Sports Day 2017

Type of Media: Video Series
Status: In progress
Produced by: Stephen Richards (longzijun.wordpress.com)
Camera Crew: Chan Crystal, Nicole Ma, Kelly Tse, Annika Wong, STR

This is our series of videos for the SKH Lam Woo Memorial Secondary School Annual Athletics Meet held at the Tsing Yi Sports Ground on 26 and 28 October 2017 (which were really HOT days!).

Part 1

Part 1 features the track and field events held in the morning of the first day (100m heats, 400m heats, 1500m, high jump, triple jump and javelin and also the cheering teams.

Part 2

Part 2 features the events held in the afternoon of the first day (100m final, 400m final, 100m hurdles, 110m hurdles and 4x400m relay. The girls high jump was moved to Part 1).

Parts 3 and 4 are in progress.

Music

The music consisted of songs produced in-house or of free music from other producers.

Part 1

  1. Holly’s Theme Reprise: Composed and produced by longzijun (STR)
  2. Buoyant: Composed and produced by longzijun (STR)
  3. Wild Illusion: Composed & produced by Nikolaos Taramanidis
  4. Summit: Composed & produced by Gary Amesby Gary Ames
  5. Dreams: Composed and produced by longzijun (STR)

Part 2

  1. Short Intro No. 5: Composed and produced by longzijun (STR)
  2. Echoes & Fragments: Composed and produced by longzijun (STR)
  3. The Lift: Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/)
  4. Untitled: Composed & performed by Jessica Yip (she wrote this while she was a student at Lamwoo)

Technical Informantion

We mainly used Sony Camcorders (HDR-PJ670 & HDR-PJ820) and Sony NEX-7 cameras. The timelapse in the opening sequence was shot with the HDR-PJ670 camcorder. I also made use of a Feiyu A2000 gimbal when filming. The timelapse in the opening sequence was shot a Fuji X100T. he timelapse in the opening sequence was shot with the HDR-PJ670 camcorder

 

~ Return to Featured Works ~

 

Advertisements

Language Challenge Series

language-challenge-graphic
Type of Media: Video Series
Completed: Ongoing
Produced by: Stephen Richards (longzijun: longzijun.wordpress.com)

This is a new series featuring our exchange students. It is a kind of language exchange in which students visiting from overseas teach our students a few words and phrases of their mother tongue and then our students introduce the same words and phrases in Cantonese. I plan this to be an ongoing series. We have finished the first two videos (Cantonese vs Italian) that feature Michela and Amanuel and have recently finished shooting footage featuring Katarina. These videos will focus on Cantonese and Finnish.

As Cantonese is a tonal language, even if you say the correct sequence of sounds, if you don’t use the correct tone, you are likely to say a completely different word. Cantonese is particularly challenging because it has six distinct tones (with an additional three variations based on the final consonant). For more information, you can refer to the Wikipedia page on Cantonese phonology: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cantonese_phonology.

Language Challenge 1: Italian and Cantonese (Part 1)


 
Words and phrases introduced:

English Italian Cantonese
Hello Ciao 你好 (Nei Ho)
Goodbye Arrivederci 再見 (Joi Geen)
I Love You Ti amo 我愛你 (Nga ngoi nei)
Friend Amico 朋友 (Peng yau)
Beautiful Bellissima 靚 (Leng)

During the 2014-2015 academic year, Michela was an exchange student at our school (SKH Lam Woo Memorial Secondary School). Michela is from Italy and came to Hong Kong on a student exchange organized by AFS Intercultural Exchange (www.afs.hk/home). Her friend, Amanuel, an Italian exchange student at another local school, came to visit and we shot the footage for this video. The video highlights several language issues:

1. Hello
The phrase ‘Nei ho ‘ (你可) literally translates to ‘you good’. The first few times Michela and Amanuel said this phrase, they got the tone wrong on ‘ho’, and used the tone for ‘can’ instead.
You may have noticed that the first time one of the Hong Kong students say the phrase in the video, she says ‘lei ho’ instead of ‘nei ho’. ‘Nei ho’ is the correct pronunciation, but many (if not most) Cantonese speakers often use a simplified kind of pronunciation when speaking. In Chinese, this is referred to as ‘懶音’ (lan yum), which literally means ‘lazy sound’. Most Chinese teachers would consider this kind of simplified pronunciation to be incorrect.

