Saturday, December 19, 2009

Mychiaroscuro 2nd Anniversary


About a year ago I was introduced to this photography specific forum by Brandon Eu, dedicated to four-thirds system user. This forum has quite a weird name, Mychiaroscuro.net. The name is so long, that the members had grown to call it short by just "screw screw". The forum has been around for 2 years now, and tonight I had the privilege to be part of the 2nd anniversary celebration dinner, which was held at Chilis, Mid Valley.

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Why I Joined, and Stayed with Screw Screw

I was sceptical at first, since I was not exactly a very forum friendly person. I do not have the time to log into the forum every single day, read through all the discussions and messages and actively participate in the ever-active and never ending threads. Call me anti-social, but I foresaw myself being a passive member, more crudely speaking, a sleeping member.

Nonetheless, I am well aware that to further improve my photography skills, at some point I have to quit shooting alone all the time. Real time input from peers, advise and opinions on shooting sessions can be helpful for dramatic learning hike. More importantly, I was looking for a group of photography community to take part in, and where other better place than screw screw, since it was based on Four-Thirds system, a place where hundreds of Olympus users like myself flock together? Since we all use the same system, it is easier to connect and speak in the same "language", while encouraging and supporting each other to move up the ladder of photography.

I was not exactly very active throughout my participation in the forum, as I have anticipated earlier. Nonetheless, I did try to make a point to catch up on important events, and periodically make some noise there and here to show that I am in fact still alive somewhere. I did join a few photography outings, whenever I have the free time to do so. Through the few outings I have joined, I have enjoyed them tremendously. I have learned a great deal from the forumers, particularly in terms of improving my macro shots, and general camera handling. I have met dozens of wonderful Olympus users from everywhere, some have even become close friends and it was quite a refreshing feeling because every one around me especially those other system users kept annoyingly shouting the fact that Olympus is the minority. So what? I am perfectly happy with my camera and gears, and now, we have an army of Olympus users and we do not care about numbers. I am glad I am part of the group now, and I am proud to show you what Olympus is capable of, through this blog, as well as through the works with other forumers.

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Benny, Henry and Dr. Raymond

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Cicak and Benny


The History of Mychiaroscuro.net

One of the founders of mychiaroscuro.net were present for the anniversary dinner, and she was such a cool and charming person !! She took the liberty to share with us all (especially the newer members) why the screw screw forum was formed in the first place, and how it has grown into a huge community as it is today. I cannot help it but appreciate the effort, time and hard work the original founders as well as the old members in the growth and expansion of this community.

All the founders and original members of Mychiaroscuro.net were in fact from Photo Malaysia. There were only a few Olympus users back then (less than a dozen if I remember correctly) and being the smallest in number, the group was subjected to violent abuse and bashing from other system users. At first the brand worshipping and gear bashing were tolerable to certain extent, but as the community of Photo-Malaysia grew bigger, more and more jerks joined the anti-Olympus movement, lashing out in every opportunity they can find to talk the small group down. From outings to message postings, marks of merciless brand discrimination were hurtful and it came to a point when the group finally decided they have had enough defending themselves form such unnecessary and inhumane attacks. They loved Olympus, they loved using their system, they made awesome shots with their system, so if the other system users do not appreciate photography and so glued to their own system, it was time to leave.

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Unlimited Chips, and my not-so-nice Lamb Shank

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The group came out, and formed a new forum, dedicated to Olympus and all other Four-Thirds system users, including Panasonic and Leica. In this place, Olympus is the majority, but other system users are still welcome to join, since we all focus on photography not brand worshipping. Sharing, learning and improving in photography were the main agenda, and anyone who wished to do so can participate freely. It was really great to see that the original few had the guys to do what they did. Who cares about those big assed Canon and Nikon users? I can totally relate with the founders and what they were going through. Sometimes it is hard to just make decent conversations with other brand users, we ask them what they think about this one photograph and they tell you "oh I do not like your Olympus colour, my Canon colour is better", or things like "Of course your photo will not be as good because you use Olympus. Come see my Canon photos". Those are all bullshits. A camera is just a tool, it does not take photographs, but a photographer does.

I am glad to see the screw screw community to grow in numbers over the years. Yes, Olympus users are still the minority in comparison to other brands, but we are not small either. It was a great hope that the members can contribute in whatever way they can to produce awe-worthy photographs, and show to the other system users how capable Olympus truly is, not doing any less, or actually even better in many ways in comparison to other brands. I know I am doing my part the best I can, and this blog alone has been heavily shifted in its purpose and directions in fulfilling the afore-mentioned objective.

