Today is the start of the 2020 Lunar New Year Flower Fair in Victoria Park, HK. This year is not the usual mix of flowers, food, political novelty toys and celebratory new year symbols – it is the Rat this year. Anything remotely political has been banned by HK’s Spoilsport in Chief, Curried Lam. The beleaguered CE has cancelled our fireworks, attacked the fair and encouraged people to be good comrades instead. Nonetheless I went out with Mrs. Ha to buy our floral decorations there – a blossom tree for good luck, red berries, bright flowers and some pussy willow. The harbingers of spring. The vendors were not universally joyful at the new arrangements. Maybe next year we can go back to colour.

Lunar New Year Flower Fair - slow selling day 2020

A not very gruntled flower seller wondering why nobody is at the flower fair

The TVB folks did find one buyer to interview

TVB journalist Hailey Jo interviewing at the LNY flower fair

But before we left home we had our dose of good cheer as we were babysitting over night.

Miss Sunshine


I’ll know it when I see it.

A good print that is.

For the first time in many a long month I took some files to the commercial print shop today. Nothing special, just Fotomax. I had nine images printed at 6R size. Enough to see some detail and gauge whether they hold up to scrutiny off the screen and onto paper.

So what did I learn from the exercise.

Fotomax does not have the same judgment criteria as I do. They were returned to me marked “over/underexposed” and “blurred”. One had the highlights deliberately blown a little for a very strong contrast, one was what I call ‘high key’ and I’m struggling to see the blurring. Two are prints from scans of 50+ year old negatives of which I had lowish expectations. They look far too sharp!

One bird shot had a magenta hue to it, which I should have corrected in processing.

A landscape had a slightly chocolate-boxy feel to it and was arguably too saturated.

And then there are the black and white prints. To be honest I could pick holes with each of them. That is from a technical standpoint. But in all honesty the 5 are pretty much what I would have expected.

One I am happy with!

One I am almost happy with – it could have done with an extra F stop of depth of field.

One is perhaps just a little grainier than I had realized but it is nitpicking.

One looks a little ‘muddy’ in places reflecting the much higher ISO.

The last one is deliberately done in a silhouette style, hence the ‘over exposure’.

Here are the 5 B&W shots. So what do you think?

Bath weir

Breakfast at Tiffany's

B&W version Light in the Underpass