Keeping Things Simple And Fun

I have been witnessing the urge in many local photographer friends to push through boundaries, trying to accomplish something great with their photographs. Talks about tips and tricks to win that prestigious competition, being featured in a local art gallery for exhibitions and generally how to gain recognition from their photography work. Somehow, all this made my own photography attempts during my weekly shutter therapy sessions look so... plain and simple. Perhaps, too simplistic, knowing well that none of these photographs I have taken or shown here would win me any competition, or be printed and proudly hung in Art Gallery walls. 

As I was about to question the whole purpose of me picking up the camera and shoot week after week, I paused for a second and realized that, it was never about competitions or exhibitions in the first place. It would be awesome for you if you have a strict goal to achieve, something to aim for, hence the powerful motivation to go far, and break down barriers. It all comes down to how much you want something, how desperate you want it to happen and how much you are willing to sacrifice to accomplish your goals. As much as I have given up and can set aside to the expansion of my photography goals, I would never, ever sacrifice one particularly important aspect: the JOY of photography. 

That was the difference between me and many people that I know, while some photographers pick up the camera hoping to capture that miracle shot that will be featured in the National Geographic, I on the other hand could care less about anything, really, except making darn sure I was having a blast of a time, as if it was my last shutter therapy session I have had. Why bother picking up a hobby if you cannot even enjoy every single process of it? 

Keeping in-line with the spirit of simple and fun, I decided to use just the kit lens for last weekend's shutter therapy session. All images were taken with the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II and M.Zuiko 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 EZ Kit Lens. 

Sometimes I cannot believe how small the E-M10 Mark II is. Not that much difference in size in comparison to a cup of Flat White

The Registration Area
I really love how the lighting fell onto the lady, creating a lot of contrast in this frame. Yet at the same time, the light hit the face, illuminating it! Sometimes the best photographs do not have to be staged, they are found. You just have to be quick to see it, and shoot!

Red and Blue
Nothing particularly interesting in this shot, just a scene with matching colours. At first I wanted to compose tighter, just the walking man and the background red and blue walls, but I decided to include the arrow on the pavement instead. I think it works better this way. 

Bread Delivery Man
This was sort of a missed shot. I saw the man about to jump out of the truck, and I made a quite reaction to get this shot. I pressed the shutter button half a second too quick, I wanted to capture as the man was going down, not before!

Yellow & Blue

I like shots like these. Just plain, straightforward, no dramas. 

I like how the red shirt just popped out of the yellow background

This was a lucky shot, I admit it this much. From the mercilessly glaring Malaysian sun I could not see with my naked eyes what was inside the truck, all I could see clearly was the legs. 

RM7 (USD2) Haircut
Sometimes, we can find beauty in the midst of chaotic mess. 

A simple, environmental portrait. A man in a relaxed position, taking care of his shop. 

An Old Village House
Kuala Lumpur is a highly modernized city, it was quite an irony to discover a simple village which is situated INSIDE the city itself. Hence the old house and the modern building as the backdrop. 

Bold Colors
In order to get this shot, I had to be extremely early in the morning, so early that the shops have not opened yet. You can see the fluorescent light above the roller shutter was still on. Oh, and I sneaked the Kodak signboard into the frame!

Dim Sum
This is not exactly a street photography shot, but seriously, who cares? I shoot what I want to shoot, and I shoot what I like. I like food. I like dim sum. Hence the glorious photo of dim sum. Do you know how awesome dim sum is?

Street Bike

Not my first attempt at shooting stripes. I was actually waiting for the man to cross the road, but he stood there for a full 10 minutes. It has been a long day, I had quite a long, long walk and I decided to just settle for this shot. Not it was not fun waiting for that long and when  the fun no longer exists, I move on. 

For new comers to photography, you should know that photography is a long, long long journey, and the road ahead of you is a never-ending one. Do not rush, and be wise to realize early that there are no shortcuts. Always, always remember to have fun, because only by enjoying what you are doing, you can do it more and more and get better at it!


  1. Good no BS comment, Robin. Agree wholeheartedly.. Large amount of Fun is better than a small amount of fame.

  2. Robin, perhaps some tips on olympus setting for street photography?

    1. Nothing much to share really. I have written numerous times, but here are a few links:

  3. I believe we end up with a lot of equipment collectors who just need the next great thing to get THAT photo because nothing else will do but they're always buying. Imagine what they could accomplish if they took everything off Automatic and learned what the settings did--and stopped emulating tricks. :)

    Someone told me that I just point the camera because I actually know what to do without having to make loads of constant adjustments. I was going to tell them that they just point the skateboard.

    1. Hey Nobuyuki-san,
      True, many always wonder how much better their photography will be if they get better equipment but in fact the upgrade of gear will not help in improving the vision and artistic sense of the shooter.

  4. Hi Robin,
    I just wanted to say that I love your work. Your people photography is really great!

    Greetings from the Netherlands!

    Gert Jan

  5. Fantastic write up. Ive been following you for 7 mths now and Ive finally plucked the courage to comment. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience. It has helped me a lot in my new hobby. Cheers Robin.

    1. Hey, thanks for the visits and support, but you do not have to worry about commenting, this is a free, open platform and I welcome responses from my readers. Without readers, I will only be talking to myself!

  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  7. Fantastic photography, Robin.

  8. simple and wonderful pics as usual, I would like to see them in a gallery btw

    1. I think I am still far from being featured in a gallery, but hey, who knows, one day!

  9. Simplicity is great and in capable hands, like Robin's results in awesome images!

  10. Robin

    You have hit the nail on the head with that Blog.
    So true you can fall into I must shoot the images for a judge to like or
    I will shoot this how I like it and enjoy the moment, what the hell.
    Image making is meant to be fun as an amateur and I have to say I love using my cameras, a great final image is just a bonus.#

  11. Robin,

    Thank you for reminding us that there should be one main goal for us in our hobbies. I have a passion for woodworking. But I haven't been in my shop for months. For many reasons...but an excuse should never be because I think my stuff isn't that good, or it will never be displayed in some museum. You have reminded me that "who cares!" The only thing that should matter is that I care that I have having a good time doing it. This blog has inspired me to get up and get into the shop. Do something, and have fun doing it.

    I've been a follower for a couple of years now. Your blog is what inspired me to get an OMD-EM5. I have been extremely happy with it. I think photography is becoming my second hobby. I have much to learn. But that is why I keep coming back here, to learn, get inspired, and get motivated.

    Thank you for it all. Keep up the great work.

  12. You are getting better and better with using the complementary colors, Robin. Some of these color photos reminds me of the classical shots of masters in the past.

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  14. Reading your blogs has helped my photography.... pretty well satisfied with my E-pl5 with the EZ12-50mm, 60mm Macro lens and 40-150mm kit lens.
    I like the looks and features EM10 II. Just have to remind myself..."I really don't need it...." LOL
    Your just having too much fun with yours, may still have to see what all the fun is about.