First Post!

Well, here's my Hello World moment. Been putting this off, because although I've felt that I should run a blog for a while, it just seems that there's never anything to write about when I sit down in front of the screen - and especially hard to kick it all off.

So I'm just biting the bullet here and rambling away. I intended this blog to be a vehicle for the rambling thoughts (photographic and otherwise) I am having at any given time, so I could come back and view them and maybe be able to act on them later when I had an answer or a new idea to try out.

Whether this happens remains to be seen, but if you don't start, you don't finish. So I'm starting.

First up, a little about me

Turning thirty this year, and been taking photos for just over half of that time. Things have gotten much easier since I got a job (photography is many things, but it is not cheap, and tough for a teenager or student, as the choice between film and beer is hard to make) and since digitial came round - no film costs. That said, I miss the darkroom time you used to have to put in, and the feeling of rinsing out a canister of films after the chemical wash, and unrolling them to see if you got anything, and whether any of it was any good, just can't be replicated in the digital world.

I really don't grudge my new kit, though: a Nikon D50 kit, to which I've added a 70-300 Sigma and an SB-600 flash. The D50 was an Xmas present a couple of years ago from my lovely wife, now starting to feel a little tired and in need of a new body ( and I'm talking about the D50, people, not the lovely wife). I find the camera and lens configuration perfect for 98% of photographic scenarios and assignments, and I love the Nikon CLS system. The camera also manages very well under some fairly intense exposure problems, and I can't say that I've ever been anything less than impressed with it's preformance. And yes, I have tried Canon, and think it's on a par. I used an EOS system for film. Now, though, I doubt I would go back, because of the significant investment in Nikon equipment. So don't start an equipment flame war, guys. Funny how it's always the guys, I've never had an argument like this with a woman photographer. Some inadequacy issues, maybe? Anyway, it's not the camera, it's the eye. I've seen some incredible images taken on plastic toy cameras like Diana and Holga, and seen some very impressive rigs out here being used to much less effect.

I've also become a fairly heavy user of Cokin Filters - a Polarizer, a light yellow and a couple of graduated ND's, which I think are essential for interesting skies out here in Asia (I'm looking at you, yellow filter) and for getting good sky exposure balance anywhere during the day.

The photographic potential of my new home - Hong Kong- is unlimited, and the biggest problem I have in getting my own projects done here is keeping focused on what it was I came out to shoot in the first place. And remembering what it was I saw last week and thought "Hey, you've got to come back and get a shot of that at dusk / dawn / dragon boat festival / Chinese New Year." Which is another reason for this blog - to record those thoughts and run with them. Plus, it's to motivate me to get out and pursue my own identified projects, which can be a tough ask after a hard week's grind.

What this blog is about

Well, hard to say at this stage. The aims are hazy, but I would like to see projects proposed, researched, shot and discussed here. I'm always ready for a new challenge, and I am always looking for new places and events to shoot here in Hong Kong and elsewhere. I'm very open to discussion and other viewpoints, and I find that it's something I don't really get enough of in HK, so I'm hoping that there will be a comment or two posted telling me what solutions there are to my problems, or what your experience is of similar issues and ideas.

Going through the next few weeks, I'm going to go over a few highly inspirational blogs and photographers, and start work on my project for this week: night shots in Tsing Lung Tau. So watch this space, and if I get a break in the weather (which has been very bleak here over the last bit, wall-to-wall rain) I'll be posting my shots. This is what I got last time I went out there:

Tsing Ma Bridge: last shot fixed

Which was pretty promising, but a lot more can be done out there. Plus, it's close to home for me, so I can get down there quite easily. You can look at my flickr photostream to view it large, and see some other shots from around that area:

Have a look, and watch this space for more!