New Leica M9

Well, its finally official. Leica had announced the new Leica M9 last night, 090909. It sure looks impressive and for USD 7k it better be a great camera. I had considered getting one when the rumours began to circulate a few weeks ago about the 090909 launch. The other alternative is to get a used M8 or M8.2 (used prices for these cameras will surely drop now). I don’t have any Leica lens to start off with so I have to start from scratch. Instead of spending USD 7k on a body I would rather spend as much as can of that amount on lenses rather than the body. An M8/.2 and a 24mm f/1.4 would do me nicely.

One of my most memorable photo assignments…

A page from the DFP MPO 2009/2010 Season Brochure

As far as photo assignments goes, this one is perhaps the most memorable I have ever done.

The Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO) was rehearsing what would be one of their most breathtaking performance in the 2008/2009 Season- Symphony No. 6 in A minor (“Tragic”) by Gustav Mahler. This is a breathtaking piece and I was commissioned to capture the moments from both the rehearsals as well as the actual performance. As I was quietly listening and taking pictures (from afar) to it I had the idea to ask the MPO Music Director and Conductor, Maestro Claus Peter Flor, for permission to sit within the Orchestra while they were rehearsing it. Permission was granted and I found myself sitting about 1 meter away from the Conductor’s podium wedged between a cello on my left, another cello behind me and a voila on my right.

Read moreOne of my most memorable photo assignments…

Camera equipment

I’ve never really entertained any discussions on whether Canon or Nikon is better and whenever anyone asked me I would always reply that each manufacturer has its strengths and weaknesses. Canon’s strength has always been the wide selection of lenses (the EF 85mm f/1.2 L comes to mind as a stellar lens) Nikon has of late come back with a vengeance on lens selection bringing a with lot of new lenses to the market (though I notice no f/1.2 equivalent to the 85mm). I had always held Nikon has an edge (a big one) in is Creative Lighting System (CLS). Canon’s speedlite system and wireless capabilities had always fallen a bit short for me. If there was any reason for me to switch from Canon to Nikon it would be because of the CLS.

Read moreCamera equipment

Reza’s photos being published- MISC Annual Report and DFP MPO 2009/2010 Season Brochure…

In the last 1 month I have had my pictures published in 1 annual report as I was commissioned to take portraits of the Board of Directors and Management Committee of MISC as well as the DFP Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO) Brochure for the 2009/2010 season.

You can check out the 2008/2009 MISC Berhad Annual Report here.

You can check out the DFP MPO 2009/2010 brochure here (be sure to check out Page 11 which is one of my favourite picture).

Merdeka Award Poster picture by Reza Ali

It’s always nice to see your picture being prominently displayed by others. Last year, one of my pictures was selected to be up on the Merdeka Award website and I had written about earlier.

Well, for this year awards, a roadshow was organised to create public awareness on the award. I was walking around in KLCC when I saw this poster from afar and I instantly recognised it one of mine….

Merdeka Award

Reza's picture on Merdeka Award poster

What a feeling. I was just beaming from ear to ear and I bet the people taking care of the roadshow was puzzled why this guy was just staring at the picture..

Leica new camera??? The M9 mystery

I have been mulling the idea of getting a digital Leica for the last 6 months. ‘Shall I get it’ / ‘Shall I not get it’ and it was driving me crazy. One of the reasons I hesitated was because the Leica M8.2 is still not a ‘perfect’ camera’ and I couldn’t justify spending them money.

The internet has been abuzzed with rumours of new products from Leica to be launched at 0900 hours on 090909 and the big speculation was that it will be an M9 which will be a full frame digital range finder. One of the best sites taling about this can be found on Steven Huffs blog where he spends some time writing very good reviews on camera equipment (including the Leicas). He just opened a new rumours page dedicated to the mysterious Leica M9 and the 090909 launch. Leica by the way has been keeping mum on any new products to be released especially on the auspicious date.

Until now….

Needless to say, I will be having many sleepless nights (8 nights actually followed by agonisingly blissful fantasizing after that).

Portraits of the Malaysian Philharmonic Youth Orchestra

MPYO Portraits

MPYO Portraits

MPYO Portraits

All portraits were taken with the EF 85mm f/1.2 L mounted on a 40D body. Natural light only.

Post was done in Adobe Lightroom 2

I was commissioned to take photos of the Malaysian Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (MPYO) during their camp in August. I am not able to show all the pictures yet as we are planning a big photo exhibition at the end of the year in collaboration with the Dewan Filharmonik Petronas (DFP). I did however take some impromptu portraits of some of the young musicians in my make shift street studio which basically consist of a table, a stool and a BIG light source (i.e. the sun) which was streaming in beautifully into the hall.

Read morePortraits of the Malaysian Philharmonic Youth Orchestra