Thursday, November 22, 2012

Carol Wong

I don't do much portraiture shooting, it is not exactly my forte, and I admit I suck at doing it. But when opportunities do present themselves, I rarely say no to trying new things, or exploring uncharted waters. 

When I was on my short holiday back to my hometown in Kuching in June earlier this year, I was shooting alongside Dr Soon Ruey who came all the way from Sabah for a medical conference in Kuching. We had a chance to shoot Carol, and the session took place in a morning, just before our delicious famous Sarawak Laksa breakfast. 

All images were taken with Olympus DSLR E-5 and Zuiko Digital lenses, 50mm F2 macro or 25mm F2.8 pancake









Dr Soon Ruey from Sabah. He carries two camera systems for the day, the M9, and also an OM-D. 

Our breakfast. 

I think I should shoot more portraits !! I admit, it is very fun.

26 comments:

  1. ... and you got superb results; congrats Robin!

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    1. Thanks Wolfgang, plenty to learn and improve still.

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  2. Hi Robin

    What wonderful pictures of food and portraits. Reminds me of the Purple Cane Tea Restaurant and taking pictures in Mid-Valley Gardens.

    Have further great shutter therapy. Would like to meet at a session in the wet markets.

    Best regards,
    Thomas

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    1. Hey Thomas !!
      How have you been? I have been very busy myself lately. The portrait session was half a year ago !! Been shooting weddings, will be busy till mid December.
      Will look you up when my schedule clears up !!

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    2. Still going strong in KL IT projects. Very busy as you are. Returning to Switzerland by mid Dec. But coming back. Still in need learning more of your remarkable street shooting capabilities. Will get permanent here in KL. Your photos stay amazing.

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    3. Thanks Thomas. Looking forward for your return !

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  3. You think you "suck at portrait photography" ? Well, for once we are in complete disagreement here! This is magnificent work. The lady is gorgeous, and so are the pictures. Hard to find a favorite, as they are all very good, but I just love the B/W shot, as well as the low-angle shot and the one with the tree going diagonally through the frame. You certainly should do more of this. It's great!

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    1. Thanks Andre, but you were being too kind !! I don't deserve such kind compliments. Portrait shooters can probably find 1000 things to complain about each photos in this blog entry.

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    2. No, I really mean it. I'm dead-serious: this is first-class work. I don't know if the model is experienced or not, but -for example- the first B/W shot (one of my favorites) is very natural and the posture emphasizes her elegant physique. Its excellent. The technical quality of the shot is -in my eyes- superb; lovely bokeh as well. The low-angle shot with her sitting on the bench with the foreground flowers out-of-focus is eye catching; not too wide, not too tight - just right.

      I can find a thousand things allright - a thousand things I really, really like about these shots. Excellent work, in my not-so-humble opinion :-)

      You should really do this more. And the food shots always makes me drool! lol!

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    3. Hello Andre,
      Thanks again for the kind remarks.
      I think it has a lot more to do with Carol being easy to work with, and knows how to look very natural in front of the camera. Subject content is important !! I really did nothing much, than to compose and make sure the camera settings were right. Lighting was soft in the morning, so that was taken care of.

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  4. Robin, I also have to chime in here and say that these are great "on location" portraits. Really, they are first class, and people here in the US pay big money for portraits of this style for their children during their senior year in high school. They call them "senior portraits". That's completely misleading to me... a portrait on me would be a real senior portrait. ;-)

    Seriously though, you are much better at this than you give yourself credit for!

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    1. Hey Gregg,
      Thanks for such kind words !! I should consider migrating to the US then !! Haha, kidding.

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  5. Robin, great shots. You had the ability to present the picture with some kind of magic. I really like it.
    Have you used for any of those portraits 25mm?

    P.S Have you really eaten this? ;)

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    1. Hello Arek,
      Thanks for the compliments, and yes, some of the shots were taken with 25mm.

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  6. Robin,

    Just when your photos of so many fantastic male faces seem to get better and better, you surprise us with these wonderful images of Carol. I know not if she is your wife, sister, cousin or simply this lovely girl who agrees to pose with her wonderful smile. In any event, here in the mountains of North Carolina, USA, we very much appreciate your great work and like my friend David who often comments on your photography, we may have to travel together to see if it is you or the fantastic subjects that make for the great stuff you share with us. Me thinks it is you my friend, but having interesting subjects is a pleasure to see.

    Many thanks,

    Ralph

    Cashiers, NC, USA

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    1. Hey Ralph,
      Thanks for the kind comments. Carol was a friend's friend, though we have the same surname, but we are not related or connected. If you have the chance do come to Kuala Lumpur, I will be glad to show you around the streets here, and lets have shutter therapy sessions together !

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  7. Geez, M9s, D600s, a99s -- your friends have no shame in their fancy purchases!

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    1. Hey Wataru,
      There are scarier cameras, believe me !

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  8. Hi Robin:
    I cannot spot any flaws in these portraits. Very good expressions, very good body posing, interesting foreground and background choices to add interest, good compositional framing and subject position, bokeh, colors are great. Definitely as good as any professional could do. Certainly also helps when the subject is relaxed and contributes to the mood of the photos.

    Just did some engagement photos of a couple recently, and the guy was very serious in the first half of the session (this I think was his normal personality and I was doing my best to change that) however the girl was great with outgoing fun expressions throughout. I had difficulty getting the guy to relax and talked to them while taking photos with some casual joking to help out the guys expressions. After a change in outfits (to more casual) half way through, the guy got used to me, and the second half was great with good lively expressions throughout. Just needed some warming up to do, I guess.

    With your friend Carol, it is great, she lights up her expressions naturally in every photo!

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    1. Hey Adrian,
      You were being too kind, there were too many flaws in my photos (photographers fault) but hey no worries, every session is a learning session.
      You were very right, about getting the models (in your case the engaged couple) to be as relaxed as possible, and being comfortable in front of camera. I often find this a challenge too, even when I am shooting on the streets. People tensed up when you have a camera pointed at them. It takes some effort, and good communication skills (something to be developed) to get the people we shoot to be themselves, it surely isn't as easy as it seems !! Sometimes, as you have put it, it is worth spending some time to get them into the better mood, and from there on, it would be so much easier to work with them, having better poses (not rigid or awkward) and also much more pleasing facial expressions.

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  9. Hi Robin, very good portrait photo. If you can add some light on her hair (from the Sun) it will be perfect. I seldom see you take portrait but this indeed very good and natural.

    Francis from Toronto
    PS I also use 50mmF2 as portrait lense, it is a lens of God..

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    1. Hey Francis,
      Thanks for the kind comments. I wish there was more sunlight too, it was cloudy, and it rained just after our shooting session.

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  10. To my eyes, that bowl of Laksa is equally beautiful! I miss Kuching Laksa.

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    1. Yes, Kuching Laksa... I miss it too !

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  11. Dear Robin,
    As usual you have done a very nice and interesting photo project. My favorite is the low angle one with colorful blur foreground which is very intimate and contextual at the same. Your passion is always reflected by the picture results you generously are showing to us. For sure you maintain the inspiration among us.
    Have a good day,
    Daniel M from Montreal, CDN

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    1. Thanks very much Daniel M for such kind words !!
      I sure am not sure about the inspiration part, but hey, I do agree about the passion, I think when we are crazy about something, it does show !!

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