Friday, January 09, 2015

A Decade Old, More Shutter Therapy Sessions to Come

I was so busy lately that I have not even had the time to do a proper recap of the year 2014. I have been busy with shooting weddings for the last weekends, and I could barely find time to catch my own breath! 

Ending of 2014 marked that this blog has been in existence for 10 years! Yes, is a DECADE old! I can barely believe it myself, and little did I know I would come this far and stay this long when I started this humble blog all these years ago. Also, I have accumulated more than 10 Million page views (90% coming in the last 2 years). Goodness, where did everyone come from? 

I am glad that I have had the opportunity to speak to so many people and contribute in whatever small ways I can in the online photography community. I realize my blog updates frequency has slowed down dramatically for the past few months, but I also ensure that I have longer blog posts, with more photographs (not just simple snapshots, but photographs made with a lot of thought and effort behind them). I shall continue to do so!

Photo Credit: Matti Sulanto

Here is a list of highlights over my 10 blogging years:

My first blog entry was about a surprise birthday party I helped made happen for a friend, which involved everyone being thrown into the river in Perth, Australia.

Documentation of my university life, my struggles, my journey, the beautiful memories, the delicious food and awesome people that I have met. My blog was the usual random, online diary format, a place where I can rant and pen down anything I wanted, freely. 

I have taken down my blog posts from my early years for privacy reasons. My blog here now only started showing from the year 2008 onward

I left Perth behind. That was a painful phase of my life, and I started a new life in Kuala Lumpur. I have also picked up my first DSLR (Olympus DSLR E-410), and getting more serious in photography. After a few months the E-410 was snatched from me at a public train, and I replaced that with a newly launched Olympus E-520. 

My father passed away in this year. Again a very difficult and dark time for me. Many people do not know, but the phrase Shutter Therapy was born during this time. I was feeling depressed and I thought to myself, photography could be doing me good, and it did, hence it became a form of therapy for me. I started using the phrase Shutter Therapy ever since and become something that become widely accepted, within the photography community. 

Olympus Malaysia approached me with the Olympus E-5, which I was loaned with to do a blog review. And I did, but with little expectations on what would follow. This blog suddenly become known and page views surged to tens of thousands per day, from just mere hundreds. This was possibly the turning point of my blog, a defining moment that paved my path and led me to where I am today. By this time, has somehow transformed into a full photography centric blog. 

Another important year for me, as my blog grew larger in audience. Initially my blog only had spike of visitors during blog review seasons, but I have noticed that the retention of readers got better after each review I did. This blog also started to get recognition from more prominent photography bloggers, such as Mike Johnston (the Online Photographer), Steve Huff and Kirk Tuck. It was an honor being mentioned on their blogs!

The peak of my blog has got to be during the OM-D E-M5 review. Come on, everyone has got to agree that E-M5 could possibly be the most successful, and most highly regarded mirrorless camera up to date. It was the mirrorless interchangeable camera that changed the perception of what a mirrorless interchangeable camera was, and totally raised the bar of camera performance, surpassing and matching even DSLR counterparts. 

Two huge events happened in 2013. First, my mum was hospitalized, I spent two months with her in the hospital including her recovery at home, and got huge support from my blog readers. Suddenly I was reminded that the people here are very real, and I can never thank everyone enough for helping me through this extremely difficult time. Secondly, I quitted my old job (Geotechnical Engineer) which I have been doing for the past five years in Kuala Lumpur, and joined Olympus Malaysia Marketing team. 

What an exciting year, a change of career, and I have just turned 30 years old. I have met so many people from all over the world, dived deeper into photography, and loved what I do even more here. 

I know it is a little late, but hey, Happy New Year to all of you beautiful people out there! I appreciate your support, visits, comments and contributions in any way that you have made to me. Many of you have helped me through difficult times and I am grateful for that. Here is to more shutter therapy sessions to come for everyone. 


  1. ten years! wow!! but im very sure more greatness will come. congrats on the decade mark!

    1. Thanks Cyril! You have been an inspiration to many of us too. Lets make greatness happen!

  2. Robin, my discovery of Olympus cameras and lenses came initially from your blog. I must have pored over the E-M5 reviews and those fantastic 100% blow-ups a dozen times, including showing them to friends, for their open-mouthed amazement. I appreciate your sharing your passion for shutter therapy, which has the added benefit of opening a window for your readers to the beauty of Malaysia and its people. Please continue your exploration into photography and blogging and we'll be following along looking over your shoulder!

    1. Hey Reverend Heng Sure,
      Thank you so much for the support and kind words and I appreciate your constant visits and comments here! Surely I shall continue doing what I do here.

  3. Didn't know you have blog for such long time! Happy 10 years anniversary and keep it up!

    1. No one knew me back then haha, but yeah I have been around for a while, since the Kenny Sia era! Thanks for the kind words. We must catch up soon (when I return to Kuching or when you come to KL)

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  5. I always enjoy reading your blog about cameras & photography, keep it up.

    1. Thanks for the kind words! Keep shooting!

  6. Happy anniversary to you and your blog!

    Whatever comes, remember that it has been useful and informative. We all have opinions. Thankfully, yours is heard.

  7. Didn't realised that I have been following your blog (with less frequency nowadays due to work commitments) for 6 years now!!! Gosh!

    Good luck for and best wishes for you too!

    Ven aka mrbherng

    1. Wow, Ven, 6 years is a long time. Thank you so much and I appreciate your visits! Thanks for the kind wishes.

  8. Congratulations to these 10 great years.
    I follow you for about 3 years and enjoy your blog posts.
    Keep going that way.
    Greetings from Vienna

    1. Thank you so much for being here for 3 years!

  9. What a colorful life you have lived. Full of struggles and success making you the good person that you are.
    Guiding people like me into the Micro Four Thirds world. In some cases like me, renewing my love of photography.

    More power to you Robin!

    1. Thanks Robert for the kind words! We all have our ups and downs. Lets keep our chin up and move on!

  10. Happy 2015 to you, Robin. I always enjoy your blog tremendously and only today I discovered we have a similar background in GIS :-)
    You have guided me in the four thirds world too; am very happy with the Olympus PEN E-PL7 my husband got me for my birthday.
    Keep up the good work.

  11. I have always liked your "Shutter Therapy" usage, as I have felt that from 1998 when got first digital camera. I could not say that using SLR was anything like that because I couldn't feel the surprises as well when seeing photos at computer (captured to 3½ floppy disks on Sony Digital Mavica MVC-FD5 !)

    Since then photography has come more and more joyful, emotional profession and hobby. And many photos that I take for me, can be emotionally loaded that is visualized to the viewer. The experience what I feel when I know I got the good one is like crushing to someone :-)

    But even darker times in every ones life can affect differently. I lost the feeling for years by similar reasons as You, and I am just about recover from it. Mainly thanks to Olympus E-M1 because it made huge change how to experience and work with photography, and this way how I can again feel from it.

    I think your "Shutter Therapy" is brilliant as I never thought to say it in English, as in my language it doesn't have same flow in my language.
    I find that something from your photos, especially from the portraits. Maybe I can say it is the passion that makes to release the shutter button to capture emotions, to feel them again later when seeing the photo.

    Your blog posts have revealed features in Olympus cameras that other reviewers has not, and that is the deeper knowledge of the small details Olympus puts to their cameras (like E-M1 front and rear dials shape and placement) that makes huge difference when operating cameras.

    Hope to see you continue writing blog next 10 years :)