Why You Use a UV Filter on Your Lenses

So this week I was photographing an extended family of seven. We were walking down a very steep path from The Peak in Hong Kong. It had been raining and the pavement was super slippery. No sooner had I told everyone to "be careful", and I stepped on some slimy moss. It all happened in slow motion, but I clearly remember looking up in the air at my feet.
The next sensation was the sickening sound of a Canon 5DMK3 making full contact with cement. My Sigma ART 35/1.4 looked like this. I reckoned it was dead.
I did the rest of the shoot with my 85/1.2. When I got home I couldn't get the filter off as it was basically fused with the lens. Upon closer inspection I saw that the lens elements might be OK.
I used my Swiss Army knife to tap out all the busted filter glass, and low and behold, the lens was fine.
So, you know the moral of the story.

Always use a UV filter on nice lenses

Photographing Kids With Manual Focus Lenses: Sony A7R2 with Voigtlander & Zeiss or "How Focus-Peaking Changed My Life"

I admit it, I'm getting older. I really don't like carrying around this Canon gear any more. For the past few years I have been using some of the smaller cameras as my travel kit. Lately that has been the Sony A7R2, an incredible chunk of technology. While I have a couple of auto-focus lenses for this body (35/2.8 and the Zeiss 85/1.8 Batis), I have been taking smaller manual focus lenses to use instead of the auto-focus stuff. I can see a day when this is all I use, even for the active kids work
I do.
The difference is focus-peaking. It almost feels like cheating. I am getting almost everything in focus, shooting less (a good thing) and having a ton of fun in the process. I don't even miss my Leica M9 any more.
Mostly I have been using the Voigtlander Heliar 75/1.8 and Nokton 50/1.5 glass. Both of these are crazy good lenses for the money. A pro friend A/B-ed the Heliar ($700) against the Summilux 75/1.4 ($4000) and couldn't see the difference even when pixel peeping.
I am also using the somewhat more modern Zeiss Loxia 35/2, which is my favorite lens by far at the moment. This one talks to my A7R2, so I get full EXIF info, which I don't get with the Voigtlander.
I even did a job only with the 50/1.5 and it was a success. I could photograph kids on the move with the lens wide open, and through the miracle of focus peaking, everything was pretty much sharp.
Of course the Canon 85/1.2 on a 5D MK3 is pretty special too, but that's almost two kilos vs .875 kgs for the Sony + 50/1.5 combo.
The best part for me though is that shooting manual focus is more fun and more efficient. I realize I shoot completely differently with manual focus. With the Canon I will sort of hunt around to meter and focus, and the recompose at the end. With the Sony I compose first, while focusing at the same time. Metering is a piece of cake in AV mode, i just ride the Exposure Compensation dial. My pix are much more consistent in every way. And as I mentioned before, I shoot far less as I know I have the shot.
Here are a few recent samples.

Sony A7R2 & Voigtlander 75/1.8 Heliar

Sony A7R2 & Nokton 50/1.5


Sony A7R2 & Nokton 50/1.5


Sony A7R2 & Zeiss Loxia 35mm f2

Sony A7R2 & Loxia 35mm
Sony A7R2 & Loxia 35mm\

For Save the Children Laos (USA) 
Sony A7R2 & Heliar 75mm




Document Your Kids As They Grow Up

The best part of my job is documenting a bunch of cool kids growing up. Happy that these parents stuck with me and just let me do my thing.

Growing Up



Growing Up



Before & After

Hong Kong Kids Photography

Growing Up

Hong Kong Kids Photography

Before & After


Before and After Photography

Before and After

Hong Kong Kids Photography

Kids Growing Up


Hong Kong Kids Photography

Kids Growing Up




Sisters Growing Up

Documenting Childhood


Hong Kong Children's Photography

Before and After

Hong Kong Family Photography


Growing Up



Add caption


Indian Street Portraits: Leica M9 & Voigtlander Lenses

In 2014 I went to India and took some informal street portraits. It was the first time I had traveled with the Leica M9. I used some Voigtlander lenses since there was no possibility of me paying two grand plus for Leica ones. I have posted the photos here before, but my slideshow video has got more than 35,000 views, so I am going to post it because why not.



