Saturday, 6 March 2010

Temple Fair this Sunday


The yearly Tai Kok Tsui Temple Fair will be on this Sunday (tomorrow) from ten to ten.  There are lots to be seen and feel excited.  It is a good chance to do photos too.  Here are some of the winning photos taken last year by the winners.


It will be staged along Fok Tsuen Street, Tai Kok Tsui, Kowloon.  There will be shows galore including Latin and Indian dances, Chinese folk dances, martial arts demonstration, Piu Sik parade, lion dance (18 lions in one go!), a neon-dragon dance at night and more. 


Don't miss it.  Bring your camera.

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Friday, 5 March 2010

Ups and Downs

R0013245 (Large) ^Dragging the shutter is the ABCs of photographic technique to give a sense of motion to your images. The motion balances and, at the same time, contrasts the static elements. Use your imagination and you can enrich your shots with balances and contrasts which I did here by placing the partition in the middle of the shot with the man walking down on one side and people going up on the other. It goes without saying that I had to check out the edges of the scene for balance's sake, rest the camera on a place where I could steady it and wait for the right moment o arise.

I recently had a chat with a friend of mine. She is at a powerful position in an Aussie company, overseeing the accounting departments of 60 plus subsidiaries around the world. Her schedule can be described as two thirds of a day spent in the office, one third at home (primarily in bed), one fifth of a year out of town. She lives in a big apartment by the local standards, has two children but neither hobbies nor time for herself.

I asked, "What is the meaning of your life? You are spending your life helping other people make money!"

Life is full of ups and downs. Sometimes, it is full of ups on one side but tossed by downs on the other. But if the course you are charting is in somebody's else waters, the ups and downs combine just for a very likely result: wasting a life which is yours.

If you're young enough to take some risks, take them. Think carefully and start a business of your own. When you've made enough money, refrain from trawling more money. Have a steady flow of money and invest your time in helping others smile. Get a hobby too.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Streets are Their Workplaces

Here are some photos taken at odd angles about people who work on the street.  The idea is to use the street for a large part of the images to accentuate the theme.

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This first scene caught my eye because the hose and the stripes of the crossing were complimentary  in colour but conflicting in patterns.

R0011815 (Medium)The second scene was given a sense of depth into where the worker was pulling the cargoes to. 

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The third scene included a large part of the road sign prescribing the time restricted for the bus lane.  This is intended to give viewers an idea that the man was working near a busy street.

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This last one?  I took the shot in a de facto red light district.  She didn't work on the street but somewhere else, right?

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

A Dimension of Interest

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After practising street photography for over a year with the GX200, I've come up with theories for certain kinds of shots.  Take this image for example.  To me, this shot is commonplace.  But a dimension of interest is added to it because of several things.

First the passers-by were walking to multiple directions.  Such a scene is less intriguing if the passers-by are walking, say, just up and down the crossing.

Second, some of them are just entering the scene of leaving it.  This gives the shot a sense of immediacy.

Third, take this kind of "crossing-the-road" shot not in the afternoon on a working day when the passers-by look most burdened on their face and with their restricted body language.  Do the shot in the morning or during the weekend when people are more animated.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Links to GXR Review Posts

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The review reports on the field evaluation of the GXR body, the A12 50mm, the S10 24-72mm, the VF-2 viewfinder and GF1 flashgun.  In the course of the evaluation, the DW-6 wide-converter and the TC-1 tele-converter were also used for some shots.

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(Kudos to Laikok for loaning GX GARNERINGS the GXR system.)

Let Me Think: f/0.95?!

Despite the baffling video ad, Noktor HyperPrime 50mm f/0.95 for MFT cameras rises lots of eyebrows for its maximum aperture.


From some of the sample images which can be seen by clicking the mosaic below, I have the impression that the optical quality of the lens is not ace.  Actually, most images look soft.  Whether it is because of the optical flaws or not focusing well is a mystery.  And it's not really cheap.


This lens is primarily meant for very dark situations.  If it is used in broad daylight, the photographer has to stop down the aperture because the maximum shutter speed of MFT cameras is just 1/4000 sec.  This effectively does away with the rationale of buying it.  So, don't be mistaken that the large aperture value can be used to give beautiful bokeh  to portraits in daytime.

Also, since the f/value is so minimal, the photographer has to really keep an eye on where to focus.

So, is the lens a bit of a stretch?

Monday, 1 March 2010

What We as Compact Camera Users Wish for

RIMG0811 (Medium)^The lady is picking what she preferred.

We have had a few polls since the start of GX GARNERINGS.  Here is a gist of the results for our two most recent polls.

imageIn one of the polls, we asked readers two questions about the GXR: What do they think Ricoh GXR is?  Are they going to buy the camera?

The poll has the smallest number of votes among all the polls at GX GARNERINGS.  Does this reveal something about the popularity of this camera?

Out of the 37 votes, most think that the Ricoh GXR is a newthink.  However, the notion that the GXR is a money-minded invention and doomed failure also gets as much votes combined.

As regards whether the voters are going to buy the camera, most reveals their intention to buy the APS-C size module on the condition that the price drops which are the two top voted items.

The small sensor module doesn't seem to have much chance to survive the choice of the voters.

In the other poll, we are interested to know what the most wanted features on serious compacts are.  The polls has carried on for 6 months.  There are a total of 375 votes received.  The options are (typo: electronic viewfinder):


Multiple votes were allowed. The most wanted features from top down are:

Useable ISO 3200 (48%) 24mm focal length (44%) APS-C size sensor &
Leica-grade lens (42%)
optical viewfinder (40%) dust-/ rain-proof design (30%) Interchangeable lenses (23%)
electronic viewfinder (20%) HDR shooting (14%) HD video shooting (12%)
multi-focus shooting (11%) external flash included (10%) tiltable LCD (9%)
filter step-up rings included (8%) over 300mm focal length (6%) 3-D shooting (3%)
digitally coloured gradient filters (2%)    

I am a bit to see that not a lot of users care about interchangeable lenses.  As our readers are supposedly fans of serious compacts, the poll results speak some truth about the wishes of the customers in this segment of the market.  We are going to send this poll results to some makers of serious compact cameras.

*By "serious compact cameras", we refer to those compact cameras with a sensor of a larger size from 1/1.7" up.

Sunday, 28 February 2010

Chinese Valentine's Day

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Today is the Chinese Valentine's Day.  It is not a replica of the Valentine's Day but a festival with a long history.

The exercise of today is not about photography, but writing.  Here is how:

Write a love letter to your spouse (partner) expressing affectionately the love you feel for him or her.  Travel back in time to your first date, your proposal or your honeymoon.  Reminisce those days and communicate lovingly to your spouse (partner) how he or she has captivated your heart then and still do today.