Friday, October 30, 2015

I Bought a Used Olympus PEN E-P5 And I Think It Is A Stolen Unit

Something interesting happened last night. 

I bought a used Olympus PEN E-P5 Silver body. 

Firstly, I sold off the Panasonic GM1, to fund my purchase of the Olympus E-P5. I loved the GM1 to bits and it was difficult parting with it, but I shall save this story on why I decided to get E-P5 on my coming blog entry. The main reason I got the E-P5 body used, was that it was dirt cheap - after selling off my old GM1, I only had to top up RM100 (less than USD25) to purchase the E-P5. 

Now here are the observations I have made on the spot:

1) No Box, No Warranty Card, No Receipt
The seller just sold the camera to me, basically stripped naked. Not a big problem for me as the box served me no purpose. 

2) No Front Body Cap
The front body cap was missing, but the seller was kind enough to substitute with a Panasonic body cap (hence I knew the original Olympus cap was missing). The seller told me, at this point that he bought this E-P5 with  M.Zuiko 17mm F1.8 lens together from another seller. I further asked if the rear lens cap was included when he made the purchase, and as suspected, the rear lens cap was missing. 

Sunday, October 25, 2015

My Street Shooting Workflow in Flow Chart

So, I thought it would be cool to produce a workflow chart to show my street shooting processes. The chart is quite self-explanatory.

MY STREET SHOOTING WORKFLOW 

If you want to read in full detail about 'How I Approach my Street Portraits" please read the lengthy blog entry I have written here (click) quite recently.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Devastation of My Favourite Street Shooting Location in Chow Kit

For many years now, Chow Kit has been my favourite street hunting ground. There are just so many amazing locations to shoot, with the background full of character and always filled with friendly people. There is this one particular spot at the old market building, at the storage section area, that I was particularly drawn to. I would never fail to visit this one part of Chow Kit market and spend at least 30 minutes (or more, if I was alone) to wait for the right subjects or moments to shoot. The lighting there was always almost perfect, with light leaks coming down from the roof, creating dramatic scene. Even the overall ambiance was suitable for beautiful portraits.

Unfortunately, much to my horror, I discovered last Sunday that the particular spot that I loved so much, has been burned down by accidental fire. At the time of my finding, it was already 10 days after the fire incident. I was away for one weekend due to KLPF (Kuala Lumpur Photography Festival) and I returned immediately the weekend after, even though haze was a huge problem.

I was walking along the path leading to the storage area, anticipating to create some beautiful photographs for this one shutter therapy session. As I walked closer and closer, I saw a cat which was not at her usual favourite resting position. The cat saw me and walked to me instantly, greeting me, and I decided to play with the cat for a bit. Somehow, I think the cat knew something I did not. As the cat walked forward a few meters, and I looked up, there and then I saw the whole place being burned down, destroyed. I was shocked, yes. The effect did not instantaneously sink in. Taking my time to visually inspect the extent of the fire damage (I am a qualified Civil Engineer after all), accessing the structural integrity and all... about a few minutes in, I could feel tears starting to build up behind my eyes.

I know it is ridiculous to feel anything for a place that I probably still am an alien to, and just passing by to shoot some photographs. Suddenly the memories of my time spent in this location, all the weekends, I waited at some spots to shoot, I just could not help it but feel sad, angry, and seriously devastated from inside out. This was my spot. Many of my best photographs, or at least the ones I liked the most came from this very spot. I came here so often that it is just wrong to see it all gone. Just like that. I felt betrayed. I felt so much pain which I do not even know how to describe properly.



Taken some time last year in September (Vintage Art Filter, testing/review shot for E-PL7)

The exact same spot, taken last Sunday

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Short and Sweet Shutter Therapy to Keep Me Going, and Sharing What Goes On Behind Each Shot

Haze is back with a vengeance. It cleared off after a series of heavy rain last week, but my oh my, when it came back, the haze was twice as bad as it was before, or worse. Outdoor activities are ill-advised, which meant cutting down on my street shooting. I managed to have a super short session last Sunday, a quick walk at Chow Kit just before lunch. Thank goodness I am not doing any important review blog entries at the moment, the smokey blurry city skyline is not exactly the best test subjects for any cameras or lenses. That mystical de-haze filter on Lightroom? No, that won't help either. 

