Mrs. Ha and I went into the local town for lunch today. Noodles and satay beef, omelette, toast and rib-stripping strong tea for HK$44 per person. Thats less than 6 US$. Its cheap and not very cheerful but the food is good enough. I never mind the cafe lunch because it means I can take the camera with me.
I wanted to play with my 24mm lens today. This is the one that I dropped in Cambodia. You get what you pay for. Not a problem. It did not bounce. The metal lens hood absorbed the shock, picked up a few scars but shrugged off the impact. The lens continues to be optically perfect as far as I can tell. It is tricky however photographing when Mrs. Ha is with me. She gets confused when I walk past the same place 4 times in quick succession, trying to get the shot I want. I am also chivalrous enough to carry anything we buy so I end up with shopping in one hand and camera in the other. Here the M9 comes to the fore as it is light enough to operate one-handed. I simply wrap the strap around my wrist to prevent accidents (it didn’t work in Cambodia but that’s another story) and can shoot vertical or horizontal format. The 24mm lens actually needs an external viewfinder if you intend to use one. The viewfinder can just about cope with a 28mm lens but wider than that and you see less than 100% of the shot when you look through the built-in finder. I do have one that goes in the hot shoe but frankly I normally just guess.
Today was not good. I didn’t really get anything I was happy with. The one below I have processed in a couple of ways and this version was my final choice. This lady has a tiny stall selling fruit. She is very elderly but still works each day, to make ends meet I imagine. These small enterprises can not survive much longer in my view. They will cease to exist when the owners pass on. Nobody will want to continue the business. I photograph them to document the changing of the times. Just like the fruit and veggie man and his shop. I am sure that within a few years it will be another tourist boutique catering for some of the HKSAR’s forecast 70 million tourists each year. Heaven forfend. I am not against progress but somewhere a line has to be drawn and I feel we are stepping over it now. My late father always wanted to live to the year 2000. He wanted to know what life would be like as we turned the millennium. He fell well short and sometimes I think he would look at the world today and wonder where it all went wrong. Perhaps the fruit vendor feels the same.
Note the cardboard boxes of the ubiquitous Pocari Sweat in the top left corner. I have cropped the very front of her stall but that is all she has. Two or three rows of trays and a few boxes out the back. Making ends meet the hard way. I have a black and white version but somehow the sepia felt right.