Thursday, May 31, 2012

Short Break

To all my Dayak friends in Sarawak, have a magnificent and superbly joyous Gawai Dayak celebration !!!

I will be flying home to Kuching tomorrow, and spend a week in my beloved hometown. I intend to spend most of my time catching up with my dear mum, close relatives and some beautiful friends. I also look forward to bring the camera out to shoot on the streets. 

Therefore, I shall take a week long break from this blog, and enjoy my holiday. I will still check my email and comments here, but if it is not urgent, you wont hear from me so soon. I beg your understanding for my need to relax and rediscover myself among-st the comfort of my own city and people. 

E-5 with 11-22mm lens
ISO160, F/11, 10sec, Anti-Shock 2sec delay, IS OFF, camera mounted on a tripod

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

More Adventures at Jalan Masjid India

I know my blog entries have been incredibly lengthy recently, which was not originally intended, but somehow, as usual while I was in my typing frenzy mode everything just came out vomiting here. Therefore, to balance the heavily worded updates, I shall keep the words in this blog entry minimal, and just focus on the photographs. Photography is all about photographs, right? 

The photographs from this entry were taken in one of my recent shutter therapy sessions, alone at Jalan Masjid India. All images were taken with Olympus DSLR E-5 and Zuiko Digital lenses 11-22mm F2.8-3.5 and my favourite street lens, 50mm F2 macro. 

Fly
The main thing that drew my attention to shoot this was the facade of the building front, with very beautiful repetitive patterns. Suddenly a bird flew into my frame and stood on top of that street lamp. I made a quick shift of composition to accommodate the bird, intending to place the bird at the top left corner white patch of the sky, when the bird decided to take off. Looking at the bird and judging at the direction it was facing, I predicted it would fly into that white patch. The direction was spot on, I did not have to wait long until the bird flew, but it did not fly high enough as I have imagined. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Kuala Lumpur Skyline from Hotel Maya Sky Lounge

Dear friend Jason Lioh was generous enough to invite me over for a stay with him at Hotel Maya, which was situated directly in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, just a stone throw (you will need an extremely strong arm though) away from the KLCC Twin Towers. Of course, the highlight was the city view from the sky lounge, which was on the 13th floor. The Sky Lounge was open for hotel guests from 9pm to 11pm, serving coffee, tea and deserts. The view from the balcony was nothing short of breathtaking. It was not an everyday routine for most of us city dwellers to have such opportunity to climb up a building so high and have a good vantage point to shoot the urban scenery. 

I rushed over to Hotel Maya immediately after work, arriving just in time for sunset shoot. Nonetheless, the sky was being too cruel to us, with ugly patches of clouds everywhere, shrouding the golden sun ray. We did not fret, but continued shooting, even when the light was already dying. I believe this was what the National Geographic photographers would call the Golden Hour, though I did not see anything golden in this. 

All images were taken with Olympus DSLR E-5 and Zuiko Digital 11-22mm F2.8-3.5 lens. All shots taken HAND-HELD

1/8sec, F/4, ISO250

Monday, May 28, 2012

Show Me Photographs, Not Gear: How to Improve Photography Without Upgrading Gear

A friend and fellow Olympus hobbyist shooter used to be one of the most dedicated and faithful Olympus supporter I have met, using fully Olympus DSLR system, with some of the top Super High Grade lenses. He was (at that time) using everything the best, offered by Olympus, and he thought he had done it all, and believed he was on top of his game. The question that he asked next was: "Now, what else can I do if I want to push further and improve my photography to the next level?" He thought he was already reaching the limitations of his Olympus gear, and the only way to get even better, was to get even more capable gear. So he went Full Frame. Then he got obsessed with high ISO shooting, dynamic range, the bokeh-liciousness of the F1.4 lenses, and all technicalities that makes full frame superior. I did not deny the fact that the upgrade that my friend did was quite a jump, and his equipment proved to be very capable, and outperformed his previous Olympus gear by a significant margin. He was very happy. However, when he showed me his photographs, all I heard from him was "look at how clean this shot was taken at ISO6400", or "look at the bokeh, I don't even have to shoot wide open, even at F2.8, the bokeh is already so good". It is saddening to see that from a passionate photographer who shoots photographs, that friend has become obsessed with technical perfection of the camera that wows at and shows off his high ISO photographs. 

