Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Once Upon A Time In INDIA 3

Our last day in India was a full on fashion shoot day in Agra.

According to Wikipedia:

Agra is a city on the banks of the river Yamuna in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, India. It is located at the banks of river Yamuna, 363 kilometres (226 mi) west of state capital, Lucknow and 200 kilometres (124 mi) south from national capital New Delhi.

With a population of 1,686,976 (2010 est.), it is one of the most populous cities in Uttar Pradesh and the 19th most populous in India.

Because 80 percent of the city's sewage flows into Yamuna River, it is 20th most polluted city in India.

Yet, it is a major tourist destination because of its many splendid Mughal-era buildings, most notably the Tāj Mahal, Agra Fort and Fatehpūr Sikrī, all three of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

We woke up at 5 am and head for Taj Mahal to catch the rising sun.


This is what we came for! The stunning Taj Mahal, 6.30 am. One of the New Seven Wonder Of The World!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Once Upon A Time In INDIA 2

Theory of Chaos! The more I look at the pictures in the India Fashion CD, the more confuse I was! There were no caption and indication where they were taken! 1994, the year of meta data none existence ;) No help from colour films either!

But there must be some sort of order in all these chaos? A little thinking out of the box and Google took me to india-travelpackages.com and I discovered their Golden Triangle Tour, Tour Code : IOYO-01; for 5 nights & 6 days; with Routing : DELHI - JAIPUR - AGRA - DELHI. Is exactly the SAME type of tour that we took for our fashion shoot!

Reading their detailed itinerary and by looking at pictures (in Google graphics) of each location, I am able to identify where my shots were taken! Cool eh?

Our little fashion group from Singapore first landed at Delhi, after a short rest we went to work; trying to get some shots around the hotel.




Sunday, May 22, 2016

Once Upon A Time In INDIA

After the last house flood, our stuff and junk are still semi organised in the garage. While rummaging through the chaos last week end, I discovered some forgotten memories; images that were forgotten.

A CD found was labelled "India Fashion", ahhh... memories flood back, it bring a smile to my face :)

I remember someone said, "It took me a long time to figure out that it's not where you are that counts in life; it's the memories that you make there."

And since, "Everybody has a story to tell, but stories forgotten can never be retold." Here's the great time I had with a group of energetic and creative young Singaporean before I forget!

1994 - I was head hunted and landed a well paid job as the first Picture Editor for Lianhe Zaobao in Singapore. Life was good, the Editor; Mr. Loy liked me a lot. Believe you me, this "LIKE" thing is very important in Singapore ;)

I just bought and set up the first Electronic Picture Desk for the Chinese Paper Division. I was getting acquainted with the Apple Macintosh computers and learning to use Adobe Photoshop 5.0 to scan negatives with a Kodak Professional RFS 2035 desktop scanner then output the pictures to a S$40,000 Kodak dye-sub printer!

Looking at the images in the India Fashion CD gave me a shock! The quality of the scans were terrible and they are all in PICT format, which; Photoshop CS5 DO NOT support! Suffice to say, the "rejigging" of the 1994 scans took me some very late nights :)

But how did I ended up shooting fashion in India?

In 1993, the features section of the Chinese paper ran a nation wide Most Promising Young Models Contest. The winners (male and female) will go with a fashion team from the paper to India for a week of fashion shoot.

Before I start, here is a plead; I had no record of the names of those in the pictures and this old mind cannot really recall their Chinese names! So if you are reading this or if you are their friends, please inform me yours / theirs names. Thanks!

We were in a chartered bus heading for Jaipur, the Pink City; this boy was selling poppadom in the middle of the road. I shot through the bus window.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Once Upon A Time in Wellington

SATURDAY turn out to be a sunny but very windy Wellington day! But that is very Wellington! How windy?  If you view some of the videos, you will realise why THE COOLEST LITTLE CAPITAL IN THE WORLD is also known as WINDY WELLINGTON ;)

Saturday (14 May 2016) was also the day the CHINA CULTURAL CENTRE IN NEW ZEALAND organised an event to celebrate WORLD TAICHI MONTH, this was held at the CIVIC SQUARE in the heart of Wellington city.

