Ok, so I have failed to keep up with the weekly shooting and posting on the second week. To make up the short fall, I went to shoot with one of my classmates around Hong Kong. This trip was a good experience to shoot raw street photography. I used a few new (to me) techniques to shoot under low-light situations.
Another new step was to have conversations with strangers before shooting them. It was really interesting to know the story of the tailor and his shop; I feel that the photo shot afterwards really was taken to another level.
This is the second entry of the series, as I was not entirely satisfied with the collection I had in the previous post. This should be viewed together with the previous post to get a better picture of the number of mainland tourists in Hong Kong during the “Golden Week”.
According to some studies, the tourists will be spending most of their money during the middle of the Golden Week (i.e. yesterday and today). I have to agree that I see a lot more of them on the streets, more people queuing outside the shops, more of them sitting on the streets, more hand baggage being pulled around.
29th September, the start of the “Golden Week” in China, where almost all of the working class in Mainland has more than a week of national holidays. This also leads to a large surge of Mainland Chinese tourists arriving in Hong Kong.
Canton Road is one of the main shopping streets in Hong Kong for luxury items, and I took the opportunity to shoot some snaps along the road to capture the typical Mainland Chinese big spenders.
Its not an everyday scene to see fisherman at work, in particular that I live in a big city. The above photo was taken on a beach, with some parts which seems to be remaining of an old bridge. The fisherman’s boat was moving along and I managed to capture it. There is a modern ship in the background, and also high rise buildings further away.
This black and white photo showed the depth of field with the different shadow tones, and the fisherman’s boat is shown with a silhouette. Sometimes its not the clarity of your subject which matters, but its how you present the overall idea.
Another piece of assignment for the lighting techniques course for OUHK. The flash was aimed at the white wall behind the cup. I also placed two black clothes on both sides of the glass to get more accented outlines.
I admit that I am more of a natural light photographer I tend to minimize the use of flash. For me this course really encouraged me to shoot more with my flash guns (in this case one Canon 580 EXII was used), and experiment on different lighting techniques at home, a more systematic approach towards fill flash, gobos, reflectors, diffusers etc.
Its easy to get absorbed by beautiful scenery and will shoot a landscape shot. Usually we will use a rock, trees, boats etc to be our foreground when shooting at the seaside. for my last trip I saw this interesting scenery where a mother and her daughter holding hands on the beach which made an interesting foreground subject. The whole photo becomes a landscape/snapshot style frame.
Always try something different and practice your creativity!
I took a lot of photos along the beach in To Wo Sha last month. It was quite a fruitful photo trip with a friend. It was the first time I properly go out and shoot with my fish eye zoom (Canon EF8-15 f4L).
With the ultra wide angle and the intended distortions, composition becomes different from the norm when using a wide or a standard lens. More things will be captured and you need to be very careful to avoid or include things you want. Peripheral vision becomes necessary. It will come with a lot of practice, so shoot more.
For this blog I want to share some tips of taking care of your gear, rather than photo skills. Especially after a long day hot day at the beach, your lens and camera will be covered in salty moist air, and maybe some small sand blowing onto your precious class. If you did some lens changes there may also be some which went into the camera body. So you must remember to use your dust blower to clean your lens, the body with a dry cloth, and the sensor/mirror to make sure everything is kept properly, otherwise the salt and moisture will corrode your gear which can be rather costly. The gear should also be placed into a moisture controlled container. There are a lot of choices in the market, for simple seal plastic box with some dehydration packs, to electric ones which cost around HKD1000 (depending on volume). These will keep your camera dry and in top form, and is a must for anyone serious about photography. Go get one!
Whilst walking around Prague during my Europe trip last year trying to get a good landscape on the Vltara River with the bridges, I saw 3 teenagers sitting on a low wall. With a wide angle lens (24-70mm f2.8L), I quickly shot a few frames of this interesting view. I captured the bridges on Vltara River, giving the photo some background. The subjects were showing a relaxed and happy sentiment, even thought we cannot see much of their faces.
The challenge to take good street photography is not only capturing the moment of your subjects, but also to be aware of the surrounding environment, the background, the sky etc. You have to make quick decisions and execute, it all comes down to practice, practice, review and practice…
I am sure after you have picked up photography as a hobby, you will start to realise that some of your friends also share the same interest, or you meet new people whom is also a budding photographer. Logically you will start organising photo trips and tours to shoot with them (which I high recommend for good learning, giving constructive feedback to each other and improve).
You may start out shooting a lot of landscape shots and after a while you feel a little exhausted. Whilst running out of inspiration, why not shooting your friends in action? They can be perfect models for you (its also free!). Try to compose your shots with your friends inside the frame, maybe to give some context on what they are doing.
The above photos was taken during my last photo outing with my friend. I shot both the photos with my fish-eye zoom at the telephoto end (15mm). Its slightly challenging to do portraits with such a wide angle, but it allows me to capture the surroundings giving the photos the contexts that I was trying to achieve. The first photo looks like a camera bag commercial photo, and the second one I tried using the extreme back light of the sun to draw attention to the photographer.