Wednesday, November 11, 2015

12 Must Read Non Gear Review Blog Posts

It is not too brutally honest to admit that the majority of the traffic to this blog is driven by my Olympus gear reviews which I have done over the years, accumulating an ever growing list. While the biggest success of this blog was largely due to the said gear reviews, at the same time I have worked very hard week after week showcasing new set of photographs in order to create fresh blog contents. I do not want this blog to be known solely for the Olympus cameras and lenses reviews. I want my blog readers to return for other more compelling reasons as well, including my photography, which frankly is still a work in progress. I openly admit I am a learning photographer. 

In the process of sharing tonnes and tonnes of photographs, I have also shared my knowledge, experience, thoughts and anything related to my shutter therapy sessions in my blog updates. I often do my best not to hold back, and to be as open as possible, because I am not perfect, and I, like everyone else, need feedback and comments to grow. While composing blog entries, I constantly find ways to add value to my blog contents, so that my readers (my target audience is primarily newcomers to photography) will get something useful out of spending time reading my articles here. 

Therefore, in this blog entry, I have compiled a list of my best 12 blog entries which are not gear review related. These blog entries are generally sharing of my photography ideas and thoughts and shooting techniques. If you are a frequent visitor to this blog, I am sure you must have come across the blog entries in this list before. If you have not, these are my selected favourite entries, highly recommended read for you (in no particular order). 

Shutter Therapy
(published in September 2015)
I invented the phrase "shutter therapy", and I have shared the origin of this phrase, and why I find it so fitting to my style of photography. Shutter therapy has been widely used by many photographers from different parts of the world, and something I strongly promote as a photography lifestyle. The most important thing to me when shooting as a hobby, is to enjoy it the best possible way I can. Shutter therapy is the embodiment of that concept, having fun with photography!

Messages from My Blog
(published in April 2014)
The key messages that I frequently highlight in my blog are: 1) encouraging everyone to shoot more, 2) share their photographs more, 3) post-process less, 4) do not be afraid to break the rules, importance of knowing your gear well, and 5) the most significant of all - ENJOY photography. 

5 Truths About Photography
(published in June 2015)
I have spent many years in my photography journey and I summarized my findings in 5 simple points: 1) There is no bad camera these days 2) Do not worry about how a good photograph should look. Shoot the photograph the way you truly want it to 3) Move out from comfort zone to continue to grow in photography, 4) Photography success if personal and should not be measured by fame, and 5) The greatest investment in photography is TIME.

5 Reasons Why Your Kit Lens is Awesome
(published in September 2015)
We all have lens-lust and easily succumb to measurebating and gear acquisition syndrome. However, the awesomeness of the humble, basic kit lens has been popularly ignored. I think for newcomers to photography, the kit lens is the perfect lens to learn photography. We should not be too quick to discard the kit lens, and spending time with the kit lens can be rewarding. It is a mistake to underestimate a kit lens' capabilities. 

The most frequently asked questions I have received wither from comments here in this blog, emails from my readers or messages from my Facebook Page is "what settings I have used" for my OM-D cameras. I have therefore compiled a long list of my usual camera settings, and subsequently added my practical reasoning behind my choice of settings. This has quickly become one of the most shared and most visited page in this blog. Believe me, when I say I have shared everything I know and I can. 

To Achieve the Robin Wong Look
(published in September 2014)
I find it rather flattering and amusing at the same time when people started to refer my photographs as having the distinctive "Robin Wong" look. I am not too sure if that is real, but it has inspired me to share my thoughts on how I shoot the photographs that I normally shoot. I shared about the importance of getting the images right while shooting, with extra emphasis on achieving correct exposure and strict-accurate focus, taking control of the camera, and being able to visualize through the camera, watching the minimum shutter speed to counter camera shake, and having a good sense of what good photography is. 

Insect Macro Photography
(published in August 2015)
This is definitely a work in progress, but I have special interest in shooting insect macro. I have not mastered this yet, as I continually search for improvements and better execution techniques. I shared everything that I do on insect macro shooting, from my specific camera settings to my shooting techniques using wireless flash fired off camera. This is one of my most complete sharing on photography techniques up to date on this blog. 

About My Street Portrait Photography
(published in August 2015)
I shoot almost every week on the street, and I shoot mostly street portraits: capturing close up shots of strangers. In this blog entry I shared some of my favourite street portrait photos as well as how I approach strangers on the streets for photographs, and shooting considerations. 

Street Shooting Workflow In Flow-Chart
(published in October 2015)
Just for the fun of it, I have summarized my street shooting workflow into a simple flow-chart. I had so much fun creating the flow-chart!

My Take in White Balance
(published in July 2015)
White balance is a very subjective topic to talk about, and everyone approaches this differently. I strongly believe that there is no right and wrong and it all comes down to how you want to present your final photograph. I shared my thoughts on how I approach this sensitive subject, with some examples to illustrate my perspective. 

Post-Processing For Blogging Purposes
(published in January 2014)
The second most frequently asked question from my readers would be about my post-processing workflow and techniques. In contrary to popular practise I do not use Lightroom or Photoshop. I rely heavily on Olympus Viewer 3 for RAW development process and subsequently ACDsee 7 and the humble Picasa. I have shared my workflow in this blog entry and also a video screen grab to show me post-processing some images in action. 

I Have Joined Olympus Malaysia
(published in September 2013)
This may not be anything related much to photography, but more on a personal sharing. In 2013 I joined Olympus Malaysia in an official capacity, and decided that it was a prudent move to reveal this news soonest possible to my blog readers. I have always been honest and transparent in my blog, and this employment was made a public knowledge just before my OM-D E-M1 Review series. I shared my background story on how  got involved in Olympus and why I decided to leave my engineering career behind, to embark on this new journey. 

There you go, 12 specially compiled blog entries, which I think are special, and highly recommended for new people who have just visited this site and have not explored much. Instead of going through the extensive archives that have spanned many years (I have more than a thousand blog entries published), you can find out about my origin, background and all my important sharing articles pertaining to my photography in general. 

Do you agree that these 12 blog entries are must reads? Do you have other blog entries (non-gear review related of course) worthy to be added to this list? Please let me know your thoughts!

Also, you are always welcomed to suggest anything you want to hear from me, or want me to share. I shall do my best to make them happen. 


  1. I would find it difficult to select only 12 of your blog entries for "must read" status.

    Every blog entry should be read. It may be that Olympus-related entries brought interest to your blog, but you've been quite thorough in all aspects of photography.

    1. Thanks for the kind words ! Still doing my best to improve and produce better contents.

  2. I really like your Macro blog, as I'm hoping to buy a E-M10 (mk2) soon and, eventually, the 60mm f/2.8 macro lens. I'm not into tripod and rails, so like your hand-held technique(s).
    With regard to the new focus bracketing (FB) feauture of the mk2 (soon also on the E-M1 and E-M5 mk2 through FW update), I've read and seen various good examples on the ne where peole have managed to use that hand-held with satisfactory results. Mainly due, I guess, because for FB it goes in high speed silent shutter mode and will thus be able to shoot, say 5, focusbracketed shots in a second. This may work less satisfactorily, or probably not at all, with flash ofcourse.

    Here's an example, first attempt even, but not of an insect:

    1. I may not be the best person to test and write about the focus bracketing, but if I do get the chance to try it out I might give it a go. It just does not suit my usual macro shooting workflow.

  3. Here's another article about focus bracketing with E-M10 mk2, some hand-held, some with tripod, some even with fllash!

  4. Robin, do you know any resourcse on em1 video shooting?

    1. Not really. I am not doing any video shooting so I am not the right person to ask.