Karangahape Road

Karangahape Road in Auckland is a colourful and vibrant place to visit. There is a good mix of people and businesses there. Colloquially known as K Road, you can bump into suits, creatives and artists, mums and their kids and street folk who make K Road home.

K Road is a 5-10 min drive away from me. I like the street for the vibe, food outlets and the photographic opportunities. K Road is most alive at night. People are out eating the many good dinning venues and venturing on to pubs and clubs. As the night goes on, that energy can get a little dark. But generally, I would still feel safe walking along K Road.

I’m more of a day person and I like K Road when it is close to empty and there is a chance for me to explore without too much concern. With Chris returning from Hamilton on Saturday morning and my tennis washed out due to rain, I had 2 hours on my hand. I decided to walk along K Road and check out the side streets. Here are some photos from that walk.

Following the theme of the week, I decided to stick to a custom film simulation setting. My selection is a Modified version of Ritchie Roesch’s Kodacolour film simulation. I wanted a more look with more contrast and a smoother grain. I achieved that by creating an S curve emphasising highlights and switching the grain from strong to weak. I named this setting kodacolourish.

I walked past these striking red cylinders earlier in the morning and waited for 10 mins for someone to walk up the stairs. No one did. Disappointed, I walked away to check out other streets. But on the way, I back, there were workers on the stairs and even though they watched me suspiciously, they smiled when they realised I was taking a photo!

5pm Ramen

What do I have in common with a group of hi-vis vest wearing builders, couple in their 70s-80s and a well dressed lady with her hair in a bun? Apparently we were all early dinners at 5pm, yearning for Ramen on a rainy winter’s night.

Dinning alone is not something most people enjoy. But there is much joy in quiet reflection in a restaurant on a wet night.

A simple approach

I know I’m a lucky guy. In this world where many are left wanting, I have the luxury of living comfortably. I’ve got a shelter over my head and 3 full meals every day. To be honest, I even have 2 Fujifilm camera bodies, 3 Primes and 2 zooms.

With all this excess and a smidgen of self awareness, I’m trying to lead a simpler life. How this translates in my photography is a conscious decision to use only one lens at a time. Each week I restrict myself to only 1 lens and I rotate the choice of lens on a weekly basis.

What this decision means is that my creativity is more focused. I work within the range that I have and I move my body and mind to suit the scene. There are times when I wish I had a different lens. However, almost immediately, I see a scene that fits the lens I have perfectly. The 50 mm prime I love for ability to be a silent observer from afar would result in me being too close to the builders in this shot. So the 35mm prime I have right now gives me the chance to capture this scene the way I want to.

I’ve been shooting like this since I got my Fuji camera last year. But now that I’m enjoying the creative license and freedom that jpg custom settings bring, I wonder if I should extend the same philosophy to jpg settings. Would sticking to one “look” allow me to simply focus on composition and the exposure trifactor? I think it would but what happens when the changeable weather in New Zealand goes from sunny to overcast and the chosen setting becomes too uninspiring?

Watch this space as I give it a shot.

A good run

Something’s up. Sun is shinning, I’m feeling positive and grateful. After a tough last week, I’m glad to have this stretch of good days to hit the streets and take photos. Let’s hope this consistent run of good vibes carry on.

Speaking of consistency, I thought I try shooting with the same film recipe to see if I can achieve the same look and feel to my photography. It’ll also give me a chance to understand the effect of pushing my jpg with different aperture, iso and shutter speed variations on the same file recipe.

A month ago, I discovered that the car park across the road from my office was a gem of a photography location. However, I think that I only scrapped the surface of possibilities. As such, I thought I change my usual approach of walking around town to exploring what I can do at the car park. It is multi storey carpark with an open air top floor. Here are the results of this afternoon’s shoot.

Nothing like a little complain to bring out the sun

I was quite excited to try out my newly tweaked jpg custom settings following the weekend’s test run. But the sun snuck away the moment I stepped out of the office for my lunch time walk. I caught these shots as I walked to my lunch spot.

At lunch, I was reading Luis Costa’s post about his trip to a wildlife park in Portugal and enjoying his sun drenched shots taken with Classic Negative. I may or may not have moaned to Luis about Auckland’s blah sun-less winter days in the comment section. Of course, the moment I stepped out, the sun came out and stayed out till the end of the work day, resulting in these shots.

I was stoked with the last shot of the apple. I had taken a similar shot a couple of weeks back but my shutter speed was too slow and my focus point off. So the shot was not crisp. This time, I was so amazed that the same truck appeared at the same spot for me to retake this shot.

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