Archive for March, 2011

23
Mar
11

HK Rugby Tens

So I had a great day at the rugby tens, a warm up for the sevens. The tens is promoted as a social rugby tournament, and that is the case as the teams just hang out in the stands in between matches. The first day the teams play in seeded pools, which makes some of the matches a bit one sided; this is great for photography, because it means you work really hard for ten minutes, and for the other half you can talk to people and drink beer!
Where I was, the seats were adopted by a team from New Zealand and the surrounding islands. They were a great laugh, and there was a lot of friendly banter going on. I was impressed because several of the players were what I would term as seniors, and they were still playing hard rugby – respect where it’s due.
No photos to post yet, they are on my laptop, but I have a lot of sorting out to do. The bonus of the first day is that entry is free. Tomorrow is the finals and tickets are only HK$100 which is quite a bargain.

23
Mar
11

SoMe and starting to take photos

When a friend introduced me to Foursquare just over a year ago, I thought it was a bit of fun, but of no real practical use, now, I have found one. Yesterday, I went to Quarry Bay to visit a couple of friends who run a restaurant, and I ‘checked in’ on facebook. Five minutes later, another of my old friends comes into the restaurant, having seen where I was. She couldn’t stay for lunch, but it was good to see her again, however briefly.
Despite lugging my camera around h with me all day and night, I have been reluctant to take photos in Hong Kong, a lack of inspiration, I suppose. I took a few yesterday, and today the Rugby Tens starts, so that should change things.

22
Mar
11

Sure

Ok, so I bought the lens in the end, despite Canon having recently put the prices up. I checked out a couple of shops, and none could match the deal offered to me by Miramar Cameras on Stanley Street, and it worked out about 500 pounds cheaper than the price in the UK – but that’s probably due to the totally outrageous 20% VAT they have there.
Last night I tried out Sure, a restaurant with a nice roof top terrace, next door to The Centre. It seems to do a good trade during it’s happy hour, from 6-9pm, but it’s not exactly cheap, but if you want cheap you go to Club Seven-11. I have to mention the disabled toilet there; it’s the closest toilet to the terrace, and it’s the largest toilet I have seen in a bar in HK, there is plenty of space to swing a cat.
I wandered back to LAN Kwai Fong to meet up with a friend. Around 10pm and it was dead as a doornail. After a good long chat, I headed back to my very economical hotel room and passed out, not forgetting to put the “do not disturb” sign on my hotel door, to prevent housekeeping wanting to clean my room at some ungodly hour of the morning.

21
Mar
11

Throw your Hong Kong guide books away,

Or at least the ones about LAN Kwai Fong, because it’s just about closed. There are a few bars left, like Bar George, Stormies, the Keg and Coconuts, but the rest seem to be closed. The Hong Kong Brewhouse has moved from it’s prime spot, and now is almost hidden away. Hard Rock is coming soon; didn’t they try Hong Kong before and fail miserably?
I am sure mr. Zimmerman has a plan, but at the moment it seems to be to try and drive all the customers to Soho and Wanchai. Wanchai doesn’t seem to have changed too much. I didn’t try Neptune III, but a lot of regular haunts such as Amazonia, Carneggies and the Dog House made me welcome again.
I popped back into my favorite camera shop yesterday. I was looking for a Canon EF 28-300mm L lens, but they couldn’t offer me a discount on this item. It’s still a bit cheaper than the UK, guess I will have to think about it for a while.
One nice thing about this place is being able to sit in Hong Kong Park, connect to the free wifi supplied by the HK authorities and write my blog. I guess it’s back to Wanchai tonight, but not drinking so much.

20
Mar
11

Back in Hong Kong

…and it feels good. I landed early this morning, and the weather was not inspiring, being very murky and grey. We flew in from the east, but the cloud was so low, that we didn’t see the island.
It’s the first time for a very long time that I have had to join the queue for visitors at immigration, and I was given the 3rd degree to see if I was still working here -if only!
spent a while in the Cathay Arrivals lounge, it’s all right for a shower but not much else. having exhausted the possibilities at HKIA, I headed into Central and made my way to my hotel, which is just off Hennessey Road. of course, I was far too early, and they won’t let me in until 2pm, which is why I am in the Dog House contemplating an all day breakfast or a bowl of chilli con carne, and washing it all down with a couple of pints of Heineken. It’s far to early for beer, but my body clock is so screwed up, I don’t really care! More adventures, later

14
Mar
11

Spicy Food before Bed can lead to Nightmares

This weekend was another seminar in the Barrett & Coe portrait photography course, and an enjoyable day it was too.  We covered several subjects, some of which I found to be useful revision, such as environmental photography and Hollywood makeover, some of the stuff was entirely new to me such as pet photography and scoring photographs for contests.

I found learning about the scoring really useful, basically each photograph is scored based on five different criteria, and each criterion is scored separately and independently.  To ensure that we got the drift of this, we each had to score several photographs, at the same time as one of the tutors, who is an experienced judge.  There were prizes for the three students who scored closest to the judge.  I have to admit that apart from the first and last photograph, my own views were wildly different from the judge, but for once when they tooted up my scores, I was close enough to win a prize, a ten quid voucher for use at a professional photography lab, my first photography prize, hopefully not the last.

The course organisers are very good at sending out information on each seminar several days before the workshops, and I was keen to learn about pet photography.  The previous evening to the workshop, I made myself a spicy Thai curry with prawns – not a good idea!  During the night I had a very vivid dream about having as a model pet a huge Siberian Tiger, and I had a great deal of difficulty in getting this ferocious beast to pose, or even to get comfortable on the posing blocks.  Fortunately on the day, we only learned about the theoretical side of cat and dog photography, and there was no practical.  However for our homework, we have to take some pet photos.  Yes we get homework, so when I get to Hong Kong next week, I have a lot of portraits to take, so if any of my Hong Kong model friends want to help me out…

The session I enjoyed the most was the hollywood makeover session.  This is promoted as an extra to the normal portrait or event photography session.  It is done quickly and is supposed to lead to extra sales.  The set up was straightforward enough, and we practiced on a couple of models, and I was quite happy with the results.  Here are the shots I liked the best.