Tag Archives: photography

Leica T (Typ 701) Mirrorless Camera Review

Leica T (TYP 701) mirrorless camera with Vario-Elmar 18-56mm f/3.5-5.6 lens

Leica T (TYP 701) mirrorless camera with Vario-Elmar 18-56mm f/3.5-5.6 lens

Leica Australia gave me the the opportunity to test-drive and review the Leica T (TYP 701) and a couple T-lenses over a period of 2 months, it was my first proper experience with a Leica camera, and having read about played with these prestigious cameras on display in my local camera shop, I was excited to finally see how this luxury boutique camera fares against my much cheaper DSLR canon gear.

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Wangfujing shopping centre – Beijing – Panoramic photo

Life in the fast lane

This image conveys the rapid urban development, emerging middle-class (with more income and prosperity), and the Americanization of the Chinese culture.

This particular street, named Wangfujing, meaning “Prince’s Mansion well” (after a sweet tasting water well was unearthed during the construction of ten aristocratic estates and a prince’s residence in the Qing Dynsasty- 1644 to 1912), is Beijing’s most famous shopping street that is located in a downtown district of Dongchen, dating back to the mid-Ming Dynasty (1368–1644) the markets, commerce and other consumer activities have been conducted in this area for centuries. It is only about one block long but consists of many large and small stores, consisting of Beijing’s most prominent brands (around 280) and many international brands.

There is also a section that is dedicated to food and snacks, with many street stalls and restaurants crammed together serving common and exotic street food such as fried scorpion, meat kebabs, desserts and candied fruits on a stick.

In the past this street was known to English-speaking foreigners as Morrison Street (named after the Australian journalist George Ernest Morrison – another interesting story).

It used to be a street for vehicles to travel through, but since 1999, much of it has been pedestrianized.  The hustle and bustle never seems to stop here, open and busy during the day but much more alive during the night with the bright lights and more locals and tourists out to eat and shop.

Creating this Panoramic Photo

Captured using the Canon 50D with a Sigma 30mm F1.4 lens, mounted on a Benro carbon-fiber tripod and remotely triggered to capture four separate long exposures to create one seamless photo using Photoshop. Not much post-editing was required, as I like the way my Canon camera renders colorful night scenes, so I just boosted the sharpness and contrast a little.

Would have been easier to do this with a landscape lens but my Tokina 11-16mm broke before my trip to Asia and was under repair. So for all the landscape shots requiring a wider perspective, I had to make-do with the Sigma 30mm (which has a 50mm perspective) during 90% of my Asia trip, shooting multiple images to stitch up later on the computer. A very time-consuming task!

I’m glad that my images turned out OK, considering the difficulties. I certainly learned a lot about composition with a prime 50mm lens and also improved my understanding of making panoramic images.

Fast Lane - Wangfujing - Beijing - Andrew Croucher Photography - web.jpg

Fast Lane - Wangfujing - Beijing - Andrew Croucher Photography - web.jpg

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El Dia de los Muertos (The Day of the Dead) photo shoot

Day of the dead images, Dia de Muertos, Halloween, image, picture, card, eedi jennar, addrew croucher,

Eedi Jennar as Lady of the Dead.

The Day of the Dead is a Mexican cultural and religious day/s of remembrance, prayer and celebration for the family and friends that have passed away, in connection with Halloween or All Hallows’ Eve, this event takes place from the 1st of October till the 2nd of November. Offerings and previous possessions would be placed on an ‘Altar of the dead’ or at their grave sites, such as alcohol for the adults, toys or ‘little angels’ for the children, food and various flowers are gathered to attract the souls of the dead to eat the ‘spiritual essence’ of the offerings.

This became the theme of a creative photo shoot held at Studio 1A in Marrikville, Sydney, on the 27th of October which involved a collaboration of numerous talents from various industries. Clothing designers, stylists and the models brought and made garments and items for the costumes, hair and make-up artists created looks to suit the models (Awesome Sugar skull makeup designs), props were brought in by the people involved, the studio owners and management created the opportunity and provided the facilities (Thanks Alex Ron, Pania Newport and Christopher Getts), the models posed and the photographers took pictures, everyone’s conceptualisation of The Day of the Dead theme came to a great final outcome with many great photos taken. If you are looking for ideas on how to recreate the Day of the Dead theme, with makeup, hair, costumes and other designs,  take a look at what a hand-full of creatives from diverse talents can do together.

