Tuesday 4 September 2012

Victoria Harbour

Victoria Harbour

A small example of the rapidly disappearing old in Hong Kong, next to the new. In this case, the old is a tourist attraction (the Aqua Luna). There are still many traditional pieces of Hong Kong left, but whenever I see them I cannot shake the impression it is dying out.

Thursday 16 August 2012

Shopping Nirvana

Shopping Nirvana

A slightly strange photo. Probably mostly interesting photographers, especially if you are intrigued by reflections (and polariser filters). Others may want to keep moving, nothing to see here.

I shot this from the roof terrace of ifc mall, down through a light well to a corridor down below. The floaty things are decorations suspended from the ceiling, above the shoppers.

All of that is overlaid with a reflection of ifc2 (some 400m or 1300ft tall) looming above me, and the sky. The dark crescent at the bottom is actually the shadow of my own head. In that shadow, there is no reflection to speak of, so you see the shoppers quite clearly there.

I shot this in colour, but converted to black and white digitally. That conversion was very interesting. In most digital processing software, you can determine how to 'mix' the different colours to shades of grey. For example, make the blues darker shades of grey, and the reds brighter.

The reflection was mostly blue sky. Now if you push the mix to render blues very light, the entire top half becomes white. The reflection becomes so bright it overpowers the view down, leaving only a (boring) reflection of ifc2 on a white sky.

If on the other hand you push the blues to be very dark, the reflection almost disappears, and you have a clear view straight down.

I played with that a bit and decided to mix the reflection with the view down, for a slightly disorienting, dreamy look.

The curious thing was that I could regulate the amount of reflection with one slider, digitally, at home on my computer. Normally that takes a polariser filter, when you take the shot, with no options to do anything like that digital post processing.

I'd always heard and believed that you cannot do polarisation in post processing. As it turns out, sometimes you can, at least if you convert to B&W.

As I said, interesting mostly for photographers:-)

Thursday 9 August 2012

Bright Lights Big City

Bright Lights, Big City I've been very negligent... No post for months, and there was enough to post.

For one, I am now located (at least on weekdays) in Hong Kong. Which is a photogenic city. See above. Expect more in the coming weeks. (Or maybe not, given recent history on this blog:-)

This is a long exposure from the top of a parking garage in Kowloon, across Victoria Harbour towards Hong Kong Island. The tall tower is ifc2 (International Financial Centre 2).

Friday 9 March 2012

How much is that lens?

How much is that lens?

The Vietnamese can be startlingly direct...

Being direct

This guy sat down next to me last Saturday while I was having a sugarcane juice on the street. He started talking to me, and skipped the usual questions (for VN) about my name, country of origin, age, and salary, and proceeded straight to the cost of my camera and lens.

He was quite OK with me taking his portrait, and was happy with the result, though he wondered why I did not use flash. In the shot above he was pointing at the button operating my pop-up flash.

Very direct

I can tell you that my wife is not typically that thrilled when a business contact remarks "you look old today".   Personally, I am not going to try that one. 

It works two ways

It's not just the questions they ask though. The same can apply to their answers. Take, for example, the following job interview question (which I heard from the interviewer).
Q: what would your friends say is a bad quality of yours?
A: I can be quite hot tempered. I really lose it sometimes.

Refreshingly direct, but maybe less advisable than the usual "I am a perfectionist".