Saturday, 24 March 2012

Peculiar Traffic Accident

L1000350L (Leica D-lux 5)

Always carry a camera coz you’ll never know what is to present around the corner. This side of the road was not cordoned off, and cars were coming his way. Maybe he was waiting for the ambulance and tow car after the accident?

Friday, 23 March 2012

Safe As…

L1000183L (Leica D-Lux5)


As the saying goes, "as safe as the Bank of England". Well, these days, who can say for sure how safe any bank is? Not to mention Durex. And honestly, why do we wish to associate safety with someone or something else?

When I was a young child reaching school age, my parents, on any day of any year, filled my life with great freedom not to be found in the dictionary of the present-day hot-housed kids. After scribbling through the homework, I would roam around the neighbourhood with friends. One of the most exciting memories was an adventure with them, after the site workers  left, into a building under demolition. Climbed to the top floor, gone in and out of the topsy-turvy units and finally looked over the staircases cracked open and broken between floors, I was much amazed and pleased with what we had managed to find, but left with a disturbed mind in a run of nightmares that night. I was given a good scold when it was exposed to the adults. In fact, such constant dosage of risks and rebukes only worked to make us bolder. Going through those adventurous days gave me a great sense of safety more  than such possible dangers gave me scared feelings.

These childhood experiences have been of use to me since I grew up, came into the world and observed the actions of men. I have a good sense of safety in whatever I am required to do, for I am used to scary moments, fierce faces and outright failures. But when I looked around, there were very many people who were desperate in finding a sense of safety. When I saw some company chairmen flaunted their bed worth the price of a decent Japanese car, the privilege of dining in a single-table room at some private club the size of a normal residential apartment and overseas flights to get laid, but giving up every enjoyable moment to the soul, forsaking the pleasure of observing virtue and losing the esteem of his servants, I actually saw the lack of a sense of safety. When I met a lady who had an extramarital affair, got pregnant and ran away with the man to their haven, leaving behind the liberty from guilt, children of both families, their  spouses and perhaps their friends, "Mistaken people," said I, "you are not running for but away from the sense of safety."

The miseries of most people could come from their lack and pursuit of a sense of safety. The paradox is that people think safety is associated with material gains and tangible pleasures. Fact is, it is found in not the universe outside of our heart. The sense of safety is actually grown from the heart.

For that matter, safety, of course, does not hinge on the liquidity level of any bank. Likewise, the sense of safety in a relationship cannot be found in Durex or the activities with the help of it.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Penalty Kick

L1000644L(Leica X1)

Was he making fun of them instead of taking photos for them? I don't know about you but I doubt about this penalty kick pose.

This is Pottinger Street, named after the first British governor of the colonial Hong Kong. Also known as stone slab street to locals, it is a popular destination for tourists. The streetscape along the street has remained largely unchanged over a century. While the lower section is flanked by kiosks selling fancy things, the section here leads to the now vacated century-old colonial police headquarters and prison compounds. Not far away are the local SOHO and Lan Kwai Fong areas where barflies hover at night. Come here in the daytime, especially at lunchtimes, for a light meal and then do some street snaps. There are plenty of neighbourhood eateries and people milling about. You won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Lure of Fantasy

L1010205L

(Leica D-Lux5)

I almost gave it the title of Sex Fantasy if not for want of a better taste.

Very often when a thought or visual or conversation conjures up a fantasy, we would fix our mind on it until the usual definitive business interrupts. Then we could have forgotten about it for a certain period of time until, flash, what has been fancied is unfolding right before our eyes. Right there, we are left to ourselves to decide whether to get a hold on or let go of it.

Recently, I have been clearing my camera cabinet of unwanted gear and selling some away, and have so far made two sales. An interesting observation is that on both occasions, the buyers were willing to pay extra for the old accessories I brought with me which they had not asked for. It seems that when determination has been made to turn the fantasy into reality, one will never be too frugal to make the reality as fanciful as can be. I sold the accessories to the buyers by saying that they might not wish to miss them. In the next second I was given the extra cash. No flowery wording or unscrupulous touting.

I myself have fallen victim to this human weakness about fantasy lately too as I have been browsing “porn sites” for photographers. The worst are the Leica ones where users crow about their troops of pricey Leica paraphernalia. They write porn stories about their cameras and lenses and post naked shots of and by them. The cumulative effect of which might be the shot of today taken under my infected subconscious perceptions at the scene.

