Saturday, April 23, 2011

Beauty in the mundane....

Invisible to plain eyes... finding beauty in the mundane... from Jalan Masjid India to Jalan TAR to Times Square Kuala Lumpur....


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or see more STREET photos on this blog...

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Rules in photography - Who dictates them?

Welcome to the wonderful world of photography!

It's not uncommon these days to see people brandishing their top of the line cameras wherever you go. Digital cameras prices have dropped so much and much more affordable compared to when it was first introduced, which is a good thing.

Photography communities are mushrooming everywhere sporting all kinds of photography genres, which is also a good thing.

And thanks also to the creation of content sharing and social networks like Flickr and Facebook that  has enabled the communities to be more easily accessible and interlinked. Knowledge are more easily shared and thoughts are more hotly debated which I believe will uplift the standard of photography.

And debate they do.. on the rules of photography.. what to do.. and what not to do.. what's right and what's wrong.. and what kind of shots and photos we should take deemed accepted by the photography community.

Now.. who dictates the rules in photography? (in rules I don't mean ethics).

Who dictates what can we shoot and what can't we shoot? Who dictates what makes a good photo? Who dictates whose work is better than the other? Who dictates what specific camera should be used in certain genre of photography?

Guide yes, suggestion yes.. but not hard and fast rules. 

Hard and fast rules only do one thing.. they set a monotonous tone and limit your creativity (and it bogs my mind big time).

Borrowed picture. Buy this book HERE!
For me, photography is just like any other forms of art. It is an expression of the artist. We see, we pick up our camera and press the shutter button. If the photo is good (or 'very nice' like they always say) and universally accepted by the general crowd, then good for you. If not, it is still your work, your art... nobody should take that away from your. It is, in a way, part of your journey to discover yourself.

I'm not saying that we shouldn't take heed to any criticism. Criticism is part of the learning process. But for the love of God, don't let people dictate what you should shoot and what you should not shoot. Just do whatever you need to do for your art... your passion. Don't be too close minded and blindly follow the rules set by other people.. who ever they are.
Debates and forum discussions should only be participated to certain limit. I believe we should just go outside and shoot photos rather than spending hours a day on photography forums.

People speak their minds and opinions.. I accept that. Photography, like I said, is just like any other forms of art and is very subjective. But people who speak too strongly of their minds telling people what to do are just... I don't know.. you decide.

So people.. break the rules and you see the real world of photography. Let your creative minds soar!

Don't take all that I have said.. I'm an amateur in this wonderful world of photography. What's your take on this?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

100 things I have learned about street photography - by Eric Kim

I stumbled across this street photographer's blog owned by Eric Kim.

Lots of wonderful street photos and inspiring tips. One of his post is '100 things I have learned about street photography' written based on his experience as a street photographer.

