Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Penang Dog Trials - PAA June 2009

Had to cover the Penang Dog Trials event organized by PAA (Penang Agility Association) last weekend over a period of 2 days. Shooting an event has always been a straight forward affair but when it comes to animals (in this case dogs), one has to be on the alert at all times for that special moment as animals like children are highly unpredictable

Here's a shot of a Schnauzer waiting for its turn at the agility course while another one flying through the air :)

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Wonderful Weekend!

What a wonderful and hectic weekend this was. I had to shoot 3 events, catch Transformers - Rise of the Fallen, shoot my daily 365 project and took my parents out shopping! The movie was awesome to say the least and almost every single one of the cinema in the cineplex was showing this movie and talk about the crowd..dang! there were so many people there that ants wouldn't have been able to move.

Anyway, we should always cherish these moments as all of this would not have been possible without PEACE, topic of tonight's shoot :)

Next week I'll try to do a review on a new cheap speedlite which I hope I'll be able to make use of in my daily strobist shoots.

Saturday, June 27, 2009


A sad day for us all as we bear witness to the passing of a legend. Nothing much left to be said except thank you and R.I.P. MJ.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Night Creature

Recently I've been so busy working on shoots and photos at night that I'm starting to change into a night creature..lol. However it is really fun and does bring about its own challenges like falling asleep while working on the notebook, only to wake up to the sound of the msn alerts going crazy from your buddies :)

Last night decided to do something different with the colored gels and took this pics :)
Have a good weekend everyone!
For more photos, do visit my flickr site : http://www.flickr.com/photos/kevinchooi/

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Relax...have a drink!

Received a call today from a client and was required to carry out a shoot and deliver a print out all within a span of 40 minutes. Hmmmm...gave it a thought for a minute, before I said...deal! How I'm going to pull this off on the other hand is another matter. Since I'm going to be at their location for the shoot and it being a Sunday with most of the photo labs closed, I can either choose to go home (about 10 mins away from location) or to bring my printer to the client's place to do the job.

Oh well, I guess I'll figure it out tomorrow. In the meantime, shot this photo tonight. Thought it might be fitting :) "Relax...have a drink!"

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Another portrait photoshoot tonight and this time the couple is Fiona and Yew Tat :) Went to a location in town which had a beautiful wall for strobing. Thanks to Lyn and Si Hoo for coming along to help out with the lights :)

There are many more interesting backdrops around which I will be using for future portraiture or pre-weddings :)

For full series : http://www.flickr.com/photos/kevinchooi/

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Revenge Of The Fallen

With the serial to the blockbuster Transformers being launched today, I just have to take a shot of one of my childhood all time favourite cartoon. Went over to my son's toy box and hooray! a Decepticon and an Autobot waiting to be strobed...lol

Strobist information for this shot can be found in my flickr site :)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to all the fathers out there (myself and my dad included..lol). Decided to do a special shoot for my dad, so I went down and saw him reading the papers next to the window. Perfect! Took a quick shot, printed it out in 4R and with the help of a mobile phone holder, this is the final photo :)

Connecting To People

Have always liked the idea where people with the same aim getting together to discuss and brainstorm over what they can do to improve on the projects they are currently working on. Well in my case, it would be the Project 365 and as such I shot this image to connect to all those talented strobist in flickr working on their own Project 365.

Since the time this photo was posted, I've managed to get in touch with Zyork, a super talented strobist who is also working on his Project 365. We had a quick chat and the outcome were some new ideas which I will be using in my future shots :) Now awaiting the rest to join in the fun :)

Friday, June 19, 2009


Decided to shoot the bridges which I always pass through every morning on the way to work. The lighting was superb at night and we quickly setup and got the shot. Curious onlookers was wondering what the heck we were doing in the middle of the night at the side of the road..lol.

Anyway this is one of my favourite shots in the Project 365 so far :)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Edgar Maurice Augustin (1922 - 2009)

Today, June 18th, 2009, Day 28 will be a day to remember. With a heavy heart, I attended my former headmaster's funeral today. He was a father figure, a teacher as well as a friend to all who knew him. We will miss you and would like to thank you for all you have done for us. We would not be here today without your guiding light. Rest in peace my beloved headmaster, Edgar Maurice Augustin (1922 - 2009).

