Saturday, November 27, 2010

An International Affair...

Most of my shoots are often used locally (commercial) or often than not wedding shoots so it came as a pleasant surprise to see one of my Mean Machine event shot appearing in Singapore's Hot Stuff magazine. Let's hope and pray it will be the start to even greater things in 2011!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Canon Moments page created

I've just created a "Canon Moments" page where I'll put all the activities that I'm involved in with Canon Malaysia. Hope that it'll be easier to refer to rather than having to go through all the blog updates on my site. You may access it from the highlighted red boxed link or here

Thursday, November 25, 2010

"A Day With A Pro"

Canon has once again made it possible for new or existing DSLR owners to learn and improve on their photographic skills. This time round, it is the "A Day With A Pro" series from the Digital SLR Photography Magazine Malaysia - December Issue. Do get your copy today and submit your entry to stand a chance to shoot with me :)

I hope to be able to pass some useful tips and techniques which will help your photography and we can learn together on that day :)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

VDSLR - getting into the fray

With more and more clients demanding for HD videography services on top of the normal photography portion, I guess the time has come to invest on some gears to make it this work. After a few days of researching, sleepless nights etc, I've managed to assemble a reasonable starting kit to kick start / jump start / (hang myself) / empty wallet etc etc into this field.

For a start I needed a basic follow focus kit, should mount and could only find ProAim to be the most cost effective (not so sure about quality yet). The kit I'm looking at will eventually look like this.
Ok it does look super high tech and large once fitted up. On top of that, I'll need a video head for the tripod and I'll be going with the Manfrotto for that.

Next up will be the external monitors to help with focusing, playback etc and I've yet to decide on that. Might be trying to modify one from a car LCD to run on motorcycle batts or Canon DSLR batts.

For sound recording, Zoom H4n seems to be THE choice at the moment with either a RODE shotgun mic (for the moment) then venturing into wireless Sennheiser/Marantz microphones in the future.

As to the flycams...minicam / proaim ones are currently the most affordable but I'm leaning more towards the minicam due to the design which I find is easier to work with.

Oh well, that's the wishlist for now and lets see how soon I can get all these put together to start doing some work on videography..LOL.

*all photos shown belongs to their respective company and is shown as an educational point.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Submit those entries

Have you submitted your entries to next month's Digital Camera Magazine's Photo Tutor section themed Portraits? I've started screening through the entries since last night so do keep them coming as it will be closing fast.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Preparation For The Big Day

Having been through so many weddings, I would like to write an article not on photography but rather on how the couple should prepare for the big day. I will focus mainly on items to prepare for the day itself rather than to cover the whole wedding in total as it would be just too long a list...hehe

1) Book your wedding dinner venue way way in advance. Next year being the year of the rabbit is going to be a "hot" year for couples getting married. Make sure you have already booked the venue by now if you're planning to get married next year to avoid disappointment.

2) Book your bands, "sang keh em" (talkative lady throughout your wedding), photographers, videographer, wedding car etc etc. You get the picture.

3) Delegate responsibility! On the actual wedding day, you will not have the time to run here and there to coordinate your wedding. Get help from close friends or relatives to take on this task. You can assign specific task to individuals example : ushers to wedding dinner tables, in charge of projector/slideshow during the event, ang pow keeper, coordinator with the hotel/F&B manager, alcohol (beer) counters etc etc.

4) During the tea ceremony, make out a list in the order of who will be having the tea first. This will save lots of time!

5) Make sure that the slideshow player is compatible with the format of the video/slideshow that your photographer/videographer has done up! Bring along a notebook just in case as notebook plays almost everything. Delegate this!

These are just some of the items that will help to ensure your wedding day is less stressful with careful planning and hopefully you will have time to enjoy yourselves with your family and friends rather than to stress out on organization :) Cheers.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Night Out

Calvin suggested for a night shooting session and a few facebook messages later, a group of us were on the way. We met at the Citibank car park hoping to start the shooting session at the Citibank bridge and worked our way towards town, however the bridge was not lit up at all last night.

We then headed to the High Court area and this was where the fun began. Long exposures, "flying" videographers, longest handheld long shutterspeed "contests" later, we left for the famous Kimberley Street Char Koay Teow and See Koh Th'ng, before calling it a night.

