Over the past weekend, one of the largest photography events in Malaysia happened at Zebra Square, Kuala Lumpur, and it was the Sony Alpha Experience 2013. The event was some sort of convention where a series of invited guest prominent/professional photographers went on stage and shared their knowledge and experience in various photography fields. Notable guest speakers were Michael Yamashita (a National Geographic photographer) and Gary Friedman (professional photographer who strongly supports Sony, and has written many books for Sony cameras). It was a two day event, spanning across the weekend (Saturday and Sunday). Apart from the photographers speaking on stage in a large convention style, in between sessions, there were photo-shooting activities, challenges and competitions, and lucky draws. Prizes from the competitions and lucky draws include the NEX-6 and an Alpha 57 cameras!! Very generous of Sony Malaysia, and also if you attended at least 6 speaker sessions, you are entitled to collect a free 8GB Sony SD memory card. Everyone wins here.
Unfortunately, I was only able to attend the Sunday's session. I was there for the entire day! Surely this was a great effort by Sony Malaysia to pull their supporters and fans together, there were people travelling from other states to Kuala Lumpur just for this event. It was true what my friend Jack told me, it was Sony being generous in giving back to their community of consumers, surely many would benefit from the Sony Alpha Experience. Successful professional photographers from across the globe as well as some local ones too coming to share their photographs, experience and knowledge, great photography shooting opportunities to keep the itchy fingers satisfied, free food (buffet lunch), free door gifts (8GB SD cards), lucky draws and competitions, and above all, entrance to the event was free, as long as you have a Sony camera.
Grand Group Photograph. Spot me if you can. Hint: I was very near to Gary Friedman and Michael Yamashita
Photo credit: Eppy Man
All the following images were taken with Sony A350 and DT Lenses 35mm F1.8 or 50mm F1.8
The day started with Gary Friedman, demonstrating the creative usage of Flash, especially on simple methods taking the flash off-camera, and some easy setup for quick studio-like portrait shooting.
Simple demonstration of poor man's diffusing technique, to replicate a softbox effect. The volunteer in blue shirt is my friend, Jack, the same guy who used the monopod to capture the high angle shot of Pudu Market that I have blogged about recently (click here).
Gary finding some settings in the Sony Flash.
I bumped into Albert! He is a strong Sony supporter, and has been using Sony since the very beginning (A100 !!). Check out his wonderful work at his blog here (click).
Jack Koh, using two Sony A99 as... ermm.... never mind...
Our very own Ming Thein make an appearance too. He was sharing about his photography work on watches (macro photography) as well as architecture/interior photography.
Glad to see you there Ming Thein !! Though I did not have the chance to say hi before you disappeared.
After Ming Thein's session, there was a fashion show going on. The fashion show was organized by Guess Malaysia.
As you can see, I was not exactly standing at the right position to be shooting any good or usable shots. It was backlit all the way. To make things worse, I do not have a zoom lens on my A350 and even if I do, I doubt the capabilities of the camera to deliver in such demanding situations. Do cut the camera some slack it is 5 years old after all!
The final session of the day was presented by Michael Yamashita. I think Yamashita was the highlight of the event, and he was the idol that the Sony users looked up to and respected a lot. After all, he was one of the few photographers out there that fully embraced Sony system for his professional work.
Mr Motoyuki Ohtake from Sony Japan, a specialist in Optics, and responsible for designing and creating Sony lenses. He was speaking about the new and much anticipated Zeiss Planar 50mm F1.4, which should be released soon. Mr Ohtake was unexpectedly one of the most popularly sought after speaker during the final Q&A session, mainly targeted to answer questions related to future Sony cameras and lenses development.
I think this slide summarized the current state of Sony system. Sony, we still NEED MORE LENSES, both for the DSLR/DSLT as well as the NEX system. Amongst all rivals out there, Canon, Nikon, and even against the micro 4/3 group (Olympus and Panasonic), Sony has the least collection of lenses to offer.
One of the notable comment during the session was made by Mr Yamashita himself, stating how surprised he was seeing so many questions being raised to Mr Ohtake pertaining to gear development, new technologies and all the technical mumbo-jumbos. Michael Yamashita then continued to emphasize that he did not really have time to care about all those advanced technicalities, as his focus and main priority is shooting and getting his vision captured. As long as the camera delivers the results he needed, he is happy. He even admitted that he did not do much Photoshop or any form of post-processing to his image at all. I strongly believe the same message he is delivering, consistent with most pros out there who care about their images than anything else: photography is not about gear obsession. Yes, better cameras and lenses can help you in some ways, but to go far in photography, there are many other important things that matter. It was a shame to see ourselves, the Malaysian photography community to be so gear driven, as we asked about that new lens, or that better technology to be implemented. After all, the whole event was about great photographers coming to share their take and vision on photography, not their love for camera and lenses !!
All in all, kudos to Sony Malaysia for organizing such a wonderful event. This is one strong point of Sony, their marketing never failed to impress, and they dared to push further in maintaining consumer loyalty. I sure hope to see great things to come from Sony.