Snapping Dreams

Archive for March 2010

Thoughts: My 8 Breakfasts in Malaysia

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Thought I’d do a short review on the 8 posts I did for 52 Breakfasts while I was back in Malaysia. For reference, here are the links: #04: Nasi Lemak, #05: Dim Sum, #06: Roti Canai, #07: Carrot Cake, #08: You Tiao + Soymilk, #09: Roti Bakar + Kopi, #10: Vegetable Pie, #11: Char Kway Teow

Lack of conceptualization

8 posts in total – 4 passed. 4 failed. Looking back, it was very much due to the lack of conceptualization. All four were shot when I was pressed to produce something for 52 Breakfasts. Thus, I gave very little thoughts to presentation when actually, food photography is all about presentation. All I did was just shooting with zero thinking which is a big no-no in food photography.

I’ve said it once during my 8th week in 52 breakfasts, and I say it again now. I must improve on the presentation.

Relying on collages

Out of the 4 that passed, 3 of them were collages. Some might say collages are just fine but I feel it’s a weakness on my part. I feel I might be relying on collages a bit too much to present my photos cos collages help enhance the whole viewing experience.

I want to work on producing photos that can stand alone. Collages should be just a way to present photos and not a way to enhance my photos.

Written by SE

March 28, 2010 at 7:57 pm

52 Breakfasts: #11

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This week’s entry: Char Kway Teow

I initially wanted something more colourful for my last post from Malaysia and thought Indian food would be a good choice. But when I woke up in the morning and walked into my brother’s room and saw a pic of Char Kway Teow, I just couldn’t resist the temptation.

Char Kway Teow can be one of the worst subjects for me to shoot when I have zero time to conceptualize (the schedule during the last week at home is always crazy). As you can see, the colours aren’t a good combination – mainly brown and just a bit of green white and pale yellow here and there. Also, who would give you good food presentation at a hawker stall? To make it worse, it came in an orange plate which really doesn’t help the subject stand out since the colour is so similar.

But of course, I do believe that one can only call oneself a photographer when one can present something good even under the worst conditions. I’m not there yet but I will be.

P.S. Foodies in KL, here’s a food review by a local blogger on the CKT I had. Interesting experience to be having CKT at a mamak restaurant.

Written by SE

March 27, 2010 at 10:09 pm

Ideas + Inspirations: DIY lens cap keeper

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Came across an article on photojojo about a Swedish inventor Benny Johansson and his step by step DIY guide to making a lens cap keeper.

According to the website, all you need is a pushpin, an x-acto knife, scissors, plastic container, elastic cord and an electric drill.

Yes, you will need an electric drill. That’s when I decided this won’t be something I’d be making afterall. Electric drilling just isn’t the type of thing I think I’d do to my lenscap. Have fun though, for those who are doing it!

(This is not ideas + inspirations on photography per se but it’s an idea on how not to lose your lenscap so I guess it goes into the ‘Ideas + Inspirations’ category anyway. :p)

Written by SE

March 22, 2010 at 10:54 pm

Tips: Knowing your target audience

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Many may think that the photography market is an easy one to enter but any photographer would tell you differently. It’s not just plainly a matter of how good you are but like all other businesses, marketing plays a very big role here too.

Sacha Dean Biyan understands this well. His site, Eccentris which took him three years to build is an award-winning site that receives over 2 million hits each month. It incorporates not only big, high resolution images but also clever animation and CD quality sound. Of course, such a rich multimedia site drags through most viewers’ browsers but here’s what Sacha has to say about it.

“The target audience was the art directors and other creatives in the field who were all equipped with fast computers and big screens and high-speed connections,” says Sacha. “[It] was never intended to attract a mainstream audience, although (for good or bad) it has, mostly out of curiosity I presume.”

Sacha’s spot on here. So what if it takes eons to load on an average photography-lover’s computer since they are afterall not the target audience?

Lesson here: Knowing your target audience is very important. If you are into wedding photography, such a site would be a terrible choice cos the average bride or groom to be won’t have fast computers or high-speed connections. A website as light as possible would be the best choice.

You can read more about Sacha Dean Biyan’s portfolio approach on Photopreneur.

Written by SE

March 20, 2010 at 11:52 pm

Posted in Tips & Tutorials

Ideas + Inspirations: Stop-Motion Video

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With an increasing number of DSLRs now having video capability, you probably think that this is just another post about adopting that fabulous video function and offering more to the clients.

I admit that I am a big fan of videos taken using DSLRs but that shall come in another post. This post is about using photos to create a video.

The idea is pretty simple. You know how sometimes you take continuous shots and when you play them continuously, it looks like a video? Here, Sarah Yates does the same using 500 engagement session photos.

I think it’s pretty cool and would like to try creating one soon! Have a look and you’ll know what I mean. ;)

tori and austin from sarah yates on Vimeo

Written by SE

March 19, 2010 at 11:24 am

52 breakfasts: #10

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This week’s entry: Vegetable pie.

Nope, not pear pie. The pears are just there as props. In hindsight, I should have used raw vege as props instead of pear. *note to self: In the future, use props that are related to subject.*

Pies are wonderful for breakfasts. Fillings can be prepared beforehand, may it be chocolate, fruits, vege or meat. And all you need to do in the morning is fill it into the instant pie sheets and bake away!

And from the photography perspective, they definitely make good subjects cos the golden brown colour and flaky texture of the puff pastry fit the theme ‘breakfast’ just right. (Well, at least that’s how breakfasts feel like for me. :p)

Written by SE

March 18, 2010 at 11:57 pm

52 breakfasts: #09

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This week’s entry for 52 Breakfasts was simply a disaster. And there’s no hiding from the cold, hard truth especially when your mom looks at the photo and says:”That’s ugly!” But, today’s the last day of the week and there’s no second chance to it, so here goes: Roti Bakar + Kopi (Charcoal toasted bread with coconut jam and butter + Malaysian local coffee)

I feel the photo lacks a focal point. It doesn’t give enough details nor attention to the subject. What do you think?

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Below are 2 collages that I almost wanted to use for this entry but thought they were lousy attempts to trying to save the day. Might as well just face the ugly truth, move on and make sure I give more thought to my next entry. Just to share:

(Playing with mirroring effect and different focus points)

(Upper photo: Old man preparing coffee the traditional way)

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For Malaysian foodies, here’s a review on the kopitiam by a local food blogger: Coffee, Toast, Egg & Nasi Lemak @ Chong Kok Kopitiam

Written by SE

March 13, 2010 at 5:35 pm

Posted in 52 Breakfasts