Friday, July 29, 2016

PANASONIC-LEICA DG 100-400 - First Impression

WOOHOO!  As promised, I received the long awaited Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmar 100-400mm f/4.0-6.3 ASPH zoom lens from Panasonic New Zealand today!

It was raining cats and dogs when this super-zoom arrived outside my front door  and I was dying to take it out with the Lumix GX8 (came together) for a spin!

Not wanting to give these lovely Panasonic beauties a shower, even though they both can take the plunge because both are weather sealed... I thought for this wet day 1, I will just take some quick shots from our rain drenched deck!

But first, lets look at this Leica designed super-zoom...

First of all, this is a heavy and PRICEY zoom lens, is Leica lenses EVER CHEAP?

Our local Photowarehouse is asking NZ$2,499 for this 985g (34.7 oz) beauty!

Why so much?

Monday, June 6, 2016

My Street Photography

During the weekend I was browsing and looking at photos that are classified as "Street Photography" and was stunned how popular this type of documentary photography is!

So what is street photography?

According to Wikipedia:
"Street photography is a type of documentary photography that features subjects in candid situations within public places such as streets, parks, beaches, malls, political conventions, and other settings."

It go on to say about this type of photography...

"Street photography uses the techniques of straight photography in that it shows a pure vision of something, like holding up a mirror to society. Street photography often tends to be ironic and can be distanced from its subject matter, and often concentrates on a single human moment, caught at a decisive or poignant moment."

Straight photography? A quick click of my mouse told me that...

"Straight photography or Pure photography refers to photography that attempts to depict a scene as realistically and objectively as permitted by the medium, renouncing the use of manipulation.

Founded in 1932, Group f/64 who championed purist photography, had this to say:
Pure photography is defined as possessing no qualities of technique, composition or idea, derivative of any other art form."
Hmmm... that prompt me to look at my archived images to see which of my shots can go under this decisive, candid; category :)

One of my favorite!

Sunday, June 5, 2016

PICCURE+ 3.0 Completely Redesigned and Improved!

I was writing about PICCURE since 2013, as a matter of fact, I was one of the BETA TESTER for this incredible software!

If you want to know what this is all about, go HERE and read about it.

Three nights ago while processing one of my foodie shot for Facebook posting, my iMac asked if I want to update my present Piccure plug-in..

I did and when I ran it I was surprise the improvement the new update delivered!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Once Upon A Time In INDIA 3

Our last day in India was a full on fashion shoot day in Agra.

According to Wikipedia:

Agra is a city on the banks of the river Yamuna in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, India. It is located at the banks of river Yamuna, 363 kilometres (226 mi) west of state capital, Lucknow and 200 kilometres (124 mi) south from national capital New Delhi.

With a population of 1,686,976 (2010 est.), it is one of the most populous cities in Uttar Pradesh and the 19th most populous in India.

Because 80 percent of the city's sewage flows into Yamuna River, it is 20th most polluted city in India.

Yet, it is a major tourist destination because of its many splendid Mughal-era buildings, most notably the Tāj Mahal, Agra Fort and Fatehpūr Sikrī, all three of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

We woke up at 5 am and head for Taj Mahal to catch the rising sun.

This is what we came for! The stunning Taj Mahal, 6.30 am. One of the New Seven Wonder Of The World!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Once Upon A Time In INDIA 2

Theory of Chaos! The more I look at the pictures in the India Fashion CD, the more confuse I was! There were no caption and indication where they were taken! 1994, the year of meta data none existence ;) No help from colour films either!

But there must be some sort of order in all these chaos? A little thinking out of the box and Google took me to and I discovered their Golden Triangle Tour, Tour Code : IOYO-01; for 5 nights & 6 days; with Routing : DELHI - JAIPUR - AGRA - DELHI. Is exactly the SAME type of tour that we took for our fashion shoot!

Reading their detailed itinerary and by looking at pictures (in Google graphics) of each location, I am able to identify where my shots were taken! Cool eh?

Our little fashion group from Singapore first landed at Delhi, after a short rest we went to work; trying to get some shots around the hotel.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Once Upon A Time In INDIA

After the last house flood, our stuff and junk are still semi organised in the garage. While rummaging through the chaos last week end, I discovered some forgotten memories; images that were forgotten.

A CD found was labelled "India Fashion", ahhh... memories flood back, it bring a smile to my face :)

I remember someone said, "It took me a long time to figure out that it's not where you are that counts in life; it's the memories that you make there."

And since, "Everybody has a story to tell, but stories forgotten can never be retold." Here's the great time I had with a group of energetic and creative young Singaporean before I forget!

1994 - I was head hunted and landed a well paid job as the first Picture Editor for Lianhe Zaobao in Singapore. Life was good, the Editor; Mr. Loy liked me a lot. Believe you me, this "LIKE" thing is very important in Singapore ;)

I just bought and set up the first Electronic Picture Desk for the Chinese Paper Division. I was getting acquainted with the Apple Macintosh computers and learning to use Adobe Photoshop 5.0 to scan negatives with a Kodak Professional RFS 2035 desktop scanner then output the pictures to a S$40,000 Kodak dye-sub printer!

Looking at the images in the India Fashion CD gave me a shock! The quality of the scans were terrible and they are all in PICT format, which; Photoshop CS5 DO NOT support! Suffice to say, the "rejigging" of the 1994 scans took me some very late nights :)

But how did I ended up shooting fashion in India?

In 1993, the features section of the Chinese paper ran a nation wide Most Promising Young Models Contest. The winners (male and female) will go with a fashion team from the paper to India for a week of fashion shoot.

Before I start, here is a plead; I had no record of the names of those in the pictures and this old mind cannot really recall their Chinese names! So if you are reading this or if you are their friends, please inform me yours / theirs names. Thanks!

We were in a chartered bus heading for Jaipur, the Pink City; this boy was selling poppadom in the middle of the road. I shot through the bus window.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Once Upon A Time in Wellington

SATURDAY turn out to be a sunny but very windy Wellington day! But that is very Wellington! How windy?  If you view some of the videos, you will realise why THE COOLEST LITTLE CAPITAL IN THE WORLD is also known as WINDY WELLINGTON ;)

Saturday (14 May 2016) was also the day the CHINA CULTURAL CENTRE IN NEW ZEALAND organised an event to celebrate WORLD TAICHI MONTH, this was held at the CIVIC SQUARE in the heart of Wellington city.

We went to the Civic Square early to secure a good spot to film the event, I was given a "STAFF" badge by Master Zhang of the Cultural Centre for easy access around the event.

But after covering many events during my newspaper photographer days, I knew I would still be block by people running around with their mobile phones, filming!  The badge did make my live a bit easier though.

The World Tai Chi Month programme was colourful...

There were Tai Chi 8 routine, Qigong Ba Duan Jin, Tai Chi 24 routine (fast and slow versions), the ever popular Tai Chi Kung Fu Fan, Tai Chi Chen Style, Wushu performance.

To spice up the event there were also a Chinese dance performed by the children from the Oriental Cultural and Performing Arts Group dress up as cute Kungfu Pandas.

Adding a bit of glamour, a Chinese Cheongsam Show, "Blue and White Porcelain" by lovely ladies of the New Zealand Chinese Cultural and Arts Association.

The show ended with a delightful Chinese dance, "Jasmine Flower" by the dancers of the  Oriental Cultural and Performing Arts Group.