Friday, December 31, 2010

The Final Shutter Therapy Session of 2010

Today is a sudden, unexpectedly declared public holiday in Malaysia, which was a huge welcome anyway. Any rest day is a good day, and what better way to spend this glorious last day of 2010 than, shutter therapy? The morning sky was wonderful, and together with the great Jasonmumbles we attacked the streets of Pudu. It has been a while since I last did a proper street shooting session, and it was quite refreshing to just clear my mind off everything and just focus on getting the camera to work for me.

Pudu has always been my favourite photo-hunting spot. There were so many people, especially in the morning, and so many activities happening especially in the market area. This is also one of the safest, and friendliest photo-hunting spots amongst my usual street shooting locations. If I were to bring friends to shoot along with me, most likely I will start with Pudu first. Another bonus point about Pudu would be the abundance of good local food available here, for feasting before, and of course after a joyous and fruitful shooting session.

I think I have talked too much in my previous few entries, hence to balance things up, I shall just let the photographs speak in this entry. All photographs were taken with Olympus E-5 with 11-22mm F2.8-3.5 or 50mm F2 Macro. Images were processed in Picasa and ACD See 7.

Clearing the table for the next customer. A usual scene on local hawker food stalls along the streets here.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Camera Wars

There is a huge war brewing out there, Nikon D7000 vs Pentax K5, and how everyone is saying those two cameras are far ahead in terms of high ISO-noise performance and dynamic range over Olympus E-5.

It has come to a point that people are actually bashing each other up in such discussions that they have lost track of what they were doing in the first place: to find the “right” camera.

Do take note that I did not say the “best” camera. There is no such thing as the “best” camera, or which camera is better than which camera, those comparisons will be endless and mundanely pointless. So what Pentax K5 does better than Nikon D7000 In terms of high ISO performance? So you have to dump your newly purchased Nikon D7000 and go for the supposingly “better” Pentax K-5, because the review websites tell you that it has this much better dynamic range and that much better high ISO performance down to 0.0001% accuracy? Oh how about the users of older D300s or D90, oh no, D7000 and K5 are the latest and “best” cameras, they must sell off their gears and upgrade too, so what? So that their photography skills can evolve suddenly and become better photographers: just because they use the latest and most capable gear?

It is frustrating to watch the world going head over heels over specification wars and complain about even the tiniest things, like how badly the button layouts on the Nikon D7000 are. I wonder when everyone will wake up and realize that there is in fact no such thing as perfect camera. Different manufacturers and different models of cameras have their own unique design considerations, and every one of the cameras have their strengths and weaknesses. Just because the reviews say that one camera is not performing on par with another camera, it does not mean that camera was useless and should be ignored !! It all really comes down to what you want, and what you would choose as the “right” camera. I reiterate, there is no such thing as a perfect camera. However, you have to decide what is “right” for yourself.

KL Night View from Legend Hotel 8th floor

Olympus E-5 with 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 (I finally used my original standard kit lens, since a friend borrowed my 11-22mm over the weekend).
13second, F/8, ISO100, anti-shock 2 sec, IS off.

You see, I belong to the old school kind of shooter, though I was born into the digital photography age. When I shoot, I do not go ridiculously crazy over high ISO. Whenever I can, I would use the lowest setting possible, because, I only use what I need to use. Don’t tell me you will be using ISO3200 under broad sunlight outdoors. Don’t tell me you will be using ISO1600 when you are doing your studio photography works, where you have total lighting controls from fixed light sources. To me high ISO will be reserved for certain difficult situations, that I have no choice but to push it. Yes, I know having the flexibility to shoot at clean images with great noise control is something that everyone in the digital era dreams of, I do too, but it is only applied to certain situations, not all. The message is clear, if you are shooting constantly at ISO3200 and beyond (ISO100,000????) then obviously you should be looking elsewhere. If you are like me, shooting at ISO 100-800 at 80% of the time, then I do not see any reason how Olympus E-5, or any older models such as E-3 and E-30 cannot stand up against competition.

Photography is a hell lot more than just some high ISO noise performance. People always love to quantify and measure. They want to put numbers down, so there is reference and ranking. They want to compare. They want to label which is better and which is worse. Let me ask you this question: would you feel more secure and happier, if you own a “better” camera? So if you are having a less than perfect camera, you feel insecure and inadequate? Then when you look at a better camera your friend is holding in his hand, you go “ahhh I wish I am using that camera, my camera is not as good as that one”? If this is true, I am afraid, no matter what camera you use, you will not be satisfied, because there will always be something better out there, and it gets better and better in the future. You justify your own photography works based on your gear. Oh my photography work sucks, blame it on the camera. You let your photography equipments decide how good you are. What happened to the eye behind the camera that matters?

Every camera has its own place. There really is no need to label which is better and bash another brand, and make a total fuss out of it. Learn the characteristics of your camera system, ask yourself, why you chose it in the first place, what are its strengths, and weaknesses. Make full use and exploit its strengths, while working around the weaknesses with your own techniques to truly bring out the best in your photography work, supporting your photography vision. More importantly, learn to be happy with the gear you use, take some pride in the camera system (every camera system has a long history, something to be proud of) and concentrate on the core of photography.

If Olympus Malaysia did not decide to present me with a complimentary E-5, I would not be able to afford one for probably one to two years to come. That does not matter, because I still have my faithful, reliable and still fully functional Olympus E-520, a bruised and battered entry level DSLR, which I have grown very fond of. So what if it is not the best camera, so what if it is old, so what if at ISO800 the image on E-520 exhibits more noise than ISO3200 on the E-5? There is a whole world of limitations shooting with the E-520, yet I love using it. After using Olympus E-5, do I feel that E-520 is useless and unworthy? Hell NO !! It is still a DSLR, it has the strong characteristics that define what Olympus is and stands for. I love it, and a point that must not be neglected: I thoroughly enjoy using it.

So enough of the comparisons and pointless bashing already. Yes, this camera is better because of that, and this camera can do something that the other camera cannot. Just pick one camera system, fall in love with it, and start shooting.

After all, photography is all about photographs, NOT cameras !!




Saturday, December 25, 2010

Olympus E-5 Video @ Jalan Masjid India

Merry Christmas !! How has the joyful season celebration been for you guys?

I woke up to a grey sky Christmas early morning, and I decided to sleep in further. I woke up dangerously near noon, and I forced myself out of the bed because I have had something I wanted to accomplish on this very day. I have been thinking long and hard about what I wanted to do this weekend, and I decided to do something a little different than usual. Olympus E-5 that I have came equipped with video recording capability, and I thought to myself, why not give that a try?

