What's New 2004

December 30th, 2004

I am now also the editor of the Chinese Pages of the NikonLinks Web site.

December 25th, 2004

Please accept my best wishes and compliments of the season, and I hope you enjoy a happy and successful New Year ahead! A kind of a Christmas present for Nikon users—Nikon F6 review has been posted!

December 20th, 2004

Despite of what I wrote on November 15th, I have recently bought a Nikon F6. Why? I will try and give a couple of reasons in a review of the camera which I am working on at the moment. For the time being, though, I guess I have to re–quote Oscar Wilde:

"Faithfulness is to the emotional life what consistency is to the life of the intellect—simply a confession of failures."

Also, more of the "fascinating" quotes from "The Picture of Dorian Gray":

"...we live in an age when unnecessary things are our only necessities..."

"One can always be kind to people about whom one cares nothing."

"To him, man was a being with myriad lives and myriad sensations, a complex multiform creature that bore within itself strange legacies of thought and passion, and whose very flesh was tainted with the monstrous maladies of the dead."

"Sin is a thing that writes itself across a man's face. It cannot be concealed. People talk sometimes of secret vices. There are no such things. If a wretched man has a vice, it shows in the lines of his mouth, the droop of his eyelids, the moulding of his hands even."

"When a woman marries again it is because she detested her first husband. When a man marries again, it is because he adored his first wife."

"You may fancy yourself safe, and think yourself strong. But a chance tone of colour in a room or in a morning sky, a particular perfume that you had once loved and that brings subtle memories with it, a line from a forgotten poem that you had come across again, a cadence from a piece of music that you had ceased to play—I tell you, Dorian, that it is on things like this that our lives depend."

Having finished reading the book, I deliberately put it next to Hermann Hesse's "Steppenwolf" on my bookshelf.

December 11th, 2004

Have been re–reading Oscar Wilde's "The Picture of Dorian Gray" lately. A couple of interesting quotations:

"If a man is a gentleman, he knows quite enough, and if he is not a gentleman, whatever he knows is bad for him."

"The thoroughly well–informed man—that is the modern ideal. And the mind of the thoroughly well–informed man is a dreadful thing. It is like a bric–a–brac shop, all monsters and dust, with everything priced above its proper value."

"Women are a decorative sex. They never have anything to say, but they say it charmingly. Women represent the triumph of matter over mind, just as men represent the triumph of mind over morals."

"Faithfulness is to the emotional life what consistency is to the life of the intellect—simply a confession of failures."

November 28th, 2004

Alternative approaches in photography—Zhouzhuang (周庄), take two. Four hours, four rolls of film, 40 slides retained, 16 photographs published.

Review of the AF–S VR Zoom–Nikkor 70–200mm f/2.8G ED–IF lens and Quotes and Thoughts page have been updated.

November 15th, 2004

Nikon F6 is now available in mainland China, too. In Shanghai, you can buy it for USD2060 here. I had a chance to have a look at it today when I was buying slide film. The camera appears to have about the same weight as the venerable F100 yet is quite higher in profile and thus feels bulkier. However, it features truly superb ergonomics and your hand certainly welcomes the extra bulk. The F6 has quite a few significant improvements and refinements over the F100 (and the F5), e.g. better auto–focus, better matrix metering, better shutter, i–TTL fill flash capability, mirror lock–up, advanced data back, etc. Altogether they constitute a logically justifiable reason for an upgrade to this latest incarnation of Nikon F–series cameras. However, it feels that the money would be better spent on something more crucial or, alternatively, I would put it away towards a possible acquisition of the D2X when it finally surfaces in the future...

Photography–related Links page has been updated.

November 13th, 2004

Quotes and Thoughts page has been updated.

October 29th, 2004

This has nothing to do with photography—a message to my university classmates.

October 26th, 2004

Photography–related links page has been updated. Current Home Page photograph was taken in Yinchanggou (银厂沟), Sichuan Province, China.

