Author Archives: spike

2nd International Hong Kong Tattoo Convention 2014

 

 

 

 

 

I was traveling last year when Hong Kong’s first tattoo convention was held. Fortunately I was home this year for the 2nd International Hong Kong Tattoo Convention 2014 and wasn’t going to miss it. Here’s some shots from the show, a whole lot more can be found on the  gallery page for the event.

 

 

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Think Tank Photo My 2nd Brain Briefcase

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I’m a huge fan of the bags from Think Tank Photo. I’ve got six of them! Now they’ve got a new line of bags called My 2nd Brain that are not camera bags – they’re sized for laptops and tablets and the other bits and bobs one carries around during a typical working day. The My 2nd Brain line has been expanded to include a briefcase, available in 3 sizes and 3 colors. Head on over to Hongkie Town to see my review of the Think Tank Photo My 2nd Brain Briefcase 13. Spoiler alert – if you love Think Tank’s photo bags, I think you’ll love this briefcase too.

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Some Photo News – Sony and Amazon

I don’t do photography news type items here very often. While doing so would give me a higher ranking in search engines and bring more people to the site. but I found that when I was doing it, people would come and look at that one particular item and then leave without looking at anything else. I’m not criticizing them for this – I do the same thing. But the primary purpose of the site is to display my own photos so I’m not going to spend a lot of time and effort on posts that don’t serve that purpose.

That being said, now I’ll contradict myself and post two bits of photography news that I think are worth sharing.

The first bit is Sony’s upcoming RX100 III.

I’m a fan of what Sony is doing with cameras these days. They are one of the few companies that seems to be attempting some degree of innovation in the field. When I bought the Sony RX10, primarily to use as a travel camera, I thought I’d sell off my Sony RX100 (Mark 1, I guess). But I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. The camera, for its size, is just so good and so I kept it.  I mean, full manual controls when I wanted them, shoots RAW and fits in my jeans pockets? Just too useful to part with.

The Sony RX100 II came out and I didn’t see enough there to warrant an “upgrade.” A newer sensor, a tilt screen LCD and a hot shoe just didn’t seal the deal for me.

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Now Sony has announced the “mark 3” for the RX100 and I’m pretty definitely planning on buying it. While it features the same 20.1 megapixel 1 inch sensor as the “mark 2” (which is the same sensor that’s in the RX10), there are a number of other notable changes that I think will make it worth spending the money.

The original RX100 has a Zeiss lens that is a 28-100mm equivalent zoom, with maximum aperture starting at F1.8 at the wide end but rapidly shrinking to F4.9 at the tele end.

The new RX100 III has a zoom lens that is only equivalent to 24-70mm. But, and here’s the big thing, it now starts out at F1.8 but at the tele end it’s now F2.8. That’s a huge positive difference for me right there. I can live with less on the tele end if it means I’m getting F2.8 instead of F4.9.

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Also notable for me is the addition of a pop-up electronic viewfinder. That will be a big help for me.

The Mark III keeps the tilt screen that was added to the Mark II but loses the Mark II’s hot shoe, not a biggie for me.

This comes out in June at a list price of US$800 (same as the Mark II but $150 more than the Mark I) and I’ll start eating cheaper lunches now.

The second item concerns Amazon. Last week they somehow managed to game the U.S. Patent Office. They patented the idea of placing an object on a table in front of a white cyclorama, placing a light in front of it, and taking a photo of that object. Unless I’ve seriously misunderstood this, what they’ve basically done is to take something every commercial photographer has done for the past 100 years and said, “No one else has patented it, so why don’t we?”

Anyway, Stephen Colbert does a great job of ripping them a new one over this. Click this link and enjoy!

 

 

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This Is Also Hong Kong

When I posted this photo to my timeline on Facebook, one of the comments I got was from someone who said, “What a shame, it’s probably been re-developed by now.” And that means this photo was successful, in my opinion, because it was shot just two weeks ago but I was hoping it would appear timeless. (By the way, this is just a 5 minute walk from my home.)

 

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And here’s another shot, I zoomed in a bit when the farmer turned around and saw me.

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Another thing about these pictures is that they were shot with my Sony RX100 (Mark 1). Back when I bought the Sony RX10 I was tempted to sell this camera off and I’m so glad I didn’t.  I don’t think there are many cameras out there that can fit into my jeans pockets that have full manual controls, RAW and can take such nicely detailed shots.  These photos were shot RAW and processed in both Lightroom and Silver Efex Pro.

I love the wide range of adjustments for monochrome that you can do so easily in SEP, both through the various presets/filters and the sliders. Ansel Adams was once quoted saying, roughly, that when someone looks at one of his photos, he wants them to feel what he felt at the moment he took it. That’s a very inspirational thought to me, and when I do go down to monochrome for an image, Silver Efex Pro helps me to easily get the image to match the one I have in my head.

I haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of the photographic possibilities in my neighborhood because I’ve mostly been concentrating on studio shoots and band shoots, but I’m going to mix things up a bit more as time goes by.

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Robben Ford Photo Gallery Is Up

Legendary guitarist Robben Ford appeared live in concert in Hong Kong at the Sha Tin Town Hall on April 29, 2014.  My photos from the concert can be found here. Here’s one to hopefully whet your appetite to see more.

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