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Dr. Soon Ruey from KK, Sabah

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Thomas and Chung Ka, only 17 years old !!! I want to be 17 years old too !!!

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Pam, one of the founders of Screw Screw

The Anniversary Dinner

The dinner was held at Chili's Mid Valley. I have been here once before, approximately three years ago for a mini-blogger's gathering where I met up with some really cool KL bloggers, many whom have stopped blogging now. I ordered a plate of Lamb Shank. After hearing recommendations and good remarks about Chilis, I was quite disappointed with their Lamb Shank. It was not very evenly cooked, and the texture was very rubbery and too dry to my liking. The sauce tasted rather bland, and for a lamb lover like myself, it was one of the worst lamb shank I have ever tasted. Even the RM18.90 (price back then) lamb shank at Westwood, Kuching is a lot better than this. Nonetheless, I liked their concept of bottomless drinks, as well as refillable chips. Those were essential for long sitings.

Many new faces joined the dinner. Soon Ruey, a medical doctor came all the way from KK, Sabah with his wife, and it was really awesome listening to his life adventures !! Pamela the founder was there too, sharing the history of screw screw, and it was indeed great to finally being able to know how this all came about, and being able to appreciate the works of the founders. Also, we have Chung Ka (click) and Thomas, both only 17 years old, recently completed their SPM exams. This greatly shows the great diversity of the group, having photographer enthusiasts as young as school-goers, to seasoned photographers. Indeed, it was a wonderful mix in this community, where age and other differences do not matter, but the drive in photography binds all together.

I am an Olympus user, and an Olympus lover. I finally realized that I was at the right place, when I heard another fellow saying these words:
"How can photocopier, fax and printer machine experts actually make good optical equipments?"
If you find that statement a little rough, perhaps you should make an effort in your own part to refrain from bashing others, because in some ways it will claw back to you. Photography should never be about brand worshiping. If you love your system so much, learn to accept the fact that other people may fall in love in other systems.

Long live Mychiaroscuro.net !!

32 comments:

  1. So, is it hard to make a decent conversation with me? :P

    Eh, you can request for a change la. They will change for you until it (lamb shank) fits your liking.

    ReplyDelete
  2. hey chong,
    nolah, you are not that extreme. You want I can intro you to some more hardcore canon fans. I think you might even get scared.
    Nah, if they are good, they can make it right the first time. save all the fuss, cannot wait another 40 minutes for them to cook me the dish, was too hungry.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Dear Author robinwong.blogspot.com !
    You have thought up such matchless phrase?

    ReplyDelete
  4. hey anonymous,
    first of all I would prefer my commentors to at least leave a name so I can trace back your threads of comments.
    That aside, please define "matchless". And which phrase you were referring to.

    ReplyDelete
  5. everytime someone tells me canon/nikon takes better photos than any other camera, i show them your blog. its so funny to see how hard they try to stop their jaws from dropping when they see your street photography shots. then i show them your old shots that u took with your 3mp compact.

    i got a friend who is less than 6 months into photography and already owns 3 lenses. needless to say, she can't do squat. i encourage her to sell off her canon and take up gardening.

    -Marcus

    ReplyDelete
  6. Woi, why only mention Canon but Nikon? Haha!

    I think you have proven yourself and the greatness of Olympus.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hey marcus,
    thanks so much for your support!
    Dont la be so cruel to ask your friend do gardening haha.
    I do not deny canon/nikon are good but it is unacceptable to bash others either. Most of the time it is how the photographer shoots that matter the most!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hey jasonmumbles,
    Lol i have more canon friends thus didnt touch nikon. Do not get me wrong ya i do not think olympus is all mighty and great but it is indeed a capable system. That does not mean i can just keep quiet when people bash me haha
    but i have met many awesome canon users and you are one of them! Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  9. LOL i'm not mean la! if i were mean i'd tell her to sell off her canon and use the money to install a pole in her bedroom so she can learn pole dancing and work from home! hehehe

    -Marcus

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  10. Argh. I missed those faces! =(

    Looks like you guy have a great time. (Well screwscrew has a great time for every outing anyway. =D )

    ReplyDelete
  11. g hey marcus,
    LOL thats even worse !! I remember what you told me last Christmas ahahaha about the new pole dancing trend !! OMG that was one year ago !!

