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Sports Bar

Another dip into my photo archives to see what I can resurrect from previously unprocessed or too simply processed or otherwise rejected shots and this is a picture of Churchill's, the sports bar on the Diamond Princess which was the ship we cruised on during our honeymoon in 2008. This was taken on the first day of cruising out of Hong Kong, which was the second day of playing with my then brand new Tokina f/4 12-24mm on the Canon 350D.

It was early in the morning and we'd headed down to the bar specifically to watch some live American Football. We knew that Churchill's was the only place on board where you could smoke indoors and we knew that it was possible to buy cigars there; neither I nor my wife were or are smokers but we both thought it might be an experience to sit in an American sports bar, watching some football, maybe sipping on a bourbon, and allowing the smell of cigar smoke from some other patrons to add to ambience. Sadly, what we got was an inability to get any drink from anybody and only two other passengers plus a steady stream of staff members who nipped in to have quick - and decidedly revolting-smelling - cigarettes. Not what we were after.
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Hong Kong Girls

Chance of me stepping foot outside in the wind and rain today is currently hovering around the zero mark so I thought I'd have a hunt back through some old photos from four years ago and play around with them.

This is a shot on the streets of Hong Kong, taken with my 350D, and it was the first morning using a wide angle lens (Tamron f/4 12-24mm purchased in the market at midnight the night before) so I was enjoying the fun of getting close, shooting from the hip, and still getting loads of features in the picture. I hadn't quite mastered the art of holding my camera level at this point and, to be fair, I still haven't. When I originally uploaded this many years ago I'd cropped out the girl on the right. I'll bet I had a reason for that then but I've no idea what it was.
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24

For #SquareSunday curated by +Matt Soave.

Another photo taken in 2008 that I never processed or uploaded, and it wasn't hard to see why since the shot was 1/20s on a f/1.8 50mm; a little slow and a little full of blown-out highlights and super saturation in its original colour. However, I liked the composition when I just looked at it so I decided to see if I could salvage something to my satisfaction; it needed black and white treating and a serious crop to take out the unsaveable portions of the photo, and it's not perfect because there are still some areas devoid of decent information from which to recover but I'm quite happy with what I could retrieve from the original shot overall.

As for the photo itself: I know it was taken in Beijing, and it's either outside a restaurant that we dined in on our first full night there or near a theatre where we watched some Chinese acrobats perform. Unfortunately, none of the photos taken around the same time as this give much of a clue.
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Mountains, North of Beijing

It's the weekend so it must be time for me to look back through photos from yesteryear (anything I took before last year) and see if I can re-process them or, in some cases, process them for the first time. This is a shot of some of the mountains to the north of Beijing (in case you missed the title) with a road winding its way between them as shot from a vantage point on the Great Wall of China (as opposed to another Great Wall that may have been passing by).
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Princess

It's the weekend which means I get some time to go back through some old photos and try out some new processing on them. I'm also going to submit this for #SaturdayStyle / #SAS curated by +lynn langmade and +lane langmade even though it doesn't technically fall within the scope of "fashion, design/décor, architecture, or art/photography" of the theme for three reasons:

1) I'm a rebel who doesn't abide by the rules (in my mind),
2) Lynn and Lane are forgiving sorts (also, possibly, in my mind),
3) It does represent style to me (now that one's true).

This is the way to holiday (or vacation if you're American (but I'm not so it's still holiday)) in style: cruising. Every other day a new sight in some distant land interspersed with luxurious and relaxing days on the sea; swimming pools; live entertainment every evening; restaurant dining; formal nights; dancing (okay: not dancing) in clubs with ocean views; maids who tidy up your room ten times a day (yeah, what's that about?) and leave chocolates!

This shot is from our honeymoon in 2008 aboard the Diamond Princess, cruising around the South China Sea and stopping at China, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Vietnam, Singapore, and Thailand. It was such a fantastic experience that, given a choice, we will always pick a cruise again for a holiday over anything else. In fact, since next year will be our fifth wedding anniversary we've already got funds set aside for our next big, stylish break, this time - hopefully - cruising around South America.

Processing-wise, I've extended the tonal range of this shot, oomphed (note: may not be an actual verb) up the vibrancy a bit, and then hard-light blended an urban acid-treated copy over the top to accentuate the blues.
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Lunch On The Balcony

A couple enjoying lunch over one of the waterways. This is the last of the old, 2008 photos that I'm going to upload this weekend and this is one from Zhujiajiao once more but it's one I originally rejected as I'd got the exposure completely wrong and blown out all of the sky and some of the walls. Fortunately, time has brought experience and I was now able to recover the image to my satisfaction and give it a little oomph.
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The Temple Of Heaven

For #SacredSunday curated by +Bill Wood, +Manfred Berndtgen, and +Charles Lupica.

Yet another revisit and reprocessing of a photo taken in 2008, this one being from Beijing's incredible Temple of Heaven, one of the most incredible places I've ever visited thanks to all the people taking part in all their fantastic activities: line dancing, chess, ballroom dancing, tai chi, water painting, etc. Just looking at the photos from there this morning I can see dozens of pictures I never processed at the time (well, I did take a lot, it turns out) and dozens of others - like this one - that I absolutely have to go back and reprocess at some time to bring out something new.
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Boatman

Another reprocessed shot from 2008 for my weekend wandering through old photos, this time featuring one of the boatmen who ferry tourists around the water town of Zhujiajiao outside Shanghai. I'm not entirely sure what that is in his hands and I certainly can't remember getting a good look at it at the time; I have to imagine it's a container with a warm drink or soup in it from the way he's cradling it.

Submitted as part of #WorldCultureSunday curated by +Gene Tewksbury.
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Star

Just a little throwaway shot from 2008 when we visited Hong Kong for a couple of days to promote #SaturdayStyle Oscars Edition curated by +lynn langmade and +lane langmade for those who might have something to share. To clarify: the throwaway shot is to promote the theme; we didn't visit Hong Kong for two days four years ago to promote the theme. That's crazy talk.

This is from Hong Kong's avenue of stars and this particular shot is of Jackie Chan's star, hand prints, and signature. Other stars honoured who've also had some success outside Asia include Bruce Lee, Maggie Cheung, Jet Li, and Sammo Hung.

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Through The Archway

Another old shot from our 2008 honeymoon revisited and reprocessed in the style I currently favour. This is a photo taken through an archway in a wall into - I guess - the forecourt of someone's house. This was just outside the entrance to the water city of Zhujiajiao, near Shanghai.
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