We went to the Civic Square early to secure a good spot to film the event, I was given a "STAFF" badge by Master Zhang of the Cultural Centre for easy access around the event.

But after covering many events during my newspaper photographer days, I knew I would still be block by people running around with their mobile phones, filming!  The badge did make my live a bit easier though.

The World Tai Chi Month programme was colourful...

There were Tai Chi 8 routine, Qigong Ba Duan Jin, Tai Chi 24 routine (fast and slow versions), the ever popular Tai Chi Kung Fu Fan, Tai Chi Chen Style, Wushu performance.

To spice up the event there were also a Chinese dance performed by the children from the Oriental Cultural and Performing Arts Group dress up as cute Kungfu Pandas.

Adding a bit of glamour, a Chinese Cheongsam Show, "Blue and White Porcelain" by lovely ladies of the New Zealand Chinese Cultural and Arts Association.

The show ended with a delightful Chinese dance, "Jasmine Flower" by the dancers of the  Oriental Cultural and Performing Arts Group.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Lumix DMC-TZ110, Ideal Travel Camera?

PANASONIC has been producing their TZ (TRAVEL ZOOM) compact camera range for nearly 10 years, their latest offering is the LUMIX TZ110 (with a LARGE 1" sensor) and the TZ80, which has same features but a smaller sensor.

TZ110 (in NZ) are also known as TZ100 or ZS100 in some countries.

The compact but solid TZ110 in "OFF" position.
Before I start, there are a lot of reviews done on the TZ110, some are really detailed and you can find all the features well explained.  I especially like this one, this one and this one.

What I will inform you here are my personal like and don't like on this travel-cam, I will not repeat what others has written about.

In 2010 I concluded that...

A good travel camera should have the following quality:

1) It must be relatively light weight.
2) Take interchangeable lens.
3) Digital, with video.
4) Larger sensor than a point and shoot.
5) Able to shoot RAW.

Six years later, look like the TZ110 fit all the bill, except 2) on interchangeable lens!

But six years later, the TZ110 come with a Leica branded 25-250 10X zoom!  So may be I do not need my ideal travel-cam to be able to change lens anymore?

Thursday, April 21, 2016

LUMIX GX85 with MF PRIME LENS

According to Wikipedia... In film and photography, a prime lens is either a photographic lens whose focal length is fixed, as opposed to a zoom lens, or it is the primary lens in a combination lens system.

My manual focus PRIME LENSES hibernating in the cloth closet 
Like most photographers living through the FILM ERA, we accumulated a few manual focussing prime lenses from our SLRs.

You can see from the above picture that I have a few Nikon (Nikkor) and Leica-M prime lenses. Most of the time, these once highly sought after lenses are hibernating in my cloths closet!

I have used my selections of old Nikon and Leica M optics on my Olympus E-P2 and OM-D before, the experiences were not intuitive mainly because it is so bloody hard to get an accurate manual focussing on these digital cameras! Not until I try out my 25 year old 50/2 Leica Summicron-M lens on the GM1!

If you read that review, you will realise I LOVE IT!

Now with the Lumix GX85, it should be even better, right?

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Shooting Video With LUMIX GX85

FIRST OF ALL, I am NOT a VIDEO / MOVIE sort of guy...

In the last two years, the only time I shoot videos were of my wife's line dancing sessions, I shot them with different "point n shoot" cameras, I then turn those movies into a DVD so she can practice her dances by watching them on TV.

Then three weeks ago, my wife asked me to film a Tai Chi Master from China. Master Victor Zhang is giving some free Tai Chi lessons, I went and record his demonstration with my little GM1.

My GM1 is set to HD, MP4 (720, 25P) mode.

This is a movie taken with the GM1 with the 12-32 kit lens.

The kit lens has build-in I.S., I am not sure if it work for movie mode. I doubt it because my hand holding clip look a bit shaky.