Friday, 8 March 2013


squares(Leica D-Lux 5)

A renowed design-visual-art guru, the mastermind behind the visual arts course I enrolled in, has been like a trusty hiking team leader guiding his pupils into the unexplored wonderland of art and to scale new heights. For all that I have been practising observation through a photographer's eye, it didn't happen to me before the guru's prompt that observation isn't all looking and seeing. To an artist, he revealed from his 40 years of experience in the arts field, it is primarily about finding out the quintessence of what presents before our eyes. The quintessence of a table can be the sharp corners, and that of a Leica camera can be the rectangular form. Once the quintessence is grabbed, the artist can start to transform the object into a work of art.

For example, the quintessence of a safety pin hinges on its unique head and coiled structures. With that in mind, one can alter it into any form or shape and the viewers will be visually challenged by a novelty yet something reminiscent of a safety pin. (For copyright reason, I have not the permission to upload my other drawing which is also derived but departs further from the conventional safety pin form) The implication of this on photography is a much broader avenue for photographers to experiment on the shots, to me in a more philosophical sort of way as in today's shot.

I saw this man hiding in a hollow space from the sun and engrossed in his phone. The quintessence of the scene is hiding, hole and hollow. So I framed the shot to show also the curtained off window and overall to give the H shape to echo the essential H elements.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Wednesday, 6 March 2013


look(Leica D-Lux 5)

The Chinese character is pronounced as "mong" (or "wang" tone 4 in Mandarin), meaning "look". It can be used in an exclamation or imperative like, "Hey, take a look!" ("Wai, mong ha!") or as sort of a transitive verb in sentences like, "Look that way" and "Look at me". 

CSL Learners should note that every Chinese character can be both a word and the smallest morphemic element to go with other characters to form vocabularies, to which the nearest comparison in English is the phrasal verb where a word can take on a preprosition to give a different meaning. "Mong" is of no exception. The list of combinations of vocabularies can be found in a Chinese Ci Dian ("Ci Dian" is dictionary for words, "Zi Dian" is dictionary for characters).

The best Ci Dian for CSL learners is not found among those published by Chinese native speakers but by an editor named John Defrancis. John is a Yale Uni graduates and earned his Master and Doctorate degrees in Chinese and Japanese from Coloumbia Uni. He has been teaching Chinese in Hawaii Uni. I attended one of his lectures in which he introduced his then newly published Chinese-English dictionary as shown below. The reason why it is best suited for CSL learners is that the entries are set out in alphabetical order basing on the Pinyin system which is very logical for English speakers.

You may browse the details or make a purchase through the following link by clicking the image: 

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Wayside World

twoworlds(Leica D-Lux 5)

Treating not any wayside scene as a passing glance certainly stands a photographer in good stead. Attention and good shots are kith and kin to each other. What is not obvious on the spot for the scene, since the observer is taking in at one full scoop even the irrelevant elements, will speak out in the framed shot that subtracts the interfering factors. When the framed final image funnels the details to the photographer as a viewer by way of colour, tonality, composition and so on, it becomes obvious that the scene is telling a story, teaching some truth or turning the head just for some special visual interest. Practice can shorten the time gap for reaching this epiphanic juncture from the first glance to the final viewing. In fact, practice makes such an epiphany automatic, if not instinctive.

What is the wayside world in today's image saying to you? In a philosophical way, it can be saying what we are waiting for in the material world could be elusive and illusive. The image is at least visually inviting.

Monday, 4 March 2013

Love Conquers All

lovereading(Leica D-Lux 5)

Even when it is the love of reading.