2. Goodbye
For speakers of languages without a rolled ‘R’ (the sound is called ‘erre’ in Italian), it is a challenge trying to pronounce words like Arrivederci. Here is a video on how to pronounce the sound: Learn Italian Pronunciation – Lesson 13 – How to roll R in Italian (www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WQhC7ohYHQ)

It took a while for the Italian speakers to get the tone write for Joi Geen (再見). The way they pronounced Geen, it sounded more like one of the particles used before some nouns in Cantonese. These particles are called classifiers. For example, when speaking Cantonese, instead of saying “three books” one would say “three + classifier + books”.

3. I Love You
We were quite surprised that one of the Hong Kong students knew the Italian phrase—Ti amo—already.

When introducing the Cantonese phrase Ngo ngoi nei, the first pair of students used the ‘lan yum’ (lazy sound) pronunciation for all three words (o oi lei). The second set of students used the more formal (or many would say ‘correct’) pronunciation.

The ‘ng’ sound at the beginning of Ngo and Ngoi is quite unusual for English speakers. It is more or less the same sound as at the end of ‘sing’ and ‘long’; the only challenging part is that this sound never goes at the beginning of a word in English, so it is rather strange to start a word with it.

4. Friend
There were problems with inaccurate tones on the first part of ‘Peng yau’. With Amanuel saying Bun yau 笨友 (stupid friend) and Michela
Peng yau 貧友 (poor friend, with ‘poor’ referring to a lack of money.)

5. Beautiful
As the Hong Kong students are quite advanced English learners, they can pick up rather complicated multi-syllable words fairly easily.


Additional Credits
Italian Speakers Michela & Amanuel
Cantonese Speakers: Yuni & Sally; Yuki, Kirsty & Patsy; Winnie & Angel
Assistance with Translations: Joyce, Mabel, Kelly, Gigi, Serena & Eunice
Camera Operator: Tim Varday
 

Language Challenge 2: Italian and Cantonese (Part 2)


 
Words and phrases introduced:

English Italian Cantonese
Apple Mela 蘋果 (Ping guo)
Strawberry Fragola 草莓(Cho mui) & 士多啤梨 (Si do bea lei)
Stink Puzzi 臭 (Tsao)
Tower Torre 塔 (Taap)
You are boring Tu sei noiosa I am boring: 我好悶 (Nga ho moon)

Apple
The Italian and Cantonese speakers did well on this word.

Strawberry
Though Cantonese and Putonghua are mutually unintelligible and despite it’s long history, Cantonese is generally considered to be a spoken dialect, with Modern Standard Chinese being the standard written form. With some words, when writing, you should use one form, while when speaking you can use a more informal form. Cantonese has also developed its own slang and variations in grammar and vocabulary. Consequently, there are two words for strawberry. One is the form that should be used in writing and can be used when speaking: Cho Mui (草莓). The other is a a loan-word, the transliteration of the English word Strawberry, and this is the word that most Hong Kong residents commonly use when speaking: si do bea lei 士多啤梨: .

Stink
Puzzi is an informal Italian verb for ‘reek’ as in ‘Tu Puzzi’ (“you smell bad”). It’s equivalent in Cantonese—tsao (臭)— can be used as an adjective (like ‘stinky’), but can also be used as noun (like ‘stench’) or a verb (like ‘smell’ or ‘stink’). The Cantonese word is quite difficult because the initial consonant sound is not in English or Italian. It rests somewhere between a ‘ts’ and ‘ch’ sound. Another challenge is that there are a lot of similar words in Cantonese, so if you are not careful, you may end up saying a word such as ‘go’, ‘sleeve’, ‘wine’, ‘slim’ or ‘thin’.

