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Travel Photography: Dubai Airport Lounge

2014 March 25
Waiting at Dubai Airport

Waiting at Dubai Airport

Dubai Airport – how did I get here? You wake up and have no idea where you are. This happens to me often. I travel a lot, this happens. You don’t know where you are or how you got there. Once upon a time I saw a jet setting career as one that was super-cool. Now that I have it? Not so much. Be careful what you wish for…

Ah, Dubai Airport. I shoot a lot of photos in airports. Mainly because I spend a lot of time in airport. I don’t shoot in security or customs, I don’t want to end up in a jail cell. Airports are an international melting pot, a huge social experiment. People from all over the world, lost in their own little world. Dubai Airport more so than many. As Emirates hub it a bustling airport – as busy as the city itself. read more…

Shoot Street with Zack Arias

2014 March 11
In Dubai - street photography with Zack Arias

In Dubai – street photography with Zack Arias

I had the pleasure of taking Zack Arias’ Street Photography workshop as part of Gulf Photo Plus in Dubai this week. A long time fan of Zack’s and an alumni of his One Light workshop it was great to get his perspective on street photography.

After reviewing some if his images from his #de_VICE series and some basic tips a group of 12 hit the souks in Dubai. Once off the bus and wandering the mazes of back alleys Zack went over some techniques on taking candid photos and posed shots. His techniques in mind we hit divided up and wandered – a multicultural group in a multicultural city. read more…

Tai Chi Chuan: Morning Exercises

2014 February 18
Tai Chi Chaun in the morning

Tai Chi Chaun in the morning

The older generation practice Tai Chi Chuan as the sun rises in  Shenzhen, China. Groups of older folk practicing the ancient art is not an uncommon sight in Chinese parks during the early morning hours. Watching the exercises, the slow and fluid movements, is visual poetry. read more…

This is not an exit

2014 February 14

Yes, actually this is an exit, at a Hong Kong MTR station on Hong Kong Island. I’ve always wanted to use the final line from Brent Easton Ellis’ satirical novel American Psycho.

There are some images your drawn back to. An shot your proud of, for no particular reason. The above is one of those. I shot this back in 2009 and its always been a favorite. The lines, the texture, the complete randomness of capturing this while looking for the Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defense. Sometimes there’s no rhyme or reason as to what we like – just that we do. Other probably look at this and think – what a boring, shite photo.

Photos are a personal thing. I see things in this that other don’t. Everyone experiences the same thing, I think.


John Robert Osborn: Canadian Hero of Hong Kong

2014 February 6
A statue of John Robert Osborn in Hong Kong Park.

A statue of John Robert Osborn in Hong Kong Park.

I’ve always had an affinity for two things: Hong Kong and the Victoria Cross. Canadian John Robert Osborn was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions during the Batttle of Hong Kong.

Battle of Hong Kong? What’s that, you ask. People see the towering skyscrapers of the international business mecca and may not know that the former British colony was occupied territory during World War II. (Some could argue it was occupied territory since the UK seized it with gunboat diplomacy when the Qing government objected to the British addicting Chinese subjects to opium. But that’s another story…).

This weekend I’ll again hike the Wong Nai Chung Gap trail above Wan Chai on Hong Kong Island. The peaceful area was once held by Canadian soldiers as they tried in vain to protect the tiny Colony from the Japanese invasion. The Battle of Hong Kong was lost before it started. The politicians knew it, the generals knew it, and the officers and soldiers knew it. That didn’t stop Company Sergeant Major John Robert Osborn from giving his life for his comrades. read more…

GPP and Getting back into the groove

2014 January 23
Colorful wall in Mongkok

Colorful wall in Mongkok

I’m using GPP as a spring board. Getting back into the swing of things, photography-wise, is a challenge. I pick up the camera then put it down for a month. Regaining that passion, that drive, isn’t easily done. I have been reading The Passionate Photographer: Ten Steps Toward Becoming Great by Steve Simon. I was lucky enough to meet Steve at GPP in Dubai two years ago. Wonderful guy. I am hoping his book of wisdom will assist in getting me back on the path. read more…

Paul C. Buff overseas sales agreements to end

2014 January 19
Paul C. Buff's Einstein E640 Flash Unit - from paulcbuff.comPaul C Buff's Einstein E640 Flash Unit - from

Paul C. Buff’s Einstein E640 Flash Unit – from

Paul C. Buff, American photo lighting manufacturer, is ceasing cooperation with agents in Australia and the European Union. The five-year agreement between Paul C. Buff and 1st Line Digital will come to an end March 31, 2014. All product listings have been removed from the Australian site, the EU site contains only a message (below).

Paul C. Buff, a maverick among lighting manufacturers, sells factory direct in the United States and controls a sizaeble portion of the US market with low-cost studio lights, including model White Lightening, Alien Bee, and Einstein. PCB also make a number of lighting mods, including parabolic umbrellas, ring lights, softboxes, as well as the excellent Vagabond Mini Sine Wave Battery Pack.

What does this mean for those of us in Asia? No more Paul C. Buff products. It was possible to order from Australia for shipment to Asia. PCB’s US operation will not ship outside the US or Canada. Of course, there are fulfillment centers that will order US goods and ship to Asia – for a premium on both exchange rate and shipping charges. Or you can pack one in a bag if you order while visiting…. read more…

Star Ferry: Nice Light

2014 January 16
Star Ferry Port, TST

Star Ferry Port, TST

When I reembarked on my photography career a few months back I headed down to the Star Ferry Terminal in Tsim Sha Tsui. I have a great affinity for the Star Ferry, it’s an institution in Hong Kong dating to 1888. Before that people wishing to travel from Kowloon to Hong Kong Island had to take a sampan.

It’s a fun ride, much more relaxed than taking the MTR. A few minutes on a chugging ferry and your in Central or Wan Chai, without the chaos of the MTR stations to navigate. It’s also a great place to shoot “street” photos as well as grab a few snaps of the magnificent Hong Kong skyline. Shooting from a sometimes rocking boat isn’t the easiest thing to do – but you can grab a shot or two if you time it right. read more…

Berlin Cathedral and Museum Island

2014 January 7
Berlin Cathedral

Berlin Cathedral

You may come across Berlin Cathedral if you’re walking around Museums Island in Berlin. The imposing building, officially named Oberpfarr- und Domkirche, or in English, Supreme Parish and Collegiate Church can be traced to 1451. It’s jumped from being Roman Catholic to Lutheran, Calvinist and Evangelical. read more…

Fuji x100s: I wants me one

2014 January 1
I wants me a Fuji x100s

I wants me a Fuji x100s

I want a Fuji x100s. When I look back at my efforts over the past few months I have seen great success with my my Fuji x100. More than the XPro-1 and Canon 5D Mark III. Why? I have no idea.

It’s a maddening camera, even with the latest firmware. The focus is as slows as workers returning to factory jobs after Chinese New Year. It locks up for no apparent reason. The menu layout is bizarre. Yet, the little beast has grown on me. Purchased secondhand, I’m happy with what it’s done. Most of the prints framed in my home were shot with the x100. read more…