Pondering My Photography Style?

I was doing my routine run a few nights ago. A question that i was always pondering of: “What is my photography style?” The answer suddenly came to my mind.

I have discovered the answer to my personal photography artwork style. That night as i  was in a forested environment, the weather was almost an autumn temperature, the air was in an absolute freshness after a heavy downpour, the park was almost quiet. The answer i long searching for suddenly came to my mind.

I am squeezing time from the past and present into a single frame. 

Squeezing time from the past and present into a single frame! Honestly, that sounds like an amazing super power isn’t it? To tell my art – First, i am always capturing multiple frames and merge it into a single picture. Second, carefully selecting a scene to produce a long exposure method. Third, taking a picture with a vision of history and the present moment.

(A day without vehicles)

(Remembrance)

(Trainscape)

 (Wonder Full)

Now i think about it, throughout the years, nobody shares with me about what they like about my personal work. As for commercial work, i always ask feedback from the client. It was the usual reply, “Yes this looks great/fantastic/wonderful… bla bla bla.” That is fine because i am providing a service to your business who need to use my expertise knowledge or experience in photography to make high-quality images for their business. If the client is happy, i am happy. Always try to put me in their shoes to meet the expectation required.

Love photography
I do it because i love it, i have the passion in it. I created a picture from scratch is not because of the market demand or popularity. I created a picture through my own ideas and imagination. I want to be inspired by other great photographer’s work, check out their work too.

Find your own style
My answer to you is to keep making more pictures, create more personal projects, read up more books from those great master photographers without restricting any genre. Continuously reflect on your personal work, belief in your art, don’t be bothered whether people like it or not. Most importantly, you must enjoy the process and the final outcome. I believe your answer to your own style will eventually come.

Check out the master’s work
If you are into architecture and interior, check out Julius Shulman impressive visual. If you love street photography, Henri Cartier-Bresson is a must to understand his insight world. If you are into landscape photography, study Ansel Adam in-depth knowledge of making a landscape picture timeless.

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My unnoticeable photography projects

Because i love photography
I work on an idea that came to my mind
I use pictures to share my thoughts and imagination
This is my own unique visual art

I am grateful to receive my first publicity through Archdaily and other sources. Hidden Door was a 2 years photo project exploring the back lane in Singapore. Someone from France wanted to buy the above print after the news spread. But he said my price was too steep, giving me an art print lecture over the email. I still dream of having my Hidden Door exhibition in the local museum. An art work that local people able to relate. I never enjoy art that is too abstract or too deep of a meaning that is too profound to understand.



Illumination was my first series photo project. I remembered a friend was pointing his camera on a lighting display or ceiling light whatever you call it. The idea set me off to a series of exploration of interesting lighting design around Singapore. I still remember i was using a Canon 20D and later a 5D to document all these pictures. I suffered a neck sore for looking up for a prolonged period.


Singapore Public Art Sculpture was about seeing how the sculptures co exist with the environment. Moving around the city area to find interesting sculptures.


These Chinese Guardian Lions or stone lions were believed to have powerful mythic protective benefits. It is usually station at the entrance of a place or entrance to a building. Give you any chill?


I had this imagination of living in a day without vehicles. We breathe in clean and fresh air wherever we go. In 2016, one of the government board allows me to display my work in their public event. I was excited to make my own prints to bring it for my first exhibition. I never said it before, my first time was a horrible experience as the prints fell flat on the wet ground, my heart was immediately broken. Then the Minister (VIP) came by to visit with his entourage, his first comment was:”Wa this looks like a ghost town”.

*roll eyes*


1% inspired by Stephen Wilkes “Day to night”. An idea struck me how does it look like with train running on each track. I name it Trainscape.


Wonder Full is a project from 2015 to June 2017. Capturing the laser show of the famous Marina Bay Sands. I got to stop the project because the Wonder Full light show has come to a halt.

I reflect on my photography style after 11 years
I love taking on long-term photography project
I can be live patiently with photography
These pictures are my children

A short holiday in Ho Chi Minh City

My partner was very generous to give me a free air ticket to Ho Chi Minh City as my birthday present. Thank you dear!

I haven’t visited Vietnam since 2015 i think. This is the first time we are traveling to this Ho Chi Minh City. Much has changed in the city, the familiar walkway i used to travel is going to be removed soon, the Japanese restaurant i often patronize was gone, many shops were starting to close down, all these are due to the development of underground train.  Is kinda of sad, but the country needs to continue to develop to improve the life of the local.

I bought a DSLR camera and a tilt shift lens with me on the trip, nothing more. I was more interested in the local architecture since i took more interest in architecture after my last VN trip. Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t the best throughout the trip, i didn’t bring my camera out most of the time. I only managed to make less than 15 pictures on this entire trip, and only a few pictures barely can make it.