Tower
Our first set of Cantonese speakers misheard ‘tower’ as ‘towel’ and gave the Chinese word for that: mo gun (毛巾). The Italian word for tower, ‘torre’, with its rolling ‘r’, was predictably challenging.

You are boring
The Cantonese speaker misunderstood the question. Therefore, she responded with ‘I am bored’. In Cantonese the same word—Moon (悶)— is used to express both ‘bored and ‘boring’. The listener should be able to guess the meaning from the context.


Additional Credits
Italian Speakers Michela & Amanuel
Cantonese Speakers: Yuni & Sally; Yuki, Kirsty & Patsy; Winnie & Angel; Sharis
Assistance with Translations: Gigi, Kelly, Kitty, Yui, Connie, Lisa, Theresa, Kelly & Tiffany
Camera Operator: Tim Varday

 

~ Return to Featured Works ~

 

I Vow To Thee My Country: Piano Arrangement by Kate

Type of Media: Music Video
Completed: August 2015
Music by Gustav Holst and Sir Cecil Spring Ricet
Piano & arrangement: Kate
Music recording, video recording & video editing: (longzijun): longzijun.wordpress.com

This is Kate’s piano arrangement of ‘I Vow to Thee My Country’, a song by Gustan Holst and Sir Cecil Spring Rice (composed in 1921). That song is itself based on a section of the Jupiter movement of Holt’s symphony ‘The Planets’.

The purpose of this series is to allow students to share their love of music while helping them develop their talents as performers and songwriters.

Kate is in Form 5 (Grade 11) at SKH Lam Woo Memorial Secondary School in Hong Kong.

 

 

Technical Information

Keyboard: Yamaha Clavinova
Recorded  using Sonar Home Studio
Noise reduction and compression: Magix Audio Cleaning Lab

 

Last Goodbye: Original Song by Babbles

Type of Media: Music Video
Completed: August 2013
Music & lyrics: Babbles
Vocals & guitar: Babbles
Music recording & video recording: Stephen Richards

Babble’s original Japanese 最後のバイバイ (Last Goodbye) is the seventh in a serious of pop music videos featuring students at Lam Woo. The purpose of this series is to allow students to share their love of music while helping them develop their talents as performers and songwriters. Babbles is in Form 6 (Grade 12) at SKH Lam Woo Memorial Secondary School in Hong Kong.

This is the live acoustic version. We are also working on a more complex arrangement of the song. The song is in Japanese, but Babbles has written this explanation regarding the meaning:

This song is a kind of happy farewell song. Usually such songs focus on negative feelings, but Babbles writes: “Saying good-bye is always treated as a sad thing; however, the message of this song is about the courage to let go of the past and embrace the future. Don’t let thoughts of the past stop your from moving forward; if you are always looking back, how can you move forward down life’s road?

Technical Information

Recorded and mixed using Sonar Home Studio
Noise reduction and compression: Magix Audio Cleaning Lab

The audio was recorded live using three microphones:

  • Vocal mic: Rode NT2-A (Condenser)
  • Guitar mic (at sound hole): Shure SM57 (Dynamic)
  • Guitar mic (at fret): AKG C 4000 B (Condenser)

By using the multiple microphones we could better control the balance between voice and guitar and also between the different frequencies produced by the guitar. For example, the mic placed closer to the sound hole would pick up more lower frequencies while the one place close to the frets on the neck would pick up the higher frequencies and add more of the sound coming from the strings.

