Monday, June 02, 2014

Charmaine & April

This weekend, I had the privilege to be the official photographer (together with photographer Jason Lioh) covering the wedding of Charmaine and April. This marks the second time I use Olympus Micro Four Thirds system for a full photography assignment, and I believe I am getting comfortable with my current setup. It was a beautiful wedding, with plenty of spontaneous emotions and great moments, plenty of photography opportunities. I found myself enjoying the shoot more than expected, and with the permission of the beautiful bride, Charmaine, I am posting some quick edits here as a preview. Bear in mind I just came home from the wedding dinner reception about a few hours ago. I then unloaded the images, made some quick processing to the selected few and blogged here right after that. 

A few photography notes:

1) I was running with two cameras setup: firstly the OM-D E-M5 with 45mm F1.8 or 25mm F1.8 attached, depending on shooting conditions, and a permanent FL-50R flash attached on it, and secondly the PEN E-PL5 and the Panasonic 14mm F2.5 or Olympus 9mm F8 Fisheye Bodycap lens, and the FL-36R flash attached. 

2) Flash was used in 99% of the photographs. 

3) The addition of 25mm F1.8 lens was very helpful, especially in situations where 45mm F1.8 was too tight and I needed a wider coverage, but not wanting to use a full wide angle lens. This happens a lot more than I anticipated, and I was glad to have a great Olympus 25mm F1.8 lens. 

4) Olympus focusing was amazingly fast and reliably accurate. It nailed focus almost perfectly, the few misses were due to my own fault. Yes, I do make mistakes, and sometimes I curse at myself after I have made those mistakes. 

5) For some macro shots (the Golden Dragon and Pheonix rings) I used the 12-50mm F3.5-6.3 kit lens, set to macro mode, and it did well. Flash was used of course. 

6) This was probably the first time someone used the 9mm F8 fisheye body cap lens (I could be wrong, just assuming here) for an actual paid photography assignment. In wedding photography, not everything has to be tact sharp and technically perfect. The most important things to consider are capturing moments successfully, and convey the overall ambience and happiness. The 9mm F8 fisheye added some uniqueness to some of the photos, without being overly distorted like a true fisheye lens. 

7) I was not too happy with the Panasonic 14mm F2.5 focusing performance on the E-PL5. Sometimes it decided to misbehave, and hunted for a bit. Sometimes, it decided to gave me wrongly focused image, and this happened because I was rushing the lens. I was shooting a wedding, I needed to be quick, I cannot be waiting for the lens. While there are many things I love about this lens, the focusing can be a let down, in very demanding situations. 

8) I did bring along a 75mm F1.8 lens (borrowed). Which I found no use of it at all. I was the official photographer hence I had the privilege to go very close. 45mm F1.8 did wonders. Oh how can I ever survive without the 45mm F1.8 lens (obviously there was that ZD 50mm F2 macro but lets not go there now). 

9) I came home with 2667 images from the two shooting sessions (typical Chinese Styled Wedding, morning ceremony and evening reception dinner), filling up nearly 40GB of RAW files. I shot only in RAW.


Enough talking, here are some shots from the wedding. I shall add a few more in a day of two, when I have time to process a few more images.








































Special thanks to Charmaine and April for having me and Jason as your wedding photographers. 

Congratulations to both of you and may abundant blessings come your way at all times and I wish you nothing but happiness!

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34 comments :

  1. Thank you so much for the awesome photos! Glad to be able to see some preview so soon and the photos look amazing! To me, result is most important so I trust my photographers to use any gear they want :D

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the kind words Charmaine! Glad you liked the photos. I will try to process a few more and add later if can. Thanks again for having me!

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  2. Perfecto Robin. I enjoyed viewing the shots which I think were very well done. You manage to capture emotions and key moments like the pouring of tea etc... Having a fisheye is also a plus and adds to ur creativity. Keep up the good work.

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    1. Hi Johan,
      Thanks for the compliments, I don't deserve al of them really. But yes, we all get better and better and will surely improve the more we shoot.

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  3. Hi Robin, excelente work
    Q: the flash was bounced? At what iso?

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    1. Hi Nacho,
      Thanks for the kind words.
      And yes, the flash was bounced at various ISO settings, depending on different locations (different lighting condition) as well as ceiling height.

