Thursday, June 30, 2011

Olympus E-P3 Review: Pudu Wet Market

Side Note:
1. This is a user experience based review.
2. All images were shot in JPEG LSF (Large Super Fine).
3. General camera settings, Noise Filter = Low, Contrast/Saturation/sharpness = 0, White Balance = Auto (with an option maintain warm color), Gradation = Normal
4. Minimal post-processing applied to the images. Only exposure compensation (brightness/contrast) and cropping performed for better consistency and overall presentation. Apart from that, the images were as good as straight out of camera (color and sharpness)

Recently there has been quite a buzz surrounding the upcoming Olympus E-P2 replacement model, thanks to leaks of many sources everywhere. Yes, the Olympus PEN E-P3 is here, and once again, Olympus Malaysia has approached me with a loaned unit for review purposes. Boy was I excited!! During my brief encounter in reviewing the E-P3, I have come across many unexpectedly pleasant surprises which I am about to share with all of you beautiful readers out there in this PART 1 of Olympus E-P3 Review.

Olympus PEN E-P3 and M.Zuiko 12mm f2 (in keychain mode)
Sorry, pun intended. I saw the advertising shots of the Pentax Q system (at least two photos) where the camera was used as a keychain, and they had stuck in my mind I had to do something to get it out of my head.
Seriously, who with a sane mind in the world would do something like this?

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Camera That You Can Swallow

Olympus has a long history and strong footing in the medical industry, producing some of the most advanced optical and microscopic equipments that only proved their superiority in terms of optics specialty.

I have a chance to come across the Olympus Endoscopic Wireless Pill Camera.

Mr Tan, Managing Director of Olympus Malaysia holding the camera pill.


Yes, it is a pill, it can be eaten, and it is also a wireless camera. I did some research online and found that the endoscopic wireless pill camera was first introduced by Olympus in 2004, unbelievable !! They already had such advanced technology back then it felt like the digital photography world is merely catching up.

Some interesting specifications: "It measures 26×11 mm and will capture 2 frames per second for 8 hours on the built-in battery, or 5 frames per second using radio supplied electricity. Each capsule contains a sophisticated magnetic control mechanism that can maneuver on the X, Y and Z axis for complete control when navigating inside the body."

Seriously, radio supplied electricity? Whoah !! Considering the pill is going within a human body where the sun does not shine, I am sure it came equipped with on board special lighting too, perhaps a tiny torchlight or flash of some sort.

Perhaps one day, I will have a chance to swallow an Olympus camera. How cool would that be?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Affair with D7000

I was out having a drink with Chun Chow, who has just newly acquired his Nikon D7000, a handsome beast I must say. What, I cannot say anything nice about any other cameras besides Olympus is it? I may love Olympus, but I do think highly on other manufacturers too.

In Old Town Cafe, well, to be honest there was nothing much to play with. But still we found ourselves clicking away. It was indeed a great fun shooting with D7000, a highly regarded and respected camera from Nikon. Hence, before we knew it, I was clicking away with it, and brought back the images with me in my own SD card.

D7000, shot with E-PL1 at ISO2500

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Leica M9 Close Encounter

I came, I saw, but too bad I did not steal it. Ooohhhhh sweet baby Leica M9.

Image taken with Nikon D7000 and Tamron 17-50mm F2.8 courtesy of Chun Chow.

Maybe next time. Maybe.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Chillout

In the midst of all the dramas and traumas due to work and life, a glass or two of happy juice can really save the day.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Simple, Sweet Sunday

The week has been a long and stressful one, and I am foreseeing a lot more pressure and stress coming in for the next few weeks. Before the start of the new week, sometimes, it is best to just slow down the pace a little bit, unwind, relax, and spend some time with the people who matter. Hanging out with friends is what I would call a great way to spend a weekend.

We had lunch, and then drinks, and then more drinks.

Jian (the famous Akiraceo) visited KL for the weekend, hence Jasonmumbles and I had a meet up session with him before Jian drove back to Malacca. It was indeed great catching up with Jian, since the last time I met up with him was before Chinese New Year.

All photos in this entry were taken with Olympus E-520 and ZD 50mm F2 macro lens.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Silent Scenery Live in Studio

A friend's band, Silent Scenery were in preparation for their upcoming album with all brand new songs. One of the songs will be the one featured in this blog entry. So here you go, Twilight Pulse, live in studio by Silent Scenery


Recorded by Olympus E-5 with 11-22mm F2.8-3.5 lens.

Awesome, right?

Do check out their page and "like" here.

Show some love yo !! Can't wait for the launch of the new album. Rock on guys !!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Attacking Strangers

I do find photographing strangers to be fun. Who cares if they look straight into your camera, and pose? Does it really matter if it detracts from the original principles of what street photography (unposed and undisturbed people subjects at their natural state) should be? What if it does not exactly qualify to be street portraits?

I say, screw all the definitions and what people tell you. Shoot it the way you want to, and shoot what you want to.

Images in this entry were taken with Olympus PEN E-PL1 and 14-42mm mk1 kit lens.

GRAINY FILM Art Filter

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Pesta Chow Kit Kita 2011

I was at Chow Kit today, and I was there to witness the Pesta Chow Kit Kita, some sort of a celebration for a project that involves some development and training for the youths in Chow Kit, KL.