Initially I have planned to do a street shooting session, so instead of street shooting in photographs, I did it in video. I purposefully chose Jalan Masjid India, a very vibrant place in Malaysia for a few reasons:
1) It is safe to walk around, and people here are generally friendly
2) The open air market attracted plentiful of people, flooding in from everywhere
3) I seldom cover this area before in my previous street walk sessions

A Walk Along Jalan Masjid India

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Pop-Up Flash to the Rescue

It was a Sunday which was rather unplanned for, that I dropped by Times Square to have lunch and catch up session with a friend. Obviously I brought my camera along, and intended to do some street shooting initially, but decided not to after looking at the terrifying stormy weather out there on the sky. I only brought my Olympus E-5 together with 11-22mm F2.8-3.5 and the tele lens 40-150mm F3.5-4.5, leaving the external flash behind. My 50mm was with another friend who loaned it for a wedding he was shooting that very same weekend.

And then I bumped into this event at Times Square: Comic Fiesta, where hundreds of anime character wannabes cosplaying themselves into the characters they adore from selected favourite anime/comic. I thought to myself, great, this just had to happen at the time I decided NOT to bring my external flash.

I went to the 14th floor, where the Manhattan Ballroom was situated. I scouted around the place, and to my horror the lighting condition was VERY bad. It was mostly dark, and the lighting was setup across the hall in such an uneven manner that having a properly lit photograph was quite a difficult stunt to pull. I did try gathering as much light as possible, bumping my ISO up to as high as 3200, but the result was just plain unsightly. There were harsh shadows in the face and all around the cosplayers, the skin tone was disgustingly ugly with greenish and yellowish tint, and the photograph came out very flat and unflattering. I almost decided to run to the exit, until I thought to myself, hey, why not use the built in camera Pop Up Flash?

An example of the horrible photograph taken without Flash, just ambient light at High ISO.

ISO2000, no flash.


OMG I cannot believe I just posted this horribly taken image !! Just an evidence to show how useless this situation can be, without flash.


You see, I am sure a lot of DSLR users will come to a universal agreement that the pop up flash unit in the camera is rather useless. In Scott Kelby's book for the beginners he mentioned jokingly that the reason any camera manufacturers would even include the pop-up flash was to allow the user to experience the horror of the pop-up flash results that they get so frustratingly annoyed by it they would automatically buy the real external flash unit after that. I cannot agree more. Generally I would avoid using the Pop Up flash that throws too much frontal light casting a lot of problems people normally hate in people photography: 1) oily skin and washed out white spots 2) Heavy shadows cast on the backgrounds 3) Unnatural looking photograph, with overly dark background and blown foreground.

However, as much as I hate using the Pop Up flash, I was thrown into a circumstance, with a few possibilities:
1) Leave the event, and forget about shooting. Exit was nearby.
2) Shoot solely with available ambient light, and get 90% ugly looking photographs, with noise issues (ISO3200 was pushing it far for even E-5), ugly skin tone, and generally lousy photographs.
3) or, use the Pop Up flash, and work around the weaknesses. And pray for miracles.

I went with option no.3, and you know what, the results were not too shabby at all. I know the overall outcome was nothing stellar, there were still plenty of flaws that cannot be mitigated, but I would say, after working around twiddling with the camera settings, I did manage to get what I intended to achieve with the pop up flash, more or less. In such emergency situations like this, it was comforting to know that the pop-up flash still managed to salvage some otherwise, completely useless shots. Yes, the shots could have been better with external flash (with some kick-ass softbox diffusers and what nots), but it sure beats the crap out of photographs taken solely with the horrible ambient available light.

1/80sec, F/3.4, ISO1250, pop up flash fired

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Year That Has Been

It has come to the time of the year again, when any blogger would usually do a summary post to round up the happenings throughout the entire year, and share his reflections and thoughts on his journey so far. My blog has been around for five solid years now, I have never anticipated myself to last this long when I first signed up with Blogger. I am not showing signs of stopping, in fact, I believe I am merely seeing just the tip of the iceberg. Many great things have yet to come, and I am excited knowing that more opportunities will be opened and I shall not waste them.

What has happened through the past 12 months of my life? The year 2010 has been rather kind to me. Instead of describing my stories with endless words, allow me to use a selection of my past photography work being spread throughout the year 2010 to aid me in highlighting the points I want to tell here. Those photographs may not be anything special in particular, but they were certainly my favourites. I shall elaborate on why I chose the photographs, and what significant meaning they carry.

Uncertainties


The incense coil was shot in a temple in Batu Pahat, Johor, which I have visited earlier this year. It was raining heavily. This is a rather special, symbolic photograph. The cruel and aggressive weather was fighting against the incense from burning. At the beginning of this year, I identified myself strongly with the incense coil, when I was thrown into a whirlpool of uncertainties. I was very clueless on my employment with the directions the company was leading me to, I was also very unprepared for the challenges I was facing in my growth in photography. How can I burn, if the constant wind was blowing at me, and the rain water kept splashing mercilessly?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Photography is Human

Photography is human. I strongly believe that the photography work strongly defines the characteristics and nature of the photographer. How much truth the photographer places in his photograph shows how honest he is. The strengths and the flaws of a person are evidently recorded through the choices of subjects he photographs. Ultimately, the outcome of the images speak for themselves, do you sense happiness or sadness looking at the photographs? I know this can be very subjective, but believe me when I say there is substantial truth linking what you can find through a photographer's work to the photographer himself.

It troubles me, because my street photographs have been somewhat looking rather depressing lately. I took a pause, slowed down my pace and really reflect on the photographs I have taken. I studied the images, I asked myself questions such as "Why did I choose this subject? What attracted me to this person? What can I find in myself to identify to this scene I have been drawn to? Why do I think this was interesting? What do I feel, and what messages do I get when I view those images?" The more I dig in the more I found the reasons why I photograph the things I photograph, and why I did them in particular few ways that I usually did. No, this should never be an excuse to go all "CSI" and over-analyze a photographer through his photograph. Do bear in mind a photographer chooses to tell you certain things he selectively chose to tell you through his photographs. Sometimes, just sometimes, subconsciously he may have revealed more than what he originally intended.

I strongly believe that a photograph is like a small window that we can peek into the photographer's mind.

The Lonely Man

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Morning on the Street is a Morning Well Spent

It was a glorious, sunny Sunday morning that I met up with Gerald, Yeow and Lee for a morning street walk at Chow Kit, my territory usual street hunting spot. I have shot here so many times that I do not quite understand why I kept coming back again. Perhaps the streets on Chow Kit have certain characteristics that I really like in the images that I capture. The people here do have particular lifestyle and local culture that are rather unique to this place itself.

