The tools are immaterial, the resulting piece is what's most important.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Thank You

Appreciation, the only word that I can think of that sums up all of how I felt to the people who celebrated my birthday. Despite the "black hole" that happened, I wasn't expecting anything this year, just some quiet moments with my family who were up here during the weekends. But, some friends decided to pull something together. I may not know these friends for as long as 10 years or even close enough to call them buddies but for them to spend 5 hours on my special day meant a lot. It doesn't matter how fancy or grand it was, it doesn't matter if it was held on stool top tables, it doesn't matter travelling a long way to some place out of town just for seafood, it was their laughter, joy, company and thought that what matters to me most (despite getting shot down with a few drinks). Simple thoughts like this goes a long way for me, therefore I'm grateful for it.

And not forgetting, yea I did get an unexpected birthday gift.

Yes, a gym ball and I'm sure it will serve me well.

I shall stop with all the juicy mushy talk and get straight to what I wanted to say, Thank You to everyone, your thoughts and wishes are deeply appreciated !


Friday, November 19, 2010

The Pencil & Eraser

Pencil: I'm sorry

Eraser: For what? You didn't do anything wrong.

Pencil: I'm sorry because you get hurt because of me. Whenever I made a mistake, you're always there to erase it. But as you make my mistakes vanish, you lose a part of yourself. You get smaller and smaller each time.

Eraser: That's true. But I don't really mind. You see, I was made to do this. I was made to help you whenever you do something wrong. Even though one day, I know I'll be gone and you'll replace me with a new one, I'm actually happy with my job. So please, stop worrying. I hate seeing you sad.

Parents are like the eraser whereas their children are the pencil. They're always there for their children, cleaning up their mistakes. Sometimes along the way, they get hurt, and become smaller / older, and eventually pass on. Though their children will eventually find someone new (spouse), but parents are still happy with what they do for their children, and will always hate seeing their precious ones worrying, or sad.

All my life, I've been the pencil. And it pains me to see the eraser that is my parents getting smaller and smaller each day. For I know that one day, all that I'm left with would be eraser shavings and memories of what I used to have.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

What A Shame

Two packs of cigarettes a day and the strongest whiskey,
That's the recipe to put him down on his hands and knees.
I watched it all up close, I saw a side of him he never showed.
Full of sympathy for a world that wouldn't let him be.
That's the man he was, have you heard enough?

What a shame, what a shame,
To judge a life that you can't change.
The choir sings, the church bells ring. So, won't you give this man his wings?
What a shame to have to beg you to see we're not all the same.
What a shame..

There's a hard life for every silver spoon, there's a touch of grey for every shade of blue.
That's the way that I see life.
If there was nothing wrong then there'd be nothing right.
And for this working man they say could barely stand, there's gotta be a better place to land.
Some kind of remedy for a world that wouldn't let him be.

God forgive the hands that laid you down.
They never knew how much a broken heart can break the sound and change the season.
Now the leaves are falling faster, happily ever after.
You gave me hope through your endeavors and now you will live forever.


Monday, October 4, 2010

Storming the quiet streets

It was a gloomy Saturday morning, when 3 dudes decided to storm the streets of Pudu shooting everything in its way. Yes, it was the normal weekly shutter therapy again. Lately, I have been filled up with tonnes of mixed and unwanted emotions which I shall try to keep it to my own and not to flood any of my posts here no more.

Back to shutter therapy, though it was a gloomy day, it did not stop us from shooting. No sun, more clouds = more people on the streets. But my goal of that day was to frame everything and anything around not only people. Oh, and check other previous posts for the rest of the photos.

A true photo enthusiast will go places no one will just to get the perfect shot.

A cheap yet usable "No Parking" barrier.

Best way to keep your helmet safe, hang it above you.

What a way to start a day - reading newspaper

Thinking where to go, uncle?

Work, work and work. No shortcut for good life.

Rusty gears. Not Rustie gears, my gears are still fine.

Tools. Yeah, the tools are immaterial, the resulting piece is what's most important. Sound familiar, look up the top of my blog.

This guy was friendly enough to show off some "skills" pouring chilli?? Yea yea

This was what he was cooking. La la, my favorite. I shall return there and try it.

Old man with a big rear end..err I meant old car with a big exhaust pipe

Keep on stacking

Wheel-less and abandoned

Old man with a umbrella stick as a walking cane. Nice

Cleaning chicken legs.

Obviously the dump hole isn't big enough to fit everything

Something I wish I could do on a gloomy Saturday morning.

