Canon EOS M50 with Voigtlander 35mm/1.4 Nokton SC

Finally gave in and bought that mirrorless camera because it will help me save money. Haha.

Because with a few adapters, I could use my various Takumars, Leica mount lenses and Canon EF/EFS lenses. I accidentally bought a 28mm Industar…

The Voigtlander and a few others allow for zone focusing.

Though I wasn’t fast enough sometimes.

Looking and thinking with some focus peaking.

Human, nature.

A homely arrangement.

We all need to find home.

Exhibition Prep

So, I’m in the midst of preparing for a solo photography exhibition, to be held on campus.

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And experimenting with various papers I’ve collected.

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Photographs on mobile phone/tablet/computer screens are not the same as print photographs.

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The materiality of photography is a fascinating thing indeed.

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Some printing mistakes, and a few books that inspire me.

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I’m teaching an MA course on social media, photography and writing, so many ideas are floating around in my head even as I’m prepping for the exhibition.

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It’s all coming together … photography, literature, critique.

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Nietzsche, Foucault, etc., have asked that question – how can we live our lives deliberately, such that our lives become works of art?

London’s Chinatown, Hamleys and Oxford Street

Again, in London.

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The Hong Kong MTR in London.

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Ooh.

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Aah.

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Kowloon is in London.

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Heroic-looking man. There’re 5 people here but the eyes are drawn to a specific person.

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The folks at Hamleys.

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Along Oxford Street.

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Waiting man.

Thanks for reading!

Camera: Canon 600D

Lens: Canon 40mm f/2.8 STM

Street Photography at Central, Hong Kong

I was at Central with about an hour to kill before a lunch meeting.

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Coincidentally, of course, I had my Canon 600D with a 40mm / f 2.8 STM lens.

I really like the above, with its three partitions.

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I thought I’d try my hand at street photography from a distance.

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Street photography with an urban landscape component.

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I walked up and down the Central Escalators for a bit.

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I feel I have more time to think about the background.

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The background is the foreground.

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Another urban landscape-ish skyline shot.

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Lots of people are hard at work in the sun.

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That’s a really big camera.

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Working hard.

Thanks for reading!

Camera: Canon 600D

Lens: Canon 40mm F 2.8 STM

Yuen Long Wet Market

We were at a wet market in Yuen Long.

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I walked past this shed and felt I really had to take a shot.

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If you’re in construction, you have to be a bit of a Spiderman.

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They’re very agile.

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Chicken rice stall.

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We walked through a wet market.

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Straw hats for sale.

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Very fried and oily calamari (or were they oysters)?

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I thought the wall was rather beautiful.

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I was having a William Eggleston moment here.

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The second floor of a village house.

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Dried seafood.

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More dried seafood.

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Some more dried seafood.

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Dried seafood, anyone?

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Last chance to buy dried seafood!

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Scaffoldings offer lots of compositional possibilities.

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I walked around to obtain different angles.

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I have so many others but I’ll stop here.

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The underside of awnings too, can be beautiful.

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Check out the lines, colours and shadows.

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Sometimes the most common of things can offer up beauty.

The blue and yellow above go very well together.

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The arm offers a quirky variation to the scene.

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Bamboo scaffolding.

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Some more scaffolding.

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Parking lot signage.

 

Thanks for reading!

 

All photographs here were taken with the now classic Canon G11.

 

 

 

Yuen Long: Hello Kitty Organic Farm and Harbin Ice Festival

So, my family did the excursion package thing again and we went to the Hello Kitty Organic Farm and Harbin Ice Festival.

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First stop – Hello Kitty Go Green Organic Farm.

Check out the landscape here – I’m beginning to think it’s a myth that Hong Kong does not have enough land.

This is usually cited as an explanation for high property prices.

I’m beginning to think: if this is indeed a myth, then who benefits from this?

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There’re activities for kids here – they get a map and they’re supposed to get stamps at various stations.

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There’re handmade toys for sale.

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Plants for sale.

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Turn left for Hello Kitty.

Turn right for Hello Kitty.

Walk ahead for Hello Kitty.

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Run for Hello Kitty.

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Hello Kitty refreshment corner.

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It’s actually a very beautiful and intriguing place if you’re into (street) photography.

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Shady scarecrow.

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You could rent a plot of land here for a few months to tend to your crops.

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It’s all very properly laid out, with your name written down so you won’t end up tending to someone else’s plot.

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Feed the goat!

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Ditto what I said earlier about land in Hong Kong.

Look at my clever composition.

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Tiny windmill, tiny scarecrow.

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Ah – the pastoral life…

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Chrysanthemum tea for sale.

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Washing hands after feeding the goats.

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My very suave shadow.

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Our cheerful excursion guide.

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Boredom in the tour coach.

Yes finally, we arrived at the Harbin Ice Festival.
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The colours and lines look well-balanced to me.

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Nice looking cable tower…

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We were in the exhibition hall at Harbin Ice Festival.

It’s minus 10 degrees Celsius in here.

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Psychedelic penguin.

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Everything here is carved out of ice.

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I paid close attention to the colours.

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I’m having a Martin Parr moment.

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Bye bye and thanks for stopping by!

 

All pictures were taken with Canon G11, which you could now call a classic camera.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A little bit of GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome)

So … I’m back from Shanghai, having tasted the power of a 50mm lens (80mm with a 1.6 crop factor).

