Friday, August 31, 2012

The Merdeka Eve

To all fellow Malaysians, Happy 55th Merdeka Day. The country is celebrating its 55th anniversary of independence. 

On this beautiful eve of the celebration, as usual, me and my mates were attacking the streets, and it was more like a mix of relaxing, catching up, eating, drinking, and a little bit of shutter therapy. And while the world is rushing for the next best camera or that newly launched huge lens, I was happily snapping away with a lowly Olympus PEN E-PL1, with an extremely cheap manual focus CCTV lens. Any photographers who walked by me and saw me using that tiny camera, miss-matched to an even tinier lens, might have thought that I was using nothing but just a toy that was not capable of producing anything decent. To a certain extent, I do agree, but hey, for the strangest thing in the world, I actually LOVE using that tiny toy-like CCTV lens. I have no reasons to explain it, but it was such a fun lens to use. And I find myself coming back to it more and more these days. 

All images in this entry were taken with Olympus PEN E-PL1 and CCTV Lens 25mm F1.2

On the floor

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

How Much Does a Cat Weigh?

I saw a cat and a dog walking to each other, and being friendly and playful. The moment I pointed my camera to capture that rare moment of two animals that are known to be violent when they are in close proximity, they turned and walked away from each other. I sighed. Sometimes we just have to react quick enough when we see the opportunity, any sense of hesitation will be consequential. 

Nonetheless, as the cat laid down on a wooden table next to where a weighing scale was, I knew somehow the image would look strange if it was sitting on the weighing scale. I did not pay much attention and proceeded to shoot the other subjects around me. As I turned back to look at the cat, there it was sitting comfortably on the weighing scale. The the dog came approaching. I framed the cat so that the dog was in the background. Though both animals were not extremely near to each other but the they were close enough to show the acceptance of one another's existence. Not something you see everyday, especially when it comes to street animals. I then whistled so that the cat would turn its head to my direction, and as I saw the cat's eyes, I snapped a photo or two.


Olympus DSLR E-5 and Zuiko Digital 50mm F2 Macro

I liked the way the cat's front leg being rested off the edge of the steel plate. It showed the cat being in a comfortable position, yet the perched up ears told us that the cat was attracted to something (my whistling of course) and was being what a cat was best at: curious. 

So how much does a cat weigh? Approximately 1.2 Kg. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Finding Street Subjects

I had a conversation with Nick and something struck me which I have not given much thought before, was how my photographs show elements of "family connections". Now looking back at the possibly tens of thousands of street photographs I have taken within the span of last one or two years, indeed I had taken a lot of photographs on the street based on strong family theme. It was perhaps subconscious decision or something in the relationship of parent-child, or older generation folks, as well as the difficulties and challenges that they faced that drew my attention. I guess I always knew I wanted to shoot subjects in their older days, initially because I thought the expression, the multiple lines all over the face and the smile that has been seasoned by more than half a century of life tell plenty of strong stories. Similarly goes to a mother taking care of her child, holding the baby in her arms, yet having that troubled and worried look on her face. Those are genuine emotions and expressions that cannot be hidden, and in the midst of the street busy-ness, the straightness and directness of such drama presented themselves very evidently, it just screamed to me and my camera to capture them. 

When I go out to shoot, I do not lock myself down to anything specific. I opened myself to any possibilities, and I will capture anything that caught my attention, which I will on the spot decide if it was worthy to work my camera with. Yes, through many sessions I have become selective of my subjects, but I believe the selection happens through the process of elimination, as I have taken the similar scene before and it did not come out the way I wanted. Hence I will ignore the similar "failures". 

In this entry, I shall post up a few photographs, and try to explain what drew me into capturing them. Perhaps the motivation that drove me to certain subjects were my real life struggles, and they do reflect how and what I see some things. 

All images in this entry were taken from the previous few shutter therapy sessions, at various locations (Pudu, Bukit Bintang and Petaling Street). Olympus DSLR E-520 and Zuiko Digital Lenses: 14-42mm F3.5-5.6, 40-150mm F3.5-4.5 and 25mm F2.8 pancake. 

