Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Life 1.25 inches

Part of a series of shots exploring what I feel about life. 

Thursday, November 12, 2009

My Son's First Shots of Me

These are my 3 year old son's first shots of me a while ago using the Canon G7. He has since improved in "image stabilisation" and cropping. However, my wife just found out today her G7 might need to see a doctor due to corner of images blurring - suspected sensor problem. I should have handed a Olympus Stylus Tough 8000 to my kid.

He has great eyes for details, like he ever spotted a fly resting on his rocking horse 5 meters away, a flying kite xx kilometers away in the sky while traveling in a moving car, etc. and etc. Though he forgets where he put his stuff many times, and ever hid his mum's pen drive in between some boxes for over 48 hours before finding it. He also has this "Creative Director" temper when he'll lash it out at his parents when we fail to draw on paper the stuff he wants or arrange his toys the way he wants. I consider that part of my retribution. He has almost 100% of my wife's looks and almost 100% of my temperament. How bad could this get? (I'm referring to the temperament part, undeniably, my wife looks good... hee hee...)

Lastly, for all those who have not procreated, I believe your offspring are your best teachers in life and God has definitely intended it that way. So, go forth and multiply.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Truths, Truths and Truths that People Ignore

We all need a knife, probably as sharp as a Parang, to cut open ourselves and look deep inside to see our own evil sometimes. In life, we are often delusional without realizing it. We look at others' faults more than our own. We push the blame whenever we could. We judge others but ourselves. We care for our own interests ONLY. We do not speak up and warn others even when we see something obviously wrong. We have gotten used to paying Malaysian Police bribes maybe... that we choose to close one eye on everything. We take no pride in our work. We skive and facebook 8 hours a day during office hours. Maybe even MSN, Limewire, twitter, download movies, MP3s, etc.. all in the name of multi-tasking. Is this Malaysian culture?

Like I have mentioned in my earlier posts before, that a Japanese Retail Salesgirl in Japan takes more pride in polishing her retail front window than Malaysian Professional Wedding Photographers. Why? For example, we deliver un-touched images bright and dark to our clients, or lie to our wedding couples that we are very professional photographers but in actual fact, we probably have never shot a wedding entirely on our own without assistants before! (and some work with 3 assistants). We pose with cameras on wedding days in the most passionate fashion... lie down on the floor, jump on top of a table maybe.. etc.. but couples never get to see our shots. Why? Cause only "assistants"' shots are worthy at the end. Have we all become a joke???

Right here is an article I come across, so worthy to read, bookmark and save that I just couldn't resist sharing it online. Here's is an excerpt from the article: 

"Being a photographer is about how we live our lives as a light for others, not how much we can climb above our contemporaries and how much dough we can suck out from our clients for the sake of having a really good looking bank account. As Olympus Visionary John Isaac once said in the book Perfect Digital Photography:

I feel that I am a human being first and a photojournalist second. During my career, I followed one simple guideline: Never take away someone’s dignity, just as I would not want someone to take away my dignity...

...This guideline has prompted me to put down my camera in several situations where it would not have been appropriate for me to be making pictures. Sure, I may have produced some powerful photographs, but only at the expense of another human being.

Wow.. what awesome words they are from a true master of the craft. Lets go forth, be honest, fair dinkum photo enthusiasts who are passionate and honest about our craft, and share some great images while spreading a good attitude to those around us."

To read the full article, click HERE.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Cats and Dogs - PLEASE DON'T EAT THEM!

Just some stray cats and dogs I saw in my recent street walking. The last one has beautiful eyes looking right into me. Wow... They are lovely animals, yet people eat them. There are recent reports that Korea has commercialized and legalized eating cats and dogs! And the way they cage and kill them is outrageously CRUEL! Read it HERE! If you are still human, you should feel something and do something! To see how CRUEL they are, click HERE! (NOT FOR THE FAINT-HEARTED) Let's spread this message to all people we know! Boycott KOREAN Products!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Happy Halloween... ... belated... ...

German Soldiers' Graves of the First World War

May God remember their bravery and sacrifice! Happy Belated Halloween! (Though I really don't know what they celebrate for? I only know the Chinese Ching Ming Festival.)

Trapped in a Ball

Friday, October 30, 2009

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Blue Sun

Olympus Pen E-P1 at 42mm

Saw this through my car windscreen's tinted glass one day while the sun is setting. Found it interesting so I took a shot of it. Just a little contrast adjustment before posting it up. It's really such a joy and inspiration to have a capable camera small enough to carry with you everywhere you go for recording stuff you see. During film days, I was born in an average family with not much pocket money to spare on films and such indulgence is unthinkable! Thank God for the digital technology when we can experiment all we want and practise our visualization. And thank God for the internet where we can easily share our images. An image unshared is like an image never taken!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Photography, Is it really ART?


Why does a piece of painting always worth more than a photograph in an art gallery?

Let's look at the original intention of the invention of the camera. It is undeniable that the purpose of documentary cannot be separated from photography since the camera was invented. 

