Monday, November 05, 2012

My Quest To Take Commendable Images Part 1

I've tried to be a photographer for a long time. But alas, i am still a Joe With Camera. My love with images started when I was a young kid. I have always love arts. I think i paint pretty well with watercolor - which prompted my parents to send me to some classes to learn more techniques. But I never cut out as one. I have taken (crappy) photos of landscape such as this:
May 16, 2009. Dataran Merdeka.
Which is really...crappy. It's underexposed and doesn't tell a story. I also took crappy stuff, like this
Berjaya Times Square. March 20, 2010
I was using a 8mm Fish eyes, which explained the curvature. But the image is soft and I overdid the post processing - thinking that post processing (aka photo shop) will solve most imperfections. Plus the sky, how can an overcast sky like the above be...nice?

However, some did made the cut and was used by my former workplace as part of their portfolios. So, yes, i begin to take photos as reference for my (former) office!
3C4 aka LHDN's office in Putrajaya. March 20, 2010.
My photo taking skills did not improve much, thinking that they are all about the gears - which are always a misunderstood notion. As per the Page 9, Rule 34, Section 12 of Amazing Photography, Gears is essential, but not a must. OK, i made that up. But you get my point.
I started from Film SLR using an entry level Canon EOS 888, which was stolen one day when i was donating blood. Since then, I have been shooting with my Nikon D90. Something that I saved up over 10 years, waiting for the right camera to buy. The photos above, and most you see, were taken with that dSLR. Sometimes, i get lucky and get images such as the one below.
Ayala Avenue. Manila. March 2, 2011
Such progress over the two years of owning a dSLR, isn't it? The challenge, as always, is to produce the same, if not better images, which I am still struggling to learn. From taking landscape, i started to be braver and do street photography - it is almost like a hedonistic lifestyle where you secretly snap photos of others as you walk by, or sometimes, you ask their permission to take their photos.
Central, Hong Kong. September 10, 2010
There was no eye contact. No composition. It was an "easy way out". I need to improve. I need to be more "in your face".
The newspaper man at my home area. December 1, 2010.
And i failed. Only eye contact i could make were with objects that won't move.
The Walk. March 5, 2010
But I improve. It can be people i know, or work with.
Lahad Datu. April 27, 2010
I soon realised that Street Photography is not just about human or if the eye contact is important. It is about trying to bring the viewer to "see what was there without them being there".
Char Kuey Kak - - Chai Leng Park. April 14, 2011
But you by now know i talk a lot of craps.
Petaling Street. April 7, 2012.
And take a lot of crappy images too. I can almost feel some of you cringing to some of the images above, or to this.
Temple. December 14, 2009. Photo I wished I never taken...
I missed the whole point of this genre. It is about capturing what defines me. So, for a while, i was obsessed with windows...
Window, Hong Kong. April 21, 2010.
And doors
Door. Ipoh, August 20, 2010
Recently, I got brave and gotten a used (but loved) full frame (FX) camera. I had to sell off pretty much of what i have in my dry box to acquire it, and trust me, it was not an overnight decision - but one that I am very thankful of, especially when the purchase was obtained through a very kind hearted man that has been more than just kind with his sharing. Thank you Mac.
Now, If you think that having a good gear will vastly improve my images, perhaps so. But not every time. With this new FX body, i now see 50mm as 50mm and no longer as 75mm (on a cropped, or DX sensor). Which meant, the 20mm lens i have is now super wide. It is a whole re-learning process. Much has been said about getting a good set of lenses instead of a camera body. Well, photography is subjective. I could not afford any of those professional lenses due to the high price. My current primary setup is the camera on a cheap plastic 50mm lens. And I am a happy camper (or Joe With Camera).
Now, to make money out of these...but who pays for crappy photos?
Photography is an ever evolving process. I take pride and take personal satisfaction with the photos I take. Will I see better images? Only time will tell. Stay tuned for more. 

ps- i know some of you are looking for the Powerman Asian Duathlon Championship Race Report. Wait for it tomorrow ok? This post was scheduled from last week and truth to be told, I had much things to do after the race yesterday and could not stay up to write the report. Apologies!


  1. So, you get a Nikon D3?. It is still considred one of the best camera today.

    1. Yes. I was contemplating. I wanted a FX. Best camera body..and i shall try to justify it's capabilities ;-)

  2. It's a very fine piece of equipment. D3 has strong reputation for very clean high ISO noise. Enjoy the camera

    1. Oh yes! iso6400 is still noiseless! That was like WOW!