Natural vs Fashion poses, Jaclyn Lee {Portraiture}


Jacklyn Lee wants to do a shoot and while i am personally studying bokehless photography, i feel it won’t do her justice to shoot and learn because she comes all the way from the States. So the leica and noctilux 1.0 comes to the rescue. She is more accustomed to fashion poses but i decided that the theme would have to be natural like and not fashion poses. Natural poses blends beautifully with background such as this garden, it grants the viewers a feeling of peace, reflective and happiness.


Do enjoy the photos and if i made your day better in anyway, please do leave a comment, it means very much to me to know that i have somehow touched someone with my art. Enjoy.L1004772 L1004773 L1004782 L1004790 L1004800 L1004804 L1004807 L1004811 L1004814 L1004818

USD 50 lens that u can get for your Sony / Leica..and a surprise { Portraiture}

Ok so i went ahead and took out the Industar 61/LD lens from an old Zorki Russian camera that you can have for around USD 50. Added the M39->Leica M adapter and slot it to my leica. Everything looks good, lovely bokeh, sharp.


Its very light and gives your camera that extra vintage look. At f2.8, its pretty much good enough for most shoot, if you are using Sony, low light wont even be a problem.

very bad flare control





Here comes the scary part. On an accidental flare..i notice there are actually dead? creatures living inside the lens. Hows that for a 40 years old lens?
Yeek. If anyone knows what creatures are these, please comment and let me know.

Three story of people i met that you should read {portraiture}


Elaine Cheah. An internet idol. As a student in a quiet state north of Kuala lumpur, her reputation for being cute, beautiful, sexy didn’t take long to go viral. She found herself having over 400k fans in facebook and her new instagram account went over 20k. As an internet idol, she has a lot of offers from businesses and new ventures for advertisement posts for her huge base of fans.
Reputation comes with its price though. As her chosen photographer and friend, i personally witnesses how some random strangers would try to “get her” with baits of contracts and career. One such instance was just in April, 2015, after our shoot in Bangsar Village Shopping Centre a guy claiming to be of some management position gave us his card and took our numbers. He then personally msg just Elaine for “private invites” to some event which happened to have only “1” ticket availability and the promise of meeting prominent people.
Elaine rejected that event simply because she wasn’t free, the event turned out to be just some lineup launching of a bag brand in a public mall where anyone can just see. He followed up with msgs like “hook up for coffee” which is highly inappropriate usage of words. One can only wonder if its ignorance of english words used by new generation today is the reason for such construct or just another subtle way to reveal his purpose.


short hair

I met Nicole thru another friend from Kampar, Perak. This is the same place where Elaine study. Nicole is a tall, girl that occasionally model for her varsity. For asians 170cm is considered tall. Reminded me of Janice which i met in 2013 which is at 173cm and today is an active freelancer in decent catwalks and ushering, a friend that i often miss and yet happy for her new found success.
Now back to Nicole. She was just finishing her studies so her request for a photoshoot was greeted without resistance on my part since she would be in KL.
It was 1st January 2015, a public holiday where people go out and celebrate but we decided to shoot the whole day with 3 different makeover and location. I enjoyed myself much that day with all the laughs and awkward situations of her learning to pose for the camera. We met up with Danny for a cafe shootout and did a nightshoot outside a prominent KL shopping mall, Pavilion.
You can find her albums in this blog on January 2015.
Nicole has a more laid back attitude about her images and often taking up stronger moral stand on daily issues. One could easily see how happy and proud she is on her boyfriend, a handsome young man that is at least 180 cm. Looking at their images that they have done for the varsity and bridal houses in Kampar, i often joked about how they don’t need to get photoshoot on their actual wedding day. She has a dimple on her right side of her face, which made some images unique and that extra punch in character.