To bring photography to a ART level, the photograph produced has to justify beyond what technology can produce to what a true artist's imagination and creativity produces. Simply put, it's a photograph that shows how imaginative and creative the photographer is rather than how capable the camera or lens is. 

Man Smoking-Abstract

However, history has more or less proven that no matter how great a photograph is, it can hardly call for a higher price than a piece of painting in a gallery. The fact is, photography can never be on the same standing as painting. Reasons could be that commercially, in terms of demand from collectors, it never matches the same demand for paintings. More collectors would choose to hang a beautiful painting in their living hall compared to a fine art photograph, for example. And famous precious photographs taken by war journalists for example, will never reach the walls of a collector's home. Not unless the collector is a passionate photography enthusiast of course. But still, who would want to hang a war photograph at home? Generally speaking, a photograph can hardly sell at a higher price than a painting.

Photographers always face the struggle to be recognized as artists. But why aren't the painters? Because they are true artists. Take the brush away from the painter and a true painter can still paint with his fingers or toes. But take the camera away from the photographer, all he's left with are images in his head like any others. (Although jokingly, some photographers think so highly of themselves as artists that they think they can still shoot with their hearts and minds, accompanied with songs and poems maybe? I'd rather not live in delusion!)

Every human being on earth record millions of images in his mind as "photographs" daily. Take the camera away from a photographer and he no longer can create "ART" as an artist. Unlike a true painter, he probably can still paint with his body parts, using elements from the nature and his environment. The same goes for true musicians. They can make music anywhere, anyhow, using their voices, using trash bin covers, using anything they can find from their surroundings. See the unfortunate setback of a photographer now?

Man at work

Photography has always struggled to stand on it's own as "ART". No matter how we try to escalate it's position to "ART", you can never take away it's original form which is to document things as they are. Photography has contributed greatly to crime-solving, scientific development, medical researches, etc. and etc... ... that without which the world will not be what it is today. We will also always remember war is ugly because of a war photograph we have seen. The value of documentary, shooting things as they are, using images for researches, solving crimes, etc., in which none are totally ART, cannot be forgotten. If we measure values, these contributions are of a far more noble and immeasurable kind than any great fine art photograph ever produced. 

Man sleeping

So, is photography ART?
To me, yes, it is.
But I also just realized that I shall never try to escalate it's position higher than what it actually is.
I should not think of myself too highly as an artist. I should not always label myself as an artist. I am not always an artist when I shoot. I should not categorize photographers into "artists and non-artists groups". Photography has it's original calling which is to benefit mankind, whether aesthetically or scientifically. Photography is self-therapy. Photography is a medium for self-expression and understanding oneself. Photography is for everyone. Photography the ART is for EVERYONE!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

How to make sucky picture ART

Some of my facebook friends have been discussing lately about our wives/girlfriends being photographers. One complains his wife just can't shoot like the others' wives. The following is a shot by my wife. She ain't that good like some think she is. Let's see how we can make our wives look like artists.
Actual Shot 

After Editing: 
Title: God's Hand
Synopsis: A study of the Invisible, some call it spiritual, unseen.
Artist's Statement: God is a deity in theistic and deistic religions and other belief systems, representing either the sole deity in monotheism, or a principal deity in polytheism.[1]
God is most often conceived of as the supernatural creator and overseer of the universe. Theologians have ascribed a variety of attributes to the many different conceptions of God. The most common among these include omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence... ... ... ... READ MORE

Monday, October 12, 2009

Quote used By Olympus

I am privileged to have my quote used by Olympus for their newest local newspaper advertisements nationwide. Just to clarify, I am no spokesman or celebrated photographer of Olympus. I am just a common Olympus user like any others. And I definitely do not receive any monetary benefits or free cameras from Olympus. I bought all my Olympus cameras with my own money and write all about Olympus with sincere truthfulness based on my actual experiences using the cameras.

Olympus is a brand often overshadowed by the big names like Nikon and Canon. Let us not forget Olympus has a legendary history in designing and making cameras! For example, a 1973 Olympus OM-1 is so much better-designed than the Nikon FM 2. And who started the half-frames? Olympus! Check out the legendary Olympus Pen FT. These are just some of the amazing histories.

I am a fan of mechanical perfection. Leica, Rolex, you name it. I love cameras which are designed with photographers' fussiness in mind. For example, Nikon's user features often exceed a professional photographer's requirements. Olympus cameras are designed to optimize image quality to it's best straight out of cameras to minimize photographers' post-editing work. Olympus believes that a photographer should spend time shooting without too much fuss over camera settings and post-processing. Olympus believes in photography as a ART form, and that cameras should reduce our technical burden. If you like a camera with lots of settings to play with (in that you probably are a true geek), try Nikon. Different people enjoy photography in different ways. As for me, I'd rather spend time shooting than editing.

Olympus? Just a personal choice. Try it!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Spotted! Good Friend's New Purchase!

