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Archive for the ‘Learning photography’ Category

Celebrating light!

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Every photographer knows that the word photography came from Greek and simply mean “Painting with light” but I think many don’t realize how true it is that photography is all about painting with light.

I for one, used to give all my attention to compositions, to apertures, to lines and shapes. And I must say yes, great composition and perfect aperture does give us a good photo. But when you learn how to find light and how to see light, it turns a good photo into a great photo. Light makes all the difference.

The one thing I took away from attending Jasmine’s online class 2 months ago was – finding good light. There were many other things she said during the class that were good but somehow, “finding good light” stuck with me.

From that class onwards,  whatever I shot, people, food, flowers (yeah I know, actually those are the ONLY things I shoot! :p), I paid attention to light – whether the light was soft or harsh, whether it was warm or cool and whether the shadow was long or short! Yeah, it sounds a bit crazy but it did make all the difference in my pictures. Whether a picture was flat or whether a picture looked alive, it all depended on light (and shadow)!

If you learn how to find good light and shoot confidently, that’s all you need.

… was what Jasmine said. And it is true. Very true. And the great thing about this is, you get to practice this anytime, anywhere cos light is everywhere!

Coincidentally, today’s the festival of lights – Diwali. Diwali’s probably not about celebrating light, but do allow me to celebrate light today from a photog’s perspective. Happy Diwali! :)


Written by SE

November 5, 2010 at 4:50 pm

Before Breakfast Readings #2

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1. Food Pixels Food Photography Blog: Because of my 52 Breakfasts project, I’m on constant lookout for good food photography blogs and this is one of them. Not only does it offer tips on food styling, lighting and so forth, for foodies, it also offers recipes!

2. The Best Photography How-To Books: I’ve been looking for photography books to shop for lately and came across this list. I know a few books in the list are really good books, so I guess it could be a good list to refer to when shopping for photography books.

3. Landscape Photography for the Serious Amateur: I was never a landscape photog. Never had an interest for it and still don’t now. But I want to give it a try one day (soon!) and do well nevertheless. Gonna refer to this when I plan for a landscape shoot.

Happy reading!

Learning Photography: Collecting photos

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It’s 2am and I have many other things that many would say I should give priority to, like “rest”. But I just wanted to share with you a little photography project I just started recently. To call it a project might be a bit exaggerating, since it’s not a conceptual shoot nor is it making an album for my portfolio. Anyway, as long as I learn something from it, who cares?

Know how some people cut out recipes from newspapers and paste it all in a little book? I have been “collecting” pictures lately to help me learn and discover my style. To elaborate…

  1. On learning:
    Just in case you are wondering… No, I don’t plan to bring the book with me on shoots and say, “OK, we just copy this picture.” It’s all about thinking why I like the pictures I collect. Is it cos of the pose that brought out the feminine side of the model? Or is it cos of the lighting that gave focus to the object? Or is it the moment captured? And after that comes the big question – how did the photographer achieved that?

  2. On discovering my style:
    Got this idea from one of the articles I read lately. Don’t remember where exactly, so I can’t share the link. Sorry! But mainly, the author was telling her readers how she found her style through keeping a collection of photos that attracted her. Her rationale was that once you have a big collection of photos, going through them all, you will realize that there are common things that attract you. And from there, you’d find your style.

It’s not a super new project, actually, considering I have been “collecting” pictures from the net but it is quite a different experience when you get to cut pictures out of magazines and paste them in your little book. It makes it a fun thing to do. Definitely recommended for those who are in for some fun learning!

Written by SE

August 11, 2010 at 1:43 am

Late night readings #1

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Coming back from a great dinner at a local Sushi restaurant, followed by a late night Skype chat with my parents and a very late shower, I just felt like doing some late night readings. And I just thought I’d share some of the stuff I’ve read with you! :)

1. “How to develop your digital marketing plan” – Doesn’t go much into details on marketing plans but serves as a good general guideline. Good place to start out from if you are totally lost on how to develop a marketing plan online.

2. “Photography by Nadja Wehrwein” – If you are in for some black and white photography inspirations, take a peek at this. Liked how much thought was given into composition, especially the pictures with reflections.

3. “Tips to budget your photography hobby” – Very basic stuff where you might just end up saying, “I already know all this stuff!!” but I think some stuff is good to be reminded of from time to time. By the way, anyone knows where in KL can I rent lenses?

That’s all for tonight! Night, world! :)

Written by SE

August 1, 2010 at 1:50 am

Tips from Frank Doorhof

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Came across this post by Frank Doorhof in Scott Kelby’s blog. It was one of the Guest Blog Wednesday posts. I found some of the points resonating with me and so I thought I’d share it here too. Here they are in short.

  1. Even the best Photoshop users can’t make a bad picture really shine.
  2. Learn to REALLY look through the viewfinder.
  3. To make an image more interesting it’s very important to also invest in the styling and the model.

If you are interested in a more elaborated version, do read on.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by SE

April 16, 2010 at 11:16 pm

Learning photography: Webinars, Live online workshops etc.

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Morning people! Here’s a quick, short post for you.

For those who missed out Joe McNally’s Manfrotto School of Excellence webinar titled “Effective Lighting With Just One Light”, you can catch a recorded version at All you have to do is register yourself at the website and you are on for a class with Joe!

2nd thing is, if you’ve always followed Chase Jarvis’ blog, you should already know by now that there’s something new on the web called You get to catch free live workshops, seminars, classes there. The catch here is that you have to catch it live, if not you’d have to pay to watch the recorded version.

Perhaps a bit hard for those in Asia to make full use of since most of the classes are held during the time we are supposed to be asleep. But if you are the photographer who doesn’t sleep, then it’s a different story altogether! :)

Enjoy all the learning!!

Written by SE

April 9, 2010 at 9:14 am

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