October 21st, 2004

I have recently upgraded my telephoto zoom lens to the AF–S VR Zoom–Nikkor 70–200mm f/2.8G ED–IF. This lens is very, very sharp; light fall–off is much better controlled than in previous models. Vibration Reduction (VR) does indeed work great. Auto focus is blissfully silent and fast.

October 13th, 2004

I have written an essay explaining relationships between f–stops, depth of field, focal lengths and perspective as well as looking at aberrations that a lens might exhibit.

Don't know what happened but "Kind of Blue" has been playing in my head for a week now... Autumn?

October 9th, 2004

Current Home Page photograph was taken near Knossington (Leicestershire, England). I would like to thank my friend Robert Price who showed me that gorgeous place.

Best pictures from Yinchanggou (银厂沟) and Yangshuo (阳朔) have been moved to the permanent Gallery.

September 24th, 2004

Photography–related links page has been updated.

(A note to my friends: I am now scheduled to be back to Shanghai on October 1st.)

September 20th, 2004

A working version of an essay on using photo filters has been posted (as expected, while in England!).

September 9th, 2004

Have a look at several photographs I took on a two day trip to Yinchanggou, Sichuan Province (四川省银厂沟) here. As you will see, it was a great exercise in photographing water.

Quite interestingly, the Web site was last updated when I was in Changsha (长沙); pictures for this update were taken near Chengdu (成都) in mid–August but I am actually posting them from Moscow. It is very likely that next update will be posted from England...

August 29th, 2004

A page with my favourite photography–related links has been posted. I wrote it up today to just keep myself busy as I am stuck in a hotel room in Changsha (长沙) and tired of reading... The list is not entirely inclusive but should do for now.

August 21st, 2004

Gitzo G1376M Ball Head review has been posted.

August 5th, 2004

I am now the editor of the Russian Pages of the NikonLinks Web site.

August 3rd, 2004

One of my best mates—Albert Krisskoy—turned thirty on July 29th. He proposed to celebrate the big birthday in Yangshuo (阳朔), which is near by Guilin (桂林). Apart from "having a couple of drinks" I had a chance to take several pictures—some of them have temporarily been posted here. I have to note that they are pretty random and do not intend to depict the place. To be entirely honest, there are only a couple of them that I actually do like—guess which ones?

July 25th, 2004

Best photographs from Zhouzhuang and Hangzhou have been moved to the Landscape and Cityscape Galleries. The Gallery itself has seen yet another major reshuffling, too.

July 18th, 2004

Tripods review (based on Gitzo G1220 vs. G1227 comparison) has been posted.

July 6th, 2004

Have just undertaken yet another short trip—this time to Hangzhou (杭州). I basically had three shooting sessions—from 4:30 a.m. through 10 a.m. and then from 3 p.m. until it was entirely dark on the first day; I then repeated the first session on the second day. I love this kind of very intensive shooting. Some of the photographs from the trip are temporarily posted here.

I would like to particularly thank my friend Luo Minyi (罗敏怡) for her invaluable help during the trip.

July 3rd, 2004

Nikon F100 review has been updated—rubber coating of my camera has started coming off in several places.

June 23rd, 2004

I have posted a short essay called "Why we pursue photography—things to remember" for the times when your hobby starts to seem a bit tedious. No, I am not in the middle of a crisis. I was just jogging the other day and those thoughts came to me for some unknown to me reason. Wrote them down with Bach's "The Well Tempered Clavier" playing in the background.

June 10th, 2004

The review of the AF Zoom–Nikkor ED 80–200mm f/2.8D has been updated.

Ran 7km in 35min 44sec today.

June 8th, 2004

Does it ever happen to you when you wake up in the morning and feel an irresistible urge to just go away for a while? Well, that is how I found myself on a bus to Zhouzhuang (周庄); fortunately, the place is only an hour and a half away from Shanghai. Though a fascinating place, one normally goes back on the same day. I decided to stay overnight—to just be away a bit longer as well as catch morning light. Getting up at four, I was the first person awake in town. Seriously, what is this about—photography or therapy?