Lyrics

最後のバイバイ

何時から ずっと忘れられない姿
今も 頭の中に残してる
どうして寂しい顔しているか?
私はここにいるのに


切ないこと 嬉しいこと
いろいろあった
あの姿はもうなかった
でも 本当は 会いたくて 泣きたくて
戻れない過去に バイバイ 
さよなら」なんて言いたくないけど
大丈夫」なんて言い出せないまま
どうして こんなに不安になるんだろう?
ずっと笑っているのに 


幸せなこと 退屈なこと
いろいろあった
あの声はまだ覚えているよ
でも この夜は 悲しすぎて 寂しすぎて
涙はもう 止まらない
信じたくないことだらけの現実 だけど
君はきっと守ってくれる そう信じなきゃ


言い出せない気持ち 届かない気持ち
この歌で 君に伝えたい 
私の思いを込めて
でも 今回は 本当の別れ 君の全て
最後のバイバイ

別れは悲しいことだが、 その悲しみより、この曲の伝えたい ものは、 過去を振り返ることを やめて、新しい未来へ旅立つその勇気だ。 過去のために足を止めてはいけない、前には待っているものがたくさんあるから。

Breathe by Taylor Swift: Cover Version by Kate

Type of Media: Music Video
Completed: February 2013
Music by Taylor Swift & Colbie Caillat
Vocals, piano & arrangement: Kate
Music recording, video recording & video editing: Bobo Chia
Video editing (assistant): Vincent Ng
Mixing: Stephen Richards (longzijun): longzijun.wordpress.com

 

Kate’s Cover Version of Taylor Swift’s Breathe is the sixth in a serious of pop music videos featuring students at Lam Woo. The purpose of this series is to allow students to share their love of music while helping them develop their talents as performers and songwriters.

Kate is in Form 2 (Grade 8) at SKH Lam Woo Memorial Secondary School in Hong Kong.

we also uploaded a piano-only karaoke version featuring Kate’s arrangement.

 

Technical Information

Recorded and mixed using Sonar Home Studio
Noise reduction and compression: Magix Audio Cleaning Lab

We made quite a few small errors during the recording, video shooting and editing. The next time we shoot a video like this we will have to:

  • We should check the sync between the visuals and audio more carefully (some shotsare a little out of sync)
  • If doing lip-sync, we should get more coverage (e.g. more takes) for those times when the singer is a little out of sync with his/her recorded singing
  • We should get more coverage gennerally
  • If are going to use a high-quality camera, we better dust and clean the set first! The dust on the piano is so clear!
  • We shouldn’t have the microphone stand touch the piano; the vibrations of the piano will cause the mic to shake (this had to be fixed during editing)
  • We need to eatch out for flickering computer screens in the background (while editing, we had to paint over one screen that was flickering); turn off the monitors
  • We need to check for continuity (Kate’s ponytail changes in different shots)
  • We should cover up the red lights on the piano
  • We can work on getting better angles
  • We can check more carefully for any possible audio distortion before ending the recording session

纖纖的你 – Original Cantopop Song by Heitung

Type of Media: Music Video
Completed: February 2013
Music by Heitung
Lyrics by Marc Chik
Vocals & piano by Heitung
Recording, Mixing & Editing: Stephen Richards (longzijun): longzijun.wordpress.com


 
This original song performed by Heitung is the fourth in a serious of pop music videos featuring students at Lam Woo. The purpose of this series is to allow students to share their love of music while helping them develop their talents as performers and songwriters.

Heitung is a young singer-songwriter in Form 6 (i.e., Grade 12).  

