Saturday Portrait & Food Adventures

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Jason, a close friend asked for lunch and requested to have some quick portrait shots of him taken. We had a quick session downtown in Kuala Lumpur in the morning, walked around the city streets a little, got some shots taken to work out an appetite. We then had a glorious lunch feast - chicken rice with sides of pork balls soup and char siew. After lunch we stuffed ourselves with sinfully sweet desserts. All evidence photographed, and you will see them shared abundantly here! Although the lockdown is partially lifted with plenty of restrictions for business and movements (we still can't cross to another state, or travel too far), generally most things are slowly returning back to normal. Being able to catch up and hang out with important friends, having a meal together, means a whole world to me. 

What a beautiful combination - E-M5 Mark III + 75mm F1.8, Silver for the win

I don't normally wear white. Since I was not street shooting, I guess why not?
Image by Jason Lioh, used with permission.  

For the portrait session, I decided to pack light. Instead of my workhorse Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II, I brought out the E-M5 Mark III. While the E-M1 Mark II is definitely a camera made for professional use and I'd gladly use it for my usual commercial jobs, this was a casual shoot and I just wanted have fun during the session as well, and between the two, E-M5 Mark III is definitely a more fun camera - more sexy looking, smaller in size and build. I grabbed only two lenses for this outing - M.Zuiko 12-40mm F2.8 PRO and M.Zuiko 75mm F1.8. I used the 75mm F1.8 80% of the time, taking advantage of the perspective compression (less background to deal with), to create more flattering, proportionate look on human subject as well as to have that nice, dreamy, buttery smooth bokeh. The 75mm F1.8 never fails to impress, every single time. 

Some people cautioned me when I purchased the M.Zuiko 75mm F1.8 a year ago, saying that the lens will just stay inside the drybox without much use. I laughed out loud at that comment, because if you are a portrait photographer, you will find plenty of opportunities to use the marvelous 75mm F1.8! It can also produce possibly the shallowest DOF (blur background) among all the other bright prime lenses from Micro Four Thirds system. 

What I really treasure about this setup - the camera and lens combo was very small and light. Compactness helps you to move more, and compose your shots quickly, and more confidently. The silver 75mm F1.8 looks like the perfect match when mounted on the E-M5 Mark III, it just begs to be used and shoot more! 

Here are some shots from the brief session, not sharing a whole series, just a few to show off what the Olympus 75mm F1.8 can do. And immediately after that, a series of shots of the food we over-consumed, as we were two very hungry boys. Lunch was at Street Hainanese Chicken Rice Shop and Dessert was at Tanuki. For the food shots, I used the venerable M.Zuiko 12-40mm PRO instead. 

All images were shot in JPEG (because I was lazy) with minimal post-editing done. 

Loving the morning light!

I normally use long lenses for portraits, the longer the better. M.Zuiko 75mm F1.8 yields 150mm equivalent reach in 35mm format, and it creates a flattering look for human shots. 

Of course, being such a long lens, with bright aperture F1.8, you can blur the background easily. If shallow depth of field is important to you, and you want to do that with your Micro Four Thirds camera, M.Zuiko 75mm F1.8 should sit very high on your to-buy list. 

I miss shooting portraits. I should randomly kidnap more people to be my experiment subjects. 

Ok this was obviously not 75mm anymore. Shot with the M.Zuiko 12-40mm PRO lens. 

Of course, for wider composition, that Olympus M.Zuiko 12-40mm PRO is such an amazing lens. 

Chicken Rice for lunch. With sides of Pork Meatballs soup, Char Siew and beansprouts.  

Look at the glorious Char Siew! Pork Fatty wholesomeness. 

And the tender steamed chicken

After lunch we went to this fancy overpriced dessert place. 

This thing has almond, "pulut hitam" pandan... and God knows what else in it. 

This was called Mont Blanc, another ice-cream cake. 

Which one of these three is the most delicious?

Bailey's, my favourite of all we have sampled todday. This has actual Bailey's liquor content. 

If you are heading out on a weekend adventure, or chilling with friends, why not bring your camera along? Pack it light, keep your setup minimalist, maybe one camera with another one or two lenses in a small bag. You will be surprised at some unexpected photography opportunities that may pop up along the way. Or take some shots of your friends and document the moment you guys have together! You will thank me many years from now. 

I hope your weekend has been eventful. Mine has just started! More shutter therapy and food adventures coming. The question is - are your camera batteries charged and ready to go?

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2 comments:

Paul said...

"Which one of these three is the most delicious?"

Do we have to choose?!

(Perhaps enable Stripe on your buymeacoffee account as well as PayPal, Robin?)

Matt W. said...

What a cheerful entry, and the photos show it as well! I'll add another vote for the miraculous 75 f1.8 lens. After trying it at an Olympus marketing event (and having even my test photos blow me away) I bought it. Pre-COVID I was shooting lots of portraits and it basically lived on my camera; since then unfortunately I've hardly used it at all. This entry is inspiring me to pull it out again...