The weather in Hong Kong has been awful these last few weeks. Rain virtually everyday, sometimes all day, except a few milder days here and there. The sunsets from my balcony reflect that, and last night’s was no exception. The cloud cover broke just as the sun was setting bit in a really strange way. Looked like a puzzle with missing pieces out there…
Fuji TX2 (XPAN) + Agfa CT100
On that glorious sunset in Honolulu, I first took a long exposure shot with the x100F, but I thought that alignment of buildings was just perfect for the XPAN. The shot is slightly underexposed which brings out the blues and purples in the Agfa CT100 slide, but ultimately, I think that brings a really different thing to it that I love.
Fuji TX2 (XPAN) + Rollei Redbird 400
I can’t say that this experiment with the Rollei Redbird was conclusive. The film is so grainy that most of the shots (including what I think might have been some good compositions) are useless. A few of them have low enough grain that I can tolerate it, and this one is one of those. I was fascinated by the tree and while I didn’t think the silhouette was going to be quite so stark, I like the end result a lot.
*Through the Trees*
Fuji TX2 (XPAN) + Agfa CT 100
It’s not enough to have a beautiful sunset, you need something beyond just the sun and the sea. Here I experimented with radical backlighting. Because I was using slide film, the blacks are very black, but I really like the end result.
Fuji TX2 (XPAN) + Rollei Redbird 400
After what I felt to be a dissapointing sunset in Hawaii, I didn’t pack my x100f for the next evening but had my XPAN with me with a roll of Redbird which I hoped to use for « street » on the beach that morning. Of course the sunset turned out to be spectacular, so I shot with what I had. Most of that Redbird roll turned out to be way too grainy, probably because despite rating at 400 ISO it doesn’t deal with low light all that well. There’s only one shot that’s not too grainy, but thankfully it’s pretty spectacular, and it’s the one above.
I didn’t have high expectations about Hawaii, and certainly Honolulu met these expectations: basically concrete and beaches. Still, with the right light and the right viewpoint, even concrete can be made to look beautiful, as this sunset shot from Magic Island shows.
*Ferry in the Sunset*
One of my favourite things to do in Hong Kong is just to take the ferry accross from Hong Kong Island to Kowloon. It’s only ten minutes, but these rickety old ferries have so much character and the view is spectacular. On this particular evening, we were on a tourist boat to show some family members around, and one of these spectacular stormy sunsets that we have in early summer occured. Not bad !
*Alternate Port Mélite*
Last week I reposted on social media this photo Port Mélite which I took in 2011. The version I posted was an HDR: back then I was experimenting with the technique and although I quickly dropped it, that picture stayed one of my favourite. As I was looking through my collections to publish new long exposure shots this week, I found this alternate shot of the same location (just before and a very slightly different angle) and wondered if with the changes in Lightroom since 2011 and my changes in taste and editing skill I might produce a satisfying photo from the single shot. I’m pleased to say that I did, and I actually prefer the softer, more subdued tones of this alternate version.
Let me tell you about my late beanbag. For nearly five years I used the same beanbag made of a packet of dried chickpeas in two sealed ziplocks. It was fantastic and allowed me to do these kinds of really low on the ground long exposures. Sadly, it was confiscated when I went to New Zealand on holiday since it was considered a food import. Oh well, it’ll cost me $2 to get a new one using the same method! Anyway, sunset, a puddle of water captures in the rocks but also the sea in the background, and a great kind of metallic rusty look on the rocks themselves. It was bound to work.
*The Quiet of the Blue Hour*
Lately I’ve been revisiting some old photos I never published. This is a very long exposure (60s) from 2011. I haven’t experimented with super long exposures as much as I should have, as this shot proves (I think). Also, the blue hour is really interesting: once the sun has set there’s still some light (depending on latitude) for a while, but it turns blue, hence the name. Quite evident here, the picture looks split-toned but it’s not, these are slightly tweaked colours as they were captured by the sensor.