Embrace foggy situation in Hong Kong

On my last post, i was talking about the fog in Hong Kong. I mentioned how about the downside of the encounter with it. How i adjust my mindset to turn it into a more enjoyable and positive experience.

On that same trip, i make a journey to visit the largest seating Buddha in Hong Kong, “Tian Tan Buddha” in Chinese. This is one of the main attraction points in Hong Kong on Lantau Island. `

Unknown to the foggy situation again, i happily took the MTR from Hong Kong Island to Lantau Island. Then i brought the expensive ticket for a glass bottom, rounded trip on the Ngong Ping 360 cable car – only to find that i am surrounded by thick fog. “What a great way to begin my adventure again”, i thought. For your info, on a clear day, the top offers a stunning 360 degree of panoramic view.

Rather than being sian (bored), i only can embrace this kind of weather presented to me. There is always a positive and negative side to everything. My positive end was to see the moment in a different manner, i quickly learn to see the street/travel moment differently in this type of foggy situation. The fog presented me in a unique way for me to see and photograph.

I remembered having a delicious vegetarian food for a small price at Po Lin Monastery. I enjoyed the atmosphere as i loved to blend into the local culture. If i can speak a little Cantonese i would be able to blend in better, it wasn’t a big problem anyway.

After filling up my stomach, i have the strength to move around Big Buddha area. I see the area in a very quiet way, mainly because there was not much of tourist crowd in this foggy condition. I almost have the entire place to myself. My pictures here were seen in a blurry state. I only can focus on a single subject in the scene, i later realize that single subject stand out well in this heavy fog rather than having different layers of scene. The weather was so foggy that I can’t see the Big Buddha even from a mere 100m until i climb up 268 steps up.

2 nuns were standing there having their conversation for quite a while, i stood there to make some pictures, I was hopeful to be a ninja infront of them. :p

On the platform of the Big Buddha looking up, seems like everything happen for a reason in life.

The bronze statue of the six Devas making offering to the Buddha, another three on other side.

A woman putting her palm together and walking around the huge circular platform in a quiet and respectful manner.

Wisdom Path transported me to the old Chinese dynasty.

You know what – i would love to return here again on my next trip to do a bit of trekking. Most likely i will take a bus up instead of the cable car unless the weather is in super blue hue. It is worth the money to take the cable car for the first-timer, but you are strongly advised to pre-book a ticket through the website as it may get really crowded on a good season. Another reason is there will be maintenance day or even bad weather where the cable car station will be closed. You wouldn’t want to have a wasted trip. There are other option to go up by a bus or taxi.

If you are heading to Hong Kong for the first time to make travel pictures. I have many awesome Hong Kong travel photography pictures if you like to see and be inspired.

If you like this post support me with a ‘like’, please share my post to people who love taking pictures. Please leave a comment as well as i would love to interact with you. Do follow my blog too!

 

 

Advertisements

Meeting New People in Work

An email came in.

“We need you to go xxx place to meet with Mr/Ms zzz for a photo session for our editorial work. Are you able to do it at this time and date, deliver by this date?”

Oh yeah, this is the type of work that i enjoyed. I received many last minute request in the past when i was doing editorial work. I usually will agree to it unless i got a job planned ahead.

Rather than working photography as a job. It was more of a fun adventure for me, the opportunity to meet a new person, visiting places that is not accessible to public eyes, all these reasons excite me. Over time i realize i was actually doing an environmental portraits on location.

In 2010, this (left) was one of my first environmental portrait photography for an editorial work in Singapore. 

Only a flashlight mounted on camera was used.

 

Whenever i reach a new location, ring up the person i am going to meet with, exchange pleasantry. Breaking the ice is very important, it can be quite nerving wrecking for the person to meet a photographer for the first time to have their picture taken quickly. These people i met are not a professional model or having their portrait picture taken frequently. I usually will ask the person to show me where are their working area and share with me any nice environment for a photo session. In-between the walk, i have a few questions to ask them about their work to get to know my subject better. This is a way to make them more relax, let them know i am Mr. Friendly.

