Friday, May 06, 2016

Join me in Backing Up La Noir Image Kickstarter Project

Hey beautiful people!

Listen up. A fellow awesome photographer/blogger, Chris Gampat from ThePhoblographer had recently started quite a unique and interesting project called La Noir Image, which is an exclusive documentation of the monochrome lifetyle. Chris has been gathering awe-inspiring black and white images from photographers all around the world, and consolidated the collection of images in the La Noir Image website here. I was fortunate and privileged to be featured as well, you can check out my slot here. 

Now, the La Noir Image project is taking a major step up in the game, and a Kickstarter project was created to fund this. Besides just having a cool website, La Noir Image aims to be made more accessible to mobile devices and have regular updates! The goal is to create digital high quality magazine compatible with both Android and iOS platforms, with addition of tonnes of interactive features (not just basic interviews, but also tutorials, discussion on black and white topics, and even video segments).

I genuinely do want to see this project happen. So please do join me in backing up this awesome project, you can start the pledge from USD10!

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Maximizing The Use of Kit Lens: Olympus M.Zuiko 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 EZ

I have written lengthily about Olympus underrated Kit Lens, the M.Zuiko 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 EZ Pancake Zoom lens, and you may read them here and here, if you have not done so.

I have heard many times newcomers to photography whine about how useless and crappy the kit lens that comes with their DSLR or Mirrorless System camera, and they immediately dismiss that kit lens, upgrading to better and more expensive pro grade lenses or prime lenses. While I do not deny that kit lens is not as good optically as the more expensive upgrade options, I would not call kit lenses useless, or crappy. For learning photographers, I would recommend rigorous and extensive use of the basic kit lens set up for at least one long year, before considering any upgrades. 

It is my belief that, if you are not yet capable of effectively using the basic kit lens to shoot good images, you are just not ready to upgrade your lens. Even if you choose to get a better lens, you could do so much better if you have just spent some time and effort in developing your skills in optimizing your kit lens use. 

Yes, upgrading to better lenses guarantees sharper images, better contrast (global and micro contrast), more specific capabilities (ultra wide angle, macro, long tele photo, etc) as well as shallower depth of field (wider aperture). I strongly and confidently believe that the kit lens is sufficiently sharp, versatile zoom range  enough for most practical uses and adequate in performance, lacking only by the limitations of the user. 

In this blog entry, I am sharing a few tips and tricks to maximize the potential of your kit lens use in every day photography. It is my hope that more newcomers to photography would not obsess about gear too soon, and explore photography with their new camera and kit lens. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Street Photography Is About....

Found an old image of myself, taken several years ago by a dear friend, Luke Ding during one of our many photowalks around KL city area. 

There was a background with a gigantic word "Fun" on it. 

I figured, this could make a good introduction slide in my upcoming Street Photography presentation that I am working on now. 

Monday, April 18, 2016

Keeping Things Simple And Fun

I have been witnessing the urge in many local photographer friends to push through boundaries, trying to accomplish something great with their photographs. Talks about tips and tricks to win that prestigious competition, being featured in a local art gallery for exhibitions and generally how to gain recognition from their photography work. Somehow, all this made my own photography attempts during my weekly shutter therapy sessions look so... plain and simple. Perhaps, too simplistic, knowing well that none of these photographs I have taken or shown here would win me any competition, or be printed and proudly hung in Art Gallery walls. 

As I was about to question the whole purpose of me picking up the camera and shoot week after week, I paused for a second and realized that, it was never about competitions or exhibitions in the first place. It would be awesome for you if you have a strict goal to achieve, something to aim for, hence the powerful motivation to go far, and break down barriers. It all comes down to how much you want something, how desperate you want it to happen and how much you are willing to sacrifice to accomplish your goals. As much as I have given up and can set aside to the expansion of my photography goals, I would never, ever sacrifice one particularly important aspect: the JOY of photography. 

That was the difference between me and many people that I know, while some photographers pick up the camera hoping to capture that miracle shot that will be featured in the National Geographic, I on the other hand could care less about anything, really, except making darn sure I was having a blast of a time, as if it was my last shutter therapy session I have had. Why bother picking up a hobby if you cannot even enjoy every single process of it? 

Keeping in-line with the spirit of simple and fun, I decided to use just the kit lens for last weekend's shutter therapy session. All images were taken with the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II and M.Zuiko 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 EZ Kit Lens. 

Sometimes I cannot believe how small the E-M10 Mark II is. Not that much difference in size in comparison to a cup of Flat White