Love Is In The Air - Lyn & Si Hoo

A big congrats to the lovely couple - Lyn and Si Hoo :) and thanks for being such a sport during the whole photoshoot. Great fun!

Lifestyle portraiture / casual pre-weddings is one of the best and fun themes to shoot where you can get away from the rigid rules and let the couple loose and have the freedom to express themselves.

For more photos of this lovely couple, please visit flickr site : http://www.flickr.com/photos/kevinchooi/sets/72157619883781534/

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Image Manipulation

Some will hate it while some will like it. Basically to me, its your work and you do not need to justify to anybody why you did it unless the photo was for a client. Image manipulation is a good way to create images which are impossible / near impossible to shoot. An example is the image attached where I decided to merge an old moon photo with a model plane photo.
So go out there and go crazy manipulating your images :)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Makeup Set...

The makeup set is the most important item which the beautician will use to "glamorize" the bride, therefore as a photographer, we have to make sure that this item is captured properly from various angles. In this photograph, I've decided to capture the item from above, rather than the common side angle front sharp back bokeh shot with the bride in the background of the bokeh.

Of weddings and shoes...

One of the most important item to shoot during a wedding ceremony is the bride's shoes! Normally I will shoot this item when the bride is having her makeup done as the shoes will be still new and clean. You will have a lot of time to position the item and make full use of the lighting available in place to create dramatic/romantic shots.

A good idea will be to practice at home with your stinky sneakers .. lol :)

Wheel Of Life

Reached home closed to 11pm last night after attending a colleague's dinner and could only setup a simple shot for my Project365. The umbrella is actually older than I and it belongs to my late grandmother. Have another one which is red in colour and I will use that as a prop for another shoot later. Hope that I will be able to shoot something different today after meeting up with the guys tonight.

Monday, June 15, 2009

SPCA (Penang) 2010 Calendar Photoshoot

Helped SPCA (Penang) to do a shoot for their 2010 calendar a few months back. Rounded up the cute puppies and strobed them one by one. Was quite a fun session and each puppy took about 3-5 mins to shoot so the whole session lasted just a bit over an hour including setup time.

If anybody is looking for a pet, the first place you should go to should be your local animal shelter. You may also do volunteer work there as it is quite relaxing and fun playing with the doggies :)

Which speedlite am I using?

Often this question pops up when my friends meet up with me. To be honest, for me it doesn't really quite matter as long as it allows me to have full control over zoom range and flash sync. Another embarrassing thing is that I love to look for cheap 2nd hand units for example what I'm currently using - Canon 540EZ, Nikon SB28 and a Nissin di622. The Nissin is the only one which I can't remotely trigger using my PT04 triggers but I find it the most versatile for handheld triggering :)

My other items I'm using are a Maglite pocket torchlight (halogen bulb) and a LED fluorescent camping lamp. I know I know not the most sophisticated of equipment but it works..lol

I'm still on a look out for a few more speedlites and will eventually stop at 5. Why 5? Well that will give me enough light to light up a small single storey house and I think I won't strobe anything bigger than that...lol

Currently I prefer to shoot with shoot through umbrellas against reflective types and my big reflectors help me to fill light into those specific areas. I have 2 reflectors the other being a smaller macro type.

In conclusion I don't think strobing needs to be an expensive affair as you can discover new ways to shoot with the equipment you have.

Happy strobing everyone

Everlasting Love

First of all would like to congratulate Chai Yong and Chee Hau on tying the knot today :) It was a real blast. Wishing the both of you endless happiness in your new phase in life and thank you very much for entrusting the responsibility to record down the precious moments to me.

The day started off at 5.30am with a 1.5 hour drive to the bride's residence. There the photoshoot was centred around the bride getting ready (make up, dress etc) for the arrival of her husband which he did punctually at 9am+. Traditional cultural "to do" list follow suit and then it was off to the groom's side to repeat the steps on his side of the family. Finally finished at 3pm then it was off to Coffee Bean for the "wake up" dose of ice blended while preparing the slideshow from the morning shoot to be used in tonight's dinner.

Reached the dinner site at 6.30pm but the actual course started at 8pm+ and ended at 10.30pm. All in all about 18 hours of non-stop photo related assignment.

