Friday, September 26, 2008

Sometimes to learn is to unlearn.....

For me photography its about sharing......of our experiences and of our knowledge.

Coz photography comes from everything...from our surroundings, the environment where we live in. I was trained formally by a Japanese Pro photographer for almost 4+ years in landscape and portraiture. But the first year I was only carrying his gears and stuff....never was I let to touch his camera. Coz for Japanese ppl, they believed that everything has a soul....and should be respected. Only on the 2nd year did he allow me to hold a reflector.

I once asked did he manage to get his 'photographic eye'....he never answered. It bugged me....A LOT! I pestered him.....and still he didn't budge.

Only later.....and after much later, when I gave up...did he whispered to me...and said....the eye wasn't there by its own. It is the accumulation of years and years of his life experiences....his trials n tribulations. All of that then translated into his photos....bcoz of that he then became sensitive to his surroundings.....

Photography is not about US....its about others....about giving...the ability to see what others can't....and sharing it with them. That's photography to HIM....

I was stunned for words.

It was almost 15 years ago today....and I still remembered what he has taught me.....about giving....UNSELFISHLY!

Sometimes we tend to forget....we always thought that everyone owe us everything. But we are wrong.....its the other way around. Sometimes we want everything to be ABOUT us......well its NOT!

Yes I've won 4 times portraiture awards before...local and overseas.....but for me its not about who we are....or what we have achieved......its about meeting new people and sharing.

Learning will never stop for me........

Coz sometimes to learn is to unlearn......only then one will understand.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Oh...Beautiful Maria........

Just like the song by Los Lobos featured in the movie Mambo Kings. Maria was so captivating in front of the camera.....she really is a gem. Love the song a lot....but now got the girl to match it. These pics were taken during the workshop I conducted to show the participants the different lighting set ups indoors and getting catch lights outdoors.

Had an enjoyable time conducting the workshops and of course with Maria.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Of actor and actresses....

I've always been fascinated with film making. How it's being done.....scripts, direction, behind the scenes. Well today I got the opportunity to do just that. These are the photos of the people that made them happen. It's a TV drama currently being shown on TV3 called 'Kasih Iftitah'. One thing that I can say about them is that they are very friendly and above all very professional in their work....kudos to our local film industry......the people that make it happen. Here's to all of them!

Photo of the month??

Yeayyy.....The elephant shot that I took awhile back won the 'Hot shots Photo of the month' by Digital Camera magazine for the month of September 2008 (a sister magazine of the UK company). I really love this shot for its powerful image and the strong connection. Just can't stop staring at it.

I've won top awards for portraiture on 4 different occasions previously (local and overseas)...but this one I hold dearly. Mind you the previous ones are no slouch either. They were organized by big companies (1 in Malaysia and 3 in Australia)....but I guess this is the first time I won it in the Digital category. Apart from these....I've won landscape, nature and general...but they are just top 10. But now I guess there's no turning back for me...I just want more! (crossing my fingers)

The prize for winning is a copy of the much raved editing software of the 'Adobe Photoshop CS3'. A friend of mine said.....I won maybe because of wishful thinking. For I'm always teased for not having the latest software and still using the old one. he won't have to.

But seriously for's not the gears or's how you translate the image in your mind to print.

Here's the pic of the 'Gentle Giant' again.

Of workshops and more workshops......

These few months was quite hectic for me.....being asked to conduct a few workshops, week in and week out. I believe a good workshop has to have the elements of 'humanness' to it......what I meant by this is cannot learn without first to unlearn what they've learned previously. Then and only then one can absorb this new knowledge in. Absorb and blend with what you know once it has been digested whole. Take in what's useful and throw away what's not. But empty your mind first and take this new info with open arms....

Make mistakes...and you will learn. Teach and pass this knowledge through and the process of learning will accelerate even more.

To err is human.

Portraits....the learning of people

I was always asked this did I manage to come out with strong and powerful portraits? The answer to this is to get that connection with your quickly as one can. It's a study of the human character....your subject. One can't produce strong images if there aren't any connection between yourself and the object. Create that bond....make them comfortable. Ask them questions..let them know you. Be their pals...NO be their best pals.

Only then you can concentrate on angle, timing, composition, lighting etc etc.

I believe that this is true in my case.

Nothing beats nature....

Here are some shots of mother nature at its best.....I really love the sound of gushing water and the smell fresh of morning dew. Even more so for waterfalls....these were taken not long ago with some friends of Hulu Langat..not far from Kuala Lumpur. One thing though about can hope to find mother nature not far from the hustle and bustle of city life. It seems that the calling is here for me to come back into nature photography...after so long into portraiture.