Sunday, June 29, 2008

Entry 005 : First session review

Murtabak man with eggs at the ready

Thanks to all that turned up for this weekend's first session. I had a great time meeting and knowing a bit about you. Its nice to know all of us share a passion, and that is 'photography', the art of writing with light! Be it landscapes like Siew Li, food with Tracy, travel with Roziah, or those dark cloudy scenes from Amelia, thanks for sharing with each other your personal images...all of you.

I know some of you view the mini assignment with trepidation, but it should be fun and if you put in the effort I promise it will be worthwhile! I walked around the area a little after Saturday's session and stumbled upon an Indian barber on the main road named 'Stylo'. Managed to chat with barbers in there and reeled of a few shots in the tiny cramp salon. I love the old barber's chairs and neatly arranged coloured hair tonic and gels on the glass shelves, harking back perhaps 20-30 years ago and of course the Brylcreem logo. This exercise will help you to develop your observational skills, noting the detail rather than the whole picture.

Torn wall poster and graffiti

A couple of you toyed with the ancient Rolleiflex, Elmery and Li Ling. Hope you discover the joys of using a really old camera and film, just like Diane Arbus did!

I may be shooting the streets one early evening this week, if anyone wants to come along you are welcome,..probably Tuesday or Wednesday around 6-ish..

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Entry 004 : I need a volunteer :-)

On Saturday and Sunday, 28th and 29th, I just need one/two volunteer/s to come ahead of time say 1230 to help me set up the room for 1pm. Thanks!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Entry 003 : Try one for size!

I will be bringing my trusty ol' Rolleiflex 3.5G to the workshop. Anyone who hasn't handled one of these before, and would like to have a go at photographing with a TLR, (twin-lens reflex) camera built in the late 1960's is most welcome! It takes 120 roll film, and I have several rolls, a bit..err..expired but still usable. You just have to pay for processing though.

It is a square (6cm x 6cm) format and it produces really nice 'creamy' portraits to boot, modern digital cameras just cannot match its rendition of colour and tonality...sort of an olde worlde charm about it. The great thing is that you compose your picture by looking down, and not at, your subject.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Entry 002 : Workshop details


Things have moved on quicker than I thought. I have finalised the venue and its going to be at The Annexe, Central Market starting from 1 - 6pm. The dates are Saturdays 28 June and 5 July.

A second 'Sundays' workshop is being set up as I type this, with the help of The Annexe also, but that will be a fee paying one.

I've got feedback from nearly all of you, thanks. Quite a few of you wanted some guidance in composition and general improvement in getting more impactful pictures. A couple like to shoot weddings and Tracy like food photography. Roziah likes travel, Cindy likes smoky sceneries, and a few like portraiture. So,.. this is the program we will work with. Andre Kertesz the great French master once said,
''A photographer must learn to photograph everything.'' This is essentially true.

Since my main field is art, people and street photography I will work from these angles.

Getting the basics right is important. So I will be doing 2 practical sessions, one is street photography and the other is simple studio portraiture. I will touch on how to use the camera efficiently in public, grab stealth shots, etc.

1st Session

~ Introductions

~ Show Portfolios (see below*), discuss strengths and weaknesses.

~ Slideshow to illustrate visual concepts and influences.

~ Slideshow and discussion on participants' preparatory images.(see below**)


~ Set Assignment for 2nd Session : Create a photo-essay from a maximum of 10 images. Be creative and tell a story.(see below***)

~ Hands-On 1 : Camera handling techniques, street photography and environmental portraits.(see below****)

"I think photographing people is simply a question of treating people with dignity and respect, and getting comfortable with people and enjoying talking with them and being with them. Often a sense of humour can work wonders with putting people at ease and making them relaxed." Steve McCurry


2nd Session

~ Review and discuss photo-essays.


~ Hands-On 2 : Simple studio portraiture (see below*****)

~ Review and Feedback



Please bring :

1. Gear - I almost always advocate minimal equipment. Please bring a camera and one lens, preferably a fixed lens, non-zoom if you have. 28mm, 35mm or 50mm. If none, just bring your standard zoom. Memory card or those using film, film!

