Saturday, 12 June 2010

Unscrewing the GXR S10

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I stumbled upon a fellow photographer, whether out of mere curiosity, a flaunt of riches or the spirit of adventure I don't know, who has the guts and skills to tailor-made a camera for IR photography. This time, a GXR S10 module was unscrewed.

Note a photo in the middle of the his post which compares the thickness, or thinness to be exact, of the S10's low-pass filter to the one cut from other cameras of his. The low-pass filter minimises the loss of lights. The comparison shows that Ricoh's effort in improving the quality of the final images.

The resulting photos are shown in the lower part of his post.

Friday, 11 June 2010

16mm Converter and a Star Filter

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The shots were taken around midnight at a high point with the GX200 mounted on a tripod and with the 16mm converter while I held the star filter in front of the lens.  Handholding filters in front of lenses is a makeshift way to use the unfitting filters for the lenses on hand.  A tripod is usually needed.  The other day when I took part in the June Fourth vigil, I met a photographer doing the same to his medium-format camera mounted on a tripod.

Hong Kong aglow with the motley colour of lights at night is always fascinating.  But with the kick-off of the 2010 FIFA World Cup tonight, most will prefer to be fascinated by the 22 people running around a round toy on the field.

Ole ole ole!

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Thursday, 10 June 2010

Come Rain

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The weather is absolutely wet here at this time of the year, which is fantastic for photography on the street.

It would be even better if I can do multiple exposures with the GX200.  People on the street will do all sorts of action on a rainy day.  The umbrellas are so colourful too.  These could be interesting when appeared in a multiple exposure shot.

You may try it this way: Do a shot by dragging the shutter speed, and then another one with a fast shutter speed.  For the first photo the subjects become translucent while those on the second one are solid.  Mix them together by way of a PP programme and see what you will end up with.

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Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Embark

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In the film era, most advanced cameras could shoot multi-exposure shots.  Now, as far as the digital serious compacts are concerned, this is far from a standard feature which I think should be.

This multi-exposure shot was synthesized by way of PP.  The passengers were walking down the gangway to embark the ferry to cross the Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

GXR P10: HK Promotion plus High ISO Shots

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Ricoh's P10 28-300mm F3.5-5.6 VC for the GXR is launched on the official website.  It will be available in Hong Kong this month.  Now there is a chance to get it cheaper in Hong Kong.  The P10 and GXR body set will cost HK$1,000 less if you buy it at the Hong Kong International Travel Expo at kiosk D128 from 12 to 13 June.  Laikok, the dealer, will be selling the set at HK$4,500 at the kiosk.

The P10 features a 1/2.3" back-illuminated CMOS which is designed for, among other things, better high ISO performance.  It can takes HD video too, if that suits you.

The P10 is thought to be the GXR version of Ricoh's CX3.  Does it deliver in respect of the claimed improvement to ISO performance?

ISO P10 CX3 s10 (1/1.7" CCD)
400 f 7 1/10s f3.7 1/10s f2.5
800 f 7 1/17s f3.7 1/25s f2.5
1600 f 7 1/90s f3.7 1/50s f2.5
3200 f 7 1/189s f3.7 1/100s f2.5

Monday, 7 June 2010

Make Manifest the Stance

walkinginOne of my favourite techiques is to stand at a shooting point and keep photographing the same scene. The mosaic of images coming out of the shots is always intriguing, carrying its own unique messages to the viewers. These shots taken at the place of the vigil show participants walking across the scene where the big banner in the background wrote messages about the 1989 democratic movement.

As taking part in the June Fourth vigil made manifest the participant's stance, taking photos can reflect an issue through the photographer's eye.

At the venue of the vigil commemorating the June Fourth Massacre happened in Beijing, there were many photographers roughly in three categories, namely, those using DSLRs with zoom lenses on, P&Ss or serious compacts. I was in the last category with my two GX200s of which one was mounted with the 16mm converter.

Just as using a prime lens obliges the photographer to get close to the subjects and be creative to work around its "shortcomings", the constraints of the GX200 for shots at high ISO and long range (beyond its reach at 75mm) – both are important for a shooting occasion like the rally – did the same to me. So, while the DSLR users zoomed lenses to shoot their subjects, I ran around with my two GX200s. I ended up being closer to the people's actions. The constraints became useful to the photographer to do better shots if, well, he or she is capable as such.

In the images, I intended to express the vigil in a contrasting sense of loss (the massacre is still regarded as counter-revolutionary by the Chinese government) and the people's recalcitrance (people are still pressing for official admittance of responsibility for the massacre 21 years ago).

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For the picture above, I moved the camera upward a bit to mimic the effect of seeing through a tearful eye. Note that I didn't move it downward cos the blurs would have become atop the solid colours, no good for the intended effect. The shutter was dragged to the appropriate speed; the same was done to the photos below.

Next, I moved the camera sideways to give a feeling of activity to the gathering people.

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Pictures interwoven with blurred and static actions are more lively, and powerful, as the following one may show. I had waited for some minutes for this shot. The photographer has to know the right shutter speed.R1230006 (Medium)

We had expats, actually quite a number of them, joining the vigil. I had waited until the man looked over his shoulder to the lens.

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I discovered two lone old men sitting away from the crowds to take part in the vigil. They may be old and with handicapped capabilities but they still took part that night.

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Using a VF made it possible for me to shoot the picture from the waist level, and thus the slow shutter speed was possible even though the camera was handheld.

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The GX200 being unable to zoom to my desired range, I had to move forward to the father and asked for his permission to photograph the girls.

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Young schoolboys and the disabled joined the vigil.

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A typical effect by swirling the camera. The image is more powerful and intriguing than otherwise.

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Sunday, 6 June 2010