Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Portrait of a leaf

Shadow is everyday experience, it co-exist with light, and it balances the light. This image, took with one of favorite compact camera, Contax TV-S, shot in a small town outside Toronto, Canada, while I was meeting there.
A small forest next to the hotel I stayed, I have the Contax in my pocket, take a walk in the woods, the sunlight penerated the foliage, onto a rock full of moss, and I saw the shadow of the leaf, grab the Contax, made this picture.

Shutter speed

Today's digital capture gives the photographers much more flexible control with their tools. In particular, the state of the art digital camera, especially the Japanese major DSLR offerings, capable of allowing photographer use higher ISO setting to make use of available light, or more dramatic control of mixing lights, that otherwise very difficult for those days shooting with film.
This one, shot for AinoSofia, with Canon 1Ds III with EF 85/1.2L. The capability of more flexible ISO value setting provides more control on the aperture and shutter speed need to capture the image envisioned. This one, with the shutter speed just enough to freeze the main subject while leaving trails of motions on clothing, and the depth of field needed for the ambient space.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


Shadow is everyday and everyone's experience. It gave the sense of direction, hint of dimension, and of curse the mood. This shot, made with Canon 1Ds III with my favorite EF 50/1.2L, is a good example. Without the shadow, the model's pose will look very unnatural, and lack of balance. It is part of the picture.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Camera matters, or is it?

I have the opportunity in my professional image work use a large number of cameras and lenses and digital backs, most of which I own in one time or another, most still with me. I am not a collector, but I do like to try new tools.
From the cameras I use, quite rare with film now, almost all digital, from small and compact 4 million pixels digital camera like Contax TV-S, Sigma DP-1 and DP-2, Canon G9/G10, Leica M8 and M9, Canon 1Ds II and 1Ds III, Nikon D3X, Phase One P25, P45+ and P65+, Sinar eMotion 75LV on Hy6 and quite many lenses, and Hasselblad H3D system + lenses. Is there any particular camera produce the best image? No, I don't think so. I think the quality of the image is photographer's sole responsibility, nor any particular client specific requests the highest resolution cameras, not even the higher paid customer get to use higher cost cameras, no they do not mater, it is about the image, not the camera. it is basically what I think will work, then I use it.
Today's media has a huge appetite for unlimited images, quite often it is web-base and does not require the best possible camera, but rather, outstanding concept the image present, and hopeflly, catch higher attention.
This image as an example, for its image size, I could have used just any camera to get the look, but I use Phase One P45+ on Contax 645, with Vario-Sonnar 45-90mm for this shot, why? I simply like the feel of holding a Contax camera.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


I have in several previous post surround the subject of bringing motion into a still image, this one, shot with Canon 1Ds III and EF 85/1.2L, is the same approach although different execution.
I asked Kate, a Russian model in this picture, to put her finger closer to her lip as she is "sheeeeeing:. And I hope, it adds some story to otherwise a boring picture.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Black and White in Color

The phtography as we knew it developed from the monochrom silver halide base film, then color, and quite many chemical based materials in between. Then the digital, a physical base photography, with devices made from CCD and CMOS base, promote this media to a unprecedented popularity. Erwin Puts has covered this with lots of quality essays in his blog, highly recommended to read.
Anyway, here I am talking about photography as a classical art, the photographer gets to do what he wants, regardless the media. But is there any particular way to shoot black and white film? Different from color negative? And many even go as far as different ways in shooting negative and slide. Now, with the digital device, arguments flying over internet with volumes challenges the largest hard drives.
I don't think it matters. This image, made on Sandra, with Sinar eMotion 75LV on Hy6, Schneider 80/2.8 AFD lens, is one example.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Tibetan Kids

A snap shot on 2 kids smiling to me and my camera, a Leica M8 mounted with Summilux-M 35/1.4 ASPH, I quickly press the shutter.
It was inside the Tsebang temple, Lhasa, Tibet. Today, it is hard to see the tension between the mainland Han people and the local Tibetan, probably no longer due to those army camp in the city, rather, lots of RMB, and perhaps the tourists, like me, among those hundreds of thousand each year shift their focus on to the reality.
It is a hard argument. The Chinese involvement in Tibet without doubt cause the exile of Dalai Lama, himself a controversial figure, and seemed to be a likeable person portrait from the Western press. But it is a question if the Tibetan people will have a chance for better life such as today if it is ruled by Dalai Lama, perhaps not because of where he comes, but more on those secrecy in the power transition. Yes, we can see Dalai Lama a victim, but when you look at Tibet today and yesterday and how the people lived there, I am not so sure if the people is the victim.

