Victoria Harbor from the Peak

Whenever visitors come, we always take them up to Victoria Peak. The views of the harbor are stunning – definitely one of the great city views in the world. Sometimes, I go up by myself as well with the intention of taking some evening photos. This time I got up nice and early, about an hour before sunset. I was shooting with the Sony A6000 and the Sony 10-18 lens (this is a real gem). The first photo below is an exposure blend of 3 photos taken before the city lights came on.

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The best photos are ofcourse when the city lights come on. The trick is to not keep it for too late – take the shots when there is still some blue in the sky. The shot below is again an exposure blend of 3 photos.

Sony A6000, Sony 10-18
Sony A6000, Sony 10-18

The feature image of this post, was a single shot taken as a 25 second exposure. I normally don’t do such long exposures here. But this time, there was some very nice movement in the clouds that I wanted to emphasize.

Walking Wanchai

Wanchai is ofcourse one of the classic Hong Kong regions. A blend of the new and the old. A place where everybody is usually rushing around. Grabbing a meal on the walk is pretty normal and acceptable.

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The trams are what give Hong Kong Island’s streets a lot of its charm. And, like the tram on the cover image, they are often vibrantly colored, giving the streets a real splash of color. However, on this day, I saw several trams just stationary on the streets with nobody on board. Puzzling. This never happens. As I walked further I discovered that there was a fire raging in one of the old buildings bordering Wanchai and Causeway Bay. People were gathering to observe and ofcourse get some pictures. I resisted the temptation – didn’t want to interfere with the work of the firefighters and police and somehow I just can’t get myself to document the misery of others. Especially, in a case like this where you don’t have a more “noble” objective such as highlighting some trouble to gather public support. So I moved on and called it a day.

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Hong Kong Skyline

No matter how many photos I take of the Hong Kong skyline, I never get bored. Its just a sensational view. I recently had to help my daughter take a timelapse for a school project. We used a friend’s balcony (nice view!). The cover photo here is an exposure blend of 3 photos taken during the 90 minute shoot. The next one is a single exposure (jpg), processed in Lightroom and ON1 Photo Effects 10.

Hong Kong

Lioness on Rock at Seronera

This photo taken in the Seronera region of the Serengeti, Tanzania. There was a pride of lions (2 lionesses and 5 cubs) who clearly appeared hungry and looking for prey. We followed them for a while and then this lioness scaled this big rock to get a panoramic view of the surroundings. Unfortunately for them there was no prey nearby but as we drove on we saw a huge herd of wildebeest further ahead. I’m sure the lions found them eventually. Photo taken with Olympus OM-D EM-5, Panasonic Lumix 35-100/f2.8

The next photo was taken shortly afterwords as she was descending the rock. Photo taken with Sony A6000 and Sony 55-210 lens.

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Visiting a community school in Mumbai, India

We had gone to India for our summer vacation this year. While in Mumbai, we visited a school for relatively underprivileged kids, where one of our friends volunteered. It was a wonderful yet humbling experience. These kids have relatively little but they were so cheerful and the joy on their faces was just infectious!

I had not taken any digital camera on this vacation. These shots were all taken with the Contax G2, Fuji Superia 400 (first time I used this and I really liked it), the Carl Zeiss 28 f2.8 and 50 f2 lenses and the Contax TLA-200 flash.

In Mumbai, India

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We had organised some snacks for the kids and a drawing/ art competition with some small prizes thrown in. The kids were delighted and had so much fun. Our children had also come along and I hope they got something from the experience.

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In Mumbai, India

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Sea birds and animals

The Olympus OMD-EM-5 and the Panasonic Lumix 35-100/F2.8 make a wonderful combination. These photos were taken in Kangaroo Island, Australia with this combo.

I do like my Panasonic 100-300 for longer reaches but the 35-100 (70-200 full-frame equivalent) is leagues ahead in all other respects – color, contrast, sharpness and bokeh. When this lens came out it was the only premium 70-200 equivalent lens for the micro 4/3 system. Since then, Olympus has come out with the 40-200 f/2.8 Pro lens, which is fantastic according to all reviews. Nevertheless, it doesn’t appear that in terms of sharpness, color and contrast, there’s much to choose between them. Hence, I’ve decided to stick with this lens and not “upgrade.”

Sea Lion at Seal Bay, Kangaroo Island, Asutralia

The Guards of the Colony

Couple more from Angkor Wat

Found and worked on a couple of interesting Angkor Wat photos lurking in Lightroom. The one above is actually an exposure blend of 3 photos. As always for any exposure blend, the challenge is to make sure that it still looks natural, with good contrast.

The photos below was taken in blazing heat during the middle of the day. Barely got the ladies to pose fir a moment or two before we fled to the shade! Used a flash for filling in the harsh shadows. Both these photos were taken with the Sony A7R and the 16-35 F/4 FE lens.
Angkor and the ladies

Light

Light

Just a quick post. This was taken by my daughter while we were visiting Ta Prohm temple near Siem Reap in Cambodia. Taken with a Olympus OM-D EM-5 and Panasonic Lumix 12-35/F2.8 lens. For the size, its a versatile and ultimately very capable combination. Processed in Lightroom.

Contax G2 and Velvia 50 in Phuket

During our Easter trip to Phuket, I shot a lot of film. had taken one roll of Velvia 50 as well. While I really like Ektar and also Portra and Fuji Pro, there is something special about slide film as opposed to color negative film. True, there’s almost no exposure latitude. So if you’ve blown a highlight or your shadows are too dark, bye bye. But when you do get it right, it is just beautiful.

And there is simply no other film like Velvia. Yes, its not everyday stock. And just don’t try and capture people with it. For landscapes, it is like magic. Too saturated? Yes. A bit removed from reality? Yes. But nothing else can make something boring relatively interesting like Velvia can.

Rang Yai Island, Phuket

Beach at The Village, Phuket

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The Village, Coconut Island, Phuket

Contax G2, Fuji Velvia 50
Contax G2, Fuji Velvia 50
Contax G2, Fuji Velvia 50
Contax G2, Fuji Velvia 50

Pier Abstracts

I woke up at 5am one morning when we were staying at Lorne along the Great Ocean Road. That was quite an effort for me in the middle of a family vacation with a lot of driving around. Grabbed the Sony A7R and the 16-35mm lens and walked down to the pier. I did not have a tripod but had a small Gorillapod. Woefully inadequate given the conditions – windy and not too many places where the pod could be positioned while giving an interesting viewpoint. Got this one semi-nice photo while the light was ok.

Pier Light

But then the light just got boring – no interesting colors, no interesting beams through the clouds. So, I just converted the photos to b&w and some abstract compositions. These photos are not much to talk about but I still keep them because I find the results kind of interesting and I remember the effort it took to wake up in the morning.

Pier at Lorne, Victoria

Long Exposure Abstract