What would that 40mm pancake lens I’ve been reading about do? Hmm…

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That 600D has been hiding away in my closet for a long time, and now I’m beginning to think that with a small-sized lens, it might be a good street camera.

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A 40mm would be a bit extravagant if you already have a 50mm lens.

Just zoom with your feet, I’d say.

But given the crop factor, it would mean 64 mm, a justifiable difference from 80mm.

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So, yes, I headed off to Tsim Sha Tsui with the intention of not buying that Canon 40mm F2.8 pancake lens.

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According to the Canon HK site, it goes for HK$1480.

I inquired about the price at Suning and the staff whispered HK$1380 conspiratorially.

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I crossed the road and went into a small shop called Echo Audio and it’s HK$1100.

Yes! I made some money! A yummy pancake!

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Roland Lim has a lot to say about buying cameras in Hong Kong.

Beware of those shops with “Tax Free” signs. Consumer goods are tax free everywhere in Hong Kong.

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I’ve always been mindful of GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome).

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Every time something fascinating appears, I remind myself it’ll be old news a year later.

First there’s Sony RX100, followed by RX100 MII, and now it’s RX100 MIII.

Ditto Fuji X100 and X100S. You can’t keep up.

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I’m mindful of planned obsolescence when it comes to digital cameras – that’s partly why I’m into film cameras.

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A Leica M6 would still be majestic 10 years later and hold its value at least on EBay.

You can’t quite say the same with digital cameras.

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So anyway, a 64mm would fit between my Leica 50mm Summicron and that 80mm (50mm Canon nifty fifty).

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I could be indoors and still be unnoticed despite the loud flipping of the slr mirror, given the distance.

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This person spotted me but carried on as before.

The pancake is not as intimidating, compared to if I had my 18-135mm lens.

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The fact is, no one noticed me.

The 600D with the pancake looks really small. (Though it is a bit loud).

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He didn’t even look up.

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Maybe I look like a tourist with a camera, in a tourist area.

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He spotted me, but went on walking past me.

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I’m in the MTR (subway) and no one stopped me.

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I am invisible…

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My camera looks like a toy.

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Do I exist?

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If I take a picture and no one sees me … do I exist?

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People are too immersed in themselves…

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Too immersed in their phones…

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Finally – someone noticed!

Thanks for reading!

And if you like this post, you’ll like my portfolio.

 

 

 

 

 

Shanghai Digital Monochrome: Power Station of Art

We went to the Power Station of Art, and I happily brought my 600D with my nifty-fifty lens along do a a bit of indoors street photography.

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He’s either an artist or a priest…

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A photograph of a person taking a photograph… that’s the master trope of this post.

I am looking at people who are looking at art.

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Perhaps a case can be made that I am also making art of my own, out of art itself.

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This is art quoting art.

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Fabric mirroring fabric…

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Museum goers are also performing a kind of art…

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Someone doesn’t like Dickens… or perhaps this is a comment on China…

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Don’t ask me what it means…

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See for yourself.

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And have a dialogue.

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Hmm…

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Hmm…

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Hmm…

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The gift shop is tastefully done.

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The helicopter view of the gift shop.

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The real is a shadow … the pose is clear.

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Participatory art… we like to see ourselves in art.

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Is art real?

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Always read what it says…

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An owl of Minerva…

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So many texts and subtexts…

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The elephant in the room…

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Even the pipes look arty!

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Is this art?

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Can this be art?

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Better consult the catalogues…

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Is it in the book?

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We need to do some close reading.

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There’s a decorum here, for the sake of the decor…

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We need to find out more…

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Look some more…

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Pay close attention.

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Look up…

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Look down at the screen.

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The answer is in the smartphone.

Thanks for dropping by, and don’t forget to check out my Saatchi Art page!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shanghai Digital

The images in my previous posts on Shanghai were made with film cameras.

I’ll go digital here, with a non-descript but able-bodied Canon 600D paired with that nifty-fifty (50mm, f 1.8 II) lens, which gives me an 80mm focal length with the 1.6x crop factor.

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80mm is a long reach for street photography, but it’s a good complement given the 35mm focal lengths of my Olympus XA2 and Minolta AFC, and the Summicron 50mm of my Leica M6.

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And 80mm means I’m far away enough for the shutter sound to be inaudible.

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The above were taken at a shopping mall in Shanghai known as Raffles City.

Fellow Singaporeans would recognize that name, because there’s a Raffles City in Singapore too.

The one in Shanghai is owned/developed by CapitaLand, the real estate company based in Singapore. I almost feel at home here, surrounded by many Singapore retail shops/brands.

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Let’s not forget there’s a Gini coefficient at work here too…

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A fellow tourist on an open-air double decker bus.

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Intriguing cables against historical architecture.

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Some more cables against building windows.

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People waiting for a bus.

The next seven images were taken by my ten-year-old son.

He wanted a go at street photography and I asked him to focus only on 2 things as an assignment of sorts. One, “try to fill the frame” and two, “make sure they’re doing something”.

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As you can see, my son is very talented – it’s in the genes… 😉

He’ll inherit all my cameras one day… (he’s been asking about that Leica M6).

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Lots of potential here on a rainy day.

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This is street photography from a cab.

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Nice rainy red flare.

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Watch out!

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We survived and went to a museum.

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A very distinguished-looking man.

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I like the colors here.

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In front of a gigantic goldfish tank.

Thanks for dropping by, and don’t forget to check out my Saatchi Art page!