I think I have a thing about making children laugh… cause I myself am a big kid who refuse to grow up …
This is a shot I took in a wedding sometime ago. As most of you know, I slowed down in wedding photography over the last 3 years, concentrating on other types of photography which my soul needs. I didn’t want my passion in photography to reduce to just a money-making job in my life, though we all need money to live.
Striking a balance between what I really want to do in photography and what is required to make a living using photography is a forever impossible task in my life. But one thing stays true to me, I strive to be honest to myself, to my vision, and live on to develop my personal vision in photography, as an unique expression of my soul, which each individual is and should be different in his/her own way. My previous blog post HERE has what I think each photographer should live by.
The images from today’s digital cameras have greatly reduced the variety of the different characters found in different types of films, produced by different types of cameras, from toy cameras to large format, from pinhole to old brass lenses to large format lenses… “All” we see today, or most images we see online, are either from a Nikon DSLR or a Canon DSLR. And how many of us can differentiate the image from a Sony DSLR from a Nikon? In addition, most of us use the same post-processing software from Adobe.
We are losing a great deal of characters or “flavors”, I called it… from the old days. This is one of my saddest experience in recent years.
Apart from seeing an overload of similar digital characteristic images online in terms of colors, sharpness, digital touch-ups… which make me sick… we also see the other extreme: the surge of lomographers who’s hunting down expired film wherever they go, hipshooting, not looking, not thinking, not studying what’s C41 or E6 processing means, or what’s underexposure. Most of them end up with images underexposed because they know not the aperture and shutter speed value of a Holga, the recommended film speed to use, or what cross-processing means. The pain doesn’t come if the images are of interesting content and reasonably exposed, but the pain comes when they insist it’s ART for the badly exposed thoughtless mistake images. Of course, there are incidents that ART does happen through a mistake, I am definitely NOT referring to that.
As photographers, we all tend to replicate images we admire at some point of our lives, let’s face it. But let us not forget to develop our own signatures, something we can be proud of till we die.
Of course it’s not just the type of instruments we use to make an image different from the others, but it’s the way we see things. We should all have our own uniqueness. After all, God didn’t make us the same. Life is not just about seeing someone else’s image which you admire, and going about finding out and using the same tool and method to replicate it. At some point, it’s time to stop seeing what others have produced, and start making images of your own.
There’s really no right and wrong in arts. It’s only “Like” and “Dislike”. And it all depends on who you want to please.
1. I quit shooting weddings after weddings, which is what I have been doing for many years, no time to think of what I really want to achieve artistically, neglected many clients in my busy schedule which I feel bad till today.
2. I quit from the repeated routine of shooting weddings. Artists need to break their usual routine, that’s when they can breathe some fresh air, and mature in their thoughts and feelings, thereafter reflected in their works.
3. I quit following the world in believing being rich and famous is an essential. There are just too many things in life that money cannot buy.
To all who cares for me and love my works, don’t you worry. I still shoot weddings, just that I only shoot a certain number of weddings per year. 38 weddings per year is way too many for me. I am a part-time wedding photographer, freelance teacher, freelance editorial and non-profit community photographer now. I love training people, believe in effective personal training and mentoring, enjoy the sincere company of my few associates from 1 Avenue Photography.
It’s amazing how photography has developed since the introduction of digital cameras. Respect for photographers has dropped tremendously over the years since digital has started to make photography “easier and easier”.
With the latest advanced technology in today’s DSLRs, more and more “photographers” arise, snapping thousands but choosing just a handful to put up in their blogs. Furthermore, images are tweaked(or repaired) using easily-available software. We are depending on “Chance-Shots” more than ever before!
It is no longer easy to judge a photographer’s real strength anymore since we hardly read the “whole book” (thousands and millions of multiple-shots) but only read that “few sentences” on websites and blogs. Talking about not to judge a book by it’s cover? (For my full set of proofs to read my “whole book” – click here).
Yesterday we took painstaking effort even in family snapshots, cause it’ll cost you a dollar or more if you make a mistake on film. Today, we snap away like nobody’s business leaving tons of trash images in our computer unedited, unseen for years. It’s time to really re-consider photography.
Art or Junk? Vision or Chance? Switch to your camera’s “continuous-shots mode” and click away non-stop like nobody’s business OR think, imagine, previsualize and feel before you shoot?
Digital shooters, it’s time to slow down and ask yourself who you really wanna be.
Images from Michelle & Aravind’s Kampar Wedding.
These are the gallery prints I could have put up during the previous joint-exhibition held by “hiplist” magazine at Times Bookstore-Pavilion KL. Only two of the following were exhibited, printed for the first time on HP Canvas. Well, I’m still perfecting my printing skills, but I must say, though the canvas were impressive, I still prefer Epson printers for it’s tonality, gamut and details.
The above are the 2 canvas I exhibited at Pavilion Times Bookstore. The one that attracted most attention is exhibit-1. I truly enjoyed the workshop I conducted there on a Sunday and enjoyed making new friends through the workshop like Andy from Penang, Joo, Juliana, etc. Keep your photography passion growing, guys! And not to forget, a “Big Thank You” to the 1 Avenue bunch who came to support me.
One of the toughest environment to shoot when you wanna preserve the beautiful candle-lit moods and yet keep the faces exposed correctly.. Fun!
Or Kodak moment you call it.. why not Fuji moment, Canon moment, Nikon moment.. aiya.. cut the crap.. it’s… “ta dah”… Baby Chloe’s moment!!! (not her real name).
I must say – the bride, Lizi’s favourite drink is the above and probably her only drink since Hin Tong gotta used that to get into her room in the morning
The following are some images from Michelle & Aravind’s wedding recently, a beautiful Indian wedding. Life is not always at F16 sharp all the time. We dream, our imaginations run, we all have a child in us who love to daydream and linger in our own little world at times… and my best time is when I’m on my potty.. ha ha