Technical Information

Recorded and mixed using Sonar Home Studio
Noise reduction and compression: Magix Audio Cleaning Lab

This song is also posted on the Watt Asia site: watt.asia/post/WXNb1XIt6SCJ0hJ2

Lyrics

纖纖的你

在派對裏遇到你 跟你有緣嗎
你那甜美笑容 教我理性分岔
期後 每天 我都總記掛
在每日每夜我亦會牽掛

看著纖纖的你
名字我已忘記
心中憶記早己給儲起
我會等 帶著一絲希冀
就算你我相隔幾千里
也會找到你

在每晚我亦會將 短訊當情意
但每句也卻步 教我費盡心思
無論 變遷 有多麼諷刺
但我又繼續試 萬次千次

看著纖纖的你
名字我已忘記
心中憶記早己給儲起
我會等 帶著一絲希冀
就算你我相隔幾千里
也會找到你

回望剛相識的那晚
我還在天天冀盼
若可以共你一起去看星空燦爛
刀山我願意攀

看著纖纖的你
名字我已忘記
心中憶記早己給儲起
我會等 帶著一絲希冀
就算你我相隔幾千里
也會找到你

就算世界只得我與你
也會呵護你

School Memories: Videos about SKH Lam Woo Memorial Secondary School

There are a series of video I produced to school anniversary celebrations in 2010 (40th anniversary) and 2015 (45th anniversary).

1. How to Build a School: 45th Anniversary Video

Type of Media: Video
Completed: December 2015
Created by: Stephen Richards (editing and retouching of video and photographs, intro music, music recording)
Music: Arranged and performed by Kate Kwok
Assistance with Scanning: Nicole Ma, Annika Wong, Kelly Tse & Crysal Chan

This short video looks back on the first 45 years of SKH Lam Woo Memorial Secondary School. To cram 45 years of school life into the two-and-a-half minutes, I chose to present the video as a kind of how-to guide for developing a strong school. A school should start with a sense of vision and mission, and there needs to be a campus, caring teachers and dedicated staff. However, a school is really about the students, about the things they experience, the things they learn, the things they discover and, most importantly, the people they become. Therefore, this video is dedicated to all the students who have joined us over the years.

One of the scary but satisfying things of being a teacher is to see students grow up. They arrive here when they are around 12 years old and before you know it, they have graduated and are off to pursue further studies, develop careers and follow their dreams. They take with them their memories, but they leave behind a kind of shared culture, they leave behind a tradition for the next generation of students to build upon. This is the message I tried to express at the end of the video. There are tons more photos I had wanted to include, but time was limited. Hopefully. I will be able to add them in future videos. I hope you enjoy this video.

I produced the video for Lamwoo’s 45th anniversary dinner. I was asked to produce a two-minute video so the images fly by quite quickly at times and I was forced to leave out some interesting photos.
The music is Kate Kwok’s performance of her own piano arrangement of I Vow to Thee My Country bu Gustav Holst (which he had adapted from the main theme of the Jupiter movement from his orchestral work, the Planets). We recorded that last summer and you can see the video of her playing it here:
Kate Kwok: I Vow to Thee My Country. The intro song is from one my own songs: Dreams.
 

Super 8 Video: 1980 Anniversary Celebrations

Type of Media: Video
Completed: October 2010
Created by: Stephen Richards (editing and retouching of video and photographs, editing of music)
Camera Operators and Photographers: Unknown

These Super 8 video clips were recorded during our school’s tenth anniversary celebrations in November 1980. It is the only video footage we have from the school’s first thirty years. If you know who recorded the video, please let me know so that I can properly acknowledge, their work. The type of Super 8 film used for these recordings cannot record sound. All sounds and music were added in the editing process.

I hope you enjoy the journey back in time.

 

Photographs

The scanned photos seen during the end credits can be downloaded from our flickr page:

www.flickr.com/photos/43402751@N08/sets/72157625071330071/

 

Music
The following tracks were used as background music:

  1. Dustin O’Halloran – Opus 36
  2. Gackt – Returner
  3. Epik High – Forest
  4. Joe Hisaishi – Theme from Princess Mononoke
  5. Kostas Pavlidis – Spread Your Wings and Fly
  6. 楊庶正 – 祝福太平山 (performed by the Lam Woo’s Intermediate Girls Choir)
  7. Hon See-wah – Erhu Solo
  8. Michael Nyman – Peeking
  9. The Brilliant Green – Goodbye and Good Luck

 

About the Editing Process

The images were edited using Premiere Pro and After Effects CS4. The photos were retouched in Photoshop CS3.

