More Macau Magic

If you go to Macau but you are like us, you don’t want to spend your time in the casinos, where can you go? Well we spent two and a half days and explored the following areas:

Old Taipa Village

Coloane

Old Macau – side streets

and we had an excellent afternoon tea at the de Pousada Sao Tiago.

These areas won’t have the big brand shops that many seek but they will provide lots of history and local colour. What I have tagged as Old Macau is the main town but avoiding the principal shopping streets. You only need to turn off the major thoroughfares to find fascinating shops and houses that probably have not changed in decades. Most are small and seemingly family run. Here is a good example:

Shop keeper / sleeper

Sleeping at the counter is not good for trade but most small shops seem to double as homes too. From many the clacking of mah jong tiles can be heard. Wherever you go you will see small temples and shrines. And some temples are grander and very ornate. I was slightly perplexed by one of the figures in this collection!

Odd god out

And here they all looked a lot alike.

Look alike competition?

Not all the images are so god-like.

We found some interesting “bench shots”.

On the bench

On the bench 2

We really struggled to understand what these people were doing. In total about 30 people kept running up and down some of the narrow back streets. I guessed they might be on some sort of treasure hunt game but I don’t really know.

On the move

Equally perplexing was this sign…….. who or what is a curry monster?

Curry Monster

Is that Boris Karloff behind the barrier? And any ideas for this one?

Let's give him a Big Hand

Time for some more temple scenes?

The Altar

And the chapel of St. Francis Xavier

Chapel of St. Francis Xavier

Now a nicely decorated shop-front:

What Macau has in abundance is colour.

But if it all gets a bit overpowering there is always the chance of refuge and tranquility from The Goddess of Mercy

And with that, I will finish this quick look at Macau. I hope you have enjoyed it.

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Lightroom 4 and the 5D mk III

A release candidate LR4.1 is available for download at http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/lightroom4-1/. This includes the ability to read files from the 5D mk III. I have installed this already. Rather strangely, with LR4.0 many people complained of sluggish performance. I was quite happy. However this beta update seems slower to me than LR4.0. I cannot publish to Flickr either. Adobe is looking for feedback and this is after all not a full release so gremlins should be expected.

Here are 2 images with the 5D mk III from today freshly imported with the update 🙂

A frog he would a-wooing go

The caption is from an old nursery rhyme and took me back in my mind to early childhood and I can still hear the tune in my head…

A frog he would a-wooing go,
Hey ho, says Rowley,
A frog he would a-wooing go,
Whether his mother would let him or no.
With a rowley, powley, gammon and spinich,
Hey ho, says Anthony Rowley.

And here is one of my fungus shots:

Fungus on tree branch

I had tried to do this as a stack in Helicon Focus but I simply wasn’t happy with the result. In fact I failed with two stacks today. HF is not cheap  – registration for lifetime use id US$200 at the time of writing so I need to improve my tripod stability as even after 45 minutes of retouching I wasn’t satisfied. I tried to use this, my insurance shot, to correct the flaws but could not get it to work. I need to find a way of having this in the list of imported images as a retouching option but not in the actual stack build. If anybody knows how to do this please let me know!

More Macau coming soon.

Macanese Magic

Mrs. H and I decamped for a short break to Macau this week. It was not our first visit of course but I wanted to do some photography and she wanted a break. It is only an hour from HK on the ferry so of we jolly well went.

We stayed at the Banyan tree and stayed away from the casinos. When I have a little time I’ll write about where we did go but for now, here are some shots from the trip. I only took 1 camera, my Leica M9, and two lenses, the 50mm F0.95 Noctilux and the 35mm F1.4 (new) Summilux. See what you think. Most of the temple shots are taken in confined spaces so optimal framing is tough and in some cases such as in the second shot, I had little way of avoiding the ash-filled urn in the foreground. Colour temperature is also challenging in the shadows of the temple interiors but all shots are DNGs so I have adjusted the temperature where necessary to produce what I recall the colours to have been.

The Dish

 

Effigies guarding Kuan Yin

 

Half a Dragon Boat

 

Incense sticks in ash

 

Exercising in the park

This last image was taken in one of the many small exercise ‘playgrounds’ we saw and this lady was quite happy for me to photograph her in full flow. This is one of my favourites from the trip.

More to follow.