Yes I actually hauled my tripod to HK. When my friend Yi saw it in Taiwan, she was like “you are nuts”. She is right since I have a pretty cheap thus heavy tripod. But what choice did I have ? I wanted to take a shot at HK’s famous harbor view.
It really looked crazy in action since I had to set up the tripod, put it on autotimer all because I am too cheap and broke to buy a wireless trigger, run to pose for the picture, then when I checked it I invariably found the picture to be out of focus. Of course, when you cannot focus on the model because the model is actually the photographer, it’s a bit tough. So I tried to focus on someone else at the same field of depth, lock the focus, “recompose” (i.e., move to the person’s side), then hurry to step in that rough rectangular place.
So I took probably 2 dozen photos and deleted the bad ones. I guess besides looking nuts, I also looked like some serious photographer, so people kept coming up to ask me to take photos for them. I took the “dummy” point-and-shoot and faithfully captured 2 smiling women. One look and I was about to cry. The typical point-and-shoot picture, of course, has the 2 big heads lit up by the flash and the background is all dark. The woman looked and said “nice picture!”
“Uh, actually, I highly recommend you get something like I have, it’s really not that expensive and heavy(well, not counting the tripod), and you can adjust the shutter speed for a view like this….” I showed them my photo on the LCD. For all my labor and time, I think it’s not a sin to brag 5 seconds. Now they looked a little dismayed seeing what a real night scene can look like.
As I continued my queer smiling-into-my-own-camera routine, I heard giggles behind me. Knowing the exposure was about 1 sec, I could not move and figured it was just another passer-by. When I looked at the pic though, I realized why the passer-by’s friends were laughing. I stared at him scornfully and told him not to move next time with such a long exposure.==>
<==People were selling these photos for 10 HKD.
I decided to try the light-track trick. However, the vehicles would not cooperate. They either stopped or turned the other direction. I waited a long time at the intersection and figured photographers have a tough life. More people walked by with a chuckle but at least they didn’t jump in the street to pose this time.