Mobile Phone, Photography

It’s a year since VSCO released the android version of their amazing mobile image editing app. It’s not a secret anymore, even so to anyone who wishes to perfect their precious mobile snaps. I got down plenty of images I love which many of them are so essential, just around me. Some even had been around in my entire life, such as the path to the cemeteries, the shopping malls…Some images were being curated on their Grid, some images were picked for an indie photographic quarterly magazine. I witnessed the potential and got myself aware that I should exploit on this platform.

It was not until I made a bold move to analogue, leaving all the digital grind behind. There were a few bumps now and then. But all is well at least until this day. Ever since I got a hold of the LCA, it replaced the use of my phone camera almost completely. I only use my phone camera when I’m on the run.

I never treated my mobile photography as a real project until I saw how nicely they form as a grid. To see all the images as a whole, they make a lot of sense of in terms of my life. It’s like a scrapbook of the year. New places, old places I’d been to. People I’d met along. Festivities around town that I participated.

Insignia of the HK SAR
The peaceful path
Sign of the yellow umbrella
the city is dying
Colorful city
overloaded city
On the bright side
Can't get in
Can't go down

One of Many


Photography is one common medium to share stories in digital age. Who does not use a smartphone these days in a somewhat modern country? Who does not own a Ricoh GRD if they’re into street photography? Who does not know the magnum photographers? Everyone perceives of the idea of street photography in a very similar way. It’s like all the ingredients are already on the table, it’s up to how the person wants to cook it, plate it, pair it, eat it.

There’re plenty of people doing street photography. Some are very aggressive on the close up portraits and usually earning their popularity. I give them credit on persistence. Some are just so good at looking at the light and shadow, it’s like anywhere they can make spectacular contrasty images. Some are just so well timed on a live scene, all the elements just click. Some do journalistic documentary, as if they’re the reporters. Some do erotic staged photography, actually I kind of like following it too. They all have a favorable way to perceive their own photography. That’s the fun part of it, not entirely the place, the light, the people; it’s how the photographer demands their image and present them in a way.

It’s insane how many coffee cafés have opened in Hong Kong. I’m not talking about the international known Starbucks. I’m talking about the local indies. People are wanting to know about coffee beans these days (here in Hong Kong). It’s a fashion (the wine culture has shifted into the beans). Not only they serve up a delicious cup with latte art, some even roast their own imported beans. Don’t know their quality though, I had a bad experience with a very well known local roaster. There’s a reason why people are still dying to have brand preference on their coffee beans. Quality is one factor that determines the sustainability of their business. Quality creates a legacy. My experience in food business tells me that the Italians are good at that. Take the coffee as an example, who has not heard of Lavazza, Illy?

It’s fun when the Inspired Eye founders Olivier and Don gave me an interview for their magazine. I’ve never been asked about my photography in any way. It’s good opportunity run a quick check on myself, a self-reflection to what I’d done so far. My experience shared reaffirmed my vision ever since I started blogging. That is, I just want the world to see Hong Kong. Nothing more. The Q&As made me sound like I’m someone really special. I’m not doing photography professionally, only for my self-interest. To receive such an honor, it meant something to me. I rarely get any feedback from anyone as you can see from the bottom of each blog posts despite the number of followers. Alright the followers and likes don’t justify anything. There’s not a whole lot of ways to know how I’m doing. Perhaps that reflects how extremely unsociable i’m, or maybe not everyone understands my english well enough. Haha, just a joke. Fact is, I know I do not type anything provocative or have a extremely well thought out idea to share with. I guess it does not matter I’m not a teacher/curator/philosopher, I do what I do and shoot what I shoot. I appreciate my readers follow my blog along the way.

The end of the road

The Instant Analog

Mobile Phone, Photography

Okay. Retro is a big hit in the photography world, even Nikon’s DSLR now becomes a chunky retro machine-gun. We try hard to make our cameras and photographs look retro. How about reversing it?

I wasn’t part of my plan to pay a visit to a city park that required a bit of travel, until my girlfriend decided to finally bring out her Fuji Instax camera that hadn’t been used for years. Thanks to her! It’s a cute (pink accented) camera that produces polaroid-like results. I can assure you the Instax Mini 7S model is designed for those who know nothing about photography. While it’s as easy to use as it is, the results offered were beyond anything I had not imagined. It has basically no control at all for this model, only 4 basic modes for environment selections (They control the aperture size from f12~32 i believe). The flash fires whenever the shutter triggered.

The focal length is 60mm and it’s standard among all other Instax models. It does a hell of a job for selfie and even jaw dropping for portraits. The photographs we have come up were some good memoir. To physically hold the films and photographs is a feeling that I haven’t had for a very long while. I hate to break it down this way. The films are not cheap, but the joy to share during the shoot and after is priceless. The Instax is now our toy.

The day after I was circulating the idea about what makes the Instax photos so special. While the person in the actual photo plays a huge part, I also found out it’s the ‘extra attention’ paid to each photo makes Instax and perhaps others refer as film so special. I got no problem with the ‘extra attention’ as I shoot my digital like film in a way. The 60mm lens which similar to the standard 50mm has put new perspective to casual users who rarely use this focal, I’m for one. It puts even more attention to what’s in and not in the frame to nail the photo.

The name card sized instant photos rolls out while we hit the shutter become the precious memories. It can’t be replicated by our digital gear’s megapixels. I do not think we can compare the two, digital and instant analog together. They’re for different use for and as a user. Since that day, I’m addicted to the Instax. I can’t wait to turn the next blank film into something interesting I’ve encountered. The Mini 90 sounds like fun.

I’ll give myself a few days to cool off this feeling…

Gone missing
Around the clock
End of the day, start of the night
American School Bus
Fruit stall
Gardener and the construction
Nathan Road
The famed tv host as the fortune god
Flowers and rain water