Posts Tagged ‘photography’

New York New York!

New York has always been an great place for photography.  We originally had a family trip planned in 2011 that fell through so there were a lot of flight credits that we had to used up before it’s one year expiration.  Tough problem to have right?

New York has always been a favorite destination with my wife.  With all the shopping, sight seeing, and exploring all the foodie spots, what’s better way to burn off the airline credit with an extended weekend in New York.  Within one week left to spend the credit, we booked and took flight!

Here is the link to the entire NYC set in Flickr

New York City
Flickr link:
http://flic.kr/s/aHsjC3U7iY

Turbulence

With the new 16mm Sony E-mount lens in-tow, I had to capture something during flight.  I love the ambiance of the Virgin America interior with the glowing comfort color lighting.  Just by slightly twisting of the perspective with the lady peaking back at me gave me a uneasy feeling during flight.  Of course, the flight was fine and very comfortable with the large screen between each seat.

Sony NEX-7 + Sony E-Mount 16mm f/2.8, ISO 1000, f/2.8, 1/60 sec, No Flash
Turbulence

Buildings

New York is filled with contrast.  I also taken a habit of shooting out of my hotel windows.  As soon as I looked out of the window, I knew this would a b/w shot.  The old red brick building contrasting with the modern white apartment/office buildings.  The old twin water towers with the light water stains.  Truly giving me the feeling of New York homology.  As a trend I try to build with my black and white shots, keeping the Yin with the Yen balance.

Sony NEX-7 + Leica 35mm f/1.4, ISO 100, f/8, 1/1600 sec, No Flash
Buildings

NYC Glow

I wouldn’t be doing New York any justice if I didn’t include any landscape city view picture as a top 3 pick.  This one was shot on top of Empire State building.  Originally we took the ride up to the top not expecting to be staying around that long.  Then it dawned (Pun intended) on me.  Wouldn’t it be a great picture to capture the sunset off the Empire State building.  I must give a lot of credit to my lovely wife for hanging out with me for an hour on top the Empire State building waiting for the sun to set.  Also, for her to fend off people trying to squeeze into my perfect spot!  Prior to the count down of sunset, I already scoped out the areas I wanted to shoot and the shot I was looking for.  Figuring out the correct exposure was tough.  With the sun right in your face, trying to capture enough detail of the city as well as the sky.  The make the entire process even more difficult, finding a spot to prop since I didn’t have a monopod or a tripod.  At the same time trying to shoot with people constantly bumping into you.  Atlast, one of the shot came out exactly as I imagined.  The glow from the sunset lighting up the streets while the City lights are slowly getting brighter.  At the same time capturing the blue sky with the white clouds.

Sony NEX-7 + Sony E-Mount 16mm f/2.8, ISO 100, f/8, 1/320 sec, No Flash
NYC Glow

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Shortly after the Dubai trip,  work took me to a brand new development in Korea.  It’s an entire city build on reclaimed land.  The city is Songdo, Incheon.  Not too far from the Capital of Korea, Seoul.

The city is still in construction but there were already abundant high rises that tower over the city.  With the jetlag, I was able to wake up early in the morning for a stroll around the Central Park as well as capture some wonderful landscapes from the hotel room’s view.

Here is the link to the entire Korea set in Flickr

Korea
Flickr link: http://flic.kr/s/aHsjzxFENd

Songdo Sunset

This photo was shot through the glass window from my hotel room.  I was lucky to get a high room that’s facing the Incheon bridge, thus able to capture most of the city.  As every photographer says, timing is everything.  This is especially true if you’re chasing sunrise or sunset.  I saw the sun starting the set as I walked into the hotel room.  It had been a very long day full of meetings and I only had about 10 minutes to change before meeting up for dinner.  With the clear sky and the warm glow from the sun, I had to use the 7 minutes of my changing time to capture the exact moment when the sun meets between the two tower of the bridge.  Since the window was tinted, it was tough to get the exposure that I wanted.  My favorite part about this photo is the color contrast between the sky and the sun being reflected off the river cutting through Central Park.
Sony NEX-7 + Voigtlander Heliar Ultra Wide-Angle 12mm f/5.6, ISO 100, f/8, 1/5 Sec No flash.
Songdo Sunset

Right Side up

This was another image that I had a lot of fun shooting.  It was very early in the morning as the sky started to get bright.  The late was so calm that it provided a perfect mirror image of the landscape.  As I started to edit this picture, I decided to flip the image.  It created a surrealistic effect especially with some of the buildings no being reflected.  It still amazes me how serene the Central Park can be considering it’s very close to the bustling capital.

