Perhaps this picture will cause you to consider doing medium format film photography. Although i did a lot of nice sexy beach shoot with Amanda, this photo taken in a cafe on the Mamiya RZ67Pro with 110 f2.8 lens just raised the level to 3D literally.
The colors and tones are just so beautiful. Its mind blowing to think that one need to spend USD 2000 on puny FF digital nowadays when USD 400 gets you this amazing gear with plenty of $$ for film development. Awesome.
I gave in to the alluring temptation of trying out the FujiChrome film simulation. How did this happened? Ever since i sold off all my full frame digital cameras like the leica ME and Nikon D610, i had only the d3000 nikon, F100 nikon film camera, a FZ1000 bridging digital 1″ sensor and two M7’s, a Bessa R3m and a Hexar for my M mount lenses. So you can see its 90% film cameras.
Shooting film been great and i truly enjoy photography and slowing down so much. However there are some films that are no longer in production and as i scoured through the internet looking at the tones and feel of some of these bygones film, i came across discussions about Fujifilm’s simulation of FujiChrome.
Fujichrome only exist in digital today, to be exact, it exist only as a jpg output on a digital Fuji camera. I resisted the idea of buying another camera since the whole exercise been done with and i could finally have “peace” 😉 but days of looking at the FujiChrome samples got the better of me. I went out and acquire a Fuji X-A2, the entry level Fuji, a M to Fuji adapter to use my M mount lenses and a 16mm f1.4.
It happened that two of my friends are coming down to Kuala Lumpur, two very attractive friends that is. So i took the opportunity to use the FujiChrome simulation and 3 lenses to produce some new albums. The lenses are 40mm 1.4 Voigtlander M(60mm on fuji), 28mm F2 Ultron (42mm on fuji) and 16mm f1.4 Fuji native lens.
The 16 f1.4 is an amazing lens. It could focus as close as 5 cm away and have shallow DOF for full body portraiture at a close distance.
I switched to Astia film simulation while using the manual 28 mm f2 (42mm) to see if it gets me what i want. I would say the results are good but i still prefer the FujiChrome tones. On the Fujifilm X-A2, i am unable to have the other film simulation like Acros but since the X-A2 is using a conventional CMOS sensor instead of the Xtrans II, i didnt need to waste time on my LightRoom, almost all the pictures you see here are cleaned up from its JPG instead of raw.
Just look at those beautiful FujiChrome tones. I can only wonder what if the film still exist today, how much more different can it be apart from actual film grains. Using 40mm f1.4 mostly for the rest of the images here, I realized that focusing on Fuji is easy and you can magnify a moveable focus point to aid in the focusing.
Eilein have a beautiful visage and a taller than normal asian nose bridge. Shooting her portrait from the side angle highlights her features while the interesting light at 8 am brings in some drama to the image.
I hope you enjoyed this series of mine. Overall i feel that Fuji did a very good job bringing FujiChrome film simulation to the public though i believe it still looks very digital in comparison to my other actual film albums.
There is this aspiring makeup artist, Megan khor that wanted to do a sexy swimwear album for a model chosen by her.
Ironically i was chosen for the task despite having the reputation as “the guy that avoids doing lingerie and overly sexy themes”.
After discussing about the shoot, i decided to do it. Personally i have always felt and still believe that doing lingerie shoot/nudes are just low skilled themes and often the subjects are portrayed in inferior porn like poses. i am pretty sure the world don’t need more of those.
This swimwear idea is different and since its outdoor i get to use my skills. Objective would be an album that shows class, highlight sexiness and elegant poses of the model and effective use of outdoor photography. The strongest reason that i accepted this however, is because I have known Megan for sometime and when she proposed to sponsor the swimwear and makeover, i knew she has her heart in it and i would put in mine to match. After all, when is the last time u met a make up artist that would sponsor the clothes.
Hidden in this whole album however is as truth, a message. I purposely used a 10 year old APSC nikon camera with 10 megapixel (yeah less than most phones nowadays) to create this album. Lets just say its my way of saying “No” to the new Nikon D5 announcement and the lure of constant upgrades.
So jump in to my facebook link below to see the rest and follow my page to see the next 2 albums done on the same genre.
Drop me some comments and feedback.
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.
There is just something about the noct on the leica CCD that keeps you addicted to it. These images are taken casually without much editing, in fact, when i saw the colors and bokeh, i just loved them. This particular shot exhibits candylike pastel colors and it didn’t require much effort on my side. If i were to be downright frank, in reality the rendered image beats the actual image.
It takes a little bit of practice and once you developed what i would call the “bokeh eyes”, you can envision certain aspect of the images and bet that it would turn out amazing. An example would be the distance and lights behind the subject, the noctilux f1 is at f 1.0, it renders it very differently than say a 1.8.
These images are taken during the non flattering hours of the day. They are all taken in shaded location without any form of reflector nor flash. In Malaysia, the equatorial position guarantees that the sun will be directly above the country most of the time and you have very short side lighting than other non equatorial countries.
Using the noct, you need to get around 3 meters away to allow a certain margin of movable recomposition. This is because on the rangefinder like the M9, you can compose only in the center and you recompose by moving the camera horizontally, but because you are using f1.0, you only have a very small margin of depth in the subject you are shooting.
I should be shooting a lot more and sharing them. The GR now lies in my other bag as the noct’s alluring call for action is just hard to resist haha. I have been offered to goto Korea to do a portrait shoot for a girl whom i think has just undergone plastic surgery and wanted to have an album to share her newfound beauty, but we’ll see.
I been struggling to master the bokehless portraiture. This struggle has motivated me to force myself to use cameras with deep depth of field and hence inability to produce bokeh photos. One such ridiculous camera is the Casio TR. If you read my previous blog, i took this camera and went walking around Singapore as well as shot my model friends in Kuala Lumpur. Things took a change when i decided to ask Angela Lieche to do a shoot with me. Angela (x.x.angela instagram) have been creating beautiful bokehless images and her fame instagram is rising fast, thanks to her images.
Bokehless portraits, takes a very different set of eyes and mind to capture them. When i had the Casio TR, i tried my best and eventually i admit i could not take any satisfactory portraits with it. You can read about how the model herself could take a better picture here.
I am lucky to be the owner of a Noctilux f1. An ancient lens granted by Leica to possess magical qualities. I maybe exaggerating but the fact that you use a rare aperture, it can only create different bokeh and imagery. So in this shoot with Angela, i use the new skills of utilizing both bokeh and bokehless cameras. The bokehless camera is the Ricoh GR 28 mm f2.8 and the bokeh camera is my trusty Leica ME Noctilux F1 v3.
If i were to be downright honest here, i am one of the best outdoor portrait photographer anyone can find in Malaysia. Not the best, but definitely one of the best.
Well, let me correct that statement earlier, “best outdoor female portrait photographer”. LOL.
I pay my dues with constant learning, practicing and restrain in learning and enhancing my skills, do visit my other articles and photos to see the various themes that i have done and collaborated with. I learn from the best, be it Dragon Chow from HK, Ming Thein of Malaysia or a freelance model like Angela who is gifted, i take my lessons with no prejudice.
Is it profitable? No by a far margin, photography to me is like an art and a gift to me and people that i meet.
Please do enjoy the images below and drop me a comment if you enjoyed my images and lame jokes.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Do pay their facebook a visit to know more about them or for advertisement opportunities. Keywords: Elaine Cheah, Stephy Yiwen.
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..
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
This mystery camera is just the Panasonic FZ1000. A zoom lens of 25-400 and 1″ sensor.
Enjoy your day.