  1. Just because someone has an expensive camera doesn’t mean that they’re a good photographer.
  2. Always shoot in RAW. Always.
  3. Prime lenses help you learn to be a better photographer.
  4. Photo editing is an art in itself
  5. The rule of thirds works 99% of the time.
  6. Macro photography isn’t for everybody.
  7. UV filters work just as well as lens caps.
  8. Go outside and shoot photos rather than spending hours a day on photography forums.
  9. Capture the beauty in the mundane and you have a winning photograph.
  10. Film isn’t better than digital.
  11. Digital isn’t better than film.
  12. There is no “magic” camera or lens.
  13. Better lenses don’t give you better photos.
  14. Spend less time looking at other people’s work and more time shooting your own.
  15. Don’t take your DSLR to parties.
  16. Girls dig photographers.
  17. Making your photos b/w doesn’t automatically make them “artsy”
  18. People will always discredit your work if you tell them you “photoshop” your images. Rather, tell them that you process them in the “digital darkroom”.
  19. You don’t need to take a photo of everything.
  20. Have at least 2 backups of all your images. Like they say in war, two is one, one is none.
  21. Ditch the neck strap and get a handstrap.
  22. Get closer when taking your photos, they often turn out better.
  23. Be a part of a scene while taking a photo; not a voyeur.
  24. Taking a photo crouched often make your photos look more interesting.
  25. Worry less about technical aspects and focus more on compositional aspects of photography.
  26. Tape up any logos on your camera with black gaffers tape- it brings a lot less attention to you.
  27. Always underexpose by 2/3rds of a stop when shooting in broad daylight.
  28. The more photos you take, the better you get.
  29. Don’t be afraid to take several photos of the same scene at different exposures, angles, or apertures.
  30. Only show your best photos.
  31. A point-and-shoot is still a camera.
  32. Join an online photography forum.
  33. Critique the works of others.
  34. Think before you shoot.
  35. A good photo shouldn’t require explanation (although background information often adds to an image). *
  36. Alcohol and photography do not mix well.
  37. Draw inspiration from other photographers but never worship them.
  38. Grain is beautiful.
  39. Ditch the photo backpack and get a messenger bag. It makes getting your lenses and camera a whole lot easier.
  40. Simplicity is key.
  41. The definition of photography is: “painting with light.” Use light in your favor.
  42. Find your style of photography and stick with it.
  43. Having a second monitor is the best thing ever for photo processing.
  44. Silver EFEX pro is the best b/w converter.
  45. Carry your camera with you everywhere. Everywhere.
  46. Never let photography get in the way of enjoying life.
  47. Don’t pamper your camera. Use and abuse it.
  48. Take straight photos.
  49. Shoot with confidence.
  50. Photography and juxtaposition are best friends.
  51. Print out your photos big. They will make you happy.
  52. Give your photos to friends.
  53. Give them to strangers.
  54. Don’t forget to frame them.
  55. Costco prints are cheap and look great.
  56. Go out and take photos with (a) friend(s).
  57. Join a photo club or start one for yourself.
  58. Photos make great presents.
  59. Taking photos of strangers is thrilling.
  60. Candid>Posed.
  61. Natural light is the best light.
  62. 35mm (on full frame) is the best “walk-around” focal length.
  63. Don’t be afraid to bump up your ISO when necessary.
  64. You don’t need to always bring a tripod with you everywhere you go (hell, I don’t even own one).
  65. It is always better to underexpose than overexpose.
  66. Shooting photos of homeless people in an attempt to be “artsy” is exploitation.
  67. You will find the best photo opportunities in the least likely situations.
  68. Photos are always more interesting with the human element included.
  69. You can’t “photoshop” bad images into good ones.
  70. Nowadays everybody is a photographer.
  71. You don’t need to fly to Paris to get good photos; the best photo opportunities are in your backyard.
  72. People with DSLRS who shoot portraits with their grip pointed downwards look like morons.
  73. Cameras as tools, not toys.
  74. In terms of composition, photography and painting aren’t much different.
  75. Photography isn’t a hobby- it’s a lifestyle.
  76. Make photos, not excuses.
  77. Be original in your photography. Don’t try to copy the style of others.
  78. The best photographs tell stories that begs the viewer for more.
  79. Any cameras but black ones draw too much attention.
  80. The more gear you carry around with you the less you will enjoy photography.
  81. Good self-portraits are harder to take than they seem.
  82. Laughter always draws out peoples’ true character in a photograph.
  83. Don’t look suspicious when taking photos- blend in with the environment.
  84. Landscape photography can become dull after a while.
  85. Have fun while taking photos.
  86. Never delete any of your photos.
  87. Be respectful when taking photos of people or places.
  88. When taking candid photos of people in the street, it is easier to use a wide-angle than a telephoto lens.
  89. Travel and photography are the perfect pair.
  90. Learn how to read a histogram.
  91. A noisy photo is better than a blurry one.
  92. Don’t be afraid to take photos in the rain.
  93. Learn how to enjoy the moment, rather than relentlessly trying to capture the perfect picture of it.
  94. Never take photos on an empty stomach.
  95. You will discover a lot about yourself through your photography.
  96. Never hoard your photographic insight- share it with the world.
  97. Never stop taking photos
  98. Photography is more than simply taking photos, it is a philosophy of life
  99. Capture the decisive moment
  100. Write your own list.

Do these work for you?

You decide...

Take a look at his blog HERE

I need to start doing item 14...    : )