OOTD Photography With Olympus

Olympus Malaysia has been rolling out some interesting workshops lately customized for social media influencers and bloggers. I was invited to attend an OOTD (outfit of the day) photography workshop conducted by Leslie Png. The venue of the workshop was The Majestic Hotel, a grand location with plenty of "instagrammable" background and scenes to utilize for portraits and selfies. In an extremely rare occasion, I was actually there attending as a guest, learning and enjoying myself! It was indeed a refreshing change.

 Workshop was held at The Orchid Conservatory in The Majestic Hotel, Kuala Lumpur. The ambient light was plentiful but flat. The room was surrounded by living orchids of various species. 

A 4K large screen TV was used to show the images from Olympus OM-D system at their best. 

The guest speaker photographer was Leslie Png, who also originated from the same hometown as I did, Kuching, Borneo. Leslie is a well traveled photographer who has stunning portraits of himself plastered all over his Instagram feed (check him out at @lesliepng). Combining that with his talent in photography and also his love using Olympus OM-D system, he is the perfect candidate to speak about getting the best out of the OM-D system and the M.Zuiko lenses to shoot OOTD photography. I do not consider myself photogenic and surely posting too many portraits of myself on my blog or any other social media feeds will guarantee me losing blog readers and visitors. Nonetheless, keeping an open mind, there is always something to learn and explore, I just need to surround myself with passionate people with infectiously positive attitude toward photography. Leslie definitely over-qualifies.

Besides being a keen participant and absorbing like a sponge, my fingers got itchy as usual and I took some snapshots of the event. I had the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II and M.Zuiko 12-100mm F4 IS lens. Considering that I was not on assignment and I was shooting only with a blog update in mind (this one you are reading now), that combo was a fail-proof solution and I managed to do everything with it. The 12-100mm lens was a flexible lens to use as I was seated as a guest and not being able to move around like the usual official working photographer. Being stuck in one position, the zoom comes in handy, allowing me to get close to the presenters and other subjects without interrupting or obstructing other guests. The 12mm wide end was sufficient for some environmental shots establishing the location. Thankfully there was plenty of natural light via the translucent roofing hence I worked with only available light. Light was abundant, but flat due to diffused, translucent ceiling panels. Flash would have helped to add depth and contrast but that would be an overkill when I was not even on a job.

Mr Tang, the product specialist for Olympus Malaysia giving his opening remarks during the event . 

Keene Ng, a friend and ex-colleague that sat besides me in office during my time at Olympus Malaysia. We had countless DotA sessions together too. 

Leslie sharing some tips on general photography. He recommends using the Rule of Thirds. I still adhere to this guideline sometimes, but I find myself breaking it more often these days. 

Good photography has a lot (everything?) to do with lighting. I like how Leslie and I have very similar take when it comes to getting good images, and lighting is crucial. 

The guests include some of the popular and renowned social media influencers in Malaysia. 

Whether you are a well-known influencer and accomplished photographer, or a newcomer to photography and just starting out in the game, the workshop proved to be beneficial in many levels. I learned many tips on how to construct a more balanced looking images and to pay attention to details that I normally have overlooked when posing for simple portraits. Leslie shared and emphasized heavily on using various prime lenses to achieve different outcomes, either to add depth, isolate the subject or to frame the background better. He places importance in the F1.2 lenses for their ability to render beautiful bokeh and contrast in his images. He recommends shooting in JPEG for OOTD photography as these images need to be uploaded fast to social media. Shooting RAW requires a more laborious workflow thus can be counter-productive in this particular situation. After all, Olympus does produce excellent straight out of camera JPEGs, and having used Olympus over the years, I agree. 

The event started with participants listening to the sharing of tips on how to do OOTD photography by Leslie, followed by practical demonstration and shooting sessions. Leslie did both indoor and outdoor sessions and everyone had a chance to see how the shoots were done live, as well as having a go at getting similar results, or adding your own creative spin on the shoots immediately after the demo sessions. The Majestic Hotel has well kept lawn areas outdoor in contrast to the white colonial style traditional building exterior, making that a perfect setting for OOTD shots. There were many beautiful interiors to work with as well. If only I look less ugly I might just join all the beautiful participants in shooting portraits of each other. 

Leslie speaking about how the Olympus F1.2 PRO lenses made a difference in creating some of his best images. 

Live shooting demonstration was conducted, and everyone was free to shoot too. 

Model of the day, Edeline. Follow her at @edelinehow

Leslie shared some tips on how to create flare with a small prism glass (not shown here) as well as using foreground for more creative framing. The effect was not really visible here since I was using an F4 zoom lens. Of course, an F1.2 prime lens would have rendered the depth more beautifully.

Indoor shooting session, always utilize the window light! 

It was indeed an enjoyable experience for me surrounding myself with local bloggers and social media influencers for once, because being a blogger myself, I have always isolated myself from everyone else. I should put myself out there more and get to know some people. I guess, being the very few photography bloggers in Malaysia (the only other active one being Ming Thein, a site that I also contribute actively to), it does get lonely some time.

Also, do let me know, what kind of workshops you would like to see happen and organized by Olympus. With the right idea and good feedback, I may just help make things happen.

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