Ricoh GW-3 Wide Adapter Samples - Photographing from a Kayak

Taking photos from a kayak in the ocean (i.e. saltwater) borders on impossible with a non-waterproof camera. I have tried a few things over the years, but have never really been satisfied. Using an underwater housing isn't ideal as the lens is covered with a salt film all the time which is extremely hard to remove. GoPro is OK, but not really what I need.
This year I tried using my little Ricoh GR with the Ricoh GW-3 Wide Adapter (21mm). Again, not ideal as I had to keep it in a dry bag under my kayak skirt, but I still managed to get a few keepers.
I also used a Singh-Ray Color Combo which makes nice BW conversions but slows my ISO down considerably.
Here are a few samples. Not sure what I will do next year....

Ricoh GW-3 Sample

Ricoh GW-3 Wide Adapter 

Ricoh GW-3 Sample

Thailand Mangroves
Thailand Mangoves




Thailand Mangroves

Hong Kong School Photography: Hong Kong Academy

It was great to shoot at Hong Kong Academy in Sai Kung on my last HK trip. The school is almost purpose built for my style. Lots and lots of massive windows. I basically mix up candid doc style shooting, along with quick portraits along the way.
The design is always great at HKA. I rarely get to see my photos used so nicely.


Hong Kong School Photography


Hong Kong School Photography





Hong Kong School Photography





Hong Kong Children's Photography

Just wrapping up another great season of kids photography here in Hong Kong. Best city anywhere for my style with all the beaches, parks and urban jungles. Some nice houses too!
More of my work here.
Here are a few recent samples.

Hong Kong Kids Portraits


Hong Kong Kids Photography


Hong Kong School Photography - Hong Kong Academy




Hong Kong Family Photographer

Photo Theft and Fake Story by Sauhardya Charitable Trust

Some fake charity in India called "Sauhardya Charitable Trust" has been using one of my portraits from Rajasthan to solicit money from susceptible bleeding hearts. Normally I don't really care about my images being "borrowed", but when they are used to dupe people, I obviously take offence.
In this case it's a kid from a happy family I photographed near Ossian in Rajasthan. Apparently Mr. Anil Singhvi even went to the trouble to create a ridiculous back-story for the kid.
("I, RAM ......,wake up hungry, cold and wet from the monsoon rains. The thin rag covering me will again be my clothes for my day spoilt by the mud I lay on." etc etc")
Anyway, they don't look to be a big NGO, but even one rupee donated to this charlatan organization is too much. There are thousands of small grassroots NGOs in India doing great, honest work. Please support them.
Actually I see Aussie Cricketer Brad Hogg donated a nice TV. I hope it went to a deserving family.


SauhardyaCharitable Trust




Ricoh GR Street Photography: Bangkok, Hong Kong

Street photos from Hong Kong and Bangkok using the Ricoh GR.
More shots over here.
I'm not really a street photographer, but I do occasional blasts, usually around a model of camera like the Lumix GF1, the M9/Xpan combo, or the Fuji XT1.

Hong Kong Street Photography
Ricoh GR Street Photography

Ricoh GR Street Photography




Bangkok Street Photography

Ricoh GR Street Photography
Bangkok Street Photography

Bangkok Street Photography

Ricoh GR Street Photography

Selfie Obsessed

Wan Chai


Hong Kong


Ricoh GR Street Photography

How to Photograph Kids at the Beach

I have just done my first post of a series on the popular blog "Hong Kong Moms". This first one deals 100% with how to photograph kids on a beach. Lots of samples from Hong Kong beaches like Clearwater Bay, Repulse Bay and Stanley.
You can check out the article here. I am posting this just to present larger images. We will be posting more tutorials in the near future.

Kids Beach Photography

Kids Beach Photography

Hong Kong Beach Photography

Repulse Bay Beach

How to Photograph Kids on the Beach

Hong Kong Kids Photography

Repulse Bay Photography

Hong Kong Beach Photography

Sunset Photography 

Singapore Family Photography

Just had another great trip to Singapore. That town has a ton of great locations - jungle, cool colonial architecture, beaches, crazy theme parks, Chinatown...
Never a problem to find some perfect places for my style.
This trip was somewhat rudely interrupted by terrible haze. Will be back soon! Contact me here for more info.

Singapore Family Photography


Singapore Family Photography



Singapore Family Photography

Singapore Family Photography