Hello Bird

Peek

I caught this image when I was traveling in India earlier this year. One of the places I visited was Fatehpur Sikre, 1 hour out of Agra which is the home of the famous Taj Mahal. I can’t wait to travel again as I think I have made some progress in the last 9 months with my photography. Certainly if I were to visit India again (and to the same places) I htink my images will be very different now. Definately the equipment will also be different.

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Pasar Ramadhan

Pasar Ramadhan at Taman Melawati

Leica M6
50mm Summicron f/2.0 wide open
Fuji Superia X-Tra 400
Converted to BW in CS3

Taken at the Pasar Ramadhan of Taman Melawati. During the month of Ramadhan, Pasar Ramadhans (or Ramadhan Bazaars) mushrooms in all housing areas in Malaysia. Something about not eating or drinking the whole day makes us famished. The problem is that most of the time, I’d be suffering from hunger pangs by the time I go to the bazaars and I end up wanting to eat everything.

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On Films and rangefinders….

It’s been nearly a week now since I got my Leica M6. I have shot a total of about 15 rolls of film in my efforts to master the type of photography that rangefinders can give. My initial impressions still remain the same. When I cannot depend on technology to make my decisions for me, I have to be more aware of what’s going on and have to think. What aperture? What’s the distance? What’s the shutter speed? Am I metering correctly? All this has to happen in about 3 seconds before I lose the moment. In essence, I have to do what a camera does (with all its processing power) in about as short a time. Pretty tough but that’s what photography is all about.
Doll
My first few pictures were so bad that I had a nasty feeling that I add the wrong decision. Focussing was off. Metering was off. Too little dof or too wide. But I made some images the other day which absolutely convince me that it was the right decision and I experience first hand the might of the Leica lens.

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Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Its finally here. I have been waiting for the replacement of the Canon 5D for the last 2 years now. The 5D was a great camera and the Mark II is destined to be greater still. The specs are awesome. 21 megapixel, hd video capabilities, better weather sealing and much more.

The sample pictures I’ve seen so far are also nothing short of amazing. A few lucky photographers have had a chance to try the camera out. Check them out here…

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Hyperfocal focussing

Fly Away

Leica M6 50mm f/2.0 Summicron
Fuji X-TRA 400

I love this image. Its a little grainy and attribute that to the consumer grade film which I am using. There’s a steep learning curve for me and the Fuji X-TRA 400 is cheap enough to finance my learnings. I’m now going to try professional film such as the velvia and see how it compares.

This image was taken from a moving car. I saw the birds coming my way. I had about 20 seconds to decide what to do. I decided to focus at the hyperfocal distance at f/8. I metered for the sky (which was getting dark) and focussed at the hyperfocal distance for f8 with a shutter speed of 1/500. I knew I had only 1 attempt at making the shot. I put the camera to me eye and as soon as the birds came into view the top branches of the tree came peeping out. I included the top branches and took the shot. All this happened in about 5 seconds. 1 shot was all that I could do.

This is one of the most useful learnings I got from using the Leica and its only been about 5 days. I find that I am actually faster using the all manual Leica than I am when using my dSLRs.

Focussing at the hyperfocal distance is easy.

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Me and My Pentax LX

One of my dear uncle who was an avid photographer (he passed away 4 years ago) gave me one of his old camera many years ago. It was a Pentax LX with an assortment of lenses like the Pentax SMC 50mm f/1.2. The Pentax LX is a classic camera brought out by Pentax to compete with the Canon F-1 and the Nikon F3 which was the top of the range cameras at that time. This is a camera that was built to last. I am not sure when my uncle bought his but I’m pretty sure that it must now be at least 20 years old. Apart from the sturdy construction, it also boasts a revolutionary metering technique which allows the camera to meter directly off the film plane which makes for truly accurate metering.

I decided to dig up the camera and sent it for servicing and am now taking pictures with it.

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Portraits – Wirdalina

Wirdalina

Canon EOS 1D Mark III
EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L at 46mm
1/300 f/4 ISO 100

Learning to utilise off camera flash has given my portrait work a new dimension. The easiest and quickest setup for me is to use 2 speedlites, 1 master mounted on camera as fill and the other as a slave acting as the main light. The master defaults to group A and set the slave as group B, set the speedlites on eTTL-II and control the ratio between the groups, make sure the main is placed to give a nice shadow effect relative to the fill on camera flash and there you have it.

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