 

 

 

Environmental Portrait of an engineer inside an aircraft manufacturing factory

 

 

 

 

 

 

Depending on my subject’s schedule. I usually have 30 mins to 2 hours with my subject. I don’t bring an assistant for a short period, no point bringing huge bags of lights to do set-up, which will be a kill of time. I also need to offer a variety of pictures for the clients to select. I need to prepare myself really quickly to familiarize of their working environment. I will bring a tripod in case i want to stabilize my camera while i can communicate with my subject.

Once i had found a suitable background or position. I will start to give some art directions, telling the person what i want. I don’t need them to deliberate pose, i usually demonstrate simple poses for them to follow, also considering the type of attire they are wearing. Make use of the props such as books, laptop, and files if needed if the person is uncomfortable standing or sitting down for a picture. If possible i would also try to portray the environment they are working if the place is neat.

Regarding the lighting – direct flash can be harsh in a controlled environment, rather than directly firing the flashlight on the subject. I will turn my flash head to a certain angle and have the light bounce it off the wall or ceiling to create a softer tone.

 

 

 

Portrait picture of a radiographer in a healthcare environment

 

 

 

 

 

 

I will also include the company name or branding of the places (2 pictures below) that i am working at, especially when client emphasize it for their requirement. Many years down the road, this became a good habit for me to include branding in the pictures whenever possible.

After so many years of environmental or editorial photography. I am still intrigued today to meet new people such as business owner, CEO and celebrities. I loved to hear more about their job, their thinking about work. There is always a new knowledge to take back home each day. Or even a new friendship.

 

My Editorial lifestyle portrait photography has a wide variety such as
-Celebrities
-Personalities
-Interviewee
-Executives
-Senior management
-Doctor/Engineer/Architect etc
-Government

If you are interested to hire Capture Asia Photography for photography service, drop me an email to enquire. 😉

If you like this post support me with a ‘like’, please share my post to people who love taking pictures. Please leave a comment as well as i would love to interact with you. Do follow my blog too!


Check out my other posts for commercial photography here in Singapore.

Corporate Storytelling Pictures

I almost forgot to share an industrial corporate environment i did a few months ago.

I was tasked by an overseas company to create images for a company based in Singapore. From my understanding, the local company was bought over by an overseas company, so the designated agency requires me to create some new pictures. Spare you the boring business details. Am going ahead sharing the images and explain each in detail.


Is quite rare to see an orange colour wall in the background. I like how the poster was neatly placed. I decided to place a staff right there to show her using the phone while looking into my camera. Also taking note the overall colour scheme is quite pleasing to the eye when you look at this picture, the focus point is straight on the staff. I deliberately include the corner of the laptop as a foreground to add in more depth.

 


Using a 16-35mm lens, the focus was the people in a positive discussion about the products. Items such as catalogue,, writing materials, pen, notebook were placed on the table to reflect how an actual meeting looks like, but i try not to make it clutter as well on the table. The background has a nice shelf that is placed with some company products, i had swapped some items to make it look better.

 


During a photo session. I will always give clear and specific instruction to the staff what to do. Normally, the selected staff got zero experience of being a ‘model’. With the proper guidance and instruction for my inexperience subjects. It is my job to make all of them looks naturally good on camera.

 


Another angle to use, i am capturing this scene from outside the office lobby through the window. Is like a passerby caught the scene of people inside a meeting room in the meeting. I deliberately include the sticker in the foreground as well so the focus point will be the people inside.

 

 
Arranged two staffs to stand at the office entrance to act a scene between customer and salesman talking about the product. i deliberately compose this way as i find it a very good balance. First, on the left are two persons presenting a product introduction, the background also has a nice shelf to house all the products. Next, on the right is the company logo with their tagline and corporate colour scheme in orange.

 


I did another close up of the 2 persons in conversation, with the shelf directly in the background. I just realised even the helmet right on the top of the shelf is so neatly placed.