What a small world! Just like the Disney's song that goes..."It's a small small world..." Haha...
I was in Mid Valley on 5 Oct Monday and with thousands of people hanging out in Kuala Lumpur's largest shopping mall, there I spotted CW, my friend buying the supposedly one and only piece in Kuala Lumpur at the moment: Canon 45mm Tilt and Shift lens! It seems that this lens is out of stock everywhere, even in Singapore. Why? Ask Canon!

And so, I whipped out my E-P1 and start documenting this "big buyer's purchase". (ask YL Camera Supplies and you know who he is)

I just couldn't resist mentioning this piece of speciality lens which is often used for architecture shots to correct perspectives. You can also create Miniature Effects with this lens, making everything seems like miniature toys and figures. Fun!

Well, for those of you like me, who's not so loaded with cash... haha.. stick to your photoshop perspective controls or just get a lensbaby like me. For now, I shall stick to my lensbaby and my view camera while ogling at his lens. For the geeks and the equipment enthusiasts, click here to see some sample shots he has done. He's the best person to ask in terms of what equipment to buy.

"If you want to change your photographs, you need to change cameras. Changing cameras means that your photographs will change. A really good camera has something I suppose you might describe as its own distinctive aura."
-- Nobuyoshi Araki

"But only if you have spare cash!" 
-- David Chua

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Sunday, September 27, 2009

In Memory of 9-11, The Power Of Images!

Not long ago on September 11, I was watching youtube at home when I stumbled upon this video documentary on the "Falling Man" which most of us might have forgotten or some of us probably have not known. The Falling Man is a picture taken by AP Photographer Richard Drew during the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack. The video documentary has 8 parts in youtube (click here to see it). Just thought of sharing it as this ONE IMAGE has led to the production of this meaningful documentary and many other writings on it. One good novel is by Don DeLillo (see link below image). Let us all NEVER to forget the power of images! We should all thank God for the invention of cameras! My heart still aches with much pain and sorrow each time I see this image, thinking deep about the thoughts and feelings of this man when he was jumping, taking his life in his own hands. If that's the way we humans treat one another, we deserve no mercy.

Image taken from

You can also read about an interesting novel written by Don DeLillo in here.

Saturday, September 26, 2009


This is a shot I took spontaneously when I was walking in the opposite direction of many people rushing towards me, heading for work, I suppose, one morning. Having fun with my lensbaby on my Nikon D700, struggling with the focusing as usual. In all the hustle and bustle, this lens managed to help me isolate subjects. I have never seen another of this scene - 2 men wearing the same tee, ever again after that day.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Project Self-Respect

Join us now! Let your images speak! Shoot like a spy! To know more, click here: Project Self-Respect.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

"Haven't we all become like these in our modern urban society?"

mannequins, cold, false fronts, in disguise, unreal, numb, and compromising.

In relation to a post by currypuff (click here) which was earlier inspired by my mannequin shot, I must say his shot really haunted me for a day or two. And coincidentally yesterday, I was in an area surrounded by mannequins "staring" at me. This made me go out and do this series of shots as a study of the stark contrast between rural and urban society.

Earlier on this year, I had the opportunity to stay overnight with the Orang Asli in Malaysia. In that stay, I experienced what it means to have no television, no computer, just pure communication between human beings. If you ask them, "how do you all survive? what do you do to earn a living?" They don't understand you. They are self-sufficient. They eat from the land God has given. They take almost everything from nature. And their favourite past-time? Communication. They talk to each other heart to heart. That's what they do.

In our modern urban society, our eyes are either glued to the television or the computer screen most of the time. We no longer communicate. We make friends based on commercial benefits, or other benefits, never because we sincerely want to know a person. We have since lost the skills to communicate, even if it's just talking about ourselves, our problems and struggles. And probably even if we want to talk about it, no one wants to listen anyway. So, when things get too messed up, we jump off the roof killing ourselves, thinking that should end our misery. In actual fact, that selfish act of suicide just started a string of miseries for others.

Having had so much education from schools, colleges and universities, we can't even communicate like the Orang Asli. We don't even care for another human being anymore? Look next to you, when was the last time you truly have a heart-to-heart talk with your spouse, your family members or your friends? "Oh so sorry... no time... our t.v. programmes or work are more important."

The mannequins above truly speaks of us. Cold, false fronts, in disguise, unreal, numb, and compromising. Compromising because we have eyes but don't see, ears but refuse to hear, mouth but refuse to speak.

Compromising also because we allow others to put whatever clothes that's of the latest trend in the world on us. We follow the world in doing whatever it's doing without thinking whether it's really right or wrong. We have no conscience!

Some questions:
1. If we see a suspicious guy entering a neighbour's house, will you call your neighbour or the police?
2. If we see someone lying to his clients about himself as a form of marketing, do we do it too?
3. If we see someone spitting on the floor, do we follow?

Lastly, are we more concerned of how much we can take from the world today, or rather how much and what we are leaving behind for the world if we die? Let's try to leave the world a better place than we have entered.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

GAS, a collection of shots up till today

Following up on the team's unofficial project "GAS" started by Currypuff and joined in by CW and myself, the above is my collection up till today. This has been really fun! Louis, you should join in! What's next man... currypuff?