Sunday, May 29, 2011

Art Filters with Olympus PEN on KL Streets

Side Note: I will be flying home to Kuching later this evening (Sunday 29 May 2011). I will be in Kuching for one week, so anyone who wants to meet me up, please email me at hamish7ian@gmail.com, or buzz me at my FB page.
Can't wait to balik kampung !!!!!!


Anston, a dear friend called me up asking for a street shooting session, and I was thrilled because I have always wanted to do some shooting with him. Everyone has been rather busy and life has gotten a little traumatic lately, but I was really glad Anston called, and we attacked the streets of Kuala Lumpur on this glorious Sunday morning. Shutter therapy started at Masjid Jamek area and ended at Petaling Street. I was armed with the Olympus PEN E-PL1 and 14-42mm mk1, while Anston also used E-PL1, but with 9-18mm ultra wide angle lens instead. Damned I want that lens !!

Since I was not using my usual setup (E-5 and the beautiful 4/3 lenses), I thought of doing something different this session. I thought, micro 4/3 PEN series was supposed to be all about simplicity with minimal fuss. PEN philosophy is all about shooting and shooting, with less thinking and worries about the technicalities that usually weigh the DSLR users down. Therefore, I decided to just shoot with Art Filters ALL the time. On the PEN there were only six to choose from, and I made use of my favourite three: Pin Hole, Grainy Film and Pop Art.

Left alone.
PIN HOLE Art Filter
This was my favourite shot of the day. I know how some people would get all worked out having the eye contact in the photograph, but you have to admit, it was the direct eye contact of that child which made the photograph work the way it did.


PIN HOLE Art Filter

GRAINY FILM Art Filter

GENTLE SEPIA Art Filter

PINHOLE Art Filter

POP ART Art Filter

GRAINY FILM Art Filter

GRAINY FILM Art Filter

GRAINY FILM Art Filter

PINHOLE Art Filter

GRAINY FILM Art Filter

POP ART Art Filter


Well, to be honest I was never a fan of the art filters, and you may see that I have rarely used them, or even bothered to consider using them for my usual shooting. However, I must admit that it was quite fun having instant effects on your images, immediately after you capture them. The thrill of seeing the effect real time can really change the experience while shooting. No, the art filters do not work all the time at all situations, the photographer must be smart enough to judge with his artistic vision when and what to use. I did find the art filters to work for me most of the time today.

Sometimes, I do get really exhausted listening to debates and arguments put forth by some photographers who struggled (or worse, pretended) to be artistic. They lamented on the need to have different layers of meanings in one photograph and having the eye and mind to read those meanings are important, else there is no point in photography altogether. As much as I agree on artistic sense bringing out the best in photography, there are times I just feel that some people tried too hard to be something they are not.

A photograph is a photograph, regardless of its artistic value (or the lack of it). Some photographs may contain zero artistic sense, but that does not mean the photograph is not a good photograph. A simple portrait of a child with a genuine smile may not have any special effects (such as bokeh or multidirectional strobe lighting or... insert your favourite photography artistic effect), and it may not contain any hidden artistic deep undecipherable meaning to the mortals, but seriously, if it is just a photograph of a child smiling a great smile, it is a great photograph. Same goes for a flower, or a dog, or an old man, or a car, or that little wooden pencil sitting by the desk. Sometimes, an image speaks directly to you as it is, as seen on the face value, and nothing further beyond that. Sometimes, we should stop thinking so much and just start to appreciate the photograph for what it is, instead of trying to figure out what it is not and how it should be.

Simplicity works well.

POP ART Art Filter

GRAINY FILM Art Filter
Translation: We are stubborn, but we are cute !!

POP ART Art Filter

GRAINY FILM Art Filter

GRAINY FILM Art Filter

POP ART Art Filter

POP ART Art Filter

GRAINY FILM Art Filter

PINHOLE Art Filter

PINHOLE Art Filter

GRAINY FILM Art Filter

PINHOLE Art Filter


Therefore, in this particular entry, most of my photographs only show the subjects as seen directly on the surface, nothing beyond that. I just shot whatever captured my attention. I just let myself loose, and started attacking random things. Are they bad photographs? That is not for me to judge.

I was told that I should not shoot for others but only for myself. Then I responded photography is NOT selfish, it is about sharing, and acknowledging that photography is indeed all about humanity. Humanity is about living in a community. No man is an island. It is extremely crucial to push oneself in photography to excel, or achieve the greater heights, but at times, it is also important to just do photography without all the stress and pressure. Photography should not be all about "trying to show how artistic or better" a photographer can be. A good photograph should not boast how "many hidden meanings that people should be able (with added difficulties) to read". I believe, a good photograph should speak out sincerely, and stand on its own. A good photograph should communicate directly with its audience without much effort, regardless who the audience is.

DIORAMA Art Filter
Anston from http://www.daisycave.com, great having him around !!


It was indeed a refreshing session to do something completely unusual. And I had Anston to thank for, since he inspired me to shoot all Art Filters only today.

Anyone else using Art Filters extensively lately? Do share your thoughts, and if possible, your great photos !!






12 comments:

  1. Those are heart photographs ananda!!!

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  2. Love the art filters... It's abither dimension of photography... Great report, as usually

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  3. "Kami degil tapi comel" is nuovo street language that I don't understand anymore. Is that contraction from different words?
    On the other hand, "Tertakluk pada terma dan syarat" is weird to me but at least I can decompose it and know exactly what it means. Great pictures!

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  4. I love your photography Robin...I have been following your blog ever since you started using the PEN. I LOVE my PEN coming from compact cameras. I am new to photography but having fun...check out my photoblog: http://sgshultz.blogspot.com (all shots made with the PEN) I am open to suggestions :) Now you've inspired me to start playing with the Art Filters!

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  5. Hello Santo !!
    Great to hear from you again. That was not really street language, and it means we are stubborn, but we are cute. Comel means cute.
    Thanks for the compliments !!

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  6. Hello sgshultz,
    Thanks for the kind words !!
    I am glad you are enjoying your PEN, I am sure it will produce many wonderful shots for you. It is indeed a great camera system.
    I am still new to the Art Filters, and learning to make the best out of it. I have seen your blog and it is beautiful !! I tried commenting on your latest entry "the beauty of horses" but error messages kept popping out. I will try again later.
    You did well with your PEN !! Keep that shutter clicking mate.

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  7. Thanks Robin. I just looked again and your blog background is more cheery whilst my blog background, black is more dark - must remember that sucks out some life although it focuses the eyes on the photo. Steve Schultz - nice work - getting in close and making things sharp. Good stuff.

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  8. Thanks to you both Robin & AnandaSim for your kind comments! It is encouraging to get this kind of input from others shooting much longer than myself. I am having so much fun with it! Got your comment on my blog Robin...thanks!!

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  9. Sgshultz,
    Finally the comment appeared !!

    Hey Frank,
    Thanks !

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