I like shooting younger kids, mainly because of how they look at you. It was a mix of curiosity, with strong sense of sincerity and a hint of trust, because we adults are supposed to lead them into their future. Their innocence and honesty have not been tainted, hence the facial expression do not lie. Those kind of subjects call out to me strongly, because they remind me of my younger days, the days when there was not that much to worry about, not that much to care about. I guess I am reliving my past when I see their young and care-free lives through their piercing eyes. 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

MY FM 14th Birthday Bash 2012

I was privileged to be invited by a dear friend Aizuddin Danian to shoot alongside him at the My FM 14th Birthday Bash 2012 concert, happening just last night at Bukit Jalil National Stadium, KL. The beautiful thing about this shoot was that we were provided with Media Pass, much thanks to Aizuddin, we did not have to line up early for good spots, we arrived about 30 minutes before the concert started, and still could get close to the stage, at a designated location just for media photographers. I love loud music, I love live performance, and certainly it was a great was to end my week, listening to some really awesome talents performing live to commemorate the local radio station's anniversary. There is just something about loud music pumping that got me going, it gets my blood rushing. Having to work my camera adds even more to the excitement factor. 

All images were taken with Olympus DSLR E-5 and Zuiko Digital 50-200mm F2.8-3.5 (non-swd)

Most live concerts now come with some sort of stage play or drama, and a comedic mix with light action scenes. The Radio Deejays would have to act as one of the characters and naturally they already have the talent to entertain the public. These days, being Radio DeeJays, you do need to have a public face as well, not just a voice behind the microphone. 

Since I am not too familiar to the local Chinese music industry, if I have made any mistake naming the artists, please kindly notify me in the comments or email so I can rectify them accordingly, soonest possible. Your help is greatly appreciated. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

I Love Kit Lens

It is very frustrating to see that not many people show much attention to kit lenses anymore. More and more new camera purchasers would opt for body only packages, and top that up with higher grade prime lenses, all for the sake of "better low light shooting" and capability to render "shallower depth of field". The trend gets worse in street photography, as the older masters of the craft would preach and proclaim the greatness of using 35mm and 50mm primes ONLY, neglecting the need for other focal lengths, or the need for zoom. Some went more drastic by staying with a single focal length for the entire lifetime, looking down upon zoom lens users, as they label them reckless, and being lazy. I beg to differ in opinion. I truly believe that you can create good photographs, regardless of what lens and camera you choose to shoot with. As long as your gear is in line with your vision, and you have a very strong visualization of what you want to accomplish in the end in your photographs. 

All images were taken with Olympus DSLR E-520 and kit lens 14-42mm F3.5-5.6

Begiras Upstairs

Friday, August 24, 2012

Very Lazy Thursday

It has been a hectic day at work, having sudden change of plans of me being relocated to another construction site for supervision duties. Therefore extra effort and time were spent on tying up loose ends and finalizing important paperworks before I leave. It has been long and exhaustive, and that was the more reason I looked forward to the shutter therapy session with Luke and Nick at Bukit Bintang. We may be physically tired from work, but just by catching up with each other over dinner, drinks and some light shooting around randomly on the street, I felt a lot better, and had that little extra strength to move on and finish the week off. 

All images were taken with Olympus PEN E-PL1 and CCTV Lens 25mm F1.2

Nick Wade and his beloved Nikon FM3A, with the Voightlander 40mm F2 mounted. That funky little manual flash on top of the camera suffered a fatal fate tonight. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

One Day I Will Fly Again

Broken wings mend in time. One day Robin will FLY again. I promise. - Alfred Pennyworth


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

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Shoebox Experiment

Since my first trial run with the Shoebox Macro Flash Bouncer I have invented DIY-made about two weeks ago (click to read the blog entry) I have been itching for more macro shooting adventures. To satisfy that itch, I took advantage of this long weekend (I am still on Hari Raya holidays) to hunt for more macro subjects. I visited the Butterfly Park, Kuala Lumpur earlier today and this time, I had more luck on my side, spotting some really interesting tiny creatures, some I have not encountered before, and a few that I have been looking for, and found them this time. That is the thing about insect/spider macro shooting in the field, half the fun is actually in the hunting process, and the other half on the killing part (nailing down the shot). I would say the same about wildlife or bird photographers, but we know that those two are far more challenging, physically demanding and requires hell lot more patience. 

