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Showing posts from March 28, 2010

Shoot Low

When you shoot, where do you look? As far as I am aware, few people shoot low: that is, targeting the shadows as primary subjects. But shadows sometimes speak the scene more effectively, or at least in a much philosophical way.When shooting shadows, bias the exposure towards the brighter area so that the shadows will appear dark enough for a more dramatic contrast. You'll need to do this by spot-metering. In case you don't know, the camera's meter would otherwise be fooled to overexpose and wash down the shadows a bit.And the best time to shoot shadows is 2 hours before or after midday (meaning when the sun is right above your head; not necessarily at twelve o'clock) when the dark tone of the shadows is just right. The best time in a year is in winter when the sun is low, extending shadows to a really long length.

That's Why You Ought to Bring It

Bring what? Camera! What else? You're reading a photography sponsor's ruminations after all.If I didn't have the camera with me, I would have missed the act of chutzpah of this man (I would have also missed these stunts in an old post here).I didn't see how he managed to go up the bamboo scaffold, but am certain that he climbed with bare hands; more alarmingly, without any safety device!He was checking out something of which I had absolutely no idea.  In another five minutes, he was still safe and sound but – no he didn't fall down – I wondered if I should keep shooting or call him down for his safety's sake.Despite the worry, I being overwhelmed by a photographer's instincts as always were still able to figure out the composition.  I purposefully included the ground below the man to show the viewers the height, hopefully accentuating the danger the man was risking.Also, to balance the preponderance of weight on the left of the image, I waited for some road…

Not that We Don't Know

Further to the discussion yesterday, I just have an example to exemplify the necessity of post-processing when it is not that we are idiotic about doing a photo properly but simply forbidden by circumstances.I like this photo for how the ripples ruffled the reflection, making the solid buildings soft and dreamy.  It can suit a number of themes, particularly philosophical ones.  "Nature and Development" maybe.But the colours in the photo are washy because of the haziness created by the strong ultraviolent light in this midday and the disarrayed light from the reflected surface of the water.And since the reflection reduced the colour density, I had to slightly push up the EV but not for a lot lest the highlighted parts would be burnt out.And I didn't have a ND or CPL filter on hand (yes, you can put the filter in front of the lens to make it work for a P&S camera.)In this case, it is necessary to do post-processing to the photo which I think produces a much better imag…

Through the Eye of Adjudicators

A boring photo.A post last week recommended two photo contests to you. Have you figured out which photos to pick?Taking part in a photo contest is an educational process. For the same theme, you will be amazed by how many different interpretations to produce a wide array of the final images. You learn from the winners about what make their works tick. If you're the winner, the result could unleash your photographic creativity to another level as your talents and skills are then proven.Why not walk the scene and shoot from a novel point of view?Winning a photo contests requires a combination of, or rather a coincidence of, different factors. As far as my experience goes, they are:1. Be passionate about your life. In other words, as discussed before, photographers have to "feel" the scene before taking a shot. The ability to feel a scene is nourished by your passion in life. Without passion or feelings, photographers can never produce images which really captivate …

Old Railway in Tai Po

View of Tai Po in 1910While the Tai Po Market featured in yesterday's post is a living reminder of the folk history, the Hong Kong Railway Museum adjacent to it gives a glimpse into the way of life under the British colonial history.The Hong Kong Railway Museum was converted from the actual Old Tai Po Market Station, occupying some 6,500 square metres.  Facing the main  entrance is a distinctive station building which was architecturally different from other old stations along the railway line.  It is built in a traditional  Chinese style with a pitched roof.  The ridge and gables of the building are adorned with auspicious Chinese motifs such as red bats, peonies and magpies, which are characteristics decorations on traditional Chinese residences.  The station building alone is worth a special trip to the museum.The Old Tai Po Market Station served the then Kowloon-Canton Railway (British Section) which was open on 1 October 1910.  Until 1949, through train service between Kowloo…

Tai Po

People fished on two boats underneath a footbridge in the present-day Tai Po.If you go on a trip in Hong Kong or even live here, there is a place you must visit: Tai Po.Tai Po is situated in the northern part of the New Territories.  The names of both already carry some history.  Tai Po literally means "Big Cloth", a name used since the late 1800s resembling the earlier name "Big Step (stride)".  The words "cloth" and "step" are homophonic in Cantonese, the language spoken in Southern China.  The name "Big Step" is thought to be originated from the sea fronting the area, the "Big Step Sea", now known as the "Tolo Harbour".In 1898, the Qing Emperor of Imperial China ceded the vast area to the north of Kowloon to the British by way of a treaty.  At that time, the Royal Army already took hold the the Hong Kong Island and Kowloon.  This area was therefore called the New Territories.  In April 1898, the British gunboats…