Month: September 2014

September 29, 2014 Pete Walker

Modelling is quite a popular pass time amount the domestic helpers in Hong Kong on their days off. Whether this is just for mini competitions, amateur photographers or just to have fun with friends. Whilst in Mei Foo for my uniform shoot (see previous blog post) close by us was a small group of Indonesian girls, working on make-up.

It transpired of the girls Maya, was entering a beauty competition in Causeway Bay that afternoon and they were spending the morning getting ready in the Park.

Whilst we were taking a break on the uniform shoot, we got chatting and took some shots for Maya; which is an example of some of the strange things that can happen in Hong Kong.

These shot were taken as a favour to the girls so they had a record of the day; however, everything is a learning curve and not spotting the union jack and the missing contact lens is something that I won’t forget again.

 

September 22, 2014 Pete Walker

Earlier in the year the given subject in the Cathay Camera Club monthly competition was Uniform and other than searching the street for policemen etc. to shoot something in my comfort zone of street photography I was a loss for what to do; then I saw on Facebook a pictures of a friend at a martial arts class and a seed of an idea was born.

Marivel is Filipina and works in Hong Kong as a Domestic helper; but in her spare time she likes to model and practise Tai Kwon Do & Karate, so she became the willing participant in a shoot in Li Chi Kok Park in Mei Foo.

Using a simple set up of a one Canon 430exII flash in a Photix 40cm x 60cm softbox fired manually in conjunction with the natural light, I tried to capture the power of martial arts.

Whilst I feel the shots are visually appealing don’t think I have quite captured the essence as well as I would have liked. I would put that down to the fact that I’m less experienced at giving instructions to models, therefore that is something I have to work on. That’s the thing with photography every day is a learning curve and the day we stop learning is the days we need to re-evaluate why we are here.

Finally, I have to thank Marivel for this shot giving up the whole morning of her one day off a week to help and volunteering to assist on future shoots.

 

September 16, 2014 Pete Walker

Sitting at home waiting for the typhoon signal to drop has given me time to blog about the “36 Shot Challenge” I took part in the other Saturday with friends from Cathay Camera Club; that is using a small 2GB card in a modern DSLR ( for me a 2GB Card in the Canon 5D3 took 64 gave 64 shots – the Nixon shooters around 37).

The idea was to try and emulate the days of film, i.e. carrying only one or two rolls of film for the day and thinking carefully before pressing the shutter and avoid spray and pray method. The only rule was limiting your self to the card, with individuals adding other challenges such as one ISO, no chimping etc as they saw fit. I have kept all my shots from the day in black & white to keep with film emulation theme.

I was surprised how hard it was, especially as we were shooting street photography – and I would not normally describe myself as spray and pray shooter (others might!).  I did find the whole exercise quite refreshing and it has rekindled my thoughts about bringing my film cameras out of retirement for the occasional walk around – a couple of friends did the challenge with a film camera,  mine is unfortunately in the UK.

We shot around the Canton Road Wet Market in Mong Kok and after an early dinner we continued down through Yau Ma Tai and Temple Street to Jordan. This is a favourite area of mine to shoot as it produces quite interesting subjects in the less glamorous side of Hong Kong.

I have to say I’m really looking forward to doing this again and maybe next I’ll go the whole way and tape up my preview screen – that’s if next time I haven’t tempted by a box of Ilford HP5 or some Tri-X. Below are more shots from the day; all in all, not a bad hit rate, 13 keepers out of 54 shots taken.

September 1, 2014 Pete Walker

A couple of weeks ago I took a little wander around Central on a Saturday night, armed with just a 50mm lens and my trusty Canon 5DIII. I love the 50mm on full frame combination. A 50mm was the first lens I owned with my first ever SLR camera (yes I did say SLR not DSLR) and using it solely for over a year it taught me a great deal; living up to its reputation as the best lens for self-development.

The 50mm lens gives an angle of view which approximately what your eye sees and it also has the advantage of being small, light and fast (unless you have the Canon f1.2L which is the size of a tank but I don’t have that issue) which makes it ideal for a walk in low light conditions.

Central is not my normal haunt for photography or any for that matter much else, so the challenge of the 50mm focal length was ideal, as I know it would make me think about my shots and search out subjects in a relatively unfamiliar location and the f1.4 aperture would give me plenty of light in the early evening.

I have tried to capture what I saw on the evening walk, thing things that stood out for me on that walk, markets stalls closing for the night, people heading to a night out and taxi and neon. The 50mm length is not perfect (it can be little tight for traditional street photography) but, it is pretty close to ideal, and it one lens that will always have a place in my bag.