Archive for March, 2013

So the Weekly Phoneography challenge is Lunch Time.

I could have gone with the following image taken on my iPad. But then I decided that was kind of boring and was not really what I did at lunch time.


So with the weekly challenge being phoneography I decided to show you more what I did at lunch time today with my iPad an a new app that I had just got called Tangled FX. The original image was one I took on my trip to South Africa last year of a lioness in Pilanesberg national park.


I know that the image was not taken with my iPad, but the following images were created on my iPad at lunchtime. I also transferred the images on to my iPad at the time using the device that Apple sells.

So what did I end up doing? Well tangled FX is an app that takes an image you already have or that you take on the device and applies some drawing type effects to it. (This is a tired explanation at the end of a long week. I will let the images talk for themselves, they will probably make more sense.)

The first image is using a pre-set effect called Cartoon. I kind of like this image especially around the eyes.


The second is called Lightside, a bit to surreal for me. But you can definitely still see the Lion.

light side

The next two are custom setting images. The first one I kind of like, the second one is pretty bad.



At first I really liked the first one with the cartoon effect but the more I look at it the more it feels like a photo that has been tampered with. Now my favourite one is the first custom setting one, I think it is because it is so different from the original. You can still make out the Lion but it does not feel like a photo any more, but more like a computer generated image.

So there we have it lunch time or more importantly what I did with my lunchtime an iPad app and an image.



So the weekly photo challenge is My Neighbourhood as seen through a smart phone. I decided to cheat on this slightly, I did not use a camera, camera like some have, but instead I have used a new ipad. I figured it is a hand-held device that does a lot of the things that my iphone does but with a better set up for taking an image. It actually worked out better than I thought it would, and I got quite a lot of images.

Let me start by talking about “My Neighbourhood.” I live in Hong Kong on the Kowloon side in a place called Tai Kok Tsui. I live on a big new estate with a lot of features that make my life very easy, and I have lived there for the whole time I have been in Hong Kong.  I love where I live,it is close enough to town for me to get whatever I want but is more local in lots of ways, something I really enjoy. It used to be/still is pretty notorious for its cage homes, or so some of my friends from the police rugby team tell me. ( See the following web link for an example. Cage Home)

What it is also famous for is metal working and recycling shops, something I really enjoy. I love seeing the metal being worked and cut, maybe this comes from my family history as both of my grandparents worked in heavy industry.

But the area is changing, the Urban Renewal Authority has come in and are starting to tear old buildings down and replace them with new apartments and hotels. The character of the area is being lost and I feel a little bit sad about it all in a way.

Anyway on to the photos, I have a lot this week as I have so much to show of the area.

All of these shots are from the metal working shops, or the street outside the shop in the case of the last one.






The guard dogs that look after these workshops are well looked after and do a really good job of barking at people that they do not recognise.


The following images are of some of the old buildings. The second one shows some of the redevelopment that has happened in the background. Along with one of the buildings that used to be a cage home area.




The new building is nearly complete so down comes the bamboo scaffolding. I am always amazed at how high they go with this stuff. When they were building the tall building in the previous picture the bamboo went all the way to the top, about 70 floors.






At the end of the day some of the workers are winding down with a cool beer.



They also recycle metal here with trucks turning up with old window frames, fire extinguisher’s and old air conditioners to name some. There is a lot of complaints about this activity as they often park two deep.


It is not all metal working shops, there are also car places that can give your car a quick clean or buff. IMG_0113

You can also get something to eat at a local “Cha Tsan Tang” basically a local white wall restaurant with good cheap local style food. For fellow Brits the guy is not swearing, just posing.


But it is not all heavy industry, there are some relaxing features. Hong Kong has some really good local parks where you will find a quieter, greener location that is a breath of fresh.  This one is right outside where I live. IMG_0132



In the park you will find a lot of old guys playing Chinese chess on the special tables they provide. IMG_0131

So there you have my neighbourhood. I was impressed with the images that the ipad took. I am planning on returning to take some more images of the cut metal pieces with the painted ends on my proper camera. I think they would have made good images for last weeks challenge.

So the weekly photo challenge is lost in the detail. take a photo opportunity and move in closer to see what else you can see.

A couple of years back I played Rugby for the Hong Kong Police, a very enjoyable pass time on the weekend for being sociable and keeping my fitness up. This weekend was the grand final for the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union leagues with the top two teams from all the leagues playing at King’s Park. I decided this would be a good opportunity to catch up with some of the old boys and also to get a few good shots of the game.

