Thursday, January 14, 2016

Attacking Kuching Streets, Again

It has been almost a month I am away from Kuala Lumpur, spending time in my hometown Kuching with beloved mum. She has been discharged from the hospital and now resting at home. She was extremely happy to be home, sitting on her favourite couch, watching TV and of course, having better home cooked food. I shall be accompanying her a little bit more before returning to Kuala Lumpur for work. Spending time with mum is the best thing I can ask for!

Meanwhile, I am not letting the camera collecting dust while I am home in Kuching. This morning, I had quite an impromptu session with a few friends (Allen and Kim Hang) on the street, and boy was it a rewarding session! The gloomy weather did not dampen our spirits and we attacked the streets. It is depressing to know that on my non shutter therapy days, the sky was clear blue!! My focus was capturing more people shots this time, as how I would usually do when I was shooting in KL streets. Kuching streets are very different from KL, the atmosphere here is more relaxed and slow paced. People are always smiling and friendly everywhere and I have no problem approaching the strangers here. An advantage for me, I am able to converse fluently in the local chinese dialect, or speak with the locals with my broken "Bahasa Sarawak". Nonetheless, it turned out to be a fun morning, and I have a small collection of photographs that I am quite happy with. 

All images were taken with Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II and M.Zuiko lenses 25mm F1.8, 45mm F1.8 and the 9mm F8 Fisheye body cap lens. 

A bottle by my side




Yellow

Portrait of a Stranger

Red

An Old Shop

Clear Skin

Cobbler, Cobbler, will you mend my shoes?

Curious Eyes

Portrait of a Stranger 2

Marketplace

Men in Blue

Open Window

Spice Spice Spice

Allen shooting with 50mm perspective!

Dramatic portrait shot of Allen!

Since I am currently away from my workhorse desktop PC, my post processing workflow is quite different. Instead of working with RAW files, I am using JPEG directly, out of camera. I shot both in RAW and JPEG, in case I needed the RAW files for other purposes in the future. Everything you see in this blog was from JPEG files. 

I imported the JPEG files to my Microsoft Surface Pro (the first version), and made a quick shortlisting of shots that I wanted to use for this blog entry. Then I loaded the selected shots (all in JPEG) into Picasa. For quick adjustments, I used Picasa directly to edit: straightening, cropping, brightness and contrast tweaking. For slightly more complicated processing, I loaded the JPEG files into Snapseed (PC Desktop version, which has been discontinued). The Black and White images were processed in Snapseed for desktop. 

I understand that my quality of image processing may not be consistent, as I am working from a monitor screen which I rarely use for image processing purposes. I had no tool to adjust the color balance, and my judgment when it comes to overall tonal balance may not be as accurate as usual. 

However I did not want to wait till I am back to Kuala Lumpur to start processing the images, I wanted to blog about them as fresh as they can be. It has been just hours since I shot these images! I have mentioned that "A Hot Bowl of Noodle Soup is Best Served While Hot". 


23 comments :

  1. Beautiful shots Robin. I personally always shoot jpegs since I love the jpeg engine of Olympus very much and do a little post processing in snapseed on my ipad or phone. In case you are interested you can see the pics I shot with Olympus omd em10 which were shot as jpegs and edited in snapseed here
    www.stevehuffphoto.com/2015/11/11/the-olympus-e-m10-people-of-mumbai-by-raviraj-kande/
    Iam thankful to you ,since your blog was also the reason I went with Olympus OMD and have been more then happy . Thanks very much for your blog which is a treasure of information for any m43 user .

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    1. Hi Raviraj,
      Indeed, JPEG from Olympus comes out very optimized and good to go without much processing or tweaking required. No worries, it was my pleasure to share, and glad that you are discovering the wonders of the Micro Four Thirds world.

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  2. RM 68.00 for spice? Must be good stuff, just like these photos.

    I've been trying an alternate computer lately, with Windows 10. Things are frustrating, and I've yet to get a video out of the alternate software for video development, either. Learning is always good, though.

    It seems your world is much more colorful. Americans seem afraid of color.

