Thursday, January 26, 2012

Street Photography-The Selected Images.

Since we were told to shoot in raw, i just couldn't resist the temptation to post-process. After all, raw formats were made to be used as digital negative for post processing and I would really like to see how far i could push the editing boundaries in photojournalism. What used to be acceptable in wedding photography, may not exactly be suitable in my currently course work and i might have gone a little too far this time round. Also like the problem i had with the pervious assignment, my choices for the selected images weren't as good as i thought. I was told there are better images that i have totally overlooked. Shooting is tough, but selecting the most representative image is equally as difficult, i definitely have much to work on.

Through this street photography assignment, I've realized that i am such a goal oriented
photographer, it is tough for me to just wander around aimlessly, the "Cartier Bresson" moment is just not going to happen. Therefore, I have decided to have a little theme of my own. I've set to capture the little moment of human interaction that exist within a certain location, namely The Park, The Bus Stop and The Traffic Junction. The challenge then was to be able to blend into the crowd and not arouse any unwanted suspicion. It is all about getting the most candid and natural shot of people without them noticing. And i may have done it simply by staying in these location for so long that no one seem to be bothered with me anymore.

These are the selections for the critique session and pardon the "Spielberg" kind of editing... though that is exactly how i've perceived the images to be, i've pushed it a little too far... a good lesson learnt today... Cheers!! :)

The Park

The Bus Stop

And finally, The Traffic Junction

(Photographs taken with Canon 5D MK2)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Days after Christmas...

I find it really tough walking the street, almost aimlessly, looking for anything interesting without knowing what to expect. Perhaps that explained why street photography has never been my cup of tea. And that is exactly what our next assignment is about.

Not surprisingly, it once again took me out of my comfort zone and challenge the norm of my usual photography approach. After 2 days on the street and hundreds of images later, only less than a handful i am barely satisfied with. It's going to be another long day on the road tomorrow. Not sure if it's just me, but the assignment seem to be more challenging each time.. interesting!!

I will be posting up the selected images later in the week, so do stay tune..

No festive new year mood here, just a few discarded Christmas trees and the bitter winter cold while i am walking down the street... Happy Lunar New Year Everyone!!! :)

(Photograph taken with Ricoh GRD IV)

Friday, January 20, 2012

People at Work-The Selected Images.

Critique session is often brutal and nerve-racking, but not this one, we had a really fruitful and interesting session with Patrick Sutherland, one of the 3 experienced tutors that will be guiding our work closely during this MA programme. Through his wealth of experience and honest feedback, he has broaden my perspective on photojournalism and the kind of work expected from a photojournalist.

Although these images might be lacking the much needed visual impact, it is still very much part of my learning experience. So do check it out while i continue to work on it... :)

The grandfather and grandson duo, Michael & Dan, working on their family fruit stall of 45 years.

Shane, the fishmonger from Hasting, working in a van that double up as his portable stall.

The young kurdish tailor, Houro, working along the street of Wimbledon Broadway.

(Photographs taken with Canon 5D MK2)

Monday, January 16, 2012

People at Work...

People at Work, the subject for my 1st assignment. We have to document 3 different individuals at work with a single image that tells it all. All modern day commodities of a digital SLR were stripped off from us. The image has to be shot with either a 35 or 50mm on a 35mm camera in black & white. It has to be on manual exposure with manual focusing and ISO set at 400. It's back to the very basis of what the camera could do with the photographer playing an ever important role.

Photographing people should be my forte, but this time, it's different. I have to conceptualize the type of image i wanted and most importantly, source for the subjects, the actual people at work. My 1st phone call to a yoga centre was shot down because the owner, is out of town, and the staff couldn't get the permission i badly needed in time, just my luck. Being relatively new to the country, I thought why not focus on something closer, someone that i have crossed path with on a daily basis. The hawkers at a small and random market across the junction of Wimbledon station, is an obvious choice.

I took a rather direct approach by introducing myself to the stall owners, explaining what i'm doing. They were extremely friendly and kind to allow me to hang around documenting their life. I spent most of the first half talking to them, finding out who they were rather than on the actual shoot, which i eventually realize its importance, especially for the process of getting the shot, that one single image.

The actual shooting itself is a bit of a disaster. The manual focusing on a 5D proved to be a challenge, and the focus ring on the 50mm is not exactly smooth. It does not make it any easier with an almost constant moving subject. But what all these restriction does really, is to allow more thought into making the photographs. More time were spent looking through the viewfinder, getting the setting right and waiting for the right moment before the trigger is squeezed.

In total, I spent 2 days working on this assignment. The first day was spent entirely at the market with 2 of my subjects, Michael & Dan, the grandfather and grandson duo working on their fruit stall that has been around for 45 years, and Shane, the fishmonger from Hasting, working from his van that also double up as his portable stall. Both of them are extremely popular with the locals. My 3rd subject, i thought, has to be different or at least someone working indoor with a skilled trade. Thus, day 2 were spent walking the street looking for a suitable candidate, till i met Houro, a young Kurdish tailor from Syria.

(Not part of the assignment, but a good way to break the ice with a portrait.)

Houro, a skilled tailor, works in a rather modern looking tailor shop along Wimbledon Broadway, a perfect fit for the assignment. He is extremely welcoming and we had some really interesting conversation. I am starting to enjoy the whole process of meeting new people, learning about their cultures and listening to their stories. Something that i will be doing very often from now on..

(Photograph taken with Canon 5D MK2)

Friday, January 13, 2012

A day of sharing...

