Monday, January 26, 2015

Simplify

There are times that I may have over-think before I shoot. In contradiction to that I have also always emphasized simplicity, which I do practise when it comes to composition and subject content, but not so much on the photoshoot execution part. When it comes to the technicalities of the camera, I usually set the ISO manually, watched the shutter speed all the time (when I shoot in Aperture Priority), fiddle with the exposure compensation all the time, taking multiple shots of one scene, you know, just to be sure that one shot out of many is the perfect one, and always left wondering what I have missed out or might have done wrongly. There is that hesitation of "what if I stand over there" and "if I have moved closer" or "hey this works with wide angle too". Too many possibilities to go through, to many variables to play with and certainly not enough time to consider everything. Being hard-wired into engineering background I struggle to control everything. 

We know photography is never all about control.

Acquiring the Panasonic Lumix GM1 changes things for me. It is my way of simplifying my shutter therapy sessions. The following are my steps of simplification:

1) I ditched manual ISO control. I have ISO Auto with maximum ISO of 6400

2) I have shot everything in JPEG instead of RAW. What if I screw up my shot? Well, let the shot be screwed up. It is not a matter of life and death. If the shooting session was that important, I would have used my Olympus OM-D and PEN cameras instead. 

3) Limited battery life to play with. I have always brought along spare batteries for my OM-D, in case one runs out, and sometimes after a long exhaustive day, it usually does. GM1 is known to have poor battery life. It does not matter, I won't go trigger happy. Make every shot count. 

4) Chimp less. I have often admitted to chimping, and I do encourage that, reviewing your images after every shot to check the focus accuracy and make sure nothing went wrong. With the GM1, due to the limited battery life, I skipped chimping more and more. 

5) I normally would change lenses if necessary, and if I do not, I would use two camera bodies with different lenses mounted on them. I stayed with primarily one lens, the Olympus 25mm F1.8 on the GM1 thoughout the whole session, and (yes I caved in) only switched to Olympus 45mm F1.8 twice. 

6) I care less about the technicalities of my images, I have less worry about controlling everything, and just enjoyed the shooting process. Modern cameras are good enough to handle many photography situations.

7) No, I still do not trust the Face Detection AF. I switched that off. I manually select the focusing point, which was no biggie since I can use the touch screen to do so on the GM1.

Iron Men

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

No Strangers for One Weekend

I have always been shooting strangers on the street for my weekend activities. You know what, I decided to do things differently this time. I was with friends, spending time, having fun and catching up. Instead of shooting people that I do not know, I chose to shoot the people that I do know!

Last weekend has been quite interesting. There was a local photography exhibition organized by Exposure Plus group, and the exhibition opening happened at Feeka in Bukit Bintang. Such local event would surely pull together the photographers from many walks of life, and guess what, even our very own Ming Thein attended! Unfortunately I was too engrossed in conversation with him I did not manage to take a photograph of him before he disappeared. The exhibition featured the works of local photographers who underwent a 3 month mentoring program with respectable photographers from various industries. There was quite a wide variety of photographs being displayed. 

It was indeed a night of meeting photographers, catching up with friends, and making new connections as well. Here is a collection of random portraits of people who have been featured on my blog before (if you have been with me this long you would recognize some of them surely). 

Nick Wade, he spent months in Tokyo, Japan just to shoot on the streets! I want your life Nick. 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Timothy and Stephanie

It has been a busy start to the 2015 year for me, with wedding shoots happening consecutively for a few weekends in a row now. No I do not intend to mutate into a wedding photographer, and after the third job in a row I knew exactly why. It was physically and mentally draining! I wake up the next day after a full day shoot feeling like a walking dead. 

However, I cannot hide the fact that I do enjoy shooting weddings. The joy on the faces of the newly weds, the overall sense of happiness and even the stories of love can be really inspiring. 

This time, for Timothy and Stephanie, I was shooting a church wedding, and it was held at St Mary's Cathedral, at Dataran Merdeka, KL. This was my second time covering a wedding in this church, and I have come back much more prepared than my first encounter. 

Again, for many times now, my macro shots during wedding assingnment were taken care of by that marvellous 12-50mm F3.5-6.3 kit lens 

Monday, January 12, 2015

Close Encounter with Panasonic GM1, the Tiniest Micro Four Thirds Camera

I have a confession to make. I, like every other human photographers out there, am the same, and susceptible to a disease called Gear Acquisition Syndrome (GAS). Here comes the surprise: I have bought myself a new camera: the Panasonic Lumix GM1. 

OMGwhathappenedrobinisanolympusfanheshouldnotbeusinganyothercamerastheworldwillendWTF

Yes, I got a non Olympus camera. Mind you, this is not the first non-Olympus camera that I bought, I have used Sony Alpha DSLT system quite extensively for almost a year, blogging frequently with the Sony setup. In my journey of learning photography I have come across and made friends with so many beautiful people, photographers who have used all kinds of cameras and system, and I have also been given many opportunities to try many other brands (yes, including Canon and Nikon too, both are great camera makers). I may look like I am completely biased to Olympus but if you do know me in person, and if you have sat down and spent some time talking to me you will realize that when I speak about photography I generally do not talk much on camera brands. Photography is a lot more than just what camera and what lens you use!

Panasonic Lumix GM1.