One month with X100 – Episode I: The B&W City of Hong Kong.

Street of Sham Shui Po

Lady by a column in Sham Shui Po

Fuk On Lane

Fuk On Lane...

Chef

Pollution

Indoesian ladies

Napping at lunch

Black cat

_

Woman

Smiling Dog

Man

a Kid Fishing

Couple under the sun

Eating Ice Cream

Lady

Up and down

Biker

Man outside a cafe

Dog on a trolley

Bus Driver

I’m finding my routine daily photo taking on my way home to be very repetitive with the similar settings and environment. I’m only capturing very few photos a day. Only comfort is at least there’s one or two that represents the day. I try to travel/walk less due to the humid, warm weather. The weather could go up to 33°C on the street with all the skyrise in the city. Ventilation is terribly bad, there’s hardly any wind in many places. I get so sweaty whenever I go home. I’d rather go home earlier for catch my favorite political show on TV (I Want To Be Chief Executive).

My entire month of July has been dedicated to my X100. I spent every single bit of time with it when I shoot photo, while my GRD is well kept in my dry box. Other than that, my commitment to the X100 is well maintained. There were moments I wished the focus could be sharper when I had the aperture set at f5.0-5.6. It turned out okay. I’ve also experimented with the film simulation setting from Astia to Provia. I get lots of blown out highlights with Provia during the day, while Astia gives more saturated colors. After running the presets on pc, the differences are minimal. I’m actually using the blown highlights and shadow bands to develop my b&w photos. It’s giving me another kind of cool effect without compromising the original details. I still prefer individual image settings applied to each film simulation like Ricoh (now the image setting applies to all simulation…logical?!).

The photos all seem so random when I look at them individually (or I should say they’re not too stand out). I try to somehow tie them to a theme. I think it’s best to have them displayed as a monthly series of my city. I think the more I look at what some of the better known street photographers (Jacob aue Sobol, Andreas Herzau, Daido Moriyama) do on their photo books. I found there’s always a good mix of portraits (from different point of view), environments (with or without human), objects (some) and abstract compositions. I believe that’s what keeping their displayed work interesting. Martin Parr had said in his recent broadcast of Google+ Hangout – “In order to have good pictures, you need to have bad pictures.” He also mentioned that it’s fine to taken many bad pictures if we could learn from it. It’s so true when only the good ones go on display. It all comes down to the photo selection.

Showing/posting photos is easy. The way we present it such as the arrangement,  essay that goes with it, color/b&w, photo effects that applied (if digital), and more…can be a complicated art. I always focus on these aspects when I do mine. However, I took one step further and spent more time arranging them (really hope it flows better on this series). And this time I had done a slight variation on my black & white processing. I enjoy this evolving development, though I still try not to overdo with too much manipulation. It’s a great way to keep myself engaged and know more about the image adjustments on both my camera and software. Recognizing this is only my 2nd priority and not the 1st (photo shooting) would prevent me from overloading myself.

This ‘one month with one camera’ project is likely to continue for another month or two. I found restricting myself shooting with only one camera would help myself visualize things with only one focal length. Like I’ve mentioned before, it could be tight to frame tall buildings and huge structure. With careful framing, it’s absolutely possible to only hunt for ‘the meat’. It helps me to understand what has to be in a photo and what are the important elements to be included in the frame.

Continue to Episode II

17 thoughts on “One month with X100 – Episode I: The B&W City of Hong Kong.

    1. thanks, man! I’m not taking too many shots these days.. maybe my subconscious mind tells me to shoot as if my camera is loaded with film (only shoot interesting things)

      1. That’s the way to go, you discriminate way more if you know that you don’t have a lot of frames. Nice work with the X100, I thought these where GRD shots because of the way the frames are set up (like the man with newspaper going out of the frame) but I guess you have zone focusing down.

      2. about the photo of the man with newspaper: I was actually pulling my camera way too fast and pushed the shutter while the VF eye sensor was activating – what that means is that the VF is up but the shutter have not gone through. It was my double tap on my shutter that got this photo..i almost missed it…I’ve explained on one of my previous posts (HK Collection Part II – last paragraph). The X100 really frustrated me at times as I’m too used to the fast camera pulling action (call me a cowboy if you want lol!). I wished both the VF (for framing) and LCD (for readings – shutter speed, aperture) on my camera can be up at all time…

        Knowing this quirk, I’ve learned to double click on the shutter when I’m not too sure whether the shutter actually gone down…

  1. The humidity looks like it’s good for your shots. Some really nice portraits in this selection. Sometimes I think one can get too bogged down by the need to capture everything, so it’s good to take a step back. A couple of shots a day is great. Like your theme idea at the same time.

    1. thanks lemonade! That’s why I surprised myself this time in this series. I’d taken very few shots in a day and when it comes to displaying as a series. It all seemed so natural for me in the photo selection. It didn’t take me too long as many of those shots were important. I’ve only prioritized them.

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