Wednesday, August 22, 2012

End of Holidays

I have had too much fun for the past few days, because I had more dosage of shutter therapy than usual. On Saturday, I have been to an Orang Asli village in a rural area outside the busy KL city and shot the children having fun playing the water by the river. On Sunday, I went to shoot at the usual streets of KL, which was the first day of Hari Raya celebration, experimenting on slow shutter speed effects on my street shooting, mixed with the al-cheapo manual RM10 flash I bought recently. On Monday, I went to the Butterfly Park, and did more macro trial shooting with the Shoebox Flash Bouncer. And earlier today, I went out with a bunch of street crazy people and shot Petaling Street. Lots and lots of shutter therapy makes a very, very happy Robin. I have not shot this much photographs in a while now, and certainly it felt like I was taking a vacation. I was refreshed, recharged, and very much feeling fulfilled over the long weekend. 

Unfortunately, all good thing come to an end. Today, is the last day of the long weekend, and I shall return to work tomorrow. I believe there is no such thing as too much fun. Likewise, there is no such thing as having too much shutter therapy. We could always use more. I think greed is my favourite sin. 

Instead of spamming this entry with dozens of images (like what I have done in the past few blog posts), lets just pick two from today's session. These two were not really the best from the series I have captured in this morning's street shooting, but surely I like both very much. It was a personal selection, and these moments that happened in our everyday lives caught my attention more than the others that I came across today. 

In our own little world



One man's trash is another man's treasure

As you can view from the above two shots, I am still in the midst of fine-tuning my slow shutter speed + flash techniques. It was a lot harder than I expected, but I am starting to get a hang of it. If executed properly, the added motion blur at the moving subjects adjacent to the main one can create dramatic sense of dynamic, rather than just plain boring static subjects. It was not easy to maintain the main subject from being blurred off altogether with everything else in the background (or foreground). Oh and I was using Olympus DSLR E-520, and the humble kit lens 14-42mm. The main reason was that I needed the wide angle for this kind of shooting (at 14mm, which is equivalent to 28mm on 35mm format). I realized I could use the superior 11-22mm super wide angle lens, but that lens is much larger and heavier than the 14-42mm kit lens. I felt that the kit lens offered much better balance when used together with the E-520 body. 

Why are the two photographs my favourites?

The first one was a scene of a man playing with a kid, in the middle of the intersection inside Petaling Street ChinaTown area. It was near noon, and many people were crossing that intersection. Being a busy place, it was strange seeing the man and the kid squatting down in the middle of all the buzz, and had their own fun, being isolated in their own world. 

The second photograph was of a homeless man picking up a suitable used plastic or paper cup, which will be re-used as a holder for begging money. The reason this shot worked was because another guy at the left of the frame was looking while the homeless man picked the cup up. Small things like these really caught my attention and stopped me on my path to snap a photograph or two. 

Those two images were completely different from my usual style of street shooting. Yes, I have mentioned that I am still experimenting, trying out new things, and adopting more unusual methods that I previously dared not try before, like flash, and really, really slowing down the shutter speed. 

If you ask me, I still prefer my usual style of street shooting, but hey, I do itch to try something different once in a while. Only by trying and having the guts to push beyond our comfort zone that we will discover what truly works for our shooting, and grow from there onward. 


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