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.

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.

Same scene but different perspective

Scene #1

Scene #2

A little bit of background. The building architect is Iversen Van Sitteren & Partners. This building is name Shaw Tower. Standing along Beach road. A 35 storey tower building meant for offices and retails. Precast concrete panel fenestration allowed floor to ceiling gazing in the office units. It offer the building’s undisturbed views of the sea. Shaw Tower remains a distinguish feature in the commercial district today.

Look at the two pictures above. Am wondering which one do you prefer? Some may prefer both images. Some may not even like it at all for whatever reason. A few may choose one of the favourite from the two pictures. Sometimes it can be a headache to select the best picture out of the many. Let’s use this 2 pictures to have a quick discussion.

Scene #1 was the first picture i took. The light was great as you can see, the sky was in saturated blue which i totally love it. A bit of puffy cloud to add as an extra element on the sky. Sometimes i like to include a taxi vehicle inside my frame as my personal style of work. Common colours of taxi vehicles in Singapore are usually in red, blue and yellow. However, i dislike the tree branches on the left of the image. It seems to distract my main focus on the architecture.

Scene #2 i start to make improvement. I’ve adjusted my distance and composed in a way the tree branches is out of the frame. Now you can see the sky is completely in blue colour, the viewers can easily now focus it attention on Shaw Tower. However, there was no taxi at that point of time for my personal style of work. The flow of the traffic is hard to predict, sometimes many vehicles can come all in one time, making it hard to wait for a single taxi vehicle to appear even after a long wait.

What makes a striking image if i have to decide the best out of the two. I think a great photograph rely on line, shape, form, texture, pattern and colour. These are the basic elements of good composition. Every successful photograph rely on one or several of these elements, regardless of the subject.

As i am writing this now, i have a clearer perspective scene #2 would be my ideal choice. If you looked carefully at scene #2, 3 colours; blue, yellow and green caught my attention. And also without any distraction of the tree and vehicle on the road. The building is in a proper vertical manner for architecture photography work.

Case study for work problem and solution #1

Sharing my work experience regarding arising problem on set and creating solution. Photography is not just simply taking a camera and click a picture for the professional. Is also about solving problem and issue on the ground, giving solutions through varies suggestions. These requires with years of experience and handling the situation professionally.

Above is a picture last minute requested from the client to do a portrait picture, and i only have 2 wide angle lens with me, I choose the 16-35mm to capture this picture, another lens is 17mm fixed lens which is not suitable at all. Which explains the picture have more head space on top. Going in too near will cause distortion. In this way i have to make sure my perspecitve is correct. The next problem is there are no proper background inside the shop.I will have to choose an outdoor location with a narrow white wall available as the back drop. Make use of the available tight space and natural light to do this. And this is how the result turns out to be.

A decent picture solution! Click on my website for more great pictures!

Tall Buildings in Singapore

Recently on my Instagram, i’ve posted a series of high buildings in Singapore with over 200m tall. Capture these using a Canon camera, 17mm TS and a 70-200mm f4 lens. I love exploration and documentation series of pictures, is a great chance for me to do what i love.

Let's check out some of the tall buildings in Singapore Marina Bay Suites. Height is 227 metres. 🏢 66 floors. Am unable to show the tip of the building roof due to instagram sizing. 😵😵😵 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . #city_explore #tallbuilding #skyscraping_architecture #skyline #ig_great_pics #ig_worldclub #ig_world #unlimitedcities #world_shotz #worldbestgram #ig_great_shots #tv_buildings #rustlord_archdesign #rustlord_cityview #icu_architecture #singaporeinsiders #yoursingapore #exploresingapore #singaporeig #sginstagram #architecturelovers #ic_architecture #archdaily #captureasiaphotography #singaporearchitecturephotographer #marinabaysuites #kohnpedersenfox #skyscraper #condominium #lookingup_architecture

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Next in line of tall buildings in Singapore is AXA Tower, formerly known as Temasek Tower. One of the tallest cylindrical building in the world. Height is 235 metres. 🏢 52 floors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . #city_explore #tallbuilding #skyscraping_architecture #bluesky #ig_great_pics #ig_worldclub #ig_world #unlimitedcities #world_shotz #worldbestgram #ig_great_shots #tv_buildings #rustlord_archdesign #rustlord_cityview #icu_architecture #singaporeinsiders #sgarchitecture #exploresingapore #singaporeig #sginstagram #architecturelovers #ic_architecture #splash_oftheworld #captureasiaphotography #singaporearchitecturephotographer #skyscraping_magic #skyscraper #pocket_architecture #lookingup_architecture #epic_architecture

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Really appreciate all the LOVES!!

‘Hidden Door’ on ArchDaily

‘Hidden Door’ project is a documentation of series of doors in the backstreet of Singapore. This photo series has been very close to my heart for many years. But there is a problem. No one knew about it, despite all the SEO were in place, it was hardly searchable because there was no need for it. Although i did get some attention when i posted it in my personal social media. There was an overwhelming response from friends, which was great. But somehow i feel is not enough, something is lacking. This become a problem for me for a few years.

Until recently, i just wanted to message ArchDaily. This is an architecture website that serves inspiration and information to architects around the world. The viewership has an over 10 million monthly visit and over 2 million followers on Facebook. Am not sure whether are they interested in my project, but i knew if am not going to ask, i will never know whether ArchDaily will be interested or not? So i send a message. Guess what?? The person that replied me was interested in my series! More messages were exchanged and before i knew it, Boom! ‘Hidden Door had appeared on their website, comes with 595 likes! Simply amazing!

Just do it!