Overall it was a fun experience as we ran the 5DMk2, 7D and 60D through their "night" paces - literally with the 5DMk2 almost came to a crashing halt if Adrien had fallen at the steps...muhahahahaha.

Pic attached was shot with the Canon EOS 7D + EF 17-40mm f4L lens set to ISO100, f14, 5 sec exposure and for those interested in the video, hope you can see this link.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Anticipate, Observe, Capture

As a photographer one should always anticipate, observe and capture the fleeting moment during the course of the wedding or event day. These photos will act as the backbone to the album or how I would call them "Pillar" or "Foundation" photos.

Some of the items to watch out for :
  1. Reaction of love ones - be it a smile, tears of joy, hugs etc
  2. Kids curiosity and behaviour
  3. Reaction of the main subject/s for the day
  4. Friends and family
  5. House pet (yes they do provide for interesting shots)
When capturing these moments, I prefer to shoot for a clean background or use bokeh to frame the subject. I will seldom use a wide angle lens as it will tend to bring in unnecessary elements into the pic thus eliminating the overall impact and instead go for the 70-200 f2.8L If the working distance is too near, I'll swap to a 50mm f1.4

The first photo attached shows the bride's father catching a glimpse of her daughter getting ready for her big day. The slight smile brings in all sorts of emotions to the photo - joy, proud etc.

The second photo shows a close friend of the bride checking to make sure the wedding cake is being setup properly. The intensity of the eyes on the job at hand brings strength to the overall pic and leaving a clean background leads the viewer eyes immediately to the subject at hand.

Start to train your eye to look out for these type of given situations and in no time, you'll add better "feel" to your photo collection.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Noise and Desaturated Photos???

Most of us will cringe at the idea of a photo filled with noise and desaturated colours. Why? Some photographers swear by oversaturated colours, some by overdesaturated colours and others really don't even know what hit them.

Noise and desaturating your photos can give more feel and add a little timeless'ness (if there's such a word) to your photos. Bear in mind of course that the photo you took, must meet the criteria in the first place in terms of composition, lighting etc. Don't simply whack any photos and apply the following actions to them.

Here are some simple steps to achieve this desired effect :

Step 1 - Desaturate your photo to your liking
Step 2 - Add a slight tint to the photo (be it bluish, sephia'ish or whatever 'ish you want)
Step 3 - Add a little noise to it in the "Filter" -> "Add noise" function
Step 4 - Add a little vignetting

Some of the photos you see in this posting has been done up using these simple steps. Hope you enjoy the article. Adios :)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Guide To Buying Lens

As photographers we cannot run away from the fact that we will be buying lenses one day eventually whether it may be new or 2nd hand lenses. So what do you need to look out for when you part with your hard earned money for these beautiful glasses?

I've listed out below a step by step checklist which I hope will help you deal/overcome with this ordeal :

Step 1 - Physical inspection : do a physical overall check of the lens for its condition, look out for dents, scratches on the screws (which may indicate that the lens has been opened), rubber condition on the focusing/zoom rings, filter thread, rear of lens (which can tell you the wear and tear) of the lens etc.

Step 2 - Glass inspection : pick up the glass and point it at a bright source and look through it. Watch out for fungus, fogging, cracks etc.

Step 3 - If you're lucky enough to be a Canon user, you will be able to tell how old the L lens you're buying from the code at the rear of the lens. Here's the link which will contain all the info you'll need on how to do this.

Step 4 - Test the rotating rings of the lenses (zoom and focusing rings). They should be smooth with no grinding or resistance right through the rotation.

Step 5 - Do a backfocus/frontfocus test. How do you do this? Simple! Mount the lens onto your camera, take a page of magazine, catalogue or newspaper, shoot at 45 degree downwards onto a word and open your aperture wide (meaning f1.8 if your lens is f1.8). Focus on the word/alphabet and take the shot (preferably at a higher shutterspeed to avoid handshake). View the picture on your LCD and zoom in all the way. The word/alphabet which you focused on should be tack sharp whereas the rest of the areas are bokeh'ed/blurred. If the back is in focus instead, this is known as backfocus and vice versa.

Step 6 - Last but not the least check the apertures, shoot at different aperture settings for example f1.8, f8, f18, f22 etc

Once again, I hope that this article has been useful and do share or drop me a mail/comment on what you would like me to touch on in my future blogs. Till then happy shooting!


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