My mindset from the start was the outcome of the picture was least important, i already knew the weather was going to be less friendly. But i want to see the local popular architecture through my camera using a tilt shift lens, i want to have a feel of it in overseas. Other than that, it was mainly bonding time, my partner and i were tasting lots of very delicious local dishes, gosh this is another food heaven country.

Only 4 pictures of architecture from Ho Chi Minh City to share and one night scene from my hotel swimming pool

A very interesting building that is filled with cafe and living space, can be seen along the street of Nguyen Hue

Palace Saigon hotel along the street of Nguyen Hue

The very famous local landmark must visit is Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon

The Myst Dong Khoi is an upscale hotel with a rooftop bar and swimming pool. I love how the building is embracing greenery all over it.

From my hotel, Liberty Central Saigon Centre Hotel. I placed my camera on the ledge to capture this night scene, probably the most difficult thing i ever did because there is no auto focus on my lens, no cable release, no tripod. Extremely hard to compose as the live view from my 5D MK II old camera is spoilt.

There are lots of hotels and budget hotels in Saigon, depending which area you wish to stay. If you are not really on a low budget, want to stay in a mid price but a good hotel. I would like to recommend you to stay at Liberty Central Saigon Centre Hotel. Is only less than a min walk to Ben Thanh Market. Lots of delicious food around the streets, In my opinion, this hotel is very centralized for me as i can head to many places easily. In the past, i was staying in backpacker street and i have to walk a pretty far distance to Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica and so on. This was also my first time swimming in a hotel pool on the roof, the view is really scenic in the night.

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

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Check out my Ho Chi Minh City travel pictures too.

    

 

 

Photo Walk at Pandan Reservoir

Took the chance with my partner on the weekend to go for a hike at Pandan Reservoir. This reservoir is located in the western region of Singapore. I think this is the only vast place on this island that i can feel more relaxed and to generate ideas.

Pandan Reservoir has a length of 6km. You can either walk, jog or cycle around the reservoir. Recommend you to bring a bottle of water to quench your thirst, as there is only one water station.

I brought along my 5D Mark III camera, mounted with a 70-200mm lens for the walk. I know i will be zooming in a lot rather than doing a wide-angle picture. The weather was great but hot as usual. I was ok with it, but my partner finds it a bit torturing. Thumbs up for her to complete it under the hot weather.

If you like taking pictures using your DSLR camera, and is your first trip to Pandan Reservoir. I will suggest you to bring a wide-angle and telephoto lens. There are many different viewing points as you trek along the mild sandy path.

14 pictures will be shown below


View of an industrial architecture picture, behind it is Clementi neighborhood


There is few dedicated area for the public to enjoy fishing


Another view of Fusionpolis building (center) i always wanted to capture from afar


Singapore produces the world’s largest builder of oil rig for global demand


An architecture view of the industrial logistic building


Zoom in to enjoy the colors


I always wanted to capture CWT logistic building in it best light form. The lighting was fantastic on that day. Blessed!



Industrial architecture that caught my eye


In the background is Singapore first offshore power station

If you are a traveler visiting Singapore, and your purpose is to visit some of the parks or a good hike. I would recommend you to go Pandan Reservoir. Make sure you have your sunblock applied because it is an opened area, there is small pocket of shelters for you to rest. It takes about an hour plus to complete the entire reservoir.

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

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Check out my other exploration

 

View from the window plane

I was given a seat at the aisle inside the plane. It didn’t bother me much because it was only an hour and 40 minutes to reach Ho Chi Minh City. What bothers me was seated in the last row, behind me are 2 toilets. Where unnecessary smell is not required in this journey. Luckily the row in front of me was empty, i quickly hopped over to the front with my partner.

The sky was gloomy through the flight, i look at the window, nothing interests me to visually from an aerial perspective. I read just a few paragraphs of Jack Ma book before dozing off.

The pilot informed us that we are 30 mins away from Ho Chi Minh City.

I went to the middle seat and try to look out the window. I can see the river in Vietnam. I have seen this sight many times, never fail to awe me. The sky continues to be in bad mood, a few minutes later i saw a ray of light shining through the dark and heavy cloud.

I quickly exchange seat with my partner. Whipped out my Huawei Mate 9 mobile phone. I set it in monochrome mode, increase contrast to +1. Excitedly started to snap picture after picture. Decreasing the exposure value as i quickly warmed up my creative juice.

My best picture ever made from a plane using a phone.

 

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!

