Saturday, 2 June 2012

The Butcher

butcher (Leica X1)

Two very co-operative subjects. I had been staying at the spot to do a few shots very time the butcher went by carrying the carcass on his shoulder. And I did a few more after this.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Give Him a Way

giveway (Sony A55)

Remember an old post about a photography talk in Hong Kong by a UK photographer on his Don't Call Me Urban project? As I wrote the talk was sort of a kickoff event for the big thing to come: the first annual WYNG Masters Award for Photography. Now the 2012 contest is on (actually submission can be made starting from yesterday)!

If you have taken part in enough number of photo contests and wish to do something meaningful, read on.

Supported by WYNG FOUNDATION (locally incorporated in law), the WYNG MASTERS AWARD for Photography is a non-profit project initiated to spark public awareness and support interest in socially relevant subjects. The intention is to stimulate discussion and encourage social responsibility on important issues in Hong Kong through the medium of PHOTOGRAPHY. The WYNG Masters Award theme for the 2012 inaugural contest is POVERTY.

The reasons I am recommending this to you are (1) this is a meaningful endeavour; (2) the cash prize is hefty; and (3) one of the directors of WYNG is the outspoken Christine Loh, a respected personality in the local political and social scenes, meaning: this project is going to make some substantial impact on the society.

And you don't have to pay a fee to take part in it. In fact, don't ever join any contest which asks for an entrance fee. Dare I say that those people only wish to make money out of the participants. Be wise.

On the submission webpage, it says, "poverty is a global issue. Over a decade ago, world leaders at the UN Millennium Summit pledged to 'End poverty by 2015'. With just three years left, they will not meet their commitment. Perhaps surprisingly, Hong Kong too has a serious poverty problem. Amidst great affluence, 18.1% of the population struggles to make ends meet. Images of the personal and social impact of poverty are everywhere."

So this is the statement and idea behind the 2011 contest. If you have tasted poverty yourself or met people living in poverty, this theme certainly has a magetic effect on you?

For details and to make your submissions, head over there. Or have a quick go with the following gist I made of the process:

WYNG Masters Award commences with an international open call for submissions of photographic works that satisfy two criteria – that the work must be photographed in Hong Kong or is about Hong Kong and that the work is related in some way to the concept of POVERTY. The submission period will run from May 31 to August 31, 2012.

Finalists for the WYNG Masters Award will be chosen by a jury of five professionals and announced in December 2012 in Hong Kong. Finalists' works will be included in a published catalogue and in an exhibition in Hong Kong in April 2013. The jury will gather in Hong Kong to choose the recipient of the WYNG Masters Award. The recipient of the award will be announced at the official opening of the WYNG Masters Award finalists’ exhibition.

The WYNG Masters Award recipient will receive a cash award of HK$250,000. The award-winner will be announced at the exhibition. The WYNG Masters Award program includes an additional component – the WYNG Poverty Project. The WYNG Poverty Project recipient will receive a sum of HK$250,000 to develop, with the WYNG Photography Project Trustees, a photographic project highlighting a subject or theme related to poverty in the context of Hong Kong, one of the world’s most dynamic urban centres. The Board of Advisors will recommend to the Trustees one person from amongst the WYNG Masters Award finalists. The recipient will be announced at the finalists’ exhibition.
There was a "fringe" popular photo contest (winner is to scoop a cash prize equivalent to a X-Pro 1 with lens, i.e. HK$20,000) which was closed but the voting is still on until this Sunday. Voters enjoy a chance for some prizes IF I was not mistaken. (I didn't take part in the contest/ voting coz I had a bad personal experience with doing the final selection thro' public voting  - just a personal pet peeve. So go ahead and do justice to the the winner)

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Barbershop Of Yore

barbershop (Leica D-Lux 5)

It is not age alone which turns old memories about something much more endearing to a person, but the chemical action of friendship and of many kinds of tears and laughter carried with it. I stumbled upon this street-side barbershop around a corner in uphill Sheung Wan, an old area quieter than most parts of the urban area in Hong Kong. A few of such can be found tucked among the back lanes between Central and the districts to the west, and other old districts on the Kowloon peninsula as well. What is so striking about this one is that I have never come across any as sizable and well equipped. Equally striking are the two special reclining chairs which are not commonly seen in such street-side barbershops. As told during a visit to this, these chairs are worth thousands of Hong Kong dollars each. And they are not available just anywhere now.

These street-side barbershops sprang throughout the territories in last century until maybe the late 1980s to provide affordable hairdressing service to the locals. In the beginning, there were the itinerant barbers, gradually replaced by such street-side vendors which in turn were phased out with the advent of the fashionable, air-conditioned Shanghainese hairdressing saloons as shown in the above link and written previously here.

At the very mention of a street-side barbershop, a prominent feature of it immediately jumps to mind. It is that in the old days, they were the citadels for children after school for the sake of the many boxes of comic books. There were usually lots of them, new and back issues, provided for free by the barbers. To those who were one of these young patrons and readers, a barbershop cum makeshift library may be a more apt description of the business. At times, children laughed together at the jokes in the comic books. At other times, reading comics about a gangsters' story would be followed by a pretended combat which could erupt into a real fighting and tearful parting in the end.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Simply Heart-Warming

dadandson1 (Leica D-Lux 5)

Between the father and son was a charming picture wanting to be taken for the sweet ways they smiled to and interacted with one another. It was such a magnetic moment that I was simply allured to stop, walk up to them and snapped some shots. I had a few words with the dad and couldn't help heaping praises on his cute boy.


Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Love in the Time of Technology

timeof (Leica D-Lux5)

Nowadays, it is among the communters taking the underground, friends getting together in a cafe, co-workers sitting on a meeting or even lovers hugging one another in the street that the i-short-sightness epidemic shows its astounding intensity. Time will tell if the smartphone is one of those cool things which should not have been invented in the first place.

Today's photo reminds me of a personal experience that speaks volumes for the ludicrous nature of being obsessed with digital communication. It took place over a dinner among members of an executive committee of some sort. While chatting with the members around me, I noticed a young member (well, he is old enough to just get married last month) sitting across the table engrossed in his iPad. He could be playing a game or something and he had barely looked up even when replying his neighbours. Some 45 minutes later, he was still on it. At this juncture, my phone chimed to alert me to an email. I spared it until the folks next to me were away to the gents. Guess who sent the email? Right, it's the young member on the iPad. What is it about? He was applying for a leave for the coming committee meeting. And whom should be noticed about the application? The committee chairman and the members who are sitting right at the same table! He didn't make mention of the application or the email throughout or after the dinner.

Enlighten me if it is only me who is the old school not knowing that digital communication is actually much better and faster than saying it out on the spot.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Drawing, Photography and Creativity

I just got so creativity last night after the weekly drawing class, which themed on Moon last night, that I spent a bit time setting up for fictional scenes with the Moon background, snapping shots with the D-Lux5 (coz it afforded the scene an extensive DOF I needed for it) and post-processing it for extra intriguing effects. Not brilliantly brilliant works but just hope to share them on this relaxing rest day.

L1020003L (Large) L1010994L (Large) L1010995L (Large) L1010996L (Large) L1020002A (Large) L1020002L2 (Large)At the drawing class, we were asked to not just draw the moon as was but blend the reality with fictional ideas. The drawing class is a steady source to me for a growing sense of colour and creativity. I have the impression that it helps me mature more with a photographer's eye.

The above images was done by showing the super moon shot I snapped on the TV and placing the objects in front of it. The raged-edge hole and the biting in the first and last images were by superimposing the moon image with paper cutting. Next, snapped with the camera and post-processed to colourise or stamp cartoon images.