Sony NEX-7 + Voigtlander Heliar Ultra Wide-Angle 12mm f/5.6, ISO 100, f/8, 1/80 Sec No flash.
right side up

Songdo @ Night

Since there isn’t much to do during night at Songdo, I had many chances to capture the wonderful light scene.  The entire city was well lit with many colors.  Only issue was that the light on the bridge cuts off at 10pm.  IT was good that I kept that in mind and was finally able to capture this with the correct timing.  Another part of interest is that the buildings and the little cross bridge of Central Park was reflected clearly even it was so dark at night.

Sony NEX-7 + Voigtlander Heliar Ultra Wide-Angle 12mm f/5.6, ISO 100, f/8, 30 Sec No flash.
Songdo @ Night

First stop.
Dubai
Flickr link: http://flic.kr/s/aHsjzqHK1t

Burj Khalifa

With the busy meetings schedule, I finally found some time in the late hours to try to snap some picture of the tallest building in the world. With no clue on my bearing, I just walked aimlessly with this building in my sight. Eventually I stumble upon this spot right across from huge man made lake. I knew capturing this monument would require a very wide lens. The only lens at my disposal was the Voigtlander Heliar Ultra Wide-Angle 12mm f/5.6 M-mount. I guess lenses don’t get wider than this for a Leica M mount. The only issue was that at f/5.6 in such a dark setting means even the most steady hand is not gonna cut it. I need a tripod. Where am I going to find a tripod in the middle of the night in the middle of Dubai when all the stores are closed. I wanted to capture this. Next option, bump up the ISO. The Sony NEX-7 does have somewhat of a usable high iso through not as good as the trusty 5D MKII nor the 1D MK4. Without any choice, I bumped it up to ISO 6400. Even at ISO 6400, I still need to be very steady. I found a spot right next to a light pole on the stairs. Literally contorted my body around the pole and wedged between the stairs and fire off the shot. I think the image of me taking this photo might actually be more interesting than this landmark.

Sony NEX-7 + Voigtlander Heliar Ultra Wide-Angle 12mm f/5.6, ISO 6400, f/5.6, 1/5 Sec No flash.

Burj Khalifa

Caravan

I had the opportunity to head out to the dessert to enjoy a very interesting meal.  It was about an hour and half bus ride to the middle of no where.  All you see is sand.  Since the meal was buffet style ie. there is no requirement for seated course meals, I had a chance to wonder around.  I saw a Camel caravan that was resting near us that’s just begging for a photo to be taken.  It was very dark with only a few fires stakes and lights making the entire caravan barely visible. Taking the picture was pretty much impossible not to mention checking focus.  Once again, no tripod so long exposure requires special talent.  Being in the middle of the dessert, there is no light pole for me to wrap around.  I got on my knees and dig in to the sand.  Bump up the ISO as high as the camera can go, set the aperture as wide as it’ll go.  Frame the picture as good as I can, then guess the distance so I can do the zone focusing the aid of my cellphone’s light on the barrel of the lens.  Hold still then click.

Sony NEX-7 + Leica 35mm Summilux-M FLE, ISO 16000, f/1.4, 1/8 Sec No flash.
caravan

Milk Bar

Dubai is a very interesting place.  For being in the middle east, it’s a very westernized locale.  Getting around speaking English is no problem.  Likewise, besides all the standard chain restaurants/bars you see in the state side, I came upon this bar as I was searching for dinner.  It immediately reminded me of Clock Work Oranges’ milk bar with the middle east twist of Arabic script on the ceiling.  The lighting was perfect.