All images in this entry were taken with Olympus DSLR E-5 with Zuiko Digital lens 50mm F2 Macro (most shots) and 50-200mm F2.8-3.5 (a few shots). Most of the images had the External Flash FL-36R fired wirelessly, bounced via the Shoebox Macro Flash Bouncer. 

Forgeneral camera controls/settings and how I use the shoebox bouncer, please refer to my write-up here. 


Monday, August 20, 2012

Street Experimental

Before I dive into my usual random ramblings and blasting of multiple photographs of my recent street shooting session, allow me to divert your attention for a while toward my friend, Brandon Eu. He has a great, inspirational story to share, about an incident that happened during his overseas assignment in Melbourne, Australia, shooting a wedding. A day before his huge job, he encountered an unexpected accident that cut his chin, and worse, injured his wrists severely. God knows how he did it, but Brandon fought his way through, continued shooting with unforgiving pain and much movement difficulties. At the end of the day, he delivered his photographs to the clients, and he did a splendid job. It took a lot of strength not to give up, and sheer determination to survive the whole incident. 

Hear the story from Brandon himself which he has shared on his blog here (click). Believe me you will be amazed. 

While you are there, do say hi to Brandon, any words of encouragement will be deeply appreciated. To Brandon, stay strong my friend, God is with us always, and the healing surely has begun. I have always believed in you, and your photography work inspired me a lot from the beginning when I started to pick up my first camera. 

Now, lets come back to my usual blog entries, sharing my shutter therapy session. It was the first day of Hari Raya (the largest Malaysian Muslim celebration in this nation), and I took advantage of this long weekend to do more street shooting. I went to Masjid Jamek, intended to journey into the territories of Chow Kit, However the sky turned dark so suddenly and threatened to rain, thus I shifted my location of shoot to KLCC, getting there by train of course. 

I decided to utilize my beloved, trusty Olympus DSLR E-520 and the much underrated but superb kit lens, Zuiko Digital 14-42mm F3.5-5.6. For most photographs in this entry, I did use that cheap RM10 manual flash I bought recently (click). 

Wrong direction

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Orang Asli

To all my Muslim Readers, Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri !!! May this celebration brings you great joy and blessings !!

It was a working Saturday that I rushed all the way from home in the afternoon, to get ready for a shooting adventure, thanks to an invitation by a dear friend Luke Chua. We drove about more than an hour out of Kuala Lumpur and entered an Orang Asli settlement. It was indeed refreshing to shoot at a different location once in a while, I am sure some of you were already bored of seeing my KL street photos !!

All images in this entry 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, August 17, 2012

I Went Inside an Underground Drainage and Found..

In contrary to popular belief, I do not have a glamorous job or doing anything that anyone would want to dream of doing. Today, I went down into an underground drain system, for engineering inspection. While we were doing the routine check and observation on the structural integrity, and looking high and low for defects or fractures, I saw something rather attractive waiting for me down there. 

My only regret? Not having my camera and macro lens with me.



Not giving up, I whipped out my lousy HTC phone's 5MP camera, and snapped away. 

Was the image good? Not really, it was lit by two equally bad torchlights that provided completely different colour temperatures, and the light was too concentrated and casted heavy shadows everywhere. At 5MP image, I had to crop further and losing the pixels meaning I have less data to work with. 

But who cares, if the image was bad, I can always blame the phone camera. Aaaahhhh sweet excuses. 

There were MANY spiders crawling all over the inside of the underground drain. I only took this one photograph. Hey, I was there for work, remember? Lets get back to the inspection.... (but my mind was thinking if I could get any closer to the spider for more magnification). 



Thursday, August 16, 2012

For the Love of Swirly Bokeh

I am starting to really love this CCTV lens that I have, the 25mm F1.2 C mount lens. It is difficult to manual focus with this lens, it is not sharp anywhere off center, it exhibits strong vignetting and corner softness, and suffers heavy barrel distortion all over the frame. Landscape shooters would hate this lens for not being able to keep straight lines straight, and portrait shooters hate the bad distortion on facial profile, or the lack of sharpness in most shooting conditions. As for me? Did I complain about all those things I have mentioned before? Of course I did. However, did any of those complains matter in what I shoot so far? Purely for my shutter therapy session, I think I am enjoying this lens more and more. In contrary to all the unforgiving technical faults of the lens, I was actually in love with the lens flaws, that exhibited specific and unique characteristics in the photographs the CCTV lens produces. 