In June, I found eight small reels of developed (and very degraded) film in a paper bag, at the bottom of a big plastic container full of old photographs from the 70s and 80s. The container itself was at the bottom of a cupboard. Our TA, Cherry, helped me track down a local company that could do a telecine transfer (i.e., create digital files from film stock)—Last Coyote Productions.

Apparently, Super film should be stored in very dry, near freezing conditions (a far cry from Hong Kong’s hot and humid climate), so the film has deteriorated quite a lot in the past thirty years. Before the editing process a lot of the footage looked like videos of shadows moving around in a purple murk.

Each reel contained about two-and-a-half minutes of film. This is why the editing sometimes seems a little choppy. A lot of the shots were very short (just a few seconds), presumably because the video camera operators were trying capture long events in a few minutes of film.

Almost all the usable clips from seven of the reels are included in this video. The eighth reel features the speech day, which mainly consists of recordings of (silent) speeches and students receiving awards. I will clean that up and post it in the coming weeks.

I’m still not satisfied with the images (the colors seem washed out), but they are a lot better than they were at the beginning.

Original Film (Left) and Final Product (Right)

I did learn a lot about the different colour applications in Premiere Pro and After Effects. The following effects were used:

  • Auto color
  • Auto balance
  • Auto levels
  • Brightness and contrast
  • Levels
  • Color balance
  • Color offset
  • Level
  • Gamma
  • Pedestal
  • Remove grain
  • Luma curves
  • Shadow/highlight
  • Photo filter
  • Color finesse (an After Effects plug-in that lets you handle a lot of the above effects at one time)

Related Videos
We just did a telecine transfer of three reels to start with. The process is relatively expensive, and we didn’t know what was on them or if the footage was usable. I produced a few videos from this footage as a test:

Lam Woo Pom Poms

 

Lam Woo Lion Dance

 

Gymnastics Dance Routine

 

The following footage did not suit the 10th Anniversary Celebrations, so I uploaded it separately:

1980 Speech Day (Unedited footage of the school’s speech day held during the anniversary celebrations. A recent version of the school hymn being performed by the school’s mixed voice choir is used as the audio track.The film quality is not good because the lighting conditions were not suitable for shooting with that kind of camera at such a distance (the camera appears to be have been positioned on the balcony at the back of the hall). In addition, the film has deteriorated over the last thirty years and almost all colour information has been lost (the whole film had turned reddish). Basically, I just tried to make the scene visible by working with various effects relating to light (mainly luma correction).

 

3. School Memories: Hong Kong in the Seventies

Type of Media: Video (photo montage)
Completed: January 2009
Created by: Stephen Richards (photo scanning and retouching, video editing)
Photographers:  Unknown
This is a video photo montage I created documenting the school life of a our secondary school (SKH Lam Woo Memorial Secondary School) in Hong Kong during the 1970s. It was produced for the school’s 40th anniversary celebrations and is intended to be the first in a series of promotional videos.

 

Things I Learned

The video was an interesting project to work on because it gave me some insight into some of the changes that had taken place in Hong Kong since the 1970s. When editing the sports part, I used a lot of long shots (in terms of both distance and time) because the backgrounds were interesting. The community sports stadiums had dirt running tracks that seemed to be nestled up against tenement buildings. Some of the images feature what looks like a time-keeping van from the Omega watch company. Nowadays even the most basic stadiums have artificial tracks and automated time-keeping systems, and a lot of the tenement buildings seen in the photos have long since been torn down.

It was also interesting to see how the school rules have become more controlling over the years.  Nowadays, male students must keep their hair short, female students with shoulder-length hair or longer must tie it up and dresses must be below-the-knee (the teachers in the discipline section at our school our kept very busy monitoring uniforms and punishing offenders). In the photos from the 70s, in contrast, a lot of the boys have long hair, few girls have tied up their hair and the skirts are way above the knee.

