I’ve been taking a lot more pictures lately, since we got the Nikon D60. There’s something about a kick-ass SLR camera, that, well, kicks ass once you’re squinting through the viewfinder, with trigger finger itching to pop off a shot.
Mind you, I’m nearsighted, and often all I see through the teensy window is a mass of color. I try to frame using shapes and lines and forms. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates, you’ll never know what you’re going to get until you upload those files into your hard drive and look at the images you captured on a 19-inch color monitor.
Then in comes Photoshop or Windows Photo Gallery for a dose of “auto-adjust”, increased brightness/contrast, cropping, or whatever it takes to resolve the images’ minor issues to bring them to full, colorful, spectacular beauty, ready to tell their story to the viewer.
Here are some of my personal favorites (mostly taken on a recent trip to Hong Kong) and the stories behind them:
A dragon dance ritual for luck in Hong Kong, Feb 2009. From the demeanor of the store manager and other people nearby it was clearly an important ceremony; yet they allowed me to get as close as I wished to take this shot.
View of a hilly street in Hong Kong, taken from the top deck of a #973 bus on the way to Stanley Street.
View of Repulse Bay, enclave of ritzy homes and yachts.
The Stanley Street market.
Jade jewelry on display.
Lanterns like colorful bubbles.
Another view of Stanley Street.
One of my favorite images. Macro shot.
Miniature “terracotta” warriors at Stanley Street.
View at Stanley Street main. I love landscapes and macro shots.
Another favorite macro shot – a sign in Braille somewhere in the bowels of the MTR (subway) system.
The Happy Valley cemetery, as seen through a moving bus.
A traditional Chinese building on a hill in the New Territories looks more at home in its setting than does the modern tower beside it.
A cup of Chinese tea. Gazing into its depths, I tried to read my future…and couldn’t. So I drank it. *burp*
A serving of chocolate mousse at Bambu buffet, The Venetian hotel, Macau.
View of a bay and harbor in Hong Kong. Taken from the top of the revolving tower ride at Ocean Park.
Australian wool tapestry designed by artist Michael Santry. It took several weavers three months to finish.
Drain in the shape of a horseshoe at Sha Tin stable.
Saddlecloth and helmet at Sha Tin.
A groom leads a horse into the John Size stables at Sha Tin.
As a graduate student of communication, anything to do with signs and symbols (semiology) interests me.
I love this shot of jockeys, their owners, and trainers huddled together before a race at Sha Tin.
Jockeys wait for their mounts.
One of my favorite shots – I love how the jockey’s leg is parallel to the horse’s back. This is one of France’s leading riders, Cristophe Soumillon, getting aboard Steel Nerves.
Soumillon’s face is set, strained, serious.
In contrast, Hong Kong’s leading rider, Douglas Whyte, always had a half-smile on his face.
Hong Kong Jockey Club race judges bank to see the action better. I love this!
A judge makes notes as horses cross the finish line. I like how the shot incorporates part of the indoors with a view of the outdoors.
Another nicely-composed shot of a scene at Sha Tin.
The huge video screen in the infield at Sha Tin shows the jockey in the lead looking over his shoulder. It’s a metashot – a shot of a shot.