Category Archives: Sai Kung

Fuji X-Pro1 Recent Shots

I may not have been posting here too often but in part that’s because I’m shooting more photos than ever.  And while I’m relying on my Nikon D800 for any professional (or semi-professional) work, I’m using the X-Pro1 more often and trying to get used to its idiosyncrasies.  I’ve stopped shooting in RAW at least for the time being (word is that Fuji is now working directly with Adobe so maybe we’ll see some improvement in Adobe’s interpolation of Fuji’s RAW files in the near future) and also been playing around with the various in-camera filters.

Anyway, here’s a random compendium of photos shot with the Fuji X-Pro1 over the past couple of weeks.

The first two shots are of Yolanda and Sasha, who are running the Hong Kong edition of Open Show, which will be at PASM Workshop.  More on this later.

Here’s Chris B – of course I’ve shot her several times in the past.

Walking around in my ‘hood:

A few nights ago at The Wanch:

Even with the latest firmware upgrade for the lenses (released about a week ago), it remains challenging to properly capture “moving targets.”  But for relatively stationary people and objects, the camera is fabulous.  These days I’m mostly shooting wide open or close to it, 1/125th of a second or faster, and using auto-ISO – most of the bar shots above came out at ISO 6400 and you can see noise is definitely not an issue here.

More to come, of course.


Emily Soto Workshop In Hong Kong

This past weekend, PASM Workshop hosted a 2 day seminar on fashion led by renowned U.S. fashion photographer Emily Soto.  Emily has risen to fame rapidly in the US and for everyone who attended it was a chance to learn more about her unique style as well as get some tips on advancing one’s career.  For me, it was a chance to meet and hang out with Emily and her husband Vic Soto, a 3D artist.  We did a welcome dinner for them in Lan Kwai Fong, a “meet and greet” party for all of the workshop attendees in Tsim Sha Tsui and celebrated the completion of the workshop with a big seafood dinner in Sai Kung.  Here are several photos from the past week.

Emily also found time to do two photo shoots in Hong Kong, including one at PASM the day after the workshop was over, with model Phuong Rouzaire, one of the two models at the workshop.

A great time was truly had by all and we can’t wait for Emily and Vic to return to Hong Kong.


Dead Bug Macro

I have no idea how people get those amazing macro shots of insects but I can guess that it must take a tremendous amount of pre-work getting set up and then a ton of patience.  Today, a dragonfly died just above my house and came to rest on my balcony railing so neither pre-work or patience needed.  My Fuji X-Pro1 was closest at hand and I slapped on the 60mm F2.4 macro lens.

Since I’ve never done this before, I was amazed at the amount of detail I was able to see in the photo that I couldn’t see when I was looking directly at the bug.

Last shot – I was shooting wide open at F2.4 and got a narrower depth of field than I’d expected.  (I’ve only had this lens for a week and this was my first time using it in macro mode.)  The face is sharper in the first photo but I also like this one for the detail of the legs (and while it’s still on the railing it’s too dark outside for me to go back and shoot more).

And besides, I’m not the kind of photographer who’ll arrange some fruit on a table and shoot a still life when stuck in the house, it’s nice when something sort of “drops in” like this.


High Resolution Photos of Sai Kung & Tseung Kwan O

I went back up to Fei Ngo Shan on July 1st.   I’ve shot here many times at night.  This was just my second time going there during the day time with all of my gear.  I’d gone two days earlier but HK was buried in a haze that day.  And once again, crystal clear skies in Sai Kung didn’t translate to crystal clear skies over Hong Kong or Kowloon, but it was much better than before.  I’m still sorting through the photos but here’s a shot from the day, a view of part of Sai Kung.

All the way up in the top center of the photo you can see the High Island Reservoir.  All those boats are in the area known as Hebe Haven.  The collection of houses in a semi-circle surrounded by water are Marina Cove (I lived there in 2001 and 2002.)  The houses on the upper right are in an area called Nam Wai.  Those in the bottom center are in Ho Chung.  You can see the abandoned Asia Television building (the big red and green stripes) – I live about 2 kilometers up the road from there.

This shot is looking towards Tseung Kwan O – a collection of “new towns” that’s part of Sai Kung district.  I believe we’re looking at Po Lam and Hang Hau here.

These were both taken on the road up the mountain.  Usually I’ve gone up at night and don’t stop till I reach an observation point near the top.  Driving up in daylight, it was clear that I had to pull over and get some shots of these views as well.

