Saturday, 7 April 2012

Cold War II

L1000566L (Leica D-Lux 5)

Is it because of the gloomy sky and rainy weather that people become more ready for a fight?

The black and white images produced by the D-Lux 5 is characteristic of the Pany's -- black is not very black and the scaled greys are washy. A middle-of-the-road approach. For today's shot, I tuned up the in-camera contrast setting to plus one which doesn't quite help. Not my cup of tea.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Cold War

Cold War (Ricoh GRD4)

If it has not broken out, it is on the brink to be so between them. The shot of today was taken with the Cross Processing emulation of the GRD4. This mode is best for a more brightly lit scene. As in this underground station where the indoor lighting was mixed and dispersive, the final image seems to be veiled with a hazy layer and is not as punchy as desired.

Look at the sorrowful bloke, he had to be feeling punchy for the glowering stare of his girl friend. Poor guy.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Black Pearl

R9365572L (Ricoh GRD4)

"Black pearl" is a Cantonese colloquial expression to refer to someone who has a darker skin and a beautiful face. Some years ago, the Popular Photography magazine had an article giving out tips on photographing a group with dark skin-coloured people in it. If I was not mistaken, it advises arranging those persons to the center of the front row, metering them or metering the persons with lighter skin tones while compensating the light loss on the darker faces with fill-in flash.

But if there is no flash and the environmental light is minimal, one has to pray for luck. Just as now the sky here has turned very dark after lunch, we have to pray for luck for the coming few days of the Easter holiday. But the weather forcast says that we will have tunderstorms until Monday.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Sleepy Head

R9365565L (Ricoh GRD4)

Today is a public holiday in Hong Kong. He is therefore forgiven.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Mind the Bright Side

R9365237L (Ricoh GRD4)

The most endearing image mode in the GRD IV to me is the Bleach Bypass emulation, which renders the final images with a black-and-white superimposed on color quality. This playful mode is available in other cameras like the Pentax K-01 too. The result is said to be film-like, but I think it depends on the kind of film being in reference. Surely with an increased contrast and more grainy feel the final image is bestowed.

The emulation works best in a scene where there is a good or, even better, high contrast of the bright and darken areas where your main focus is on the bright side. A bleached image leans on accentuating the bright areas and suppressing the darken ones, thereby making your focus prominent. However, the exposure latitude is therefore lowered and the data in the darker parts may become minimal. But minding the bright spots suffice to end up with a Bleach Bypass image all right.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Beautification Upgrades You

R9365177L

(Ricoh GRD4)

The title is exactly what jumped to mind when I came across this scene. Such unexpected scenes are sure "preys" to the GRD IV as it is so suited to one-handed control that one never needs to stop for the snaps or worry about missing a shot -- well, at least after being familiar with its operations. And its AF is discernibly faster than the III.

In the customisable ADJ slots are what I think the most important functions for doing street shots, namely, ISO values, Image Mode, WB and Metering Mode. I very often toggle between them for tweaking when doing street shots on the go. An extra tip to "beautify" your shots is to use Cloudy for WB to give images a warm glow which will make people think that you're an early riser to do shots.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Not for the Faint-Hearted

pigheads (Leica X1)

Sorry for disturbing your peaceful heart on Sunday.

Just because the price tag is stabbed in a hilarious way into the nostril of the barbequed pig head, doesn't mean that this is monkey business. The pig heads are used for paying tribute to the gods and goddesses in Chinese worship ceremonies. Why a pig head is used has several wherefores. One is that the pig head costs less than a much more  expensive whole BBQ pig, while another is that the pig head, when flattened (some will flatten it for the ceremony), displays an auspicious smiling face. There are three indispensible offerings in such a ceremony: suckling pig, fish and hen.

This is Sunday, have a peaceful day!