 


Gather 3 staffs to do a group discussion looking at the computer. In the final picture, i personally like to see the three staffs smiling looking into the camera. The office staffs had previously kept the office neat for the photo shoot on the next day. This will actually accelerate the process instead of doing the arrangement on the shoot day. Because much time will be wasted too.

 


I like the row of the red cabinet that was placed at the corner of the office. There was a board on the wall that was pin-up with images of the company event.  This picture may look like a candid shot, but after taking a few pictures of both men standing there looking at the magazine, u decided to make some position adjustment to see their faces.

 

The client’s brief wanted the overall feel to look as natural as possible. So my method was to hook up the flashlight on the camera, adjust the head of the flashlight in various position to bounce the light onto the ceiling or other direction, depends on the type of effect i want, Another way is to make use of the ambient light with a slightly higher ISO.

The whole shoot i did it without any assistant because i think is manageable after having a very detail discussion with the director of the company. The entire photo session was a very positive experience for the client and myself. The agency that engaged me was satisfied with the pictures too.

Hope you like what i wrote today. Feel free to check out more of my Corporate Storytelling images.


If you like this post support me with a ‘like’, feel free to share my post. Please leave a comment as well as i would love to interact with you. 

Do follow my blog if you like!

EXPERIENCE IN PHOTOGRAPHY

Dear reader,

This is what I think now. Experience in photography doesn’t sell at all.

I believe am the best in creating commercially valued photographs. Today and the future, i only want to make picture with all my heart and soul in it. I want to provide the best photographs for my entire client, nothing less. Telling potential client I have more than 10 years of experience. Some people will still doubt my credibility.

Honestly, i think I am the best photographer in this business. If not I am wasting precious time, passion and commitment in the wrong business.

Today. All photographers are very good; many photographers are competing for one job. I looked at Instagram, I know student photographers are very talented, i can’t compete against them because they do jobs for free to get a portfolio. These kids are probably more creative than you and I.

This is what i think, the number of years taking pictures does not matter anymore. Someone will always be better. This doesn’t mean you should lose faith.

The journey to be a successful photographer is to know how to brand your business, market your name, hustle really hard for what you want to specialize in. Aim to be the number ONE in the field you are strongly passionate about.

Get your new client to write a business testimonials after a job is completed. Make sure you did well, give them more than they asked for if possible.

Offer picture solution, not creating problem

Clients won’t like a photographer to give problem when they got other problems on hand. A professional photographer is hired to give the client picture solution.

Be super proactive

When there is a doubt; check back, clarify, ask a question. Never assume anything.

Unleash your photography skill

You have spent several years practicing photography, sharpening your visual. Unlease all the skill you have mastered, no need to hide secret photography skill. Because the internet leaks all secret.

Be your own self

I am always friendly with people. I make sure people are comfortable in front of my camera. I am very easy to chat with. I always want to be cheerful and a fun person when am working. Because i am doing what i love and passionate about.

Care for your client’s job

By doing a fantastic photography job, not only your client will like your service. Your client can also impress his boss because your client did his job well. Is a win win for everyone.

By having testimonials will squash all doubters. I don’t want to waste time to do much explanation of what i can do. My outstanding portfolio and testimonial say it all about me and my business.

Wish everyone a great weekend.

If you like this post do support me with a “like”, share my post to people who love taking pictures of cats. Feel free to leave a comment below as well. I would love to interact with you. Or ya subscribe to my blog too!

How to capture better architecture pictures

Currently, i know am not the best in architecture photography. I am not the most searched architecture photographer in Singapore on the internet.

However, in my mind i tell myself i am the best architecture photographer in the world. Is better to think am the best than troubling how to go about it. I will continuously hard work on my goals and the answer will eventually reach me.

How to capture better architecture pictures?

Study the great architecture photographer’s work
Study how the 21st century and 20th-century great photographer takes pictures.

Go to the library, dig in books published by photographers and architects firms.

