Fadzly's blog on his photography

Posts tagged “asia

A Life Shot In Black And White

Gears: Nikon FM2 and Nikon Nikkor 50/1.4 AI lens | Kodak Tri-X 400 Film Location: Under Kuala Ibai bridge, Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu, Malaysia

FM2 | 50/1.4AI | Tri-X 400
Chendering Fisheries Complex, Kuala Terengganu (2007)

One of the best things about street photography is that it is like going on an unknown voyage. You just never know what you are going to find, or what shots you are going to make. Maybe a real nightmare for the average coordinator but such a treat for those who dislike any form of planning. And mind you, most other forms of photography demand heaps of preparation in advance. So there! A life shot in black and white.

Gears: Nikon FM2 and Nikon Nikkor 50/1.4 AI lens | Kodak Tri-X 400 Film Location: Under Kuala Ibai bridge, Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu, Malaysia

D50 | 50/1.4AI
First day of Ramadhan, Tok Jembal, Terengganu (2009)

Many people believe it is necessary to study arts and design in order to come up with a satisfactorily constructed picture.
But since photography is a tool for both documenting and self expression, the design of a photograph is inferior in importance. The composition of a photograph should be spontaneous to the scene and employed by the photographer’s vision not by a set of rules for correct design.

Not that a basic understanding of composition and design could hurt anyone, but don’t let that bother you too much and definitely don’t let it be the main factor when making your choices.

Next I’d like to quote an article from a young photojournalist, Lizane Louw, where she described how her passion in photojournalism has affected her life very much. This is what she had to say,

Gears: Nikon FM2 and Tokina RMC 135mm f/2.8 lens on Kodak Tri-X 400 Film Location: Under Kuala Ibai bridge, Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu, Malaysia

FM2 | Tokina RMC 135/2.8 | Tri-X 400
Under Kuala Ibai Bridge, Kuala Terengganu (2007)

“In my job I meet many influential people. Sometimes my road crosses with a person that inspires me on various different levels. I had the privilege to meet someone that changed the way I think, that changed my spiritual perceptions and that moved me and my thoughts very deeply.

Since meeting Hylton, I have been spending many days sitting and thinking about his story. In my heart and in my mind there are so many emotions that jump around if I think about our brief encounter. I struggle to find words to describe my gratitude and admiration. I thank the creator for choosing me to take these photographs and to let my path in life cross with his. It was a privilege to speak to him.” (Quote from Source: Lizane Louw)

Nikon D50 | Sigma 70-200/2.8
SUKMA XII Swimming Competition, Batu Burok Swimming Complex, Kuala Terengganu (2008)

However, one has to remember that in some unfriendly neighborhoods, shooting on the street can be extremely difficult and close to impossible. Any attempt to take pictures would inevitably lead to unwanted attention from the neighborhood drug dealers who populated the street corners and alleys. I personally do not believe in “assaulting” people with a camera. Don’t be surprised when most of the subjects that you approached may not be willing to be photographed. Should they be blamed?

There have been so many approaches to street photography, so far ranging in their unique style, that I believe the lack of exploitation and ability to contain meaning into the image which is technically competent are the big necessities in street photography or photo journalism.

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Hope, a fading glow

Gears: Leica R6 and Leitz Wetzlar Elmarit-R 90/2.8, on Kodak Gold 400
Location: Gas Processing Plant, Kerteh, Terengganu, Malaysia

The hotter temperatures make plants become net emitters of carbon dioxide instead of net absorbers of it. It seems that as temperatures get hotter plants risk losing water through evaporation and respiration. In order to prevent water loss they reduce the size of their pores, and that in turn reduces the amount of carbon dioxide that the plants may take up.

LESSON LEARNED HERE: If you underexpose print films, you will not get the necessary shadow details. But given the wide latitude of print films, you can overexpose print films by 2 stops and yet get great results.

This ability for color neg films to be over-exposed and still reproduce decent images also accounts for the ability of print films to record much more brightness range than slides.

We often refer to this as “dynamic range”. In a slide, highlight information is stored as clear parts of the film that at a point contains nothing more than blank film base. Color negs continue to stack up increasing density (highlight) information until the film simply can’t record any more information.

