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.

Featured Photojournalism – Malaysia’s Olympic Torch Ceremony 2008

Men On Guard
Men On Guard at KLCC

Horses On Guard
Horses On Guard at KLCC

Olympic Flag
The Olympic Flag

Watching The Flame
Spectators watching the event

The China Flag in KLCC
China’s flag in KLCC

In The Rain
Rain can’t stop me

Malaysia was given the honour of receiving the Olympic Torch in conjunction of the coming Olympic Games 2008 in Beijing. It poured and poured and poured with rain and I was lucky to have gotten away with some shots. Both the Canon 1D series and the EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L lens is weather sealed but its tough to take pictures with raindrops on the lens.

Still. Lots of fun. I was soaked right through to the everything.

As a result of the protests and demonstrations so far, you can feel the security presence there. 1000 police officers were stationed along the route all the way between the main venues. These images were taken in the Kuala Lumpur City Centre Park.

Photographers note: The images have been digitally enhanced.

Canon EOS 1D Mark III
EF 24/70mm f/2.8 L

Featured Portrait – Indian Girl at Jaipur

Indian Girl at Jaipur

This is another image taken from my January 2008 Tour Of India. This one was taken at Jaipur during one of the walkabouts there. Exploring the back roads of the city (well, actually, every road seems like a back road), I was struck by how friendly everyone was. Sure you get the beggars who won’t leave you alone but a good many of them, while not extremely well off, seemed contented with life.

Canon 1D Mark III
EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L at 67mm

f/2.8 1/50th ISO 250 Aperture Priority

Photographers Note: This image has been digitally manipulated to further enhance the eyes and cropped from an original image.

The Right Eye statement on digital manipulation of images

Based on my posting entitled ‘You do not lie with words nor should you lie with photographs’, I am now going to make sure that all images that I post from now on will contain the wordings ‘This image(s) has been digitally enhanced’ or ‘This image(s) has been digitally manipulated’. What’s the difference you might ask. Well, I am still trying to refine it but basically when I say that an image has been digitally enhanced, I mean that I have used image processing software like Photoshop to adjust for certain things such as colour balance and brightness. When I say that an image has been digitally manipulated, I mean that the image has gone through extensive digital enhancements such as cloning and adding of blur in all or parts of the image. I will publish my own guidelines soon but for the time being I will adopt DigitalCustoms Model Ethics Guidelines (Release Version 2.0 – March 1, 2003) which can be found here.

As stated in the guidelines, I am allowed to reproduce the guidelines here in my site.

(Release Version 2.0 – March 1, 2003)

True-to-Life And Utility-Enhancing Procedures

The following digital image editing procedures are permitted to compensate for limitations and defects inherent in the digital photographic process, provided that the impact is to make the photograph more true-to-life (i.e. accurate):
Color balancing/correction

1.0.2 Burning
1.0.3 Correction of lens distortion
1.0.4 Despeckling
1.0.5 Dodging
1.0.6 File optimization
1.0.7 Focus adjustments
1.0.8 Glare elimination
1.0.9 Overall lightening or darkening
1.0.10 Red eye elimination

2.0 News/Editorial Images (Permissible Procedures)
The following digital image editing procedures generally are permitted for news/editorial purposes, unless the nature of the publication requires images to be precisely representative of what was photographed.
2.0.1 Cropping, darkening or focus-softening to reduce/eliminate superfluous material in a manner that preserves the context of the event.
2.0.2 Enhancing an image, or part of an image, when it serves an investigative purpose. The use of enhancement techniques should be disclosed.
2.0.3 Legally-required (or advisable) concealment of a subject’s identity, done in an obvious way (e.g. pixilation).
2.0.4 Adding realistic proportionate “motion” to moving objects. (Some commentators have taken exception to this guideline and argued that motion should not be “added” when it was not part of the image out of the camera. This point, in essence, is that the photographer and not the digital editor should determine whether to create an image with motion. The same issue arises with respect to the application of “fisheye effects” and other effects in image post-production. These important issues must be resolved between a photographer and his/her publication. A digital editor should respect whatever policy is communicated.)