Stephy is another internet idol here in Malaysia with over 100k fans in Facebook, but an equivalent amount in Instagram. Instagram seems to be a much better platform for advertisement and Stephy found herself courted with many offers for advertisement. At a young age of only 19 now, i recalled my first photoshoot with her when she was just 15. It was one of the most challenging shoot i ever did simply because of the mounted pressure i had on myself for the quality of images to be delivered…and i was just starting out myself in photography back then.
Stephy Yiwen is a very friendly and comfortable person to be around with during photoshoot, she gave clear indication of her objectives what are some of the images she likes or don’t like and i often found myself forgetting that i was shooting someone with a huge fan count. She could play guitar by learning it from youtube and is currently taking up japanese language classes as her additional language. In Malaysia, most people know at least 3 languages, so adding japanese would mean knowing 4 languages.


many reasons to be happy


the baby

Do pay their facebook a visit to know more about them or for advertisement opportunities. Keywords: Elaine Cheah, Stephy Yiwen.

Where no cameras matter {Portraiture|Mystery camera}

Amanda cme, a full time makeup artist in malaysia, KL.

Last few weeks its all about using that “premium” level noctilux F1. This week, i decided to use a mystery camera to educate friends and public. The point is..


all smiles

You don’t need the most expensive lens or gears to make art. You can’t be using an iphone if you want quality images of the same scene. But here is the good news…


chelsea, beautiful

Today’s camera, if you were to buy one that is even 1″ sensor. Its more than enough to keep you busy. After all, lens or cameras are servants of light.


the eyes

These images taken here are of very high quality, i have no reservations printing it out and matching even the best 35mm have to offer…with billboards as exceptions.


P1060994 1
its all about the expression

What is even more important is to have quality of light and focusing on what you love to do. I love candids and i love portraiture. This is where leica will have a big problem matching, fast focusing. I had good success using 18mm F4 on the Leica ME with zone focusing. But if you gonna do some composition and you want speed…



you will be spoilt by choice by other brands. Autofocus has reached a godlike speed. All the images in this series are taken with 1 camera that cost less than USD 1000 and 1 set of cheap triggers costing usd 30.


P1070255 1

When i have that bokeh lust, its the Leica with the Noctilux that does it. When i want those beautiful candids and i need autofocus, almost any camera will do.

straight pose

This mystery camera is just the Panasonic FZ1000. A zoom lens of 25-400 and 1″ sensor.
Enjoy your day.

5th Element {Portraiture | Noctilux f1}

end of time
end of time

I am often baffled at how the f1.0 produces the most amazing subject isolation. Unlike zoom lens where you turned the background into cream, the 50mm f1.0 retains the background visible shapes and you can get very decent size of the person with just a few steps away.


A handheld shot at 1/60, iso 320. The image retains the ambiance that is often felt at these beautiful dim lighted places.
Its friday, shoot long and prosper.

18mm, the hidden portrait lens { Portraiture | Candid}

the smiling servant


100% zone focusing. That is how i shoot each of these images. I didn’t even look at the view finder and all done by shooting at the hip level or lower. This is how a guy photographer who was given the “privilege” to carry the model’s bag looks like -> Happy. I can’t blame him, personally when i am allowed to carry the model’s bag, a sense of trust and responsibility can be felt, though at a bare minimum level.

K-pop cover album : photog ….yeah dream on


This is possible because 18mm is a crazy godlike lens. This is the Zeiss 18 f4 lens and with that wide field of angle and even at F4, zone focusing by estimating the distance is a breeze. Turn around, camera at hip, distance 1.2 meter, zap!

the tourist


All shots are done at either 1-1.2 meter or 5 meter. When i uploaded these files into my mac mini server, i was really surprised at the results. For a long time, i wanted to take really candid and natural feel of the scene and people that i see. Models or not, i wanted non-posed shots. I love this shot, in street photography you would want the model to be isolated and without distraction, in street photography u want all the elements, including people walking around. Here is a shot with both!

35mm too wide?

Stephan the photographer here is seen moving closer to the model because he is using 35 mm lens. Little did he know, i aint complaining on my 18, he is part of the story. hahaha.


real laughter, finally caught by the 18mm


all attention



The drama you get from the 18mm is just marcuslicious. I can just imagine this being used in the beautiful morning at Mordor…wait..that don’t exist does it? I mean New Zealand..or Norway. whatever. Seriously, try shooting really early in the morning and you get really beautiful results since everything in the frame is lighted divinely.