Observe really hard how they compose an architecture picture, read their golden words carefully.

Repeat, and repeat till it gets stuck in your head.

Go read books from Julius Shulman.

Go out and fail
Nobody likes to fail, in today’s world. Most people typically want to achieve an immediate result. If the result is not favorable.

Most people quit.

I strongly encourage you to go out to take pictures and be prepare to fail. Then go out again in the next day or next week, or when the weather is good. Until you got the final picture.

Stay focus on the architecture
Select a building you want to work on.

Circle around the building like a hungry wolf. Observe how the mood of the building change during different hours and days.

Every building has a different surrounding that will affect the final quality of the picture.

Know where is the best spot to take a picture.

Never limit yourself, keep exploring to discover a new spot.

Feel for the architecture
If you are unable to feel for the building, that means you are not spending enough time with it.

I always return to the same building i am working on for many times. I want to develop a positive vibe with it.

Find a spot to stand or sit, marvel at the architecture, be fascinated and curious about it. Have an open mind, then a feeling of excitement will open up to you.

One-time affair
One-time affair is only a short pleasure. The result yield limitation or none.

Nowadays most people use the camera to make an easy picture and spent more time to edit in photoshop. If you want to be the best, take the difficult path.

Buy a tilt shift lens to do great architecture work. This lens is the minimum you must own to start doing architecture.

Start to develop a long term relationship with the exterior or any of your photographic subject, only then you will be able to discover unknown possibilities to achieve a great picture rather than a mediocre.

Building the hype
If i have planned for a shoot day. I usually woke up earlier, celebrate the feeling of excitement by eating a huge breakfast for energy, looking forward to visiting the location. Knowing today will be a wonderful beginning.

I tell myself i will nail it today. I am beginning to build a positive vibe before leaving the house.

I visualize the sky is bloom in saturated blue, the building looks exceptional outstanding on the day.

“click”

Purging from social media images
I am proud to say the purging process i am doing is an excellent way of freeing my mind. I refrain myself from seeing online pictures. Why so?

We’ve admired other people’s work too long. Precious time is wasted on finger browsing images, example on Instagram. We need to release ourselves from insecure, jealousy and time wasting from online browsing.

We must never lose our originality in the practicing craft.

To be special or different, we need to be original in your own way. The secret is to keep practicing and practicing till you are going through the motion.

Don’t let other images that have thousands of “Likes” to swallow you up. Instead be the king of kings.

Uninstall Facebook and Instagram in your smartphone. Now you got more free time on hand, go out to make more meaningful pictures for yourself. Happiness and art can only be crafted by your own hands.

If you are using these 2 social media platform for digital marketing and business, by all means, please go ahead. Traditional advertising needs $$$. Online is almost free if done correctly.

Keep pushing
If you think you are done, you are so wrong.

I keep going back to the same place over and over again. I thought i was done making it. Until i realize there was actually more to it, or even better. Steve McCurry was that type of photographer that goes back to the same place again and again to capture images that turned into iconic images. Images that can let the next generation to study the past.

Develop other processes as well. Instead of capturing architecture in colors, go for black and white architecture images.

Am not sure is developing A STYLE is enough in today market. I feel is better to learn more techniques/method/style than sticking to one. Let’s be jack of all trades and master of all.

You will not be restlessness anymore if you continue to pursue your craft really hard.


This post took me 3 hours to write over nine hundred words. I totally skip my lunch to write on an empty stomach… Is incredibly hard but i will keep doing this.

I know i am not a great writer, I believe there is always room for improvement, i may not realize what is still needed in order to be better. If you have any suggestion please feel free to leave a comment below. However, i wish to share this useful information as much i can through my own experience, and i hope you may absorb something from my writing. If you like today’s blog, please support me with a “like” and share my page on your social media channels. If you have a comment or suggestion, i would love your input too.

Singapore Interior Photographer Service

This is a self-promotional professional photography for interior photography service.

A very quick blog.

