Saturday, 19 December 2009

Chinese Ethnic Groups

There are 56 ethnic groups composing China.  A Chinese photographer called Chen has with his crew spent a whole year photographing each of the ethnic groups in their ethnic costumes.  The photographs were done not in any studios but right where the people lived, where is put into a pictorial book.

Here are four of the photos, the third line of the description in each picture tells of the altitude in meters above sea level, the latitude and longitude of the shooting location.


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Friday, 18 December 2009

Take the Centre Stage

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The Canon S90 has gone somewhat unnoticed in the sea of new exciting compact cameras.  The days Canon's S series took the centre stage were history.  Surely, it is tiny enough while providing some meaningful manual controls.  But it is just lacklustre as compared with the MFT and GXR.

It is very light in your hand indeed.  I held one the other day.

R0017132 (Medium)^The photos were taken on the Peak Tower, the Peak, Hong Kong. 

In Hong Kong, the ad people have touted it as the camera for night shots.  I should see if I can borrow one to try it out.  From the reviewers, it seems that the images are still usable at ISO 800.  "Usable" is a very objective word.  You'll have to see it for yourself.

Given Canon's no-surprise stance in chucking out new models, the S90 is, well, without many surprises.  But in case you fancy a review, here is a concise one.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Jaywalkers and their Daring Acts

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R0015948 (Medium)^This is a common sight of people here who normally ride a bike without any protective gear on a road bustling with traffic.

R0015950 (Medium)^The lady in a skirt would have one of her high heels broken loosen and left in the middle of the road in a second. The other lady rushed back to pick it up just before the cars buzzed about again.

R0015955 (Medium)^They were not supposed to cross the yellow boxes.

R0015938 (Medium)^Another heroic bike rider risking his life on the road.

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R0015941 (Medium)^Although he was walking leisurely, this is in fact a very busy road intersection.

R0015942 (Medium)^See? The jaywalkers had to run faster than the cars coming along.

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Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Architecture and Old Shop Tours

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Hong Kong and Shenzhen, its neighbouring Mainland China boom town, have been alternately hosting a bi-city biennale of urbanism and architecture. The 2009 biennale is now on in Hong Kong.

In support of the biennial activity, FREE guided walking tours will be given every Saturday afternoon between December 19, 2009, and March 6, 2010, comprising Architecture Tours and Old Shop Tours.

he Architecture Tours will guide participants to explore and appreciate old buildings around West Kowloon such as St. Mary's Canossian College, Gun Club Hill Barracks (which was an army base of the Brits), Cricket Club, Lands Tribunal and Methodist College.

The Old Shop Tours will guide participants to visit shops in Shanghai Street that are still operating traditional Chinese businesses such as the sale of wedding gowns, gold jewellery, Chinese scales, incense and sandalwood.

The guided walking tours are free of charge. Application forms are available here. For enquiries, please call 2805 7146 (Architecture Tours) or 9746 4396 (Old Shop Tours).

The Hong Kong and Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture 2009 is being held at the Western Kowloon Cultural District between December 4, 2009, and February 27, 2010. In case you wonder:

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The answer is here.

GXR: HK Launch Day

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The GXR system will be officially launched in Hong Kong on 17 December. The prices are yet to be known.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

The Spirit of Flying

Mission completion (this is America English)… my projects have come to an end. Now going philosophical…

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Flying is like no other things on earth. Ice-skating is close but not as spiritually uplifting. Car racing is close but not as freely manoeuvring. Kayaking and rafting are close but certainly not as visually unfolding.

Fly high up and you command totally unfamiliar perspectives to things around you. Trees become tiny green spots. Houses turn into a motley colour of shapes. Cars go like snails on a pilgrimage to nowhere. Coastlines and waves form white rippling links across a gigantic fluidic mirror.

Up there you worry about how you fare your life no more. You grieve over your failures no more. You rant your anger no more; after all you have no audience up there apart from birds. All you can do is to beam them smiles.

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And you start to wonder if there has ever been a different perspective occurred to you to see this world differently. Birth, schooling, work, making money, marriage, giving birth, falling ill, raising children, work, falling ill, retiring, dying. So you will end up down there, six feet under.

You will be physically dissipated, alive only in memories. And there will be a day people decide to be almost totally oblivious to you. You become a bare name, which will sound very distant to many as if you had never lived here on earth.

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A pessimistic person looks life really like a dusty corridor, shut at both ends. Life comes across him or her as a passage along one damned thing after another. He believes in coming from nowhere before, going to nowhere after, like a snail goes on a pilgrimage to nowhere. She thinks life inches towards death ever since its birth. And at the farthest end of the corridor, there is just, rightly or wrongly, a full stop for him and her.

If that's more or less your case, flying endows you with the power to see in a new way what you are so used to. Physically flying. Spiritually flying. And when we descend on the solid earth, you will live like no other day in the past you have had. After all, you have seen that the car is actually going on a road leading to a destination.

Monday, 14 December 2009

Florilegium of Photographic News

Some news from the around the Internet.


A really pocketable camera from Japan for fun.  Judging from the photos in its gallery, I gather that it is targeted to the Lomography fans.  Details:


● sensor
195 Type 1/2.7 megapixel CMOS sensor Effective pixels: 192 million pixels / Total pixels: 195 million pixels
● Built-in memory
1 Capacity 64MB SDRAM memory
● external storage media support
microSD memory card (sold separately up to 2GB)
● Format
Still Image: JPEG Exif 2.1 compliant / Video: AVI

● Resolution (still images)

● Video size

1280 pixels × 1200 pixels

320 pixels × 240 pixels: up to 8 frames/ s

● Lens

Fixed-focus lens / glass layer 1 layer of plastic +2
F3.1, f = 6.5mm (35mm camera equivalent 39.5mm)

● Range

Macro: 15cm ~ 50cm / Standard: 1m ~ ∞

● Shutter speed

Electronic 1 / 6 to 1 / 50 sec

● Exposure compensation

● ISO sensitivity

● Power



Automatic power-off feature about 30 seconds

● output


● Power

Rechargeable lithium-ion battery (USB charging by connection)

● Operating environment


● Dimensions


● Weight

Temperature 0 ℃ ~ 40 ℃ (no condensation)

Approximately (W) 53 × (H) 23 × (D) 19mm (excluding protrusions)

Approximately 21g


Now, some serious photo contest news:

imagePanasonic's on-going photo contest will end in April 2010.  Try your photographic skills.  Don' miss it!



If you're living in South Asia, this is your chance to win a S90 before the contest closes on 29th December 2009.



For New Zealanders, the chance to win a EOS 50D is there until 8th March 2010.

Good luck, blokes!

Sunday, 13 December 2009


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I'm making the last dash to finish my work on Sunday.  I'm flat out.

Have a peaceful Sunday!