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Showing posts from 2012

Turning a Year Older

(Leica D-Lux 5)

I picked this shot for the last day of 2012 as it somehow makes me reminiscent of the time that has passed since I started this blog in mid-2008. Never was it in my thought back then that this blog would later carry on for more than four years. I don't quite thrive with this blogging plus photography endeavour as I might have wished at some point of time. But I haven't tried really hard with all the busyness on my shoulders. So how about you, my dear friends and readers? Time for the new year's resolutions maybe?

Anyway, wish you a happy and successful new year of 2013!

Quintessentially Hong Kong

(Leica D-Lux 5)

In a fast-changing city like Hong Kong, what is quintessential about the place hinges on the period in which one was brought up. To me, it is the typical street scene where gigantic signboards protrude from elsewhere and hanging overhead. I was naturally drawn to the scene as I felt it right a part of my past. And I injected my feelings in doing the shot in a way that I fully pressed the shutter release only when the elements fell into the right places in my eyes as I might have somehow seen it at a certain point of time in my youth. Just as any other form of art, photography is an art that demands an input of the creator's feelings. Without true feelings, the work is dead no matter how good it may look technically. In a not so extreme case, even an defocused image like this (I was feeling the uncomfy closeness between me and other communters in the underground) and this (the photographer took a quick shot before going out for some Chirstmas shots - copyrighted to…

Loneliness

(Leica X1)

Loneliness, with the noise cluttering up the inner self, drowns the outside world of all isolated souls.

Falun Phone

(Leica X1)Well, maybe just in case the phone rings?

Multi-tasking Street Photographer

(Leica X1)Bearing the weight of the boy and his annoying scratching of the bald head, the photographer surely had a hard time framing the shot.

Getting Ready for Christmas Day...er...Night

(Leica X1)Played hard last night, to play even harder tonight. Sleep well now. Merry Christmas!

My Take on a Wedding Day

(Sony A55)I went to a wedding yesterday and, not being the official photographer, brought along a bag of cameras: Leica D-Lux 5, Leica X1, Minolta Dynax 7 film camera and Sony's A55. The 5 with its benefit of boosting an extensive DOF was for casual shots, the X1 for its lens quality, the 7 to finish off the remaining film shots and A55 for all-round shooting. I ended up using the A55 most – it's versatile and the plentiful functions just suit whatever scenes a photography may stumble upon.Then I saw the official photographers and I wondered how many bland shots they would have got at the end of the day, being so busy directing the moves with a neck and two shoulders full of gear. Could they have the mood to observe? And to begin with, the photographers stood at the wrong place where the sunlight fell "flat" (no pun intended) on the subjects from the front. It was a winter's midday and the position and quality of sunlight was like that in the summer at 3 p.m. Whe…

Christmas Present

(Leica X1)It ached the heart to see this scene.  Apart from buying Christmas presents for your loved ones, don't forget to help the needy.This is a Sunday before Christmas, love and share.

Intriguing Perspective

(Leica X1)It has taken me almost a decade to get in the habit of seeing things like from the perspective through the viewfinder on a camera. Probably an usual person would not have found this scene worthy of a photo. Practice at least makes a habit.

Sleeping Beauty

(Leica X1)

The biggest role of parents is probably being the power plant for their children who, however old they have grown to, in the low tides, know where to turn to for a recharge. On those occasions, the parents, like this mother, will let the child's doing nothing when she has nothing to do about that something be untroubled in the depth of peace like the dusk falling on a valley when the world becomes calm and quiet, leaving only the tree leaves ruffling in the gentle breeze.

Soldier in Life Battles

(Leica X1)

I believe that there are many a man, who could have never in his best days enjoyed life, and yet he had a happy heart loaded with the might to fight the battles in life, and hardship squeegeed sweat on his tanned face. And I believe there have been plenty of young men, of humble backgrounds and ordinary looks, who once felt quite sure that they could live a life less insignificant than the present, and yet have found themselves in middle life incurious of the future, settled with a marginal existence which wrinkles their face even more intensely. I dare say they are the veriest soldiers who take on life battles barehanded and are worthy of our salutes.

Cinderella's Shoes

(Leica X1)The magic has gone and she left barefooted. Anyway, it was either she or the fairy who got bad taste – the shoes look so old-fashioned, style-less.