Thursday nights have become a ritual for me and my friends for night street shooting. Luke Ding, Kelvin Ng, Scott Chung, Nick Wade and myself attacked the streets of Bukit Bintang again. 

All images in this entry were taken with Olympus PEN E-PL1 and CCTV Lens 25mm F1.2

Who says Olympus Micro 4/3 system cannot render shallow DOF? 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

It Is All in the Expression

I was doing some update on my online portfolio that showcases only my paid assignment photography work.  Yes I do take in some freelance photography work (I know professional and full time photographers frown upon the existence of us freelancers and part-timers) to supplement my equipment purchase, and you have to admit photography is not exactly a very cheap hobby. In the process of adding sets of photographs I noticed I have missed out on particular shooting session from last year's wedding shoot in Bali, Indonesia for my dear friends Mabel and Calvin (friends I have known from my old days in Perth, Australia). It was their wedding reception dinner, right after the sunset church wedding ceremony in Bali. The reception dinner was held at the beach. It was one of the most challenging, yet fulfilling wedding shoot I have encountered so far.

Here are some shots from the reception dinner.

One of the most romantic dinner reception venue I have shot, just by the beach. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Alvin & Jacklyn: Engagement Shoot


Last Friday I was out shooting for a good friend and colleague, Alvin (one of the very important person working in the same engineering consultant firm I am in) and his lovely wife, Jacklyn. They have already engaged an official studio photographer for their pre-wedding photography earlier, but were looking for extra portrait photographs taken outdoors. I was more than happy to shoot for a dear friend. It was a very casual and brief session, with shooting duration of about slightly more than an hour. We all enjoyed ourselves and sometimes shooting for the people you do know and care about can be very rewarding. 

I shall share some of the shots taken from this session in this blog entry and some accompanying thoughts on the images.

All images were taken with Olympus DSLR E-5 and Zuiko Digital lenses

The beautiful thing about shooting outdoors is having the natural "feel" for the set of portraits. There was an era of time when wedding couples prefer their pre-wedding shots to be fully taken in a studio with heavy lighting equipment. Due to the advancement of digital photography gear, more and more newly weds prefer their photographs to be taken outdoor, with strong sense of location, and being out there. This establishing shot of the couple holding the flower was an opening: to tell that the shoot was not at a studio setting, and they were walking together toward an opening in the background.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Dreaming of a Place, Far Far Away

It has been almost a year since my last visit outside of the country.

Tanah Lot, Bali. 

I want to get out, I want to get FREE !! 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Flash for Street Shooting

In my previous entry, during my visit to CEX 2012 (camera and electronics expo) yesterday, I did not come home empty handed. Despite all my complains and dissatisfaction raised on the event (poor timing for now having no significant new cameras or lenses), I must say one of the best things about such large expo events would be the bargains, especially at the clearance section. I am a true blue Malaysian, give me a good discounted price, and I will be as happy as a clam. Yes, I did buy two items. 

The first item, being an external flash. 

SUNTAX 20M Manual Flash


Saturday, August 11, 2012

CEX 2012 (Camera & Electronics Expo)

So there is this supposedly the largest camera expo in town, happening this weekend at Viva Home Exhibition Hall, and my mate Choon Wee and I decided to pay it a visit. To be honest, this was not exactly the most auspicious time to hold any camera expo at all, considering there really is nothing new to be overly excited about. All the major announcements will happen some time next month for Photokina, and I believe it would have been more appropriate to have the expo perhaps one or two months after the Photokina, with test models and demo units of the newly announced camera and lenses being available for public testing. At the moment, some of the latest gear are not even available, such as the Panasonic G5, Nikon J2 and Canon EOS-M. Interestingly, they did not even have the now available-everywhere-else-in-the-world except Malaysia Panasonic X lens 12-35mm F2.8. Seriously, with the absence of all those, how do you expect people to be hyped over the camera expo, showcasing come cameras which were probably more than 1 year old?

Nevertheless, since I was already there, I did have a look around, and snapped whatever interesting things that caught my eye. 

