On a clear day

Filed in Dogs of our Lives, Hong Kong, Photo of the Day

Overall, the weather here in Hong Kong has been dismal for the past six months. We've had much more rain than usual and blue skies have been rare. Unfortunately, even when we did have blue skies, they carried a heavy tinge of brown thanks to the increasing levels of pollution coming across from China. There's nothing we can do about the pollution except be grateful for the blue skies when they do appear.

Because blue skies are becoming rare, I sometimes spontaneously run off up the hills and mountains around Hong Kong to admire the view. This happened one fine day in the beginning of July when I took Batty and Siu Bak with me up a near by mountain. I took my camera with me too so I have a few photos to share.

Of course, for those of you living overseas in places like Canada or Australia, blue skies are frequent (and bluer) and these photos might not mean anything to you. For those of you living in smoky cities, they might be a breath of fresh air.

Ocean view from a hill

It was almost sunset when we reached the top of the hill; a short 45min walk up. The oceans looked cool and calm. Even Batty enjoyed the view.

For a 1200x800 version, click here.

In recent months , I have noticed that the clouds forming in the skies are far different to what would normally hover around Hong Kong. I've seen them in Australia but almost never seen them here in Hong Kong; heavy cumulus nimbus clouds. Since early this year, I've sensed a change in Hong Kong's weather, perhaps a change related to the same phenomenon causing the huge storms over in the USA at the moment. On one occasion, I dashed up Lion Rock Mountain to get photos of the clouds over the busy city centre of Hong Kong. While the skies were not as blue as I would have liked, and while there was a certain amount of pollution hanging in the air to murky up the pictures, I still think a couple of the pictures were worth sharing. I have many more but I don't like to bore people with photographs if possible.

Cumulus nimbus clouds over Kowloon

The hills in the background are on Hong Kong Island with the towering business buildings of Central and Wanchai in front of them. Closer to us are the business centres of Tsimshatsui and the residential areas of Kowloon Tong. The park in the foreground is actually an archery range and is part of the Lion Rock Country Park.

For a 1200x800 version, click here.

And finally, I took this photo while up on the hill near our home with Batty and Siu Bak. I liked it so much that it's now on my computer's desktop. I think you'll like it too.

Batty looking back through the grass

For a 1200x800 version, click here.

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18 Responses to “On a clear day”
  1. Tonia says:

    Can you tell us, what kind of camera you used for these photos, or any special setting ? THanks ! I have a Sony Dsc-P10, do you think I can take photos like yours.

  2. 河國榮 says:

    Tonia,

    I'm using a Canon 350D 8-megapixel SLR camera. I have a few different lenses. the two scenery shots above were taken with a standard 18-55mm lens. Batty's shot was taken with a 70-200mm lens.

    I use a program called SilverFast to adjust the colour balance and colour distribution. my edits are usually minor, and I almost never crop my pictures. cropping feels like cheating to me ;-)

  3. Jess says:

    I love your photos especially the last one. They are fabulous! But where is Siu Bak? I only see Batty. haha.

  4. 河國榮 says:

    Jess, thank you for the complements but remember that I take lots and lots of bad photographs too. I just never bring them out for anyone to see ;-)

  5. sapphire says:

    Wow! You’re very pro. I like these photos very much particularly the third one. I’ll copy this handsome guy to my N6670 as wallpaper. No problem eh?

    Can you write an article on photography in the near future so that we can share your experience? I’m very interested in photography too; of course I’m still in infant stage when compared with you. *LOL*

  6. 河國榮 says:

    Sapphire,

    I'm not a pro. perhaps like you, I'm still an infant. there are millions of things that I don't know about. lighting can be a particularly big problem. learning it just takes lots and lots of trial and error. thankfully, digital film is cheap; ie, free; so it doesn't cost to experiment anymore.

  7. Joanne says:

    Rain is good! It's raining all over the world while we're still enduring a full fledged water-restriction drought here in Sydney ;)

  8. 河國榮 says:

    Joanne,

    yeah. my parents have kept me up to date with the rain situation at home in Queensland and it's basically been drought conditions for several years. they could really use some long drenching rain.

  9. Eileen says:

    Nice pics!!! Details are great!!!
    I wanted to buy a 350D, but I'm leaving HK, and I'm afraid I'd lose it, so I decided not to buy a DSLR until I come back.