Mural

(Leica D-Lux 5)

Came across this mural in SoHo depicting Hong Kong of yore which is likely a scene of the now dismantled Walled City in Kowloon.

To the Unknown and Beyond

(Leica D-Lux 5)We are so risk-avert in human nature that the best part of life which can only be experienced in the uncharted waters is so commonly missed. There are as much fear and suffering as wisdom and growth through the journey of uncertainty. The author of this post is not saying this as a spectator but from his first-hand experience. The young chap in the photo has gone through two unsuccessful surgeries and still fighting against the difficulties in life with gusto and his combative best, with the author a backup and companion.If you are in a difficulty or two, stay calm and make sure that you know life is unfair – that's why you're not alone in fighting through it.  We all are putting up a fight.

The Obvious Question

(Sony A55)Who will win?

Stranger

(Leica D-Lux 5)

One of the things that keep captivating to me about shooting on the street is seeing how varied facial expressions can be.  They tell what the mood the owner is in for that particular day.  The culmulative observation after an hour of shooting usually reminds the observer of how casually it actually is for a good day or bad falling on someone.  Which has the effect of telling one the reason to fret and fume is in fact casual too.  Comes the understanding, comes the peaceful mind.

Mid-Week

(Leica D-Lux 5)
Busyness half gone, half ahead.

To the Left, To the Right

(Leica D-Lux 5)Will fate make them meet and fall in love one day?

A Dizzy Photographer's Eye

(Leica D-Lux 5)A picture is worthier than a thousand words. Nevin is suffering from a cold.

It's a Long Road

(Sony A55)And this is Sunday too, so let's hole up and conserve some energy.

Tai Chi Rivals

(Sony A55)

A friend of mine from OZ staying with me for the first time was amazed to find people doing Tai Chi in the park my flat is overlooking. It's always through the eyes of strangers to a place which reminds us of the interesting things happening so habitually to be aware of.

The inversion is deliberate. This perspective is exactly what the photographer is seeing with a cold and a dizzy head.  Have a nice day you guys!

A Cut Above

(Leica D-Lux 5)
Hah, even the mailbox knows how to go about it -- get into the management.

Night Market

(Leica D-Lux 5)Enjoy!

Arise, Workers of the World

(Leica D-Lux 5)

Even workers of the underworld have started working for a while! Arise, arise, arise!

She

(Leica X1)The Leica X1 with its slow-ish noble-esque overelaborated-like focusing is not my first choice for shooting in the street. But its lens' optical quality is really endearing. Taken together, these characteristics of the camera make it the main tool for recording the life of my family and relatives where there are more room for sizing up and tweaking for the final image.She is my granny, looking desolate in the home for the aged.

Lonely Saturday Night

(Leica D-Lux 5)

Brightened Up

(Ricoh GX200)Taking a shot in the street is like a very informal party. There are no rules of prudence, no defined limits of hospitality, no invitations.You roam the streets and, when hooked by a spot intriguing or a person interesting, you simply go closer to shoot before the scene disappears.Sometimes, you may be so urged and engrossed in shooting repeatedly that it has become intrusive to those appearing in the final image.Maybe we need some rules and customs to prescribe a certain degree of restraint?But then, when a photographer stumbles upon a photo worthy scene like the shot of today, how could he or she possibly resist to be like in a very informal party again?I was brightened up when coming across this scene and stayed at the spot for a while, finally taking six shots before ending up with this better last image.When I reviewed the shots at home, I noticed some frown faces.

Make It Go

(Leica D-Lux 5)

With the habit of photographing whenever an opportunity presents itself, I have likely sharpened my photographer's eye. Possibly because of this, I was able to notice and feel captivated by the melancholy look in this man's empty gaze as I moved quickly past him. It was as if he was making some trouble go away from his mind. I was with my camera ready while walking, as always, and snapped the shot at a high ISO number.  The grains go right with the mood of the subject and the scene overall.  The pole on the left and the street furniture (the metal box) on the right margin can be taken together to reflect or represent the isolation he was in, which is also accentuated by the contrast of the busy and lit-up background.  It is always exceptionally touching to look at the sad face of a man than that of a woman as it is like the melting of a symbol of adamancy and it feels ultimate and irreversible. Which reminds me of this song:

