Sunday, November 02, 2014

Robin Shoots Pre-Wedding in Singapore!

When dear friends and ex-colleagues, Fei Seong and Lih Shiong asked if I were willing to do some outdoor portrait shooting for their pre-wedding albums, I immediately jumped in and made it happen. This entire weekend was spent at the beautiful locations of Singapore, which I have never done any assignment shoots in before. Fei Seong and Lih Shiong were gracious to have me around and we had plenty of fun roaming around Singapore. 

Considering I was quite inexperienced with wedding shoots (especially so for pre-wedding), I insisted that the couple get an actual professional photographer to do the official photographs, which they have done so. That took a huge load off my shoulders knowing that they already have their primary set of photographs taken, and whatever I am delivering will not be in the "make it or break it" situation, Nevertheless, I took this opportunity to learn and push myself further. I cannot use the "beginner's card", at some point I do have to get my feet wet and dive in altogether. Only by exposing myself to something I rarely do, I can improve. 

Primary Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M1
Secondary Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M5
Third Back-up camera: Olympus PEN E-PL5 (always, always have a back-up)
Primary Lenses: M.Zuiko 45mm F1.8, 25mm F1.8 and 9-18mm F4-5.6
Secondary Lenses: Panasonic 14mm F2.5 and Olympus 9mm F8 Fisheye Bodycap lens
Olympus FL-50R Flash, used off-camera, fired wirelessly when needed
Olympus FL-36R as a back-up flash (in case FL-50R fails)
Flash Softbox: Gamilight Square 43 (portable, and light, fold-able to flat form)
Tripods, small, light, and cheap, two units, one for the flash + softbox combination, and one for the camera when needed. 
Bags for camera and lenses: Think Tank Urban Disguise

The priority was lightweight, and we walked the entire day from location to location, in combination with commuting via public transports. I have the Think Thank Urban Disguise bad to fit all cameras and lenses, while another long carry bag for the softbox (folded, flat, easy to store and carry) and two tripods. The tripods may be the super cheap, unsteady, unreliable ones, but boy were they small and light, and they did their jobs well. 

Here in this blog entry, in less than 24 hours from the time of shoot, I am showing quick preliminary edits of selected photographs.

Edit: I may add a few more photographs, when I find time to process more!

 I first met Fei Seong and Lih Shiong on the first day I started my engineering job when I moved back to Malaysia from Perth, Australia in 2008. Lih Shiong was seated in front of me, and Fei Seong was at my right. They were both extremely helpful to me during my early years, always patiently teaching and guiding me. I was fortunate to have supportive and helpful colleagues, and I am thrilled to find out that they were going to get married real soon! I think they were also amongst the first few to witness my early development in photography, before this blog became the "Olympus Gear Review Blog". 

I am thankful for this opportunity to shoot at Singapore! Singapore, is such a beautiful place, and I even had a chance to watch the Wonder Full, a light and water show at Marina Bay Sands, which was really spectacular to say the least. I immediately fell in love with the friendly people, the rich culture (the buildings at China Town, Singapore are so well maintained, unlike Petaling Street in KL) and how clean the city is! I should have extended my stay so that I can roam around and do some street shooting, alas time did not permit. I have also quite a handful of friends residing in Singapore now, which I have been dying to meet and catch up. I think I must make time and find one weekend, just to get away from hectic Kuala Lumpur. Shutter Therapy in Singapore, I like the sound of that!

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  1. Awesome shots!! I'm a Singaporean & a noob Olympus user. Your photos make Singapore beautiful!! Can't wait to see your Singapore Shutter Therapy shots. Thanks a million for sharing.

    1. Singapore is so beautiful no matter how you shoot it is beautiful!

  2. Great job Robin - beautiful shots

  3. Try visit MBS Sky Garden for very nice view on the Financial Hub.
    Love your picture as always. Awesome!!

    1. Thanks for the kind words. We worked with very limited time. But I would love to cover more ground if I could.

  4. Wow I bet they regret hiring a "professional" photographer. These are awesome!

    1. I made sure that our shots do not clash. The professional had studio setup so the outcome is very different

  5. Loving them, very nice job indeed. And a lovely couple as well.
    Already looking forward to you covering our wedding :)

    Also: best of luck to revisit Singapore sometime soon.
    I have enjoyed my stays there as well and would always come back.