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  4. It will also be interesting to know how many photos you are planning to deliver to the clients on these 2667 images.. :-)

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    1. Johan, usually it will be streamed down to 500-600 shots (per photographer) so the client gets about 1000 shots. There are lots and lots of groups photos and photos of the newly weds with their friends, family and relatives.

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  5. Can i ask how many batteries you use for one of these days?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Mantis,
      I used one battery per camera per session, at the end of the session which the batteries were already blinking red. There were two sessions (morning and night) and I had time to charge the batteries.

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  6. Looking at these pictures quality I would thought that you took the pics using DLSR... but wow Olympus camera rocks..! Love all the photos especially the ones Charmaine popping the champagne! And omg you are so efficient!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Jessy!
      Thanks for the kind words. I have always believed that Olympus OM-D can do just as well, or surpass most DSLR in terms of performance and image quality.

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    2. ops her name is Jess Ying not Jessy XD

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    3. Very tricky! Can be Jessy Ing too!

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  7. Excellent shots, as always! Thanks for sharing. You mentioned some of the shots with missed focus were due to something you did. Do you have any tips or tricks to help lessen the chance of missed focus in shots?

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    1. The reasons they were miss focused were: 1) I misplaced the focusing point (not on the subject I wanted) 2) Subjects moved and I was not quick enough to react to that. No tips, just have to be more attentive and react faster.

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    2. Thanks! Do you typically frame with the LCD in the back using touch point focusing, or do you pre-set the center as your focus point?

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    3. For serious shooting I do not use the touch shooting. I used the traditional way of moving the focusing point around

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  8. Robin
    What brand of flash did you use? I found the FL 36 controls impossible to comprehend. What flash setting did you use?

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    Replies
    1. As I have written in Point 1, Olympus FL50R and FL36R

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  9. Purely from a cultural perspective can you explain some of the activities in the shots? You mentioned the pouring of the tea, but I'm also curious about the group shots with the groomsmen. is that a cultural action or isolate actions of this group of friends?

    Thanks as always Robin!

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    Replies
    1. Oh dear, Chinese wedding tradition is a huge topic on its own and I need a lot more than just a few sentences to fully describe the activities. In short, they involve tea ceremony, serving tea to the elders as a sign of asking/receiving blessings, gate crashing where the groom (with the groomsmen) came to pick up the bride, who is defended by the bridal party forcing the groom party to all sorts of torment and obstacles before achieving the goal: getting the bride. Hence you see all the funny games and "unusual" positions, they do vary from wedding to wedding depending on the selection of games. Some can be rather extreme.

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  10. Great job, Robin! This is my first comment on your blog. I have been following your blog for quite some time now and really felt like leaving a comment. You are exactly the kind of "photo buddy" I would love to hangout with to learn tips on taking pictures. A warm hello from Texas!

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    1. Thanks for the first comment Vince, I hope it is not the last. If you do ever come to Kuala Lumpur I welcome you to join in my shutter therapy sessions!

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  11. Hello Robin,

    What made you decide to shoot in raw? Usually shoot in JPEG and say how much you love the JPEG colors. I tend to shoot both if I have something important like this.

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    1. Hi Bryce,
      This is a paid assignment, hence RAW provides the extra insurance, you know, just in case.

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  12. Hi Robin,
    what will be the Noise setting in the RAW files?

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    1. Hi Bryan,
      I typically set most of the images to "Low". For high ISO images (ISO6,400, for example) I set to standarrd

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  13. Hi Robin.
    Awesome images of the emotion and precious moments. Stunning colors. Three wedding coming my way in a few months time and I believe I can use OMD E-M5 for the job.
    Thank you for sharing, Robin. May you have a great evening.
    John Ragai

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    Replies
    1. Dear John,
      Thanks for the kind words. Whoah you are shooting weddings now? That is a huge progress!

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  14. nice set of photos Robin.. i love seeing wedding pics cos never once these photos failed to make me laugh..

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    1. Thanks Rose! Love shooting weddings too. Never a boring moment

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  16. Photography to me is catching a moment which is passing, and which is true. online photo editing studio clipping path

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