The agony and the ecstasy

Its been an odd sort of week. I bought a second hand laptop to take with me to Antarctica and that resolved my back up conundrum. I saw some people I hadn’t seen in ages and had a thoroughly enjoyable time. I even started a new project as part of my part time work. All to the good. And yet I still feel restless. Maybe it is the constant flow of money leaving the bank and very little going in.  A stock market that resolutely refuses to bounce always irks me. Strangely I am not afraid of volatility but it would be nice to see some respite. I did get out with my camera on Friday evening while Mrs. Ha was playing mahjong but there was nothing to write home about.

Nevertheless as that is all I have to offer and my good humour has gone astray, here are a few shots from my wanderings.

A typical dai pai dong

Breaking up for the evening

Lonely this Christmas (no Elvis)

Loyal Dining



These are all shot on a Leica M9 using the Noctilux 50mm wide open at F0.95 and at ISO800 – so lots of noise – and very shallow DoF. No flash. I don’t like flash for street photography. The processing is using some film replicating software and I have to say I quite like it but I am still experimenting. Not 100% sold on it yet.

Have a good week.


6 thoughts on “The agony and the ecstasy

  1. I can readily sense how you feel if your retirement is based on the stock market. That would have me wringing my hands and worrying all the time. My retiremnet is based on a guaranteed monthly check unless our country falls and then I will be screwed along with all ex military and government workers.My 35 years was/is a very good thing for me. My retirment is a bit more than 1/2 of what I earned working. But I can tell you that I paid lots of income tax plus the medicare thing was deducted from my check. I have my own insurance ( from where I worked) and have not used medicare.

    Technically I am part of that 47% that rommney (sp?) said was leeching off the government. Only thing is- I am not a minority and I worked for mine.

    I am not understanding the Leica thing and processing that you wrote about. I like those street scenes. Interesting to see how the rest of the world lives. B& W is good but so is the color. In fact, I think the color is excellent. The lack of sharpness just adds to the ambiance of the photo. Are you editing these or using pics as is?

    How will you keep your laptop charged or are there sources provided as part of your trip?

    • Yvonne, thanks for commenting. These images are edited to the extent I have converted to B&W in some cases and I have applied a filter to replicate a film look. With the lens wide open there is previous little depth of field hence the slightly blurry effect either side of the focus point. A Leica M is a rangefinder camera with nothing automated. I set everything manually. Much more fun but slower.
      And no, I don’t have a pension. I took lump sums and manage everything myself. Much safer than relying on bankrupt governments.

      • Thanks for the reply. I was almost certain when I wrote about the retirement situation that you have funds invested.

        And you are right about the bankrupt governments. I spoke about this with some of my fellow nurse friends and the three of them don’t seem to have given it much thought. But I have expressed my fears to another former employee when he mows the grass. We gossip about our former place of employment and I voiced the fact that if US government goes broke we will be screwed, glued, and tatooed. He barely says anything and verbalizes a long groan.

        I have no debt and have to pay only utilities and taxes. Pet food and care takes quite a bit but I live on the very frugal side of life. My deceased husband and I never used a credit card. I now have a debit card and I only got that so that I could pay for this blog. There was no other way and I hated that.

        Anyway so much for all of that. I imagine that the Leica is fun to use because you have to work to get that photo. I’m sure it gives you a sense of pride when you see the final results. Any photo that you post always looks good.

I'd be delighted to hear what you think

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