Don't Cry for Me Argentina

30.June 2019

I went to Buenos Aires for a week  with my wife Sally on an Air NZ package deal with 30 other kiwis. I didn't know what to expect except there will be some Tango and to look after your personal belongings as the strreets aren't safe.

These apprehensions and mindset  were similiar  going to Barcelona except  you can substitiute tango for flamenco.

Fortunately I didn't get robbed, and I found the locals very friendly and helpful. If only I knew Spanish. The level of English and number of English speakers is similar in ratio to the number of Spanish speakers in NZ-not many. I also felt reassured walking in the streets as there were police  on nearly every corner  armed to the teeth. I was also surprised at how many female police were around and how attractive they were. I felt like asking to be arrested and those handcuffs were appealing..... I  wonder if they Tango as well?

We had a great group of Kiwis travelling with us and our guide Silvana was probably the best guide we have come across. Knowlegeable , friendly and very attentive. She wanted to make sure we all had a good time. And she had to work very hard as it rained everyday. Her throw away line was "ïts only a little water..." Fortunately Sally and I were prepared as we are from Wellington. We had waterproof coats  and boots so we stayed  dry. At least there was no wind which was a bonus.

The guides said they had the best beef in the world. I would agree as the steaks were fantastic. Unfortunately the rest of the cooking were not to NZ standards. Over cooked greens (if you got any) and very heavy on the sauces. They also seen to love their caramel sauce. My banana pancakes were smothered in sauce.

Visiting restaurants all we saw  were empanadas, chips , steaks and hamburgers.  But the wine was very good . I was drinking Malbecs  every night The chardonnay was good as well. The Local Champagne was also very drinkable as I am not normally a fan of sparkling wine. I didn't  have one bad glass of wine  and the prices were reasoanble as well.

The highlight for me though was the Tango. I always loved Argentine Tango and I have VHS tapes to prove it-yes its been that long ago.  Now I was living in the soul of Tango. It's a bit like Elvis fans going to Graceland. We saw  a great tango show and all around was tango in the streets. Apart from beef this must be one of Argentinas greatest exports.

The people we met were all very hard working trying to survive. Infaltion rate is around 50%.

I saw an article in the Economist a while ago lamenting the fact that for all its potential Argentina is still a basket case economy over the last 30 years. The every day people complain there isn't any one worth voting for in the upcoming elections as only the rich and influential benefit.

So I wish to make a toast to all you lovely Malbec drinkers with one of my high quality Pinot noirs.  You all deserve better and may the future improve for all of you.  I really enjoyed the experience and will return for tango lessons!

The title should be Don't cry for Eva but cry for Argentina. 

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2.  16 June 2019    The day of the big power cut affecting Argentina and Uruguay. The worse in Argentinas recent history.  The church across the road had Mass by candlelight.

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12.     20 June 2019    The view outside the window leaving Buenos Aires.

Comments

brent higham
Posted: 15 Jul 2019

Hi Chris very entertaining blog I enjoy your street photography here appropriate with good timing cheers.

Chris Bing replies: Thanks Brent.
 

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Tango Argentina

24 June 2019

 Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice have a lot to answer to with their song "Don't Cry for Me Argentina"

which was playing at this moment at the Tango show. That's Evita in the background and the singer is the dark shadow in the middle.

It is played everywhere the tourist goes. This song to this country is equivalet to "Waltzing Matilda" in Australia.  Apparently the locals love it to and have adopted it as their own (especially the Peronists).

This is ironic though as it is a British song. But it was made popular before the war. The Argentinians have a love hate relationship with all things British because of the war.  I too remember the war period vividly as I had moved to Hong Kong and staying in a hostel full of British policeman. We were watching the news every night. The tension was palpable especially on hearing about the Exocet missile and its effectiveness. 

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Comments

Richard
Posted: 8 Jul 2019

Beautiful Tango images Chris. Impressive, they would not have been easy to get I imagine. Thanks for sharing your blog and images.

Chris Bing replies: Thanks Richard, they were not easy to get with a small sensor mirrorless camera. Focus acquisition was not very good and my percentage of keepers was very low!
 

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Open Day at the Kilbirne Mosque

13 May 2019

1.     27 April 2019

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Those Blurry Shots

20.April 2019

I don't usually go for those "ärtistic" blurry shots especialy the zooming in or out shots.

I prefer sharpness. I didn't spend all that money on expensive lenses to get unsharp shots. And I don't have any soft focus filters in my kit as well.

But sometimes blur can be used to express motion or time as you can see in my present photos.

