Saturday, 27 August 2011

Mobile Eatery

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The coach driver is having his lunch in style.

Friday, 26 August 2011

The Curves

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The Beijing National Stadium, or commonly known as the Bird's Nest, is a magnificent piece of modern architecture second only to, as far as China is concerned, the Guangzhou Opera House by the Israeli architect Zaha Hadid.  The Bird's Nest manifests itself in various forms and feels when viewed at different angles and distances.  It is necessary for visitors to walk around it to admire its true beauty.  The same is all the more necessary for photographers in a hope to doing some great shots of it. Doing shots of it in colour is all well and good. But black and white images simply capture one's attention more intensely to its form and structure.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

OT: Who Want One, Raise Up Your Hand

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The 16G version of the HP Touchpad is selling for HK$780 online!

Oops, there are reports that no one has been able to access the webpage and that most are believed to have been snapped up by people-in-the-know. The pads are, in a word, sold out. Hands down please.  

Today's shot was again done on the ballet performance in Beijing.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011


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The imminent launch of the A77 today is much anticipated among Sony camera fanboys (and girls), much as that of the soon-to-be-released GXR A12 Mount for Leica M among Ricoh, Leica and manual-focus-lens aficionados. It is interesting to see how the rumours and news of every single camera can forever set the photography community agog with intense discussions and reactions.

New camera introduction has become a close cousin of irrational decisions with which the potential and hypnotised-to-become-potential buyers generally fail to ask the right questions about the choices on hand: Do the new cameras really suit their photography needs and, most importantly, styles? 

It is only when the new cameras have gone through the fifteen minutes of fame will the decision be made more rationally. Take the A77 for example. It is certainly powerful and packed with new features. But this can also be translated as heavier, pricier and designed for more advanced users. Now, can’t a cheaper A55 or the newer A65 do what you wish to do? Maybe when the A77 is off the spotlight, we can think clearly about it without the hypes. 

But the GXR Leica M mount is in a totally different territory. After all, things with an exorbitant price tag are in that territory; the Leica Mount with a comparable lens will be expansive enough for that matter. And understandably those users are either too rich to be disputed (you just don’t bother to dispute with them; they have the money to burn) or seriously mature and experienced photographers. In case of the latter, they know what they need and will be investing. Personally, the author is interested to see how well Ricoh can implement it in the GXR system. 

Today’s shot was taken at the same ballet show as the one yesterday. The image was selected and framed from the scene of a large group of little ballet dancers waiting for their turn to dance. The photographer’s attention was captured by the curved lines on the shoulders accentuated by the lights and shadows, as well as the intense yet jolly atmosphere at that very moment.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

On Solid Ground

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Finally, back to Hong Kong. For any photographers, bringing back from a holiday must be not only fond memories but also tons of shots to labour later to sort, delete, keep, post-process, develop, categorise, dispatch and so on. So, if you are travelling with a photography aficionado, the better chance for you to obtain from him or her the photos taken during the trip hinges on whether you are able to get them before the trip ends. Don’t bet on any promises to give you the photos after "tidying up" at home because those promises are very illusive as your photographer friend will end up on the computer indefinitely doing the sorting, deleting, keeping, post-processing, categorising…that is if they will even finish.

As for me, I have brought back tons of shots too. But that tedious workflow has mostly completed while waiting for and flying on the plane. More images from the Beijing trip will be coming.

The image of today was taken at a ballet show where the author had the privilege to sneak to the backstage. It was just a dream come true for any photographer to be there to enjoy the photo opportunities galore. 

Monday, 22 August 2011

A Man and a Chiwawa

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This is a fun shot to the author as the tiny chiwawa leading the way and the owner following the lead, the background (a constuction site suggesting a messy works area) with the seemingly welcoming bantings (suggesting thoughtful arrangements), and the complementary (turquoise and brown) and conflicting (brown and dark blue) colours combine to deliver an incongruent atmosphere but rich cultural messages in the final image.

The messages are:

- According to an old professor, in the early days of the communist rule, dogs were purged in Beijing. Kids in those years had no physial reference for the word "dog". They even pointed to the picture of a tiger when asked to spy a dog.

- Nowadays, dogs are of course allowed as pets in China. Some ten years ago, there were Hongkongers who lived in government housing made a fortune by breeding and selling to rich Mainland Chinese what were claimed to be pedigree dogs. Among the dogs were chiwawas. Can the spotting of a chiwawa walking on a dirty street epitomise the rags-to-riches stories in the booming China?

- It is not foolhardy to venture that the construction site behind the well-placed hoarding is as messy as can be. As a rule of thumb, in China, things may look good on the outside but the inside may gives one a nightmarish experience. 

- While big Chinese cities like Beijing are undergoing stupendously fast-paced modern developments, there are tons of practices inconsisitent with the societies of modern times. Take for example arranging business meetings with counterparts in China. One should mark that no appointments are definite until the last minute when the meeting can actually be cancelled without prior notice. This may be more true in Northern China where the people are known to be magniloquent in promises.

Sunday, 21 August 2011


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This is Sunday. Show compassion to people in need.