Beauty in focus: Winnie talks about Central and photography

May 9, 2011 11:31 am HKT No comments

Our lovely model Winnie tells you how much she loves Hong Kong’s Central District and shows you some of the best scenes there.

Product link

Figures in Museum

May 6, 2011 10:00 am HKT No comments

20110506 Figures in Museum - 1&2

“He” was photographed in a museum showing Hong Kong’s history dating back to the late Ching Dynasty (Photo 1). “He” was obviously not a real man, but really looks like one in this kind of lighting. This “man” is holding a book and reading the contents out loud to his student. This was the traditional teaching method of Chinese teachers in the older days, when students memorized all the stuff in their textbooks and took part in public exams for entry into government offices.

20110506 Figures in Museum - 1

20110506 Figures in Museum - 2

Shown in Photos 2 and 3 are officers in the Ching Dynasty. Their looks were so solemn that it really freaked out some children. And Chinese people were particularly skinny in those days, maybe due to their poorer lives, bad nutrition, or whatever that led to the weird look shown here (Photo 3). Since flashes are not allowed in museums, I could only use ambient light in this venue, but the lighting is way too good, and it highlighted the spirit of these people who happened to live in a period that marked the major turning point of world history.

20110506 Figures in Museum - 3

Equipment Setup

Photo 1 Photo 2 Photo 3
Camera Canon EOS 5D 1 1 1
Lens EF 24-105mm f4L IS USM 1 1 1

Letterbox

May 4, 2011 10:00 am HKT No comments

20110504 Letterbox - Final Image

I don’t really like the idea of a red iron gate. It really looks like someone poured red paint on the gate for some bad reasons. Anyway, it was good for photos.

The red iron gate is fine as the subject here, but the letterbox hanging on it made it look even better. There wouldn’t be a focal point in the picture if it weren’t for the letterbox. But frankly speaking, don’t ever try to shoot these kinds of gates if you are in the center of the city unless you want to be scolded with the worst words ever. People behind the gates probably think you are some kind of paparazzi or private detective finding clues to secret affairs happening nearby.

I shot this picture (Final Image) without fear though, since this is again somewhere on Cheung Chau, an outlying island of Hong Kong, where people are used to photographers wandering everywhere, showing off their gear. You can see in reference Photos 1 and 2 that the gate looks quite common either without the flash or with the flash not properly located.

20110504 Letterbox - Final Image

To get the result shown in the final image, I put the V5-flash 4 or 5 feet away from my camera, directing it at the subject as some kind of side light. Bear in mind that you might get flare in the lens when shooting at an angle like this. Try to avoid it if you want a mysterious mood here. Mark your aperture a bit smaller and use a focal length bigger than 50 mm, allowing the subject to “stand out.” You will get the idea if you look at Reference Photo 3, which gives you an example of how bad the photo looks when using a lens not wider than 50 mm and letting too much light “appear” on the gate.

20110504 Letterbox (Reference Photo) - 1

20110504 Letterbox (Reference Photo) - 2

20110504 Letterbox (Reference Photo) - 3

Equipment Setup

Final Image Reference Photo 1 Reference Photo 2 Reference Photo 3
Camera Canon EOS 5D 1 1 1 1
Lens EF 24-105mm f4L IS USM 1 1 1 1
Flash Cactus KF 36 Manual Flash 1 1 1
Flash Transceiver Cactus V5 Wireless Flash Transceiver Duo 1 1 1
Light Stand Light stand 1 1 1

New product demo: Gami Light Square 43 Softbox

May 3, 2011 10:29 am HKT No comments

Alex took the advantage of the new product, a super handy portable softbox, to capture the beauty of a young lovely lady who offered us her views on modeling.

Product link

The Observer

April 29, 2011 10:00 am HKT No comments

20110429 The Observer - 1&2

Is one type of personality an observer? I have heard of something like that. Being a photographer may imply that you have that kind of personality. I mean if you are inclined toward candid or news photography, that would be close. On the other hand, some like to create their own images, like filling their works with different props and added elements; that would be another kind of personality. And I think the differences can also explain why some filmmakers shoot documentaries while others create fictional films.

One of the best things about Hong Kong is that you can see a different facet of our lives at night. Of course nightlife exists in every city, but here people live their night lives on the streets and you can really see it. So people in this city like to take photographs at night, and so do I; it is the observer’s personality in me.

Observers are also scattered around parks in Hong Kong, be they beggars or retired old men. Frankly speaking, ‘they’ are mostly men, while retired women seem to have their own things to do instead of wandering around the streets at night. So as an observer, I leap at the chance to capture all these observers in parks, night markets, whatever. Here was a guy sitting in the park beside Temple Street (Photo 1), one of the busiest night markets in Hong Kong. I also sat down in the same park watching him and for a long while he was just sitting there staring at nothing. So was the man sitting beside him, who was staring at his own cell phone instead (Photo 2). And curious people just stopped at his side peeking at the cell phone to see his secret. I guessed it was news on horseracing or the like. Anyway, they are all observers, like me.

20110429 The Observer - 1

20110429 The Observer - 2

Shown in Photos 3 and 4 are glimpses of the Temple Street night market. The man keeping his stall in Photo 3 was selling paper cutting artifacts while a woman stopped by to look at an item that interested her. Photo 4 shows you the stall and the famous Mei Do Restaurant in the background, the landmark of Temple Street.

20110429 The Observer - 3

20110429 The Observer - 4

Equipment Setup

Photo 1 Photo 2 Photo 3 Photo 4
Camera Canon EOS 5D 1 1 1 1
Lens EF 24-105mm f4L IS USM 1 1 1 1