Distraction & Diversion.


Waiting to stop

Red Lantern

Old lady in the rain

Big Tree, tiny man.

Kwan Gong

Currency exchange shop

Street of Wan Chai

Street of Wan Chai

Warm up exercise


Her birthday?

Closing sale

Old vs New

Roofs of old buildings in Causeway Bay

Cigarette man

Lady by the abandoned market

Two words I could think of in the month of August, Distraction & Diversion. It came from both work and life. I had been wanting a change in work due to the current status just not offering me to excel. And my life follows the work cycle which suffers from it. The near year end food exhibition which my job requires me do is really physiologically wearing me out. I had not done photography of any sort for nearly a week.

The false hope from a photo contest I joined. I really shouldn’t expect anything from it. No photographer could suddenly win without a little socializing and marketing him/herself in the game. I’m so confident with some of my photos that a real serious problem. The most I expect, the more I disappoint, isn’t it?

I found socializing or BSing photography in person to someone you do not know well or haven’t seen your stuff is a complete waste of time. I get nothing in return and nothing would ever change as I’m walking my path my way anyway. And how about gear talk, pro photographer talk…stay away from it. Many have said it and I support it. I’m self-centered call it all you want. I’m the one who shoots photos not anybody else. Go solo and figure it out yourself if you are truly passionate and stand firm in what you do. Advice can be taken from others but It ain’t going to affect your primary focus.

And yes, photography sessions organized by the pro photographers would not be inspiring at all if you are in the game already, something like what I’d been doing in my 6 month photographic journey. I’m finding more updated trend, info, techniques, know-how from the net. Internet is no doubt the best place to start with moderate filtering. You wouldn’t believe how I begin and what you see now from me. I’m a self taught who learned and obtained resources on the net. Exhibition is alright to go to. It is a great way to know what’s out there.

Talk is cheap. I should get back to work in my photography projects and bust out to different districts for my mini-series. It is great to talk to myself thru my blog and share ideas with some fellow like-minded bloggers.

I visited the newly built Hysan Place shopping mall today. Much of the attention has gone to the 3 story Eslite Bookstore (誠品). It’s the most famous bookstore of Taiwan, now opened their first shop in Hong Kong. They’ve got neatly organized collection of books and other side businesses (such as bistro, upscale stationery, tea stand, wine stand, …). Think of it as the Taiwanese Barnes & Nobles. What’s even more is their opening hours – 24 hrs a day. At first I was really skeptical on why everyone was going there, perhaps because it’s new. That’s only one of the many reasons. I believe the Eslite Bookstore is the best reading material go to place in Hong Kong. Our libraries and many of the traditional bookstores here are just plain boring. Eslite is going to make a huge impact positively in the competitive market locally.

I’m not sure what the others think. I’m speaking for myself. I think the interior design of the Hysan Place shopping mall is not visitor-friendly. The interior space is crammed. My family was confused all the way down to the ground floor after we’ve made our way out of the Eslite bookstore. We had no idea how to navigate at the mall. The shops were difficult to find. The corridors are narrow. The passage spacing is not comfortable at all. Every huge shopping malls in Hong Kong has its own uniqueness. I just don’t see any in the Hysan Place.

9 thoughts on “Distraction & Diversion.

  1. This summer I got so much distracted by the constant stream of BS on the internet. The stupid Instagram/Hipstamatic stuff, the film crap, whether projects is better than single images, the death of photography, the technology only creates more mediocrity. Last week I decided to start photographing again each day. Without any specific intention, no project or series in mind. Just photographing, pure for the joy of appreciating each moment I think is worth noticing.

    You will do fine and get past the distraction. It will, just don’t push.

    1. Wouter, I’m sure you’ll find your way. Please don’t stop taking pictures. Sure, you don’t need any advice. Just take the time to check out what suits you well. Hope to see you as productive as you had been before. Regards – KUM

    2. Thanks for the thoughtful comment, Wouter. We just cannot get lost in the fast changing trend. I was also once got into the Instagram. I thought it was pretty cool until I realized what I shooting with was just a phone with no control whatsoever, missing the critical part of it – joy. Yes, we could capture amazing photos with a phone. But it would never give us the satisfaction, given we have our own favorite cameras already.

      I think the passion for photography is one thing that we bloggers are usually stronger than the others that who do not blog or display their work. I think writing through a blog helps me thinking straight not to deviate and even derail.

      I think simply treasuring the moments with our favorite camera by shooting photos how we wanted, is the best reward we could have. You’re right about not having any particular intention when shooting photos. It’s just natural to feel the day and see anything that catches our attention. I had been doing that for a little more than a month with a similar approach. I upload photos to my PC with a two-three week time frame. Just take it slow.

      1. Well I meant did I don’t mind Instagram, the use of a cell phone, and the lack of sophistication. I actually like that. I like the approach of not having full control. It is like your emotions. No matter what you try, it is (too) hard to keep it under control. And since my photography and personal emotions are so closely tight it makes sense to me to keep it partially uncontrollable.

        Aged 39 and photographing for 31 years, what I do now is a whole lot more freely and formal than I used to do. The iPhone, highly sophisticated cameras, apps, and fool proof technology is nothing of current times. In the Nineties the Nikon F5 contained a database of like 50,000 exposure situations to calculate the best possible exposures under pretty much any situation. Autofocus, motor winders, viewfinder information, through the lens light metering, you name it.

        LIke you wrote about the disappointing Daido happy hour, you where still surprised about his connection with his photographs. And that should be satisfaction. Not the gear, the gained technical expertise, nor the cheers and praises through competitions, blog postings, and flickr comments, and facebook likes, but the connection to your photographs. There are probably just two, at most five photographs I really like. For the rest I dislike most, but in one way or the other still feel strongly connected to the moments and feelings I captured in my photographs. And for me that is photography, that I much rather call my expression.

        And sometimes it helps to take some distance from what you’ve been doing. Rationalizing your thoughts, to deal with the distractions, and in the end it will still come naturally.

      2. Thank you, Wouter. Your honest feedback is most helpful. You have seen A LOT more than I do. Further down the road, I should really think about how I connect to my photographs; either through writing or selection of my photos. Frankly speaking, I’m also finding my photo posts recently are a little too random and some captures are missing the intimacy, caused by thinking too much. You pointed out what I’m still lacking of and what I’m in search of too. There’s a fine line between being in control and not. I’m bouncing between them.

        There were moments that I really embraced and remembered in some of my cellphone snaps (business travel, family local trip). And I believe that’s some photos that I strongly connected to. Both times I captured over 80 shots.

        Yesterday morning, along with my latest post; I’ll carry on with my project (not really a project, just a way to name it). That’s going to motivate me to experience the city again (to travel out of district).

  2. Alan, your pictures are always an inspiration. I said that so often, but it’s the truth. Since I try to put together pictures in a series, I have your way to put them together in mind. Thank you for this. I’ll not doing it in the same but in a similar way, sometimes 😉

    1. Thank you KUM. Everyone has their own way to do it. I found my own way as a series to help myself selecting the better images out of my collection. I’m still looking for ways to label my series/sets accordingly. I know they’re arranged by dates, but to effectively labeling my posts is something I should also look into. As you see, the title of this series is not mentioning a particular place or anything..simply my feelings going through in mind..it only works for my followers who know me…maybe not so for those who don’t know me..

      Looking forward for your series too.

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