I shall just post up the few photographs I managed to shoot and, add some thought process and ideas behind them in the description that follows. 

Steel Bridge
I decided to take the lazy way out this time. Instead of waiting for that perfect moment and click the shutter, you know, how the pros would tell you the importance of quick reflex and recognizing the peak of the action, I thought hey why not just use sequential burst mode to shoot continuous 9 frames per second and I am pretty sure at a leisurely walking speed I would NOT miss the moment. I know, I know I should be ashamed to rely on technology to get the shot. You know what, it is crazy hazy out there, I just want to get the shot and get out of there soonest I can. I agree photography cannot be rushed, but this is an exception I am willing to make. 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Mid Week Shutter Therapy is a Lifesaver

For many kind souls who came and support us at Olympus in Kuala Lumpur Photography Festival (KLPF) 2015, you have my deepest gratitude. Thank you for dropping by and say hi, giving words of encouragement, I needed them to push through a gruesome 3 full day event, and seeing so many Olympus shooters coming together in one place was quite incredible! Canon and Nikon decided not to join the photography festival (which shows how much they support or care about the whole photography community here locally in Malaysia, versus their own sales and branding). Olympus, together with Fujifilm and Sony ruled KLPF this year: and you know what, MIRRORLESS is indeed the future now. 

Since I was practically stuck at KLPF for the entire weekend, I had zero shutter therapy. Thankfully, yesterday was a public holiday in Malaysia (Awal Muharram) and I snatched this much needed opportunity shooting on the streets. Originally I intended to spend the whole day shooting with the Olympus M.Zuiko 40-150mm F4-5.6 R lens, and do a mini-review, as requested frequently by many readers here. Having too many things in my mind and the ever stacking workload as a consequence of being away from the office for too many days (leading up to KLPF, and the aftermath), I mistakenly forgot to bring home the 40-150mm R lens. I shall have to revisit this objective, perhaps in the weekend, and I sincerely hope the rain keeps pouring to clear the hazy weather. 

I joined a huge group of friends and photography-enthusiast to attack Pudu yesterday. It was great to just now talk about cameras (I spent almost all my waking hours talking about gear in KLPF) and just shoot and shoot and shoot. I armed myself with the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II and my favourite M.Zuiko 45mm F1.8 lens. 

Morning Coffee

Saturday, October 10, 2015

10 Reasons Why You Should Visit Olympus at KLPF 2015

If you are in Kuala Lumpur this weekend you may want to make some time for the most happening and largest photography event in Malaysia, the KLPF 2015 (Kuala Lumpur Photography Festival). Olympus is coming in huge this year and we have amazing setup, lined up with tonnes of activities for visitors! I will be stationed at Olympus, KLPF full time on both Saturday and Sunday!





Monday, October 05, 2015

Less Shutter Therapy Due to Haze, Less Blog Updates

Note: Fellow photographer/blogger Ahmad Firdaus Yosman did an honest and interesting review of his experience with the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II, coming from a DSLR user. He has got some awesome photos taken with the E-M5 Mark II too, so please give his blog a visit here (click)!

This blog space of mine will experience a little bit of slowing down for the next one to two weeks, mainly due to two reasons: first being the horrible haze enveloping the entire nation at unhealthy air pollution index levels, hence outdoor activities are to be reduced and second, which is the more exciting reason, I will be busy preparing for the coming Kuala Lumpur Photography Festival which will be happening this weekend (9-11 October 2015 at Mid Valley Megamall, KL). Olympus will be at KLPF and I will be stationed there at all times, so if you drop by do come to Olympus area and say hi!

While the nation was under thick, health degrading haze conditions, I managed to sneak in a short shutter therapy session, going out in a huge photowalk last Saturday, joining the Scott Kelby WorldWide Photowalk 2015. I met some awesome people and we attacked Petaling Street. I was probably using the smallest camera amongst all photographers, the Panasonic Lumix GM1 and Olympus M.Zuiko 25mm F1.8 lens. How I love using this combination!

An Indian Restaurant Cook