3.0 News/Editorial Images (Impermissible Procedures)
The following digital image editing procedures generally are not permitted for news/editorial purposes:
3.0.1 Adding, removing or moving objects in such a way that the context of the event is altered.
3.0.2 Age progression or regression (e.g. adding gray to hair).
3.0.3 Changing a subject’s facial expression, gestures, clothing, body parts or personal accessories.
3.0.4 Retouching that enhances or reduces the apparent quality or desirability of an item, or the aesthetics of a place.
3.0.5 Using “motion” to create a misleading impression that the subject is moving at a different speed than he/she/it was moving during the events.
3.0.6 Using effects or color changes in such a manner that it is unclear whether the effects or color changes were applied through digital editing or were part of the original event that was being covered.
3.0.7 Using any other digital editing procedure in a way that creates a misleading impression of the events, participants or context.
3.0.8 In nature photographs, special care should be taken to represent animal and plant life in its actual environment, habitat and context (e.g. do not lighten a background to make it appear that a nocturnal animal is diurnal or place an animal in fabricated geographical settings).
3.0.9 It is impermissible to manipulate a nature photo so as to create a false appearance that animals were associating with other animals (including humans), to group animals together in a manner that did not naturally occur or to increase the number of animals in a group.
3.0.10 The enhancement of nature images for the purpose of investigation or viewability is permissible, provided the manipulation is incidental, obvious or specifically disclosed to the viewer.
3.0.11 It is impermissible to represent a fabricated phenomenon as natural (e.g. adding a shooting star or rainbow).
3.0.12 These procedures are impermissible whether accomplished through digital editing or physical editing (“mortising”) of images.

4.0 Promotional Images For News Publications (Permissible Procedures)
The following digital image editing procedures are permitted to achieve promotional objectives (e.g. on publication covers and introductory areas of an article) in a manner that is not misleading as to the events, participants or context:
4.0.1 Modifications of image composition are disfavored and should be disclosed. The cropping of an image to exclude damage constitutes a modification.
4.0.2 Cropping, rotation or image enhancement beyond the repair of after-acquired damage or deterioration (including contrast change) are substantive modifications of an image that should be applied to archival images only when necessary to achieve a proper archival purpose (e.g. analysis of a particular architectural feature) and in a manner that is consistent with the principles herein.
4.0.3 Cropping of the secondary support, frame or vignettes in the original should be avoided when possible. Secondary supports, frames and vignettes should be considered an integral part of a photographic artifact and may carry valuable historical information, such as watermarks, signatures, stamps and studio names. A digital image of a secondary support, frame or vignette may be restored in a manner that is consistent with the photo restoration.
4.0.4 Reference To Journalism Ethics: It is impermissible to modify a historical image in a manner that would violate ethics pertaining to manipulation of journalistic images. Reference is made to the “DigitalCustom Model Rules To Preserve The Integrity of Images For Journalistic Purposes” (Release Version #2.0, March 1, 2003)(available at www.digitalcustom.com).
4.0.5 Skin and hair beautification.
4.0.6 Title (or other text) overlays.
4.0.7 The use of other digital editing procedures in a way that is not misleading as to the events, participants or context.

5.0 Promotional Images For News Publications (Impermissible Procedures)
Same as 3.0.

6.0 Preservation of Source Materials and Ancillary Principles
The original unedited file captured by the photographer (or scanned), and all files integrated into a composite picture, should be preserved as evidence of the extent of editing.
6.0.1 The publication should designate one or more editors to decide ethical issues related to digital image editing procedures.
6.0.2 Artists and technicians who perform digital image editing services that are subject to ethical guidelines should be provided with the guidelines, and be instructed promptly to disclose to the publication any known variance from the guidelines.
6.0.3 Absent information to the contrary, a digital editor may assume that editing instructions received from a designated contact person at a publication are consistent with the publication’s policies.
6.0.4 These guidelines do not address the issue of who has discretion over journalistic image editing for a particular publication (e.g. the photographer, publisher, editor, reporter). The publication should make clear its policies in this regard.
6.0.5 These guidelines are addressed only to journalistic images and are not intended to limit the procedures that might be applied to commercial images, artistic images or images for personal purposes.

