People of Sheung Wan – explained when I do colors and black & white.

Photography

Man eating ice-cream bar
Man eating ice-cream bar

Back to the basic – my normal street photography. These are the snaps from last month or so. I don’t remember…I snap photos daily like a ritual..

Man napping on the bridge
Man napping on the bridge

I’m certainly fond of black and white to this day. I guess it doesn’t matter whether it’s color or black and white. It really depended upon my mood of that day or how i feel like processing. I think it also depend upon what the subjects are doing. Such as in this series, a man eating an ice-cream bar. If it’s in black and white, it wouldn’t be as vivid as it’d be in b&w. When it’s in color, you see him holding a brown lollipop thingy. It’s much easier for the viewers to determine what exactly I was trying to capture at that very moment.

Takeaway lunch
Takeaway lunch

Another case would be, the backgrounds are too crowded and messy (it usually is in Hong Kong). I had to express the image in colors to pop the colors out, for example when I see ladies wearing a gorgeous colorful dress. Viewers’ attention would be drawn to her dress.

Health Inspector on the lookout.
Health Inspector on the lookout.

Others working, i'm too, with my phone
Others working, i’m too, with my phone

I like black & whites on the working class people. They usually have mismatched uniforms, distinct facial expression, facial details. It’s just feels right for me to view that group of people in b&w. They’re the people who build up the foundation of Hong Kong. I respect them. Without them, there’s no Hong Kong at all. They’re part the group of people who have gone thru the tough times with their own stories. I want the moment i capture to look timeless.

A little break before his next destination
A little break before his next destination

Another project (it’s more of my personal exploration). I’m currently spotting things that look out of place in town. Anything I see that are not in order (dead objects), overcrowded, fallen, broken, shattered, … I’d get a shot of it. I like them in black & white. Like many says black & white allow viewers to concentrate the subject more carefully (and not get distracted by any colors in the mess <–yeah that's exactly what I'm doing 'capturing the mess')

Young lady texting after work
Young lady texting after work

So all in all, I do not lean on either colors or black & white. I enjoy working with both format.

Beard man waiting
Beard man waiting

16:9 – It’s making my photos look cinematic

Photography

When bus broke down..
When bus broke down..

This series of 16:9 was from January. My GRD’s image filter was set to bleach bypass – warm. I really did not realize after cropping my photos into 16:9. They all look like scenes from movie. I really overlooked what bleach bypass could transform my photos into.

Something's going on
Something’s going on

I admit these photos were some that I thought were seriously below par, or too ordinary per se. I overlooked the power of mundane. The back of a lady might not be as interesting as the front. However It gives wonders to the viewers and also less distracted by the characters in a photo. It’s not bad reviewing our archives once in a while!

On my way to work via Aberdeen Street
On my way to work via Aberdeen Street

These photos as you’d notice, they have no close up characters like my other street photography. It allows me to crop off all the unnecessary empty details of the original 4:3, while it still tells stories of my ordinary life in Hong Kong. I kinda like how it’s presenting ;D  I’ll definitely do more in the future.

Air/Sun dry chinese med by the sewer
Air/Sun dry chinese med by the sewer

No business at noon
No business at noon

Cheese battle
Cheese battle

Old biker resting
Old biker resting

Now I see some of these shots were actually great. Best of all, they were all candid. It got me thinking why on earth do I always go up close to my subjects, while I could do a much better job from a little distance when it’s not crowded. That’s something for me to think about ;/

High ISO in colors with Ricoh GRD IV: The People of Sheung Wan & Central – After work

Photography

Another day of my Ricoh GRDMy thought on the high ISO had always directed my attention to black & white. And recently I had been liking street photos in colors. So can we fuse high ISO and colors together with a tiny help of post processing?

Answer is subjective: Yes, Why not!?

Cowboy in Hong Kong
ISO 1600

Many of us thought the high ISO causes lost of colors, saturation and more. Yes but the current technology is doing its best with the high noise level in images. It’s still giving us colors at very least.

Cigarette & Phone
ISO 3200

Simply adjusting the contrast, hi/mid/lo brightness and sharpening, the photos became some of my keepers even initially were crappy..really crappy when unprocessed. Thanksfully, I did have my customized “My Setting” image filter to pre-process the photos in the camera while shooting.

He must be really tired
ISO 3200
I’m very fond of working with high ISO photos even on a compact camera i’m using – Ricoh GRD IV. Black and white would still work great with the digital noise (grainy). I’m more fascinated at the moment with the grainy color photos. It gives a ‘raw’ look and feel. Just like a painter doing a sketch on the go. It’s truly reflecting what this busy city is going on. I’ll continue to carry on in this method in the coming days. Hope you’d enjoy too!