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Showing posts from January 23, 2011

Cosplay Day

(Camera: Sony A55)The Cosplay Club of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University held its annual Cosplay Day today. This colourful Asia breed of masquerade had a great atmosphere. The participants role-played Japanese anime characters by wearing special dresses, makeup and imitating the gestures.The dressed-up young people would ask any photographers coming along if they wished to take pictures, and willingly post for them for as long as can be. Among the troop of photographers, some enthusiastic expats were spotted while some young Americas – you just knew from the way they spoke – found the sight amusing and probably kind of strange. In the canteen for a respite, the author asked some participants how they managed to mimic in such fantastic ways. Two of them revealed that they either bought the costumes and special makeup on the Internet, and paid factories to manufacture the clothes based on their designs or made from scratch by themselves. One said that she was from the department of f…

Hidden Colour Filters in Cameras

(Camera: GX200 with WB biased towards greenish blue)

That a good shot doesn't necessarily require a great camera should sound to you as much a common sense as every point-and-shoot camera has some hidden functions in addition to those meet the eye, with or without taking into account the user's photographic skill. The functions are already built-in. The only problem is whether the user knows how to use them. We have discussed one of them in an earlier post this week.
Now if you are using an enthusiast compact, it surely allows you to manually bias the white balance towards a certain colour to shoot images with a colour filter effect. Fact is, you can work around the WB of an entry-level point-and-shoot camera to achieve comparable results. 
(Camera: GX200 with WB biased slightly towards green and red)

This is how:
- Go to the menu and look for White Balance (WB)
- In the WB page, activate WB Set or Setting WB where you can fine-tune or define "whiteness"
- Usually, on…

Poll Results: Favourite Next Camera

As the chart above reveals, the top three cameras the readers crave for are GRD3, GXR and GH2.Owing to the bug in the polling gadget, the number of votes always start to decline a few days before the deadline. This has happened for all of the polls using the same gadget.The highest count of votes of the recently completed poll was 47, to which the number in the chart above doesn't add up. Blame the bug.

Question of What and How

(Camera: Ricoh GX200 with DW-6)Last week the author spoke with a local graphic designer who is famous in Hong Kong and China.  Actually, he is a recognised master and sought-after speaker in the industry. Another lesser known talent he has is drawing cartoon characters.So the brief conversation also touched on creativity. Some parents, admirably in his eye, gave the freedom for their children to draw on one theme for years. We agreed that such a single-focus approach is a fruitful way to train up one's ability to see things in multiple perspectives. The gist of creativity lies exactly in that ability, said he.The same can be said of photography. To excel in photography, the aspirant photographers may try to work on various subject matters. Fact is, it pays to nail down to just one or two themes. Instead of devoting a good deal of time to setting different themes now and again, the photographer should focus on what to express on a particular theme and how. Then keep working on it.…

Human Eye ISO

An interesting read. Click the screenshot to read.

Manipulating Temperature

(Camera: Samsung WB600 with Incandescent Lamp WB)

If you always believe that the white balance settings are primarily for enabling a digital camera to render a scene correctly, you are downright mistaken. And you have missed lots of otherwise keepers too.
Digital cameras these days can perfectly gauge the lighting for the "desirable" white balance setting. While this spares photographers the trouble to manually tweak the white balance, the downside is that the final image may simply fall flat when the environmental lights and therefore colours in the actual scene are but boring.
So, here are the author's usual ways to make better use of the white balance settings

- Use the Incandescent Lamp (usually indicated by a light-bulb icon) setting to add a bluish cast to the image for a sense of calmness or coolness which, if expressed in Kelvin Scale, is in the range of 7,000 to 11,000k.

- This works best for night scenes. 
(WB600 with Cloudy WB at midday)

- Use the Cloudy WB to give…

Golden Lens Award

The Golden Lens Award is said to be the most prestigious in China's photography community. The 2010 grand prize went to a YANG Shu-huai who took the photo featured above. Below is some background information of the winning image, titled The Zhong Sisters from Yi Huang and a translation of an interview with YANG.
Background Information
On 10 September 2010, three persons set fire to themselves in protest of the land resumption which led to compulsory demolition of their houses in Feng Kong Yuan of Yi Huang County in Guangxi. The three seriously burnt victims were immediately sent to the hospital for rescue. But one of them died from seriously burnt injuries. After a series of investigations, several high-ranking officials were sacked, including the Party Secretary of Yi Huang County Party Committee who was the de facto head of the county.

Interview with YANG

Reporter: Under what circumstance was this shot taken? 

Yang: It was taken for the yearly special edition of a publication.  The …