Lets Start The New Year With Shutter Therapy

Happy New Year 2013 to you beautiful people !! I wish you all the best in everything to come for this year. 

So it was a public holiday in Malaysia (and also most parts of the world), and that means it was the perfect opportunity for my much needed shutter therapy session, since I was not having enough last weekend due to a wedding photo-assignment. I met up with Kelvin, Brandon and Choon Wee, and we all attacked Pudu this morning. I could not think of a better way to start 2013 than having a fruitful, enjoyable shooting session, as well as catching up with some friends over breakfast. 

All images were taken with Sony Alpha A350 and DT 50mm F1.8 lens

Beautiful eyes. 
When I saw this young man, I was compelled to shoot him. There was something about his face that called out to me. I think he has really attractive facial features. 



Double Smile




Brightest teeth

Traditional Costume
This Indian kid was rushing off somewhere, I only caught him in the middle of his tracks. I liked his traditional clothings, which was rarely seen in public. I had no chance to readjust myself for a better/cleaner background and composition. 

Facial hair

Large Machine

Shared Street


Instead of shooting everything wide open at F1.8 for the 50mm Sony lens, I decided to stop down to F2.8 or 3.5 for extreme close up portraits, where my composition only fits the head and shoulder of my subject. Not only this allowed me less mistake in focus (having extra DOF to work with), I also found the images appear much sharper. I guess I have always been spoilt with Olympus' lenses that are usually very optimized and already very sharp shooting even wide open. Nonetheless, even stopping down to F2.8 or F3.5 on the Sony, me being positioned so close to my subject, I can still render sufficient shallow depth of field to throw the background into creamy, dreamy bokeh, which I intended to achieve. The extra sharpness was well appreciated. 

I have been receiving many questions on how I get my subjects to look at me the way they do. Honestly, I am not quite sure how to answer this question. Perhaps the best way to demonstrate this would be joining me along one of my shutter therapy sessions, and you will see for yourself that there really was no magic trick or special techniques employed to get the street portrait shots. For most shots I first smiled to the people I intended to shoot, acknowledging their presence and significance, then I pointed the lens at them, and click and click and click. Sometimes they smile, sometimes they don't. Most of the time they look into my lens, a few would look away. The "friendly" look they have on their faces was probably due to the place that I choose to shoot being a very friendly ground, with many people passing by at close proximity (wet market), hence the personal space was surely not much of an issue, because to buy and sell vegetables and meat you do have to get very near the people around you, either customers or the market stall operators. 

I cannot wait until the weekends again. More shutter therapy awaits. 


  1. Wow. Happy new year, and I hope you enjoyed your "ABC" :-)

  2. Happy New Year Robin and thanks for all you do. You have proven again and again that there are extraordinary people in ordinary places. Thanks for taking us on the journey ;-)

    1. Happy new year to you too Libby! Surely we fan find extraordinary things if we open up ourselves to them!

  3. Nice photos Robin. Here is American we dare not use the word "shoot" anymore because someone might overhear us and call the police! We can only use the word "photograph". We photograph someone or take someone's photo. Crazy place I live in......

    1. Wow, never thought of the word "shoot" that way before. nonetheless, Malaysia is not exactly void of street crimes. in fact, far from it.

  4. Hello Robin,
    Thank you for sharing with us your magic, Robin. I say it's magic as I have tried and tried and tried and yet my images are still out of my expectation in many ways. I really need more shooting and more learning in the process. BTW now I am still repairing my injured right leg (TKD punya pasal) and it's improving after my 9th foot massage therapy which killing me.

    (Just for sharing: on my 2nd massage visit, I pass out for a few second due to the acute pain applied by the Sifu. I thought I am tough and yet black out...lol. I can only roam the street without pain when I have a camera in hand. Normal walking not so good and now my right leg is getting better.)

    As for this collection of images, it's heart warming to roam the street just by looking at it while sitting my office. Your images has a special touch, Robin. I love it.
    Once again, Wish you Happy New Year 2013. May you have a great evening.
    John Ragai

    1. Hey John,
      I am so sorry to hear about the mishap with the TKD session. Do take extra care. I pray for your speedy recovery. I can understand the pain of not being able to walk properly !!
      Take plenty of rest, the street isn't going anywhere, surely better opportunities will be waiting for your return.
      Happy New Year to you too ! and thanks for the kind compliments !

  5. Hi Robin,

    I must admit that I did not read this post. More so I let the pictures speak for themselves. And they are great as always.
    Please keep up your Shutter Therapy sessions, as these produce some stunning shots.
    I also want to wish you a happy new year.

    Best regards from Germany

    1. Hello Daniel,
      Thanks for the kind words. Happy New Year to you too !

  6. Nice job, Robin! I especially like the "Facial Hair" and "Sweetness" photos the best. I enjoyed following you for most of 2012 through your blog, and I look forward to seeing where you take us during 2013. Best wishes!

    1. Thanks Gregg for the kind compliments. And yes, lets hope 2013 is a great one !!

  7. Great images as usual, Robin.

    I've just bought the M. Zuiko 60/2.8 Macro and FL-600R flash and am about to make a special "Robin shoebox reflector" for some macro fun. Can't wait to give it a try.

    Selamat tahun baru, Robin.

    1. Hello Newzild !!
      Do drop by KL and we shall do some macro together !! Happy New Year to you too !

  8. I think I’ve come full circle now and will be processing “au naturel” in the future. https://portugalurlaub.tumblr.com/post/156628963198/porto-street-photography