Go beyond your imagination {portraiture}

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Its peculiar that certain people can meet at the most unexpected moments.
Its amazing that things you have never planned can turn out to be the most successful event.
Its amazing that sometimes you venture into a side project only to realize, that is the main project.

A lot of things happens in our lives that contradicts the notion that we are in control, or that our plans actually matters.
That 3 years plan you have down that road, scrap it. That best buddy u are counting on, duh. That one person that you think would never disappoint you, screw that.

Thats the same in the photography world too. Some of these camera makers never imagined the way their cameras will be used or even fathom the combination simply because some things or criteria just didnt exist when certain decisions are made.
Take for example these pictures that i took…

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There are at least 4 things that occurs here in these images that are extraordinary.

– These are all shot in Fuji 400 Xtra. Its film. Its automatically scanned and uploaded to my google drive by this Film shop in Publika called BBG (bang bang geng), Malaysia. Creators of film have never imagined their output to be ended up in Google drive.
– These film are shot on Sigma 50mm 1.4 on a Nikon F100. Sigma 50 1.4 was designed, produced and sold when digital is already king, it had never imagined it to be used to capture images on a film. There are no software correction to its distortion or vignette or whatever else today’s modern lens maker could use to hide its weaknesses.
– Nikon F100 was running on rechargable Sanyo Eneloop batteries. Nikon f100 did not know the existence of rechargable AA batteries back then.
– Sigma 50 1.4 has HSM autofocus system that were never tested on Nikon f100. The autofocus system is newer than the most advance digital circuit in the F100 by 9 years. In digital years thats like a century.

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The amazing thing is that they all worked, and these images are produced. That’s life.

3 real reasons why relationships fails {portraiture|lecture}

games of dreams
games of dreams

Ever since i’ve been doing models photography and routinely have witnessed how relationships ends whether its friends, bf/gfs and even families, i have noted the 3 simple reasons.

Yup, in today’s social driven society, these reasons have become more prevalently significant vs other more traditional reasons. I am going to just list it out here using archaic terms.

1. The fear of people
Why relationship fails is because today, you are more interested or concerned about what your social peers or imaginary friends will think of you if you continue with this guy/girl. Nevermind the fact that he or she really cares about you genuinely or even if its just a caring friend and despite that you did feel comfortable having such friends/gf/bf, you imagined the hell out of your social worth and cut off your friend/bf/gf.
Sometimes because communication happens largely on whatsapp, fb messenger, you imagined nonsensical things that raise bad emotions. Sure an emoticon would have saved the day, but common sense works too. Nothing beats meeting up to solve issues.
Someone that types “hey how are you?” can be read differently and if you read it negatively that because you are only reflecting your emotion from a mirror.

2. You are bloody selfish
You been reading and seeing too much examples of how other people have dream relationships that you don’t have. Those vacations, trips, those extra cash, that ferrari that drives them around, the sunbathing at yatches. So instead of appreciating the fact that your current friends/bf/gf actually provide enough comfort and help you when you needed help, you believe you are destined for better circles of friends/bf/gf/husband/wife.
You built yourself a shrine where you think all the social guys/girls that actually liked your photos and have never proven to do anything for you that requires any sacrifices, would have among them, someone better.

3. You want to play the games for dreams
You have an ambition that goes much bigger than your head. You think your the next Gucci model, the next Steve jobs. So you went ahead and choose ur network and distance urself from your parents, friends, bf/gf that actually cared for you because you are too fucking immature to think one step further apart from your “mood”. The guy who told u the truth, u didn’t like the sound of it and so yeah distance urself.
Your bff sent you a message without emoticon? Ignore her.
Your friend send you a message, but he is no longer useful? Ignore him.
You just got a promotion or your modelling got upgraded and now think your reputation is so high that this friend/gf/bf ain’t of used to you.
I gonna be frank with you here, those who really cares about you, they are not interested to have you for themselves, they are happy seeing you do well. But you have filled your mind with some magical future projection of your status and achievement that u pursue them, and ignored everyone else that used to matter.

So thats it folks. My short and decisive evaluation of what breaks relationships commonly occurring among our community today. Have a good day.

images that changes lives {film|portraiture}

reminiscence
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.

Why shoot film in 2015 Part III {portraiture}

peaceful stare
nicole: emotion

When you look at a picture, what do you see? Often i felt images today are lacking in several elements. I find that these elements are present in much more frequency in film images and i will share my thoughts here on shooting film in 2015.

1.SOUL
Most images are missing soul. What is soul. the closest definition i found on this, not surprisingly is in the bible where there are actually distinction between the spirit, the soul and the body.

We all know what the body is, its the physical body. The soul it seems is not the spirit but something more of a fusion of consciousness and emotion.
Most images are missing, the soul. We have near technical perfection of bokeh in today’s Zeiss lineup of Otus lenses, Leica’s 0.95 noct , 135mm f2 canon and so much tutorial available on the net, but it does not grant the created image a soul.

I feel that an image with a soul is that when you look at that image despite all its imperfection, you can feel it is different. It shares with you a piece of emotion and memory that passes on despite time. I would go on a step further to say that images that does not contains any person, has no soul.

