Sunday, November 04, 2012

Sony Alpha Outing at Petaling Street

The last time I participated in an open event (which was the Google + Photowalk), there was a significant number of Olympus micro 4/3 users in the crowd, hence they instantaneously recognized me as I whipped out my E-5. The next thing you know some random people actually came up to me and asked if I could take photos with them. It was like one of the most awkward moment ever, because that celebrity treatment does not suit me at all !! The attention, and the fact that everywhere I go to, in the crowd of micro 4/3 or Olympus community, it is hard to hide away and just blend into the crowd. It gets daunting, and sometimes I just wanted to be a "participant", nothing more, to enjoy the outing. 

The two full frame Sony A99 users in the group. Kevin and Jack (background). 




I think I did something unthinkable by many today, as I signed up for a Sony Malaysia officially organized workshop/shooting outing at Petaling Street, led by the famous Kevin Ng, who is a strong supporter of Sony gear. The main reason was that I saw an opportunity to go to a place where no one recognized me, and no one cared about my history with Olympus gear review. It was refreshing to get to know new people, people who also love photography and have interest in shooting on the street. The conversation was different and more natural for a change, starting fresh from a stranger's point of perspective, rather than from a separate crowd that already seen a thousand of my photographs and know how I use my equipment down to my settings and lens choices. It was also nice for once not needing to answer questions, or fulfill certain expectations that are already pre-determined in the minds of others when they see my presence. 

The photo-walk organized by Sony was quite an interesting one, it served as a platform for Sony users (aimed at newer users I supposed) to come together, connect, share and learn from each other. The group was led by Kevin Ng, who acted as the fascilitator of the day, leading the group in the street shooting, introducing important settings unique to Sony newer cameras, general photography tips and tricks, and also generously answering any technical questions, regarding settings and controls of Sony cameras. The morning group consisted of about 12-13 people (I did not really count) and most of the participants were using newer Sony cameras, such as the NEX and SLT cameras. There were already two people using the much raved full frame Sony Alpha A99, which has just been released a while ago in Photokina. I was the odd one standing out, using an ancient DSLR A350, but of course, no one really cared, it was a photography outing, which meant shooting was the main purpose. 

I have taken a series of images, as usual, I just pointed the camera at whatever that caught my attention and shot them mercilessly

All images were taken with Sony A350 and DT lenses 18-70mm kit lens or 50mm F1.8

Falling Signboard

Happy Conversation in the Backalley

Going Green

Joyful Sunday Morning

Happenings at the Five Foot Way

High Ceiling of a Temple

Approaching

Going in

Portrait of a Stranger 

Trolley

Umbrella and bags

An Empty Seat

Siamese

Curiosity

Homeless

Portrait of Stranger 2

Crossing Paths

Conversation under the tree


The sky was rather cloudy, and it rained at the end of our session, hence the available light was rather dull and flat to work with. I decided to present everything in monotone, and I have always loved my street photographs to be shown without colors. I think there is something about black and white treatment in  images that just easily amplifies the human expression and facial emotion. The more I look at black and white photographs, the more I shoot in black and white, the more I feel connected to them somehow, and the photographs just look "right". 

I have discovered another wonderful thing about this dinosaur A350, which I really liked, and made my admiration for Sony cameras grow even more. The focusing points can be selected and changed via the arrow pad. The neat thing is this: as you press which point to be selected, the lens started to focus, even before you press the shutter button. The main purpose of activating the focus as soon as you select the focusing point was to minimize the time to focus, so that when you press the shutter button halfway, the focusing was already "almost there" and the camera only needed to fine-tune to get the final accurate focus. Small things like this that may not seem revolutionary, but it greatly improves shooting experience. Most other cameras (Canon, Olympus, Nikon) will only focus when you press the shutter button. Ahhh.. more reasons to love the old A350 more. It may not be the fastest autofocus camera now, or during its time, but Sony sure figured out ways to work around this and bring the camera closer to competition. Very smart, I might add. 

I had so much time with this new Sony crowd, that I actually took a lot more photographs of them than I intended. And I liked shooting photographs of photographers in action, I am not sure why. 

Jack and his new toy. He is the only one who knows me from my Olympus background, but I requested him to keep quiet for the day. 

Kevin giving some live demonstration. 

Everyone is shooting. 

Low Angle is the way !!

Now that is what I call a long lens. 

Smaller and smaller cameras are the preference these days. 

Kevin shoots too. 

Jack, enjoying shutter therapy !!


If you are a Sony user in Malaysia, you want to meet other Sony users, or attend a workshop of introduction to how to use your new gear, go to Sony Malaysia's official website, they have a list of workshop of shooting outings, happening almost every week, throughout the country. I believe this kind of workshop is very beneficial especially for new-comers to photography, not only they give you the basic control and understanding on how to use your new gear, but also provided support, and a platform to connect to like-minded people. I enjoyed myself thoroughly this morning, met a few friends, and surely, this will not be the last Sony outing I join. 

15 comments:

  1. Sooner or later, the will know who you are! Hehe...

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    1. they don't know I have a blog too. so we shall keep quiet ahaha

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  2. stun shooting, looking forward for more photo, appreciate to learn from both of you too

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    1. Jimmy,
      I am more than willing to share what I can, no worries. But we all learn and improve together la !!

      Delete
  3. Incognito-la, Robin? Haha. I like your honesty, enjoying "freedom" from questions for a change. As a teacher/consultant, I know what you mean. I'm actually impressed how active both Oly and, in this case, Sony are by supporting and/or organizing these events. Quite smart, training the customers/users and creating customer retention at the same time. Good "CRM" :-)

    Of the b/w series, I found the signboard shot strangely ominous - reminded me of Hitchcock "The birds". Very nice portraits, as always! And a joy to read, too.

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    1. When I was shooting that falling signboard there were no birds on the roof, but out of nowhere the pigeons started flying in !! Sometimes it was about timing. If I have predicted that the pigeons were coming in I would have set the lens wider (it was somewhere at 40mm, zoomed in).

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  4. I agree about shooting everything in mono... .I liked an advice i've got from a amazing photographer Maxby Chan who advised me that to shoot in mono, one have to already visualise the photo in black and white before you even shoot it

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    1. Hello Joshua,
      Yes, shooting black and white opens up a new world to photography, a completely different way of seeing things. You do have to pay more attention to many other things to make the subject stand out, not just color.

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  5. great photos!im a bit puzzled why the two guys used a top of the line sony a99 but seem to use mediocre lens with it?

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    1. Thanks for the kind words jack. In their defense. they have carl zeiss lenses, and some really good old minolta lenses in their bags. I thought that 50mm F1.7 minolta is a great lens?

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  6. Waahhh...really need to see u again..like ur photo..(long lens..its me)..hahahaha

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    1. hello Nik,
      Sure !! Hope to see you again in future outings !

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  7. Waahhh...really need to see u again..like ur photo..(long lens..its me)..hahahaha

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  8. Thanks for review, it was excellent and very informative.
    thank you :)

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