I started serious interior photography many years ago when i was tasked to shoot a series of pictures for a start-up company based in Germany. For that project, i invested in a very costly lens at that time purely for this specialized project. I have to admit i want that 17mm tilt-shift lens for architecture photography and to feel good as well. Every man gets excited about a new toy.

For interior photography work. The camera gears am using as such,

Canon 5D Mark III – A full frame camera, nowadays i will utilize the live view screen to check the details when am doing manual focus. Making use of technology to make my life easier, it would be a waste to pay over $4000 to not use such function.

16-35mm – An ultra wide-angle lens can go up to 16mm to cover the width of the space, especially when the place is huge. I usually try to go more than 16mm because of distortion purpose on camera.

17mm Tilt-shift – Making use of the tilt shift function if i want to reduce the foreground, and also for a better perspective if a certain condition doesn’t allow me to have a good perspective. It doesn’t have a built-in autofocus function.

70-200mm – Zoom in for details shots.

Portable Flash Light – Mainly use to fill in the shadow area, give the scene an extra pop and contrast if needed, depending on the lighting condition.

Tripod and Head – Previously using a SLIK tripod i got for the first time when i picked up photography, but the tripod was already more than 10 years old and offers very limited function and safety aspect. It was the perfect time to upgrade to a Manfrotto 190 carbon fiber tripod. Using an XPro 3 Way head to mount my camera. Tripod is extremely important to eliminate blur images.

I usually work on my interior shots using ambiance light. Setting a low ISO, low shutter speed and small aperture for my camera setting. This is more of a photography technical aspect to get a good exposure.

My rate for interior work usually won’t be over a thousand dollar unless the shoot scatters many days or different places.

Drop me an email if you like me to help you in your interior picture solution.


If you are new and wish to find out more about my work

Commercial Photography
– View of Industrial Vehicles
– My Work Flow On Corporate Photography
– I Love Architecture Photography
– Industrial Photography – Construction
– Logistic Photography 
Singapore Interior Photographer Service

Travel Photography
– 1 in Beijing
– 2 in Bangkok
– 3 in Sri Racha
– 4 in Nepal
– 5 in Vietnam

Industrial Landscape

I always try to find a balance between industrial work and finding my art. A very delicate process that is hard to achieve. Most of the time the final pictures usually ended up being the regular requirement by the client, i totally don’t mind at all, after all, i am paid to solve their picture problem. However, if i see an opportunity to do it both ways, i feel is even more beneficial.

Here are some of the industrial landscape shot that i made; both personal and work.

Using a 17mm tilt shift lens, capturing an underground digging site against the series of office towers as a backdrop. 

No drone, not a problem. A bird’s eye view of the machinery in action by using a telephoto lens to zoom in on the activity

When the day is blue and accompanies by some fluffy clouds, is great opportunity to make the tower cranes stand out in this construction environment. Using an ultra-wide angle to capture the entire scene

After months of waiting, finally saw the tanks are ready, the blue sky appeared at the right moment. Was on a boom lift using a telephoto lens to capture this finishing massive product

Capturing the biggest gantry crane i ever come across. The gantry crane was lighted up with starburst effect. I waited for the cars to make a turn for a light trail effect

Construction of an underground train station during the magic hour. Capturing the entire busy area

Is possible to mix commercial work with a little bit of my art. But to produce extensive work like this requires a lot of time and understanding of the site. If the chance arises, and i can do it better, why not.

 


If you are new and wish to find out more about my work

Commercial Photography
– View of Industrial Vehicles
– My Work Flow On Corporate Photography
– I Love Architecture Photography
– Industrial Photography – Construction
Logistic Photography

Travel Photography
– 1 in Beijing
– 2 in Bangkok
– 3 in Sri Racha
– 4 in Nepal
– 5 in Vietnam

Logistic Photography

This is a self-promotional for Logistic Photography Service

I was commission by a company from UK to do a photo story of a logistic operation based in Singapore. Client’s brief was very clear, mood board was attached. I will have a better understand what type of images the client is specifically looking for. I love to solve client’s problem, this is what professional photographer is hired for. Deliver what the client needs, yet at the same time have the free flow of creative space to present the final work.

