1) Warning: heavy graphics loading coming up. Therefore, I have set the main page to only display one main current entry at the moment for faster loading. For previous entries, please go to the sidebar.
2) Thanks for the tag/meme/blog-award M, I am flattered to be nominated as your favourite photo-blog !! But unfortunately, I have stopped myself from joining any of those meme/blog-chain things, since they do not exactly flow well with my style of blogging, so I shall not post anything up regarding that. I do appreciate the nomination. Thanks again.
During this weekend, there was the annual giant photography event held at Times Square, the Kuala Lumpur Photography Festival (KLPF) 2008, where all the major brands and manufacturers of cameras and related equipments were rallying together for a major show and exhibition for the two day full out event. Showcasing of upcoming new models from respective brands, shedding light on the groundbreaking technologies being developed, and of course, gathering the photographers, professionals, not so professionals and noobs (like me) in one particular spot have somehow made this event quite a spectacularly remarkable one.
There were demonstrations of newly launched products, or upcoming ones, talks and seminars on photography tips from various categories being conducted by real internationally acclaimed photographers, are just a few highlights of the massive event. It was so massive that I have spotted quite a number of friends who travelled all the way from Malacca and Penang just for the festival. I was originally planning to attend just the second day with my colleagues, but since Jian (the crazy cat) came out all the way from Malacca and could only made it on the first day, I
I found my way to Times Square, and met up with quite a number of photographers/bloggers, some I have known for quite a while back (I have been blogging for almost 3 years now), some actually have become good friends, and some I have never seen in person but had the chance to meet them there and then. We bumped into SleepyHao and KimFei, and we formed a mini group to go around hunting and strolling around. Along the way, I also met up for the first time, Fattien who uses a Canon DSLR but with an Olympus flash proudly mounted on it. I also bumped into another guy, whom I have met previously in a similar assignment back in Malacca not too long ago. He was Fish, an Oly user and also a fellow mychiaroscuro.net forum member.
The event features plenty of sessions, mostly on mini seminar and talks, which I have decided to attend quite a few of them. I have attended the one organized by Olympus, about how to survive in the wild by Sanjit Singh. The talk basically touches on the dos and don'ts, and several important points to be noted when venturing into the dangerous wild taking pictures. Besides that, there were many attractive talks regarding travel photography, and tips on saving heaps on travel, but without compromising on photo opportunities along the way. The event itself being open to the public and free of charge, just being there I find myself taking home a lot of very useful pointers in photography.
I am sure if you guys have undoubtedly noticed the pictures of the models I have posted up to this point. In the late afternoon there was the Fujifilm model shootout competition opened to the public. Of course, as under-equipped as I was, I did not participate in the competition, but just went in and shoot anyway so you beautiful readers would have the usual dosage of lovely babes to view on my blog !! What I would do for you guys, heh !!!
I would not say that this photo-shoot session was one of the most challenging I have faced when it comes to taking pictures of models on stage so far, but I dare tell you guys that it was not an easy task. I shall list down the reasons why it was a nightmare for me, though I have done this several times previously.
1) ZERO MOBILITY
Since it was a competition, God knows what prizes were being offered for the winners, and being a massive annual photography event where photographers come from all corners of Malaysia flocking into the hall, the entire area surrounding the stage was jammed packed with photographers. This was the first time I have seen so many cameras together in one spot, there must have been hundreds and hundreds of DSLRS aiming at the stage. Right in front of the stage, there were two rows of chairs for sitting down, and I was standing three more rows behind the chairs, making me at the 4th or 5th row behind the front line, being squeezed in from all directions by vultures who would do anything to push their camera and equipments to the far front as much as they could, even if it means bumping your head off along the way. Those cruel vicious creatures seriously were nothing near human I swear.
Since I was sardined, I could not move my body at all, heck, I was stuck with one particular position. Whether its good or bad, I had no choice, but to work with that particular one spot. On usual days, where there would be only 10-15 photographers for a fashion show, I could move around quite freely, or even relocate by body a few meters right, or left, or front or back, or even lower my body if necessary. I had totally zero mobility in this particular session. Hence, no room for creative angles at all !!!!
Considering the fact that I was surrounded by so many camera users, there were heads in front of me, elbows besides me, flash units portruding out, and basically at any single place I point my camera to, there would be something blocking my view. There was no total 100% distraction free view, unless I move myself to the front standing line. Taking into consideration of all those obstructions, it was seriously impossible to achieve that perfect composition corner to corner. I find myself shooting away with half body shots most of the times, and I could not go any lower than that point since what would come into the frame would be some fat ugly guy's freaking skinless head. I know it is important to emphasize on legs, especially in model shooting, but I find it nearly impossible to do so in such situation, and there was almost nothing I could do about it.
I must say though, being tall does have its advantages. I do consider myself taller than average by Malaysian standard, and having the slight height advantage does give me a tad more flexibility in isolating my subjects in the frame. But this also ultimately means being the disadvantage to the person standing directly behind me. Since I was holding my camera in the vertical direction most of the time, my right elbow was being held up, and it somehow clashed with one photographer's flash unit. He must have cursed me countless times there, and well, sorry dude. I got to save my own shots.
3) CONTINUOUS FLASH FIRING
You will be amazed by how many hundreds of flash strobes being fired upon a model in one second. There were so many continuous flash firing from virtually ALL directions, that it has become one challenge itself not to capture their flash accidentally. Quite a lot of my shots have been blown out of exposure thanks to the never-ending rapidly thrown out flashes. One shot which would have been good, had to be taken at least a couple of times continuously to make sure that at least a few of them come out without the flashes.
I have yet to own a flash unit, so firing at boosted ISO was my only solution. Seriously, this was my first time seeing so many flashes firing all at once. God knows how the models could stand the intense harsh flashing. Even myself could barely stand the flashes coming from left right and front of me all the freaking time !!!!
Although the shooting conditions were not exactly ideal, and having terrible lighting distribution on stage, I believe I have done all I could with what I have. It was not easy pulling out those shots, but somehow viewing those pictures I have a satisfactory feeling. Not having an external flash, I do believe those shots were quite acceptable.
So there you go, the first day of KLPF. Of course I went for the second day too with my beloved colleagues, but that shall be a story for another entry. Anyone of you went to the event? Any stories to share?