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. Some constructive criticism for you to improve on. I'm enjoying the compositions there and the 45 1.8 is really shining through. Your shots are definitely on point but post-processing can improve more as you head towards the final edits :)

    I would like to first point out the pale-ness of the skintones as they appear very faded and unnatural as they are also almost devoid of any shadows that could hint at volume or 3dimentionality. There exist a faded look but it works when there is a natural "hook" into the image to keep us in the moment of the image. Fading almost everything flattens the depth of the captured emotion. Ex: if you fade the skin, don't fade the grass behind else the correlation between skin and grass would be too close for any to stand out. And if you fade the center, you must also fade the vignette as the blacks must respect the fading (therefore dipping to dark-grey instead of black)

    This leads to me shadow management. At times you can notice that it greys out the black hair, other times blacks it out too much.

    Good job :)

    1. Dear Yannick,

      I always appreciate feedback and I thank you for that.

      I also believe that post-processing techniques and style are conscious choice and decisions that photographers make. Look around any great award winning wedding photographs and you will see that not everyone adhere to the "strict shadow management regime", or "dipping to dark grey vignette". The photographer, during the shoot and in post processing decides to achieve certain look and feel to the photograph. Of course, this may not necessarily suit everyone, and as subjective as art itself, not everyone can agree with one particular style.

      What is wrong with black hair? Why would you want to see that much detail i the hair? The blackness of the hair is also subjected to different lighting condition. Under bright sun, it is shaded to pale grey, In shade, surely it is darker.

      What I pay attention to most, is how the overall image evokes emotion: feeling of light-hearted, joy and happiness. And bright, positive emotion, that is how the post-processing was done to accomplish that.

      Nope, there is no right and wrong and you may process your images the way you want them to. At the end of the day, the most important people here are the clients, not us.

    2. There's sticking to your art, there's absorbing and improving. I guess you have your way then. I am sorry to have made you mad.

    3. Dear Yannick,
      I am not sure where you picked up the vibe of me "being mad". I never said I was upset or anything, I even thanked you for your feedback, which I welcome and I hope you do not mind sharing.
      Look at it this way, if you are free to voice up your opinion, why can't I? Or are you expecting me to just say yes and agree without saying anything back? Conversation goes both ways. This is the only way to encourage growth.

    4. Hey Robin, let me know when you are in Singapore next. I'll bring you to exotic places here no tourist will go to for some exotic shutter therapy in Singapore. :)

    5. calex!!! I MUST make time to go Singapore for shutter therapy!

  8. Hi Robin, Beautiful shots. Something I'm sure the couple will be very pleased with. I knew nothing of Gamilight softboxes until just now. How would you rate them?

    1. Thanks for the kind words Adrian. I am not qualified to rate softboxes considering my limited experience using any. But it worked well for what I intended it to do!

  9. Good info, many thank you to the author.
    I really appreciate the efforts you have put in your blog .It is interesting and helpful. Good luck with it!!!
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  10. Hi Robin,
    I have some questions about the use of flash.
    The FL-50R is it not too heavy and cumbersome with EM.1?
    Did you use the TTL?
    For use flash off camera what solution have you used?.
    At the moment I use my EM1 with a flash Yonguno 560 and Yonguno remote control,
    The downside, I did not TTL.
    Sorry for the disastrous quality of my English. I hope you understand me.

  11. Wow your pre wedding photo shoot is so pretty. I liked all the locations. I am also going to book Las Vegas Weddings venue for my reception party. But both of us are going to Italy for pre wedding shoot.

  12. Like your photo's, your style and these are very nice too. The beautiful couple must be happy with these photo's, there I'm sure off . . . .

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