Came back considerably refreshed. Photography is not only about the final image. It is about the whole process. It is a lifestyle.

Some of the pictures from the "escape" have temporarily been posted here.

June 5th, 2004

It is good that people age. Otherwise, they would gradually become too unbearably proud. You gain something, you lose something. At best.

June 1st, 2004

I have decided that in the future I will temporarily be posting new photographs to the home page. Today is the first one—Jinmao Tower disappearing into the clouds.

Apart from that, a couple of pictures have been added to the AF–S Zoom–Nikkor 17–35mm f/2.8D IF–ED review to illustrate distortion at 17mm and lack of it at 22mm.

May 20th, 2004

A working version of the AF–S Zoom–Nikkor 17–35mm f/2.8D IF–ED review has been posted.

May 10th, 2004

Photographs from the fifth anniversary of the Russian Club Shanghai can be found here; pictures from the latest (April) meeting have been temporarily posted here.

Update: the photographs have been removed—please email me if you would like to see them.

May 7th, 2004

The best pictures of the Yellow Mountain have been moved to the Landscape Gallery.

April 20th, 2004

I have just undertaken a short trip to The Yellow Mountain (黄山), which arguably is one of the most beautiful places in China. Some of the pictures from the trip have been temporarily posted here.

March 23rd, 2004

Have a look at a New Year carnival in South Korea here.

March 20th, 2004

The face of night Seoul...

March 14th, 2004

I have reshuffled the Gallery into a more meaningful and convenient classification. Also, the design of the Gallery index page has been improved (hopefully). I am planning to apply the same design to all the index pages in the gallery in the nearest future.

March 7th, 2004

If you visited this Web site before, you have undoubtedly noticed that the design has significantly changed. Most importantly, a logo has been added; apart from this, I introduced some cosmetic changes which were necessary to successfully incorporate the logo into the overall design. I hope you like the new look!

The logo was mainly designed by Albert Krisskoy with me inputting ideas every now and then and polishing it in the end.

March 3rd, 2004

The Quotations and Thoughts part of the Web site has been combined into one page.

February 29th, 2004

The Forbidden City is one of the fabulous places in Beijing. As far as I know, it will be renovated before the 2008 Olympics. Well, I will miss the old look (as in the picture).

February 28th, 2004

A brief introduction to The Summer Palace (the official version) has been added.

February 13th, 2004

Have a look at yet another picture of The Summer Palace here. It is from the old negatives —the photo used to hang on the wall of my dormitory in Tsinghua University, getting dusty and curly with time. From the picture itself it probably is even difficult to say that it is The Summer Palace, especially at this picture size. Well, it is The Summer Palace.

February 10th, 2004

Lately I have been working on the AF Zoom–Nikkor ED 80–200mm f/2.8D review. It is not finished yet but I am posting the current working version as I think that my findings regarding the lens's light fall–off and distortion might be useful to other photographers.

January 29th, 2004

I have summarized pros and cons of using prime and zoom lenses—have a look here.

January 25th, 2004

A very important advice on where to buy/sell photo gear and film in China has been posted.

January 24th, 2004

I have finally had a chance to retrieve some of the old negatives and posted two pictures from the past that I like—Reminiscence and Old peasant. Along with several other photographs they were exhibited in the photo exhibition/contest "China through foreigners' eyes" back in 1996, in which I won second prize. Quite interestingly, these pictures were taken with a "Kiev–19" (an old Russian fully manual SLR) camera and a fixed focal length (50mm) lens, which once again indicates that our equipment contributes a relatively small bit into the overall image quality.

January 14th, 2004

Was away for what seemed like ages... and came back with a couple of updates. First, I got rid of the folding menu, thus significantly simplifying the html code of every page. This required designing a new Gallery page. And second, my thoughts on the 35mm vs. 645 issue have been posted. Cheers!

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