Casual Life, Casual Eye


There’s really so little or no encouragement as an amateur photographer. I work for myself. I’m not getting judged or evaluated. There could be a lot of pressure or none during the entire production process. Wise words from a professional local photographer said that it does not matter if he/she is a pro or amateur, we all should develop our own style and set our standards, then stick with it. By that means, adding my own interpretations and meanings to my observation in the work is the key.

Spending more time wherever we go with a camera does not translate into the higher probability to get our photos (it does translate into getting more photos for selection in our archive). I’d say it only lets us see more.  I do not think about how much I’d have missed if I do not go shoot on that day. It creates unnecessary stress for me and for some I suspect. Rather, I realized how I should divert my attention to treasure my time and opportunity out on the street. I run my own schedule, set my standards. Something I enjoy myself doing, no one can take it away from me.

I represent my home Hong Kong and the period of time I’m living in. This is who I’m. I want others to see what I see. I’m fueled by my satisfaction and contentment.

Recently I had an honor to have a friendly dialogue exchange between two other Leica X2 users known on the net, interviewed by Olivier (The Inspired Eye blog). The complete post can be read here: Leica X2: Discussion with 3 photographers. Go check it out!

Cured meat
Think different, walk the same
Chinese cured ham stall
Shoe shop
Paint or Blood
Shop scene
Threatless toy
Another day end

1 Mind


I can’t keep myself up with one camera anywhere lately, instead I just go enjoy my own presence in the environment and be free. I go shoot with whatever I have for the day. Rather than driven by my single camera, why not driven by my single mind?

Opening more possibilities allow for more expression. I can shoot beautiful things but it also comes down to how it relate to me. Having a huge collection of photos or a hand full of photos to work with do not justify how I feel about from my inner mind. When I look at my collection with photos taken in a month, I see my city, I see lives, I also see myself. Photographs can be good, can be bad. I present them anyway as if I flip back a few pages of my diary.

I had been using my mobile phone a lot to document my normal life. It still does not stop me from going into shooting mode. I’m not completely shutting off with my main camera, thanks to my well established bond with it. I still need my time throughout the week. It might sound surreal, It’s really a way to escape from my reality. I become who I really am.

Fake Snow
Smoke Pipe
Cured Egg and CatSolitudeModelsGuy and Gal
In the Sun
In the Smoke
Under the Light
Projected Symbols
The Evening News
Picking the Hair
Happy Moment Pictured
FaceThe Living Sun Yat Sen

Chasing the Fire Dragon


Pokfulam Village

Pokfulam & the Living Heritage
The Mid-Autumn Festival in the Chinese world is almost equivalent to the Western world’s Thanksgiving Day. It’s an important tradition where family should gather and share the joy of full moon. There’s a rich history behind this and a tale to tell. The tale is about two lovers being apart from earth and moon. In Hong Kong, we have a ritual/tradition in villages using the fire dragons as a symbol; to prevent plagues and demons from entering their village. The tradition was first dated in the early 19th century. And now it has become an important tourist-to-do in every September.

The Master

Mid Autumn Lantern

Lighting the sticks

Planting the sticks

The percussion team

In the smoke


Warm up

There are two locations doing the Fire Dragon Dance. The one near the Victoria Park (Tai Hang) is larger in scale. However from my previous first visit few years ago, the wait was long, it’s crowded to see the dragon and most importantly there’s no visitor interaction. It was a little disappointment. I, later discovered there’s also an identical tradition held at the Pokfulam Village. The Village is nothing like those historic remains in the New Territories. It’s more like a favela sort of village which has been around since 18th century. Houses were built with temporary metal sheets, overhead power lines, old fashion TV antennas can be seen everywhere. Not until earlier this year, I passed by the village with bus trips and googled about it. It’s really even more dramatic if you realize Pukfulam is famous for the sea view-ready luxury apartments along the mountains.

The dance parade did not start until 7pm. I arrived early just to give a fine look at the village while there’s still daylight. I questioned immediately as I walked into the village. Where’s the route? Would it enter the village? What I saw was beyond believe; the crooked pavements and the narrow lanes.

There’s an opening ceremony and preparation where visitors can ‘participate’ and ‘interact’. At some point I was helping them to pass along the incense sticks when they were preparing for the dragon. The friendly atmosphere kept me staying for a bit longer. I even made a wish with the incense sticks at the altar they set up!

Cantonese billboard  Mini Dragon

Worship Altar

Party begins

Dragon dance

Dimly lit

Dimly lit street light

Neon Kid

Dark alley


On the Dragon head

Young spectators

Into the Village
There were two big fire dragons.  Police had to closed a traffic lane or two to allow the dance proceed. The dragons first toured on the outskirt of village and later to the nearby Chi Fu apartments. And they came back to the starting point for rest as well as re-planting the incense sticks onto the dragon. I was about to go, until the dragon took off again as they about to enter the village.

With such confined space around the village. I thought it was a joke until I saw half the body had entered. I was curious asked the staff about the route. Perhaps he did not want more spectators congest in the village, he did not really answer me. I was hoping a longtime schoolmate (also staff) I met earlier could guide me. And it’s my fate to bump into him, thankfully. He quickly found a shortcut to catch all the moments. I was with the dragon almost the entire way.

Funny how they broke up the dragon into at least two parts. The head and body were separated, then the percussion team and the leading anchor (guy who holds the globe with incense sticks). The dragon head visited door-to-door to give good wish. I thought it was down to earth a very cool act. It’s nothing like what I’ve seen in Tai Hang, now the formation of what a so-called Tai Hang village has disappeared. And their ritual has become more of a show performance. While in the Pokfulam Village , I was able to witness every single detail myself. In every way, it looks and feels like a village. The reason of the dance still exist has to do with the effort of their community making it happen.

All that smokiness, smell of the burning sticks, falling ashes, the glowing dragon, the festive drum beats and chanting have preserved the spirit and heritage of Hong Kong people. This is something I’m very proud of. Hong Kong gives me the identity.

To the Village

Behind the wheel

Glowing globe


Coming through

The body

Come down

The head

Through the alley

Fans waiting


Return glorious