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Showing posts from May 30, 2010

Off Topic: May 35th and Deer Died

Note: The videos contain scenes of bloodshed and seriously wounded people which may be not suitable to some. The Chinese government's great firewall was operating at full strength yesterday to block any words or photos about or suggestive of the June Fourth massacre, as widely reported in the local newspapers today. The internet blockade was even done to the SINA HK blog service which is a subsidiary arm of the China-based SINA ISP. The general bloggers as well as the local singers and artists have had their June-Fourth related messages or blog posts deleted. I think that is outrageous and not what Hong Kong people can or will tolerate.The newspapers coverage also include some creative way of the Mainland Chinese bloggers and internet users to work around the censorship. Some wrote messages about the May Thirty-Fifth incident (that is, 4th June); some used homophonic words like Deer Died (Deed sounds like June in Chinese; Died like Fourth) in "The death of the deer... i…

On This Day 21 Years Ago

A flyer on the floor reads "Don't Forget June Fourth". On this day every year I feel nostalgic, and actually rather depressed. Twenty-one years ago, this was the day when the massacre on Tiananmen Square took place. My Mum was my age then. Now I have lived to my Mum's age when she saw the massacre, but the wrong in the history has not be righted while the underprivileged Chinese people have to bear with the political backwardness which was pretty much why those brave protestors took to the street. They were eventually randomly shot dead, clubbed to death, run over by tanks or executed by their government; those lucky ones were jailed; the even luckier ones are still living, with the wounds unhealed. Every year this day, Hong Kong puts up its beautiful face with the yearly vigil in memory of the massacre and the dead. Tonight 150,000 people took part in the vigil. Back from it, I am too tired to put all the photos in one post. Here are some I took tonight. "Re…

Short Cuts and Back Roads

If you are into photography, having bought a camera or two and read lots of camera reviews but scantily books on photographic techniques, my counsel to you is: "How sacrilegious!" If photography is about anything, it is least about cameras. In the film era, at least in Hong Kong, there was quite some number of advanced photographers being keen on using low-end point-and-shoot cameras to do great photos by using their photographic skills to work around the cameras' limitations.Maybe I have forgotten more than what I have read, but I have read quite a number of materials on photographic skills. Most of them were borrowed from the libraries. But we all want to take short cuts and back roads to get to the destinations easier and faster, don't we?Just in case you have missed it, one of these short cuts is to scan through the masters' works. If you asked me, I try to see from the shooters' perspective for the intriguing photos which catch my attention: What did th…

Spick-and-Spin

The GX200 is known for producing film-like images with respect to the coarseness and grains. Which of the these images were shot with the GX200? Check out the answer at the bottom of this post. Two years ago a friend of mine was appalled by the wedding photos the studio photographers did for her. Her first reaction to the photos was like, "Gosh, why do these photos look so coarse? Those of the other batch were cleaner." What gives? My diagonsis that she had been digitally poisoned was later proved correct. The photographers replied that the two batches had been done separately with a film and a digital camera. That was two years ago. How much more widely the illness has spread since then? Well, there are some glitters of hope. Last week, I ran into two teenagers in a cafe. No later had they sat down than I noticed the curious little silver machines on their table. One was a Leica and the other an Olympus. Both were old mechanical 135-format film cameras. They just made me feel …

Camera Reviews: Trusting What You Read?

In the film era -- or the era of mechanical cameras, to be exact -- buying cameras (135 format) was less complicated. As the film camera is just a light box, there are not much to compete about for the camera body. The competition mainly went on for the optical quality of the lenses. So, in essence, the decision could be made simply basing on the camera maker's ability in producing lenses with prime optical quality.  And then you just stuck to that camera brand with more investment spent on the lenses. With the advent of automatic functionalities, camera bodies began to upstage the lenses somewhat.Now, digital cameras are the prima donnas and, if you like, uomos. As these jack-of-all-traders (and masters of some) take up a larger part of the investment with their ambitious pricing but a shorter life cycle, it becomes almost necessary to read lots of reviews to make an informed purchase than to regret later.But after reading all the reviews, how much more informed you have really b…

Faces of Hong Kong: A Contest and a Book

(Postscript: Just got a news from the organiser of the Faces of Hong Kong photo contest (for HK residents only) that they now extend the contest to close on 20 June 2010. Participants can submit two entries instead of just one.)While the Faces of Hong Kong photo contest, which closes at midnight today, is exclusively for Hong Kong residents to take part in, the book depicting another face of Hong Kong titled "Hong Kong Nature Landscapes" is for all lovers of Hong Kong spectacular hiking trails and aspiring landscape photographers.The author and photographer, Edward Stokes, grew up in Hong Kong and returned in 1993, to work on projects about the natural landscape. He began with Hong Kong's wild places and criss-crossed them until 2003. The unique aspect about Hong Kong's country parks is not just that most of them border between thick woods and blue oceans, but more notably that they comprises 40% of Hong Kong's land. In comparison, the United States, for exampl…