Writing a photography blog

Dear reader,

After blogging a bit more consistently for a few months. I realize blogging is not an easy work when getting serious about it. I need to spend at least 2-3 hours to finish a post, usually with less than 1000 words. My blog is mainly about my Singapore company photography service, sharing the process of the commercial photography aspect, my personal thoughts on photography, storytelling of pictures, travel photography in Asia etc.

We blog for a various reason. Sharing useful contents, updating information, documenting a personal diary or posting visual art for the cyber world readers. The positive thing about blogging is we are not restricted to write a whole range of topic of anything in this world, there is no limit at all. As long the blog post is useful and helpful to anyone who is searching for any specific blog to read and discover.

I realize one of the benefits of blogging allows me to develop my sentence structure and grammar, develop my own style of writing. I also rather write the key points than going about a long boring story. I am pretty bad at writing all these years. Rather than seeing it as an obstacle, i see blogging as an opportunity to improve my language skill. Is important to put me constantly in the learning process. If we stop growing, life would be dull.

Good news! Blogging makes me think a bit smarter, write with a purpose in mind. I aim to be the most searchable commercial photographer on the internet. I got no idea when can that happen, but i know if i keep blogging good contents. I can achieve my goal one day. If you have any advice about improving my blogging skill and ranking, please let me know.

In the long run through blogging. Not only i want to achieve my ranking goal on the internet. I also want to empower more hobbyist to improve their interest in photography – such as offering photography tips and advice to improve their skill. Photography is a skill that requires many years of experience to be really good at it, constant feedback is needed for improvement. I would encourage you to drop me a message to check out your work.

Thanks for reading!

 

Photography project for your weekend

Are you running out of idea for what kind picture to take over the weekend? Or not quite clear what theme or subjects to work on?

Especially if you are new to photography, it will be quite a mess to shoot anything and everything with a clear goal. Photography is not about shooting everything in your path. Photography is about making pictures that has meaning to you, mapping a memory, or creating wonderful art and so on.

So, if you have run out of idea, here i am going to suggest to you a theme for you to work on. At least you can be focus in a theme i am going to share with you. Ready?

Photograph Red colour.

Anything, that is related to red color, capture it.

Red been a bright, outstanding color that can be easily differentiated from the environment. Very enticing, easy to spot.

It doesn’t matter what type of medium you are using. If you don’t have a DSLR, use a camera phone, if you have an old compact camera – by all mean take it out and use it (make sure you full charge your battery). If you have the love for film, you can try using a different type of film grade to shoot red colour.

Some pre-visualize scenes i had in mind for you to photograph for the weekend.

people on the streets wearing red clothes
a red umbrella opens up
a red chili or tomatoes
a red traffic light
a red signboard
red door/wall
artwork

Imagine all the unlimited possibilities you can discover, the excitement to go out and seek new pictures may leads to something even better.

This is a technique to train your eye to spot a specific subject out there. Over time you will be able to see the surrounding differently from other people.

Sharing some pictures example below, these are some of the images i have captured in work and travel. See the endless possibility!

If you want to be more inspired. Browse through my photography website to find more of my red colour images. Is also a part of training too. ;}

Wish your a really amazing weekend. I look forward to see your pictures.

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

Travel Photography of Cats in Melaka

I went on a Melaka trip with a good buddy a couple of years back. It was my first time exploring in this artistically UNESCO historical city of Malaysia – the city has numbers of beautiful wall murals, good contrast of colors, the morning light was extremely beautiful. Of course being me who likes to explore around, adventuring around a city truly excites me.

Travel photography is perhaps one of the most difficult subjects to do in all photography. Travel photographer needs to have a very good eye to see the environment differently.  My goal in travel photography is always to do my best to capture the best view i can in general, within the given time frame i had. Not forgetting to savor many delicious local foods and visiting popular attractions.

There are so many beautiful and captivating pictures to share about Melaka city, and to share it all at one go might not be too digestible to you. I have decided to break it down into portions for your to enjoy what i had captured on camera.

If you are similar to me, that like cats. This is the perfect blog post to read on for travel photography tips.

Cat photography is one of the most fun subjects to photograph. There are so many different ways to take really amazing cat pictures. From what i have generally observed, most people would take pictures of cat from a top down angle, or squat down to make the picture. Some will use the zoom in function to do a close-up shot of the cat.

I am going to share some cat pictures in Melaka that i have captured. Further sharing with you about some cat photography tips – the method or thinking process when capturing these fluffy little cats.

