Why i moved to film in 2016 {portraiture}

 

I packed the Leica ME and visited Desmond of YL camera, a popular distributor of cameras both used and new in Malaysia. Desmond is a friendly guy, humble and realistic…

I had a lot of good memories using the Leica M9 and leica ME. In my last commissioned project on Charlotte i found myself depending on Nikon D3000 instead, a cheap USD 150 camera that i paired with the Sigma 50 1.4. The results are beautiful and both client and model are happy and popularity index soars.

The D3000 is just a 10.2 mp camera and few focusing points. It is however a hidden gem, one which if discovered, would cause a worldwide buy on it. I might as well let the cat out of the box so to speak. D3000 is nikon’s last CCD sensor camera and D200 is Nikon’s last pro-bodied CCD sensor camera, both are APSC.

Charlotte. D3000. Sigma 50 1.4

 

Now back to the story. The Leica ME/M9? Lots of good memories with it. I used it on the Stephy first photoshoot in 2011.

M9. voigthlander 40 1.4

I have sold it off before and switched to Nikon D4 -> the Sony A7r -> DF and i realized that the Leica M9 it was the preferred shooting experience for my own projects and shoot and i got the Leica ME back in 2014. The D4 and DF produces nice images no doubt.

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Nikon D4. Nikon 24 f1.4
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nikon DF. Nikon 58 1.4
malaysia top portraitist
sony a7r with legacy vivitar lens 28mm

 

Using back the Leica ME was a joy. My shooting was slower and instead of having 1300 files to process, i often have around 300 files at most. The experience of handling and using the D4, DF, A7r taught me the difference between CCD and CMOS and i wanted the FF CCD back, which was only available in the Leice ME/M9 series.

I “played” with the idea of shooting film back in 2015 and realized that for non-collaborative projects or commercial, the film experience yielded me more satisfactory outcome than digital. For commercial and CCD stuffs i have my d3000, D200 ready to kick in. But for street, model shooting for artistic projects, the film experience is just fantastic.

I found myself experiencing “disappointments” over my shots, thinking more for each frame that i use and having a lot more time to chat and to know the friends/models that i shoot with during the session. Often in digital during break time, i would hand the camera to the model and we goes thru the same dialogue of :

“can you delete that. sure, ok.”

“dont worry about this, i shot in raw, it could be salvaged”

“its a bit bluish cause its raw, i could easily adjust the temperature during edit”

With film, all these goes away into just shooting, meaningful dialogue and the surprise that greets you when you see your scan results uploaded by the processing lab.

I estimate that i spent at least half of my time in getting an album up vs my digital workflow. I didn’t need to use VSCO or editing to “tone” the raw files images since each film comes with its own tones and feel.

Along the months, i have decided that film is the way to go. The satisfactory-index level, if there is such a thing, is just high vs digital. So there i handed the ME over. The new workflow saves me time, something that i spent in a beautiful startup that i am attached to.

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konica Hexar. 35 f2. Fuji 400H pro.
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Konica Hexar. Fuji 400 Super Premium.
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Konica Hexar. Kodak porta 400
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bessa r3m. Fuji Superia 200
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Bessa R3m. Kodak Pro-image 100
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Bessa r3m. Superia 200. Noctilux f1.
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Nikon f100. Kodak Porta 160. Nikon 50 1.4d
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Bessa R3m. Fuji 400h pro

Notice the different feel on each of these images? They are different film. Changing film is like changing sensor.  All the images above are shot with a range-finder like camera.

Now, after i handed in the Leia ME. I got myself 2 beautiful camera, same model, one silver and one black. Both film. I will end this post with a picture of the black model.

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Thanks for reading and have a nice weekend.

The Diary {stephy yiwen portraiture|story by M}

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I had a wonderful time using film lately on a 35mm focal length. This is my project shot entirely on film, a story based sequence of images. Do enjoy and leave me some comments.

Camera BessR3M. Lens Zeiss Biogon 35mm f2. Film Fuji 400H.

Stephy walks into an abandon house…

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The end.
Do leave my your comments and feedback, what did you think happened.

