Wednesday, January 21, 2015

No Strangers for One Weekend

I have always been shooting strangers on the street for my weekend activities. You know what, I decided to do things differently this time. I was with friends, spending time, having fun and catching up. Instead of shooting people that I do not know, I chose to shoot the people that I do know!

Last weekend has been quite interesting. There was a local photography exhibition organized by Exposure Plus group, and the exhibition opening happened at Feeka in Bukit Bintang. Such local event would surely pull together the photographers from many walks of life, and guess what, even our very own Ming Thein attended! Unfortunately I was too engrossed in conversation with him I did not manage to take a photograph of him before he disappeared. The exhibition featured the works of local photographers who underwent a 3 month mentoring program with respectable photographers from various industries. There was quite a wide variety of photographs being displayed. 

It was indeed a night of meeting photographers, catching up with friends, and making new connections as well. Here is a collection of random portraits of people who have been featured on my blog before (if you have been with me this long you would recognize some of them surely). 

Nick Wade, he spent months in Tokyo, Japan just to shoot on the streets! I want your life Nick. 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Timothy and Stephanie

It has been a busy start to the 2015 year for me, with wedding shoots happening consecutively for a few weekends in a row now. No I do not intend to mutate into a wedding photographer, and after the third job in a row I knew exactly why. It was physically and mentally draining! I wake up the next day after a full day shoot feeling like a walking dead. 

However, I cannot hide the fact that I do enjoy shooting weddings. The joy on the faces of the newly weds, the overall sense of happiness and even the stories of love can be really inspiring. 

This time, for Timothy and Stephanie, I was shooting a church wedding, and it was held at St Mary's Cathedral, at Dataran Merdeka, KL. This was my second time covering a wedding in this church, and I have come back much more prepared than my first encounter. 

Again, for many times now, my macro shots during wedding assingnment were taken care of by that marvellous 12-50mm F3.5-6.3 kit lens 

Monday, January 12, 2015

Close Encounter with Panasonic GM1, the Tiniest Micro Four Thirds Camera

I have a confession to make. I, like every other human photographers out there, am the same, and susceptible to a disease called Gear Acquisition Syndrome (GAS). Here comes the surprise: I have bought myself a new camera: the Panasonic Lumix GM1. 


Yes, I got a non Olympus camera. Mind you, this is not the first non-Olympus camera that I bought, I have used Sony Alpha DSLT system quite extensively for almost a year, blogging frequently with the Sony setup. In my journey of learning photography I have come across and made friends with so many beautiful people, photographers who have used all kinds of cameras and system, and I have also been given many opportunities to try many other brands (yes, including Canon and Nikon too, both are great camera makers). I may look like I am completely biased to Olympus but if you do know me in person, and if you have sat down and spent some time talking to me you will realize that when I speak about photography I generally do not talk much on camera brands. Photography is a lot more than just what camera and what lens you use!

Panasonic Lumix GM1. 

Friday, January 09, 2015

A Decade Old, More Shutter Therapy Sessions to Come

I was so busy lately that I have not even had the time to do a proper recap of the year 2014. I have been busy with shooting weddings for the last weekends, and I could barely find time to catch my own breath! 

Ending of 2014 marked that this blog has been in existence for 10 years! Yes, is a DECADE old! I can barely believe it myself, and little did I know I would come this far and stay this long when I started this humble blog all these years ago. Also, I have accumulated more than 10 Million page views (90% coming in the last 2 years). Goodness, where did everyone come from? 

I am glad that I have had the opportunity to speak to so many people and contribute in whatever small ways I can in the online photography community. I realize my blog updates frequency has slowed down dramatically for the past few months, but I also ensure that I have longer blog posts, with more photographs (not just simple snapshots, but photographs made with a lot of thought and effort behind them). I shall continue to do so!

Photo Credit: Matti Sulanto

Here is a list of highlights over my 10 blogging years:

My first blog entry was about a surprise birthday party I helped made happen for a friend, which involved everyone being thrown into the river in Perth, Australia.

Documentation of my university life, my struggles, my journey, the beautiful memories, the delicious food and awesome people that I have met. My blog was the usual random, online diary format, a place where I can rant and pen down anything I wanted, freely. 

I have taken down my blog posts from my early years for privacy reasons. My blog here now only started showing from the year 2008 onward

I left Perth behind. That was a painful phase of my life, and I started a new life in Kuala Lumpur. I have also picked up my first DSLR (Olympus DSLR E-410), and getting more serious in photography. After a few months the E-410 was snatched from me at a public train, and I replaced that with a newly launched Olympus E-520. 

My father passed away in this year. Again a very difficult and dark time for me. Many people do not know, but the phrase Shutter Therapy was born during this time. I was feeling depressed and I thought to myself, photography could be doing me good, and it did, hence it became a form of therapy for me. I started using the phrase Shutter Therapy ever since and become something that become widely accepted, within the photography community. 

Olympus Malaysia approached me with the Olympus E-5, which I was loaned with to do a blog review. And I did, but with little expectations on what would follow. This blog suddenly become known and page views surged to tens of thousands per day, from just mere hundreds. This was possibly the turning point of my blog, a defining moment that paved my path and led me to where I am today. By this time, has somehow transformed into a full photography centric blog. 

Another important year for me, as my blog grew larger in audience. Initially my blog only had spike of visitors during blog review seasons, but I have noticed that the retention of readers got better after each review I did. This blog also started to get recognition from more prominent photography bloggers, such as Mike Johnston (the Online Photographer), Steve Huff and Kirk Tuck. It was an honor being mentioned on their blogs!

The peak of my blog has got to be during the OM-D E-M5 review. Come on, everyone has got to agree that E-M5 could possibly be the most successful, and most highly regarded mirrorless camera up to date. It was the mirrorless interchangeable camera that changed the perception of what a mirrorless interchangeable camera was, and totally raised the bar of camera performance, surpassing and matching even DSLR counterparts. 

Two huge events happened in 2013. First, my mum was hospitalized, I spent two months with her in the hospital including her recovery at home, and got huge support from my blog readers. Suddenly I was reminded that the people here are very real, and I can never thank everyone enough for helping me through this extremely difficult time. Secondly, I quitted my old job (Geotechnical Engineer) which I have been doing for the past five years in Kuala Lumpur, and joined Olympus Malaysia Marketing team. 

What an exciting year, a change of career, and I have just turned 30 years old. I have met so many people from all over the world, dived deeper into photography, and loved what I do even more here. 

I know it is a little late, but hey, Happy New Year to all of you beautiful people out there! I appreciate your support, visits, comments and contributions in any way that you have made to me. Many of you have helped me through difficult times and I am grateful for that. Here is to more shutter therapy sessions to come for everyone.