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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Kodak Single Use Camera Series: Street Photo 5 - Umbrella Lady

Umbrella Lady
This is the fifth street photo from Kodak Single Use Camera series.

This is another attempt at capturing water reflection street shot. Something about this Indian lady with her beautiful warm yellow saree, long pitch black hair and red umbrella that caught my attention. I was right behind her at a distance and I picked up my pace quickly in order to catch up with her as she walked along the water puddle on the road side. Yes I wanted to capture her along with her water reflection. I stopped to compose the shot and just as she reached the spot I released the shutter.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Kodak Single Use Camera Series: Street Photo 4 - Youth Sikhs

Youth Sikhs
This is the fourth street photo from Kodak Single Use Camera series.

Deepavali - Festival of Lights was just the around the corner. I was roaming along the streets of Little India on a typical late afternoon. When I came to the pedestrian crossing right opposite the famous Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple, a group of young Sikhs were chatting and laughing away, enjoying themselves. Without hesitation, I took a quick snapshot. Just as I looked through the viewfinder, the young Sikh with the red colored turban turned and looked at me with a pleasant smile. That friendly smile seem to imply a welcome gesture, perhaps for more photo shoots. Instead of asking all of them for a group shot, I looked at that young Sikh and gave him back a big smile with a little nod as a gesture of appreciation or "Thank you!". Thereafter I walked away.

Hidden and Found


About a week ago, I found this plastic point-&-shoot camera in my closet; hidden for a long time that I have no memory of owning this camera at all, and I was searching for other stuff when I found it.

It's scarce these days to find a plastic point-&-shoot film camera with a hot shoe on it. OK here's the little specification of this camera.

Lens: 35mm Wide Angle Optical Lens
Focus: 1.5 m to infinity
Shutter Mechanism: 1/125 second
Film Advance: Manual (Gentle)
Film Rewind: Manual
1 Push Rewind Button
2 Winding the Rewind Switch
Hot Shoe: For Indoor Photo
Flash-LightGuide No.:
• 40 for ASA 100
• 60 for ASA 200

I was quite excited about it and planning to load a film to shoot, but after some tests on its shutter mechanism, the leaf shutter clicks but doesn't open at all. Sad to find out it's out of order. Well, I'm sure it would be better to get a proper high quality point-&-shoot film camera e.g. Contax T3, Ricoh GR and many others.

I had never used this camera before and therefore I could not show you photographs taken with it. But recently I loaded a KODAK Portra 400 on my Vivitar PN2011. Well I guess it's all because of the recent use of KODAK Single Use Camera a.k.a. Disposable Camera, that I really really enjoy using point-&-shoot cameras. And I love the photo quality too.

Unfortunately for this SC-911, there's nothing I can do to revive it but to dump it.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Kodak Single Use Camera Series: Street Photo 3 - OH!

This is the third street photo from Kodak Single Use Camera series.

I was on the public bus heading towards the city area to do street photography. I deliberately chose this seating because of the inverted words "24 HOURS..." - a bus advert tagline for a local supermarket. I lifted up my camera and looked through the viewfinder, trying to compose my shot with the inverted letters 'H' and 'O' which form a "OH" into the frame.

Usually when I do street photography, I do not set out with a project or theme in mind, but there are times that I wanted to be creative. Hence I pre-visualized of a street character who would be making facial expression e.g. mouth wide opened suggesting a yawn or in astonishment. An unique street character that would fit into the frame in juxtaposition with the "OH" word.

Along the bus journey there wasn't one ideal character. Then it dawned on me that I was blinded by my own judgement and vision in wanting to achieve something that was beyond my controls. Street photography is about life that is unpredictable on the streets; unforeseen and unexpected events unfold itself, calling for spontaneous responses from the photographer with as much anticipation as possible. Now I truly understand that, the more I desire for the "perfect" and idealistic street photo, the slimmer or zero chance of attaining it.

