You Are What You Think

Many years ago. I asked myself what other photography service i can offer to earn more money. Been an adventurous personality. I like something that is challenging, a job that not many photographers would want to explore in. Yet, the money is good. The solution came up no later, it was the industrial photography i wish to take on.

 

Do you know our thoughts processes are intimately connected to the physical world. The mind can affect physical reality. So here i was, thinking i wanted to jumped into industrial photography. However with no portfolio at all, i knew i have to head out to make some pictures for a start. I need to show the world my vision of the industrial sector.

So i headed out, take note of where are the possible sites for me to do some industrial photography. I continue to take mental note of what is the best timing to take the picture, observe what is happening on the site that may continue on the following day.

You know what is unbelievable, each day i was telling myself in mind:”i want to do industrial photography work.” It become a repetitive process, even on bed before i sleep each night i was still thinking about it. Talk about developing the consciousness. At that point of time i didn’t even have a clue what is all these mind is thing about.

So, i finally had some great pictures i liked it a lot, posted it up on my website, blog about it as well.

The 3 pictures made below are the result that landed me my first contract for an industrial development later.

If you think you are lousy. You will always be feeling lousy.

If you think you can’t. You can’t do anything right.

If you refuse to speak about your work. Nobody will know you.

Having weak thought for yourself; there will be no goal to look forward, to work on, to develop oneself.

Get The Best Out Of Your Tool

Hello Readers.

The Tool am talking is about digital camera – compact camera, mirrorless camera, DSLR camera etc. With the rapid advancement of technology over the last 5-10 years. Camera functions have improved dramatically since the day I picked up my first Sony compact camera back in 2003 from Cathay Photo. It was a 3.2mp point and shoot, costing me about S$600 during that time.

Fast forward to the current year. The photography industry continue to evolve. Currently in my arsenal, i am using a Canon 5D Mark III for my commercial work, a spare 5D Mark II. Especially the 5D Mark III have amazing features that i did not use at all. Paying the full bucks but only utilising half of the camera capabilities.

Basically, i am using the core function in the camera for the control of aperture, shutter speed and iso. The 5D Mk III camera obviously allows me to deliver high quality resolution image for industrial and corporate client who wanted to blow up the picture for office wall paper.

Nowadays, plenty of DSLR camera in the market offer a dual function capability. Not only does the camera can capture high quality images, but it produce HD video recording for filmmaker and videographer. I have to admit videography is not my interest at all. I did some recording but i did not want to do the editing because it require a bulk of time.

Then, i recently realised how oblivious i was in not consistently using some of the ‘delicious’ tools for my convenience. Such a waste right. Knowing my money was not well spent on the camera complexity.

Just to share, Canon 5D Mk III has this live view camera function for taking still image. For example, night photography. If the camera unable to focus on the spot i want. I can switch on the live view, set my lens to manual mode, through the live view to do a focus adjustment. I can also zoom in on the live view to have a better clarity on my focus. Gone are the good old days of doing manual focus through the viewfinder, which can be quite a struggle. Still, it doesn’t mean seeing through the viewfinder is a day of the past. No, peeping through the viewfinder still offer me a different perspective of the world.

In conclusion, explore and maximise your camera functions as many as possible. Camera manufacturer always gather user’s feedback in order to improve their next generation of product. So, have fun with your very expensive toy.

Photography Art

When i told people my occupation. They said:”Oh you are an artist, that’s nice.” I was always dumbfounded by their replied, felt kinda of unnatural each time. Because i never thought myself as an artist. For some time, i can’t clearly define what does Art mean. I usually see myself as a commercial photographer or a business person, wanting to  provide unique value picture solution for companies around the globe.

In my personal opinion. Art has various form of interpretation. Let’s just focus on photography practice. If you asked me what is photography art. I think it like a visual absorption feast. Is about individual pair of eye get to notice the scene at that point of time or moment, using photography medium to capture it.

Everyone sees things differently, have different way of analysing information. That is why i think the topic of Art is always subjective. The debate/discussion of photography art is not necessary about technical aspect of the execution; aesthetic plays a major role as well. How Art is perceived also depends on the human’s emotion in that moment of connection.

Now as i write, i reflect. I think Art cannot please everyone. But if my photography Art work able to evoke someone’s emotion and interest. I think that is consider a successful piece of Art work (photograph), even if only take a person to admire it.

We all may see a same visual but each mind has a different perception/opinion. For example, put a group of photographers to shoot a vase in a decorated room, each photographer will produce different beautiful picture through their own interpretation. No two pictures will be the same.

How i think now may not be the way i reflect about Art in future. Is still a learning process for me, as i continue to grow, i believe i will find more deeper meaning in Art.

Making Changes For Yourself

Making changes for yourself is never a bad thing, in fact is a renewal experience of oneself. Too often we are stuck in this non perpetual habit that we may not be aware. Is good to get out of the comfort zone, try something that fear you. By overcoming your fear, you grow into a more confident character.

