Snapping Dreams

Archive for January 2010

52 breakfasts: #03

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My 3rd entry is Bruschetta!

It was originally meant for last week’s 52 breakfast but it didn’t go well, and I ended up with my English muffins with eggs. Decided this week that I had to give the Bruschetta another try just cos I love the colours so much (and of course cos it’s yummy!). So here it is!

As you can see from my other blog posts, I’m quite a collage person. I like how different pics can come together as one.

Here I have the ingredients in one pic and the outcome in another. It’s quite a common way to put together a collage, using before and afters. Other examples of putting together a collage can be taking close up pics of different parts of the subject (like what I did for 52 Breakfasts: #01) or normal pics and their zoom ups. Sometimes, even completely unrelated stuff makes a good collage!

Here’s a Flickr group which you can check out for more collage ideas: The Diptychs – two is better than one!

*****

Not the most original Bruschetta recipe, but definitely an easy one for those mornings where you have little time but crave for something nice. Here’s what I did:

1. Toast the French loaf or bread or English muffin, whichever you have at home.
(French loaf would be a better choice but I didn’t have any so I used English muffins.)

2. Cut the tomato into cubes and put into a bowl. Add in cheese.

3. Mix with some balsamic vinegar, basil, salt and pepper.

4. Spread tomato mixture on toasted French loaf.

Written by SE

January 26, 2010 at 10:27 pm

Posted in 52 Breakfasts

Book: Wedding Photography Unveiled – Part V

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V. Portraits And “Formals” – Posed, Unposed, and in Nature

First, I find the spots that interest me, and next I tell the couple where to stand or encourage them to chat with each other and enjoy each other’s company. Whatever happens after that just happens, naturally. ~ Chenin Boutwell

It’s important for me to chat with a couple beforehand… to discover what – as well as where – is important to a couple. ~ Philippe Cheng

Locations aren’t just locations. They play a very big part in photos. Not only in terms of composition but also in terms of helping the couple be at their most natural and helping them pour out all the emotions in front of our big black camera which most of the time doesn’t help much at putting people at ease.

As pointed out by Philippe Cheng in the book, it is important to find out what and where is important to the couple. For example, taking pics of them at a place where they had their first date would bring back many memories which would bring out lots of emotions. And of course, asking them to share with you some memories from the first date would help put them at ease even more.

One thing she never does is scout a location ahead of time. “I find that the light is going to look different at different times of day.” (On Chenin Boutwell)

If she hasn’t photographed at a site before, then she will go ahead of time and check it out – she’ll even try to go at the same time of the day that she is going to photograph the ceremony, couple portraits, and family shots.  (On Suzy Clement)

As you can see, there are different opinions on whether to scout a location ahead of time. I’m with Suzy Clement on this. It’s good to know the location beforehand. Of course a lot of things might be different on the day, e.g. the light, the people, the mood. But being prepared will keep us calm and help open our eyes to opportunities. Scouting a location ahead of time doesn’t mean you must have that particular photo you’ve planned in advance. It simply means you’ll know your way around. It’s never bad to be prepared.

(Quotes are from Wedding Photography Unveiled)

Project 365

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Just a week ago, I started my 52 Breakfasts (project) – which is a much lighter version of the popular 365 project where one snaps a photo each day and posts it online.  Little did I realize that just recently a wave of Project 365 was sparked in Malaysia too.

I was checking out updates of fellow photographers on my Twitter account, and started finding #365 popping up a lot in fellow Malaysians’ tweets. Following the trail, I landed myself at Thebackpackr.com.

TheBackpackr.com started Project 365: A photo a day for 2010 and invited everyone to join him. And as you can see from the list at TheBackpackr.com, many have decided to join him in this one year long journey.

Here are a few examples from the list. Enjoy!

(For the full list, please refer to TheBackpackr.com)

Written by SE

January 22, 2010 at 6:18 pm

Posted in Misc

52 Breakfasts: #02

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My first entry was a very spontaneous entry. Never did I think that it would become a start to my 52 Breakfasts. But now that I’m committed, I’ve decided to give it my best. Little did I think that I would hit a brick wall when I’m only at my 2nd entry.

You see, I was very excited on Tuesday. Thinking I had a good subject in mind, a good composition, nice combination of colours, I would be able to come up with something good. But I failed terribly. No matter what I did, the photo just didn’t turn out right.

So, today, I gave it another go. And here it is! My 2nd entry for 52 breakfasts:

English muffins + tomato + cheese + egg + mushroom + baby leaves

I know this journey of 52 Breakfast won’t be an easy one but I’m looking forward to the next 50 entries cos I know this will be one hell of a learning experience for me! Wish me luck!

