Travel Notes- San Francisco (Day 6)

I will always miss you, Bay Area. You mean something to me.

You are different than any cities that I visited before, you are always sunny and bright. Always happy somehow. I still remember the first day I saw you, it feels like ages ago, your beauty captivated me, I am thrilled, marvelled by how perfect everything was.

I wanted to stay longer, but I couldn't, we simply don't belong to each other. Someday I will come back, and I hope you are still adorable as you always have been...

Travel Note- Miss Tokyo (June 2015)

I landed in Haneda Airport at around 7:30pm local time. Quickly I went to take the train to Shinagawa to meet up with my friends whom I have known for years. As I got on the train, I immediately felt the manners of the Japanese people- everyone was so quiet, minding their own business and the train was very clean (compare to those in Hong Kong, London…). But as soon as I walked out of the train, everything changed dramatically. People rushing off work, catching trains, and everything just suddenly became so fast paced, and I am once again soaked into the hustle and bustle of the city. 



I arrived slightly earlier than Jean, and soon we walked to the restaurant where Satoshi has been waiting for us. It’s been almost a year since I last met them, and they both looked wonderful despite the fact that they have been tortured by the Japanese working system- Long hours, lots of socials to go to, as with a minimal chance of promotion until they reach a certain age. Luckily for both of them, things are starting to look better. Satoshi is about to study his ‘dream’ master program in Europe; whereas Jean has been working on some interesting project for her company

Jean  Looking happy as usual

Jean Looking happy as usual

The dinner was wonderful, lots of great seafood, refreshing beer and awesome sake. I also befriended a waiter, and he bought me a glass of sake. This is something that is not really common form me- knowing a stranger and getting something in return. I guess I will never see him in the future. 



Satoshi  Holding the head of a fish

Satoshi Holding the head of a fish

The Waiter  keeps calling me his friend. awesome 

The Waiter keeps calling me his friend. awesome 

We left the place at around half past ten. Jean and Satoshi had to return to where the live and their life continue as usual tomorrow in this great city. Then I took the train to the airport from Shinagawa, and interestingly, I had to change at Kamata Station- a place that I stayed in many years ago when I was in exchange. Then here I am again, a year after my last visit to Tokyo…I will miss you forever, Miss Tokyo. There are so many things that I still do not understand, about the world, things around me, and especially myself. Seems like I have been in this state of mind for far too long, is it why I am trying to find an answer through taking pictures? Or am I looking for the right question? Miss Tokyo, I will love you forever. 

Until next time, be strong and be gentle.

Random Note- Girl with green dress

Today I bumped into someone whom I haven't seen for four years. 

We didn't say hi or anything. I can tell she was trying to run away from me, and I felt terribly sorry for what I have done ages ago.

It's weird. Always bumping into people when it's least expected. 

I urged myself not to forget the dress that she was wearing...but at the end, no matter how I tried, I failed to remember nor replicate the green colour of her dress. 

Guess what they say is true...something/some people are just meant to be disappeared. So I murmured 'so long', quietly in my mind.

her dress

her dress

Shoot Note- The Boogie Playboys at Alex To MVP Concert

Took me a while to realised that I haven't got a chance to shoot with the Boogie Playboys while they are on show since the amazing tour in Taiwan, and I was a bit worried about how this project will turn out to be since my photos of them so far are mainly while they are recording/rehearsing. 

And on the 27th and 28th of May, they featured in Alex To (杜德偉) My Virtual Planet Tour Part II in Hong Kong Coliseum, the most famous stage in Hong Kong. Barry asked me if I would like to go to the backstage and take some photos of them a week or two before the concert, and I said yes without a second thought! I actually don't go to big gigs often, so it's exciting for me to get this close to such big production. 

Alex To Concert Me and the Backstage Pass!

Alex To Concert
Me and the Backstage Pass!

Group Photo The Boogie Playboys and friends

Group Photo
The Boogie Playboys and friends

Before the shoot I had no idea what it would be like to be in the backstage of a concert where there are many celebrities at the venue, but I know the space will be tight at the backstage, so I used a lot of wide angle to get myself real close with my subjects and get some dramatic shots. I also borrowed a Contax T2 from my friend Wilfred with some Tri-X 400 to get some film photography going, it's a fantastic point and shoot camera with good focusing and a great lens, and I managed to get some interesting shots with that at the backstage.

Contax T2  This little camera is such a beast! Great Point and Shoot camera! Thanks Wilfred for letting me use it!

Contax T2
This little camera is such a beast! Great Point and Shoot camera! Thanks Wilfred for letting me use it!

Bluesman and Barry r elaxing before getting on stage

Bluesman and Barry relaxing before getting on stage

Despite the fact that I couldn't make it to the final rehearsal, I managed to get there 2 hours before they get onto stage. One of the key element of following The Boogie Playboys in my long term project, is to get more behind the scene shots when they are not on stage. I started photographing them since mid 2014, and from then on I got closer to them and we slowly built a trust between ourselves as artists. Therefore I am able to get close to them and photograph them from beginning to end. I love the part when they do their hair and put on their suits for their show, to me these moments are far more interesting than their photos on stage. It shows their characters and who they are off stage.

Bluesman, Barry, Anita, Dirty Pretty

Bluesman, Barry, Anita, Dirty Pretty

We spent a lot of time waiting and looking at the live feed at the backstage and about 2/3 of the show, the stage manager called them to get ready to go on stage. All dressed up and prepared, Bluesman, Felix and Barry walked to underneath the stage and ready to get raise. Facing thousands of cheering audience, I can see both Bluesman and Felix got more focused and intense even they are still joking around. This is the side of them that I have never seen before, and this is exactly what I wanted to capture in this project.

The Boogie Playboys Taken minutes before they got on stage.

The Boogie PlayboysTaken minutes before they got on stage.

The Boogie Playboys about to go on stage I could feel the focus and the intensity of Felix as he was about to go on stage

The Boogie Playboys about to go on stageI could feel the focus and the intensity of Felix as he was about to go on stage

Here are some photos of the performance! Even though they were only on for a song, but it was definitely a moment to remember! 

After the show everyone was celebrating and chilling once again, but you can see that they are even more relaxed. 

Looking forward to the next show. As always. No one knows when will be the next time they get to perform in such big stage, but I like how The Boogie Playboys keep their style no matter where they are! Keep it up TBP!

Mr and Mrs Bluesman They are getting married this year! BIG CONGRATS!

Mr and Mrs BluesmanThey are getting married this year! BIG CONGRATS!