Ok time to sleep...

Saturday, June 13, 2009


It has been 3 days since I've started blogging and I'm loving it so far :) Had a busy day today getting new speedlites as well as finishing a 2010 calendar and wedding layout shoot. Anyway to celebrate my new blogging lifestyle, I decided to shoot a photo of my blog, what else..boring...lol

Ok off to charge all the batteries for my whole day shoot tomorrow. Till then good night everyone :)

Friday, June 12, 2009


Today happens to be my 10th wedding anniversary..hooray! Ok ok I actually forgot till we were celebrating over dinner..lol Anyway decided to do a shoot on both Janice and Kenneth and thought that the theme "Shelter" would be appropriate.

Simple setup to have Janice hold the strobe unit, pop the trigger and poof...we have Day 23. Got to think of something for tomorrow night's theme although I have to hit the bed early as its going to be a hectic day for me tomorrow.

Till then sweet dreams, peps ;)

"You must be using a very good camera!"

How many times have you photographers out there shown your work to your friends and relatives and get the respond : "You must be using a very good/expensive camera!" whenever they liked your photos. What was your reaction?

On one hand you're flattered because they liked your photos but on the other hand, you want to knock their heads off because it is you who took the photo and not the camera. Commercialism (if there is such a word) has pumped enough garbage into our consumers to make them believe that high end cameras with gazillion megapixels will give you photos which will blow you away...that is until you take the first click of the shutter and realise, damn why can't my photos look like the Pros even though my equipment is better than theirs. Hmmmmmm....then they realize its not the camera but the person behind it.

Please stop chasing the megapixel race, you will never win. For every 15 megapixel camera out there, there is another 20 or 50 megapixel camera which will beat you, megapixel wise. And that is only for today. Tomorrow will bring about another swarm of megapixel cameras to our unsuspecting consumers.

I have clients who have asked, "Are you using a D3 or 5DMkII or 1DsMkIII?" What was my answer? Well I'll normally say "Yes depending on the lighting situation." Then I'll show them 30" x 20" prints made from 30D and 400D cameras. Some of them will say "Wow, high end Pros cameras are really good, can print such big sizes!" little realizing that it was produced by 30D/400D.

My advice to all budding photographers, work on what you have, you'll be surprised what your camera and kit lens can do. Learn the basics of ISO, Aperture, Shutterspeed etc and how they are related to each other before you go and spend a fortune on high end gears and use 1% of its capability.

For tonight's theme, I'll be shooting "S.H.E.L.T.E.R." using my 30D ;) Have a good weekend ahead everyone :)

Didn't manage to join the guys at Starbucks because I needed to meet up with a client just now and by the time the meeting was over, it was too late to go out and shoot my Project 365. Decided to go home and proceeded to take the photos.

Anyway I shot this photo to dedicate to all of the photographers out there, who sweat blood each day to capture THE ultimate photo.

Too tired to continue blogging so here's the shot from tonight - Day 22 - C.R.E.W.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Hello World!!!

Hello World!!! This is my first time actually blogging so apologies upfront for any mistakes, typos etc that I'll be making along the way..lol

First of all let me introduce myself. My name is Kevin Chooi and I'm currently involve in commercial, wedding and event photography. I'm a down to earth guy who loves to spend most of my time finding new ways and techniques in capturing the light, as they would say.

Would like to thank my family, friends and clients who have supported me throughout my photographic journey. I am what I am today because of all your help. You guys are the best. To my wife, Janice and son Kenneth, who have not only supported but were patient enough with my mad schedule, love the both of you to bits!

Anyway as this is the first post, let me update what I'm up to for this month and beyond. Currently I've been scheduled to cover 3 weddings and 2 events photoshoot for the month of June as well as continuing with my own personal Project 365.

Project 365? Well it is my own project to shoot 1 photo a day for 365 days (1 year) using the strobist method. I'm currently at Day 21 (yea long way to go) and here's a pic of Day 21 taken last night of AC, my good buddy.

Tonight I'll be going to a hang out session with the guys and will find time to shoot my theme for the day - C.R.E.W.

You may follow my Project 365 progress in flickr here : http://www.flickr.com/photos/kevinchooi/

Till then have a good day everyone :)


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