    Hey tkp13,
    heyyyy yeahhh it was very very fun !!! We have soon ruey, pam, innerzen telling us life stories which were precious and rare. Of course, every screw screw outing is super fun by itself. wish you were there !!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Nice pictures taken by Olympus. The food looks delicious and yummy.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Ur photos are not good enough, no contrast, composition bad, etc etc, mayb cos they're not shot with Nikon SLR with Nikon lens? =)

    Try change to Nikon system and your composition and photo taking skills will change dramatically =)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hahahaha.. good thing I wasn't there!!! It would make the event even littler in substance!

    Good show!!

    Oh ya, now I am Canon S90 shooter.. :p (along with my Zuiko 14-100mm F2.0 guns la)...

    ReplyDelete
  15. hey yiaw wei,
    you will be eaten alive. I cant save you.

    Hey fahrur,
    how come you didnt make it to the gathering? You should defend canon's pride !!

    ReplyDelete
  16. hey, can i copy ur article and post it on my blog? Kidding kidding, BTW, nice article and really great to meet u and other screw screw members!

    ReplyDelete
  17. hey chung ka,
    It was a great pleasure getting to know you in person !!
    If you really want to copy I do not mind though, just make sure you link back to my blog.
    But I would encourage you to create your own entry. More syok that way ahahahha

    ReplyDelete
  18. hahaha well robin, some people need a reality check and i'm always glad to give out :P

    is it really one year already?! omg...okok we really ought to get down to planning a perth trip together!

    -Marcus

    ReplyDelete
  19. hey marcus,
    I don't think I am going to perth anytime soon, have a few holiday plans lining up already !!!

    ReplyDelete
  20. i am a bit lazy to write blog, but i will write about it when i am really free or boring. haha!

    ReplyDelete
  21. hey chung ka,
    If you are too lazy to write, then just post pictures !!!

    ReplyDelete
  22. what does mychiaruscoru mean? just curious..

    ReplyDelete
  23. hey labulabi,
    To be honest, I have no idea !!!!

    ReplyDelete
  24. At 12/19/2009 11:12:00 PM, Blogger Fish Tan said…

    Ur photos are not good enough, no contrast, composition bad, etc etc, mayb cos they're not shot with Nikon SLR with Nikon lens? =)

    Try change to Nikon system and your composition and photo taking skills will change dramatically =)


    Fish Tan,

    If one were to capture the exact same photo using different camera brands, how would the compo and skills change? Its all dependent on the person behind the camera, what is he thinking, seeing and trying to tell the audience. The camera is just a gadget/tool to capture the moment, all else depends on the photographer.

    ~Zapper~

    ReplyDelete
  25. Robin, Labu-Labi,

    Mychiaroscuro mean
    My - Malaysia
    Chiaroscuro - (kiːɑːrˈə.skʊrˈoʊ, –skjʊrˈoʊ, Italian for light-dark) in art is contrast between light and dark, usually bold contrasts affecting a whole composition.

    ~Zapper~

    ReplyDelete
  26. @ ~Zappler~:

    No lah got difference wan. Pro cameras like my Nikon D5000 can make a very beautiful pictures. Ppl say because the mirror in Nikon is more bigger then other brands, that's why it makes more beautiful pictures. And besides, Nikon have VR, all your photos won't be blur liao..

    @Robin: You should try my Nikon D5000, it will blow your pictures away!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hey zapper,
    thanks for illuminating us the real meaning behind chiaroscuro! Never knew it holds such significance for photography and art.
    Do please ignore Fishtan, he downgraded from sony alpha900 so its a painful transition.

    Hey fishtan,
    stop flirting with my readers! Haha

    ReplyDelete
  28. I want to quote your post in my blog. It can?
    And you et an account on Twitter?

    ReplyDelete
  29. hey anonymous,
    who is this? I would appreciate your effort to include at least a name so I can trace your comments.
    Yes, you may use this blog entry in your blog. No problem.
    no I do not have twitter.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Ah, This is great! Dispells
    some misnomers I've heard

    ReplyDelete
  31. Enjoyed going through your blog. It will take a while, but love looking at how other people capture things so I can improve my skills too. Just got an epl2 a month + ago and am loving it! Keep the great photos coming!

    ReplyDelete