PP with Google Nik: Look at the map

Post with Google Nik
Post with Google Nik


I shot the above a couple of weeks back in Mongkok. It’s not a strong image but I like the composition. I’ve been trying to work more in Lightroom / Photoshop instead of Snapseed. This photo was exported from LR as a JPG and tweaked a bit in PS. I like the Google Nik Collection – especially Color Efex Pro and Silver Efex Pro. The collection is a steal for $150. In Color Efex Pro I use a the tonal contrast and detail enhancement filters a great deal. Silver Efex Pro is unrivaled for greyscale conversion. Continue reading “PP with Google Nik: Look at the map”

Hong Kong Rain and Luck

No Spray and Pray in the Hong Kong Rain

I’m not one to proclaim my photography skills from a mountain top. There’s not many photographers I know that act like all-knowing Gods. Those that do, I usually avoid. While I am not laden with obvious skill – I will admit to a lot of luck. Some of the best photos I have taken have been sheer luck: Right place, right time, that split-second chance of pressing the shutter button at that the perfect moment in time. Or, the luck of having a vision for a shot, reading the light, and then being blessed by the previous. I have never subscribed to spray and pray. Continue reading “Hong Kong Rain and Luck”

Star Ferry: Nice Light


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. Continue reading “Star Ferry: Nice Light”

Wong Tai Sin Temple, Hong Kong

Wong Tai Sin Temple, Hong Kong
Wong Tai Sin Temple, Hong Kong

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.

Continue reading “Wong Tai Sin Temple, Hong Kong”

Hong Kong Protest: Hands

Pro HK Police / Falan Gong HK protest hands

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.

From the SCMP: Continue reading “Hong Kong Protest: Hands”

Hong Kong: Phones on the train

de-vice 600

In Hong Kong phones are some things you see a lot of.

This is my homage to Zack Arias’ #de-VICE series. Zack is one my favorite photographers and I had the chance to meet him earlier this year. I took his famed “One Light” Workshop. It’s great to see real photographers sharing their knowledge – not wannabes offering workshops based on their internet fame.

Did I say that? How catty! Apologies, I digress… Continue reading “Hong Kong: Phones on the train”

Hong Kong: Maids’ Day Off

Hong Kong Maids Day Off
Hong Kong Maids Day Off

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.

Paddy in the Big Apple (his present local) did a post and video of the Hong Kong’s Maids Day Off. Take a look.

Man Mo Temple Hong Kong: Sometimes you get lucky with the light

Prayers at the Man Mo Temple
Prayers at the Man Mo Temple

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.

Incense at the Man Mo Temple
Incense at the Man Mo 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.