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

Sony NEX F3, the latest release from Sony NEX series. The pink looks rather catchy. 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Much Fun With Lens Flaws

If you have not read Kirk Tuck's blog entry on how real life photography shooting is a lot more than just shooting images with edge to edge sharpness and excelling in test chart performance, please do so here. He pointed out how he had enjoyed using even the mere kit lens 18-55mm on his new Sony NEX-7, and how he loved the 50mm F1.8 lens for his latest portrait shooting. Those lenses may not be the sharpest or most technically perfect lens in the market, but Kirk has proven that those lenses did their job splendidly well for his needs. While many others would argue and disagree, Kirk had plenty of impressive portraiture images to prove his point. 

Feeling super inspired after reading that blog entry, I stormed the streets today after work with my CCTV lens. I was actually taking a step further, because the CCTV lens exhibits very evident corner softness, heavy vignetting, and has many other issues such as strong chromatic aberration and suffering from flare/ghosting problems. Furthermore, the distortion (barrel) that the lens created, curving every side of the image is enough to send most modern "technically-obsessed" photographers screaming in pain. Every single thing that any modern lens is trying to be perfect, is the characteristic that this CCTV lens would not have. The CCTV lens is so flawed that many would not take it seriously, and just treated it as a toy. I begged to differ in opinion. Sometimes, instead of obsessing over how sharp our image is, or how technically superior our gear performs, take that all away, we should pay closer attention to many other things that make good photography. Focus on the choice of subject content, how to approach your subjects, better composition and use of creative execution to accomplish that image you have pre-visualized in your mind. Work some artistic sense, instead of just relying everything on technical superiority of the gear. 

All images were taken with Olympus PEN E-PL1 and CCTV Lens 25mm F1.2 (C-mount)

Young Generation

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Sudden Itch and Panorama KL Scene

I did not quite know what got into me today but my hands were unbearably itchy for the whole day, desperate for some shutter clicking action. After work I rushed home to my beloved Olympus PEN E-PL1 with half-charged battery and chucked that into my camera bag with two lenses: the kit lens 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 and also my newly acquired CCTV lens 25mm F1.2. I was not quite sure what I wanted to do, and surely I have no proper plans or whatsoever, all I knew was that I just had to go out and shoot something, to ease that itch. The sky was quite clear and the sun was looking intense, so I made a last minute decision to rush over to the 16th floor of a low cost apartment in the city to shoot a landscape view of Kuala Lumpur approaching sunset. 

All images in this entry were taken with Olympus PEN E-PL1 and M.Zuiko 14-42mm kit lens, or CCTV lens 25mm F1.2

Panorama Stitched Photograph composed of 9 separate images, created by freeware Hugin. 
For larger display (2500px width) please click the image above. 

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Olympus Zuiko 50-200mm F2.8-3.5

About a year ago I made an interesting lens purchase, the Olympus Zuiko Digital 50-200mm F2.8-3.5 lens to be used on my Olympus DSLR E-5. I have always have a weakness for long telephoto zoom lenses, and when a friend gave me a deal I could not resist, I knew I just had to have one. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made, and this is probably one of the lens that have provided me with some of the best images I have ever shot. 

Since the range of focal length is longer than usual, the 50-200mm is a rather specific purpose lens. It is surely not a lens to be used for everyday walk-around purposes, or something that you would bring to a dinner party or street shooting. I find it strange how many new generation photographers would frown upon long telephoto lenses, because I strongly believe that having one is very important even though you may not necessarily use it very often. There are times when you need that extra reach, and when you have the zoom lens, you will feel that it is a life saving situation. Throughout the past year, I have had quite a few of such mentioned situations when I was very, very glad that I have brought along the 50-200mm lens to capture the shots that I have had in mind. 

In this blog entry, I shall compile a collection of random images, all shot with the Olympus Zuiko Digital 50-200mm F2.8-3.5 lens. 

At 200mm focal length (effectively 400mm on 35mm format) you will get a very profound subject isolation, not just in terms of background blur, but the compression effect that just enhances the 3-D feel of the image. This image was shot at a beach at Bali, a pre-wedding shooting. 

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Shoebox Macro Flash Bouncer

If you have been with me since the early days of my photography involvement (well, not that long ago, starting about 4 years ago) you would know that I was once truly fascinated, or more appropriately put, obsessed with macro photography, especially shooting tiny creatures (insects, spiders, etc). The love for macro photography has always been there, though I have not been doing any macro shooting that much recently. The reason was simple: street shooting was a lot easier, and less tiring. 

