Saturday, 17 October 2009

Two Questions in a Castle

R0010743 (Medium) ^ Guy's Tower of Warwick Castle through a battlement

The visit to Warwick Castle was an enlightening one.  I have a penchant for old buildings and history.  For that matter, I have read books about fortresses and Roman bath, etcetera.  So I literally ran around the castle with great gusto, clicking and clicking my camera.

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R0010658 (Medium)And there I went around by what was left of the moat, taking glimpses of the fortification the castle afforded the Earl's soldiers in guiding the building.  The weather was misty which just helped fan my imagination.  I went into different positions to assume how I could storm the castle from its weakest point if I had been the commander leading the invading army.

Soon afterwards I was on the other bank of the river flowing between two meadows which visitors were forbidden entry.  But there I was, enthusiastically taking pictures in the drizzling rain.

Of course I climbed up the towers.  And here comes the first question.

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If you've ever climbed up a tower of similar measure and architecture, you know that the steps leading up the towers are narrowly cascaded.  When you go up, it is in the clockwise fashion.  Why?

R0010662 (Medium)^I would be later on venturing into the opposite bank closed to visitors.  Here I was having flown a long way to UK, with the camera on hand, facing a beautiful scenery, with no one around.  So I had no choice but to do as my freewill dictated.

The answer to the first question is that when the invasion army went up the tower, it would become harder for them to fight right-handedly.  On contrary, it would be easier for the garrison soldiers to chop the invaders' arms and heads off going down the castle in an anti-clockwise fashion.   Also, it would be difficult to see when going up the narrow stairs and keeping on turning right. R0010687 (Medium)^The garden down below the chambers of the masters and mistresses in the high-rising medieval stone building within the castle.

The second question is, why do we call a wardrobe wardrobe?   Yes, it originates from the French word Garderobe.  But why?
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The answer can be found here.

Friday, 16 October 2009

She is a Lyric Poetry

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She is like winter sunshine moving along the windowsill

The sight of which makes you jump out of the quilt

Fetch a camera even though you are in your briefs still

Lest she will be gone before catching of her an everlasting glimpse

Nevin H. Lawrence 17th October 2009

I met Rowena by chance.  There the urge of my camera and her sweet smiles plus the D&G watch and the matching colours on her accumulated into some unknown chutzpah with which I asked her for permission to take some photos of her.

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Some say travelling is an education in itself

I say travelling is like a book per se

Travelling only gets you further in distance but not in the head

Like a book with nothing to gain until it have been read

Nevired Owen 17th October 2009

Life is full of good surprises and bad ones, which doesn't really matter until you stand embracing them.  Embrace them, good or bad, because if life can be reduced to one word it would be "risk".  Life is a risk from exactly the moment you were just a fertilised fusion of an egg and a sperm.  So if life is a journey, risky is its name.  When life is a journey, our daily travelling is a leg of it.  Now that I know life is a risky journey, I tend to be risk-embracing especially when travelling.

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Travel to a land afar

Switch yourself  to a higher gear

By taking some risk oh dear

Like a toast to life let's cheer

                                             Nevinar Wilde 17th October 2009

Taking an initiative to make new friends is not the spectacular kind of risk but actually the beginning of it which could yield very unexpected results.  The reason is obvious, my readers.  It is to mix your own risk (life) with another person's.  A love relationship, the highest form of friendship, is a clearer case in point.  A turned-out-to-be criminal you may have befriended.  But chances are also that you will make some lifelong wonderful friends. Even for general acquaintanceship, it is still like turning a page to the foreword of a book to learn the general schemes of things in the literal journey.

R0010596 (Medium)So that brings us back to travelling daily in a leg of the life journey.   Suss out the risk if that concerns you and try to start a friendship.  Otherwise, at least, let's your camera get a permanent glimpse of what may be an ephemeral friendship.  Of course, be prepared with the photographic paraphernalia at all time or sharpen up your photographic skills in free times.  Here for a white fair-skinned deep-eyed lady, you have to meter her eyes.  Otherwise, the camera will underexpose her face plus the eyes will look smoky dark.  The overhead lighting source was problematic but that was what  you have to make do with when being impromptu.  The slightly blurred background was made by way a filter rubbed with Vaseline petroleum jelly.

