a new passion: shutterbug-head with the Sony NEX5

It was waiting to happen…. find a new distraction to concentrate on or just something new to get hooked on! And photography got me by the balls. Through the two years I’ve been running BeijingDaze, I’ve taken close to 100,000 pictures of food and music, not to mention the tons of pictures during various trips.
I’m not implying that I’ve developed an eye for it but i’ve definitely become more interested in the topic! I’m juggling terms like exposure, aperture, shutter speed and what not in trying to get a certain look and feel.

To help me achieve that, after a year of research, I’ve settled on Sony’s NEX5 as my tool of choice! and it was love at first touch!

I had a few requirements when i set out reading about cameras:

– Lightweight
– High ISO potential ( for low light concert shots)
– Superzoom or replaceable lenses
– Solid body
– upgradable

The first criteria pretty much cancelled out most SLR type cameras as I didn’t want to lug them around shows in my backpack. I’ve seen people do that and can’t imagine being stuck in the middle of a moshpit trying to protect one of those monsters… I was gonna wait and feel it out, but it was a long shot getting anything too heavy! Still, Micro 3/4 cameras were on the radar with the EPL-2 and NEX5 leading the way. Nikon’s D3100 had a shot i felt.

ISO is beyond important considering how often i find myself in dark dark places shooting musicians in weird light situations… simple and important! most cameras i was considering would be an upgrade from my Lumix FX48.

Considering how far i could be form stage sometimes and my fascination with taking pictures of musicians’ faces, I just had to get something that would allow me to zoom in. Simple enough.

I also don’t like plastic, never did! This is how the EPL-2 lost out! it felt like cheap plastic crap

When all was said and done, I walked out with the Sony NEX5. EPL-2 felt cheap despite it being more modern and similarly priced. The Nikon felt bulky and was also plasticy…

I’ve been shooting it for over a month now and couldn’t be happier. My shots have improved and I’m getting pickier as time goes by. look for more pictures to come up on wondering mind in the future.

Xingcheng: as schyzo as it gets

Note: i m posting this from my iphone so formatting aint a priority!!! Grammar nazis refrain!

So…. Xingcheng! To be fair, there just isn’t much info out there about this city; the bits and pieces you might find compare it to pingyao or even yangshuo but it definitely ain t the case!
The city itself ressembles any run of the mill hole in china with dirt, motorcycles, shops, low rises and construction. However, there are 2 more sides to it:
1- old town: supposedly one of the last four remaining authentic ming city walls. It’s cute and lovely but not if you be been in china for any length of time. Shops line up main street and mini carts are cattling away tourists around the 9 places of interest inside the city. Not bad overall but i ll take shanghaiguan over it any day.
2- the beachfront: about 8 km outside the city lies the little haibian section on the waterfront and it s the main gateway to juhua dao where i m headed tomorrow. It s all hotels and BBQ stands equipped with their personal KTV system and it s busy/pricey in august. Most of the hotels were sold out by the time i made it here and the cheapest i could negotiate was 400rmb for a room! Aye chihuahua!
That said, i m loving it! The beach is neat despite being crowded and there are enough hidden spots around to chill in peace. This will be heavenly in low season!
This is also seafood paradise…. Amazing variety…
Night time is quite something as the locals light bonfires all over the beach and kick off the karaoke with guests joining in between to bites of crab or crawfish. Then the sky is set ablaze with fireworks.. Apparently, that s the everyday routine!
I m definitely coming back in september when low season hits and exploring some of those wild beaches i passed by on the way from huludao.