What if you don’t want to get out of the comfort zone. Why not do something you used to like but you haven’t did it for a very long time. This method works too. This will equally boost your confident and feel good about yourself.

I am honestly proud of myself to further develop my photography skill. Years ago i was commissioned by a German base company to shoot a series of clinic interior and some architecture photography around Singapore. Before that, i wasn’t using a tilt shift lens for perspective control, i was stitching all my buildings picture up manually, talk about the hard work and time.



I quickly committed my time to read books about interior and architecture photography, experimenting during my non working days to improve myself. While i continue to shoot for client. My subconscious mind was telling me is time to get this lens, and i did. I knew a good tool helps me to cut down my time sitting in front of the computer doing unnecessary editing. I took a leap of faith, invested in a tilt shift 17mm lens that cost me over $3000. I would say totally worth it. Not only that i make better pictures with my new tool, i saved time as well, most importantly my clients are happy with the work.

So, are you ready to change yourself?

 

P.S. I also make a new change to my blog theme, i just realised the previous one wasn’t mobile friendly to read. This makes me realise i was in my comfort zone for too long, not keeping track with the new change. At least i take action.

Travel Collection – 5 in Vietnam

Four weeks in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam back in 2011.

Was visiting a local famous temple for prayer. The art director wanted some pictures of the locals selling prayer items. So been a non Vietnamese, i can’t speak their native language. The art director spoke to them to get them agree for pictures. Vietnamese always love to have their picture taken, i wonder why, something that still mystify me till today.

I’ve composed in a way to capture more of the background environment in what they are selling, rather than focus just their close up portrait. It depends what story you wish to tell. As this was done indoor, i turned the subject around to the available natural light source. No flash was require to capture the 2 different scenes.

I liked the pictures because both ladies were very pleasant and i like the various details in the background of their work place.

I can see their life is not easy, but their smile showed hope and calmness in life.


Feel free to check out other of my travel collection articles
1 in Beijing
2 in Bangkok
3 in Sri Racha
4 in Nepal

Travel Collection – 4 in Nepal

“Namaste”

When i was doing my travel photography at Kathmandu, Nepal. “Namaste” was the only nepalese language i spoke of in the entire trip. Is a respectful greeting to the local people.

According to Wikipedia.

Namaste means “I bow to the divine in you“. Namaste is usually spoken with a slight bow and hands pressed together, palms touching and fingers pointing upwards, thumbs close to the chest. This gesture is called Añjali Mudrā or Pranamasana. *fascinating*

Capture this picture using a 24-70 lens. Wanted a out of focus background, aperture set to F/3.5, shutter speed running at 1/1600. The morning light was rather heart warming than alluring in the capital. Life in Nepal seems less unsophisticated to me, travelling in a city there feels rural yet, basic modern accessibility is in place.

I spotted this man during my morning walk, the temperature was still chilling. I stopped, observed him. He was selling some products on the street to make a living. I approached him. Said:”Namaste”, hand gesture for picture. He agreed.

“click click”

Share with him the picture, smile.

I capture this picture because of the difficult situation he is in. Been alone in the street trying to make a living can be challenging due to the weather condition, no shelter for him unlike retail shop. His wrinkled face showed how difficult life can be, rather than aging. Or a rather true story of life in Kathmandu.

Yet, he never forcefully try to sell me his product.

Feel free to check out other of my travel collection articles
1 in Beijing
2 in Bangkok
3 in Sri Racha

Shooting personality on the ground without any prep

Adhoc challenge, client ask:”Ricky we need a portrait picture of her, can you help?”

Such last minute usually picks my brain, experience starts to kick in. However my gears were prep for covering the client’s event. At that moment i would love to have a 50mm with me because of the wide aperture to shoot indoor. I usually open it up to F/2 for portrait shoot.

So, this lady am requested to photograph. By the name of Nani Marquina, Founder of Avant-Garde spanish rug designer. Her company name, NaniMarquina . The rug product was awesomely appealing, lay the right designer’s rug across the floor and your entire house can sell for extra few thousands dollar. *self-thought*

Nani was friendly, yet at the time speaking to her. I knew her mind was busy with something else. She was polite at her reply, soft spoken, understand a bit of English. Is my first time shooting a Spanish, nationality don’t bother me. My job is to get a good photo. My time was limited, as usual.

Took many frames, directed her in different positions, observing where the light coming from, should i used a flash to bounce light off elsewhere. Too many technical adjustment but so little time. Still, i managed to pull it off.

As you see in the picture below, my final shot was to get her to sit on the rug she had designed. Her dressing was stylish as well, i love the shoes she’s wore. Her constant wide smile was loving my lens. Her personality already make half of my job done.

Enjoy this picture of Nani Marquina.

Drop me email if you like me to solve your picture problem.