Shooting natural sure beats the heck out of pose

There are 2 cameras that i really like. One is the Sigma SD15 and the Xvario.
The SD15 is now back in my hands and i guess i just have to accept that sigma’s autofocus wont be as accurate as nikon and some misfocusing is inevitable.

But man…u gotta love those 4.7mp coming out from the APSC, the sharpness is amazing and editing is a breeze, i shudder to think of those using over 30mps cameras.

Now cameras aside, i been wanting to do an album with just natural shots and minimum posing. What do i mean? Frankly, i find posed shots are just as fake as it gets and natural shot of a person, is just so priceless. So i met this young lady, whom volunteer to do the modeling and during the shoot, i just try to get her to laugh as much as possible….and snap.

You can’t fake a real smile, and that is what i want a picture to hold.

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Photoshop or natural, who cares?

I started off in photography trying to duplicate the scene as real as possible and zero photoshopping.

My my, how have times changed. Doing portraiture in Malaysia, i ended up shooting nothing but models, but that is another story. For now, lets just say, i jumped from natural to light editing with Lightroom and finally photoshop. I really wanted to do PS just dodging and burning, but the slew of imaging that floods the freelance of models community demands that images needs to standout from the crowd. First i undergo a personal tutorial for 3 hours by a genius photographer based in KL, Ming Thein, ironic cause he does not do portraiture, but being a person that recognizes skills and talents, i know he has much more to teach me than any portraiture guru around town.

He is a photographer that focuses on natural editing mostly because he is into street photography too. Now i learn a lot from this master, mostly on the most crucial part of photography which i see being missing from tons of photos flooding my news feed. But as any guru will tell you, go find your own style.

Well as the story goes, it doesn’t really matter how natural your image is, the reason is that you are not a photo journalist where the credibility of the image and how intact the image from the actual scene is important. This however does not means that u ahead and shoot with kit lens using 15 minutes of crap preparation and edit the hell out of it. 

My shooting buddy, one that stood with me thru many experiences with good models, bad models and dishing out any help to new freelance models is a big fan of photoshop, so much so that he edits “fantasy” literally into all his photos. Along the way, i realized, there is no reason to be so serious about “natural”, but rather, how happy the client/viewers are.

If you want to argue about “natural”, fact is, an image is just an interpretation of the sensor, with each brand processing the image according to its color profile. Want that leica color? Fuji? Olympus? U see, the image u get is just a rendition of the sensor. Instead of being an image taker which anyone with a camera can do, i decided that an image creator is more like it.

So it boils down to the image and theme that i undertake in my projects. For one, i appreciate models or people who have dedication in their preparation, being early etc. When it comes to beauty, there is always a “prettier one” around the corner so its just silly putting the subject as the “main” criteria. Check my archives and you will see mostly natural shoot with various types of toning editing. But for this theme i did lately, “Angel” i could not but apply heavier editing.

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Angela, Fantasy shot naturally (ironic)

This is Angela, a petite freelancer model in Malaysia. I shot this using the Sigma SD15, unfortunately i got the usb dock 1 day late and it seems some of the images are front focusing. But i did manage to get some usable and nice ones and edited it.

The 18-35 1.8 ART is an amazing lens with ONE big con…it has not image stability. The lens is heavy though, so you will need to support it to counter the shakes.
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