The truth is, the majority of the photography crowd, which is made of photo-hobbyists, and mainly beginners or amateurs tend to think ahead a little too soon. Lets face it. Photography is an expensive hobby that not everyone can afford. Or else everyone would be shooting with a Leica M9-P by now. It is a big deal for many who would even want to step up from a compact point and shoot to DSLR. Similarly goes to those who are already using an entry level DSLR but wanting to upgrade to something more capable. We all constantly find reasons to justify our spending, and it surely was not an easy decision to purchase a new gear, or change the system entirely. For some, photography is not even their main hobby and they do not spend that much time shooting, so why do you need something so expensive?

If you have too much money and you have no other ways to spend it, and can afford the lens and camera upgrade, no one is stopping you. Go buy that gear that you lust after and lose so much sleep for. End of story. 

If your purpose of getting that expensive camera and lens is to show off your gear, then, I shall not comment any more. However, if you claim that you have no other ways to improve photography but to upgrade your gear, please bear with me for a while longer, and I shall share my thoughts on how you can improve your photography, even without upgrading your gear. It all comes down to who you are sharing your photographs with. If your audience will only wow at the bokeh-ness of your image, awe at the clean, noiseless image at ISO6400 and look at how accurate the camera renders the white balance, you might want to consider shying away and stop all that measurebating, it wont help you much. If you come to me, I don't care what gear you use. Show me your photographs, not gear !! 

All images in this entry were taken with Olympus DSLR E-520 and Zuiko Digital lenses: 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 and 25mm F2.8 pancake

Sultan Abdul Samad Building

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Basic Camera Setup

While I was at a local camera store earlier, I bumped into a guy purchasing an Olympus Zuiko 50mm F2 lens. I sparked up a conversation, and he turned out to be a long time Olympus user. "I am guessing you will be using that marvelous 50mm F2 on an E-5?" I asked curiously. His response was warm and quick "No, I am now still using my old Olympus E-510". I was shocked for a little while, but at the same time I felt a wave of familiarity when I got that response. That particular sentence, still using an Olympus E-510, has layers and layers of meaning behind it. According to that dude (I have got to start remembering names) he loved how the camera renders the colours, looking so natural and true to life. He was very happy with everything that the camera does, and yes, he admitted that the camera is getting obsolete, but for his use, E-510 is more than sufficient to fulfill his needs and shooting requirements. He was so happy with the E-510, that he proudly added an important remark on how National Geographic actually spotted a photograph that he took through his blog and purchased the image from him, which was taken with that humble E-510. The fact that the camera is still fully functional without even the slightest hiccup speaks a lot about the durability and reliability of Olympus as a brand. 

All images in this entry were taken with Olympus DSLR E-520 and Zuiko Digital lenses: 14-42mm F3.5-5.6, 25mm F2.8 pancake and 40-150mm F3.5-4.5


Friday, May 25, 2012

An Evening in the City

It was a busy weekday, that a group of friends decided to attack the city right after work, having some shutter therapy. I needed this shutter therapy session so badly. Besides, I have been shooting in the mornings most of the time, it would be refreshing to have some street photographs which were taken much later in the day. The city can get rather busy, bustling with life in the evening. 

All images in this entry were taken with Olympus DSLR E-5 and Zuiko lenses 11-22mm F2.8-3.5 and 50mm F2 macro 

Scott Chung (top left), Luke Ding (top right) and Kelvin Ng (bottom). Kelvin and Scott have just got their spanking new Olympus OM-D, while Luke was playing with his newly acquired Nikon 35mm F2 lens. Everyone has got a new toy but me !!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Leica and White Gloves

NEW LEICA LIMITED EDITIONS: LEICA M9-P “EDITION HERMÈS”, the Leica is so precious, that you need to have gloves on your hands to handle it. Perhaps you need to wear a surgical mask too, just in case you accidentally sneeze onto the camera.

