Boy was I really glad weekend has arrived, and time to charge up camera batteries, ready the gear and head out for some shutter therapy actions !! This time, Chun Chow and Lam tagged along a morning walk at Chow Kit. We met up at Sultan Ismail LRT station and walked our way to Chow Kit, attacking anything that caught our attention. In case many of you are new readers, Chun Chow was the one who inspired me to take up Olympus E-System (2 years ago) as my choice of weapon, which I have fell in love with and never looked back ever since.
Chilli Pan Mee @ Kin Kin Restaurant, a perfect breakfast before a photo-walk.
Before we started our walk, we had the infamous Chilli Pan Mee at Kin Kin restaurant, a breakfast to fuel our body for hours of walking and camera work which did require a lot of energy and sweating !! It was Chun Chow and Lam's first time trying the Chilli Pan Mee, they sure liked it.
I have lent my precious 50mm Macro lens to Frederick for the past two weeks, gosh, did I miss that lens a lot !! I felt a little crippled now without my 50mm on the street. I have just got the 50mm back two days ago, now with it mounted on my Olympus E-5, I feel whole again. There is just something about shooting with the 50mm that is so enjoyable and different from shooting with any other lenses that I currently have. Probably it is due to its compact and light-weight design, very flexible, yet long reach of 50mm (100mm in 35mm equivalent format) which allows some medium telephoto coverage, the ability to do macro and not to forget, the incredible sharpness and almost technically perfect image quality. Now that there is a noticeable increase of focusing speed and accuracy being used on the Olympus E-5, it is hard to see why anyone would not be insanely in love with the 50mm F2 Macro !!
An Empty Cart
Plywood in Morning Light
Red and Rusty.
A part of a kitchen
Sink your teeth into it
Greetings from people of the street
On the steps of a pedestrian bridge
I have a few things I tried to achieve on the streets in this session:
1) Less Chimping
Well, probably the word chimping is not exactly the best word to describe what I did, but what I usually would do if I can after snapping each shot is to check the focus accuracy, and just generally make sure the exposure and settings were what I wanted to accomplish. Nonetheless, I should also learn to trust myself more and more, have more faith in the camera, and have more confidence on my instincts in nailing the shots. I should worry less about the outcome and concentrate on nailing the shots as I walk the streets. Less chimping also allows myself to be more aware of my surroundings and stay in focus on any photo-opportunities that may happen out of a sudden.
2) Less cropping
Yes, I do crop my photographs, though not often. Even if I do crop, it is very minimal to improve the overall final presentation. I have been questioned, if you have time to compose the shot (of course with exception of sudden and quick response to a rapid action shot, for instance) why is there a need to crop it later? Do not get me wrong, I have nothing against cropping, I do believe it is important to optimize the final output, but yes, if you can get it right in the first place, you can definitely save a lot of time post-processing. Is that not what we try to accomplish, spending more time shooting, rather than post-processing?
3) Pay more attention to the direction of light
Sometimes I am so engrossed in finding the subject content that I have overlooked the condition of the lighting. I usually shoot in early mornings, hence lighting is usually very good, being directional and having the golden warmth quality. Shooting the subject from varying angles can create different outcomes. For instance, a little backlight can produce the pleasant glow of rim light around the subject, or light coming from the side can add drama to the facial profile, casting heavy shadow on one side of the face and body enhancing the overall realism feel of the image.
Tied and ready to go.
A look, or a stare?
Hanging origami work
Sharpen your tools
This dude was singing when I took this image, did he think I was recording a video instead?
Head facing the ground
The three street photographers. Lam, Robin and Chun Chow
I did get some interesting feedback from my friends who tagged along me this time. It was always interesting to hear what other people say about you and your photography approach. Lam commented on how dangerous and risky it was for me to walk alone on the streets of Chow Kit, especially at the backlanes where crime rates are high. I was fully aware of this, and my response was that I find the streets here so compelling that it was worth to take the risk walking here to grab the shots that I intended to take.
Our trail ended at Yut Kee, a more than 70 years old Hainanese Restaurant situated at Dang Wangi. Lunch was awesome, I had Roasted Pork.
Roasted Pork @ Yut Kee, Dang Wangi
There is always something new to discover, or learn or try in every single photography session that we do. All we have to do, is to keep an open mind, and make that shutter chick happen, and sooner or later we will find ourselves improving in photography without even realizing that we do. But the most important part of all, is to make sure that we do have great fun doing what we do, and photograph what we love to photograph.
I had a wonderful time today. Would you join me for a walk?