The Obvious Cue

(Leica D-Lux 5)

The Obvious Cue   by Nevin


The
big arrow lying in meekness points the way to those who follow never minding
or sighing
for those
choosing
to pursue a
doctorate
or be a
laureate
in the
iPhone
they
own

In the Rain

(Ricoh GX200)

It is turning cold and wet in Hong Kong. I usually bring along the GX200 mounted with the wide converter in such a weather as the raindrops will less likely get into the lens barrel while I shoot in the street. If you wonder, the blurry background is not a result of extravagant cook-up from post-processing even though the primary subject has been sharpened and warmed up a bit. The technique to bring about a blurry background and a comparatively sharper primary subject in the final image is actually an old trick, which resembles achieving the swirling visual effect by way of slightly zooming the lens while pressing the shutter release. But instead of zooming the lens which is impossible on a camera like the GX200, one just needs to set the shutter speed barely lower than the safe value (and turn off the anti-shake), and push forward the camera gently while snapping the shot. Then, just try and err to find the best result you wish. Mind that this trick best suits a stati…

Rising Cantonese Opera Stars

(Leica D-Lux 5)

Recent years have seen renewed interests among locals in the cultural heritage of Hong Kong. Such a wind of change has even been raffling the young minds as evident in yesterday's Cantonese Opera Day when young learners of the art staged free performances in the foyer of the Cultural Centre. The dancing and singing were well-received and warmly applauded by the hundreds of spectators, both locals and foreigners, crowding around the stage and watching with great gusto.


There are tons of things to write about Cantonese Opera which cannot possibly be contained in this confined space. But the best way to admire it is not in words but in deed -- go to Yaumatei Theatre in Yaumatei and Sunbeam Theatre in North Point, the special venues to watch Cantonese opera performances. The Yaumatei Theatre is housed in a historical building which used to be a theatre notorious for showing porn movies. It is a medium-size venue designated as a cultivating ground for fledging troupes w…

Passing

(Leica X1)

Hong Kong is getting a bit rainy today and going to turn cooler when the mistral passes here tomorrow. But with the passing of a week of drawn-out busyness, we can all hole up in the house and on the bed with hot choc and some books, leaving the mistral blowing like crazy out there. Who cares?

How a Leggy Man Makes Do

(Leica X1)…with a small bed.

Predominantly Ladies

(Leica D-Lux 5)

Hong Kong's population is at present most skewed on record for male-female proportion. The ratio is standing at under 900 men for every 1000 women. Worse still, this trend will continue to reach a wider gap of under 800 men per 1000 women in twenty years' time. But the dire prospect of lacking men for women will not be a long time coming. In fact, possibly misled for some unknown reason, more local guys have already been looking north for marriage as Mainland ladies are believed to be more pliant. For this, I feel bound to speak up for ladies in Hong Kong. The potted summary that Hong Kong women with higher education and earning power are less submissive is over-simplified. Man, don't get into the ideological bulwark against them. After all, you're not looking for a pet! But ladies in Hong Kong, anything that the sex ratio shift is doing is pushing you further away from the inner circle of choice. Mind more the contested terrain of finding a loved one t…

Shopping Comrades

(Leica D-Lux 5)Hong Kong has a very convenient feeding source of Mainland big spending comrades to build up its pillar of economy which is shopping. Elsewhere in Hong Kong sees the common sight of what is known as the pull-handle-case gang, a sarcastic address for these comrades since herds of them are always inconveniently found roaming with pull-handle luggage cases and blocking the already crowded sidewalks. Probably a taste acquired from the British, Hongkongers look more upon people of a pedigree or good education than those simply suddenly rising with an immeasurable amount of wealth.  What the city has been seeing these days is troops of spenders flaunting their wealth.  The cumulative effect is that some parts of the city are becoming foreign to the locals. One such example is Canton Road where the shopping comrades are lining up outside big stores or squatting or sitting elsewhere with their lootings around the clock.

Imagine

(Leica D-Lux 5)Imagine there's no bosses
It isn't hard to do
Nobody to kill or die for
And no office too
Imagine all the people living life in dream
You, you may say
I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one
I hope some day you'll join us
And the world'll be sleepy as one

Sigh

(Leica D-Lux 5)An eventful week passed? This is Sunday. Let bygone be bygone. Enjoy the day.