After grabbing a quick and light breakfast, we walked our way from Masjid Jamek to Chow Kit, and attacked the streets with our cameras. All three of the others, except me, used Olympus PEN, which is supposed to be a preferable weapon on the streets due to its lighter size and much smaller size, in comparison to a DSLR. I have shot alone on the streets for so long now, it was quite a refreshing experience to have people around me as we move along the not-so-safe corners of the backalleys. At least I know my friends have got my back, just in case. I have mentioned many times, and I need to remind myself that KL streets are not exactly very safe to walk around with thousands of bucks worth of gear. Nonetheless, the photography opportunities are so worth the risks, that was the reason why I never failed to hunt on the streets week after week.

Nasi Lemak seller. Breads and cereals are not that favorable here. Nasi Lemak is the Malaysian breakfast.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Hunt and Kill

It was late Friday afternoon that I took notice of a night macro outing organized by Amir, who loved to hunt for spiders at Kemensah Forest reserve which is located behind Zoo Negara. I have been there a couple of times before, here, here and here. Desperate for some macro actions, I decided to join Amir and a group of macro crazy people for this adventure into a jungle in the middle of the night. We started around 10pm, and came out from the jungle after 1am.

Instead of flooding this entry with dozens of photographs, this time I shall only showcase the few that I really like. I have become more picky on my final presentation lately, hence I shall not spam this place with digital junk.

All photographs taken with Olympus E-5, Zuiko Digital 50mm F2 macro, and FL-36R flash being fired off camera wirelessly. For more information of my macro setup and techniques, please kindly refer to my previous entries on macro.

1/60 second, F/8, ISO 200, Wireless TTL Flash fired Off-Camera

Friday, December 10, 2010

Photographs, or Words?

I have so many thoughts and ideas in my mind that I want to get them out and blurt everything here. I have intended to write about the inspirations and motivations that drive me in street photography, and why I love hitting the Kuala Lumpur streets so much that I kept doing it over and over again every single week. On the other hand, it is the time of the year again, that a mandatory must have summary of all things happened throughout the year on this blog and my life in general should be posted. I have also many other opinions pertaining to the Olympus E-5, which is still quite new to me, to share with you all.

I have come home from a long day of work under the burning Malaysian sun at a construction site, and as I typed now my mind was actually begging my body to just lay down still on my comfortable bed and not think about anything at all. However, before shutting myself down, it just felt like something was missing, that I must post up this blog entry. I guess it has become a routine for me, and if I skipped this, it would make myself guilty somehow. Talk about discipline, I was quite amazed that I have been blogging for 5 years, and still consistently blog nowadays, though my life has undergone many changes, many dramatic ones along the way.

Instead of forcing my bruised and battered mind to come up with something witty and smart on my photography take, allow me to just share a batch of photographs which I have taken on my recent street hunt. Yes, it is Pudu again, and to some incredible extent, I have this weird, but interesting ability of not getting bored at the things that I love, or in this case, the places that I like to street-hunt. Pudu has always been one of my favourite grounds, and nothing beats waking up in the morning, clearing the early day off anything else, but street photography for myself only.

Smoking conversation after grocery shopping.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Shooting With Art Filters

Ever since the Olympus E-30, Art Filters have been introduced to DSLR as an instant one touch in camera processing capability to instantaneously transform ordinary looking images into artistic results. The similar feature was also included in all current Olympus PEN line-ups, and of course the latest DSLR Olympus E-5, which I am currently using. I have to admit I am not really a fan of the Art Filters, and I do not really believe in letting the camera handle my post-processing job. If I were after certain artistic effects I would rather do the processing myself after shooting.

Nevertheless, having the Art Filters in the camera, and not using it is like having that free chocolate bar when you purchase a box of instant coffee and not eat it. Hmmm, that was not a very good example, but you get the idea. Hence, I decided to go out one day, and just shoot primarily with the Art Filters. This basically went against my usual photography style, and normal presentation of final images. Yes, it is something different, and I say, why not?

CROSS PROCESS Art Filter


A light bulb under broad daylight.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

A Day Out in Pulau Ketam

A friend and professional photographer David Chua organized a day trip to Pulau Ketam (loosely translated to English as Crab Island), a place not too far from Klang. The intended participants were mainly targeted at existing Olympus PEN and DSLR users, but it was also open to anyone, with or without cameras, or anyone with different camera systems. On the day itself, 21 people turned out for this event, which was quite a large number considering the casual nature of the event organization. I have had quite a number of friends whom I know who joined me for this occasion, namely Chun Chow, Frederick, Jason Lioh (aka the infamous Jasonmumbles), Ivy Soon, Yong TM, Michael Wong, and last but not least, a very kind and generous chap, Gerald Wong who offered to fetch me all the way from my place to the island and back.

A view from the jetty at Pulau Ketam.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Camera Itch and Spontaneous Street Walk

Side Note: All photographs were taken with Olympus E-5 with various Olympus Zuiko lenses: 7-14mm F4, 11-22mm F2.8-3.5, 50mm F2 macro. All photographs have been post-processed.


I have been away for the past weekend, and most of my time was occupied for the Pre-Wedding shoot which I have blogged in my previous entry. I have always, always set aside time to go out with my camera and do photography for myself, every single week without fail. Somehow, skipping my usual shutter therapy sessions left a hole over the weekend. The feeling was as if I forgot to brush my teeth when I got up in the morning. I just have got to do something about this, and I just have got to pick that camera up and go out and make something happen with it.

Came late Monday afternoon, my hand was itching so badly for shutter therapy session I decided to grab the camera bag and attack the streets just before sunset. Made it home from work rather early, I sped off to Petaling Street in the city, just in time to catch the dying lights. Unfortunately, it was raining rather heavily when I arrived, but that did not stop my determination to come home with enough pictures to make myself smile. I just need to be on the streets, and shoot purely for myself. Oh no, is this what we call, an obsession? Or an addiction?

DRAMATIC TONE Art Filter applied.
Sunset under gloomy sky. Noise-filter set to high, producing a fake-smooth overall appearance.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Pre-Wedding Shoot with Olympus E-5

Over the weekend, I have had the opportunity to dive into a new territory that I have not stepped foot into before. It was a pre-wedding shoot assignment. I have covered many actual wedding day wedding assignment before, and I must say that I was rather excited and thrilled to try out something almost entirely different. Joey and Jess contacted me a couple of months back, after meeting them up for a drink session and working out our expectations from this photo-shoot session, we decided to make it happen this weekend. We all travelled to Malacca, and we shot at three different locations: St Paul’s Church, Puri Hotel and Kelebang Beach.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

What Have I Eaten Lately?