R0010597 (Medium) (Thank you Rowena for your help and permission)

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Peeping thru' the Hole

It was great to be able to meet real people again other that the plants, trees and vegetation.   The schedule here in the UK is terribly tight.  The ever evolving itinerary adds to the headache.  But the sheer sighting of people compelled me to stop.  Looking into the rubbish bin through the upright electronic viewfinder, I, bending my body, made myself a point of focus.  This turned out to be helpful cos people were actually looking direct to the lens.

Again, try using street furniture or anything you see fit in the street to frame your photos.  This will work wonder to them.

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I dunno why but she made me think of :

Dont cha wish your girlfriend was hot like me
Dont cha wish your girlfriend was a freak like me
Dont cha, dont cha
Dont cha wish your girlfriend was raw like me
Dont cha wish your girlfriend was fun like me
Dont cha, dont cha

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This man, as terribly cool (around 11 degree centigrade it was) as he might have about himself in mind, in a way makes for a great comedy shot if I played a background song sung by him:

When the dog bites
When the bee stings
When I'm feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don't feel so bad (tune of My Favourite Things)

My favourite of the day:

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Their kisses and hugs are all what we need wandering in a foreign land in the cold weather.  With your love ones for sure, not any girl or guy you see fit, mark you.  Of course, if they are pretty, you may ask for their permission to photo them.  Prettiness is a sign of clean health.  This is very biological but that's why we love pretty faces.

This is pretty much why camera makers have marketed cameras for the cool appearance.  It is in our genes.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Making Love to Trees

R0010405 (Medium)Trees trees, roads roads, nothing nothing.... such is a poem I once read about the poet's first impression about the landscape of Australia in the mid-twentieth century.  I have the same impression of the landscape of UK while soon after arrival being whisked along the highway.  I've been to UK before though.  But it was different from Hong Kong in many way, most notably to a street photographer.

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In an international city like Hong Kong, the street is forever packed with actions whereas quite countryside is within a short drive from the city.  There are a much wider variety of shooting themes and subjects to choose from, not least to improvise.

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In the little town I am staying, the quietness, complicated by the notorious British weather which shines in a minute and rains in another making you unsure about venturing out to shoot photos, compels the photographer to work with the most willing flowers or glasses or squirrels or grazing cattle.

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What saved the day was that there were some castles nearby.  The afternoon I checked it out on the outskirt was rainy (it become shining with sunlight when I unloaded the photographic gear and got ready for a nap).  I hope the weather would be more co-operative next time.

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Tuesday, 13 October 2009

On Arrival

R0017520 (Medium)^The poor people were leaving the cramped lower-class, aka economy class, cabin after the long haul.  The scare legroom made me wonder if I did really pay for the fare or it was free.

Arrival makes you feel lighter at heart, "Thank goodness, the long haul is over finally."

R0017516 (Medium) It prompts you to a thought in wanting of a great lot of things: a pee stop at the loo, a SIM stop at the phone card kiosk, a question stop about the public transport, to say a few.  After the interrogation by the immigration officers they are.

Arrival lets you see the hypocrisy of a place in an educational way.

< Hong Kong Int'l Airport

I saw people going through the border checkpoints in some country bribe the officers for saving them the blanket search of visitors' luggage and thus the time.  That's hypocrisy in one way.

On arrival in UK, I noticed that all immigration officers were non-Caucasians.  Then, the bus drivers; the cleaning ladies; the porter office people; the security men.  That's hypocrisy in another way.

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Arrival reminds you of the unedifying history of a country.  The Heathrow Terminal Three was actually of the similar design of the old Kai Tak International Airport in Hong Kong.  I know the Kai Tak Airport very well as I was with all VIPs going in and out of it during the first job.  What I didn't know was that the Brits actually got the design, fittings and finishes from UK for money from the public coffer of Hong Kong.

For the record, the Kai Tak passenger terminal was built a year after the opening of Heathrow Terminal Three.  Absolutely not a coincidence.

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Arrival are gratifying.  Finally, the possibility of sleeping flat on a real bed is nigh.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Goodbye for Now, Hong Kong

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As you are reading this, I have been through this:

R0010570 (Medium)HK ------a--long------->

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I am staying in UK for two weeks and expect to post what I am seeing there.  But just in case I will be too occupied to get online and write,  you may find some old posts interesting, especially those under the tags Links to Special Projects, Culture and New / Old.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

I See Things

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R0017067 (Medium)  R0017066 (Medium)To supplement the posts on the Ghost Festival,  I share with you the ghosts in human form seen at an exhibition.  While other photographers were shooting the scantly clad showgirls, I was looking around for the more interesting scenes around.

Have a good day!