Here are my day of the dead pictures from this experience, Enjoy! (more photos will be uploaded as I finish them so stay tuned).

Happy Halloween and Day of the Dead!!!

 

 

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Sydney Panorama

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Metropolis, SYD

Another place I call home, so many of Sydney’s landmarks can be seen from here including (from left to right) St. Mary’s Cathedral, Centrepoint tower, Fort Denison, QVB, Sydney Opera House, Anzac Bridge, The Rocks and Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Metropolis Syd- Panorama 2-Edit-2 web.jpg

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Xizha Watertown, Wuzhen – Venice of the East

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Xizha Watertown – Venice of the East

A picturesque ancient water town in Wuzhen that has more than 1300 years of history, built south of the Yangtze River, these canals divide the town into 6 districts.

Delicate wood carvings and stonework decorate the bridges, streets and buildings.

A town rich in culture that can be seen to this day, with unique food and various folk festivals, it is also the home of Chinese literature, many famous poets and calligraphers moved here to pursue their dreams.

Wuzhen - old city night waterscape - 2-2-pano-2.jpg

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Hong Kong – The Top of The Peak

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Top of The Peak!

It was a 3km hike from the tourist area of The Peak to get to this location where the telecommunication towers of HK are. The elevation is about 554m above sea level, but not the highest point of HK, to which Tai Mo Shan holds that title. Here can be seen views of Lamma Island, Central, Victoria Harbour and the surrounding islands.

The air was so fresh up here! People here were enjoying the sights, hiking, chilling out and doing tai chi and taking pictures. I was thankful the sky was so clear after a typhoon blew all the smog and clouds away for my photographic expedition.

 

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Shanghai Pudong Skyline Panorama

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Metropolis, SHA

I took this shot from The Bund, over looking the Hangpu River onto the stunning Pudong district skyline.
It’s not often we get a clear day in Shanghai! Pudong is usually covered in smog and fog.

It was summer holidays and the city was packed with mainland Chinese tourists, all wanting to get shots of this magnificent view.

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Suzhou Chongyuan Taoist Temple pagoda

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Taoist Contemplation

My favourite shot of the day, sadly the actual Chongyuan Temple in Suzhou (which houses China’s largest Quanyin Statue) was closed for re-construction.
It’s been around for 1,500 years so I’ll forgive them for closing it during my holidays there!

In a short 30 minute window I had to capture as many quality shots of the Chongyuan Temple grounds. This spot caught my eye as I was jogging past it, which had a nice warm sun-lit pagoda showing off its beautiful colours and had a calming and meditative feeling. I decided to do a 9 shot panoramic capture to create this image.

 

Taoist Contemplation - Chong Yuan Si - Pagoda - AC web 960.jpg

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Chi Lin Nunnery Panorama

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Harmony at the Chi Lin Nunnery

The Chi Lin Nunnery is a large Buddhist sanctuary situated in Diamond Hill, Hong Kong.

The 33,000 square meter complex features an all wooden construction using Ancient Chinese techniques dating back to the Tang dynasty. No nails used!

 

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Hua Hin Beach Sunrise shoot

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First-Light Silence

Dogs sleeping, monks walking, fishermen setting sail and a few tourists and locals enjoying the stillness and silence of the early morning.

Hua Hin is a beach resort district where royalty stays on a permanent bases or during the summer holidays, and has lots of beautiful scenery and tourist attractions, another jewel of Thailand.

The rock formation off in the background is Hua Hin’s ‘Stonehead’ which in fact, is the English translation of ‘Hua Hin’. A temple is also mounted on this stone-head, where the monks walk on the beach to gather donations, As well as a few hotels, restaurants and Buddhist statues.

There wasn’t much time for me to capture images in Thailand, plus the weather was abysmal, but I did dedicate one morning to go out to the beach while in Hua Hin. Luckily the gods cut me a break, and it was a pretty magical morning, enough time to get some shots before the clouds covered the skies. The sun-rise was covered by the low hanging clouds along the horizon so it wasn’t completely ideal, but was definitely worth going out to capture the silence before the sunrise.

Special thanks to Mr. Long for taking us out that morning and a having my family over during our stay.

First-light silence - Hua Hin Beach - AC Web 2.jpg

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