One thing about Fei Ngo Shan (also called Kowloon Peak in English) is that you don’t see too many Caucasians going up there for some reason.  Most of the people who do go there are extremely friendly, especially other photographers.  They all agree that it’s a much better view (and crowd) than you get at the far more famous Victoria Peak.

This time I met a family.  Husband, wife and two teenage children.  The dad was shooting with the new Olympus OM-D.  Meanwhile his son, probably around 12 years old, had the Fuji X-Pro1 on a strap around his neck.  “You’ve got the Olympus and your son’s got the X-Pro1?”  “No, that’s mine too, he’s just taking some shots with it.  I also have the new Pentax.”   Seeing as how I’m currently out of work and looking, perhaps I should have asked the guy what he did for a living or who he worked for, but somehow it just seemed too pushy and I couldn’t bring myself to do it.

I did have one private D-uh! moment though.  After I’d been there for around an hour, I filled up my memory card.  “Shit!  Now I might as well leave.  Why didn’t I pack more memory cards?”  And then of course I realized that the D800 has two slots, that I had cards in both slots, and had the SD card set to back-up the CF card.  So I formatted the SD card, changed the settings for the cards, and was able to keep on shooting.  Last month B&H Photo was having 50% off sales on SanDisk Extreme Pro cards and I didn’t order any.  I checked today and they’re back to full price.  So I’m now waiting for the next sale.

The benefit of being out of work, if you want to call it that, is that I’ll have plenty more chances to go back to Fei Ngo Shan during the day, hoping for a rare super-clear day.  And one day soon I’ll probably head to Tai Mo Shan, which is said to offer great views of Shenzhen as well as Hong Kong.

I’ll upload more pictures tomorrow.


Random Shots From a Random Day

If I haven’t posted any photos in awhile, it’s because there have been several distractions in my life.  Those distractions are still with me but I’m trying to get back into shooting again.  (“I’m distracted with relatively solvable trivia.” – Woody Allen)  I don’t think any of these shots are great; they’re me easing back into it after a few weeks “away.”  All of these were shot Saturday, June 23, 2012.

The first group of shots were taken walking around my neighborhood during a break from the rain that’s been with us almost every day for the past few weeks.

Going out for the night, our first stop was the MTR station in Hang Hau.  Given that it was a holiday yesterday, the plaza was a little busier than usual with maids on their day off.

Camped out under the shopping mall’s escalator, presumably because it offers some shelter from the rain (though the rain had finally stopped by then).

And then, on to Wanchai.  I think you’d probably need to be familiar with Wanchai to appreciate that there’s a place called Wood Shop right next to the Ming Court Hotel (the closest “love hotel” to the bars).

The lights of the bars along Lockhart Road. I love that there’s a go-go bar named Cockeye.  If memory serves, it was once actually named Popeye until they got sued.

You’ll see the same scene outside many of the go-go bars as the night begins.  Perhaps last night’s was more elaborate due to the holiday.  They light fires and burn paper money and other goods to send them to the ghosts.  Some have said they do this to keep away the ghosts of the thousands of customers they’ve ripped off over the years.

Probably you shouldn’t help yourself to any of this food as you’re walking by.

One of the problems with this ancient superstitious practice is the way it fills the street with smoke and ashes.  As it happens, we were having dinner at the restaurant right next door to this bar.  And every time someone opened the door to the restaurant, ashes would come flying in.  Luckily none of this filth landed on our food but one huge chunk landed on my fork.

Anyway, the only food shot I’ve got from the evening is the basket of prawn chips.  We were too hungry for me to want to take time grabbing food shots – every time a plate of food arrived at our table, we attacked it instantly.

And then over to Amazonia Bar for a few drinks.  Icebox hit the stage at 9:30 – I’ve shot them too many times so last night just grabbed a few quick shots.  Here’s rhythm guitarist Edwin.

And here’s lead guitarist Willie.  I was trying to time my shots for when the lights were relatively “normal” but I like this red shot.

Following Icebox was a new band, didn’t catch their name.  They started off with a seriously out-of-tune version of Englishman in New York and then went through several more faux reggae tunes before launching into a batch of Seattle 90s grunge rock stuff.  I didn’t much care for them though the female lead singer is easy on the eyes.

Shooting at F1.4, the depth of field is extremely narrow and the focus ended up on her right hand instead of her face (I did enjoy several beverages) but I think you get the picture.