Leica M9-P Edition Hermes

I was at Leica Store Malaysia earlier this evening for an event launch of their latest products, a similar event mirroring the May 10th climatic launch at Berlin. Therefore, I was reaaaaaally hoping to have at least a glimpse of that mysterious Leica M-Monochrom, but unfortunately, it was nowhere to be seen. The only camera available for the unveiling party was the Hermes, which none of the audience were allowed to touch. It was handled by a Leica representative, who took the camera out for a brief demonstration, and slot the camera back to its glass showcase of lonesome isolation. I think cameras are meant to be clicked. They are not meant to be put behind glass. Nonetheless, I believe Leica Malaysia has strong reasoning behind their decisions. However, I do think that waving ice creams in front of kids, taunting them, without letting them have any in the end, is a tad cruel. 

I did not take that many photos, because I was an alien, using an Olympus camera, on a dedicated Leica event, inside the only Leica Store in Malaysia. It was inappropriate to have the shutter go "clack clack clack" . 
Do you guys think I will fall in love with a Leica? What are your thoughts, after scrutinizing my shooting style, techniques, and preferences in photography? I would love to hear what you think !!


Monday, May 21, 2012

Street Portrait

When I do street portraits. I like to shoot close ups. 



I saw this man sitting on a bench at Jalan Masjid India. The first thing that came in mind was to decide if the subject was "worthy" to be photographed or not. I do not just attack randomly at anything and anyone on the street, you have got to be selective on your subject content, because only the subject content that managed to catch your attention, and attracted you in certain ways that will make an interesting photography subject. There was something rather inviting about the look in this man's eyes. I moved in closer, put the camera (E-5) on my face and snap a frame from quite a distance away, as a test/warning shot, to see what kind of reaction I would get. He saw me, and he noticed I was having a camera, already shooting him. He was still looking at me, and I put down the camera, looked back at him, offered the warmest smile I can come up with at that moment, and then nodded to him to acknowledge his presence. In that smile and nod, I sort of sent some telepathically embdeed message across telling him that 'I mean no harm, and I seek his permission to shoot his photograph". For some unexplained reasons, I was fairly certain that telepathy voodoo happened, and he got the message, because in return, he offered an equally, if not warmer smile, and nodded back, as if telling me that "hey, I am ok and you can take my photos!!". That was the cue and green light I needed, so I stepped in closer, standing about two meters away from where he was sitting. I composed him tightly, wanting just head and shoulders shot. I snapped a few clicks, chimped a little bit, and was satisfied with what I saw on screen. I smiled again to him, said "thanks", and he nodded. I walked away, happy with this shot you see above. 

What made this photograph work was the direct eye contact, and the apparent permission which was granted, knowing fully his photograph was being taken. He did not exactly pose or fake a smile for me. Instead, amazingly he looked surprisingly natural, and that friendliness he has shown to me as I approached him in the first place was well captured in his facial expression. The warm smile, the inviting looks in his eyes. The brief connection, no matter how small and how insignificant it may be for a passer by, there was indeed a connection, and that connection makes all the difference. If he has smiled a little wider, he would have appeared too forced. If he did not smile at all, it would seem he was uncomfortable having his photo taken. 

I also strongly believe that we have to watch the comfort zone of the street subjects. Getting in too close would have resulted in uncomfortable expression response, either shocked, or annoyed look in their faces. The worst that could happen would be someone giving you the "What the F***" kind of look, as if the fist would fly to your face next. Everyone has different comfort and safety zone, and it is not easy to recognize the varying comfortable working distances for each subject. However, if you get close enough to a lion's mouth, you might just get your head chewed off. So becareful !! 

Do you shoot street portraits? Do share your thoughts !

