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.

Here are the photos and videos...

Part of the synthetic grass at the Civic Square was flooded from heavy rain last night, the staff from the Cultural Centre were seen scooping away the water.
Opening speech by China Cultural Centre Director, Mr. Guo.
The event was attended by Wellington Mayor, Ms Celia Wade-Brown. We all are honoured with her presence and her impressive welcoming speech in Mandarin (video below).

From top.. Tai Chi 8 Form led by Master Victor Zhang of China Cultural Centre, New Zealand. Welcome to WINDY Wellington!  Wellington Mayor Celia Wade Brown trying out her first Tai Chi routine and Master Zhang showing her how it is done.

Tai Chi 24 Form led by David McKenzie, right and John Young, left.

Tai Chi Kung Fu Fan led by MASTER VICTOR ZHANG of China Cultural Centre.

From top... Qigong Ba Duan Jin led by Mrs. Lei and Master Victor Zhang showing Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown how it is done.

Quote from her comment on the Wellington City Council Facebook regarding this event - 

"That was fun - gentle, calm and  left my spine rejuvenated!"

In the video. an inconsiderate woman went in front of my tripod mounted GM1, blocking my view! 

KungFu Panda Dance performed by children of Oriental Cultural and Performing Arts Group.

KungFu Panda performed a Maori Folk Song 'Tutira Mai Nga Iwi' or 'Tuutira Mai Ngaa Iwi' calls for all Maori people to stand together, by the children of the Oriental Cultural and Performing Arts Group.

Chinese Cheongsum Show 'Blue and White Porcelain' performed by the lovely ladies of Oriental Cultural and Performing Arts Group.

Jasmine Flower Dance performed by dancers from the Oriental Cultural and Performing Arts Group.

 Other pictures taken by Le General...

Famous Last Words...

It has been a fun day, I went with THREE cameras for the event, my tiny Lumix GM1 with the 12-32 kit lens, my "old" Olympus OM-D E-M5 with the Lumix 7-14 ultra wide zoom and the 5 year old Olympus E-P2 with 14-42 kit lens. I also have the compact Lumix 45-175 zoom with me.

Most of the videos were shot with the little GM1 which also allow me to "grab" some JPEG frames.

The video from the OM-D were very disappointing, so I ended up using it for stills, mainly with the Lumix 7-14 and 45-175.

Le General was using the old E-P2 all that time and she was complaining how heavy it is!  It is HEAVY, but that camera is 5 years old!

Light at the Civic Square, from 9 am to 12 noon was harsh, half of the square was strongly lit by bright sunlight, the other half was in heavy shade. The M43 dynamic range were coping well but I wonder how all those mobile phone videos turn out!  I doubt their tiny sensors were able to cope with the harsh illumination!

You noticed how strong the wind was blowing in the videos and I wish there were less shakes in the videos, the 2 axis OIS in the GM1 kit lens was struggling, I wish I had the Lumix GX85 with TWIN I.S., I was dreaming :)

I shall do better next year!

I would like to thank Master Victor Zhang of the China Cultural Centre in New Zealand giving me the opportunity to record this event!