Sony NEX-7 + Leica 35mm Summilux-M FLE, ISO 200, f/2.8, 1/60 Sec No flash.
Milk Bar

It’s been over one year since my last blog post.
2012 was a crazy year for me. New job at work kept me pretty busy. In addition to busy work, I traveled globally quite a bit. Even though I didn’t have time to update the blog with each and every expedition, I still kept close to me my trusty Leica Lenses and Sony NEX-7.   Snapping photos anywhere and everywhere.

All the traveling started with the last Salt Lake post I did. Since then I literally flew around the world. Of course, it’s was span across the entire year. Nevertheless, it was quite an experience.

Instead of recreating each and every destination, I’m going to dedicate the next few post as a look back at 2012 while highlighting each destination and 3 photos from each set. For more photos on dedicated sets, you can click on the links to my Flickr sets. 2012 is also the year that my flickr surpassed 50k views!! thanks for all the support!

2012 Travel Flickr Set

Here is some sweets the lovely wife baked for Valentine’s Day. I know it’s a few days late, but I figure it’s still good to show. I’m always amazed by how well the Leica M9 works as a product shoot camera.

Everything was shot with a Leica M9 with a Leica 50mm Summilux-M. Lit with 2 CFL soft box.

Here is the link to her blog posts for more pictures

http://dreamcakesbymaggie.wordpress.com/2012/02/14/the-art-of-love/

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day

As part of last minute planning, I was able to finally get away from the kids and enjoy a New Year Countdown with the wifey. I must say, with all the people at the Embarcadero in San Francisco, it was the most peaceful experience I had alone with the wifey in a long time. Of course, I had my trusty M9 and 35mm Summilux with me so shoot in lower light weren’t much of an issue. Knowing potentially large crowd, I wanted a wider lens and I also didn’t want to risk my Noctilux getting bumped while surfing through the crowd. Well, here are some snap shots I took.

The count down wouldn’t be a count down with out a cont down. No better count down then have the cross walk signs count it down for you.

Title: Count Down
Count Down

Likewise, it wouldn’t be any event in San Francisco without police presence. The next three photos show the full force!! Sucks to be the guy that pulled over right in front of the Ferry Building.

Title: Presence
Presence

Title: Sucks to be you
Sucks to be you

Title: 2
2

It wouldn’t be street photography if I didn’t capture any count downers on the street. Look for the duality of the scene!!

Title: Puff Puff
Puff Puff

Title: Pair
Pair

Last 2 shots should be viewed side by side as a set. I call it a mirror image of the bay bridge.

Title: Look
Look

Title: Paint
Paint

And of course!! Happy New Year to everyone!! Hope everyone has a wonderful 2012 and continue to shoot lots and lots of photographs!!

Here are some other pictures I took while I had the Sony NEX-5n. I must say, it’s a very capable body. I think whenever my NEX-7 arrive, it will fill the gap nicely of where my M9 won’t do. One perfect example would be Macro. I bought this M to NEX Macro adapter from Ebay. You can find the link here

Ebay Link

M to NEX Macro adapter

M to NEX Macro adapter

It’s made by a guy in Taiwan. First impression of the adapter is very good. It’s a solid mount and the macro rotating extension tube section is very smooth. Overall, I think it’s a great adapter to always keep on the NEX. That is, if you’re like me, only have Leica lenses. I don’t plan on buying any E-mount lens anytime soon.

Well, it does get some used to though. Now you almost have 2 focusing ring to play with. I found if you plan on taking close up of something, turn the ring on the adapter first, then fine tune the focus with the lens focusing ring. With the focus peaking, it makes taking sharp images a snap!! I think my manual focusing skills are faster and more consistent that auto focus now!!