Overexposing color negative film also makes it easier for most labs to get decent prints or scans, because more info is recorded. How much exposure compensation is needed? This probably varies with film but start with +.3 to+.5. Some film, maybe even one full stop.

This latitude doesn’t mean you’ll get an optimal result. It just means that within these ranges you can get a useable (depending on your purpose) result. Over- and under- exposure are mistakes. Film latitude should not be relied upon to cover mistakes in exposure.

Many people will intentionally reduce exposure of slide film by between a 1/2 stop and a full stop to increase colour saturation, retain detail in highlight areas and reduce grain. Some will also intentionally increase exposure on negative film by 1 to 1 1/2 stops to increase colour saturation and preserve details in shadow areas as well as reduce grain (grain can become very noticeable in underexposed areas of print film).


Life’s steep and thorny path (499570008)

Leica R6, Summicron-R 35/2.0, Kodak 200
Location: Tanah Rata, Cameron Highlands, Pahang, Malaysia

As we have weathered many storms, trying to maintain our inner flame as we walked the steep and thorny path of high-truth with integrity and honor, we now hope to establish ourselves as true spiritual humans. No longer is this a concept of the future, but a realization of our now.

The Photo: This place is situated in Brinchang. It is quite easy to spot with its mock giant cactus replica at its entrance. It is located on a hill slope overlooking the night market area facing the Star Regency Apartment Hotel. As it is located on a hill slope, the center is terraced and the covering is built with skylight roof.

The Cactus Valley boasts of having the most variety of cactus plants. Some cactus is as old as 60 years old! Apart from cactus, several varieties of crops are cultivated here using hydroponics method. Tomatoes, strawberries, cucumbers among others are grown here.

The hydroponics method of growing is not without is problem though at one time it was hailed as an efficient alternative way of growing crops.

However, the chemicals used though, give rise to other environmental problems when it has exhausted its nutrients and require disposing. Rows of potted giant cactus plants, want one for display in your house? Crops and cactus apart, other plants and flowers are grown here too. Roses, Calla Lily, Fuchsia, Camellia, Hibiscus, Rhododendron, Bird of Paradise to name a few, all can be found here.


Bokeh Schmokeh Fish Cart (36810028)

Leica R6 | Summicron-R 35/2.0
Teluk Ketapang Beach, Kuala Terengganu (2006)

IMO, the fewer the lens elements, the more you have to stop down to get adequate sharpness in the plane of focus. This results in less blitzed out backgrounds in actual use. This applies to 3 element lenses vs. Tessars vs. Planars.

These are the findings of Mr Rick Denney which I find very useful and which you can also read at length on his site

1. Bokeh has several components, including edge effects around out-of-focus highlights and false edges in the rendering of out-of-focus details.
2. Bokeh rendering is not the same in all situations, and some lenses will be better than others in some situations and worse in other situations. The Vega in this test has produced some really ugly bokeh, not consistent with these results. Lens bokeh is not a single value, and each lens requires considerable experience to understand where it is good and where it is not.
3. Wider apertures do not necessarily improve bokeh.
4. Specular highlights and other out-of-focus bright spots don’t tell the whole bokeh story.
5. Longer focal lengths improve bokeh. If smooth rendering is important, get a longer lens and back up.
6. Double-gauss designs aren’t necessarily bad, but the bad ones are really bad.
7. Sonnar designs don’t necessarily have better bokeh, but they have the potential.
8. Reputation for good bokeh (e.g., the Jupiter) don’t always show in actual results.
9. Lens complexity seems to have little bearing on bokeh. Lens design, however, is paramount.
10. Apertures shapes are not really an issue with bokeh, especially near wide open. In none of these tests was aperture shape the main determinant in apparent bokeh quality. So, we should stop counting aperture blades. The lens with the most aperture blades was the B&L Tessar, but it had uniformly the worst bokeh.
11. Bokeh is subjective, but it is not an illusion.
12. Canon knows how to design a zoom lens. Nikon didn’t do too badly, either.
13. The Biometar is NOT better than the Vega, at least in these tests.
14. The inexpensive Zeiss Jena Sonnars provide a lot of bokeh quality for the buck.

