Friday, April 30, 2010

I want, I want, I want ... ...

Read this in a very old Reader's Digest some time ago... "Want what you have and you'll always have what you want!"

Today, my Leica M6 winder jammed mid-roll. It must be some spring mechanism problem. So, I dropped it to a good friend to send it to Singapore for repair since he's going down tomorrow. The Leica M6 is my favourite camera. For a while, I was looking for another small film camera to stuff it into my bag as a replacement (I just can't leave home without a camera, I thought) ... ... and I couldn't think of what else I've got. Oh man... I don't wanna use digital... I thought... I want film.

So, I finally dug out my old Olympus PEN FT. Hmm... haven't been using it for a while now. It seems that I have momentarily forgotten that I still have my Contax G1, Rollei 35, Zeiss Ikon Contaflex... ...

So sinful! The results of my shopping spree since early 2009. My heart just went for every good old film camera that people "threw" out for the sake of going digital... ... I was like a father going about adopting unwanted orphans... ... 

Too many cameras, too little time to use them all. It's time to concentrate on SHOOTING! After all, photography is about shooting and sharing images.

Let's shoot and share, and STOP thinking of what to buy next for the time being.

Photographic Vision is INSIDE us, not OUTSIDE.

Friday, April 23, 2010

a simple meal... ... and a happy one.

Zeiss Ikon Contaflex, Carl Zeiss 50mm F2.8 Lens, China Lucky ASA200 Color Neg.

Make life simple and it's a happier path. Contentment is an ancient philosophy that few can ever grasp. How much is enough? Have you got enough to be happy? Are you happy? We are not talking about striving for excellence as a person. Of course, we should strive for excellence in life. But are we happy, right now, right where we are? We can be happy with all that we already have, and yet continue to strive for excellence. It's two different things.    

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Funeral Band Members

"We've been doing this for years. Every morning, same time, same place, have breakfast before we work, playing music for the dead."

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Sleeping Guard

Image taken by my Nokia E51 handphone last year. I was visiting a client and was told to ask the guard at the guard house for directions, but this was what I found!

Come, join me in this project! See Project Self-Respect, a project open to ALL, just for fun, and at the same time, hopefully will increase our awareness for mutual respect needed in this society.

Friday, April 16, 2010


Leaves are just like our own fingerprints, no two are alike. That's God's signature on each of His creation, like it or not. There are truths that will always be truths, whether you like it or not, whether you accept it or not, or whether you believe it or not. Ignorance or choosing to ignore can both be a blessing and a curse.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Bamboo Trees

Man is like a tree, once grown to a certain age, you can't bend it as you wish.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Fame Doesn't Equal Fortune

Today's headlines in Yahoo News has yet another Celebrity in deep financial shit. This reminds me of 2 celebrities last year, one of them a worldwide famous photographer, both in similar kind of shit. I am talking about Michael Jackson and Annie Leibotivz.

Michael was a great guy, a great legend, never should be forgotten, for all his contributions, his charities and his works! Annie too has been a great photographer, though her latest works in recent years began to suck, probably due to her financial woes.

You can read about Annie here:
1. Gone City Blog
2. Yahoo News
3. NY Times

I have read somewhere regarding Fame doesn't necessarily equals Fortune, that a high percentage of Famous People are not necessarily rich. This brings to my mind when I see the current trend of wedding photographers in Malaysia or worldwide, seeking fame more than anything else, hoping fame will bring them fortune.

Malaysia is a pretty much Fortune-Centered and Fortune-Motivated environment generally and it's not unnatural to have this same attitude in the wedding photography industry. But recent years have shown the "craze" to get famous, among some "senior" photographers and many new photographers, by winning awards and dumping loads of cash into publicity is rampant.

I was once a newbie, a wannabe, a new "wedding photographer", a greenhorn in the wedding industry slightly over 10 years ago when I started DCP. I felt lost in my own country Singapore, as the local photography scene was far from helpful, encouraging or informational about things. Internet was pretty new. Photographers were secretive. Many still are today. I had to depend on my own "school of hard knocks" to work out my workflow, which camera to use, what lens to buy, which film to use, which lab to go to, how to set up my own studio, how to use studio strobes, how to pose couples for pre-wedding shots, how to shoot a wedding well with just 8 rolls of film, hahaha... ;-)  etc. and etc...

I had to rely on myself entirely on how to present my albums, how to price my packages, what to include in my packages and how to get clients. No shortcuts through Internet at all! And the transition from film to digital during the early stage of digital photography and digital printing, was one of the most killing time!

In contrast, we have everything so easily accessible today via the Internet. We have more "sharing" photographers than ever in this century! However, we also get loads of shitty information from the Internet. The bottom line is "Watch who and where you learn from!"

It's 100% possible to disguise yourself as a pretty good photographer now with digital photography and very capable Photoshop plug-in filters and Adobe Lightroom.

Just shoot randomly thousands and select the few out, with RAW, we can make 3-stops underexposed image still look good, and with 23 megapixels from a 5Dmk2 for example, we can crop to 1/10th of the image and it's still useable. Then apply the Photoshop filter over it under preview, choose the one you like most, click "Apply" and "Ta Da!", you got it.

Never mind if it looks a little out-of-focus when you click "actual pixels" on your Photoshop screen, never mind if it looks a little noisy... anyway, after resizing it to 800 pixels at 72dpi, it looks GREAT on the Internet! Just make sure you do the "right" selection. If you are not sure of what images "sells", just check up on other wedding photographers on Facebook and you will know, because you got this great group of "sharing" wedding photographers all grouped together in Facebook today. Life is so nice to have so many "selflessly-sharing souls" on the Internet.

I know I sound sarcastic. 

Just a reminder to myself,
Everyone "cari makan" (earn-a-living in Bahasa Melayu).
But am I doing it so selfishly that I am hurting others around me?
Am I selling what I am not?
Or am I hurting my own conscience?

Fame? Is it really worth it?

Friday, April 09, 2010

Bicycle or Bus?

Some shots from my Zeiss Ikon Contaflex, shot with Lucky Color ASA200 Neg.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

My New Old Toy

The Zeiss Ikon Contaflex, Made in Germany.
Image taken with iPhone and edited with iPhone apps.

Found this "new toy" in my dry cabinet lately. I got it about a year ago and only ran through a roll of Tri-X 400 through it but haven't yet developed it. :p So, I decided that I should run a roll of the cheapest color negative I've got, the China Lucky ASA200 Color Neg, just to test it out and have fun with it.

Guess what? The images churned out from this baby are Fantastic! I shall be posting some of these shots in my next post! It's only a old Carl Zeiss Tessar 50mm F2.8 lens!

Thursday, April 01, 2010

My Boy Has Grown

Taken with my IPhone, edited with IPhone applications.