Monday, September 26, 2011

Another try

Well into the last 2 days of this Great Shangri-La trip, on May 29, I woke up in icing cold and run to the roof top of Migratory Bird at 3am try to try to some starry shots only to find that the thick clouds still looming, waited for the clouds to break until first light came out – but it did not happen.
I set up my Canon 5DII for some time-lapse footage, while taking the beautiful Meili remains hidden behind the clouds.

Sunset, Meili

Heavy clouds hide the beautiful mountain but they also reward with different kind of beauty.
Deqin, China

Friday, September 23, 2011

Meili, behind the clouds

“Mountains are not fair or unfair – they are just dangerous.” 
~ Reinhold Messner

Migratory Bird

It was an uneventful drive to Deqin, and we arrived at a beautiful hotel, in fact, the best so far the entire trip – Migratory Bird Inn.  I have not tried all the hotel in Deqin and have not even seen most of them, but I would believe this must be among the best available, if not the best.
The room is small but cozy, which is good for high mountain hotel because if it is too big then you get too cold, but if you rely on much on the heater, you get too dry, so small is good. Small and cozy is perfect.
The roof deck of the hotel is a perfect spot for photography, and as soon as I managed to put all the bags into the roof, I hurried up to the roof – set up my tripod, camera and lens, and made this image of setting sun breaking through the thick cloud, Canon 1Ds III + EF 70-300/4-5.6L IS. 

The first turn of Jinsha River

Jinsha River (Golden Sand River) is the westernmost of the major streams of the Yangtze River, flows for 6,418km, the longest in Asia, only next to Nile and Amazon as the world’s 3rd longest.  The Yangtze name was more referred by Westerners, in China, it is simply called the Long River. 
We stopped here for a brief rest, photograph, before moving further to Deqin.  This image is stitched from 2 shots made with Canon 1Ds III + ES-E 17/4L to cover enough landmass.

Leaving Xiangcheng

May 28, the 7th day of the trip, we will be moving to Deqin, a city also considered the gateway to Tibet from Southwest China, to try our luck to witness one of the most beautiful mountain in the world, Meili Snow Mountain, its peak Kawagebo 6,740m although not considered very high, but its dangerous shoulder makes it one of the most difficult to climb, none has ever reached its peak and returned alive, Meili is still a virgin!
It is also meant that we will be entering into Yunnan (means under the clouds), towards the end of the trip.
I made this panoramic image shortly leaving Xiangcheng, stitched from 6 shots from Canon 1Ds III with EF 70-300L IS setting at 182mm. 

Thursday, September 15, 2011


A woman is a branchy tree and a man a singing wind; and from branches carelessly he takes what he can find.    ~ James Stephens

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Really! The NEX Big Thing?