I am a food lover, there is no denying to that. Long, long time ago during my compact point and shoot camera times, I used to bring the camera everywhere I went to, and I made it a point to photograph almost everything that I ate and blogged about them. Food photography is one photography genre by itself, which I have been exploring less and less these days. I think I might need a smaller camera like a micro 4/3 PEN E-PL1 or something similar.

Soft Boiled Egg on Toasted Bread..... how come I did not discover this sooner? Something so simple, but the combination is heavenly.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Shooting Animals with Olympus 40-150mm F3.5-4.5

I took a bus down to Malacca over the weekend, and spent some time away from the hectic city. Work has become more and more stressful lately, thus getting away for a while was crucial for me to maintain my sanity. Of course, shutter therapy sessions did help a lot too.

I decided to go to the Malacca Zoo, to utilize the Olympus Zuiko 40-150mm F3.5-4.5, which has been spending a lot of time idling in the camera bag lately. It may only be a kit lens, which has been discontinued, and not so much of anyone's favourite lens, but I love this lens tremendously. Not only is it cheap (yes, for a budget conscious person like me, this is an important point), the performance is nothing short of stellar. It may not outperform Olympus 50-200mm or 70-300mm, but coming from the "standard lens" category, the sharpness and overall quality of this 40-150mm lens was really something to praise about.

All photographs in this entry were taken with Olympus E-5 and the 40-150mm F3.5-4.5 lens, except for the first image which was taken with 11-22mm F2.8-3.5. Do take note that all the images have been post-processed. I am not longer doing reviews, and it is time for me to truly let myself loose and do what I want with the camera without any restrictions.

Smell the lens.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Walk with E-5

Side Note:
Oh my, my previous entry has caused quite a philosophical debate in the DPreview forums. Allow me to clarify a few things:
1) I did not expect anything in return from Olympus when they asked me to do the reviews on my blog, and they did not promise any "reward", until much later they contacted me after all the reviews are done on the "small token of appreciation".
2) I love Olympus. Everyone knows that. Call me a fanboy if you want. Is it not obvious on any entry I have written here for the past few years? Yes I will always praise Olympus, because I believe it is a great camera system. I write from the bottom of my heart.
3) I know my opinion will be biased towards Olympus' favor. That was the main reason why I decided not to do any technical reviews and camera comparisons.
4) My review was user-experienced based, and I concentrated heavily on photographs taken with the Olympus E-5. You may not trust my words, but my photographs do NOT lie. My photography work (from a photography-enthusiast's point of view) with the E-5 alone justifies the validity of my blog entries.

Give a boy an Olympus E-5, and what will he do? Go out and shoot and shoot and shoot.

It was a public holiday for Malaysia on Wednesday, and my hands were itching crazily for some shutter therapy actions. I brought the newly acquired Olympus E-5 out for a spin on the streets. Having used the camera rather extensively for review purposes before, the camera did not feel alien to me. I did not have anything particular in my mind that I wanted to photograph, or anything I wanted to test out with the E-5. All I wanted to do was to enjoy myself out there, and concentrate on shooting at subjects that move me. (Thanks David, I got this from you).


Lets start the day with a delicious bowl of Wonton Noodles. Yummy !!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Olympus E-5: The Journey Begins

Before you guys dived into what I have written here, may I direct your attention to fellow Olympus photography-enthusiasts from Singapore who have done splendid job in reviewing the Olympus E-5. They have taken many impressive shots with the E-5. Please visit their site here. Great job guys !!

Some time ago, while I was reviewing the Olympus E-5 loaned initial production unit from Olympus Malaysia, I have promised one final entry to conclude the multiple part series of my user-review write-up. Yes, due to some work commitment and procrastination, that final entry has yet to materialize. I know I know, I must finish what I have started, so here is the final piece to wrap things up.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

An Afternoon at Carey Island

To be honest, I have not exactly heard of a place called Carey Island before in my life. The place is actually across a river near Banting, housing a group of aboriginal tribe called Mah-Meri, one of the listed and recognized "Orang Asli" in Malaysia. I have an excuse of saying that I come from Sarawak, but much to my astonishment many locals here in KL or Selangor do not even know the existence of such place.

One fine Saturday afternoon a group of Olympus users, Yeow, Lee, Gerald and myself decided to venture into the island, looking for good photo opportunities. Much thanks to Gerald who fetched me from my place, and then we car-pooled in Yeow's car all the way to the Island. Just before crossing the bridge over to Carey Island, we stopped by a seafood restaurant for some really scrumptious lunch. This place was famous for their crabs, seafood and other seafood. I am not quite sure when was the last time I had myself a real seafood feast, and boy, the food was GREAT !!

Deep Fried Prawn

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Walk with Pen Lovers

Last Saturday afternoon, I met up with a bunch of crazy yet cheerful Olympus PEN camera users who organized a "Teh Tarik" session with a brief walkabout at Brickfields. We met up at Olympus Brand Store at KL Sentral, and from there onwards, we attacked the streets of Brickfields. The streets were rather slow and quiet on that Saturday afternoon, most likely due to the on-going Deepavali celebration that weekend. Nonetheless, I had plenty of fun myself getting to know some Olympus supporters, and shared joy and passion in photography.

Lucky number 8

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Chee Meng & Angeline

Last Sunday, I have had the privilege to be the photographer for a colleague's wedding actual day. Chee Meng is one of the Associate Director's in my work place, and being there to capture those happy and joyful moments of his big day, I must say it was quite a rewarding and refreshing experience. Partnering with me on that very day was an old friend and a great artist, Chun Chow.

Friday, November 05, 2010

In Desperate Need of Shutter Therapy

To all my Indian readers, Happy Deepavali !!

The past few weeks have been crazy, both at work and off-work life. I was so busy I hardly had any time at all with my own camera, and shooting for myself only. No shutter therapy results in a grumpy, emotionally charged and unhappy Robin. Therefore, before things get worse, I decided to pull myself out of the house early today, and stormed the streets.

It was sooooooooooo nice to be able to walk the streets again with nothing in my mind weighing me down. It was refreshing to be able to focus on what I want to shoot. Shutter therapy has become my drug, and yes, somehow I am addicted to it. Taking that away from me will be like taking a bone away from a dog.

I visited my favorite hunting spot, Chow Kit. Armed with my Olympus E-520 with 11-22mm and 50mm, I went as close as I could to my subjects to invoke the intimate connection with the subjects in my images. I want to feel just inches away from the people on the streets, and really create the sense of closeness, as if you are being there. Yes, I did walk dangerously near to them, and pulled off some stunts I never knew the sane me would. Nonetheless, I was deprived of shutter therapy, hence doing a few crazy stunts made up for the lost sessions.


