Thursday, 5 September 2013

Day 30 - Around the West Lake

After getting to see a bit of Hangzhou yesterday, I was looking forward to have the whole day to explore and walk around the lake. There are some scenes scattered around the lake with poetic names so I figured I try to see how many I find.

Unfortunately the weather was not in as good a mood as I was and it was pretty bad for photography with a grey sky, haze and very flat light. I guess I can't go through all my trip with sunshine and blue skies so it had to change at some point. It's a shame it had to change here as it is a great location for photography but I have to make the most of it.

Just after getting to the lake it started raining a bit and it kept starting and stopping all throughout the day. This did not really help with the light but at least it provided my with more subjects for my next #people with umbrellas' book. :)

Since the light was bad and all pictures of the landscape or the poetically names places around the lake turned out a bit flat and boring, I decided to make people the focus of this post.

It took me a lot longer to walk around the lake due to some stops to enjoy the scenery and to take pictures so by the time it got dark, I just about managed to complete the round. Since I was not hungry, I decided to take some long exposure shots as these would work even with a cloudy sky.

While waiting around for the camera to record and finish writing my 120 second exposures, I noticed bats flying around so I had an idea. Now, if you always wanted to know whether you can take pictures of bats flying at night with the GR but were afraid to ask, here's your answer.

Yes, it is actually possible to take pictures of flying bats at night with the GR thanks to the Snap AF and fast flash sync speed at 1/3000 of a second. Now, it's not the ideal camera for night time bat photography and you would ideally like a but of a longer lens for this but in an emergency (should it exist), it will do a decent job. You will get strange looks though if you're standing around and take flash pictures of apparently nothing at seeming random intervals with the flash, so be warned.

After satisfying my bat photography quote and even trying the GXR with Jupiter-8 lens, which was held back by the flash sync speed of only 1/160, I went to grab dinner and afterwards for a walk around to take some proper pictures.

Tomorrow will be my last half day in Hangzhou before heading to Shanghai, to meet a Ricoh photographer and blog follower, and finally getting to Suzhou late in the evening.
I just hope the weather will improve in the morning.


  1. Hi Christian,

    As a LONG time Ricoh owner/user, I have followed your blog on and off over the years.

    It looks as though you are having a fantastic trip, and great to see that you are posting your experiences.

    Was intrigued to here about your "long exposure *shits*" mentioned above. EIther there's a typo there or you really are getting 'at one' with Chinese nature ;-)

    Keep up the good work - thank you for your time and dedication.


  2. Thanks for your comment Jay!

    Hehe, well spotted, thanks. This is a bit of both, a typo but also getting too much into the Chinese culture, especially when it comes to queuing. ;)

    Glad you like the blog.