Mona Lisa, is an image with a soul. Pundits and critics for centuries have turned to fans by just looking at that image for some time. Something very different about the expression and stare that lives in that picture. Was there backlighting to add beautiful outlined to her, no. Was there even bokeh, no. Soul yes.

asian characteristic, nude face
shy, without make up

2. Its image making on molecular level

Images on digital are too clinical.
The images formed on film does not follow a bayer sensor layout algorithm nor array. A bayer sensor, fyi, is what nearly 99% of all cameras you see today uses as its sensor, be it Cmos or ccd.
Basically when you are using digital, pixels are captured in the sensor and it uses certain process and algorithm to distinguished between the color and intensity of one pixel next to the other, sometimes, using guesswork. Your image is as sharp and as clean as how the sensor renders it.
Film are analogue in nature. The images formed are reactions of chemicals at molecular levels and it doesn’t care about algorithm nor specific arrangement of pixels. Its more “lifelike and organic” and not perfect either.
As someone says “God does not create straight lines”, referring to how beautiful our world natural scenery is, how nature despite all its imperfection layout, forms beauty beyond description.
A friend of mine used to argue, “whats the point of shooting film when it ended up being scanned into digital format for sharing”. Pixels representation in jpeg or monitor or even printed, are just medium for showing images. How the image is formed affects the image itself, so when viewing images taken on film vs digital, you will easily see the differences on the same monitor or printer.

colors in putrajaya, misa yap
misa, on the fields

3. ITS GETS YOU OUT OF THE RAT RACE
Digital is getting into a rat race loop as companies spends billions into technological services and gadgets. Part of our lives and even job are tied to digital. But is this what you want in your image making process or to some of us, our hobby?
Film cameras are just amazing and beautiful.
What did you think happened when Olympus decides to make a retro looking camera like OMD and how Nikon’s DF and Fuji’x X100/s/t came out? They all become top sellers. Granted these designs already existed long time ago…in the film cameras. We just got dumbed down with using digital DSLRS with loads of menus and never ending updates.

We feed our insecurities and fantasy by imagining how happy we would be if this new digital update came out or if Sony adds in 5 ibis (they did) to their cameras. But it doesn’t end. Camera makers knows this and hence the cycle of marketing and features update continues to get users to keep buying. Its almost like a cloud subscription.

The film cameras were already 35mm Full frame since …1920 when Leica created it.
If you think the OMD looks great, try holding and focusing a Nikon FM3A.

When i shoot film today, i break out of this rat race. Its like you are in this crazy race where everyone is running but going nowhere and suddenly, you decided to step sideways and away from the crowd. You slowed down, look at the scenery and the people around you and you realized, you didn’t need to run.

The whole process and experience of shooting film, cancels the “now” addiction.

joyce birthday, sunway giza
joyce, birthday at giza

4. Art becomes valuable again
The dwindling down of photography value started when the digital photography moved in. Due to the large influx of images and the ease of shoot first, think later, humanity have became numbed to art. Thats how the human mind works, you can’t expect to watch Jurassic Park 10 times in the cinema and be as excited as you first saw it.

The world is flooded with pornographic images pretending to be art images because its trying hard to get attention. That is one of the reason i don’t do nudes. It’s more of an excuse created by the greater controlling part of the society (read: males) back then that wanted women to strips. Feeding lust with a pretence of art. There is a thin line between too sexy and porn and so-called artists can call it anything they want.

How can your art be worth anything when anyone, can reproduce it with the same digital camera and setup after looking at your images. Its a digital copy whose source is digital, stored as binary 0-1. When your source is film, you better keep that film safe, cause if you lose it, its gone. While different types of scanners can extract better imagery from your film negatives, the image you created on film, would be, naturally more valuable.

In fact, its already more valuable to you, if anyone else don’t think so. Every click u did, cost you money, development, scanning. These facts are constantly there when you take your photos. Its the reason why you would go back with only 36 images on film and 28 keepers vs 1000 images digital with 15 keepers.

* note, output wise as mentioned in my other posts, Digital output is much more cleaner and superior in details. If you are a full time professional photographer, digital is your only choice unless you become so popular that your clients will take anything you give. For you own shooting, where its about life and purpose and making images, try film.

All images here are taken using the Leica noctilux f1 on a Konica Hexar film camera. Film is Fuji Super 400 Premium.

Separating the living from the dead

we grow mask just to live
we grow mask just to live
modest transport
modest transport
love
love

Life in the city, always evolving, adapting but the climate is always getting colder, in the heart at least.
Some find joy despite the cry of the want for material and wealth, some find love as though as they found a door to another dimension, in the cold city.

All images taken with fuji GW690ii on neospan 100.

Don’t suicide, ๊ทธ์˜ ์ž์‚ด

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I know its hard out there. This article is specially for those who are thinking of doing so. This goes to those celebrity koreans as well.
The cat, has no significance to the message here. Perhaps to attest to the fact that they are beautiful creatures and survivors.
There is no animal in this kingdom that will take its own life, or suicide knowingly, this is because, life is just beautiful with or without material wealth.
There will always be food and dignity for those who are willing to work hard. People always forget given enough time, so the past should never be a reason to
ends one’s life.

So hold on there. If you don’t like your lifestyle, or that you keep losing yourself each and everyday, its never too late to change.

Nature reserves a path for you

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Sometimes if you look carefully enough, you see strange paths reserved by nature. These paths are so natural, it makes me wonder if it was purposely designed so that some creatures, mythical or not, would use it. i took the photo above while walking behind the tourist’s path of Westin Chosun hotel.

There is always a way in life. God in His wonderful mercy have given us many many ways to escape whatever mistakes we have made and into a new life.

When i read the Old Testament on Moses and the Israelites, i used to wonder why it took them 40 years before they even realized that God is there all the time for them to just cross over.

Well…i am 40 now. I realized there are many things in life that i have not mastered at all. This tends to be a humbling thought to realize that time and age does absolutely nothing to experience if one does not pursue it and do some self reflection.