One my new year’s resolutions was to post once a week. That didn’t happen in March. Why? I circumnavigated the globe, twice, doing business. While I had the opportunity to talk shop and shoot with some of my amigos like RC Concepcion, I didn’t have a lot of time to get down-and-dirty with my street photography. Continue reading “Been away, but back at it”
I’ve been shooting with my Fuji X-T1 (aka my Fuji street camera) but I haven’t kept up with the blogging. Being on the road for three weeks – first Beijing, then Singapore, then Manila – hasn’t left a lot of time for blogging. I’ve thought about it, but that’s not the same as doing it. My Fuji X-T1 has been a companion, as has my 5D MIII. The Canon has stayed in the gear back for the most part. Go Fuji. Continue reading “Get over here!”
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. Continue reading “Star Ferry: Nice Light”
I’ve been trying to love the Fuji X-Pro1. It hasn’t been easy. I know a lot of pros love this retro body with old school controls. Me? Like I said, I’m trying.
The only Fuji lens I have access to is an 18mm f/2. On the X-Pro1’s APS-C sensor that’s the equivalent of 27mm. I’m not a big fan of lenses that wide – I’m more of a 50mm or above sort of shooter. For street work with my 5D Mark III I use Canon’s amazing 135 f/2L. Switching from that to a 27mm is a big change.
Having recently relocated to Hong Kong from Shenzhen I took a Saturday afternoon to visit Wong Tai Sin Temple in Kowloon, Hong Kong. I love temples. Does matter which country, I’m drawn to them.
As far as Asian temples go it’s no old. Construction started in the 1920s. Leung Renyan arrived in Hong Kong from China in 1915 and started to preach the praises of Chinese diety Wong Tai Sin aka the Great Immortal Wong (a kick-ass nickname). The Immortal Wong is the divine form of Wong Cho Ping – a poor and hungry Chinese shepherd. He practiced Taoism starting in his teenage years. One one tale he could transform stones into sheep. That’s a party trick on par with water into wine.
How did I end up in the Hong Kong Protest – Pro-Police / Falun Gong – in Mongkok on August 4, 21013?
I was in Mongkok doing a few things on a Sunday afternoon. There were shouts and loud chants audible from the time I exited the MTR. I thought it was some sort of football rally. Of course not. Hong Kongers love to protest. For good reasons, for questionable reasons, it seems a large percentage of people enjoy taking their grievances to the streets. More power to them.
Hong Kong, the city that opium built, is a hub of wealth, power and finance. Many visitors only see that side – the skyscrapers, the Victorian buildings, colorful alleys: The mix of east and west.
Hong Kong is home to 284,901 foreign domestic helpers. Women from the Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand come to HK to work, sending money home. Sunday is their day off.
On Sundays you can see large groups of domestic workers in parks and public spaces. Gathering by nationality, they share food, play music, and enjoy a day away from their task which include caring for children and housekeeping.
It was hot. Really hot. Like melt you into a puddle of liquid hot. Fry an egg on the sidewalk hot. That’s Hong Kong in the summer: Humidity so bad you need a machete to cut through the water in the smoggy air.
I was working a trade show at the convention center, staying at Chungking Mansion – home to Hong Kong’s illegal immigrants, back-packers, low-cost hookers and drug dealers and I had pneumonia: My mood was less than pleasant.
But, I was meeting with Michael from Expatriate Games, a long time internet friend, a photographer who’s work I admire and respect. We planned on hitting Man Mo Temple on Hollywood Road. The century-old temple is famous with tour groups, policemen and gangsters.
Did I say it was hot? Up the escalator to the mid-level, a hike down Hollywood Road and we arrived at the place of worship. I had been there before – several times. When I am at a loss as to what to do while in Central I make a beeline for Man Mo. Other local photographers were shooting inside the dark, smokey room. The No Photography signs are usually not enforced by the temple staff as hordes of tourists pour through the building each day.
After shooting some run-of-the-mill images we were treated to something spectacular – the reason the local photographers were on station. The ceiling of the temple is a collection of circular hanging incense. The smoke from these offerings offers visitors sweet suffocation. The roof of the main chamber is open in areas to allow the smoke to escape – taking prayers and appeasement to the deities being honored. These open areas also allow the sunlight direct access to the inside of the cavern-like temple.
Rays of light cut through the smoke. It was something magical to see – and catnip to shutterbugs. We snapped away until the temple staff intervened and a near-physical altercation occurred between them and the local photogs.
If you’re in Hong Kong on a sunny afternoon head over to the Man Mo Temple – between 2 and 4 pm should give you the same opportunity. Play it cool let The Man raise his hand.
A beam of light to fall on the wall of the Law Uk Folk Museum in Chai Wan, Hong Kong. The museum is a restored Hakka home. The 120 square metre dwelling is modest: Featuring a drying room, workshop, dining room, and lofted bedrooms.
The Hakka people, from Guangdong Province, China, moved to the Chai Wan area during the 18th century. They cleared the land and farmed. The last of the families moved away during the 1960s. The Hong Kong government decided to save the last Hakka home in the 1970s and opened it as a museum in 1990.