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Shooting with Long Lens

I believe it is very important to experiment and explore different techniques and refresh our viewpoints on photography perspectives from time to time, to further spur the growth of the photography in us. It is unwise to stay stagnant and be complacent with one set of rules and stick to limited knowledge in defining what good photography is. The journey has no end, and there is so much more to explore if the photographer has the heart and passion to do so. Similarly this applies to street photography. There are so many ways to go about shooting on the street, and there really is no right and wrong. Everyone sees things differently, everyone has their own unique artistic vision. Developing the artistic sense comes hand in hand with using a varying set of tools and methods to translate the vision into photographs. 

All images in this entry were taken with Olympus DSLR E-5 and Zuiko Digital 50-200mm F2.8-3.5 lens

Breakfast of the Champions
Found this shirtless dude sitting at the Taxi Stand. Perhaps it was too hot, that he had to take his shirt off and cool down with a cold can of Tiger's. For some reasons it was overbearingly hot this morning. 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Fireflies & Something Something

Earlier this afternoon, me and a group of friends made our way to the Bee, Publika for the live band performance event called "Fireflies and Something Something". The main reason I was there was of course for Silent Scenery, my favourite local band (you must be very new to this blog if you do not know I love this band so much). The event gathered quite a number of local bands and artists, showcasing talents and providing exposure to the crowd. It was indeed great seeing more and more local talents stepping up and having the right channel to have their music heard out in the open. 

All images were taken with Olympus DSLR E-5 and Zuiko Digital lenses: 11-22mm F2.8-3.5, 50mm F2 macro and 50-200mm F2.8-3.5

Friday, May 18, 2012

2 Million

At about 6.30pm earlier this evening, my humble blog, simplyROBIN has exceeded 2 million page visits. Thank you all beautiful people for your constant support and encouragement. You have made my time spent here very worthwhile, and meaningful at the same time. This blog would not have gone anywhere without you !!

Between Light and Shadow


It took me many years (not sure when Blogger started to track my blog stats, must have been 3-4 years ago) to achieve 1 million visitor mark, which was attained in January earlier this year. However. in just a span of four months, this blog has received another million visits, mostly thanks to the Olympus OM-D E-M5 review saga which I did earlier. Indeed this blog is surely growing, and expanding. I will do my very best to keep this place updated as often as possible, with fresh and new photographs. Where will this blog lead to in the future? Lets just cross the bridge when we come to it. For now, I just do what I do best: enjoying shutter therapy. 

A BIG, BIG, BIG THANK YOU to you all. Cheers !!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Malacca in the Weekend

An old friend Tan visited from Penang last weekend, together with another old friend, Hong (I knew both of them from Kuching) we made a day trip to Malacca last weekend. Our primary goal there was to eat, eat and eat until we can't walk anymore. Food is another great form of therapy, which I believe is ok to be indulged once in a while. What say you?

Since food hunt was at the top of the list, we walked around the town area in between small meals, and that was the small opportunity for me to make some quick snaps. I carried my Olympus E-5 and the 25mm Pancake with me. I know, the PEN E-PL1 would have made more sense because of its smaller size and lighter weight, since we did do plenty of walking for the whole day. However, at that specific moment I just wanted to use the 25mm F2.8 pancake. That itself was enough reason for me to pick up the lens, mount it on E-5, and walk around shooting Malacca. Since this was a casual shooting session, I made very quick snaps of whatever that caught my attention. I did not stop for too long, or took my time to wait for opportunities because, we were on constant move, my friends did not have cameras with them, hence me being in my "shutter therapy trance mood" would have slowed everyone down.

All images were taken with Olympus DSLR E-5 and Zuiko 25mm F2.8 Pancake

Sunburst
St Paul's Church, Malacca, some time near noon. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mille Crêpe

This slice of Mille Crêpe has got to be one of the nicest things I have put in my mouth since a long time ago.



Mille crêpe is a French cake made of many crêpe layers. The word mille means "a thousand", implying the many layers of crêpe.