Oh my! Before anything unfold before my eyes, I should resume my consciousness and stop browsing these “porn sites”.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Love Comforts

R9365236L (Ricoh GRD4)

It was all luck for me to have captured this image just right. The leaping joy of love deep in the lady's bounding heart as surfaced on her supple face is contrasted and thus accentuated by the bespectacled man's wooden face and the barely lit face of the bowing man, as if telling that he was disheartened, on the far right. The message that love comforts is radiating strongly from the two main subjects on the left part of the scene, but met with the stone coldness of the right half. It is this tension which gives a lingering aftertaste to viewers.

Looking at the lovers, who won't envy people who have both youth and love in their grasp. Some think that youth is a state of being. I say that it is a state of mind. And love is not just a matter of tenderness, kisses on the lips and repetitions of sweet talks. It is more a readiness to accept coming what may be, an intensity of enthusiasm and a freshness of the soul. These can happen more often to a younger life. But when they are found in a man or woman of an older age, be surprised that underneath the wrinkled skin is the richer deposit of and a more vigourous appetite to share such qualities. These people tend to have a spirit never covered with snow too – which is the essence of youth.

So, if the two young lovers are replaced by two older people, will we be even more jealous?  I bet.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Bothered? Why Bother?

R9365033L (Ricoh GRD4)

The more I look at today's photo, the more it is mesmerising to me. I can't help wondering what this man was reading and what exactly in it could have possibly written the frustrated look on his face. Was it a big bother in life to him? An octogenarian author I am reminded of by this shot once commented on the life journey that our ups and downs do not come in succession but more often happen simultaneously. The author went on advising readers that for this reason, we need to walk with a heart ready for happiness on one side and sorrows on the other. This is what he believed the best attitude for immunising us against just fretting and fuming at our low tides in life. We can feel saddened in those times, but we are obliged to persevere.

When life intervenes, it helps to think to ourselves that we will eventually tide over it somehow. Then at some point in life when we look back, we will be gratified to see our footprints continuing uninterrupted on this long and sometimes arduous journey.

In today's shot, the man was reading a piece of paper, which is also what makes the scene intriguing to me. I was reminded of a letter or, to be exact, a father’s last letter to his kids. Read through to the end and you won’t want to miss a second to make life enjoyable to yourself and your loved ones.

To my son, Cecil,
Just a quick note before I start in earnest. When I wrote this you were 8, still a little boy. IN 2002, I was called to active duty in the Marine Corps in the War on Terrorism. On the 11th Septenber 2001 when America was attached, I knew that I would eventually hve to go and I was filled with a deep sense of sadness. That night as you and Keiko were asleep, I looked at your little face and couldn’t help but fight the tears. I knew it would be hard for you because I had a similar experience. When I was a little boy aged 6, my Dad, your Grandpa Cawley, was sent to Vietnam during the war there. I remember how much I missed him, too. But now unfortunately I have come to realize just how rough it must have been for Grandpa to be away from his children for a year. Thinking about this, I wanted to put my thoughts and feelings down for you and your sister. I am so sorry that I had to leave for such a long time. There is no place I would rather be than with you and Keiko. You two are the lights of my life. I have known no greater joy than in the few years since you two were born. I hope to have many more years with you. If this doesn’t happen, then know that I love you more than words can express. If for some reason I don’t make it home, I will need you to take care of your little sister and your Mom. You will be the Man of the Cawley family. Be good my son and God will watch over you as he has me. I will be waiting impatiently for the time when we can all be together again.
All my love, Dad

James Cawley, the author, died in the war. Two days after his death, his last letter arrived at his family’s home in Utah, written on the packaging of an MRE Meal Ready to Eat, the US military’s frontline ration. It consisted of a message in Japanese to his wife and his final words to his children.

Dear Cecil and Keiko,
Hi little guys. How are you? Daddy is fine. I miss you. Send me a letter okay. It will make me very happy. I am proud of you. You are such good kids. I will see you again.
Love, Daddy

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Enjoy Yourself

R9365179L (Ricoh GRD4)

This is Sunday. In whatever you do, enjoy yourself!