I always made an effort to do a recce at the warehouse before the commencement of the photo shoot. I have to emphasise it is important to check out the location first before the commence of the actual shoot.

– Understand how the warehouse environment looks like
– Finding the potential photography angles
– Know how their operation work
– Which area in the warehouse is required to rearrange
– Condition of the lighting
– Discuss/speak with the person in-charge of the project in details

Shooting on the vehicle side mirror to picture a glimpse of the action

Logistic personnel enacting their daily work process

Activated the scissor lift for a better perspective of the warehouse

Forklift in action

Staff pulling a pallet jack

Working scene from an elevated angle

Click on my logistic operation portfolio as well.

For enquiry click on my email for your picture solution.


If you are new and wish to find out more about my work

Commercial Photography
– View of Industrial Vehicles
– My Work Flow On Corporate Photography
– I Love Architecture Photography
Industrial Photography – Construction

Travel Photography
– 1 in Beijing
– 2 in Bangkok
– 3 in Sri Racha
– 4 in Nepal
– 5 in Vietnam

Client testimonials

I have to emphasise what works for me may not work for you.

This business method took me a long time to figure out. I am by no way a business graduate. I simply read more to learn.

I realised a lot of small business that just put a foot into the complex world of business may lack clear business contacts. There are plenty of purchasers out there need to purchase a product for specific use, hire a professional service to complete a certain task that is not within individual skill set.

Depending on the type of good or services needed. Purchaser will consider various factors such as pricing, experience, depth of specialise skill, uniqueness, or even the way of communication to a certain extent. Before a deal is successfully seal.


Word of mouth is incredibly creditable. Because if people love your service or product, they will refer you to other people, and so on to expand more opportunities and turning prospects into sales.

If your business is just starting out, it can be difficult without word of mouth. That is when client testimonials plays a big role in the business. Let’s say if someone found me on Google. They visit my website and love my style of work. But they are not sure whether am i reliable or credible? That is when client testimonial comes in; with my client testimonials record, i am able to show credibility and create a form of assurance. This will be an opportunity to justify my service reliability.

I wish i would have know this since day 1 eleven years ago. I understand how much struggle and pain is involved. Is time to take out your phone, ring your client and request a testimonial for your business. If not ask for a testimonials in your next business.

My dear readers, make a living in something you love. Then you got to be very passionate in your own business. There are always room for improvement

Come see my Client Testimonials in my website.

With Love,

Ricky Gui


If you are new and wish to find out more about my work

Commercial Photography
View Of Industrial Vehicles
My Work Flow On Corporate Photography
I Love Architecture Photography

Travel Photography
1 in Beijing
2 in Bangkok
3 in Sri Racha
4 in Nepal
5 in Vietnam

You Are What You Think

Many years ago. I asked myself what other type of photography service i can challenge myself. I got an adventurous personality. I like something that is challenging, a tough job that not many photographers would want to do. Yet, the money is good. The solution came up no later, it was the industrial photography i wish to take on.

 

Our thoughts processes are intimately connected to the physical world. The mind can affect physical reality. Back then, i was thinking how can i jumped into industrial photography. With no portfolio to show, 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 capture some industrial photography pictures. I study what is the best timing to take the picture, observe what is happening on the site that may continue on the following day.

Each day i was telling myself in mind, “i want to do industrial photography work, i want to do industrial photography.” It become a repetitive process, even on bed before i sleep each night i was still thinking about it. Talk about developing the subconscious. At that point of time i didn’t even have a clue what is mind power about.

I’ve unintentionally continued to repeat the whole process; scout for a site, make picture, edit, tell myself i want to do industrial photography, repeat. I finally accumulated some pictures i am pleased with, posted it up on my website, blog about it.

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

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