I was roaming in the street and was surprised to come across these group of cats behind a gate. All of them were looking at one direction with their head in parallel with their body position. I simply got no clue what they were staring at, hope is not something scary that i can’t see. Anyway, the gate grill opening was suitable for most of my lenses to poke through. I quickly changed to a fixed focal length of 50mm lenses. I made a gentle squishy noise to get their attention, four of these cats turned their head around and i quickly made many frames from it. Their expression seems to have the same serious look, maybe annoyed because i had disturbed their focus on “something”. I love how that ginger cat hiding behind the gray cat with it head peeping up to glimpse at me. The background wasn’t too messy which is a bonus. The environmental colors were a bit flat because of the lighting condition, but this makes the group of cat stand out really great in this picture.

St. Paul’s Church is another sightseeing venue in Melaka, i was surprised to see many cats “station” up on the knoll. This picture is the church ruin interior. I saw this cat was sitting on the ground looking around, not be too concern about the flow of the crowd. Instead of doing close up, i did an interior picture with the cat relaxing in the foreground, to showcase the height of the place and how small the size of the cat was. Maybe i shall title it as “Cat relaxing in St. Paule’s Church”.

There were quite a few kittens been very playful. Judging from the size it must have been a few months old in this world. Been curious about their new environment and flexing their agile nature is these little creature’s innate. Is very rare for me to see kitten climbing up a tree in Singapore. But here, the cats were truly a Kampong cat – chasing and pawing each other. It was a wonderful sight to witness these little creatures in their most natural behavior. For the photography part, i will observe the habit of this cat before taking pictures. I need to understand their movement, then pre visualize what to do before i spring into action. In this case, the cat were moving quite fast. I need to have a faster shutter speed to get a sharp frame. I saw this kitten loves climbing up the old wooden pillar, it went up and jumped down, then went up again. Such a playful little one. So i position myself and hope for the kitten to make its next jump, and it did! I quickly capture many frames and different compositions. For this picture, i love the depth behind which showcase the stone slabs in the background. I like the overall  balance of  shadow and lighting. The raw bricks on the left frame were probably smeared with a layer of concrete, showing much age of this 15th-century church. The color were rather brownish which is very balance. I feel a large print of this picture would truly justify the quality of this cat in action.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seeing the cats and kittens running around with such great mood. This cat went into the shallow drainage for a little adventure. I quickly went forward, get down really low to make some pictures. Surprisingly this curious cat suddenly popped its body out of the drain, standing on the hind legs looking at the camera. I would be disappointed if i miss such a rare moment. Look at this, the cat was making an eye contact with the camera for a moment. Its right paw was resting on the surface maybe to balance itself. Maybe i can title this “Portrait of a Melaka cat”

The last one was this fluffy small kitten flushing its body parallel with the ground. It seems scared. I used a telephoto lens, standing further away not to scare the little creature. I put my camera between the drain, switching on the live view function to get this shot. I was in a very awkward position to take a picture, luckily no one was around to see my silly position. I love this shallow depth of field. The focus is on the kitten’s face. Sadly the cat looks either too scare or was hungry, it has this death stare.

I hope you like the story and my very own cat photography tips of these amazing animal.

Check out my travel photography website gallery for more of Melaka stock/travel images.

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 post too!

How i started Architecture Photography

Dear readers,

This is a short story how i fall in love about architecture photography.

Many years ago, an architecture photographer shared with me about his thoughts of taking architecture pictures. He said, “You must feel for the building, talk with the building.” At that point, i thought he was mad. How do i even talk to a building that was built with concrete and steel? The interest for architecture was not in my biggest interest at that point in time. However, those words turned out to become a golden advice. I have to apologize inside my heart thinking he was mad.

How did architecture embark into my life? About 4 years ago, i was required to visit several places in Singapore for a German start-up company. This company sent me a long list of the brief of the Do’s and Don’t for their picture requirement. That was how i truly understand about capturing interior and exterior photography, i also further study it through books and online to increase my knowledge, go out to the field to practice, and finally the editing.

On a personal note. I left my good career as a soldier to pursue photography 11 years ago. Only recently, i start to understand what i want to achieve. Visualize my career goal is ultimately an established commercial photographer (architecture, interior, corporate, industrial), jetting all over the world to take pictures for many top companies, providing them with great pictures for their marketing materials, let the world see my pictures. Commercial photography jobs have developed into the​ main stream for me. I truly love visiting​ various type of companies to capture a ​different set of photo requirement or a visual telling story requirement for clients. I never hate the traveling part, is always a very refreshing experience. I loved the challenges that were thrown onto me. My company always aims​ to provide a picture solution for all my client.

I have recently reshuffled my photography website. I have categorized​ all my photos of architecture by the name. Rather than putting various architecture pictures all on​ a single page, which can look​ so shambles. It was a lot of hard work to do it, but i think it is really worth the pain to look more organized, and professionally presentable. I had a clearer picture what i can do to make the picture better.


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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.