Get thee to a nunnery

I wanted to give the new lens a road test this morning and my initial idea was Wong Tai Sin temple. In the end we settled for Chi Lin Nunnery, I and my photo buddy for the morning, Hendrick.

Chi Lin is next to the MTR station called Diamond Hill. Frankly I’d sue under the Sale of Goods Act as at least 50% of the name is manifestly wrong. But it is vaguely hilly. Hong Kong rules the world in giving tacky, over-priced sites glamorous sounding names. I guess none of the developers here is likely to call their concrete monstrosity “Tacky, Over-priced Property Hill complete with Matching Mall” but it would be a step forward.

I was hoping that Chi Lin would give me similar opportunities to Wong Tai Sin but sadly it was a heavily and enthusiastically enforced “no-photo” zone other than in the gardens. So portraits went by the way. Nonetheless we wandered around and I tried to see what it was like using the lens wide open at F1.2. This was not as easy as it sounds. It was reasonably bright and that meant at F1.2 the maximum speed of 1/8000 was not enough and I had to stop down. I also shot a few at smaller apertures to see how sharp this lens is. See what you think. Processing is in LR4 and some have been converted to Kodachrome 25 (sharp) in Alien Skin 4.


Dragon not observing the “Please Do Not Spit” sign.



Couldn’t resist one in B&W.





Hendrick in action



Knocker. Note how fore and background are blurred. For the sake of RSITM I have to point out that this is not a user error. Just testing the shallowness of the depth of field. Yummy.



Tasteful [?] orange bridge




One thing you can be sure of in Hong Kong, you are never far away from a shopping mall. Plaza Hollywood provides an interesting backdrop to the nunnery.



So there we are. I definitely like this lens a lot. All I need to do now is find a place that allows me to take pictures of people. Lulu, I am afraid, is camera shy today.


15 thoughts on “Get thee to a nunnery

  1. We have similar problems at many historical places here in the UK – especially those owned by the National Trust. I particularly like the blossom picture and those with running water. The lens seems to render the water with particularly clarity – though I appreciate you are shooting with a particularly high shutter speed. Looks a great lens.

  2. Haha, I was going to comment on focus but you obviously knew that so got in there first.

    Anyway, the kingergarten photographer wishes to complain that only one of those lilies looks to be in focus (the middle one). I think you should have gone for the KG style depth for that one.

    I also like each photo to be captioned or to have a relevant intro to it.

    I like the – captionless – running water. I do not like those fiddled with photos where water turns into silk. I like water to look like water which yours does. Therefore it gets a 9/10 or a silvery gold star (because only nadia comaneci gets 10/10).

    Here in Gib everything is called Buena Vista, or Sunset View or Sunrise View. Or some view or other. But at least we don’t have shopping malls. One extremely small complex which I avoid like the plague, you would have worked that out anyway.

  3. Lorrie says…..”Andrew, is an exceptionally talented photographer – what a crying shame that he doesn’t live closer to Jakarta so that he could give ‘Lorrie’ some much needed technical help and advice” !

    Love these photos Andrew and btw the B&W is my favourite 😛

  4. Great evidence that the 85 is good for more than portraits, Andrew. Another good one is the 135/2.0 which I owned at one time and never did do a portrait…of a person that is. But I am sure you will do many with your new lens and they will be very nice indeed. Ms. Lulu needs some encouragement so her adoring world may see her in a new light. 🙂

    I am with Lottie in that the B&W subject is my favorite although I am a fan of the knocker as well. The last image I enjoy as I really like the decorative features found in the older architecture of the world. The modern stuff has little or no soul whatsoever.

    • Interesting. I have never noticed these options. I just tried to see if I could retroactively amend my library pics but it seems not. Next time I upload a new file I’ll have a closer look and rummage around in the options a bit. TVM, Rough Seas.

      • You can edit to some extent through media, (via dashboard) but not the whole shebang. You can also change the picture size through HTML rather than visual. But I’ve just into the actual gallery thing and if you click on a photo, it comes up with the info on the right, in theory should be editable. To save changes, – I don’t think there is an option to do that – you are supposed to just click somewhere on the white bit on the right. I think that’s how it works anyway. Hard to say because once mine is set for media file it automatically brings that up unless I change it. I’d try a private test post if I was you (not that I ever do that …)

  5. Wow you had lots of people weighing in on these. You must shoot more such as these. I thought when I read nunnery that is was going to be a habitat for the nuns that wear habits. 🙂 Were they desparate for a name for that place? Who knows.

    Here we have Spanish names, Indian names, and then just old common names like Elm, Ethel, Robin, Bobolink, Kilarney, Jackson, and lots of streets with Irish and Scotch cities as their name sakes.

    But about those phots.The B & W is also a favorite. Real sharp, etc. But the others are very good as well.

I'd be delighted to hear what you think

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