The beautiful thing about macro photography is the on-going experimentation on how to improve shooting techniques, most notably on ways to properly light the subject. This includes various methods of DIY lighting setup, to diffuse the flash in order to produce the ideal lighting condition. In macro, lighting setup is very, very important. My own technique has been rather stagnant for the past few shooting sessions, and I have not done anything to explore or improve further. It was the use of the flash being fired off camera, with an omni-bounce diffuser cap placed on the flash at all times. The flaws of my flash implementation have been raised by some readers a couple of times before: that the omni-bounce cap diffuser was actually not effective at all in doing anything diffusing, and the outcome of my photographs still exhibit too much harsh shadows and highlight blownouts in the wrong places. I admit, in terms of lighting in my macro shooting, there is a lot I could do to get better results. Therefore, in this particular shooting session, I decided to give macro photography a go, with something "new" I have thought out in mind. 

Allow me to introduce my new invention (well, not really an invention since many others would have thought of something similar as well),
the Shoebox Macro Flash Bouncer. 

Olympus DSLR E-5 + Zuiko Digital 50mm F2 macro (Japanese describes this lens, as the lens of God)

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Fun at Pudu with The Original Pancake

When I was thinking about what I could do differently this weekend on my shutter therapy session, I thought about the now underutilized Olympus Zuiko Digital 25mm F2.8 pancake lens. This lens is probably one of the over-looked and under-rated lens from the standard grade Olympus line-up. It is not difficult to see why, I have been shooting more frequently with the High Grade 11-22mm and 50mm macro lenses that offer much more superior image quality, in terms of sharpness as well as shallower depth of field rendering abilities. Also, this pancake lens has a special place in me, since it was the first lens I have purchase as an addition to my original Olympus gear (besides the twin kit lens of course). Remembering the good old days I have had and plenty of great images the 25mm pancake lens has produced, I decided to pair it up with my old yet still very trusty Olympus DSLR E-520. Together with a group of friends, we attacked Pudu this morning. 

All images were taken with Olympus DSLR E-520 and Zuiko Digital 25mm F2.8 pancake lens

Peaceful

Friday, August 03, 2012

Striking a Balance

Side Note: I have been receiving increasing number of emails, and the length of the mails are also getting longer. I apologize in advance if I cannot reply your email as quickly as usual. I do have a full time job which is my priority, and I do have a life outside my working life, besides photography. Nonetheless, do give me a little bit more time, I will get back to you soonest as I can. Though it might take a longer while to answer the extra long ones !! Your understanding and patience is appreciated.

It has been a hectic week indeed, for me and most of friends, and I was just glad the week is coming to an end. Right in the middle of the week, somehow having a brief shutter therapy session with a drink or two with friends after that proved to be rather necessary and important to keep myself sane and alive throughout the rest of the week. Here is a series I have captured yesterday evening, right after work. 

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

Pointing at the right direction

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Slow Down Your Shutter Speed

I have always emphasized on the significance of understanding and utilizing slow shutter speed to add creativity and variety in photography. There are so many things you can do to improve your photography, but if you have not tried playing with slow shutter speed, you might want to give it a try. It is easy to learn and master, adds drama to your images and the best of all, it does not cost you anything, as long as your camera has full manual control built into it. 

I was running through the set of photographs I was gathering for a presentation to my colleagues some time ago on "Introduction to Digital Photography Basics", where I needed samples to display images taken with slow shutter speed techniques. I thought why not I share those set of images here as well, including some of my thoughts alongside how I captured the images.

What can Slow Shutter Speed do?

1) Capture Trail of Light

Panasonic Lumix LZ-8 
6sec, F/8, ISO100, Camera on Tripod. 
Location: Bandar Tasik Selatan Pedestrian Bridge

When I showed this image in my presentation, the audience did not expect that it was taken with a lowly, budget basic point and shoot camera, the Panasonic Lumix LZ-8 which I bought with a good discount, at only RM380. I was convincing the crowd that skills and photography techniques matter more than getting the most expensive equipment. Even if you own an expensive professional grade camera, if you do not understand the concept of shutter speed, or know how to control it, you won't be able to produce any decent results. Likewise, great results can be achieved even with an underrated compact camera, if you got your basics right. Slowing down the shutter speed is needed to capture the trail of lights.