Saturday, 7 January 2012

I Just Wanna Sit Here

R9353179L (Ricoh GX200)

Well, this is your Saturday.  Time is on your hand.  Hip is on your body.  Sit if you so wish.

Friday, 6 January 2012

Well Read

R0010492L (Ricoh GX200)

I have been using the GX200 since mid-2008.  In between the time from then to now, I have tried at least 15 serious compact cameras by Ricoh, Pany, Samsung, Canon and presently the Leica D-Lux 5.  All of them underwent my review but some have not had a chance to publish.  Up to this point, I can still call myself well read in compact cameras.  

Whether there will be more camera reviews here this year depends on the spare time I will have.  For Ricoh cameras, with the penchant for this brand I will give them the priority to do a review.  Taking about reviews, the Internet is increasing filled with less than mediocre reviewers.  Beware of their verdicts.  Sometimes, some of them may say something like the ad I wrote about here.

The negative effect of having tried so many cameras is one feels numb to yet another new camera -- even if it is a new camera for me to keep.

Now that my camera cabinet is rather cramped, and space is to be spared for the Leica X1, I am considering selling the Ricoh GX200.  Oh, this is such a good -- soon a vintage -- camera that I will still keep one of my two.  I have no specific idea of how to go about it.  It is best to sell to a local in Hong Kong.  Anyway, if you're interested, send me an email.

Lastly, if you ask me to pick one from those I tried for the best value for money, I would say the Samsung EX1.  Its performance at ISO800 is in reality very usable.  I'd say upto ISO1600, the images are fine on regular-size print. The IQ is in general great.  The Germany-brand lens gives good details in final images.  Twin control wheels.  Swiveling screen. Metallic body. Intuitive menu system.  Usable colour modes.  Cheap price tag.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

What the!


According to a news report in the local Apple Daily (as a reference, in the case of the UK, it is equivalent to the sum of the Sun and the Guardian), the DOLCE & GABBANA shops sent shop attendants and then security personnel to chase away people (journalists who did the investigation report after receiving readers' complaints) taking photos which include their window displays from the sidewalk or outside their shops on the pretext that the photos may be used for producing counterfeit products and mimicking the expensive window display design.

It is also reported that photography in such situations will be allowed for tourists but not for locals.

The local photography community is enraged by the draconian treatment of photographers and unreasonable claim to property rights.  Some people have already called via Facebook for people to take part in Sunday's photography group to shoot outside the shops.  The group will start the open defiance from 3 to 5 that day.

Here are some legal Q&As about street photography in Hong Kong:

Q:Where can I photograph at will?
A:There is no law in Hong Kong prohibiting people from taking photographers at public places, with the exception of private premises  where the owners can stipulate a “no photograph” rule and demand rule breakers to leave.

Q:Can I shoot private premises from a public area?
A:A private premises that can be visually accessed with a bare eye from a public area are taken to be displaying to the public, of which photography shall be allowed.

Q:Is it illegal if in that case the photos include copyrighted products and trademarks in a window display?
A:It shall not be construed as copyright infringement  unless proof can be obtained on one having used the trademarks to counterfeit the same to achieve the purpose of sale.  Otherwise, such items in display shall be regarded as displaying to the public and allow photography by the public.

Q:If a passer-by is photographed, can the person demand the photographers to delete the photos or sue the latter?
A:Hong Kong does not protect portrait rights in law.  Photographing passers-by is not a violation in law.  The passers-by have no right to demand deletion of the photos.  However, an injunction can be obtained from court for reason of being stalked or privacy to demand cessation of the shooting or publication of the photos.

Q:Under what circumstances will photographing in public areas result in public prosecution?
A:A charge on indecent act may be made if the photographers purposefully point the lens closely to others’ body parts or photograph others' chests or from under a skirt and so on.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

I Am the Photographer

R9353411L (Ricoh GX200)

For a photographer to do a good job, it is the skills that matter most.  But sometimes when one appears to be a cool photographer, it will certainly help your subjects or clients and even yourself to gain a better confidence in the outcome.  

If you don't have a good looking face, and you have a group of people for some group shots,  be cool and try this: "Stand ready. One two (snap a shot).  One two (snap the other shot).  That lady a bit to the right (or cue whoever needs to be rearranged).  One two (snap)."  In ten seconds, you take three shots.  And everyone will say oohs and ahhs, laugh a hearty laugh and, most important of all, (rightly) believe that you are professional.  After all, now that the atmosphere is amicable, the final shot will look better as the subjects have brightened facial expressions and relaxed body gestures.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Hong Kong Elements in a Shot

R9353438L (Ricoh GX200)

They are: the poker face which is common among the adults; the quick paced steps as you can guess from the two subjects on the right; a sidewalk and a residential estate situated next to a highway; co-existence of shabby structures and modern buildings.  Quintessentially Hong Kong are these elements.

Monday, 2 January 2012


DSC04083L (Sony A55)

The workweek starts tomorrow.  Can we, er, skip it?

Sunday, 1 January 2012