It was just a couple of bus-stops away from my destination and I wasn't ready to give it all up yet. When the bus came to a halt at a traffic junction, I spotted a small group of 5 Indian monks waiting at the pedestrian crossing perhaps attempting to cross the road or to hail a taxi. After a few moments, the monks started to walk against the traffic towards my direction.

Upon seeing this, I already got my camera ready to make one decisive snapshot, and that was how I got this shot. The blob of light reflected on the glass window came from the camera built-in flash. Due to the last shot with flashlight, the capacitor had some leftover flash power stored and it fired in the next shutter release. Well I took it as a blessing in disguise. Lights and monks can be tied in relation to Buddhism concept of Enlightenment. Luck and chance are 2 important factors that are helpful in street photography. In the end I'm still happy with this snapshot.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Kodak Single Use Camera Series: Street Photo 2 - Public Runway

Public Runway
This is the second street photo from Kodak Single Use Camera series. You don't get to see such street scene often, especially in downtown Orchard Road area. I think this couple are tourists. The way they carried themselves care-freely in public space, and their contrasting clothing are just as eye-catching and quirkier as they can get.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

DIY Video on How To Mount and Frame Your Photo Prints

Just came across this nice DIY video on mounting and framing photo prints demonstrated by Tony Roslund. Thought it would be good to share with my fellow readers.

I used to mount 27"x40" movie posters on 5mm thick single-sided adhesive kapaline boards or single-sided adhesive compressed foam boards in my former company. Kapaline board is a lot more rigid and doesn't warp over time compared to the soft foam board. Prices vary for each type of board used.

The hard rubber roller prayer is really useful to squeeze out/flatten out the air bubbles/pockets, which is a pretty common occurrence. If you do it right, none will occur. The method I used was quite different from Tony's, which of course, Tony's mounting and framing work is skillful and requires precision as he's dealing with client's photo print.

For my case, I'd make a shallow slit on the adhesive side of the board and remove the protective layer sheet. With the adhesive part exposed, I position and place the whole poster right onto the board where the middle portion is sticked onto the adhesive part. Next, I'd use the roller to roll over to assure that part is securely sticked on. The reason for doing so is to minimize air pockets when I start to mount the rest of the poster.

If I position and stick the top of the poster onto the adhesive board and working my way downwards, it would create uneven mount with many air pockets, or worst of all, ruin the whole poster with disastrous "twinkles".

Starting out from the middle is 100% safer. So in the next step, I would tear out the adhesive protector sheet on either side; top or bottom, bit by bit as demonstrated by Tony in his video on the rolling part. Once completed, I check that everything is good and flattened. Then I'd use a OLFA knife (the type loaded with snap-off blades)  and a super long metallic ruler to trim the poster to size.

Mounting job completed. Needless to say, mounting and framing do require a huge sized table and space, so no other unnecessary stuff lying around and obstruct the work. So it's good to start out with smaller prints of 8"x10", as mentioned by Tony in the video.

Happy mounting and framing!

Kodak Single Use Camera + Street Photo

Some time in mid October, I bought this Kodak single-use camera a.k.a. disposable camera at a neighborhood photo lab for $15.90SGD. I got an interesting and fun idea about using this type of camera, which I would not talk about it yet on this blog today. What I want is to share with you readers some of the "I-considered-good" street photographs I took using this camera. The photos will be posted here on this blog every Sunday morning 9:00AM (SGT).

Not in black and white but in color. So make the jump to see the first photo post.

Street Photos Published On Magazine

Excerpt from Inspired Eye eZine
A few moments ago I received an email from Inspired Eye in which I was notified that my street photos were selected and published in their magazine Issue #15 under Inspired Readers gallery section.

Two out of the three street photos I submitted are published as seen on the excerpt above. This is the one they did not select which I believe they found the above two photos have stronger visual impact. I wouldn't agree more.

