Sunday, March 29, 2015

Shutter Therapy: Making Time

Work schedule is NOT looking good for the coming month. I dare not even think of what stretches beyond that.

I had to cancel a family pre-arranged gathering (last Friday). Everyone was practically waiting for my return since I had skipped Chinese New Year and I have promised to come home to Kuching in March for the Chinese Ching Ming event. I don't think mum was particularly happy when I told her my annual leave was frozen and I was held back to work. Seriously, what work can be more important than family? I have even sacrificed my Chinese New Year holidays earlier this year so that I should be able to take a few days off for this once a year occasion. Nonetheless, whatever that has happened, happened and things do not look encouraging at all walking down this road. 

This weekend, I finally found a little time, precious time to grab the camera and walk on the streets again. I spent the morning with some familiar street shooting partners in crime at Pudu Market. It was unusually bright and hot this morning. Did I have enough of a shutter therapy session to scratch the itch I have had for a while now? I do not think so. That will have to do for now. 

All images were taken with Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II and M.Zuiko lenses 45mm F1.8, 25mm F1.8 and 75mm F1.8


So Young

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Repost: Holi Festival

Today the Sri Lakshmi Narayan Temple had their annual Holi Festival celebration happening, or more popularly known as the Festival of Colors. Unfortunately I was weighed down by work commitments and could not shoot the beautiful festival this year. I then decided to dig out my old photographs from years ago, and repost it here. For those of you who went to celebrate and shoot some awesome photographs, do share them! I think this year the celebration was bigger and much better than last year. I remember last year there was water rationing issues in KL, consequently less water action happening.


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Not Good Enough

I recently went through this strange phase of a photographer's journey, when nothing I shoot is good enough, and me being the judge of my own photographs. I remembered in the beginning (many years ago) when I started to venture deep into photography, each photograph was a new discovery and everything was a wonder. I could not wait to share my photographs because I want to share the joy and wonder with the world. It does not matter if anyone thought the photographs were mere snapshots, not that I would mind a few critical comments, but it was the act of putting my photographs out there that brought much excitement. It still does and I still get the kick out of flooding my blog with photographs I took on my regular shutter therapy sessions. The difference now, I felt they could be better, or I could do better. 

A part of me felt that is a natural process to doubt my own capabilities, after all as I went further, met more photographers, witnessed more and more amazing photography work by local and other photographers from many parts of the world, I always admit that I am a learning photographer and there is so much more for me to learn and be exposed to. Lately, this has been incredibly true and I guess the only next logical step forward, is to really reflect on my current photography activities and take a deep look at my photographs. Yes, I can do better. 

So here are some shots from my latest shutter therapy session, with thoughts on how they could have been better in at least a dozen or more ways. 

All images were taken with OM-D E-M1 and M.Zuiko 45mm F1.8 lens

Father

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Randomness Until I Have Time for Shutter Therapy

Work and life have been busy lately, hence no shutter therapy for the past weekend. The consequence? I do not have photos to share here. Nonetheless, I spent some time digging up some shots of random stuff taken from all over the places from the past few weeks, and I decided to just put them together here. 

I love coffee. I may not be a coffee-fanatic, but I have drank enough coffee in Australia (years ago) to tell which is bad and good coffee. Good coffee in Malaysia is ridiculously expensive. I cannot understand how can a cup of coffee cost more than a full meal here. 


Friday, March 06, 2015

Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II vs E-M1 Video Image Quality

A recent OM-D E-M5 Mark II review by Andrew Reid from EOSHD.com (read here) has stated that "Then for a filmmaker it all comes collapsing down like a house of cards. Not only is video quality downright amateurish by 2015 standards, it’s worse than the E-M1. It’s softer and suffers from much more severe moire & aliasing."

I am no video expert, I am merely a photography enthusiast, so I am setting my boundaries here before commenting further in this topic. I will not make any conclusions on whether the E-M5 Mark II is on par with the so-called 2015 standards, that is something I am not qualified to do. However, I was shocked to hear that the video output of the E-M5 Mark II is softer, and suffers more severe moire and aliasing in comparison to the older E-M1.

There is one thing I can do, since I have access to BOTH E-M1 and E-M5 Mark II. I will make my comments on the "softer output". I fitted both cameras with M.Zuiko 25mm F1.8, recorded video at 1080 30p (since E-M1 is fixed to this), exposure was manual and standardized and focusing was painfully ensured to be dead on accurate. Both tests were done hand-held, with 5-Axis Image Stabilization on. I then cropped the video frame images and did side by side comparison. 

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Shutter Therapy Resumes

There is nothing more that I want for my weekend than a walk on the streets, doing my usual shutter therapy. I had a good one last weekend, joined in by a few good friends. 

I have decided to take less close up portrait shots and focus more on what I can shoot instead. I have flooded my blog posts with headshots and super near portraits. Somehow, this session I wanted to fall back a few steps and catch the wider view, or shoot people from a distance. That is the beauty of my shutter therapy, there is no fixed rules chaining you up on what you can or cannot do. 

Everything was taken with Panasonic GM1 and Olympus M.Zuiko lenses 25mm F1.8, 45mm F1.8 and 12-50mm F3.5-6.3. 

Reflection


Sunday, March 01, 2015

More Ariff AB

I was at KLCC yesterday, hoping to find Kirk Tuck's book "The Lisbon Portfolio" at Kinokuniya Bookstore (though in the online listing it was out of stock, I was hoping it was wrong, but it was indeed out of stock) that I randomly checked my Facebook timeline, and I saw that Ariff AB was going to perform at a festival happening at Dataran Underground. Time of the performance was scheduled at 4.15pm and what a bummer what I saw my watch, it was already almost 4.30pm! I rushed from KLCC to Dataran Merdeka via the LRT and arrived on location at about 4.45pm, and I went straight to the book festival, and noticed that the stage was rather empty. I sat around hoping that perhaps the show was delayed. Out of nowhere, Ariff actually appeared and guess what, he was performing alright, but on an entirely different stage (which was NOT underground, where I was). 

It was not all lost. He was performing again the following day, at the same time and location. I only had my Panasonic GM-1 with me and I did not bring any tripod (for video recording), and I was running out of battery from my prior shutter therapy session. So I returned again the next day, armed with OM-D E-M1 and ready to shoot Ariff's awesome performance!