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Showing posts from May 17, 2009

Vestiges of Impressionism

(This junk is operated by the Hong Kong Toursim Board to amaze the tourists.  People working on board simply sail the junk hither and thither around the Vicotria Harbour.  Great for a photo to contrast the modern highrises with it)Hong Kong has been rather wet for a few days.  The Observatory issued the yellow rainstorm warning (which precedes the higher red and highest black warnings) days ago.  With the inclement weather, some normal scenes would become more intriguing and photos taken in this weather can give unexpectedly good results.All a photographer has to do is find a safe place to position your camera, making sure that it is out of the harm’s way as raindrops spatter and splash.(This is the best to my taste among this lot of photos.  It somehow appeals to me as an impressionist painting replicating a scene along the River Seine in Paris but with Hong Kong and the Vic Harbour as the background)Since the environmental light was low, the camera was duped to come up with an expos…

Close Enough?

(Shops selling these scrumptious foods, collectively know as Siu Mei [literally Barbecued Flavour] are ubiquitous thoughtout Hong Kong. Be it piglet meat [far left], chicken, BBQ pork or goose, the secrets are in the timing of barbecuing and recipe for marinating. If you have been to Hong Kong but without tasting'em, you haven't quite seen the real Hong Kong yet)Photographers are taught to be in the action, meaning that a good picutre is usually made possible with the photographers close enough to the spot of action. But how close is not too close?To me, this is all about relevance in terms of composition and theme.Composition-wise, the point should not be required making. Zooming the lens or moving yourself about can make or break the composition of an image to your taste.How about theme? Take for example the above example, the image is intended to show the full array of food items sold in the Siu Mei shop, with the chef as a complimentary subject to act life to the image…

My Belly is Better than Yours, Sir!

I take lots of street shots each day.  This post aims to show how I do street shots with a very recent example: a photo I took just a few hours ago.(This shot was made possible by the unassuming appearance of GX200 and its fantastic egronomics.  I had borrowed a LX3 for a week and found that for street shots it worked very differently with its shiny body and relatively awkward controls)The theme for this month's photo contest is Police, Cops, Sherrifs.  I could have posted one of the old police photos as my entry.  But later I hoped to take a photo especially for the contest.  I planned to take a shot with a either quality of seriousness to it, or with a sense of humour.  Either way, the image must show the police's face.  And this was the biggest challenge cos no one would hope to be interrogated.  I would have to take the shot by stealth.Then early this evening I ran into this police hands-on-hip, obstentiously showing his big belly. Good grief, he is a policeman!  He needs …

Cantonese Food Pornography

(The secret of taking this photo with my GX200 is to stand on a chair and do the shot as quickly as possible. The hungry stomachs started without waiting for me)Today, follow me on an utterly naked account of my favourite Cnatonese way of eating: the Cantonese hotpot.After the invention of air-conditioners, hotpots made its way into one of the most common dinning style in all seasons. Most Chinese restaurants in Hong Kong serve hotpot dinner at a reasonable price. Notably, there are some famous hotpot eateries in the neighbourhood of Kowloon City which are worth a special visit next time you are in Hong Kong.So what for a hotpot?The King and the QueenFrist things first. The prima donna of a hotpot is the soup base. There are a whole array of soups for a hotpot. For those who have a penchant for spicy food, the satay or the curry soup. Otherwise, the regular Chinese soup is all very fine. Eaters can order special Chinese herbal soups too. The soup is filled with tofus and cor…

Artistic Assembly Works

(The bamboo scaffold covered by a huge nylon sheet and mesh was cut with several of such artistic openings. I lost no time in taking the picture with my GX200)Yesterday, we looked at some images of streetscape and the skyline framed by the bamboo scaffolding. These bamboo sticks decorate the city in many more other ways too. The scaffolds take different forms of artistic assembly works, even more so when covered in nylon mesh.(More often than not, a better photo requires the photography to scout the site for an ideal position. Originally, I stood on the street but the up-tilting shots of these openings rendered distorted images. So I ventured in the building opposite the bamboo scaffold. Through some quiet corridors and staircases, I finally managed to ascend to almost the same level to the openings and took this photo)It is required by the law to cover bamboo scaffolding with nylon mesh to prevent objects falling from height. For reason of countering wind, the mesh covering the scaff…

Grating the Skyline

This is to continue the two previous posts on bamboo scaffolding here and here published the week before the last. Looking at bamboo scaffolds can be an interesting activity around town in Hong Kong.  The bamboo sticks knitted together form squares which decorate the skylines, making it more visually interesting.With imagination, the right lighting conditions and a bit of luck, any photographer can take intriguing photos with the bamboo sticks as frames to serve as the foreground.You may view a bamboo scaffold as a piece of art on a massive scale.  Actually, it is.  Hong Kong has set up a special institute to train up bamboo scaffold builders.It is amazing to see bamboo sticks forming a tall gateway to give access to passers-by going under the building and to workers climbing up to its higher levels.  This was taken near the area where the black community gathered in Tsim Sha Tsiu not far away from the Muslim Mosque.


Once again, the benefit of bringing along a serious compact with you all the time can be seen here.  There are just too many unexpected scenes presenting themselves in wherever one goes.A full-scale DSLR or even the smaller G-1 can't do quite the same job.  Being in low profie is all-important to street photography in most ocassions, true to most of the photographers I think.There were people around when I took this photo in a public swimming pool.  And I had no idea whether the snorting man had a friend or two around.  So I just approached him in a casual manner and took the picutre with my GX200 pressed against my belly.  Of course, I metered the scene and figured the approximate composition before moving towards him.This’s fun.  Have fun this Sunday!