Oranges are not the only fruit

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.

Fruit VendorNote 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.


All the news that’s fit to print?

What is black and white and Communist read all over? A Chinese newspaper perhaps.

Indian TimesThis is a perfect example of why you should not delete on the hoof. When I took this I was trying to frame the woman reading the paper against the door in the background. When I downloaded it I realised the 35mm lens had given me the Indian chief as well. HOW! I was not looking through the viewfinder when I shot this. I used zone focusing and you can tell I shot from about waist level.

A couple of other shots from the walk, perhaps not so successful in my mind but blogworthy perhaps. Balloon man is on the prom quite often and very good he is too. I liked the studied concentration of the onlooker.Balloon man And finally Mr. Veggie Stall, this time with his other half, not his best pal from way back when. They were chatting to a local customer. The alley is too tight to get a really wide shot with a 35mm lens. I should have taken my 24mm. Close observers will see a box marked ‘Pocari Sweat’. This is a canned drink, rather sweet, supposedly good at replenishing minerals. They told Mrs. Ha to drink some when she was in hospital. She hated it. Blue Girl is as you would expect (??) a beer.Veg stallAnd that’s your lot for the day. I wish everybody a most enjoyable weekend.


More Street

Don’t look on the map. You won’t find More Street in my neck of the woods. Today I’ll post a few more shots taken with the M9, just wandering around whilst Mrs. Ha was out with her ‘buddies’ group. First though a rare word of praise for the interweb.

When we were in Britain last autumn we hired a car and I was stung for £16 per day for a GPS system. Regular readers may recall that when I put in the postcode for the cemetery where my mother is buried it took me to a fish and chip shop. In Hong Kong cars are not fitted with GPS. I am not sure why and no doubt you can buy some sort of kit but I have never tried. However recently we wanted to try a new route to a familiar location. I had the bright idea of looking on Google Maps. I found the route easily enough and suddenly a voice said “turn left at the junction of CY Road….”. Was there a genie in my phone? Was I under attack from malign spirits? It seems not. The answer is simple. I can now use my iPhone in the same way that I could the GPS system in Britain. I had just inadvertently pressed the ‘start directions’ button. And it worked. I just put the phone in the centre console and drove off and the genie directed me door to door. I found it perhaps a fraction late in giving me directions but provided I was alert it was fine (be a lert, Britain needs lerts). No fish and chip shop as my destination. And of course it was free. I pay for the streaming as the phone downloads from the satellite but the 40 minute drive used 3mb out of my 1gb monthly allowance. It says it is in beta testing but hey, I am happy. And it was all in English too. Miraculous. Here endeth the diversion and beginneth the photos for the day. Apologies to FB and Flickr friends, who may have seen one or maybe even two before.

Outside the temple.Besidethe templeThe bike lady – gave me a very cheery Good Morning in English. Lovely lady.Bikelady Another cheery smile from the cook. She and her husband never object at my taking photos. Here she was busy but she did look up and smile.Kitchencafe Finally, a warning to all Porsche drivers, don’t drink coke and drive.Porsche&CokeAs usual all images shot from the hip and converted to B&W using Silver Efex Pro v2. I used a 35mm F1.4 Summilux ASPH lens.