If you happened to be in Malacca, near the city area, do try a piece at Nadeje's, Mahkota Parade. How I regretted I did not order another slice. 



Monday, May 14, 2012

Silent Scenery at Publika, Solaris Dutamas

Last weekend has been quite a refreshing, and fruitful one. Despite me having slight fever, running nose, sore throat and minor cough, feeling weak and a little wuzzy at times, I still managed to get out, meet many friends, catch up with old buddies from my home town, had plenty of coffee sessions, and most important of all, I was at Alda Evan Tan's fund raising concert where many local bands and artists came together to perform live at Publika, Solaris Dutamas. It was an unplanned event for myself, as I was shooting at Jalan Masjid India on Sunday morning (in this previous entry), I received Facebook status update on Silent Scenery's page, at the very last minute, just few hours before the show started. I immediately made my way down to the show, though I was not fully prepared to shoot. I left two very important things at home: the long tele-lens and the flash, which I needed in case I could not get near the stage, or the lighting was too dim. 

If you guys have not heard of Silent Scenery, please, please visit their website here (www.silentscenery.com) and also their official Facebook page to find out more about their music. You can find some free full mp3 downloads to, and if you like their music, please like their FB page, and purchase their music !! I have had their songs looping in my music player for months now, and I am still loving them. 

Silent Scenery has just returned from their international tour to Thailand and more recently, Japan. It was indeed great to see them getting straight into rhythm and perform here locally. 

All images were taken with Olympus DSLR E-5 and Zuiko Digital lenses: 11-22mm F2.8-3.5 and 50mm F2 macro. 

Ivan, an awesome guitarist. This dude has serious talent, believe me.
The low key-ish lighting was real, I only did minimal PP to increase the contrast a little.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Direct Approach

There must have been countless discussions, arguments, philosophies and rules on the best technique and method to go about shooting street photography. Some require you to wait at one corner for hours just to get that decisive moment (I think decisive moments are overrated) to come into your planned "stage" or background. Others will get you hiding in the shadow and being "invisible" so that your presence is not noticed. The extreme ones will get you out in the open and shock your subjects by firing your flash, pointing your lens just inches away from your subject's face, to obtain that "wonderful expression" or reaction to your unexpected attack. Many would idolize HCB (I am starting to have issues with HCB worshipers, seriously) and say you must have excellent eyes recognizing geometrical balance to be incorporated into your composition, or else your shots lack "art".

If you ask me, what works for my street shooting? I'd say, the direct approach. Full Stop. 

All images in this entry were taken with Olympus DSLR E-5 and Zuiko 50mm F2 macro lens. 

Smiling Indian Lady

Friday, May 11, 2012

Mistakes Leading to Photography Opportunity

Side Note: Finally, Kirk Tuck mentioned and shared his thoughts on Olympus OM-D E-M5. Must read, go here and here


Have you ever had an image which you have taken perhaps a few years ago, had not seen, or thought about that image for a long time, not until recently that forgotten image suddenly sprang up and got stuck in your mind? I had this happening to me right now, and for the past few days. The image was taken at the Nai Yang Beach adjacent to the Phuket International Airport, during my trip there in early 2010. 

I may not exactly know why the image suddenly came back to me all of a sudden, but I know very well what that photograph meant to me. I was not supposed to be at that Beach in the first place. I booked the wrong flight, and I took an early flight from Kuala Lumpur, having at least 3-4 hours waiting time before the group of friends I travelled with would arrive at the airport. I cannot recall how the mistake happened, but I was not too happy with the three hour waiting time. I did a little Google search and found a beach nearby to the airport, so I made a quick trip there, just to kill time. 


Nai Yang Beach, Phuket International Airport
Photograph taken with Olympus DSLR E-520 and ZD 11-22mm F2.8-3.5 in 2010
This is the photo that suddenly I remembered recently, and got stuck in my head for many days now. 
Since I can't get it out of my head, I am getting it re-posted here. 

