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
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.
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.
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.