Sorting out goods

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

A Friend's Birthday

It was quite late in the afternoon when my phone beeped, a text from Chun Chow asking if I was free for a birthday celebration dinner with Wendy yesterday night. Good thing I did not have anything planned earlier, hence we made a very last minute dinner plans at one of the random restaurant/bar in Sri Petaling. One long day of work, I was really looking forward to this dinner and catch up with friends.


Monday, November 01, 2010

Should Kids Use DSLR?

So much has happened in my life lately that I hardly find any time to sit down in front of my computer at all. I have so many things to share and tell you all, and some photographs to post up here. I shall slow down my pace a little and allow myself to breathe.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Fun with Lensbaby

Thanks to Dr Soon Ruey, a friend from Sabah who lent me the Lensbaby for a couple of weeks, I had the privilege to mount it on my Olympus E-520. I have brought it out for a spin for some light shooting at night which I have covered in my previous entry. Obviously I was excited by the outcome, and I brought it out for a second round of shooting on the streets, no under hot, bright Malaysian sun.

A family together on the street

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Break the Rules, Break Them All

Side Note: All photographs in this entry were taken with Olympus E-520 with Lensbaby Composer 2.0 (Double Glass Optic)


In modern DSLR photography, we have become so dependent on the surprisingly reliable technologies built into the cameras that it takes very minimal effort for the photographer to control the camera, and focus mainly on making the subjects happen. Focusing has become so blinding fast and accurate that it happens magically with just half press of a shutter button. Exposure automation have been popularized, and most photographers would shoot either in Programme, or Aperture Priority mode, that allows the camera to partially think for them. Usage of the camera has become more and more digital dependent, calculations done by the computer built in the camera, and lets just ask ourselves this: have we become all too dependent?

What if we encounter a situation when Autofocus of the camera would fail us, for example shooting through a badly scratched glass, or grill bars? Would we still be able to nail the shot by manual focus?

An empty can

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Olympus E-5 Review: Adventures at Ledang

Side note:
1) The loaned Olympus E-5 is an initial production unit.
2) All camera settings and parameters vary from photograph to photograph. I used mainly: Picture mode - Vivid or Natural, Noise filter - low.
3) This is a user-experience based review (non-technical).


Amir and E-5 on Macro

Before I do my routine (oh no, this has become a routine !!) of posting a lengthy write-up and displaying my own sets of photographs with the Olympus E-5, allow me to divert your attention to my friend and great mentor, Amir Ridhwan. He is a photography-enthusiast, like myself, and I consider him a master-class macro photographer, whom I have learned a great deal by tagging along some macro shooting with him into the jungle. Like, REAL rainforest, jungle in the middle of the night. No kidding, we are insane.

Photographed by Amir
He writes at http://malaysianspiders.blogspot.com/. Olympus Malaysia has also decided to throw him a unit of Olympus E-5 for reviewing purposes. Do head over and check out his wonderful macro work with the E-5. Wait till you see his shots at superbly challenging situations, where the E-5 never failed to deliver.

So... after Malacca...

After staying the night over at Malacca, we woke up bright and early on Sunday morning for a long drive down to Ledang, a district in Johor, Malaysia. It was approximately over an hour drive from Malacca, to meet up a group of people whom I have come to be a part of in my walk of photography. The forumers of Mychiaroscuro.net, almost 30 of us gathered at Ledang for a one day trip to experience nature at its best.

7-14mm F4: 1/6sec, F/11, ISO100

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Olympus E-5 Review: Night Street Shooting at Jonker Walk, Malacca

Side Note:
1) The loaned Olympus E-5 is an initial production unit.
2) This is a user-experience, non-technical oriented review.
3) General settings: Picture mode - vivid, Saturation 0, Sharpness +1, Contrast 0, Noise Filter low



Before I dived into my next write-up on what I have done with Olympus E-5 in Malacca, allow me to direct your attention to my friend, Frederick Yap. He is an active Olympus user, and he was generous to offer me a place to stay in Malacca over the weekend and spent a great deal of time guiding me around for shooting there. Thanks Fred!! His hands have become unbearable itchy with E-5 right in front of him (who wouldn't be? Right?), so I decided why not I let him have the camera for a little while, and see what he can do with it? I am quite sure most of you would love to see something different apart from what I usually cook up in my usual blog entries.

Frederick, E-5 and the Droplet Experiment

In the morning, while we were at Taman Seribu Bunga as I have blogged in my previous entry, Frederick whipped out his OM lens, the 50mm F1.8, and plugged in a few extension tubes to transform it instantly into an extreme macro manual lens. He intended to capture the water droplet with a flower being displayed within the droplet. His execution and technique to produce this particular shot was not easy, as it involved extreme magnification via manual focusing, lots of trial and error on placements of subjects and position of the lens, and employing the wireless TTL Flash.

A Flower on a Flower.
Photographed by Frederick.
OM 50mm F1.8: 1/250sec, F/16, ISO800, Wireless TTL Flash

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Olympus E-5 Review: A Walk in Malacca

Side Note:
1) The loaned Olympus E-5 unit is an initial production unit.
2) This is a user-experience (non-technical) based review.
3) The general camera settings were: Picture setting – Vivid, Saturation – 0, Contrast – 0, Sharpness – 0, Noise Filter – Low, Gradation – Auto
4) The lenses used for the images in this entry: (All Olympus Zuiko Digital Lenses) 7-14mm F4, 50mm F2 Macro, 8mm F3.5 Fisheye, 40-150mm F3.5-4.5

Thanks to all of you beautiful readers from all over the world, due to your very positive comments on my previous blog entries on Olympus E-5 reviews, as well as all the kind emails I have received, Olympus Malaysia has allowed me another chance to do what I love doing with a camera: make photographs happen. I have had another go with this Olympus E-5, and this time, I have brought the E-5 out of Kuala Lumpur into Malacca for shooting. I have taken tones of photographs over the weekend, and much to my surprise I have come back with so many good photographs, I am having a difficult time selecting the best of the batch to display here on my blog. As previously done, I shall be concentrating my reviews based on user-experience, and the blog entries will be very photograph-image oriented. I believe photographs in real world situation speak a lot louder than words.

Me and Olympus E-5 at Taman Seribu Bunga, Malacca

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Olympus E-5, AGAIN !!