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Early Days on the Streets

I did not know what exactly led me to dig deep into an older hard disk storage, where I unintentionally stumbled into old stash of photographs, taken in first half of 2010, which was about two years ago. I think I must have been looking for an old song which was on the same storage space, what intended to be a quick search ended up becoming hours of browsing through my older photographs. It was the first few attempts on street photography, when I was still fresh, experimenting and exploring out there, with my previous camera, Olympus E-520. The hours passed gave me a big smile on my face, because those photographs reminded me of so many things, of who I was, how I got to where I am today, and what paved my passion and strong interest in street photography.

The reason why I picked up street photography back then was quite simple: to get away from being overly obsessed with the technicalities of the camera. There was a phase where I was extremely crazy about macro photography: insect photography to be exact, and everything was purely technical. I did not see myself growing as an artist, and I did not develop any good artistic vision as a photographer. Therefore, I decided to try out an entirely different game altogether, and I got pulled into the world of street photography. On the streets, it did not matter if you get your photographs sharp, carefully lit, or beautifully composed, but there are so many other important elements that are crucial to make street photographs work. Those elements require a lot more than just technical perfection and camera know-how: you need to have courage, you need to be alert at all times, and more importantly, you need to have the "photographer's eye" to look for good subject contents: not just ordinary subjects, but subjects that have emotional connections, and tell stories.

All images in this entry were taken with Olympus DSLR E-520 and various Zuiko Digital lenses, in January to June 2010. 


Outside a Fence

Monday, May 07, 2012

My Street Photos Published in Magazine

If you are nearby any major bookstores or newsagents in Malaysia, do have a quick look out for Digital SLR Magazine May 2012 issue at the magazine stands. Turn to Page 18, and you will find me there !!



Saturday, May 05, 2012

Moving Out of Comfort Zone

The most often comments I received on my photographs would be on how beautiful and natural the colors are on my photographs. Or how sharp, and how pleasing the bokeh was rendered. Getting beautiful, sharp and bokeh-ful photographs do not require much skills at all. If you have not used an Olympus camera system, pick one up, you will be amazed at how amazingly natural and true-to-life the colors it creates, how sharp the images are due to the wonderful zuiko quality lenses, and also the bokeh due to large aperture prime lenses (such as the Sigma 30mm F1.4 or 50mm F2). The straight out of the camera JPEG files were already optimized for great colours and resolution that you only need minimal or no post processing at all to deliver very good images from Olympus camera system. 

Supposedly, we take away the great Olympus color, minus the super sharp output, and do not do any bokeh in the photographs, will I still be able to make good photographs from my Olympus camera? That was the challenge I gave myself today. To move out from my comfort zone. 

All images in this entry were taken with Olympus PEN E-PL1 and kit lens 14-42mm

In the morning light

Friday, May 04, 2012

Noise Paranoia

In the previous street shooting session with Luke, he asked "why don't we shoot at night?" 

That sounded like a great idea. The reason I do not usually go out at night, is because after a long day of exhaustive work (my work can be physically demanding at times), sometimes, I just do not feel like doing anything, and just want to laze myself in front of my computer, and waiting for the time to come before I hit the bed, in anticipation of the dreadful next day's cycle to begin all over again. However, it was Friday, and I thought, why not have a quick shooting session, and a nice dinner with some friends? A little shooting won't hurt either, and the pre-shooting session was just want I needed as my appetizer for the coming weekend's shutter therapy session. 

After work, I rushed over to Bukit Bintang, met up with a bunch of photo-crazy people, and started shooting away. I had my Olympus DSLR E-5 with me, and while I was on the street, I shot solely with the Zuiko 50-200mm F2.8-3.5 mk1. I rarely use the long lens on the street lately, but I do feel that the lens has been under-utilized lately, and I just wanted to make some clicks happen with it. It was well suited on the streets, in some shots where tight perspective is required, and shooting from a far distance is a necessity. 