Suet Li, the model you see here, didnt look very serious when she saw me not focusing at all and just talking to her while pressing the button away. In this picture i was really low and i took the shot like 2 seconds when i just moved in and out.


eye level


The one.

This picture is the only picture that i took taking more than 10 seconds. That is because i wanted the model to stand right there and snap, i took it.


real mccoy

Have you ever wondered how a person would actually looked like if she or he didn’t know a camera is pointed right at here. Now you see it.


Catch me if you can

By now, Miss Suet Li already know that i am shooting whenever i turn around even though i dont look at the viewfinder nor lcd (not that the leica me has an liveview). So yeah she wins this round. Got me surprised with this pose.


The city of Ember {Portraiture|Noctilux f1}

Carbon & yosemite

The noctilux F1 continues to amaze me with its seemingly out of the world rendering. At the end one must ask, does the price justify the results?

the wanderer

Shooting with the noctilux F1 takes on a different kind of eyes. You need to pay attention to the background and to the formation of bokeh that might occur, often making your wildest guess as to what the results might be.

the wanderer’s stare

Using the M9/ME CCD sensor only adds surprises to the results. The M9 sensor is a bad performer in high iso, but with a F1, you only need to do ISO 250-400 max.

grace of light

I found myself torn between focusing on the model as well as trying to envision how the background bokeh might be. Its easy to lose yourself in either one and end up with average photos that focuses too much on bokeh or ignoring its possible distractions.

malaysia top barista, kfchan

Even the most mundane background produces a kind of art around the subject.


The noctilux is not a sharp lens by any modern top lens standard…

binary man

but it can render nothing that the modern lens have.


Being real {portraiture | noctilux F1}


misa yap
misa yap

Occasionally I come across a friend that has no fear of doing a portrait session without makeup and without editing. Miss Taylor Yap here used to be a freelance model but now pursues a full time job in auditing. If i may be frank about auditing, i find that it is a lifeless job where you spend hours and hours afterwork at client’s site. ┬áSince i am using noctilux i am hoping that some of the softness of the lens would make this “nude face” photo-session a less intimidating session for the model.

the laughs
the laughs

Its 2.30 pm in the afternoon and its the worst time of the day to do any shooting. I had to hide among shades and try get some interesting shots. Miss Taylor here wore an interesting tops that have multiple holes. I know its kind of a trend nowadays, but coming from my generation, people would have thought she is in destitute of clothing. Haha, anyway her equally scratchy pants complements the tops.

that thing
that thing
easy smile
easy smile

The shoot ended around 30 minutes as we both feels that the weather and heat is really too much. I hope you enjoyed the images.

Two cheats in Portraiture {Portraiture|Noctilux F1}

Prime Arrancar #1
Prime Arrancar #1

There are two things that can make your portraiture stands out. Two things that resembles more like cheats than skills. I have tried all kinds of portraiture techniques, styles and lens and i believe these two factors are the “cheapest” way to improve, its almost cheat.

The first one is BOKEH.

Bokeh allows your portrait to stand out instantly. This is because bokeh only affects the lights in the background or those highlights behind your portrait or those way in front. In a way its like adding elements to your images that surrounds your main subject. This is where most kit lens sucks and sucks big time.


You can forget about bokeh if you have a slow lens. Even a 2.8 is crap nowadays. Get a 1.4 and we start talking. Bokeh is a by product of big aperture lens but its a totally separate factor to consider. Large aperture affects the DOF of the subject that you are focusing, this makes whatever in focus sharp while the others are blurred. This allows you to have subject isolation powers that will immediately pop your image, even if its a bad one.

Did i mentioned “cheapest”, i really mean its the laziest way you can improve in portraits. Period. If you don’t have both of these, you better have very sharp, contrasty lens, good studio setup or a beautiful scenery that adds interest to your images, else its gonna just looks like its some iphone images.

Have fun with your gears. Shoot long and prosper.