Being there, the thing that struck me the most was how much the kids truly enjoyed themselves. I was figuring out ways to capture their pure happiness beaming out uncontrollably from their facial expressions. In the end, I decided to record a short video clip of the street "flash mob dance".

taken with Olympus E-PL1, compressed by Windows Movie Maker and Youtube.

A few things to note:

1) The society is paying attention to Chow Kit, and I am glad to see strong measures being taken to ensure better future for the kids there.

2) Who cares if the dance was not synchronized, who cares if they do not really remember their moves, just get in there and dance !!

3) Sometimes, we care too much of what others might think of how we look and what we do we are pushing aside opportunities to have pure fun and happiness. Look at those kids, I am happy seeing them so happy !!

4) Photography was one of the activities in the training and development programme. Should I have known this earlier, I would love to volunteer in any way I can to contribute.

5) There is hope in Chow Kit, regardless of how depressing I made it sound in my blog. This could probably be the happiest entry I have blogged about Chow Kit.

I can see this video clip over and over and felt lifted up by the spirits of the young teens. Lets just pray and hope for greater things to come for them.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Rules and Expectations

I have come to a stark realization that everyone has very differing levels of expectations when it comes to seeing photographs. It does seem that everyone is seeing different things in a single, same image. Some people would put more emphasis on how important the composition is, while some would argue the significance of the exposure accuracy and color balance. There would also be a few who argue the fundamental subject content of the image, and the artistic layers of meaning hiding underneath the image. When you put an image in front of two people (who may, or may not be photography literate) you will get two very different sets of feedback, in terms of what they see in your photograph, and what they think of your overall photography presentation.

I have personally known a few people who would live by some rules to their death. They are the same group of people who would push away any stray or unfamiliar ideas, just because those ideas clash with their regular string of photography philosophies. It was strange how some people can so easily push something aside, because they are not open to the different concepts. Just because the idea may not appeal to you does not mean it is not a good one. I was once told off by a friend for doing so much hip-shooting, because he thinks it is a cowardly and carelessly executed technique which requires very little skill and produces very low hit rate. (how ironic, because he was the one who introduced the idea to us in the beginning, before he "changed" his mind). Nonetheless, it was one technique, which I believe can work effectively in a few situations where conventional shooting methods do not apply.

All images in this entry were taken with Olympus E-5 and ZD 50mm F2 Macro or 8mm F3.5 fisheye. Shutter therapy was at Chow Kit, KL.

Living in the trash cabinet, literally.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

All Good Things Come to an End

As I was waiting for my plane flying to Kuala Lumpur, I saw a line of people against the strong window light, casting rather dramatic silhouette. the reflection on the floor was an extra to the shot. Sometimes, inspiration can come to you at the most random places.


Olympus E-PL1, Grainy Film Art Filter applied.

My short holiday in Kuching has come to an end, sadly. I do not think I have had enough of my Kolo Mee and Sarawak Laksa just yet. Nevertheless, I have made every single minute of my time in Kuching count, spending it with dearest mum, relatives and close friends.

And now, I shall brace myself as I brave the towering pile of work awaiting on my desk as I return to the office.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Darren & Janet

One of the reasons I flew back home to Kuching over the week was to be the official photographer for my cousin Janet's wedding. It was on 4th June 2011, a full day event, starting with the church ceremony at St Peter's Church at Padungan and Dinner that ended at Kingwood Inn. It was a long day, but I felt very privileged and honored to be able to contribute in whatever way I can.

I shall only display a selected few photographs to display on this entry. For more photographs, kindly visit the online album here: Darren Luff and Janet Yong Preview

All photographs were taken with Olympus E-5 and 11-22mm F2.8-3.5, or 50mm F2 Macro, or 8mm F3.5 fisheye. Flash FL-36R was used most of the time.




Friday, June 03, 2011

A Visit to Old Kuching Prison

It was a normal weekday that took me for an errand to the Sarawak Post Office, but along the way I was passing the Old Kuching Prison. To my surprise, it has been torn down !! Well, not exactly 100 percent demolished, the process of tearing it down must have been halted temporarily due to the Gawai Holidays. The majority of the roofs and walls were taken down, but the core skeletons and some parts of the buildings are still standing. Seeing such a compelling view, I took a detour away from my errand route and started exploring the abandoned prison, or whats left of it.

This was my first visit to a prison of any kind. I was a little bit sad because I did not manage to catch the place before the demolition procedures began. Caoturing the place as it was standing still would have been different. Nonetheless, I was still quite taken away with the things I found in the remains of the prison buildings. There were old records of the prisoners, registration papers, old photographs, court orders, and all sorts of assorted documents everywhere in the main office building. As I explored deeper and deeper, I found that the cells were mostly already destroyed to rubbles, but the main administration space and offices were mostly untouched. Going through the bits and pieces of clues being left behind felt like there were so much life to the place, but too bad, all that has already come to an end.

All images were taken with Olympus E-5 and Zuiko 8mm F3.5 Fisheye lens. 
Note: Exposure balance may be inconsistent and slightly inaccurate, I am currently away from my usual working desk computer. 

Thursday, June 02, 2011

The Perfect Breakfast

Woke up early in the morning. Met up with two great friends, Felicity and Allen for breakfast, the perfect Sarawakian breakfast.

Olympus E-5 and Zuiko 8mm F3.5 Fisheye

How much better can it get? Awesome company and a bowl of orgasmic Sarawak Laksa to kick start the day.