People of West Point: Why we need basic gear

Man and a tram

Nothing’s more beautiful than enjoying a sunset by the shore. That’s precisely where I wandered into – the West Point Cargo Loading Port. It’s the same site i visited last year December. And my photography has changed quite a bit.  You be the judge.

Enjoying the sunset sky
Enjoying the sunset sky

Back to Basic and fiddled with ISO & EV
Last night’s misadventure had not stopped me from trying. I went back to my basic gear tonight – Ricoh GRD IV. It’s light, simple, stealthy and lots of control with it. (Any simple compact camera can be your basic gear. You may use your cellphone if you don’t have one). In my definition, the less we worry about the gear, the more aware we’re on the street and in the end more photos will be taken. I also treat the walkabout tonight as my mental reboot.

Scooter girl
Scooter girl

I even went a bit more further with it by down tuning my EV -0.7 to shoot with almost the whole time (normally I set my EV to -0.3). I noticed today how the ISO sensitivity was instantaneously affecting the highlight on my LCD display. The higher the ISO the more I can tune down the EV. It can also give a nice boost to the shutter speed when the light is dim. I also limited my ISO at 2000 max.

Stretching in front of a magnificent view.
Stretching in front of a magnificent view.

It’s something I had not done before today. Thanks to myself playing with the flash in the past few days, or I’d not thought of tempering with the EV.

"Best of luck at work" chinese Fai Chun banner
“Best of luck at work” chinese Fai Chun banner

Approach and Results
Just like any of my previous approach go up near my subject and click click click, except I relied more of my LCD and blind shots. It helps building my confidence back up. That is to a point where I’m bold enough to flash people up. I’d done a few with the built-in flash. I have to gather my thoughts in what situation should I use flash. And be clear why that moment needed a flash. It’s going to help me when I’m back on my X100.

I played with 4 yr old Dora.
I played with 4 yr old Dora.

Some of my photos today turned out fine. And the better ones are all here in this post. This part of the district is not so colorful. Monochrome is the only way to go.

Belly man in the shadow
Belly man in the shadow

I have set the snap focus distance to 1m. It helps so much when shooting at night. Notice many of my photos are sharp except those I had really slow shutter speed. The distance menu is only two clicks with my thumb. Really have to say thank you to the Ricoh engineers and contributors. They make digital cameras that works like part of a photographer’s body.

Afterthoughts
Next time when I encountered unpleasant experience like last night I could have handled it better by saying thank you just once and don’t look back – keep walking – pretend I was shooting at someone else (people are too busy to walk back to me and ask further here anyway). Or if my confidence level is really down to the bottom, just shoot without flash. You may try if it works for you. It’s dark at night people won’t even see me, right?

You are smoking. Deserved a flash
You are smoking. Deserved a flash

I should just chill, grab a drink, call someone on the phone to talk to when shit happens that affect my confidence. A mental reboot on me works!

Man on a stroll
Man on a stroll

Old man chilling on the street
Old man chilling on the street

Sup?Sup?

Burning hell money for ancestors
Burning hell money for ancestors

I duck
I duck

Good Dog
Good Dog

The last photo was a bonus, a hip shot. It’s exactly how I wanted😉

6 thoughts on “People of West Point: Why we need basic gear

  1. I live in Sai Wan and your photos are great🙂, the cargo loading dock is a nice place to walk by at night with the sea wind breezing through and you can see Tsing Ma Bridge across the sea clearly before the light goes off at 22:30~23:00, and yet a romantic place for couples to stay for all night long.

    1. all night long! i saw rats hanging out there early in the evening. don’t think ill take anyone there later than 7pm.

      i discovered the small entrance this time right next to the wholesale fruit market.

      thanks derek.

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