Tuesday, June 19, 2018

True Black and White Photo Mode on Motorola G5S Plus

It was rather disappointing that there was no dedicated black and white mode utilizing the one camera that has only black and white image sensor on the earlier camera app on the Motorola G5S Plus. One of the perks of having dual camera is the advantage of a true monochrome image sensor in one of the modules. In Motorola's latest firmware update, the "True B&W" mode was added, finally, after relentless requests from their fanbase. I have just discovered this mode last night (pardon me, for I only use smartphone camera for my daily casual snaps), and can't wait to bring the new monochrome mode out for a spin.

My previous experience with multiple Huawei dual camera iterations (P9, Mate 9 Pro, P10) has been positive when it comes to monochrome shooting using the dedicated black and white image sensor. I may not necessarily expect similar performance on the budget-friendly Motorola option, but I am very curious on how Motorola renders monochrome results.

Lets hope the shooting session goes well and then I shall have a full blog entry update on smartphone black and white photography!

Saturday, June 16, 2018

The Secret To Studio Like Product Shots Without An Actual Studio

Recently I conducted a new photography workshop for Olympus Malaysia, dealing with casual and lifestyle product and food shots. In that workshop I have shared several interesting tips and the one that got everyone chuckled in disbelief was this particular figurine shot in a simple plain white background with side lighting. When I revealed that the shot was nothing more than a simple, straight to the point image taken on a white chair by the window with no other tricks, I could hear some people gasped.

I think improvisation is important. Of course it would have been better if there was a proper studio setup with professionally done background and wireless flash or strobes for better control of light and a more polished finish. If you are a working professional photographer you do what you have to do to get the shot. However, I was not speaking to a crowd of pro photographers. I was speaking to hobbyists, amateurs and also social media users, who were looking to improve their shots. Simple messages like these go a long, long way: 1) Watch your background, keep it plain and simple, 2) Utilize effective and beautiful lighting, opt for abundant natural light, windows work wonders and of course some basic camera settings and fundamentals of how to get sharp and well composed images.

Observing the local photography crowd in general, sometimes I feel that people are trying too hard, and stressing out at all the wrong reasons. The best images come from the simplest of setup but with a lot of heart and soul poured into the shooting process. It is not the grade of your lens or the size of your camera that makes or break the shot, but your understanding and control over even the most fundamentals of photography: lighting and of course, simplicity always work.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri 2018

To all my fellow Muslim readers here and also on Ming Thein's site, I wish you Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Maaf Zahir dan Batin! 

May you eat all the awesome festive food and have joyous time with family, relatives and friends in this auspicious celebration. I can't wait to feast on the ketupats and rendangs! Here is a portrait of me in a loose baju melayu to hide my ever expanding tummy.

Image credit: Robert Evangelista
Photo taken with Olympus PEN-F and M.Zuiko 75mm F1.8

Sunday, June 10, 2018

But We Can Eat More Burgers

An excerpt from a recent conversation with a friend.

"Whatever happens, will happen. At the meantime, we do the best we can.
Some things are beyond our control.
we can surely eat MORE BURGERS!"

Chicken and Egg Confusion - Myburgerlab, Mytown
Image shot with Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II and 12-40mm F2.8 PRO lens.