Guomao at Dawn
1s, f/4.0, ISO 800, 35mm (cropped)

What a relief!  After a week with heavy smog, a rainstorm came through last night and washed away the polluted air.  This morning it was all blue skies and the light in the early dawn was totally stunning.  Beijing will seduce you like that.  Just when you think you've had more than you could possibly take, she will come back with the most amazing weather.

Regular blogging will resume soon.  I've been travelling over the last month and will be back with some shots form Denmark and France.

Hong Kong from the Peak

Hong Kong at Dusk 5s (bracketed), f/16.0, ISO 200, 28mm

I went up to the Peak yesterday to take some shots of Hong Kong's skyline.  It's difficult to do anything terribly creative with a view like that.  No doubt, on clear day the view from the Peak is stunning.  But since everyone shares the same vantage point, there's a good chance that someone else has a shot that looks exactly like yours.  It get's a little more interesting on some of the trails near the peak.  The view is still amazing and you can sometimes use trees and bushes to frame photo (I did something like this on a hike a few months ago looking over the southern part of the island).

To make my photos stand out at least a little bit, I bracketed my exposures and processed my images with Photoshop's High Dynamic Range (HDR) function.  The shot above was taken a few minutes after sunset.  HDR works well here to bring out the green color in the hillside (which otherwise would have been difficult to expose correctly).  I have included another shot below the fold taken about 30 minutes after the sunset.  I processed that image with more muted colors to give it more of a "Gotham" feel.
Hong Kong at Night from the Peak
15s (bracketed), f/11.0, ISO 800, 27mm