Update:
I have received a few questions, doubts and curious remarks from readers asking if the uder-reviews I have posted here were paid advertisements from Olympus. My answer is NO, it was NOT a paid advertisement. Olympus Malaysia approached me with the loaned unit of E-5, and I had VERY limited time with it for 3 days only, and I did the shooting and review on my blog out of my own time, effort passion and love for Olympus. I did not expect anything in return. Nonetheless, the overwhelming positive response from everyone, everywhere is more than enough of a reward anyone could ask for !! I hope this clears up some misunderstandings.


I have to thank you ALL beautiful readers so, so much for putting in so many kind words in my previous entries pertaining to Olympus E-5 reviews !! Olympus Malaysia has heard your comments, and they have decided to give me the Olympus E-5 for one more run this coming weekend. If it was not for the overwhelming response in the forums everywhere in the world and the massive amount of comments to my review write-ups, this certainly would not happen.


A father's love. Olympus E-520 with 40-150mm F3.5-4.5

I shall be doing the same thing as I have done before, to fully concentrate on shooting. I will have the opportunity to bring the Olympus E-5 out of Kuala Lumpur this time, into other states, hence I am thrilled at the photo opportunities this weekend promises. I can only pray for fine and beautiful weather to add the finishing touch. I cannot wait !!

I will spend most of my time shooting, and making photographs happen throughout the weekend. The soonest I will be able to post anything up here would be on Sunday night (Malaysian time), and definitely I will be breaking down my user-experienced oriented review into multiple parts. Do come back and see what more this Olympus E-5 is capable of doing for us.

It has been a great pleasure and fulfilling experience using the Olympus E-5, and sharing my thoughts and photographs with all of you. I sincerely thank all of you for your superbly inspiring feedback and unexpectedly generous encouragements. I will do my best, with the Olympus E-5, this weekend.

Cheers !!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

For the Love of Kolo Mee

KOLO MEE
(Location: Kuching, Sarawak)

Egg noodles usually yellow and curly, flash-boiled, then classically served with crushed garlic and shallot, minced pork (called Bak Cho), white vinegar, either vegetable oil, pork oil or peanut oil, and sliced barbecue pork known as char siu.


This, my friend, has got to be the most delicious noodles in the whole wide world.

Yes I am a true, blue, Kuching boy.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Long Fall Back to Earth

Fellow Olympus photography-enthusiasts from SINGAPORE have compiled their beautiful images taken with Olympus E-5. Do head over and check out their work at http://web.me.com/cheeyean/e5/index.html.
Thank you Dennis Tan for sharing !!


Is it safe?
Is it safe to land?
Coz the long fall back to earth,
Is the hardest part
- Safe to Land by Jars of Clay

The Olympus E-5 has been returned to Olympus Malaysia. With or without it, shutter therapy session goes on.

An old friend, Frederick Yap (click) came over from Malacca to KL for the weekend, and we had a lot of catching up to do. He expressed his interest in diving into KL streets for some shooting, hence we headed off bright and early on Saturday morning to my usual street hunting place, Chow Kit, KL.

Armed with my own camera, Olympus E-520 with both 11-22mm F2.8-3.5 and 50mm F2 macro, we strolled along the streets of Chow Kit and enjoyed our shutter therapy session. It was not so much of stressing out on getting wonderful shots, because there was really no one to impress and please, besides ourselves. We do not have to meet anyone's expectations,a and just snapped the camera away freely, at whatever we wanted to shoot. Instead, the important thing was to destress after a whole long week of exhaustive full time office work, and fun was the main agenda for that morning.


A wooden bridge.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Olympus E-5 Review: Concluding Remarks and More Images

Side Note:
1) The loaned Olympus E-5 was an initial production unit.
2) Some of the images have been post-processed and converted to black and white. This entry displays the type of photographs that I personally would love to take.


“I knew I loved you before I met you” – Savage Garden

I must express my deepest gratitude to all readers from around the world. Thank you so much for your generous encouragements, positive feedback and genuinely inspiring comments. I have come to the end of my review with the Olympus E-5, and on Monday 6th October 2010 I have returned the initial production unit to Olympus Malaysia, with much sadness. However, before that, I managed to squeeze some more photographs out of the camera. This time, it was not so much about reviewing the camera, I was focusing more on enjoying myself using the Olympus E-5. In this last entry of my Olympus E-5 review sagas, I am posting up: 1) images from the street walk at Dang Wangi, KL and 2) my concluding remarks based on very limited time with the Olympus E-5.

If you have not read the first three parts of my reviews, the following are the direct links to the review pages:





Monday, October 04, 2010

Olympus E-5 Review: Extreme Low Light Shooting at Aquaria, KLCC

Side Note:
1) The loaned Olympus E-5 is an initial production unit.
2) This is a user-experience based review.
3) General camera parameters: Picture Mode - Natural, Noise Filter - LOW, Sharpness - 0, Contrast - 0, Saturation - 0.
4) Minor post processing performed on the photographs besides resizing. Only slight exposure compensation and a little cropping for better overall presentation. The photographs are almost straight out of camera JPEG.



First of all, I have to say a big THANK YOU to forumers from all around the world !! Hello you beautiful people from DPreview, FourThirds User, FourThirds Photos, E-System Talk UK and 43rumors.com (and also so many dozens more forums in all languages, website links and blog links). I am overwhelmed with such massive response, and certainly this is very encouraging for me. You guys made my review works and photography walk with the E-5, no matter how brief it was, very worthwhile and fulfilling !

I have noticed a lot of positive remarks on my style of reviewing the Olympus E-5. Thank you all so much for understanding why I chose to break the norm of fixed mundane redundant technicalities based reviews. I believe you all trust DPreview and many other photography review sites, so lets just leave the number games to them to deal with more efficiently, and definitely, more accurately. My user-experience oriented review style was probably not a very popular option, but skipping the technical part means I can concentrate on photography. If you guys do not know this yet, Olympus E-System is ALL about PHOTOGRAPHY. So, this is what I love to do best, to make photographs happen !!

ISO640
50mm F2 macro, ISO 640, 1/400 sec, F/2

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Olympus E-5 Review: Macro Shooting at Butterfly Park, Kuala Lumpur

Side Note:
1) This is a continuation from my first review of the Olympus E-5 (click).
2) The Olympus E-5 unit loaned from Olympus Malaysia is an initial production unit.
3) General camera settings: Picture Mode: Vivid, Saturation = 0, Sharpness = 0, Contrast = 0, Noise Filter = LOW
4) Very minimal post processing done: Slight exposure compensation (my own fault, not the camera) and minor cropping for better overall presentation. I did not do any colour changes, what you see basically is straight out of camera JPEG.

"You think you all have seen how sharp Olympus 50mm F2 macro lens is? Think again. Wait till you see HOW SHARP the lens is on the Olympus E-5 body."