People in Hong Kong in the seventies were also a lot more tanned! When I was retouching the photos, I was always thinking “”Why are the people so dark? Are my settings for brightness, exposure or levels wrong?” I eventually came to the conclusion that most students just had darker complexions back them. The seventies would have been before before PCs, widespread use of air-conditioning  and shopping malls in every district. There weren’t so many reasons to stay indoors, so my theory is that students were just outside more often. As well, in the last couple of decades the cosmetics industry in Asia has been focusing a lot more on skin-whitening products, emphasizing an existing cultural bias towards fair complexions.

It was fun to remember the 70s fashions. I’ve always been unfashionable, so I never got into any trends when I was growing up during the seventies, but it was interesting to see all those staples of 70s fashion—bell-bottoms (even the school uniform trousers were flared), long and wide collars and boldy patterned jackets.  There were also a couple of fashion trends that I don’t remember or that were unique to Hong Kong; I don’t recall eye-glasses being so big or white turtlenecks being so popular.

 

Producing the Video

The video was edited using Premiere Pro CS4.

When editing the video, I aimed to create a nostalgic feeling by creating a montage of video footage and photographs of the school during the seventies accompanied by Hong Kong music from the 1970s. The first obstacle I encountered was that no such video footage exists. There are a few rolls of Super 8 film from 1980 (I will get some of these developed this summer) and a collection of video tapes starting from 1990.

The collection of photos was also problematic. There weren’t that many photos, most of them were unlabelled, a lot of them were tiny (just slightly larger than the size of passport photos) and many were in rough shape—covered with scratches, tears and dust marks. The negatives were in even greater disarray, so I chose to scan the photos using a flat-bed scanner set at a high resolution (600 dpi) and 200 percent of the original size. The resulting files were huge, but the large sizes made it easier to retouch the photos (I will also be able to crop the photos and prepare them for printing in the future).

The photos were retouched in Photoshop using various methods:

  • I adjusted the brightness, contrast and levels, sometimes altering things like exposure and gamma (and sometimes doing colour correction for the few colour photos). For some photos, the foreground was too light or dark so I would just select that area and adjust it.
  • All the photos needed noise reduction to reduce speckles, spots and scratches. This was done by adjusting the ‘dust and scratches filter’ setting  to get rid of the most ‘rubbish’ while preserving the facial features of the people in the photos (the despeckle filter didn’t have much effect). Then, the clone tool was used to remove the more noticeable defects. This was a laborious process of ‘cloning’ or copying nearby sections and then placing them on top of the defect. Occasionally, the smart blur feature was used to get rid of speckles on plain backgrounds (the backgrounds were selected using the magic want and magnetic lasso tools).
  • Sometimes drastic surgery was required. For, example if an image of someone was missing a right eye, the persons left eye would be copied and moved to the appropriate place, reversed and the surgery completed by using the nudge and/or clone tools to remove evidence of the operation.
  • A couple of  photos were covered in white spots produced by the light from the scanner highlighting the grain of the photo paper.  The technique used to remove most of the spots was to scan the same image upside down, rotate it 180 degrees, paste it as a layer over the original image, auto-align the two images and then change the blending mode to darken.

Some of the images needed to be rotated, but this was done in Premiere Pro because I did not want to worry about having to crop important parts of photos.

 

Music

The music soundtrack includes English and Cantonese songs recorded in the seventies by Sam Hui (Hui Koon-kit), Paula Tsui (徐小鳳), The Wynners (溫拿), Frances Yip (葉麗儀) and Roman Tam (羅文). Needless to say, compiling the soundtrack required a fair amount of research. If you are interested in learning more about the music selected for the  video, I’ve written an article on that here: longzijun.wordpress.com/soundtrack-to-school-memories-hong-kong-in-the-seventies/