*****

For those interested in how I made this, here’s what I did.

1. Toast the english muffins. If you don’t have a toaster, use a non stick frying pan. That’s what I did!

2. Cut the tomato. Fry the egg. Wash the baby leaves.

3. Saute some garlic with olive oil. Add in button mushrooms. Add in a dash of salt and plenty black pepper.

4. Pile away! (Oh, and don’t forget cheese!! ;) )

Written by SE

January 21, 2010 at 11:01 pm

Posted in 52 Breakfasts

Book: Wedding Photography Unveiled – Part IV

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IV. The Ceremony – Long Lenses & Quiet Shoes

There are certain things that allow me to be a low-key shooter during the ceremony. First, I always check in advance what I can and cannot do. Second, fast films and the greater sensitivity of digital mean I probably won’t need flash. Third, I can always use a tripod if necessary – a tripod with a long lens from the balcony can keep the shots intimate. ~Kathi Littwin

She relies on long lens and her love of the simplicity of pure moments to get her most successful ceremony shots. She tries to stay as invisible as possible, which includes wearing quiet shoes and dark clothing. (on Meg Smith)

Even though at the very traditional Malaysian Chinese wedding, we probably don’t need quiet shoes cos it’s not a quiet event anyway. But staying as invisible as possible is important in a wedding ceremony of any culture not only to show respect to the ceremony but also to enable oneself to capture the raw emotions you can find during the ceremony.

One of the most important things a photographer can do is to see the ceremony from all sides. ~Parker J. Pfister

The bride and groom is definitely the star of the day, but there’s much more to a wedding. Parents, siblings, close friends, every one of them displays different kind of emotion during the ceremony.  Instead of having ten shots of the bride and groom from the same angle, look around and you’ll find some moment worth capturing. And it’d be nice for the bride and groom to know after the event details that they might have missed during their wedding. For example, how their parents or close friends looked like when they exchanged their vows.

You can plan how to get a certain shot; you can anticipate what’s coming and be one step ahead of it. ~ Meg Smith

Of course not everything in a wedding goes accordingly as planned, but we know in general what follows after what. So you can think beforehand, what kind of image you would like to create. Though it doesn’t mean that you can always get what you had in mind but at least you can make sure you are at the right place at the right time and not miss capturing any moments.

(Quotes are from Wedding Photography Unveiled)

Written by SE

January 19, 2010 at 12:16 am

52 Breakfasts: #01

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If you are into photography, you’ve almost certainly heard of Project 365, or 365 Self Portraits or 365 something. The main idea is to take a picture every day for the whole year – hence the name 365 something.

If you’ve never heard of it before, here are some sites that you might want to check out:

I’ve always respected the people who did 365 projects. It takes a great deal of dedication to photography to commit to such a project. Not only does one have to be disciplined enough to come up with photos every day, but to challenge oneself to come up with a better photo everyday is definitely not an easy task. And to really hang on to it till the end, how many can really do so?

It might sound very easy. But being a photographer myself, I understand it’s not easy at all especially when you seek perfection and improvement in your photos.

I doubt I would start a 365 project anytime soon. I lack the discipline. Really. BUT, thanks to my brother, I’ve decided to start 52 Breakfasts. I’ll be posting weekly photos of my breakfasts starting today. Thought it’d be a good way to make sure I have proper breakfasts at least once a week. :p

Here’s my first post! Bon Appetit!

Written by SE

January 15, 2010 at 9:59 pm

Posted in 52 Breakfasts

Tips on using digital camera flash

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I’ve always hated the flash when I was still using my old point and shoot canon. No matter how badly lit a place could be, I insisted on no flash. For me, flash pics = blown out pics = ugly pics.

But today, I realized I could have improved the situation easily with just a few very simple tips. Very intuitive stuff but it just never came across my mind.

  1. Take a step back. This will decrease the impact of the flash on the subjects.
  2. Stick tissue or white tape to the flash, to diffuse the light. Remember that the colour of the material will affect the outcome of the pic. So stick to white if you don’t want blue people in your pics.
  3. Putting a small piece of white card at an angle in front of the flash to redirect the flash upwards or sideways (instead of directly at the subject).

So, after blasting up the ISO, increasing the aperture, slowing down the shutter speed and you find out you still need flash, perhaps you might want to try the above tips! ;)

(To read more about avoiding blowing flash blow out with your point and shoot, go here)

Written by SE

January 11, 2010 at 9:33 pm

Posted in Tips & Tutorials