2. I am sure all of you will have a pen-drive? If not go buy one its very cheap. This is the best way to show your work by projection via my laptop. If you want to show prints instead, then please print them at least A4 size. Can't bear looking at postcard sized prints.

3. Food and drink (!)


* Portfolios : Please bring, either as prints or in pendrive (jpeg files, sized to about 800 pixels longest dimension), about 10 - 15 photographs. These can be a series or individual images, don't just bring the 'best of' from your collections, but rather, give it some thought, about the images that represents you, that shows focus and a line of thought. (Caveat : no waterfalls or sunsets! Unless its your forte)

** Prepared images : This is your homework before you start. Use the internet or books, to research into 1 or 2 photographers whose works you admire in whatever field you have an interest in, eg. flower photography, landscapes, documentary, portraits etc. Read up their bio, and pick out and copy up to 10 images of their work onto your pendrive and we can all share. Be prepared to say why you like or dislike their works, how you would approach the same subjects, or why you can't. Find out a bit more about the photographer, how he/she started, what are their best works, etc. Talk about this for about 5 minutes per person.

*** Photo-essay : This is the assignment for the 2nd session. We will set the theme at the first session.

Hands-On 1 : We will approach this 'professionally' like an editorial demand for pictures. As we are situated in the heart of KL, there are many opportunities to photograph what is unique to KL., people, faces, street vendors, traders, colonial architecture, colours, moods, signs, etc

***** Hands-On 2 : Portraiture is one of the basic skills in photography. I intend to use a very basic set up one just one continuous tungsten light source. We will photograph each other or you can bring along a friend/family/grab someone off the street, to be your sitter. Experiment with exposure, shadows, highlights and compositions.

Some interesting resource websites :

Monday, June 2, 2008

Entry 001

My, where has the year gone.

Its already June and I am still remembering New Year's celebration, the General Elections.. all that seems like ages ago. I digress,..back to the task in hand. I am just awaiting confirmation from Pang at Central Market Annexe if I can hire a small room for our workshop for both weekends. Failing that, I have Plan B, although that isn't in Central KL. I am sorting out an LCD projector also. If anyone happens to have an LCD projector lying around at home, not being used to watch the Euro 2008 football that week that would be fantastic.

I am currently working out the program which will hopefully be interesting enough for all of you. Now, I don't know how much each of your abilities, expectations differ, so it would be great to do a quick survey beforehand. That way, I can try to accommodate all.

Please answer these questions below and just post a comment say by the end of this week? Much obliged.

Q1. Type of camera you use regularly? How long have you been making photographs? Since school days? Joined college photo club? Absolute beginner? Just bought your camera? etc...(don't list down all your gear, just the camera!)

Q2. What skills would like to improve on? eg. using your camera? photographing people and portraiture, architecture, street, landscapes, anything? etc..

Now, the trick question...

Q3. How much do you know or admire about 'photography' in general? Were you inspired by any great artists / photographer / journalists / writers / magazines or that 'one' image which led you to photography? Do you want to know? or not bothered?

Q4. What is your 'next' level in terms of photography? i.e. your goal say in 12 months, 18 months, 5 years

Thanks, looking forward to your feedback.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Introductory photo workshop in KL

Update 0800 hrs 020608 List update (see below)

Hello to all that have responded to my posting regarding the workshop. I will post all updates about the workshop here in this blog so please provide feedback and comments here only.

This blog will provide a quick and efficient way to keep in touch and subsequent communications may be monitored. Also it would be a great way to post individual's project work in progress.

So far as of the end of the weekend, I have the following people that have registered :

1. Wilson Chin
2. Jan Andris
3. Tracy Tan
4. Chew
5. Daren Chong
6. Roziah
7. Cindy to replace Beyond (Jason)
8. Benjamin Gan
9. Jacky
10. Spiel Chow
11. Danny Yeo
I will have to close the list now, as its already 3 persons more than I would prefer. If there are more requests, then I will have to work out another session if possible, and there would be a fee of RM150 per person.

The tentative dates for the workshop will be Sat 28 June and Sat 5 July in the afternoon. The finer details I will post once I have the venue confirmed. If anyone cannot make these dates, please tell me immediately, so that I can offer your place to someone else.

Tentative unconfirmed session (RM150 per person) :

1. Akmar
2. Choo aka AlanC
3. dkbu