One of the great challenges that I am going through is Panoramics.  I am preparing mentally for my upcoming trip to Hong Kong, China.

In November 2008, my family and I went to Hong Kong to visit the Pang family.  We brought my son who was only 7.5 months old.  Now he’s almost 3 years old and his sister is 9 months old.  I do remember that he cried on the plane as we began to taxi.  Just as we took off, he finally fell asleep.  Phew.  We thought we were going to have an ultra long flight.  I feel sorry for the guy who was to my left, next to the window.  In the end, he was very understanding and he was very nice.

My son learned a few things that trip.  He learned to sit up by himself.  He started to learn to sip liquids through a straw.  This trip I did get some really good pictures of him.  One was when he was sitting up and he was crying his head off!  It was really funny and cute to see.  My next favorite of him from that trip was a picture just after he finished crying.  His “eye pods” were very puffy and he was still in his sleep jumper outfit.  This was also quite cute.  Of course, Matthew is still single!!!

When we went to Hong Kong in November 2008, this was near the beginning of my photography career.  I was attempting to create a panoramic of the Hong Kong Island where there are a ton of amazing and very colorful buildings that are very interesting architecturally.  The buildings have a lot of colorful lights that come out during the night.  There is even a laser light show off the tops of the building to create a spectacular event every night around 8pm.

I had failed.  I didn’t know enough.  I was just panning from left to right in hopes to merge the pictures with photoshop.  The buildings were tilting left and right due to the spherical lens and that my ball head and camera were not perfectly level.  Photoshop did a decent job, but not perfect.  I was defeated.

This time, I am more prepared.  I now know more than I did 2.5 years ago.  I have more equipment to help me.  I learned a lot from the place I buy my camera plates and ball head from, Really Right Stuff.  They have a ton of information about how to take good panoramics.  I really like their equipment.  The stuff is indestructible.  It is quality stuff that you don’t need to spend additional money to replace.  Their stuff maybe viewed as being overly expensive, but it will last forever.  I like that type of quality.

I believe this trip I will get what I want, but there is one factor that I don’t have control over.  That is, the weather.  Back in November 2008, the weather every night was absolutely clear.  I did get some good images.  This upcoming trip, the weather may be more cloudy which I do not care for as much.  The clouds cause the light from the colorful buildings to reflect underneath them causing the sky to turn a weird or radioactive like brown color.  I think it is the nature of the sodium street lights.  Fingers crossed that the weather will be good for this trip and I will manage to get what I want.

I also have additional places that I will like to go to, to get a different perspective.  I hope to get additional pictures this time.

Wish me luck!  I will keep you updated with my progress.

Thanks for reading.

~Greg Chong


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