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 !!


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.