighten Up the Frame

(Playground: Instead of putting many playground facilities in the photo, I shot a part of the monkey bars which looks like a smiling face, befitting the theme of playground)A fellow photographer’s well-intentioned comment on the composition weakness in a photo of mine inspired me to write about this topic: visual impacts. The most common weakness a photographer shows in a photo is too much coverage, which reduces the impact of the image. Take for example, it is way too common that the tyros include in a portrait the subject from head to toes. The more aggressive ones will even take in an extensive background. Now, if we look at the photo, the suject is too small to give a due impact . The photographer is now succeeded in producing a rather bland composition with superfluous information in the photo. It should not be required saying that a close-up is not the single way to enhance the visual impact of a photo. But it is a much better alternative to a “head-to-toes” approach. A close-up…

Dynamism and Active Space

(This is an extreme example to illustrate the effect of active space with the girl bleeds out of the front of the frame and the boy out of the rear, leaving a large expanse between them which can be considered an active space. The dynamism is shown by the blurry motion of the girl and the active space into which the boy is moving. Cover the boy and the active space becomes dead. Note the the diagonal plays a part in leading the gaze of the viewers to and fro the two subjects)A tinge of dynamics will add an extra dimension to an image, which I prefer to stationary ones. For one thing, the dynamics highlight the immediacy of the scene; for another, dynamic movements (especially blurry motions) challenge our visual perceptions more effectively. The image turns more engrossing and somehow puzzling, and draws a longer attention from the viewers. Contrary to what you may have in mind, the dynamism in an image can come from both real motions and suggestions of them as my experience goes.So h…

Whirlwind

(A panning shot of the bush) Last week, there was a post on panning shots for shooting static subjects for which I took plants as examples for the sake of illustration. The discussion will be incomplete without looking into another similar technique which is rotating the camera.If you use a DSLR or SLR with a zoom lens, the same trick can be done by rotating the zoom ring while pressing the shutter all the way down. For the sake of our concern, let's stick to serious compacts like GRDII, GX200, LX3, G10, P6000 and you name it.Expose the scene to your liking but the shutter must be dragged down to a speed slower than the velocity of your rotating the camera (start from 1/15s depending on the lighting situation; you should experiment). Then press the shutter and rotate the camera. Usually, the rotation should be a quarter of a full circle to the maximum. For the above photo, the shutter was set to 1/4s (way beyond the safe shutter speed but doesn't matter much because a clear cen…

I Don't Remember

(I met with this old lady this afternoon at a roadside sitting-out area.  She grinned from ear to ear and lauged heartily when I asked her to put up a smile for some photos) This old lady is well over 80 year old, resting at a sitting-out area when I took some photos of her.  As she told me, she lives in a house for the aged.  She was such an adorable od lady that when I asked her about her age, she giggled and said that it had slipped out of her mind."Do you know how old I am?" I aksed her.She bursted out a fit of hearty laughters and replied in a naughty way, "You are 18."I wished I were.(What could she be probably thinking about tomorrow?)Think about 80 years earlier when she was a baby girl, she needed attention from her mum.  Then 40 years later, she must been busy with raising her children.  Today, 40 more years later, there she was at a sitting-out area.  Life is short indeed. The old lady said that she outlived her husband who died a few years ago because, …

Links to LNII Series

With a history of over 40 years, the LNII (Lower Ngau Tau Kwok Estate Phase II) is an weathered resettlement estate of the old days. It will remain a standing testimony to the way of life of the general public in Hong Kong before its demolition scheduled in mid-2009. To make way for the clearance scheduled for this summer, shops will be completely evacuated in April and all residential tenants will move out before some months afterwards. Before it goes into history books, photographers have flocked to the estate to take photographic records of it. My LNII series were published in several instalments and the photos were taken by me with my GX200 during my two visits to the estate. I also did some research on the estate and the texts in the posts were written with reference to the information I managed to dig out. The links to all the instalments are appended below:1) The Last Resettlement Estate (Introduction) 2) Living in Matchboxes (Years of Childhood) 3) Outlaw Territories (Problems…