The first assignment was given to us and already I am facing some tough challenges. It's about documenting, with a single image of "People at Work" and we were given some strict guidelines to conform to. A big change in my normal workflow and as a wedding photographer, I never had problem gaining access to my subjects. So being new to the country and having to source for contacts and getting permission to shoot is a bit of a tricky situation. Though, I have some ideas in mind, let's just hope that it will turn out well. *Finger Crossed*

Yesterday, we had an amazing day of portfolio introduction with photographers sharing their work and experiences. And there are some really impressive images coming from the class. It is really an eye opener for someone who are so conformed to the Singapore system, and it really does awaken my creative platelets.

A cosy and relax setting in the lecture theater for our sharing session.

Lucas, an Argentinian who has been working for the American Press, sharing his past project.

and of course, my first interviewee, Mary, from London, showing some of her work.

(All photographs taken with Ricoh GRD IV)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Day 1 at LCC...

It was the 1st day of school and we were given tons of information to digest. Had a great time meeting like minded photographers from all over the world. And it is really refreshing to look at photography from a totally different perspective. Really looking forward to the coming months of lectures, and of course, the many challenging assignments.

I was told it will be good to have a blog documenting our learning journey through this MA programme, it shouldn't be a problem for me because that is what i've been doing since the day I became a wedding photographer. So, like always, do stay tune on my journey ahead!! :)

(Photograph taken with Ricoh GRD IV)

Monday, January 9, 2012

From the Street of London...

I have to compile a slideshow of 10-20 images for a self introduction session this coming Thursday. It has to be a representation of my work and style, afterall it going to be the first impression I am making to the class.

Since most of my fellow classmates are either experienced photojournalist or news photographer, I am sure it is going to be an interesting day for me, coming from a totally different photography background. :)

Anyway, here are some of the photos taken earlier during our walkabout around the neighbourbood and city.

Right at our doorstep, with the tight parking space, I will be an expert in parallel parking by the end of the year..

Missed the twilight hour again. It is tough getting it right here. Still at the end of the horizon, you could see the amazing
overview of the city.

Benches right outside London College of Communication, UAL. Going to be there pretty often in the coming months...

Of course, some touristy pics of the London Eye and Big Ben. :)

I am still waiting for the shipment of my main workstation. So please be patience with us if you are enquiring on our London packages. :)

(All photographs taken with Ricoh GRD IV)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Our London walkabout with Evo...

Ok, I do not want to sound too overly excited about it, but we brought Evo out today. Taking the train and underground tube system through town, without a flinch from anyone. The only look we had were smiles and an old lady commenting how gorgeous Evo was in his "Burberry" coat. It is a world different from where I am from, Singapore.

Despite being 1st world, we are lacking way behind in our Animal Welfare policy. The senseless mass culling of the "Punggol Strays" clearly demonstrate the latter. It is sad to see that there are a growing sense of anger among Singaporeans, from the influx of foreign talents to the MRT saga and now the Punggol Strays. Clearly, been fast and efficient is not always the answer. So are we falling victims to our own high standard of efficiency?!

It's a glorious Sunday morning and the weather is bitterly cold. Though, my thoughts seem to be flowing more smoothly in the wee hour of the morning, i am going stop the rambling now. Enjoy the photographs. :)

Obviously, he is a little nervous on his first train ride... (Photo taken with iPhone 4s)

Evo looking at the Thames River.

The iconic London Telephone Booth.

And the walk continues...

Do also kindly support the causes on Save The Punggol Strays facebook page.

(All photographs taken with Ricoh GRD IV, except for No.2)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

It's more than tennis, it's Wimbledon...

It's a no brainer decision in the choice of our new place. The estates in Wimbledon has so much charm and character, it is hard for us to resist. It is also convenient for both of us in our daily commute to work and school.

Right at our doorstep, is an amazing view of the city, but I missed the sunrise this morning. The light was stunningly amazing
when i was walking Evo yesterday. Such a pity, i do not have my camera then.

Our new home, a quiet and serene estate at the edge of Wimbledon Village.

Wimbledon Windmill Museum, about 5 mins drive from our place.

Wimbledon Common, right next to the Windmill Museum, where dogs mingle, joggers run and trekkers walk... absolutely beautiful!

And yes, there is going to be plenty of tennis balls for Evo...

(All photographs taken with Ricoh GRD IV)

Friday, January 6, 2012

Our adventure begins...

Since photojournalism is about documenting life and it's happening, i shall kick start it with a little photo diary of my own, a documentation of my journey as a photojournalist and the adventure of a Singaporean living aboard. It's not going to be all weddings from now on!! :)

Here the latest of what's goes on. The 3rd member of our family has arrived!!

This is where all pets traveling abroad are collected in London. It's located somewhere near Heathrow Terminal 4.

It's all about the paperwork.

Unfortunately, Evo, our Jack Russell, arrived on the busiest day in the Animal Reception Centre history. Hundreds of cats & dogs were waiting to be processed on this very day. Discovery Channel were also there doing a documentary about animals traveling aboard.

Hundreds of anxious pet owners awaiting the arrival of their cats & pooches. We waited for more than 5 hours before our name are called.

And finally Evo arrived in London. Despite the hectic schedule of having to clear the hundreds of animals, the staff at the centre took really good care of them. Evo was fed and even bathed before he is handed over to us.

A long way from home...

(All photographs taken with Ricoh GRD IV)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

We are in London...

We have just arrived in London.. but do give us some time before we could reply to all your enquiries...
Stay tune and follow me on my journey as a Photojournalist "in training"... Cheers!! :)