I remember mentioning that I intended to do more shutter therapy session last weekend, but that did not come to happen due to some unforeseen circumstances. It was an unfortunate incident that happened which completely destroyed the desire to pick up the camera and shoot. Nonetheless, by now I know that I should not have invested too much time on worrying about things that have become hopeless, and start concentrating on the future. The past is there to remind us of where we are and how we got here, but if the past is holding us down, we have to decide what to let go, and stop hurting ourselves. Sometimes, the most difficult decisions in life to make is the right thing to do.
Moving on is not easy, but I am thankful to have more things in life to look forward to now. My friends were shooting at Petaling Street this very evening, and I was asked to join, and it was the perfect time to just go out there, not to think too much about anything else, and just shoot. That is what shutter therapy is all about. It takes my mind off things, and I get to work my mind, concentrating on producing images. I purposely chose to use the CCTV lens 25mm F1.2, mounted on my trusty Olympus PEN E-PL1, due to the need to do manual focusing, forcing my mind to work even harder. Not having the convenience of autofocus means I have to slow down, and really think about getting my shot. A lot of pre-visualization and planning were required in order to make some of the shots work.
All images were taken with Olympus PEN E-PL1 and CCTV Lens 25mm F1.2
Covered in plastic sheets
Holy Distortion !!
Apam balik on a trishaw
Kelvin's sexy 45mm F1.8 lens
Street food in KL
Hokkien Fried Mee
Nick giving Olympus OMD a go
Luke Ding and his mysterious camera
Beats for Cheaps
Paper in the evening
Nap after dinner
Kelvin, what were you doing??
This particular evening, I was shooting with the usual suspects, Luke Ding, Scott Chung and Kelvin Ng. However, this time we were joined by a special guest who came all the way from UK. His name is Nick, and I sure hope he loves the streets in KL. There is so much more to explore, and KL is indeed a great place for street photography, so to Nick, please do stick around, we shall attack more of the streets soon.
In this session I shot everything in JPEG on my E-PL1. I used the focus assist magnification (7x) to aid in confirming my focus, especially most of my shots were shot wide open at F1.2. I did not have an electronic viewfinder so I did everything through the back LCD screen. I set the aspect ratio to default 16:9 to produce the cinematic effect, and none of the above photographs were cropped, they were almost as good as straight out of the camera, with minor exposure compensation and color adjustment. When you slow down and spend so much time focusing, you have got to have enough time to get your composition right while shooting, hence negating the need to crop later. We were shooting from just before the sunset till dark, and we had very lovely dinner by the street, and continued shooting some more under street lighting.
There were so many imperfections shown in the photographs above taken with the CCTV lens. Heavy corner softness, vignetting, distortion, flare, and the list goes on. The strangest thing was, none of those issues bothered me. Even the photographs were not that sharp. I think, accepting the flaws and not being obsessed by them is one important step in improving photography. Good images does not necessarily have to be absolutely sharp all the time. Technical perfection does not equate great photographs. Defining great photographs is actually a lot more than that, and I am at the phase where looking at photographs from beyond just technical perfection.
It is strange how I did a few review works (45mm F1.8 and 75mm F1.8 lenses) at Petaling Street at night, but rarely come here during normal days for shutter therapy. Perhaps, this territory is worth exploring more in the future.