I am back, with MORE photographs taken with Olympus E-5 !! I am so excited I cannot wait to share with you beautiful readers out there.

Before I jump any further, I must thank all of you visitors from around the world !! For some reasons, my first part of the review for Olympus E-5 has been linked to so many websites and photography forums everywhere. Special thanks to all you lovely folks from DPreview forum, I was shocked to find my link up there. A huge, warm hello to you guys !!

Allow me to reiterate my purposes I have set out for reviewing the loaned Olympus E-5 unit. I shall not delve into technical aspects of the camera, and there will not no comparisons between this E-5 and any previous Olympus 4/3 DSLR bodies. This review shall be focused on producing more and more images, a taste of what a photographer can achieve with an E-5 on hand. In other words, it is all about what I can do with the E-5, rather than what it can do by itself. My review will be centered on my personal thoughts and feelings during my brief encounter with it in my limited photography sessions. For extensive technical reviews and comparisons, please kindly wait patiently for official review from trusted photography dedicated websites, such as DPreview. I am sure the folks there are at their busiest moment now, with so many new cameras lined up for review.


Aperture Priority, Single-AutoFocus, 1/250 sec, F/2.5, ISO 200. Yes, I did ask the permission of the parents for this shot.


With that said, lets roll out the images, and talk about what I have done this morning !!

I woke up to yet another ugly cloudy day. I had one objective in mind in the morning, to do macro photography at Butterfly Park, KL. Armed with the Olympus E-5 body, I brought along Olympus 50mm F2.0 Macro and an external flash, Olympus FL-36R. If you must know, yes I am a macro crazy person.


For this particular review sessions, what I have found about the new Olympus E-5, when it comes to macro photography are as follows:
1) Stunning resolution captured, with massive amounts of fine details maintained in the image.
2) Very reliable wireless TTL-Flash control.
3) Autofocus with the 50mm F2 macro was fast and reliable.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Olympus E-5 Review: On the Streets

Side Note:
1) The loaned Olympus E-5 unit is an initial production unit. The final production unit, which is expected to be available in November 2010 may differ slightly from the initial production unit.
2) This is NOT a technical review, but more of a user-experience oriented review.
3) All photographs taken with Olympus E-5 with 12-60mm F2.8-4.0 SWD lens.
4) General settings: Aperture Priority, ISO200-1000 (varies depending on lighting condition), noise filter OFF or LOW, picture mode: Portrait or DRAMATIC TONE Art-Filter, Contrast = 0, Sharpness = 0, Saturation = 0.

Earlier this week, Olympus Malaysia approached me and asked if I would be interested to do a review on the new upcoming flagship professional DSLR body, Olympus E-5. Of course I jumped in and said YES !! I have just received the loaned unit last night from Magdelyn and Tang, whom I must thank for taking the trouble to come down all the way from Mont Kiara to Mid Valley to pass the E-5 to me. I have the E-5 with me now, and guess what I am doing with it?

Yes, lots, and lots and lots of shutter therapy sessions. (To view an image of my E-5 initial production unit, click here)



Umbrella Setup.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Sunday Wide Angle Street

I started doing street photography with extremely long Olympus 70-300mm F4-5.6, which was a whooping 600mm in 35mm format equivalent on the far tele end. The advantage and flexibility of zoom provided me freedom to capture shots from quite a distance away. Nonetheless, as I did more and more street shooting, I found myself moving closer and closer to my subjects.

I have sold off the 70-300mm lens for quite some time now, to fund for the Olympus 50mm F2 macro. Using a fixed focal length (prime lens) on the street has become a new challenge. No zoom, means I have to estimate the coverage in my mind, position myself nearer or further away from the subjects to get the framing I wanted. This was a huge challenge for me, because I have always been a zoom shooter, and I have always favoured zoom over prime lenses. Nonetheless, staying within the comfort zone for too long will never get me anywhere, hence I moved from super long telephoto zoom lens to shooting primarily with 50mm only on the street.

And something weird happened lately. I usually carry both 50mm and my wide angle lens, Olympus 11-22mm F2.8-3.5 lens in my bag, just in case I wanted some wide shots. Recently, unknowingly the 50mm stayed in the camera bag most of the time. I did not even realized it until I reviewed my shots, I have been shooting more and more with 11-22mm, the wide angle lens !!

Start the day with a Camwhore.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

A Shutter Therapy that Ended with Roti Babi

This glorious Saturday morning, I was accompanied by awesome blogger/photographer friend Jasonmumbles, together with his friend Ivy for a shutter therapy session on the streets. The trail started at Masjid Jamek LRT stop, leading to Jalan Masjid India, passing through KL Sogo to the entrance of Chow Kit area. The weather was friendly as the sun was not overly cruel, and at times it was cloudy enough to provide comfortable shade for walking. Yes, we all have our cameras clicking all the way.

Greetings from a furry friend.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A Rainy Pangkor Quicky

I made a very brief trip up to the Pangkor Island earlier today. It was a site visit with client and contractors. How can I say no to some possible photo opportunities there, right?


A pseudo-HDR image to balance the details on the leaves against the strong back-lit condition.

I seldom pack my gears to work, but whenever there is something exciting, I decided my Olympus gears should not be left behind. Nonetheless, I usually would shy the camera away, and only take it out if there is absolutely nothing getting in the way. Work is work, and photography shall never interfere. In between waiting times for other contractors to arrive, and the quiet walking along the beach to the designated area of interest, I managed to steal some time to make some shutter clicking happen. Not many shots captured I am afraid, but it was surprisingly sufficient to make my day.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Don't Miss Practice

Don't miss practice.
Practice good technique.
Don't cheat yourself.
Don't give in.
Don't give up.
Don't settle for less.
Work through the pains and disappointments.



You'll be a better photographer


Kirk Tuck, a Texas based professional photographer blogged recently about how important it is to continuously keep oneself in shape, when it comes to photography. Staying in tip top form is crucial, and getting to know the camera inside out, every buttons, synchronizing every muscle of your body with your techniques to execute the photography ideas you visualize in your head: it takes a massive amount of practice and an immensely strict discipline to stay in and ahead of the game.


Ballroom @ Marriott Hotel, Putrajaya. A panorama stitched photograph of 6 separate shots, combined in Hugin. Each photos taken with Olympus 11-22mm F2.8-3.5 lens, at 11mm, 1/15 sec, F/2.8, ISO800, Handheld.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A Garden Wedding

I have had the privilege to cover a wedding together with a dear friend, Frederick, again. This time the wedding venue is out in the open at a garden. I have not done anything similar to this before, certainly it was quite a thrill for both of us. It was a Christian wedding, and we had a blast capturing the beautiful moments and wonderful emotions overflowing throughout the entire wedding day.