Basking in Night Light

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Something Rare

I do not like my steak to be cover-cooked. Normally I would have them medium. Similarly applied to photography. I detest over-processed images, that looked overdone. Some people think that those over-ambitious HDR shots look like surrealistic paintings, but to me its a simple case: steak accidentally, or unskillfully over-done, that it has lost its original flavor, tenderness and juiciness. 

Nonetheless, I also acknowledge that like everything else in life, certain aspects of photography is all about personal preference, and some may not be as widely accepted as the others. 


Olympus PEN E-PL1 with 14-42mm kit lens, mounted on tripod



However, I do think that when it comes to a shooting situation where I am presented with a scene with dynamic range being too wide, far beyond the capability of my camera to capture required details in the highlight and shadow regions, I turn to HDR method. Such as this shot taken at the park behind the KLCC Twin towers. The foreground (walking pavement) were brightly lit by strong spotlights. Having the foreground properly exposed, the buildings at the far back were lost in the shadows. Therefore, to balance the dark buildings in the background, against the strongly lit foreground, I shot three separate images at 2EV apart, with the camera and lens mounted on tripod. I then used Photomatix and merge the RAW files, producing a mild HDR effect, to have an evenly exposed images. Do I think this image is a good one? Not really, somehow it did not look as naturally convincing as I have intended, but it is naturally convincing enough. I showed this image to a few friends, and without telling them, they cannot tell it was a HDR taken shot. 

I used the HDR method, not to make the image look like a HDR image. All I wanted to do was to tone down the extremes of both highlight and shadow ends. 

Oh, and the bonus I got from this processing? The details in the sky. Without this HDR technique, with properly exposed foreground, the sky would have been almost pitch black. Bringing out the details from almost nothing shadow will only result in one unspeakable horror: ugly chroma noise. With HDR processing, I managed to squeeze out plenty of good cloud visibility to add drama in the sky, and the image still appear clean of noise. 

HDR photography. What is your take? I do not encourage it, but as I have mentioned, when I need more dynamic range than my camera can handle, I will not hesitate to use it. 


Tuesday, May 01, 2012

The Return of the PEN

Firstly, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to you all beautiful people who have shown your support and encouragement towards myself and my beloved country. Special thanks to Kirk Tuck and Ian Davis for featuring my BERSIH entry on your websites, it means a lot to me. For those of you who have shared the photographs and spread the word, thank you for the effort, I am sure in the long run, Malaysia will be reformed into a better nation and we all hope for the better tomorrow. The world needs to know the truth, and I am doing my small part, together with your help to spread the awareness that Malaysia needs change. I am deeply moved and touched by the encouragement and kind words from you all, and this is a strong reason and inspiration for me to keep my shutter clicking, and this blog rolling on. Again, from the bottom of my heart, thank you very much. 

The Malaysians have made a bold move to march on and protest on the actual day. In history, we have not seen any event of such scale and magnitude: estimated 300,000 Malaysians regardless of race, class, religion and age, came together on the BERSIH rally, setting side our diifferences, in hope to fight for a better and cleaner nation. For my own safety, I shall not continue to blog on the BERSIH topic. Malaysia is not exactly a country that tolerates freedom of speech, there have been many cases where bloggers who were politically vocal being detained with no proper justifications. I have so much I wanted to say and blog here, but I know best that I can only fight, if I am not in jail. I shall thread carefully and not do anything foolish. The fact that I have shared out so many photographs from the actual day BERSIH Rally itself was a dangerous risk, but it was an action worth taken. Therefore, I sincerely wish you understand my situation, where it is best not for me to be too "extreme" in my opinions raised here. 

Lets move on to what this blog has always been about: shooting, and sharing more images. 

I have loaned the batteries of my Olympus PEN E-PL1 (the tiny BLS-1) to a friend lately who traveled far, and the batteries have been missing from me for months. That explained why I have not been shooting with my beautiful PEN at all lately. Having the batteries back, I was very eager to make the shutter click. 

Together with a large group of friends, we attacked the Petaling Street this morning. 

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

Morning Light