Photo Contest? Maybe I should stay away from it.


It’s such a huge disgrace to my photography after reviewing the final 30 of a photo contest I’ve participated in. It’s a public photo contest organized by a technology magazine and several other photography associations.

Go check out the contest final 30:

I do not mean disrespect if you’re one of the participants (really hope not). Just take a moment look at the photos of the link above. Content-wise, only a few of them were okay. The rest, I don’t know. Most of them were not even experienced with photo processing (lot worse than me although I admit I’m amateur). Where have the judges gone? God,…I wanted the prize to finance for a new mac xD

I believe my entry is pretty solid. I avoided close up portraiture as it doesn’t represent the place which the theme has to tie with Sham Shui Po. I’d shown the old blocks of buildings of the quiet side with a man cross the street, presented in b&w to signify the light and shadow.

Street of Sham Shui Po

I have not violated the rules. Why is it not even in the final? It’s a huge disgrace to my photography. I’m really not going to take part in any random photo contests. It seriously affect my self-esteem.

I would like to hear what others think about photo contests? Good, bad, keep trying?

One month with X100 – Episode II: People of Sham Shui Po


Sham Shui Po

Indonesian Ladies

Old lady hawker

Sham Shui Po

Sham Shui Po

Steel watch trader

Chinese medicinal cups

Sham Shui Po Buildings

Pulling the rope

Newer part of Sham Shui Po


Pakistan man on a bike

At the shop window

Sham Shui Po

Market in Sham Shui Po

Old man

Got lost

Sham Shui Po

From the last post One month with X100 – Episode I, had received the most followers’ ‘like’ since Freshly Pressed last May. Judging from the reaction from the crowd, this series seems be a nice one. So, dear followers/friends, Thanks for checking out!

This series is derived from my two visits to Sham Shui Po. It’s one of the last districts I’d think about doing street photography. It’s the poorest district of Hong Kong. Don’t worry, It’s perfectly safe to travel. Just when you do photography you have to be very selective knowing what to shoot. In general, you’d face some resistance on the stall market. It’s best to earn permission or shoot with a compact camera. Using a VF and bring it up to the eye can create tension to some stall owners especially if you’re shooting up close.

Other than that, it has become my favorite location for photography. It has a very good mix of people with different ethnicity and background. The district is perhaps not getting enough government funding to do just about anything. I see it as a good way to slow down the rapid city development. Many tenement buildings can be found around Sham Shui Po. These are the historic landmarks of the old Hong Kong. This district is notorious for its sub-divided units. It’s due to the Government’s lack of public housing for the poor.

My impression to this district is that there’re two majority groups of people on the street – Middle-aged men and elderly. Middle aged men wants to do honest business without the ripped off rent. The elderly are struggling with their lives, trying to earn a buck or two with their own hands. I even saw an old curb side Chinese doctor, I don’t think it’s a scam but he might not have certifications or might have their own story ended up on the street. He does have his patients. Are there youngsters? Yes, they can be found indoor, at the crowded computer shopping mall (Golden Computer Center).

I’m so amazed by how many shots I’ve missed, nearly missed and nailed. I just don’t know whether I should be happy or upset. More of a mixed feeling. It’s good to know how I miss, why I miss. It’s sad to know i repeat mistake like framing subjects out of a photo. I would love the X100 to have fixed frame marks even the shutter is not half-pressed.

From a photographic standpoint, I’ve included shots with scenery, objects, and etc. That definitely had added varieties to the set. The idea of adding more proportion of scenery came from my visit to Tsing Yi. I was so into shooting up close with subject in the past few months. No doubt, it ‘s interesting from time to time highly depend upon the subject/environment/timing/action..etc. Think of it as a fine dining, you want appetizer, soup, main courses, desert and wine to go with the entire meal. A meal with only courses of the same sort will very likely to end up boring unless it’s very very tasty. So picking/arranging photos on a set is a serious business.

Continue to Episode III