Red + White models in Malaysia {portraiture | Leica}

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Models instagram : x.x.angela, eil3in

The 40mm 1.4 voigthlander is one of those lens that i sold and bought over again. Its not too normal as what 35 would render and its not as boring as 50 mm which everyone have in their arsenal. I allows just that extra bit of space to make the difference.

Here are some images of Pang yi ling (facebook) and Angela Lieche (facebook), both friends and freelance models in Malaysia that i recently collaborated with for a series of “Cheongsam”. Cheongsam is the chinese pronounciation for the traditional costume that chinese wore for festive seasons like Chinese New Year.

One of the mistakes that new photogs often make is placing a red costume on red background, usually the temples are chosen as the background for such shoot. In my series, i put Red (eilein) on an outdoor background with blue rails and some random spots, for White (angela) since she is wearing red, the temple at Petaling Street was chosen.

Do enjoy the images below and drop me some comments of your thoughts. Cheers.
* All images shot on Leica ME, Voigthlander 40mm 1.4, edited in LR, PS, VSCO filters.

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Rachel with gladiators {portraiture}

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caravan

I spent sometime reflecting upgrading my mental faculty to add poses to my workflow. Yup, poses. I think its working, i can now easily pose any outdoor model in decent poses regardless of the props available. Its not that hard once you have spent 30 minutes a day studying poses after your long day of work in a completely different field (app developement in startup). In this set of portraiture, i used a Voigthlander 40 1.4 that costs less than USD 500 with the Leica ME (ccd sensor).

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sexy

Sexy. I find myself often struggling with this theme. The asian traditional values of grace, beautiful poses and my inherent preference of not doing anything on nude/lingerie which downgrade any beautiful model into soft porn is often at odds against each other when i study western art. Truth be told, i find recent works of China’s chinese photographers posing nude ladies outdoor tasteless, gimmicky and downright a hit at women’s honor.
On the other hand, as a women, sexy and curves are advantages of her body design, it should be highlighted in poses if its done correctly, with decent clothing that invokes that primitive visual response of viewers at a basic level.

passenger
passenger

A prop is essentially any item, object that the model can use to add interest to the visual image. In this picture, highlighting Rachel’s gladiator using the rear passenger seat and door adds interest to an otherwise weak image.

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dusk

Simple poses with good natural lighting can never go wrong.
Thanks for viewing my latest portrait session, i have a lot more beautiful photographs from this session and will be sharing them on my next blog.
I know i been churning out a lot of crap reasons and morality lectures that nobody wants to hear, but hey…its how i feel in all honesty.

distance
distance

* featured image, taken using F2.0 at 1/3000, 40mm 1.4 voigthlander, Leica ME.

images that changes lives {film|portraiture}

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reminiscence

The year is 2015. We see a shift of marketing from magazine and printed ads to influencers and celebrities in the social media.
There are now full time fashion bloggers that manages to etched out a living by blogging, uploading photos and socialising.
The source of power behind all these activities : images.

the homecoming
the homecoming

Daniel wellington gave away their watches to mid level influencers in instagram and facebook. Influencers whom are not actresses nor celebrities in any level. The actual celebrities and high end influencers are only available to actual luxury brands, but the mid and entry level influencers whom none of the big names cares to contact were flattered by such invites and free gifts.
DW made a killing with this strategy. The lower influencers just wears it and images of them begin to populate the average feed of the millennials.

dreams
dreams

Images can change lives. I have personally seen how my photos changes lives of some of these new models/influencers in many ways. While the complexity of life and opportunities are never attributed to just image generation, it is without doubt part and parcel of today’s marketing. Marketing creates leads and opportunities.

The line is blurring between those capable of creating images, the subject herself/himself and the advertising firms. Google, facebook, instagram, whatsapp, youtube are all tied to the advertising industry as a whole. The biblical truth of “do unto others what you want others to do unto you” being applied unknowingly, in the most powerful and direct manner : advertising.
We help you make money, you give us money.

The power behind advertising today? 3 types of images.
– Static images
– Images that moves
– Images that moves and have sound/voice/music.

Texts are just messages carried by the images to strengthen its message.

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emotion

Are you an image maker? Congratulations, you have been empowered to do something in this world. We were all made in His image when the world begun, its a process that works across borders and time.

 

All images shown here are taken on film, superia and fuji pro400 on Nikon F100, 50 1.4d.