Songkran Hong Kong Water festival 2015 (VIDEO)

Just a quick intro to say that on Sunday 12th April 2015 I went to see the Thai Water festival known as 'Songkran' in Kowloon City, Hong Kong. I am testing some Sony cameras shooting in SLOG2 modes for grading purposes, so here is the short clip i produced from spending an hour at that event.

Hong Kong Rugby 7s 2015 - Focus on the Fans

The Hong Kong Rugby 7s 2015 is now well underway on day 2, it's Saturday afternoon and the fans are buzzing too and from the stadium in various states of dress and undress... This year for something different we decided to shoot only the fans on their way to the matches, using our profoto B1 TTL lights with a Profoto 3ft RFi Octabox to turn a little corner of the street into a little studio environment.

All the colour portraits in this post are shot by Gary Tyson of F8 Photography.

All black and white 'Behind the Scenes' (BTS) shots are provided with special thanks to Grahame Collins.

Fans at the Hong Kong Rugby 7s 2015.  Image by Gary Tyson, or

On the Saturday afternoon of the Hong Kong Rugby 7s 2015 I decided that I would take a small crew (4 people in total) to setup a small portrait stand in the street on the way to the stadium.  I wanted to have one person dedicated to 'catching' potential subjects as they came past our location and convincing them it was a great idea to get a free portrait.  I think if you are trying to organise a small shoot like this, even when its a non-paying gig, it's important to have a few friends help out, it takes away all the stress of organising and makes everything run smoothly and more fun.


I wanted another person dedicated to getting the models to sign model releases in case we publish anything (to do this we use an ipad app called 'easy release' which allows us too quickly get the subjects details and email address (as we also want to send them a copy of their photos of course), and allows us freedom for publication usage.  We have never really had an issue with using images of people we shoot, but I think its good practice to get a model release signed when you may have intention to use in a magazine feature, etc, and we explained our intentions very clearly to everyone that approached us, and had no problem with volunteers.  Transparency is imporant, trying to undo problems is much more difficult.

Sadie was great as our 'Model Release' agent.

"If you're not having fun, you're in the wrong job!"

Fans at the Hong Kong Rugby 7s 2015.  Image by Gary Tyson, or

We had a good range of people coming by our portrait stand, couples, ladies and gents, it was great to see that everyone was up for having some fun along the way, of course the Hong Kong Rugby 7s always pulls in a massive crowd and everyone lets their hair down (or up as can be seen in some of the images) for the weekend!

Fans at the Hong Kong Rugby 7s 2015.  Image by Gary Tyson, or

We loved these 3 French ladies above and we were stunned at how cool their hair looked and quizzed them as to how they had managed to get their hair to stand up on end, we eventually figured out that they had used only water....(water bottles under their hair...pure genius).

Fans at the Hong Kong Rugby 7s 2015.  Image by Gary Tyson, or

We took twice as many pictures of these two...can't imagine why ;-)

The two guys in red shirts below had flown in from Canada for the weekend.  It never fails to amaze me how many people come to town for Hong Kong's premiere sporting event of the year.

Fans at the Hong Kong Rugby 7s 2015.  Image by Gary Tyson, or

Below are more selections from the portraits we shot.  We spent about 3 hours hanging out in the street, meeting some great people, taking some cool portraits that they all loved and will receive copies of and most of all HAVING FUN!

Fans at the Hong Kong Rugby 7s 2015.  Image by Gary Tyson, or

Fans at the Hong Kong Rugby 7s 2015.  Image by Gary Tyson, or

Fans at the Hong Kong Rugby 7s 2015.  Image by Gary Tyson, or

Our fantastic little team at the end of the shoot only had to walk 50 yards for a well earned 'Ice Kirin' beer at the end of the shoot.  As I mentioned earlier, the main objectives of this shoot for me were to get some fun portraits of the fans and most importantly, HAVE FUN.  If you can't do that, then your in the wrong job ;-)

Our crew having a well earned beer at the end.

F8 Photography is a commercial photography and video company based in Hong Kong, we shoot photo and video for many clients such as Ducati Motorbikes, Coca Cola, Swire, UBS amongst many others.  We also run photography workshops around the world for budding photographers in countries such as Japan, India, Cambodia and Sri Lanka, with upcoming workshops in Istanbul in late Summer.

To check out our website, please see us at

If you use Facebook, Gary has a public page where he shares his personal and travel photography, please check it out here.

Interview with Eric Kim on fear, books and why? (VIDEO)

Recently Eric Kim and I ran a street projects workshop in Hong Kong (my blog review of that workshop can be found here). After the workshop finished we had a few days before Eric departed for his next workshops in Australia so I took the time to get him in the studio and my aim was to produce a short but slightly more serious interview with him to help him out and let people see a bit more depth.

In this piece, Eric talks about his fears when shooting street, some highly recommended books and reminds all photographers to ask yourself why do you shoot? Something I ask everyone I teach the moment I meet them...

Gary Tyson is a former British Army Photographer/videographer now based in Asia, shooting a variety of projects ranging from commercial to sports photography, corporate, travel an event videos, as well as being an avid street shooter wherever he goes.

