I guess it’s life, sometimes we experience new things along the way out of the ordinary. Along the way there’s no such thing as i knew beforehand. But there’s such thing as keep myself posted as anything developed, a.k.a. keep my eyes and ears open at all times. It was a one day only working trip to Macau last month. It’s the same time of the year where there’s an Expo for all businesses in Macau. I used to stay in Macau for a couple days when the hotel was at the acceptable range for the company. This time around it’s not possible. Hotel rates keep raising and raising.

During this trip I spotted a new development project near the casino resort area in Cotai. I’ve heard it on the news months ago, but i never expect I could see the early stage of development so soon. They’re building the monorail just like in Vegas. It’s really bringing more changes to the area. Imagine one day there’ll be monorail going from the pier to the resorts. And there’ll be a few more large resorts coming soon, currently under construction. While in Hong Kong there’re also changes I found lately, it’s the West Island Line of the MTR. It covers area like Pokfulam – Bonham Road, the Hong Kong University. If you’re unfamiliar with those places, they’re in the middle of mountain. So here you go, subway in the mountain. We did it again!

Over this trip I overheard on the venue announcement that there’d be a fashion show, I showed up at the moment when William Tang, the famous Hong Kong designer, foodie, travel guru presenting his lifetime collection. I knew it’d be cool to get a front row seat to see the entire run. So I found my way into the slightly more exclusive section. I got a feel for the fashion runway and the models. I was totally thrilled. I must admit that I like the world class model Liu Wen. It drove me to this fashion event. It was no coincidence. And it’s fantastic when they treat the show seriously, the music, the atmosphere, the models, the collection. One day I’d like to be sitting on the front row to see the real designer runway.
Macao Tower
Model in black
Red Heels
Mesmer in red
Models posing
Applaud William Tang

A Beautiful Day – The Latin Parade


The Latin Parade (Parade through Macao, Latin City) I came across on TV for the last two years had kept me wanting to make a visit there. It’s the narrow streets, the remaining European architectures making it a fantastic theme and location to interact with the audience in close proximity. The route was foreign to me as a visitor who had been there only a few times. I did not prepare at all before I got there, except pre-loading parts of Macao map from the Google Map on my phone. I got lost for 30 minutes. It was not helpful until I picked up a map of the parade on the ground. My destination was to the finale performance, main stage.

The crowd at the Ruins of St. Paul was as much as I’ve experience in Hong Kong during any special events. I picked up a cone of Turkish ice-cream just to keep myself thinking straight. It was a 30 minute walk to the main stage at the end of the parade route. As much as I thought I would miss the parade, I found people gathered on a back street. There was the parade! Fortunately I did not miss any of it.

The final performance was the entire parade’s highlight. Almost each groups (international/local) got chances to perform. The stage could be viewed from all angle. Audience could gather around the stage. I really enjoyed it with all different cultures come together to celebrate the handover of Macao to China. The aerobic performer hanging underneath the floating balloons surprised me. I thought she was only flying toward the stage from distance. She actually floated around half of the stage over us!

I could not leave Macao without my stomach empty. My once-a-year Portuguese cuisine fix left me happy, and pocket empty. As soon as I got out of the restaurant, there’s the firework in the sky. It was a beautiful day.

To the usual point of interest
Christmas in Macao
Lady of Air
Keep it all together
Spanish Dancer
Spanish Dancer
Bolivian Dancer
Blow together
Drink up
Wine in the air
Chinese Opera
Chinese Opera
Chinese Opera
Chinese Opera
The Puppets
Italian Flag Dance
The Aerobic floating around the stageGiant Puppet
Couples at night
The Little Europe

3 Nights in Macau – Episode IV: The afterthoughts of Macau and X2


Macau skyline

Call her

The trip ended with more curiosity left for me to this little Europe – Macau. I found out from a colleague during a car ride to the Macau company office. There’s the unseen territory of Macau in the northwest neighborhood. There were markets, old buildings, and more of the local stuff. The roads were not as organized as in the main district. That’s the cruel side of Macau where most of normal/lower class locals live. It was a travel back in time kind of feeling. I’ll come back to this district for photography some day.

Hanging clothes
A very good example of how I missed this shot. It supposed to me a candid one. My camera spent a little too long (more than a second) auto focusing, as it turned out to be a mis-focused one. It could have been a very cool one. I still think my thinking was right to go with the AF though.

Pavement with crab
Very unique part of the Macau is the pavement in most of the tourist attractions. That, we Hongkongers are totally behind.

Street of Macau

The 3 nights, a few hours sounded like a rush. The fact is, ‘rush’ never yield the good stuff. If I summarize my entire trip by my photos, there’d very well be around 10 photos. It’s no surprise if you found my photos in Hong Kong are in more laid out manners. I just get a lot more time and chances here back home. I understood why photographers need to spend ‘weeks’ and even ‘months’ in foreign countries for their projects, but not ‘hours’ or ‘nights’. I know it from my heart in terms of magnitude, my 3 Nights in Macau is just no match.

At the pier, goodbye!

It was a memorable experience. Either way, a nice little personal travel exploration log and documentary on my blog.

Leica X2
As a personal project, it’s a great experience and lesson. I’ve never taken a camera with me with a clear purpose and proper hours spent on the street. There’s A LOT to work on with my approaches, and the Leica X2. In this trip I found the use of area AF was not as reliable as I’d have thought (at night with large aperture). I did quite a few mis-focus shots that I really liked. My last day (Episode III), my camera was primarily set to MF and only AF when I saw certainty in a scene. Further down the road, I see myself the need to get a better grasp on my distance while on the run. MF zone adjustment is absolutely crucial at night.

Is the X2 a competent companion?
It’s very straightforward to operate with. The MF works and no shutter lag. Everything works like a dream this way on this kind of high-end compact camera. The color/rendering are rich, realistic, dynamic range is more than okay (what I love about this and why I prefer this over the GRD other than the overall image quality). The shutter sound is audible to myself, a very good indicator whether I got the image taken. I still have to get to know more about it. Since day 1, I’ve shot all my photos with this camera and nothing else. It’s also a way to re-program myself again with the 35mm mentor.

(Here comes my rant, sorry!) I still whine about the auto LCD off timer is too short, making me to wake it up every 10, 30 sec. I thought I was settled with the idea of waking it up before taking part in scene (was doing fine in Macau) until tonight I basically missed all my shots in the busy streets. When the streets are crowded, I was just too busy scanning. I do not know the difference of either 10 sec, 30 sec, 40sec or 1 min when scanning for subjects and scene, the auto LCD off timer is limited to 1 min. I believed my constant half-pressing the shutter every so-and-so seconds would pay off, perhaps it’s the extra 10 seconds I have not half-pressed the shutter to wake the damn camera up; I screwed on all my photos. I did double tab on the shutter to make sure I got the photo. I could hear no response from the damn camera and the scene completely changed. It was frigging miserable I can’t do anything but to evaluate my approach again. I understand I get a much longer battery power with it (quite long!), but hey I do not want to keep missing shots this way. It’s miserable when I ready and I’m still asking my camera ‘hey! wake up!’. It’s still napping. I have expressed my opinion in writing to the Leica. It’s up to them whether to update it through a firmware patch. Sooner or later, I’d demand an anger management from them too?!