Those eagle eyed photo equipment people may have noticed I'm using a new camera now and a different sensor system.  The smaller sensor size (micro 4/3rds) is now my default camera system which I take with me everywhere. Previous to that it was the 1 inch sensor (Canon G5X) which I have used in previous blogs (2 May 2016).

The  Panasonic G9 is a very competent camera  considering the sensor limitations compared to a full frame camera.

 At times I consider the G9 my  mini Nikon D3 for its high speed capabilities and construction.

It also has dual stabilisers, one in the lens and one in the body. This enables me to hand hold the camera  for a time considered impossible without a tripod.  I can produce a sharp shot at only a half second exposure !  Previously my handholding shots were around 1/60sec as I suffer camera shake (don't tell my patients!). So in a busy Mong Kok street with no time to set up a tripod (I didn't have one anyway) I managed to capture motion but keep the main subject sharp-using technology to increase artistic expression.

1.     Kyoto  It was in a very dark suburban street. Note aperture and shutter speed.

1 Jan 2019    G9     iso1600     15mm     f1.7     1/6sec     Leica DG 15mm f1.7 

2.  Mong Kok

6 Jan 2019     G9     iso200     12mm     f11   0.6 sec

 

3.     14 Jan 2019     G9     iso200     12mm     f22     0.6sec

4.     Shanghai St 

16 Jan 2019     G9     iso200     19mm     f7.1     1/5sec

5.  Cross Harbour Tunnel Hong Kong

16 Jan 2019     iso200     60mm     f22     1.3sec     

Comments

brent higham
Posted: 8 May 2019

i am impressed with your hand held shots a definite plus for the g9 system also the colour saturation of the night images

Chris Bing replies: Thanks, as mentioned in my first reply to you. ps the tunnel shot, the camera was resting on the handrail.....
 

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Kyoto

20.April 2019

Kyoto, what a wonderful city. So much more relaxing than Tokyo.

It also helps that it is a very walkable city.

A lot of the famous Japanese images of the shrines and gardens come from Kyoto. You won't find any here! Yes I did see them and they were beautiful but what I took may do justice to a tourist brochure but not this website (bloody snob.....).  I was busy chasing Kimonos , not to wear but to photograph.

However there were lots of imposters walking around especially Chinese mainland tourists in costume for a day. Cosplay? But the ones I got were genuine and they spoke Japanese. You know the expression- If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck!

1.     31 Dec 2018     G9     iso 1000     f8.0     1/640sec

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Here's the Touristy photo i didn't promise.....

Kinkaku-ji  temple , Golden Pavillion

Hong Kong

20 April 2019

What do I do when I'm in Holiday in my second most favourite city in the world?

Shopping in Apliu St ( usb-c cables, memory cards , China made photo accessories)

Eating all my favourite foods (1000 year old eggs, preverved sausage rice hotpots , shanghai food, roast pidgeon)

Street Photography- Only because I've done my shopping for the day and I'm holding my camera with time to spare...

The G9 is a great camera for street photography.

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2.     Mongkok 

6 Jan 2019     G9     iso1600     12mm     f3.5     1/50sec

3.  Moko shopping centre Mong kok

4.  Newspaper stand outside Admiralty, HK Island

12 Jan 2019     G9    iso 3200     29mm     f5.6     1/160sec

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8.  New Territories walk , Plover Cove

Wu Kau Tang to Lai Chi Wo    Sally and Wendy in background

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Tai O

20 April 2019

I have always enjoyed visiting the Tai O fishing village on Lantau Island.

In the old days it was only accessible by ferry but with the new Airport we can take the bus there as well.

The main business of Tai O now is catering for weekend visitors and selling dried fish. The village has so much character and I always wanted to stay there overnight to capture the Sunrise and Sunset. Most times in the past we had to rush to get the ferry home.

I discovered on Booking .com a B&B place called Espace Elastique . The host Veronica was very helpful and served a wonderful european breakfast. She was born on Hong Kong Island but her ancestry is closely tied to Tai O. She also spent  alot of her life in Finland. I do recommend people stay there to experience the island life and enjoy a lovely stay.

Anyway she lamented how difficult it was to run a business as there were few younger people around and her present helper was approcaching retirement age.

Indeed walking around the island all I saw was the shopkeepers, old people and their domestic help.  This was an island of old people. Hopefully my B&W image reflects the demographics.

I think the HK Govt needs to have plans to rejuvenate the island as it is such an asset to the history and the tourism sector. Veronica isn't  holding out much hope.....

1.     18 Jan 2019     G9     iso400     23mm     f3.6  1/60sec

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Comments

Richard
Posted: 24 Apr 2019

As always Chris, you have some great shots of Lantau Is.

Chris Bing replies: Thanks Richard, I just love the fishing village, so much character.
 

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