The rings that bind the two forever.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Malaysia Day, Off-Duty

Dear Beloved Country,

I noticed that you have taken a break for quite a long while now. You have abandoned the people's cries and pain. You have miserably forsaken the desperate necessity to move forward and chose to stay dangerously stagnant instead, foolishly refusing and resisting much-needed change. Your idle state of conscious hypocrisy proclaiming "One Malaysia" bothers me gravely.


Malaysia, my beloved place of birth, when will you wake up? When will you finally decide to end the long period of staying dormant? Break is over, now please, please get back to duty. Your duty to your people. Your people love you, they love you still. You just have to prove that their love is not for nothing.

Happy Malaysia Day !!

Cheers.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Clasped on Jaws of a Wasp

On one glorious Sunday morning, I woke up to a buzzing sound of a wasp, hovering just outside my bedroom window. It made a stop on the window frame, and I hurried to my camera bag to pull out the camera. Thankfully the Olympus 50mm F2 macro lens was already mounted on it, and I fired away at the insect mercilessly.

I could not get as close as I liked, because the wasp actually stood at the outer edge of the window frame, and I had to extend my arm with the camera away from my body, out of the window. What a stunt, considering a fatal move would mean everything going down four storeys onto cold, hard, concrete landing. Ouch, is an understatement.


Shot in Aperture Priority mode, at F2, at ISO 200, with Auto-focus. All natural lighting.

I really loved the shot in many ways. First of all, there was that poor ant caught in the mouth of that wasp !! The wasp was generally black in colour, and the backlit situation accentuated the threatening black figure, while effectively isolating the attention to the red coloured prey, the ant. The overall lighting condition made the subject pop out somehow, especially the glowing shine on the head/eye area of the wasp.

Sometimes, we do not have to go far to find photography subjects. They come knocking on your bedroom window, literally.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Face Down To Hide the Fatal Cut

Sometimes we fall. Again and again.



Until one day, we decide it is enough, and refuse to get up anymore.

Hence, we lie still, face down on the earth.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Hari Raya Walkabout

To all my beautiful Muslim friends, I wish you all "Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri" !!!

I woke up to a heavy rain this morning. Hence, I went back to sleep, and got up around 9am. It stopped raining, but the sky was gloomy and dark. That did not dampen my spirit to go all out on street shooting. I do not know quite how to explain this, there has been some bottled up urge to just walk and shoot and shoot and shoot endlessly. No, this is not obsession, but just an urge that has been accumulating. I just needed some release. I needed my shutter therapy.

I went to my usual hunting places and started my shutter clicking frenzy. I realized I have used my 50mm most of the time now, and have gotten quite comfortable using it. I am very pleased with the results that this lens yields, especially the coverage. Gone are the days I was very heavily dependent on the long tele-photo lens on street shooting. Also, for this session, I tried my best to present the photographs as truthfully as possible, with very minimal post-processing done. The colours seen on the photographs here were almost exactly as near as the straight out of camera output, with only minor tweaks, particularly on the slight exposure compensation to balance out minor brightness/contrast variations. Other than that, what you see is what you get directly from the camera itself.

Alright enough talk, lets go to the photographs.


10th September. First day of Hari Raya 2010. Shutter therapy at its fullest !!

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Click and Run

Note: All photographs in this entry were taken with a compact point and shoot, Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ8.


Have you ever come across a photographer wannabe friend who professes how much he knows about camera control and settings, and using such knowledge to create wonderful shots that he claims to be "good photographs", but all you can do as a friend, was replying politely how you agreed with him despite the fact that in your heart, you found nothing good to say about his photographs?

Yes, technically his photographs were perfect, down to the correct exposures, accurate white balance, noise-free and smooth, spot-on focus, good composition, decent sharpness, etc etc. Then you started to question yourself, what were you really looking at in his photograph, just merely pixels, or was there something else?

Therefore, for one session recently when I went out for shooting, I decided, screw all the technicalities, for once.


A sweaty hug under the hot sun.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Night Shooting Outing @ I-City, Shah Alam

It was on one not so fine Saturday night, with slight drizzle that developed into light rain that Benny, Scott, LKM and me found ourselves having a shutter therapy session at I-City, Shah Alam. Basically, the entire land area at I-City were "planted" with artificial trees, made of plastic, being plunged into the ground via concrete base. The "not so green" trees were decorated with bulbs and lights of all sorts, hence the view at night at I-City can be quite out of the ordinary.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Looking to Kuching Skies

It was on my second day home, which was quite an interesting day filled with much activities the entire day. It started with bringing mum to Saberkas for a Hair-do, and conveniently I had mine too. After lunch, I brought mum to MBO Cinemas at the Spring for the newly released Phua Chu Kang: The Movie which my mum enjoyed very, very much. Shopping, or more appropriately, window shopping at Spring finished off the entire afternoon, and I got home with mum around 5.30pm. I was dead tired, but the day was well spent.

I thought I had enough for one day, until I saw the sky. Yes, the sky. It never failed to get my attention, especially the skies in Kuching. They just called out to me and I just had to do something about it.

The sunset was roughly an hour away (around 6.45pm, if I am not mistaken) hence I quickly grabbed my gears and headed out towards the city area, on foot. I stay within walking distance to the Kuching CBD. Yes, I walk a lot, in case you have not noticed. How else did you think I managed to do my street photography sessions?


Kuching city view from 9th floor, Medan Pelita.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Street Photography with Sarawak Bloggers

I returned to my hometown, Kuching, Sarawak (in Borneo Island) for the recent weekend, which was also the long weekend for Malaysia's Independence Day celebration. Therefore I have decided to stay away from blogging during this brief trip home, to allow myself more time to spend with mum, relatives and friends. The long weekend has been really fulfilling, and I felt that I have accomplished so many things in such short period of time.


Who says only female can be loving and affectionate? Guys can do so too you know.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Busy Packing, Again

Besides Kolo Mee and Sarawak Laksa, all I could think of in my mind all day long today was the open, wide, spacious, clear, breathtakingly awesome blue sky of Kuching.



Since my last trip home in early April, I will be making a short trip home this weekend, making use of the Merdeka Holiday. Nonetheless, on this brief holiday, I shall prioritize on spending time with mum, relatives and friends. Hopefully I will still be able to find time to splatter this blog with much saliva inducing Kuching food.




After burning out my mind and soul working in KL, I believe this time away from work, and being close to the ones I love would heal some battle scars.

I miss Kuching terribly. I just can't wait to go home right now.