Snapping Dreams

Archive for the ‘Thoughts’ 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

The First Look

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The first time I came across “The First Look” concept was through an online class by Jasmine Star. It’s not something big nor complicated, but instead if put bluntly, is simply a moment where the bride and groom sees each other for a while before the wedding ceremony.

For most people, it is most probably against their culture to do so but on a personal ground, I’d definitely encourage my brides and grooms to go for it.

I believe that my part as a photographer is not only to capture images but also to help my brides and grooms achieve the perfect experience through their wedding. No doubt the shots from “The First Look” are always really good (and I personally love them to bits!) but I know what my brides and grooms get from their little private moment is much more than that. It’s priceless.

To me, celebrating with friends and family has in it its own value but it is as (if not more) important to have a private moment, away from the crowd. After all, a marriage is not only about hosting a big celebration, but about two people who decide to spend the rest of their lives together. Thus, I believe my brides and grooms definitely deserve a moment of their own.


With love,

Written by SE

October 19, 2010 at 5:14 pm

Thoughts: Great responsibility

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“With great power comes great responsibility. Don’t go too far!”

…was what I came across when reading Popular Photography’s article on retouching images.

I can’t help but agree, especially when it comes to portraits. Everyone wants to look good, but no one wants their picture to look photoshopped. Most people still want to look themselves and I truly believe that that should be the case simply cos everyone has something beautiful in them.

It’s a photographer’s responsibility to capture the beauty in people, not photoshop’s.

Written by SE

June 20, 2010 at 11:00 am

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Inspirations: the Red one

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For the past few days, I found myself smitten by videography. It’s as if I’ve been eating videography, sleeping videography and dreaming videography. Amazed by the technology, moved by the stories they tell, now I’m simply inspired. Yes, I guess inspired would be the right word. I really am.

Perhaps it’s not something new for most of you, but did you know that filmmakers still use 35mm films to make films? I always thought it must be some high technology digital stuff. Afterall, digital is very common in photography. Why not videography right? Apparently, cos there wasn’t a technology that could offer the image quality of analog film. And cos 2K and HD cameras didn’t offer narrow depth of field which can make videos oh so boring.

Fear not though cos the Red One that was released in 2008 bridged the gap.

The Red One camera gives moviemakers the best of both worlds. It delivers the ease of use and editing flexibility provided by digital cinema cameras. At the same time, the Red’s resolution and color fidelity rival that of 35-millimeter film, and it allows the same kind of control over focus.

Read more about the Red One and the minds behind it here. It’s old news but it’s good news. ;)

If you are a newbie like me, perhaps you can hop over to Luminous Landscape for what I’d call a beginner’s guide to video.

P.S. I’m currently working on 2 new video projects. Am so excited!

Written by SE

April 19, 2010 at 11:33 pm

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

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

Thoughts: 8th week into 52 Breakfasts

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It’s my 8th week into 52 Breakfasts. Still a long way to go till I complete the whole series but I thought it’s about time I take a step back and look at what I’ve achieved so far.

My thoughts:

  1. I must say the pics are all just so-so. I don’t see any improvement. And some pics even show me slacking ( e.g. the roti canai pic and the nasi lemak pic).
  2. Although this is a personal project, I should have the mindset that I must produce the best I can.
  3. I need to plan more of my shoots, especially when I’m preparing the food myself. Preparing the food gives me more flexibility in combination of colour, presentation, background, light etc and so I must make full use of it.
  4. I find my presentation of food still needs a lot of improvement. Thus, it’s time for me to hit the bookstores and study pictures in recipe books.
  5. Have an image in mind and try to work towards it.

I’ve also been reading up some articles online in regard to food photography. Just to share:

P.S. Perhaps in a future blogpost, I’ll summarize the tips I find useful from my readings online! Look out for it! :)

Written by SE

February 28, 2010 at 2:50 pm