Thursday, January 19, 2012

Gung Hei Fat Choi!

May Prosperity be with You

I see a number of different spellings on line, so I can't tell you for sure if that one's right, but what it is, is a standard Chinese Happy New Year greeting.  I heard someone say it means to wish the person a "big" year.  Apparently, the most direct translation is "May prosperity be with you."  The first time I heard it was at the yearly press conference announcing the Lunar (Chinese) New Year celebration here in San Francisco.  Lunar New Year's Day is this coming Monday, January 23rd.  By coincidence, I happened to be near the main gate to Chinatown at the just the right time when they were setting up for the announcement and questions.  I thought, "What the hell--I've got nothing else to do, so I'll play photojournalist with my phone."  I had to use the zoom, so the pics are really, really poor in image quality, but it was a great exercise nonetheless:

As the opening remarks were made, the scene was in full sun.  By the time the last person was done speaking, the entire scene was in shade.  It's all about not catching anyone making a funny face.  I think it's mostly taking a lot of shots and hoping for the best, but I get the feeling veterans actually know how to catch the right moments.  Ideally, you want to catch the speaker gesturing without a funny face.  I also noticed that, in general, women gesture more often and more emphatically than men do.  And, of course, the pics should be cropped properly.  Then you've got look-space and head-space and all that really basic stuff.  I took 32 pictures and these 4 are the only ones I'd let see the light of day.  That doesn't mean they're good:

Mayor Ed Lee

I think that first shot is a typically acceptable zoom and angle and decent overall for the most part, but there are still some distracting things in it, such as the reflection of the sun in the badge, the big grin, and the guy looking to the left, all of which I've marked here:

Neat how I put those arrows in there, huh?

Well, I got a new camera:

I sure hope it doesn't take long to learn how to use it.

(May prosperity be with me.)


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