Here are a few facts: the year 2016 is the year I have taken the least number of photographs in comparison to each year I have started photography in a more serious-hobbyist level since 2008. This was largely due to my work with Olympus which required me to work on weekends (consumer workshops, walkabout events, touch and try for new products, etc). Consequently, the year 2016 has the least number of posts, having only 70 blog entries in total, in stark contrast of 220 blog entries in 2012. While the number of photographs taken and blog updates have dropped significantly, I have ensured that whenever I was out there shooting (for myself, excluding the product reviews) I would do my best and put in extra effort to get the shot that I really wanted. Shutter therapy may not have happened as often as I liked, but I still managed to find time to shoot for pleasure from time to time.
I think as a hobbyist, and even if you are a professional photographer, you do need to find time to just shoot for the fun of shooting, and not stress out on any specific goals or "project" objectives. I acknowledge that many photography websites and photographer "gurus" would recommend sticking to a vision, having a running theme to adhere to and stick strictly to the rules of how to shoot for a series of photographs (typically with an end goal of publishing book/gallery/exhibition in mind), I beg to differ in opinion. I find there is nothing wrong to just wield the camera and just point it at the things that drew your attention, and shoot the things that you like to shoot. These images may not need to mean anything to anyone, they should mean something to you. If this is true, and you continue to stay true to yourself, after shooting for a while you will realize that you have inserted your own personality, characteristics and identity in your photography. Your images tell stories about yourself. Is it not better to shoot something that you actually love shooting and enjoy yourself thoroughly throughout the whole process, instead of pressuring yourself, stressing out on your final delivery of a "project"?
No I do not have a photography project specifically and I do not intend to start one. I may not have cohesive story-telling when it comes to my street photography, which by itself is a far deviation from the conventional approach. Does this mean I will never achieve the "high level" of photography required for standard gallery exhibitions, or does this disqualify myself from being regarded as a serious photographer? At the end of the day, as long as I come home, happy with my own set of images, I believe that is what truly matters.
Yellow Vs Blue
The Fallen Head
On The Nose
Wet Market Worker
Red vs Blue
The Red Door
Dinner vs Pet
Cheap Hair Saloon
Coffee vs Deadpool
Sultan Abdul Samad Building
My hometown, Kuching
Looking at these images, was there anything out of the ordinary, or specifically outstanding? I would not think that there was anything that anyone of you with any camera, cannot do. These are common, easy to shoot images, that do not require high level photography technical execution, or capabilities of high grade cameras and lenses. However, I am proud of these images because they were captured by me, my own vision and they tell stories about myself and where I was from.
I guess that is the main message, I have been trying to emphasize here again and again: just pick up the camera, go out, shoot and have fun! Be yourself, shoot for yourself and enjoy the entire shooting process. That is shutter therapy at it's purest form.
Here is me wishing all of you to have more and greater photography opportunities for the coming 2017!