Copyright © 1999, 2009 R. W. Denney, Jr.


Coming Home (36810027)

Do you ever think what orientation suits best for the subject you are trying to capture or do you just press the shutter release button and try your luck?

Orientation can greatly affect how and what image is presenting.

Most novices shoot everything horizontally – well it is much easier to hold and shoot in horizontal mode – especially the compact cameras, no?

Gears: Leica R6 and Leica Summicron 35mm F/2.0, on Kodak Colorplus 200 Negative
Location: Tok Jembal Beach, Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia


My favourite spot under the bridge has never let me down (36850021)

Gears: Nikon FM2 with Nikon AFS Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 on Kodakcolor GOLD 400
Location: Under the bridge in Kuala Hiliran, Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia


Gears: Nikon FM2 with Nikon AFS Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 on Kodakcolor GOLD 400
Location: Under the bridge, Losong


Invasion of The Shopping Cart (36790011)

Gears: Leica R6 and Summicron-R 35/2.0
Location: Mydin Mall, Padang Hiliran, Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia


The shopping cart or trolley, a very useful item in its place but otherwise a pretty uninteresting harmless wire basket on wheels, right? Right, but how come they seem to be taking over the world? No matter where I go I seem to come across one lurking in some darken corner of the street or poking out from an unexpected place.

The human fascination with dumping trolleys goes on and has made the innocuous shopping cart a common sight and an integral part of urban life.

So it’s not surprising that they have crept into our photography in one way or another and I am always continually amazed at the ingenuity of the photographers ability to use them so creatively in their work.

On Flickr a group also gives an ode to shopping trolleys and the endless torment they endure…being left by the side of the road, on freeways, in parks, in fact in all manner of weird and wonderful situations – usually far from their rightful home.

There at The Original Abandoned Shopping Trolley Project they pay homage to the trolleys and their tireless servitude..


Not much of a shed (36850012)

Gears: Leica R6 with Summicron-R 35/2.0
Location: The beach in Ladang, Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia

Though not much of a shed if you consider the scale of the monsoons we get annually, however it serves more as a half-done-garage for fishermen to hang their fish nets. Despite the humbleness of things that you can find by the beach, let us not forget that it is the sea which gives the fishermen life. Likewise, the sea gives new life to some of our depressed spirits.


You’re talking to me? (36910039)

You're talking to me? (36910039)

Yeah it’s that De Niro’s tone of voice again. Who wouldn’t be amazed by such a character. Well such characters are quite a common scene when you’re at the fishing dock. It was a very fine morning by the jetty and these men has just finished uploading their catch for the week.

Gears: Leica R6 with Summicron-R 35mm F/2.0 on Fuji Superia 100
Location: Chendering Fisheries Complex, Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu, Malaysia


Being a photographer is more like being a composer

Essence of Chinatown (_DSC1168)

Gears: Nikon D50, Vivitar 24mm f/2.0 Location: Chinatown (Kampung Cina), Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia

The Terengganu state government is going to turn Kuala Terengganu into a waterfront city soon. The master plan for the Shah Bandar area is being finalised and is likely to be shown to the public later this month. “The state government will then call all stakeholders to respond,” a conservationist, who declined to be named, said.

 

Under the plan, Masjid Putih (Zainal Abidin) will be rehabilitated and more public places and boardwalks culminating in Kampung Cina and Pasar Payang will be created, she said. While new public plazas will take on Islamic designs, the Chinese theme in Kampung Cina will be preserved, she said. “There are proposals to build shop houses on stilts or on some reclaimed land in Kampung Cina. These shop houses will be fronting the sea and will be similar in design to the old shop houses that have the back facing the sea,” said the source, adding that houses with illegal extensions will have to be demolished.

Points to ponder:
The “guitar:guitarist, hence, camera:photographer” metaphor is a bit off IMO. Being a photographer is actually more like being a composer. You create new works, rather than simply playing/interpreting works written by others.