  10. Karen says:

    I miss the clear blue sky in HK too. Here in Sydney, I've unlimited blue sky and beautiful beaches to enjoy. However, still miss the blue sky in HK. Home is home. Other place never be the same rite?! :P I also heard of bad weather in HK from my parents. (Are every parents update their kids with local weather report? ;P) I said if the water can come over to Australia will be great. As it is really dry down here~~

    I love the third pics too!! Really miss home! Well done Greg~ Looking forward for more pics to share with us in here~ ^O^ Btw, I love the caption pics idea~

  11. yinyin says:

    Hey Greg:
    Is that German SHepard your dag? I know that u have 10 dogs. But how could u grow 10 dogs in hk? Such a compact and urbanised city? I have a dog at home but she have drive me crazy enough, how could u manage your time with 10 dogs around? But i have 10 rabbits...^_^
    Yeah, it is harder and harder to get rain in Australia thanks to the burning of crude oils or fossile fuels, in Sydney the water restriction is being serve, and my vegie garden ( i take agricultre at school) is dying.
    But great photoshops. i take photography as one of my elective at school, and im very suck at taking photos, using i take photos of plants, because they dont move and i can capture the angle i want, but with animals i'm still experencing difficulties of capture the moment...
    yeah, i currently saving money to get a new camera which is Casio S500, not a very pro one but that is all i could afford////
    Any way...
    Cya
    Regards Yin^_^

  12. yinyin says:

    Joanne:
    Are u from sydeny? Me too...
    Shake hands^_^

  13. Arthur Heng says:

    Well photos are never boring, keep em comin!

  14. CK says:

    You are my hero!

  15. sapphire says:

    今天趁 long weekend 長假期陪家人去商場買部大些 pixel 的新相機,我介紹了你部 Canon EOS 350D 給家人,還介紹他們看你影的相,他們對你部機都很有興趣。但那個 sales person 告訴我們話你部機在北美即是 Canon EOS Rebel XT, Canon EOS 350D 只是在亞洲用的名字,售價約 CAD 1,300 (HKD 8,200 appro.)。 我們都不知道他所說的是真還是假,所以打算回家上網查請楚兩部機的 specification 是否一樣,免得受騙。
    請問你有無聽過你部機即是 Canon EOS Rebel XT 呀 ?

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  16. 河國榮 says:

    Sapphire,

    from what I understand, they're the same camera.

    if my photos look good, remember that I've adjusted light curves, contrast, light temperature, etc in another program. even so, the 350D is a pretty good camera. my only disappointments at this stage are that the auto focus is not very accurate (at least with the lens that comes with the camera) and the review LCD is too small. most new cameras have 2.5" LCD screens which makes a big difference.

    if you have other Canon lenses, the 350D would be a reasonable choice. if you don't have other lenses and don't need semi-professional features, you might look at the new Canon IXUS cameras. the new IXUS 750 has 7 mega-pixels and a 2.5" LCD screen.

    another thing which is probably important to the average user is that the 350D's LCD screen cannot be used to position and take the photo. you can only see the image after you've taken the photo which confuses some people when I ask them to help me take a photo. people are getting used to using the LCD screen to position and shoot. I suspect that future generations of camera people won't even know what the traditional eye piece is for! if you need to use the LCD screen to position and shoot, again, take a look at the IXUS series.

  17. sapphire says:

    多謝你的好介紹,Canon IXUS 750 = Canon Power Shot SD 550(N.Am) 絕對適合我這種entry level 攝影技術的人用,它應該很用易操作。
    但買相機的人是我三哥,因他會在短期內退休 (freedom 55),所以有的是時間,他不想像現在一樣再用"傻瓜機",他想開始學人玩攝影,希望部新機是單鏡反光( SLR),有 manual focus,可易玩 "景心" (blurred background) 那種 , 影相時用 viewfinder,不是用 LCD, 好像以前的傳統相機一樣 。所以他還是心思思想買你那一部,可能你部機可以滿足他扮 pro. 的要求。(哈哈!)

  18. sapphire says:

    今天我的堂亞哥終於買了你部 Canon Rebel XT with 18-55 mm lens + 55-200 mm lens.全部約 HKD 9,300。但是原來 55-200 mm lens 跟 70-200 mm lens 的價錢分別那麼多。我知道如果返香港時買可能售價會平少少,但 Canon Canada 不會免費保養一年從外地買回來的產品,所以壞了就要花很多錢修理;情況就好像你在美國買 KitchenAid Stand Mixer 回港後壞了一樣。
    其實之前他自己都有上網看過 Rebel XT, EOS 20D 和令外一部差不多功能的 Nikon產品的比較,他都打算買 Rebel XT,後來我告訴他你也用這個 model,所以加強了他買的信心。他是個做事很緊慎的人,如果他事前沒有做過 research, 他是不會隨便聽我這個堂亞妹的話花那麼多錢買東西的。所以就算他選擇錯了,也不會埋怨我們的。