First up was the Hong Kong Police vs the Discovery Bay Pirates, unfortunately the Police lost but I did get some good pictures.

The one below sets the scene of my lost in the detail scenario. It is the scrum, the part of the game which most people have no idea what is going on. As a loose head prop this was the area I was expected to spend a fair amount of time in (Especially when the back players knock on the ball!!) In the scrum there is a lot of binding that needs to go on to hold it all together, apparently the scrum is one of the most dangerous things in any sport in the world. You can just make out one of binds across the guys at the front backs and on to the leg.


But what happens when we get in closer? IMG_5384

Well we can see that the player on the side called the flanker is bound on to the second row and is helping to push the guy in front. What a lot of people miss is the bind between the legs of the front player grabbing on to the top of his short. (Look next to the Kukri symbol in the shadows.) This is the bind of the second row player on to the prop it helps hold the core of the scrum together.

Next up the line out. Here you can see the two props supporting the guy jumping so that he can knock the ball back. It is amazing how long a player can float in the air like this.


After the game there is always celebrations and some times in rugby this can be a little weird, as can be seen by this photo. In this case the Discovery Bay Winger is enjoying his victory.


Finally on to the next match I watched. Can you work out what is a little bit different about this picture?


Well the pink may be the clue, all of these players are female. ( Not always the case, Paris St. German men’s team played in a pink kit a few years back.)

And just to prove it, I had to finish off with a common seen site according to a lot of people who have watched some rugby.


This lady is one tough cookie. It was quite a big cut and she came off strapped it up and went straight back in.

Anyway there you have my ideas for lost in the details.

So the weekly photo challenge is forward. I must start by saying if you are a little bit squeamish then this post may not be for you. I will post the pictures at the bottom and I will write the blurb at the top to explain what it is all about. The pictures are from the Bodies exhibit at the Venetian hotel and casino in Macau.

So over the weekend I went to Macau with some colleagues, Macau is another Special Administrative Region of China just like Hong Kong, the key difference is that it was a colony of the Portuguese. The two regions are similar in a lot of way but also very different. Macau is more laid back and definitely has a very European feel, in some ways it reminds me of living in Italy as a child. Part of the reason for this more “European feel” is probably due to the fact the Portuguese governed in Macau from the middle of the 16th century where as Hong Kong was only under British rule from the middle of the nineteenth century. Another big difference is size, Macau is smaller in population than Hong Kong by a long way. There is about half a million people in Macau and 7 million in Hong Kong.

Macau is growing and is becoming more economically strong because of gambling. Before the hand over in 1999 most of the major investment in this part of the world came to Hong Kong. Macau was known as the Sin city of south china, it was seedy casinos and loose women all the way. Now it is big Casinos and loose women (some things never change.) These new Casino’s are massive and you have all the big players in town, The Wynn, MGM and the Venetian to name a few. Macau has become such a powerful gambling location, that the casinos since about 2009 have made more money in Macau than in Las Vegas.

I have been to Vegas, Macau is completely different. Gambling in Macau is business, the minimum bet on tables is 300 HK$ (They have their own currency in Macau, the Pataca. But the casinos will not accept it opting for the Hong Kong dollar instead. Apparently this is due to the security of the HKD being second to none.) 300 HK$ is equivalent to about 25 pounds, 30 euros or 40 US$. These tables are rare to find as well with most being 500 and 1000$. (one of my colleagues was shooed off the craps table for bidding too little, by the other players! the staff diplomatically suggested he might want to try the other table with lower limits)

Anyway we arrived on the boat and set off for lunch at a Portuguese restaurant called A Lorcha, an incredibly busy restaurant that should be on every ones list of things to do in Macau. Afterwards we set of for the Bodies exhibit, something I had been looking forward to seeing. I am a biology teacher and so I know all about the plastination technique of preserving bodies.

So we got there to be greeted by this fellow.SAM_1426

As you go through the exhibit they showcase various structures in the body. So this one was looking at the muscle system and how it all goes together.


This one was looking at the combination of all the different layers.


And finally the image that got me thinking of forward. The body in full run with the muscles exposed and in some cases disconnected.


So there you have my post for forward. All about a city that is moving forward fast, with an exhibition that some my say is forward thinking, whilst some would say it is not.