Oh Come All Ye Faithful…Merry Christamas from New Zealand


♪Oh Come All Ye Faithful….

This is the Christmas Carol sang by Mika Sisters who are Samoan sisters born in New Zealand.

It really sounds like Tropical Christmas… doesn’t it?

I first heard this in “Avondale Sunday Market” in Auckland in 1999. There was a vender who were selling Pacific Island style music CDs and they were playing this CD.

Christmas in New Zealand is worm… this song reminds me days when I was in New Zealand and it is one of the best Christmas Carol I’ve ever heard over there.

Mika Sisters seems to be still singing in New Zealand. But this was taken at least 14 years ago, when they were kids.

It was recorded in New Zealand by local studio and that makes it very hard to find now.
I am quite happy about having it now.

All the images are landscape of New Zealand during the Christmas season in summer.

“I wish you all have a Merry Christmas!!”

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View of Manhattan from Rockafeller Center


Night view of New York City 1

Twilight time in New York City 1

Twilight time is the most beautiful time of New York City

I always say “Go to the 2nd tallest building”. In that case, you can see the view with the “tallest building” in.

If you go to Chicago, the view from John Hancock building is more attractive.

Sunset in autumn is early….
Buying a ticket, luggage check or etc… it is better to go earlier.

Twilight time in Manhattan 2

Twilight time in Manhattan 2

Lot’s of people want to take photos of sunset… but actually, sunset is not the most beautiful time here.

After the sunset, the sky turns red and lights start coming on….that is the most exciting time for photographer.

Twilight time in Manhattan 2

Twilight time in Manhattan 3

As the time goes, you will get more and more lights.

Twilight time in New York City 4

Twilight time in New York City 4

This is panorama merged 3 photos by Adobe Photoshop.

You can see a tall building and antenna on your right. This is a new building called “Bank of America building”.

When I visited there in 2005, this building was not existing and now I think it is spoiling the view quite a bit.

Twilight time in New York City 2005

Twilight time in New York City 2005

This is the one I took in 2005… I still think the view was better back then.

To avoid the building, I had to use longer lens.

There are thick glasses in front of you and most of the people had to take photos through the glass… but not me…

There is about 10cm gap between those glasses and my Panasonic GX1 + PZ14-42mm was small enough to pass the gap.

Also you are not allowed to use tripods…
I saw people with huge SLR had to shoot through thick glass without tripods.

My tiny Panasonic GX1 + tiny pocket tripods really did the perfect job!

I arrived at the Deck at 4:46PM and stayed about an hour. I left there when the sky turned to black.

Panasonic GX1 PZ14-42mmF3.5-5.6

Photography from Brooklyn Bridge… New York City


Brooklyn Bridge Panorama

Brooklyn Bridge Panorama

The Brooklyn Bridge is a bridge in New York CIty and is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the United States which was completed in 1883

It has 2 stores structure and top story is the walkway for pedestrians and bikes..

Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge

After a half our relaxing walk, I arrived to the other side of the bridge.

View of Manhattan from Brooklyn

View of Lower Manhattan from Brooklyn

This is the panorama view of Manhattan from the other side of Brooklyn Bridge.

This area, former port is now re-developed as ‘Brooklyn Bridge Park” which did not exist when I came last time in 2005.

View from Brooklyn

View from Brooklyn

You can see “One World trade center building” which is nearly done is one of the new landscape of this area.

It was a nice clear autumn morning… which means quite chilly and windy… After this, I went to Union Square Market and had some “Hot Apple Cider” to worm up.

Panasonic GX1 PZ14-42mmF3.5-5.6

Union Square Market…New York City


Union Square Farmers Market

Union Square Farmers Market

Union Square Market is the first place to go in the morning…

Every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, they have a Farmers Market at Union Square.

Although New York City is such a big city, it is not very far from farming area.

Union Square Farmers Market 2

Union Square Farmers Market 2

It was after the Halloween… still the pumpkins were quite popular here….

Union Square Farmers Market 3

Union Square Farmers Market 3

In a cold morning, nothing is better than having a cap of Hot Apple cider and home made pie here.

Union Square Farmers Market 4

Union Square Farmers Market 4

It starts at 8:00AM… it is late for this type of market… but it is still very quiet.

Union Square Farmers Market 5

Union Square Farmers Market 5

As the time goes, get busier and busier.

New York City is different from other cities in North America. They have quite huge number of residential people in Downtown.

Union Square Farmers Market 6

Union Square Farmers Market 6

That is how, this type of market is going on and you can feel the atmosphere of  countryside of New York in the middle of town.