Wow, apparently it doesn't look that high. The techniques of photography

3 legged

The owner decided to go bare foot

I've gotta admit, these guys are pro. I watched him peel few onions in like seconds

Another safe way to secure your helmet, hang it by the rubbish bin. People are unlikely to steal rubbish. Do they?

Skinning of the fats.

The moment of truth, live or die

Ham Jin Peng

More skillful hands

Nasi lemak for sale

Easily satisfied

Chinese herbs

Trashing the trash bins.

This char kueh teow uncle was so happy that I took his cooking, saying that it will appear in the papers. Sorry la uncle, only appear in blog.

To conclude the weekend street shooting, I had the courtesy to test the new Olympus E5.

Of course, not forgetting the little fella, the Sony NEX


What really makes the difference in photography?

What really makes the difference in photography? The photographer or the gears? It is how one sees the world. That really sounds simplistic but that is the key.

In order to capture the magnificent, one must see it as magnificent. It does not matter whether the subject is a snow-capped mountain or a heap of rubbish, a photographer sees something uniquely magnificent in the subject.

The subject may be magnificently beautiful or magnificently ugly; but it has a meaning that the photographer tries capture beyond the mere recording of objects and place.

The best photographer sees the subject as a picture in the mind long before the camera is focused to capture that subject. To a photographer looking at a subject is looking at the possibility of capturing that subject. The mind's eye will frame, edit, and freeze the subject before the camera is raised.

Photography is painting, drawing, or composing with a different medium or instrument. Looking at a photograph is looking at the photographer.

Great photographs trigger an emotional response in the viewer. Recently however, advances in digital technology have made the field seem much more complicated.

Advanced software applications and the rise of HDR photography have taken the focus away from the moment when the photograph was taken. Photographs can now be endlessly manipulated using computers.

The single most important element of producing good photographs is to exercise your photographer’s eye regularly. Some photographers just seem to have the ability to capture the moment and it doesn't matter if this is done with a throwaway instamatic camera or a 40,000 ringgit digital miracle. Their ability stems from an instinctive understanding of the rules of composition (and how to break them in a positive way) and an understanding of how light works. Anyone can produce a good photograph simply by chance if they take enough shots.

Good photographers not only produce good photographs, they consistently produce good photographs and do it in conditions that others struggle with. They do this by constantly practicing and by learning from their mistakes.

You have to let yourself be guided by your 'inner senses' instead of following mere rules. It is when you are just about to take the shot that you feel as if your hands are guided by some inner feeling and you just KNOW that the picture you are about to take is going to be nothing but spectacular. A lot of people rely these days on digital photography so that they can throw away their bad shots if they have to. People often ask me the following: How do you know that your picture is going to turn out great before you hit the shutter button? All I tell them is: I just know before I take the shot.

Now you might ask: But aren't there enough rules you can follow that will make you a better photographer? And indeed, there are so many useful rules to learn and follow, e.g. the rule of thirds, i.e. dividing your picture in thirds, the rule of using focal points to position your subject and etc.

However, there is no substitute for using and developing your own intuition in photography. As with all arts, photography is all about seeing the beauty. You cannot confine beauty to any set of rules. Beauty can never be adequately described by words or rules as it is far beyond words and rules. Beauty has to be SEEN and FELT. Without intuition your photograph might be perfect according to the rules but might just lack that special element to set it apart from the millions of good photos out there. Many people have great intuition but stop making use of it at some point in time.

So, you might ask now: Do we need then need all those rules since we already have the intuition to guide us? Certainly do we need them. As strong as your intuition may be, you still need rules to guide and tame it. As powerful as your intuition is, it needs to be controlled. Like a beast that you don't want to let run wild, intuition without training will be useless and result in random successes. However, if you lock this 'beast' into a tight cage by limiting yourself by rules, this strong beast will start to grow weak and less powerful and will do less and less work for you until it eventually dies. The answer is simple: Know the rules, but let YOUR intuition guide you. In the same way you cannot use your talent and intuition without knowing a few rules. However, rules are NEVER a substitute for using your intuition. Following rules is so simple, even a robot can do it.

So try this: Walk through this world with an open eye and let the beauty of it capture you. It could be the beauty in people, animals, great landscapes or even small things. Let it have its impression on you. It will shape you and you will discover your intuition for photography. The next time you want to take a photograph, try not to think about what is the right way to take it. Rather ask yourself next time: What captures my senses here? Sometimes you have to break rules.

The human intuition is such a powerful instrument in arts. It gives a piece of art this certain, unique touch to set itself apart from the mass. It is the photographer's vision of the subject and the viewer's interpretation of that vision that makes a great photograph.