It's always great to see my work published on foreign magazines. Inspired Eye is a monthly magazine on Street Photography, with subscription fee at a reasonable $4.95USD. I was surprised that they did include URLs to respective readers' photography website, perhaps as a token of appreciation for photo submission. It's great and helpful in drawing more traffic to my website.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Black and White Photo Challenge
Day #5
Mirror Selfies
Nominated by Jeff Foto to post a B&W photo for 5 days and to nominate a different person to do so for the next 5 days.

On this last day of the photo challenge, I nominate Luke Yeo to take up this photo challenge where he will post one B&W photo each day for the next 5 days. Over to you, Luke! May the Force be with you.

Photo info:
Accidentally discovered this elevator with mirrors on all sides except the elevator slide doors. I'm always drawn to the symmetrical patterns created by the stacked mirror reflections. At that point of time when I entered the elevator, I already knew what I wanted to capture. I took out my swing lens camera, Horizon Perfekt with a fixated wide angle lens of 28mm that covers 45° view angle top and bottom and a 120° horiontal swing, which is enough to capture this panoramic photo on Kodak Tri-X 400.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Black and White Photo Challenge
Day #4

Nominated by Jeff Foto to post a B&W photo for 5 days and to nominate a different person to do so for the next 5 days.

It's 4th Day today. I nominate Jonathan Danker to take up this photo challenge where he will post one B&W photo each day for the next 5 days. Over to you, Jonathan!

Photo info:
All elements in this photo came together perfectly at the right place and at the right time. Elements of different shapes and sizes consist of the red circular board on top, rectangular white board, four triangular shapes formed by the subject's arms and the two biker's right legs (both in same pedaling position, forming a symmetrical pattern) and lastly the four circular wheels of the two bicycles. In fact, there are additional shapes formed by the tiles on the ground.

Nikon D70s on Tamron 17-35mm @ 24mm (36mm) | f/11.0 1/250 sec | ISO 400 Daylight WB Center-weigh metering | Post-processed in Photoshop.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Black and White Photo Challenge
Day #3
Asian Mohawk
Nominated by Jeff Foto to post a B&W photo for 5 days and to nominate a different person to do so for the next 5 days.

On this 3rd Day of the photo challenge I nominate Robin Chua to take up this photo challenge where he will post one B&W photo each day for the next 5 days. Robin, over to you!

Photo info:
This Asian Mohawk guy was so engrossed in his phone conversation that he didn't realize I was taking his picture but his bespectacled friend behind him obviously knew. I didn't make any eye contact right after the shot and I just walked on. This is one of the techniques which I apply most of the time when I'm doing street phoyography.

Nikon D70s on Tamron 17-35mm @ 35mm (52mm) | f/10.0 1/250 sec E.V. +0.3 | ISO 400 Daylight WB Spot metering | Post-processed in Photoshop.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Black and White Photo Challenge
Day #2
Card Game
I have been nominated by Jeff Foto to post a B&W photo for 5 days and to nominate a different person to do so for the next 5 days.

It's Day 2 and I nominate my friend, Lee Chin Sheng to take up this photo challenge where he will post one B&W photo each day for the next 5 days. Over to you, Lee!

Photo info:
I was walking along Chinatown's flea market towards the famous Sri Mariamman Temple when I saw these two young Caucasian children playing card game, in contrast with that Indian gentleman sitting behind them on higher steps. Well, nothing peculiar but I just found it interesting to snap it.

Nikon D70s on Tamron 17-35mm @ 35mm (52mm) | f/7.1 1/250 sec E.V. +0.3 | ISO 400 Daylight WB Spot metering | Post-processed in Photoshop.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Black and White Photo Challenge
Day #1
Walking On By
I have been nominated by Jeff Foto to post a B&W photo for 5 days and to nominate a different person to do so for the next 5 days.

So on Day 1 I nominate Arron Teo to take up this photo challenge where he will post one B&W photo each day for the next 5 days. Over to you, Arron!