Panasonic GX1 PZ14-42mm F3.5-5.6

 

 

Travel to New York… Central Park


Central Park Panorama 1

Central Park Panorama 1

Central Park is located in the middle of Manhattan Island.

It will take several days to see whole area of this park. Due to the size, it is not easy to take landscape photos here.

But… not anymore.

It is not that hard to take panorama photos by digital cameras.All you have to do is take several photos and merge by Adobe Photoshop. 4 photos have been used for this one.

Just launch “Adobe Bridge”, then select images to merge and go to Tools – Photoshop – Photomerge. That will automatically build panoramas.

Photomerge

Some cameras even have panorama mode and camera does the merger by itself.

Central Park Panorama 2

Central Park Panorama 2

Autumn is the most beautiful season in Central Park. The contrast of the autumn leaves and skyscrapers behind is breath-taking…

2 images were used for this one. If you try to use wide-angle lenses, you will get all the buildings badly tilted.

Central Park Panorama 3

Central Park Panorama 3

Weather in New York seems to be changeable. Soon after this, the sun was covered by clouds and started raining.

Autumn in New York is the best time… but at the same time, the day is very short…

Panasonic GX1 + Electronic View Finder LVF-2


Panasonic GX1+ LVF2

Panasonic GX1+ LVF2

Before I went to New York, I purchased Panasonic LVF2 for my GX1.

As you know, Panasonic GX1 does not come with view finder and it sometimes make hard to use especially extremely sunny days or when using telephoto zoom.

I have been doing photography for over 30 years and that is why I know it was better to have it… but it is so expensive…

It is about $200 in US, so I bought it from Japan which was about $175US.. it was cheaper.. but still expensive.

[Positives]

  1. The position of eye-piece is higher than normal camera. It makes easy to hold and easy to close under arms tightly.
  2. Variable angle is handy. I used to use “Angle finder” for Canon F-1, but LVF2 got built-in variable angle.
  3. Quality of image is… at least way better than LVF1… but not as good as others like OLYMPUS VF4.
  4. Battery lasts longer than normal live view. About 250 shots with live view increased to over 350 shots.

[Negative]

  1. Every time you want to move focus frame, you need to switch to live view and change by touch-screen..
  2. You could use “Direct Focus” mode to move focus frame by arrow keys, but in that case, it badly spoil the other user interface.
  3. Unable to use external flash with LVF2
  4. When you want to “Play”, on the default setting, you have to view on view finder. It is too small and if you want to see with live view monitor, you will have to switch to live view.
  5. You can use view finder and play on monitor by changing the set-up. But in that case, it takes extra time.

I have been using SLRs for over 30 years and I have bought several accessories such us motor-drive, replacement view finder or etc… but I really did not use them much.

It was just because, those made cameras bigger, heavier and was not that easy to use.
Those were only good for very special occasions.

I think LVF2 is still the same. It completely kills good user interface of GX1 or you will have to have 2 completely different user interface when you are using finder and live view.

So, after the trip to New York, I decided to use it only when I use telephoto zoom and under strong sun.

4 years ago, I was interested in Panasonic GF1. It was a good camera at that time, but I did not buy because I was not happy about LVF1. Then, I have GX1 and LVF2… but still I am not really happy about it.

 

Photography in New York City 2013


Times Square, New York City

Times Square, New York City

I traveled to New York City.
It has been 8 years since last visit in 2005.

November is the best season of New York City.  This area has changed
a lot…

Times Square, New York City

Times Square, New York City

Ford Crown Victoria taxies… they are slowly retiring and they are now
planning to replace with ugly Nissan NV200.

Crown Vics are part of landscape in NYC. So, I wanted to visit NYC before
Nissan take over and destroy the landscape.

Times Square, New York City

Times Square, New York City

Past 20 years, this area was cleaned up and now it is 100% tourist spot.
It is surprising people are sitting in the middle of this place.

Billboards are now all digital and those dynamic images has changed the view dramatically. It just looks busier….

Soon, we will see 3D ads around here…

Chrysler building New York City

Chrysler building New York City

Chrysler building… it is one of the most beautiful building in New York.

Central Park New York City

Central Park New York City

Autumn day in New York is very short. Also due to the cloudy sky, it is alreadygetting dark even before 3:00PM.

Autumn in East Coast is more beautiful than what we have on West Coast.
This is my favorite time in New York before the cold winter arrive.

It as slightly colder than Vancouver due to the wind caused by tall buildings.

Panasonic GX1 PZ14-42mmF3.5-5.6