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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Featured Portrait – Man from Bus

When I remember my experiences in Cambodia and India and compare the feeling I get when I take pictures of people, I can say that it’s actually quite tougher in KL than anywhere else. Of course, a lot of it is made up in my mind as I feel so self conscious when I go around with my camera in my home city. That’s probably why I have been obsessed with finding a small and discreet camera like the Leica M8. Going around with a pro body and a big lens just doesn’t cut it for me at the moment. But sometimes it does…..

Portrait - Man from bus

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Featured Portrait – Hayda

Portrait - Hayda

This image was taken last year when I still had my 5D. I wanted to create a classic look with the lighting. This one was taken with just the modeling lights of 2 strobes, one on each side of her.. But the interesting thing about this image is the post-processing. This one was first converted to grayscale and then put through a tritone process. I found the tritone processing tips from TravelPhotographers which has great tips. This particular tritone processing gives a much better impact than normal bw processing I think. I also added a hint of a glow to the overall image to bring out that classic look even more.

This image was taken during a lighting workshop held by Ted Adnan which I recommend to everyone who wants to learn about lighting using flash as well as studio lights. I sure learnt a lot when I attended.

Canon EOS 5D
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS at 170mm

f/2.8 1/30 ISO 500 Manual exposure

Photographers note: This image has been digitally manipulated.

Portraits – BK in the studio

Sometimes its good to do something different.

Wild Child

Red Dress

WIlder

I don’t generally like to take studio type pictures and portraits. Partly because its such a hassle and a pain to set the lights, arrange stuff, wait for the make up and so on. Having said that though, I love the idea of being able to switch from my normal ‘real’ portraits to something completely glamorous. BK is someone that I know and she had asked me to help with her portfolio.

The shots were done indoor and my lighting setup was simple. Flat lighting form 2 Canon speedlites (580 and 580 II) mounted on a stand with umbrella. The speedlites were controlled by the ST-E2. Speedlites were put on manual exposure at 1/4 power output each (after metering with lightmeter).

Make up was done by Awin…..

Canon EOS 1D MARK III
EF 70-200MM F/2.8 L
EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L
Speedlite 580 EX
Speedlite 580 II EX
Speedlite ST-E2

f/8 at 1/125 ISO 400 Manual Exposure Flash fired

Featured Portrait – Man of Jama Masjid, New Delhi

Man of Jama Masjid

I am learning some new processing techniques and have been experimenting quite a lot. This one went through some new processes, the most significant of which is the blending of several layers of the image. Basically, you have the primary (background) image. Duplicate it twice. Desaturate the first duplicate and put the blending mode for the top most layer as soft light. You’ll see the colours change. I love the blue socks here.

Canon iD Mark III
EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS

f/4 1/125 ISO 200 Aperture Priority

Portraits Of Cambodia

Portraits Of Cambodia

I love this image. The colours have popped out very nicely and the background is very ‘rusty’. This was part of a series of shots I took of the kids in Cambodia. They were lining up one after another and I told them to just squat down and look at the camera. It was mid afternoon and the sun was blazing so I had to be careful with the lighting. The sunlight bounced of the ground under me to the girl who was in a shade and she was standing about 3 feet from the wall behind here. I really enjoyed taking these pictures and it was so uplifting to see their reaction when they were shown their picture.

Canon EOS 30D EF 70-200mm f/2.8 at 110mm
f/2.8 1/200th ISO 100 Aperture Priority

Cambodia Portraits

Cambodia Portraits

After over a month of coming back from Cambodia, I have had a chance to reflect on the photography and the images I took. Well over 5000 pictures were taken and I believe I have a few real keepers that stands out. This is one of them.

Taken with the EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS on a 30D (why 30D? I’ll write about it when I recover) this one was a classic case of everything just falling into place. The light and the shadow was just perfect and the look was just sublime. I had to be quick to capture this one as everyone just seems to smile whenever they see a camera pointed at them.

The post processing was tricky as I wanted to make sure I got the details of the wall. A lot of heavy dodging and burning.

Canon EOS 30D
EF 70-200mm f.2.8 L IS at 70mm
f/2.8 1/640th ISO 400 Aperture Priority

Featured Wedding Photography – Henna On The Wedding Day

Henna On The Wedding Day

Malay custom, though based on Islamic principles of marriage, are heavily influenced by the neighbouring areas like Jawa, Sumatra, the Indian sub-continent, China, the Middle East and the West. This is probably due to the strategic position for trade between the China and India and the heavy influx of immigrants from these countries in the early 15 century.

A malay wedding, for example, has many elements of Indian culture and one of the most viisible is the use of henna to decorate the bride. In the present day, the use of henna, though not as elaborate, remains a strong component of the malay wedding.

This picture was taken during a wedding affirmation ceremony (called the akad nikah). The lighting was not good but I didn’t want to use flash so that I can retain the softness of the image. I knew the Canon 5D handles noise at high ISO very well and I also knew that having some noise/grain may actually enhance the image.

Canon EOS 5D
EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS at 200mm
f/2.8 1/100th ISO 800 Aperture Priority

Featured Sports – Nadal V Gasquet

Tennis 20112007 (372).JPG

f/5 1/320th ISO 2500 170mm

Tennis 20112007 (119).JPG

f/5 1/250 ISO 1600 160mm

Tennis 20112007 (407).JPG

f/5 1/320th ISO 2500 200mm

I watched the ‘Clash Of The Titans’ exhibition match between Rafal Nadal and Richard Gasquet last night at Stadium Melawati, Shah Alam, Malaysia. Armed with my EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS, I was hoping to get lots of keeper shots as the ticket I got was very good. Lighting was a problem and I couldn’t use flash. I had to bump up the ISO way up there between ISO 1600-3200 so that I can get the shutter speed above 1/1000th and even that was a problem. I didn’t want to go down to f/2.8 as I wanted to make sure features are sharp. One thing though, noise reduction would beautifully on the Mark III.

All images taken with Canon EOS 1D Mark III and EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS. No flash was used.

Click here for more my images from the match…

Featured Portrait – Jaclyn

Jaclyn

This is another in Jaclyn’s series. Lighting is based on a honeycombed beauty dish on camera right place above head height. 1 softbox on camera left to soften shadows. The white balance was done through colour temperature (7350k) on Canon DPP and I wanted the image to be very warm. This is a heavily cropped image resulting in the eyes to be not as sharp as I want it to be but there is no other way to get this compression effect on face portraits without using a supertele.

See here for other portraits of Jaclyn….

Canon EOS 1D Mark III
EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS at 195mm
f/14 1/125th ISO 400 Manual Exposure