Black & White

Shoot during a vocation in Phuket, Thailand, with one of my favorite compact digital camera, Contax TV-S, a beautifully made camera that you want to carry with you everywhere.
I spotted a floating feather on the pond near the hotel lobby, the shadow of the roof on the pond forming an area of shade while the feather reflected the bright light, creating a nice contrast. I snap this picture.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Window

Window must be one of the greatest invention in human development. It introduces us a view, light, and source of breath. Sometimes, I am not sure what I will choose between a door and window? May be a window is more important? When you are in a room, door is an exit, but window is like hope......
Took this image in a restaurant in Chiangmai, Thailand, while having some Pu-er tea with my German friend, saw the pottery vase standing by the window, shaded and shaped nicely by the light from the garden, so I told myself, "What a picture", took my Contax 645 with Phase One P45+, Carl Zeiss Apo-Makro-Planar 120/4.

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Pose

Pose is something that has to come as a nature, you can or you can't, at least this is what I thought. Anna, a beautiful Polish model, beautiful, and good model figure, but terribly lack of confidence. But as a model, she still make a model pose easily, something a profession. I shot many different models, some can pose a lot, but those can pose a lot does not always capable posing something similar, it is about each own body, comfort and many thing else. It is as lucky for a model to meet a good photographer as photographer to meet a good model. Shot on Bangkok RCA Street, Canon 1Ds II and EF 35/1.4L.

More Motion in Still

A recent shot made for Mercedes CLC, with a Russian model, Olga. It was a rather straight forward shoot, to portrait the model with a character similar to the car, hopefully. Here again I ask the model to swing her hair so that it create a motion that otherwise difficult to get, even by a blower.
Color is rather simple, with the nice blond hair the high light. Shot with Phase One P65+ on Fuji GX645AF, HC 50-110.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Motion in still

I have touched this subject often, becasue I shot it often. Not that I don't like static shots, often I just found motion in a still image deliver extra vibe, brings more life into the image, although this is a subjective opint of view.
This image, shot by using Canon 1Ds III with one of my favorite lens, EF 50/1.2L captured the motion in a classic portrait. The hair movement is just enough to display the color of the hair, and the skin, and of course the sexy Wolford swimsuit, agasint the mono tone background, make this image attractive, hopefully.
Again here I use a normal lens to capture the image, to keep myself relatively close to the subject.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Level with the subect

This is a shot made on one of my favorite model, the Canadian model Jenna. Fair skin, and light blond, I have my model lie herself on a table of white reflective top, and a large reflector to bathe her in light to get this image, soft, and comfortable. I have the back of Jenna slight over exposed so that Jeena is merged into the light, to further give the image a little more dream like.
Camera angle in this shot is important, too lower, the perspective will likely becomes unnatural, too high, the intimacy between the model and photographer will be taken away. So I level the camera as Jenna, made this shot. Using Canon 1Ds III and EF 85/1.2L.


This is an image took in Xinjiang, China. Lake Bosten, also regarded as the largest fresh water lake in China, large, expanded to the end of sight. I took this picture while taking a tourist type boat ride, due to its commercial nature, the boatman was hurry to finish the route, to save his time, as well as to get possible extra ride, something similar in all over China, that people is always hurry on something, can't wait to make extra income.
On Lake Bosten, this means you are on a boat that is far from still, and the remedy was to make sure my camera was set to ISO value that enable me to take shoot with reasonable sharpness. Took by using a Nikon D3X, with the AF-S VR 70-200/2.8G IF-ED, I was able to get f/7.0 at 1/400s while setting the image at 86mm focal length, at ISO 320.
An otherwise regular view, I quickly snap the image before the ripple from our boat disturb the stillness, and the reflection.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Light and the beautiful

A shot made recently, the Mercedez CRC anda beautiful Russian model, Olga. The model was lit by a studio light, while the highlight on her face was painted by the car's headlamp. Made with the new Phase One P65+ processed with the recently released Capture Pro 5, a small crop from a large original capture shows the minute detail of the image.