His company F8 Photography also runs travel and street photography workshops all over Asia, specialising in Cambodia, India and now expanding in Japan and hopefully soon in Mongolia, Burma and Vietnam also.

For more information about Gary or F8 Photography please see our links below to public facebook page and website.

Gary's public facebook page

F8 Photography main website

F8 & Eric Kim Street 'projects' workshop review - Aug 2014

Last weekend myself and Eric Kim ran a workshop here in Hong Kong.  We had a nice group of mixed abilities from all over Asia and Europe, clients from Macau, Hong Kong, India, Vietnam and even as far away as Budapest in Hungary came to Hong Kong to spend the weekend shooting with our group and sharing ideas and learning some new tips and tricks. Eric introducing himself at the start of the workshop.

Winnie Ho shot this vibrant coloured image as part of her 'Through The Window' project.

The focus of this workshop was 'working on projects', so it was slightly more advanced that some of the basic street shooting style workshops, requiring a different approach to shooting on the streets.  Some may find it easier being given a project to focus on, some find it harder to focus on 'telling a story' with a short sequence and tighter edit of images.  Whichever way you approach it, for sure it will help develop visualisation skills for all photographers looking for a slightly different approach to their work.

Mainlander shopping spree, Hong Kong

End of first night...much beer is needed to soften the blows of the critiques :-)

The first evening of the workshop was spent reviewing clients existing portfolios that they were asked to bring along for critique.  This is always a very valuable part of the workshop as it enables everyone to get to know each other, let down their barriers and showcase their current work.  It also helps us to figure out which direction we think they may like to try next and after the workshop finishes to see how they have moved their benchmark up a level or two.

Sam and Oscar comparing their toys out on the streets.

The 2nd day is spent with various presentations in the morning (after lots of coffee and snacks), sharing some examples of our own projects and talking thoroughly as a group about everything that has been showcased that morning.  After lunch we discuss potential ideas for projects with the group, share them all and let the clients pick 2 projects to work on over the rest of the weekend before their final presentations.  This method proved to work very well, and the discussions brought out some great ideas for people to try.


A nice 'selfie' taken by Annie Gallivan as part of her project 'Shadow Play'.

Then, the group departed off, either alone, in pairs or under guidance from us where requested, to explore deep into Kowloon and Hong Kong Island for the rest of Saturday and Sunday morning, exploring their ideas, sharing feedback over dinner and fine tuning their visions before meeting back at the workshop base for Sunday lunch and to start the process of selection, editing and presentation.

smokers óscar f.-3

Sam checks his negatives on the 2nd evening after a day shooting.

Geoff has his contact sheets proofed by a friend at dinner.

People always underestimate the importance of being a strong self-editor, something that some people struggle with, so we used some techniques that are really useful in Lightroom to help the visual process, helping the group break down their portfolios to a very tight edit by the end of the day.

Geoffrey Chen, shooting on film for his 'Lust' project.

Final presentations were made individually, allowing each client to showcase their work and get up in front of a group and practice their presentation skills.

We had group  discussions over the presentations, and gave our final thoughts to the clients.

Carolyn Kang - Up close and personal with her 'Portraits' project.

To finalise the workshop we have an excellent presentation from our good friend Jonathan Van Smit (flickr link), an acclaimed street shooter based in Hong Kong, well known amongst our community for his black and white close up street shooting in Kowloon.  Jonathan has been a guest speaker at many of our workshops and always inspires others with his dedication, drive and passion for what he is doing.  He has recently departed on a personal project in Israel, and we wish him the best of luck with that project and stay safe!!!  More of Jonathan's work can be seen here.

Alex Haslam's contrasty black and white images were part of his 'Hidden Faces' project.

All said and done, the workshop was a great success, all client feedback has been positive, and I for one have seen some large improvements in portfolios of many of the clients as I have spent a lot of time with most of them before and am quite familiar with their work.

Alex explores the issues related to exposure when shooting with lens cap on...sorry mate, couldn't resist hehe.

Laszlo Szigeti - for his 'Reflections' project.

Below I would like to share some more images from the workshop, bearing in mind the clients only had less than 24 hours to produce their sets of images, these are some of the individual images, tagged with the name of their project to give context.


Sam Lok, shooting on film for his 'Layers and Triangles' project.

Michelle Leung focussed her project around "Sham Shui Po'.

Harriet Pollard's project focussed on 'First Impressions', having just arrived from India a few weeks beforehand.

Jonathan Nguyen's project 'Old People' had a good look with his processing.


Great work everyone, looking forward to the next workshops already.

F8 Photography runs workshops all over Asia, including travel photography in Cambodia, Japan and India all coming up in late 2014, please check out our website for more details on how to sign up for those, or check our blog for loads of reviews, slideshows and feedback from clients who have attended previous F8 Photography workshops around Asia.

F8 Photography also provides commercial photography and videography services, please see our main website for that or check out Gary's public page on Facebook to stay up to date with our latest images and what we are up to.

Thanks for all the support and keep shooting.