More than a year ago when I started to use the Sony NEX camera, I post on my blog “ The NEX big Thing?” and a little more than a year later, Sony introduced more NEX cameras, 2 models were upgraded version the NEX-C3 and NEX-5n (see the logic?)  with small step up in resolution but hugely improved sensor performance and video capabilities – have I use one of these yet? No, I have not. Because I am still happy with my NEX-5 and I am looking at one or two NEX-7, a small package of 24mpxl sensor and the basic of all the basic full-HD shooter could have asked for (with AVC-HD2) and a 2.4mpxl electronic viewfinder – and obviously I have yet tried one, but I will once it is available in the market.  Before that, I will trust the review from Luminous Landscape and I trust what I believed.
My blog is more about images, less on technical or the gears but every so often I will have a piece here and there about the equipment because it is interesting for me as a photographer, it is interesting for me to understand the prospect of technology development, also it interests me as I involved in industrial design.
On the design front, I don’t like the NEX camera, I think they can be designed better and eventually could bridge even more versatility, and of typical recent SONY fashion, they missed it.  The NEX camera does not look new, in fact they look like old camera, something out of fashion – something SONY tried hard to portrait themselves as design driven, but often arrived at the opposite end, kind of like Micorsoft’s keyboard – sometimes it is not matter how much budget there is, it matters with the taste of decision maker.   And the name?  Why is the upgrade version of NEX-3 is NEX-C3 and NEX-5 is NEX-5n? Only Japanese knew. But I would admit one thing; NEX is not a bad name. They should just play simple.   Enough on the design!  If they know enough, they did it.
My interest on the NEX is because I don’t see it as a camera; rather, I see it as a multi-functions digital back!  I started using digital back many years ago and still using many of them for my professional work, also for my own image works, along with many systems I also use, such as Alpa Swiss, Canon, Nikon, Leica and the SONY NEX.   Of all, only NEX can work with most of the lenses I have, with varies adapter, and with the built-in electronic viewfinder of NEX-7, it is a compact digital back with precise viewfinder, capable to shoot (and sweep-panorama of any lens attached to it) and able to shoot fine full-HD videos… A replacement for rangefinder?
Is the time far from us to see a full-frame NEX?  Perhaps NEX-9? I would guess not! With current market momentum, I think it is rather likely.  And by the time the electronic viewfinder goes above 3mpxl, the argue over optical and electronic viewfinder would subside – I believe. Will the NEX type camera becomes mainstream?  Not impossible.
So what’s next?  An interchangeable mount-module?  Rocoh GXR is an interesting idea only that I think it has scratched a ground that is for someone else to build.  A system unit with a fine sensor, electronic viewfinder, rear articulating screen (even removable as remote?) and then an adaptive mount changeable to accept large available lens base available with way of electronic control?  Should be something to come out soon. 
Or what about a medium format NEX?
Image of a NEX-5 with iris-control mount adapter to Canon EOS + EOS to Hasselblad V mount adapter + Legendary Carl Zeiss Tele-Superachromat T* 300/2.8,  image shot with Canon 1DS III + TS-E 90/2.8

Friday, September 9, 2011

Hello Kitty

Anything war can do peace can do better!   ~ Hello Kitty

For Hello Kitty Lingerie, Phase One p65+ on Hasselblad H2, HC 150/3.5

Mirror, mirror

Mirror is something invented all around the world, the development of civilization of course help spread of higher technology but it is really something all the major civilization possess of their own version of mirror. 
Perhaps inspired by still water, man, particular woman started to get obsessed about finding way to create that reflection and eventually their found solution of making mirror, all kinds of mirror and became more obsessed, until today, perhaps more so today.
Unaware by most, ignored by many, mirror, is in fact the No. 1 fashion accessory for all woman.
Image shot for Hello Kitty Lingerie, Phase One P65+ on Hasselblad H2, HC 100 f/2.2

Thursday, September 8, 2011


A typical Tibetan fashion here in this region, usually no windows, only one entrance in the house, and they paint the house by pouring the white paint from the roof resulting a rather graphical look.  The 2 Simplified Chinese says “Home”.

Tibetan village

A small Tibetan village sitting on the valley, and a large field of barley crops.
Barle is a cereal crop; it is the Tibetan people’s favorite food and has a long cultivation history, dating back over 3,500 years.

Country life in Xiangcheng

On my 5th day of the Great Shangri-La trip ( May 27, 2011) we arrived at a small and lovely town, Xiangcheng, for an over-night and ready for our on-going journey.  Just coming down from Yading with long hours of heavy backpacking, this is an easy afternoon.  I just carried my Canon 1Ds III and 5DII each mounted with a lens and a spare CF cards, walking on the country road, and snap this image of typical Tibetan house with the much welcome deep blue sky in the background.
Canon 1Ds III + EF 24-105/4L IS, at 28mm. 

Monday, September 5, 2011

Close up

There is no picture too big as there is no shoot too close.   I shot lots of portraits, and it is usually not a matter to me to shoot far away or close up, it is just compositions.


Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months.    ~ Oscar Wilde
Shot for KCKC Styles.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Girl and Princes

There are so many girls, and so few princes.