Anyways, here are some shots I took at one of the X’Mas banquet at a local Chinese restaurant. All shot with the Sony NEX-5n with Leica 35mm f/1.4 Summilux-M

Title: Seafood Platter
Seafood Platter

Title: Dead Fish
Dead Fish

Title: Beak
Beak

Title: Loving Lobsters
Loving Lobsters

Title: Fried Rice
Fried Rice

Title: Shark Fin
Shark Fin

So here is the last set I had of the fun day at the park. This is more of interesting thing my camera told me to take. The Central Park in San Mateo had a nice Japanese Garden. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to go back soon to do a full set like I did with Kelley Park in San Jose.

I’ll start the set with something HARD. This tree was just begging to get taken out of context. Childish, perhaps but definitely no ED over here.

Erect

Here is a sign that’s very low to the ground. I think it was a sign to tell the kids not to feed the fish. Yes, I know. This would probably be an award winning picture if there was actually a kid in the picture. I didn’t have a kid handy at the time, but I love the geometric shape and the wood texture with the burnt carving enough to get on the ground to snap the shot.

Starving Koi

This was a little sitting area in the Japanese garden. Once again, the juxtaposing of the circular paper screen with the vertical wood planks and the branch breaking the harmony of the scene.

Log

Rocks! I love the rock formations in Japanese Garden. It always gives me a sense of serenity when I look at it. Especially how the collective tiny pebbles contrast with the large stone steps.

Stoned

That’s it for this set.

I actually got a challenge from GetDPI.com on my post about Movie Look. I will be writing about that shortly. Stay tune!!

So here are couple abstract shots I took during Fleet Week. I know I’m jumping chronologically on my post but I didn’t want to start posting these abstract shots in comparison to my people shots.

Anyways, this first one is of a vendor stand. It was a hot day and I thought this would be a great opportunity to put some of my product shots experience into this to make it look like a soda ad. I will be doing more write up and pictures of some of my product shots in later blog posts.

Chilling

This 2nd shot is part of my attraction to doors. If you been following my flickr or blog, you probably seen me shoot a bunch of doors. For some reason, I feel that different types of doors just create different type of opportunities and it’s always a mystery on what’s behind the door. It is hard to tell a story just by looking at the door, but a worn out door tells a story as well as a brand new door in vibrant colors. Hopefully I will collect enough doors to make it a set on my flickr one of these days. In the mean time, check out this door.

DUOr

My next set of pictures will be abstract as well as landscapes. Stay tune!

Once again, using any excuse to go out and shoot!! Day at the park with the kids turned into a great photo opportunity. Kids always makes good subjects for photography. I remember I mention during the Leica Akademie that I rarely shoot my kids. I shot everything from Formula One Racing to Studio Portraits to Weddings and everything in between. But rarely do I actually take picture of my kids. Taking picture of kids area all about capturing that decisive moment. Kids have expressions that are so natural. No wonder Henri Cartier-Bresson uses them as his subject all the time. I figure today would be a good day to start taking pictures of kids. I’ll eventually get around to take more pictures of MY OWN kids!!

Here are 5 shots that I thought was interesting.

Here is a mom that’s trying out the new full 8 megapixel iPhone 4s camera. Ok, the reason I know that was the brand spanking new iPhone 4s? I stay up till 3am to pre-order it for her so she gets it on launch day. I wonder how that picture turned out. I should have reminded her to take off the back plastic that was covering up the camera on the phone.

iPhone 4s

Here are two girls that I saw trying to get a drink at the fountain. They were really playful and just looks like a great photo opportunity to capture the moment.

Sip

I really like this picture. I’m always on the look out for the composition. Foreground, midground, background. Ok, this picture was not originally intended to be a violent picture. I had my son jump around by the bridge and I was trying to capture the two girls on the left side looking at him. This shot I got him right when he was jumping and spinning around. It just look like he was about to do a soccer kick on that little kids ass. In reality, he was no where near him!!

I'm gonna Kick your Ass

This one is probably my favorite of the set. I notice these two looking over the bridge. They look like siblings. The lighting was great and I found a gap between the trees that perfectly frames up the two.

Friendship Bridge

Here is a fun shot of the playground. I thought it was interesting to see someone play with the tic tac toe.

Tic Tac X

It was a fun day. I had fun taking pictures. I will be posting up another set that have more abstract scenarios without kids. Stay tune!