Back from my honeymoon

Finally .. woohoo.. back from my honeymoon in Hokkaido.  It was fun, but I’m glad to be back too.

Had a wonderful time with Steph, and together, we took many great keepers.  While I’m post processing them, here are 2 beautiful ones first.  Minimal post processing were done; just tweaking the contrast slightly.

The shot below was taken at Shikisai-no-oka flower gardens.  I really like this place.  Prefer here than Farm Tomita as although smaller, we get to drive buggies around, and stop whenever and wherever we want to take pictures of beautiful flowers.  Thought it would be fun to play around with a long exposure to see how the effect of Sunflowers breezing through the sun.  Was using the 17-40mm lens @ f22, 30 secs, ISO 100 with the B&W ND110 10 Stopper filter screwed on.

As we were moving from Furano to Abishiri, we stopped by Ginga Ryusei Falls.  In all honesty, I wasn’t too keen on the 2 waterfalls as there were little to aim at, and they didn’t look that nice too.

What interested me was the stream below them.  I went down to take a better look, and this was what I got.  Shot wide open @ 17mm, f11, 25 secs @ ISO 400, with the ND110.  Cheated with a higher ISO to ensure my shots are kept @ below 30 secs, so that the entire tour doesn’t wait for me.

Hope you like these two.  I’ll be adding more soon, so do come back.

Comments please…

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How to overcome your fears in Street Photography

Hey, it’s nothing to be ashamed of.  right ?  Google the above topic and you will see that fear is still prevalent as a street photographer.  It’s human nature to resist taking a photo without permission of someone else.  Will I get punched ? or abused ? or be shown the finger ? or whatever.  Hey, I have a young family with me, so I have to be accountable to them right ?

Well, you’ve heard it from me first in here.  I’ve never ever been abused, punched or shown the finger yet.  Not once, uh hmm.  Well, it’s also good to note that, that’s because I’ve only actually been out taking street photographs fewer then 5 times with my x100.

But hey, don’t take it from me.  Check out Eric Kim’s tips on how to get overcome your fears.  He’s given 31 tips (or days to try each out), ranging from pretending that your camera was spoilt when shot taken, or closing your eyes just before you take that shot, or shooting from the hip …

I’ve tried out his techniques while shooting and they do work.  So while I’m honeymooning in Hokkaido these 2 weeks, here’s something to help you along your way.

Oh yes, one final tip.  Just smile after you’ve taken the shot.

Here are a few hip shots I took during one of my trips to Orchard.

 

Heck, I’ll try anything to get exposure.

When I first received an invitation from Oriental Hotel Singapore to participate in a contest, I was pensive.  First, let me declare that this invitation was sent as an Electronic mailer, i.e. was for everyone whom is in their mailing list, and not because I’m some celebrity photographer.  I wished.

Anyway, so I wasn’t too keen, because I had to submit 3 photographs on food.  Although I do take a few here and there, it’s only for fun, unlike Street and Landscape photography, which I really like.  However, if they do like my initial submission and call me up, I will be with a group of 9 fellow photographers invited by the hotel to shoot their mooncakes.  I’m dying for some form of exposure.  So since I’m having a company retreat today, and was going to Carousel for lunch, hence I thought why not, let’s try.

Being a buffet, I had to decide on the arrangement of each ‘dish’.  So played around with different colors and theme.

So here they are below.  My first attempt at food photography with my x100.

I love my sushi, and I do take almost any kind of raw fish sushi, but I never did like Tamago (Egg Sushi) and the seaweed sushi (The Green one), and I almost never take ginger, but for the sake of the photo, I took the most colorful ones and played around with the arrangement.

I love any kind of sashimi.  The above shows the sashimi available for lunch, i.e. Salmon (Orangy), Tuna (Reddish) and Yellow Tail (slighly transparent).  The carrots and the small piece of green leave was to add additional color.

So we arrived at 1pm, and we were informed we only had 1 hour before they close the buffet.  No choice, had to be selective with the food I choose, so I opted for the Drunken Prawn next.  Not my favourite though.

My colleague took 3 huge slices of the roasted beef, and I thought I should too.  But having a bigger belly then him, I opted for one slice, with 2 lamb saussies.

Lastly, dessert with coffee.  The chocolate ice cream was heavenly.

So there you have it.  My first attempt at food photography.  Should not be my last as I have another sumptious dinner tomorrow at Dozo, so hope to bring you more of that if I can.

As usual, do give me your comments if you can yah.

Excuse me, but are you a model ?

So there I was minding my own business, (well, not really minding my own business, but trying to apply what I learnt from Eric Kim, on how I can do away with my fear in street photography) when suddenly, right in front of me, there was this scene literally unfolding infront of me.

I was puzzled as to why I saw 2 photographers, in the middle of Orchard road (The shopping belt of Singapore) with their long lenses.  Then, I saw it.  They were taking some fashion pictures of a model, and thank God I had my x100 with me.

Thought it would be fun to take shots of the shooter and the prey.

So there you have it  The main photographer in the middle, Sidekick #1 on his right, and sidekick #2 on his left….  or that’s how I perceive it.  I didn’t ask them though.

The expression on some of the faces of the street crossers were priceless.  So I thought I have some fun with them (Click on the image to see the full glory).  Do try to pick out the photographer.

Chances like these are few and far in between.  Was wonderful the X100 is small enough for me to put in my bag and bring it at all times.

Again, you may click on the individual image to view it much clearly.

Thanks.  Again, please give me your comments, especially my rendering to B&W.  Would like to hear comments on that.  I used Nik’s Color Efex Pro for conversion.

Barton 1972

Just bought a strap for the x100.  I never liked to use straps.  On my 5DM3, i do not use straps as I find them too cumbersome.  Also, the grip of the camera is really very secured, and hence feel not necessary.

However, the x100 feels slightly less secure in my palm.  I do not like the strap that came with it.  I’ve been to Steve Huff’s site, and love the straps he bought for his M9.  It’s actually from this shop in HK called Barton 1972.  Really got nice straps, so bought one.

Once it arrives will take a photo of it with the x100.

Yes, even though the x100 is on loan from a friend, but if I do buy it, at least I have the strap ready.  If I don’t I can use it on my 5dm3 then.  haha.

So after ordering from Barton 1972 on 3 July, it arrived yesterday, 11th July, about 8 days later, which is quite decent.

Here are some images of the strap.

Packaging was simple.  Delivered in bubble wrap with a nice postcard.  The strap feels really excellent.  It’s definetely made of high quality leather, and the braids really made it look very nice.  Most importantly, it stretches, so if you’re carrying a camera with long lens it takes the strain away from your neck and back.  Really good buy.  Final picture with MY x100 now.  I bought it from that friend of mine.

Changi Beach

I had the chance to shoot with fellow Clubsnap member fibredrive last week.  He brought me to a familiar place (for landscape photographers) at Changi Beach.  Told you I was a newbie. Gosh I didn’t even knew the place existed.

When we got there, it was like almost 7pm.  In my heart, I was like “Well, we missed the golden hour”.  Oh how naive I was.  Fibredrive proceeded to setup his gear, and composed his shots.  Little did I then know that the “Blue hour” actually begins from 7.15 – 7.45 where the camera is able to pick up wonderful hues of blue and orange the sunset was giving.

As a newbie, I followed his composition, and took about 20 shots in between a 10 min period.  Each exposure ranging from 2 secs – 15 secs.  I then used Nik’s HDR Efex Pro and Color Efex Pro to post process it.

Quite please with myself on the end result.  Certaining given me the confidence to approach the same genre the next time.  Hope you like it.  Do feel free to give comments please.