Photo info:
I was trying flashlight street photography in Little India. Well not really Bruce Gilden's shooting style which can be intrusive. OK I saw this old man with white beard walking on by. I couldn't resist to take photo of him but I took just one single shot with my Nikon D70s on Tamron 17-35mm @ 35mm (52mm) with SC29 sync cable connected to a Nikon SB-800 Speedlight, fired at 1/4 power. Black and white conversion in Photoshop with those usual Dodge and Burn darkroom techniques to enhance the photo.

It was fun shooting flashlight in the street and perhaps some day I should really try shooting like Bruce Gilden but in a different way or approach.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Black and White Photo Challenge

This morning I received a nomination call from a friend on Facebook for a 5-day Black and White Photo Challenge i.e. I will take and post one black and white photo per day for 5 days consecutively. I also get to nominate a different person each day to this photo challenge. How interesting!

I'm taking up this challenge starting tomorrow and I will post the photos here and on Facebook. So do come back here to check out my photos. Cheers!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Photo Printing with Canon SELPHY!

Canon Selphy C910
Last week I went online shopping at for this portable printer Canon Selphy C910 bundled with 2 packs of 4' x 6' size (100mm x 148mm) photo paper, all for just under SGD$235. Good bargain right? Yes indeed it was. The retail price for the printer is SGD$179. Each pack of photo paper costs SGD$42.90, two packs cost SGD$85.80. Total cost is SGD$264.80. I saved about 30 bucks!

This afternoon I had a wonderful time printing some of my favorite street photos. Well, I did a few rounds of test printing where some slight adjustments on Photoshop for more contrast and brightness. Below are the black and white prints I made.

Photo printing is part of the creative process in photography. It's the final product which photographer is able to judge and evaluate how good their photography and/or Photoshop skills are. These prints do not have to be perfect in tonalities but truly serve as visual reference for editing and layout, in preparation for a photo book.

Talking about making a photo book, I am planning to do so for my street photographs as well as for my night photography. I believe both projects will take up lots of my time and require my full commitment and concentration. Photo editing is a skill which curating, editing and sequencing photographs to better communicate the photographer's project intentions and narratives, or as a mean to refine their personal photographic voices.

It's a skill that can be learnt but self-editing is a great challenge for me with which I have yet to learn and develop. With that said, I need a huge body of work in order to begin. Approximately a range of 30 - 50 photographs or even more. Only when editing work is completed, should I consider seeking the right vendor to print and make them into photo books. In turn, these photo books serve as my personal portfolio which I can present to book publishers or gallery curators. Well, I wouldn't take any huge steps for the time being, but small steps instead for steady progression.

Until then, I would carry on doing more street photography with this photo book project in mind. Thank you for reading. I hope you have your own photo book project too or may be considering doing one for yourself. It'd be great if you already have one or more to share with our readers here. Just leave your comments below with links to your work or website. Cheers!

Street Photo - Altered Perspective

Altered Perspective
Water reflections are pretty common in street photography and to take really good and interesting shots is a great challenge for most street photographers. It's all boiled down to the photographer's perspective, composition and patience for the right subject to appear at the right time at the right spot. In addition, creativity plays an important part too. Instead of showing the upright image, inverting the photo can present a whole new perception with a little surrealism.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Street Photo - Shadow Walker

Shadow Walker
Vivitar PN2011 on Kodak Portra 400. black and white conversion in Photoshop without crop.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Pano-Street Photo: I WAS HERE

Click on image to enlarge.
I WAS HERE. Or rather I was there at the Singapore Art Museum in 2006 when I took this panorama shot using a vintage Russian made swing-lens panorama camera, Horizon 202 - the predecessor to my modern Horizon Perfekt. I do not own the Horizon 202 which belongs to a friend who is kind enough to let me played with it.

Read more after the jump.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Street Photo - Sidewalk

I was taking shelter at this location when it was raining. After some time, it drizzled and many folks walked past along this sidewalk or pavement with umbrellas. I took many shots of them and after some editing, I find this particular shot more outstanding than the rest.