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    1. I have not tried Windows 10 yet. Still running on Windows 8.1 on my Surface and also my desktop PC.
      Sometimes I think our streets here are too colorful!

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    2. By the way, the spice that was RM68 per kilogram was Sarawak White Pepper. We produce our specialized technique to process pepper (we export pepper as well), very different from the usual black pepper.

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    3. Interesting. I've seen white pepper in the past, but it probably wasn't from Sarawak, as it wasn't so expensive. I generally use black better or Paprika from Hungary.

      Windows 10 is the first Windows that seems as good as Mac OS X, and Apple are pushing me to upgrade too quickly.

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  3. These street images look great!!! The white balance also look great in this case. To be honest, with older Olympus camera, the colors tend to be too pastel. For the beginning that looked super to me but in time I changed my taste to more neutral ones. But this is just a matter of personal taste. Personally, I prefer the Olympus colors to those of the Nikon or Canon...

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    1. I agree with you, the white balance is usually accurate most of the time and the color rendition is quite pleasing from Olympus JPEGs.

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  4. Excellent images.. I am now going to try JPEG street shots instead of raw....

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  5. Robin, which Olympus model were you using? I am using 25mm f1.8 too...but pictures came out not as sharp as these one..

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    1. If you have spent time reading what in have written, you would have gotten the answer to your questions.

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  6. Shots that set the bar very high for photographers.

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  7. Robin,
    Please add the camera info to your shots, it helps to tell me more of the story behind the quality of your shots. Especially curious about the setup for Portrait for a Stranger image. I am not new to MFT (Panasonic G3), but new to my OMD M5 MKII for just a few weeks. I have the 12-40 f2.8 PRO, f1.8 45mm, and panasonic F1.7 20mm. Just starting to play. So far, things are good, but your images (especially these in jpg) are more outstanding.

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  8. Robin,
    Please add the camera info to your shots, it helps to tell me more of the story behind the quality of your shots. Especially curious about the setup for Portrait for a Stranger image. I am not new to MFT (Panasonic G3), but new to my OMD M5 MKII for just a few weeks. I have the 12-40 f2.8 PRO, f1.8 45mm, and panasonic F1.7 20mm. Just starting to play. So far, things are good, but your images (especially these in jpg) are more outstanding.

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  9. Beautiful images Robin!!… I also use Picassa much of the time… JPG's are just great out of the Olympus bodies….Even though I shoot Sony A7 bodies much f the time… I still love the images out of my Olympus cameras as well… currently I love doing street with a full spectrum (modified) EPL-2….I can use infrared filters or just shoot straight (course I adjust white balance as needed).

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  10. Four years ago when I definitely switched from DSLR to mirrorless I chose for Olympus because of its great jpeg colors. I’m rather lazy and impatient, so 98% of my photo’s are straight out of the camera. Sometimes I have to make them a bit lighter in Apple Foto’s because I have a tendency to underexpose. An old habit from my transparency days. Colors are much more important to the final impression of an image than resolution or depth of field to name a few. But hardly anyone ever dares to write about this.

    Fujifilm has a very good range of film simulations as well, including the Kodachrome lookalike Classic Chrome and an impressing Pro Neg Hi. But I go for the 'Kodak Portra look' of Olympus. Also the Olympus black and white is very rich. (What happened to your Fuji X100 Robin?).

    No camera is hundred percent natural. But Olympus excels in clean whites and in skin tones, as you can always notice on this site. Also the darker skin tones are stunning as you can see in the images of Raviraj Kande at the Steve Huff website. You should have a look at that. Stunning images with relatively inexpensive gear. (See the link in his comment).

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  11. Hi Robin,

    i try to build up my own photoblog on blogspot. Do you have any starting tips? How did you design your blog? I am experimenting with templates but i am a little bit confused with the native layout-designer and im not familiar with HTML too.

    greetings

    Curth

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  12. Your photos are amazing. Thank you so much for sharing.

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  13. I've looked on your photos, and great! All are pretty beautiful. How talented you are. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and photos. hope to see more photos.:)

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