‘You do not lie with words, nor should you lie with photographs’

The above quote was taken from a page in the American National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) website.

The author of the NPPA’s code of ethics as found in the NPAA website is John Long who is the
NPPA Ethics Co-Chair and Past President who wrote it in September 1999. He writes in the section called ‘Changes to photographs’ that,

‘I do not think the public cares if it is a little lie or a big lie As far as they are concerned, once the shutter has been tripped and the moment has been captured on film, in the context of news, we no longer have the right to change the content of the photo in any way. Any change to a news photo – any violation of that moment – is a lie. Big or small, any lie damages your credibility’.

Utusan Malaysia

New Straits Time

I am not aware of any such code of ethics for photographers in Malaysia. Maybe its time we have one. Enough said. See here for the New Straits Time article and here for the Utusan Malaysia article…

Featured Images – PETRONAS Twin Towers

PETRONAS Twin Towers

This is one of the very first images that I took when I started photography nearly 2 years ago. The picture was taken with the Canon EOS 300D and 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens. I love this image because of a few reasons. Firstly, the PETRONAS Twin Towers has become an iconic building and people take hundreds of images of it every day. Its very difficult to be original and take a different looking image. The strength of the images I think comes form the composition and tones. Composition wise, the inclusion of the small structure on the left creates a kind of illusion as it stands nearly as tall as the main structure (although in reality its only about 8 feet high). I think the 3 main components of the images really blend together well in this image.

The EOS 300D is a wonderful camera and I still have it and use it occasionally. I will never sell it.

Canon EOS 300D
EFS 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6

f/7.1 1/200th ISO 400 Aperture Priority

Photographers Statement: This image has been digitally manipulated.

Hmmm. Something happening with our newspapers….

Yesterday (14 April 2008), the New Straits Time ran a story called ‘NST says: Get on with the job‘.

I have noticed that of late, the local newspapers have been a little bit less restraint and a little bit more daring with their opinions and newspaper reporting. Its interesting to see whether this trend will continue. All in all, we are still seeing the impact of the 2008 Malaysian General Election.

All in all, very good.

Program Latihan Siswazah PETRONAS (PLSP) 6

PLSP 6 Squeeze

These are 14 young graduates from PLSP that I had the privilege of leading in class today. We had engineers (chemical, civil, mechanical), accountants, an actuary, IT and business grads. They were actually a great bunch and I was sorry to have been able to only spend 1 day with them. Still, they participated very well and I hope they went away with a lot of benefits today. Always a pleasure to do these things.

Note: Ooops. I missed out the electrical engineers =. Where would we be without them….. 🙂

Photographers Statement: This image has been digitally enhanced.

Featured Photojournalism – Jama Masjid, New Delhi 2008

Jama Masjid 2008

I took this image during my 2008 Tour of India’s ‘Triangle’ of New Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. This one was taken at Jama Masjid in New Delhi. It was mid-afternoon and the sunlight was very nicely diffused making it perfect for these kind of images. The challenge in getting these kind of images is to establish a rapport as soon as possible. I looked this man right in the eye, pointed at my camera (asking for permission to take the photo), he nodded and I clicked. Be polite, be quick and be thankful….

Canon EOS 1D Mark III
EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L

f/2.8 1/160th ISO 200 Aperture Priority

Canon EOS 40D Firmware v1.0.8

Canon EOS 40D Firmware v1.0.8 is now available.

“This firmware update (Version 1.0.8) incorporates the following improvements and fixes.

1. Fixes a phenomenon in which Image Stabilization operation emits a sound when certain buttons are pressed, with the EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS lens attached to the camera.

2. Fixes a phenomenon in which the Image Stabilization operation emits a sound from the lens when IS lenses are attached to the camera.

3. Fixes a phenomenon in which a part of the image looks unnatural when reviewed on the LCD.

4. Corrects errors in the Spanish and Norwegian menu screens.”

If you use the camera in Spanish or Norwegian you better get your 40D updated quick.