Look closely and carefully for the shape of the umbrella in comparison with the curved white painted arrow on the road. That's it! Just these two simple shapes that are not related but somehow, to me, makes this street photo a little more interesting than just merely a mundane shot. Yes it's subtle. That's how I tried to connect them together.

Photo info:
Seagull 205 RF on FujiFilm Neopan 400. Developed in 1:1 Kodak D76 for 500 seconds and scanned on Epson V700 with minor contrast adjustment in post.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Street Photo - Seeing is Believing

Seeing is Believing
Seagull 205 RF on Kodak Tri-X 400. Developed in 1:1 Kodak D76 for 500 seconds and scanned on Epson V700 with minor contrast adjustment in post.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Finding Vivian Maier At A Design Film Festival 2014

Last week I got the chance to watch the documentary film Finding Vivian Maier at the local A Design Film Festival 2014. ADFF was conceived in 2010 as a film festival dedicated to architecture, fashion, photography, street art, motion graphics, technology and the subcultures of design.

More after the jump.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Street Photo - Undercover

Seagull 205 RF on Kodak Tri-X 400. Developed in 1:1 Kodak D76 for 500 seconds and scanned on Epson V700 with minor contrast adjustment in post.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Street Photo - In-grown

After all these months of posting my street photographs in black and white, this week a color street photo is featured.

I came across this in-grown plant that grows right out of a concrete wall covered with algae. It must have been there for many years as its leaves are richly green and part of its roots is growing outwards hanging by the wall. It shows the power of Mother Nature. Look at how tough this plant is and they are capable of growing out from any surface of the Earth.

I approached this plant with a fine-art style of shooting and by showing the plant and the so-called decayed wall and surface textures, and a small patch of grasses, I want to show the living condition that supports its growth as well as a sense of scale.

Street photography doesn't necessarily involves human subjects, architectural buildings a.k.a. concrete jungle, still found objects, etc etc. It involves landscape as well. As a usual practice, I converted this color image into black and white with added warm tone. In some sense, warm toned images have this 3-dimensional effect on them. It works well on this image too.

In-grown (warm toned)
Samsung S3 on default mode except WB set to Daylight. All post-production processed in Snapseed.

Before I made the above image, I visited this place at night a day before and made a few exposures with my Nikon D70s. Below is the edited one.

In-grown (at night)
Nikon D70s on Tamron 17-35mm @ 24mm f/3.5 1/2 sec E.V. +5.0 AWB ISO 1600 Center-weigh Metering.
This shot was exposed for half a second handheld, hence it looks slightly blur which has this soft painting effect but flat without shadows. I would have mounted my camera on a tripod and do some light-paintings but it's best to make the shot under natural ambiance lighting. Personally I prefer the warm toned version shown above. However the main purpose of showing these images is to explore with different lighting condition at different time of the day and see which works well.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Street Photo - Wonderful Childhood

Wonderful Childhood
A mother and her child are seen here in this street photo, walking down the stairs. I first noticed the little kid's printed T-shirts followed by that robot toy he was holding. I don't see many kids these days holding their favorite toys while,they are outdoors, not to mention playing with them. I can say this was a rare scenery. Look at their hands. The mother was holding her child's hand so tightly as they walked down the steep stairs. I guess the kid is about 8 or 9 years old. Or even 10. I'm sure he can walk down the stairs all by himself, couldn't he? It goes to show and proves how much the child's mother loves her child and pampers him with toys.

I was standing right at the foot of the stairs when I saw them walking down. As my camera has had set accordingly and pre-focused, I quickly turned towards them and took the shot. By then they were quite close to me. One moment, one shot and I nailed it down. Lucky shot? Yes it was.

Seagull 205 RF on Fuji Neopan 400. Developed in 1:1 Kodak D76 for 500 seconds and scanned on Epson V700 with minor contrast adjustment in post.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Street Photo - On Reading

On Reading
Seagull 205 RF on Fuji Neopan 400. Developed in 1:1 Kodak D76 for 500 seconds and scanned on Epson V700 with minor contrast adjustment in post.