Updates: Photo links

It's taken a bit of time, but I've finally updated one of the links that you see at the top of the page. Photo links is basically a resource page for the learning photographer (which just about includes every one of us!).

I've found all these websites immensely helpful in photography education. They are about as close as you can get without having your own personal tutor. But, of course merely reading through these websites won't automatically make you a better photographer, in the end it's all about the application of knowledge, and willing yourself to step outside your comfort zone and be willing to devote the time and energy to experiment - with your camera, with your lighting, and do things that you won't normally do. You'll be surprised at what you can achieve sometimes.

But, you've still got to start somewhere, and these websites will turn you in the right direction. Be prepared to learn! Click the Photo Links heading now!

Photo Essay: Sutera Harbour 7K Charity Run 2009

This is only my second time joining this annual charity event with first in 2001 which was the inaugural run. But, unlike then I didn't manage to finish the whole circuit within the 77 minute time limit, probably due to me being distracted by always keeping a look-out for some interesting photo opportunities.

So, because of that I've learned that in order to get acceptable pictures, you either stick to just photographing the event, or if you intend to run, stick to running only. Do both, and you'll end up getting not much of anything...which was what I got.

The event was fun. Nothing like running-walking with a whole bunch of people together. It all adds to the very upbeat atmosphere. These are some pictures that I did manage to get in my half-run, half-taking-photo mode.

We were treated to a glorious, if a bit hazy, sunset during the run.

Check-point people: All playing their part to make the event a success.

Emergency services ever ready to offer free rides to the finish line. :)

Refill station: The most popular spot during the whole circuit.

International flavour at the run.

Work those legs, but mine didn't!

A fun family event.

A Family Portrait

In my post yesterday, I said that I was going for a photoshoot with my cousin Alvin to take some pictures of a family. Well, we did it! A lot of things went well with the shoot, and I'm pretty happy with some of the shots. Here are the things that stood out:
  1. The weather was just splendid! The past few days saw rain, rain and more rain. So, the main worry was that it might just rain this morning. Thank God, it didn't. The sky was quite quite cloudy (perfectly diffused if not non-directional lighting) and later on the sun managed to peek out a bit.
  2. The family members (Dr. Paream and her husband - whom I've forgotten the name! - and their two kids, Ashvin and Ashlin) were such good sports. They humoured the both us and did everything we asked them. Of course, Alvin did the ice-breaking and started the ball rolling, and did most of the cajoling!
  3. Some of my "errors" turned out to be wonderful experiments in photo-editing and the results I think were just brilliant!
Now, you can view the other photos of this shoot at Alvin's blog, but here's three from me. Thanks to Dr. Paream for a wonderful time, and thanks too Alvin for giving me this opportunity.

The pic above and the pic below were the "errors".
But I guess in the end they turned out quite well, no?

The family in full-colour glory!

A shoot

Tomorrow will be an interesting day of sorts for me. I'm going out early in the morning for a shoot with another photographer, my cousin, Alvin. I've never shot together with another photographer before so, this will be something new for me. Another one is that this will be a family portrait shoot. So, that means we'll be directing people on how they should stand, where they should go, how they should arrange themselves, etc.

I must say this is one area where I have the least experience in . I've shot people countless of times, but not many (in fact, I count less than five) where I actually have to communicate with them. I'm more a silent-shooter kind of guy. So, since my cousin has the more experience in this area, I'm just going to follow his lead.

This is going to be interesting.

Photo Project: Multiple Exposure

You probably already know this, but multiple exposure is simply a technique of taking several shots on the same plane. So, what you get is two or more shots all rolled into one. Although this technique can easily be done in photoshop, there's nothing like the satisfaction you get when you actually think out your shot, experiment, and through trial-and-error nail a perfectly acceptable shot.

That's what I did. I had ready a simple setup: a single flash mounted on a tripod that was attached to a radio trigger, my camera on another tripod, and for the black background, a piece of black mounting board stuck to the wall behind me with blu-tack. I setup my camera to do multiple exposures, made sure my flash was ready, and I was good to go.

The most difficult part was getting myself in just the right position so that I was spread equally throughout the frame. I tried several poses for this technique, some of which didn't quite work out the way I expected it but at least now I know that there are some things that just won't work with this technique. Here is the shot that I think was the best for the effort I put in.

Tip: If you intend to try a similar one, try to mark out (or at the very least, make a mental note of) where you stand so that you can make the necessary adjustments quickly. To shoot, you can either call a friend to help press the shutter, or simply use your camera's timer.

Settings: ISO200, 1/90s at f16, flash at 1/16 power at 45 degrees right of camera.