Saturday, June 26, 2010


Quite an interesting subject to me, and one I often took as a subject.  WIndow, for those inside the window, it is source of light, sort of hope, and it gives a sense of security. WIndow, for those outside, it says something about who owns the window, and who live behind it. It is a gate to both of the world.
This one, took in a small village nearby Xiapu, Fujian, China.  It attracted me with the beautiful color, the morning sun shine on the aged old wood frame, and a dried leaf, it was such a clam and peaceful morning.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

First Light

First light of the day has lots of meaning especially to human beings. It ends the darkness, it brings safe, the beautiful warm color pushes the cooler, blue color away.  This image, took at Xiapu, Fujian, China, represent the color graduation of light from the rising sun bathing the shallow beach.  So beautiful to see how a day begins such way.  Shot with Phase One P65+ on Hasselblad H2, mounted with HC 100/2.2.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Frame Work

Shooting a full body swimwear is not as easy as one might think, of course it is certainly fun, well, most of the time.  A recent shot in Studio SOTA 96, using the ultra versatile Canon 5D II, with EF 24-105/4L IS, the lighting set up was 4 continuous quartz day-light lamps, 1 mounted on a large parabolic reflector, while another parabolic reflector fitted with 2 heads, and one for filling up background. Although the final image display a little sultry, sepai tone, in fact the original capture exhibits very nice and natural white balance.
Shooting continuous light is not new today, especially with camera having low noise level at medium ISO setting. But still the model needs experience working with such setting.  The usual tempo is no longer there, the model no longer counting on the rythm of studio flash, and in a slightly noisy studio environment, the camera clicks will be easily missed.  Photographer in this situation needs to work with model more closely so she can pose in a harmonized way along with clicks from the camera. May be it will be nice to have a beeping device once each shutter is pressed?
Anyway, coming to the subject, the frame work.  A model, no matter how perfect she is, the right body language and composition of each part of body is a lot more important than how perfect she is, for the benefit of nice final image.  Model is a profession that they need to pose to the camera as it is a mirror, although they don't necessary need to look at such mirror, but they need to see themselves in front of a camera. And a photographer is a profession that you don't see just an object, you see a picture.

Water Dance

Another image took during the visit to Shanghai World EXPO 2010, still around the shallow pond where all the reflection were by design. Again capture by using the Canon 5D II with EF 24-105/4L IS, probably not the pinnacle of today's low light capturing platform, but coming from using films, it is nonetheless remarkable.
The water dance, as it is in elsewhere in the world, runs together with beautiful orchestra as background music, and a subtle skyline - without doubt - also by design again.  It is known that Shanghai city in order to present its modern, versatile, and of course powerful rich, ask many non-government owned buildings to work together under city policy - add LED lighting features as part of Shanghai's presentation to the world. Somthing against what they meant to display in World EXPO, but it is China, a nation awake from long sleep, give it a break.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

More on Design Reflection

Again an image took recently in Shanghai, while visiting the World EXPO 2010.  As the water becomes a more precious treasure now (it always is, but a fact not emphasized to recognize), the water is one of the important theme in EXPO.  Few post earlier I mentioned the pond, but here I have to come back to cover more because it is not a simple execution in building it to have such shallow depth pond, it is not small, but then I assumed it does not take much amount of water, to create this half natural scene. This image taken with Canon 5D II and EF 24-105/4L IS, thanks to its image stabilizer that allows me to shoot this image handheld.  Cut the reflection of this picture, it is a rather common night image and the reflection adds the drama in manifolds.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Make Up

One of the often forgotten element in the finished picture, it is not always just the model and the photographer.  This image, taken on Marco. a Russian model, using Canon 1Ds III with EF Macro 180/3.5L is one good example, it could have just been a common studio portrait.

Saturday, June 19, 2010


Shot recently in Lashihai, Lijiang China, with Panasonic GF-1 and its beautifully made 20/1.7 pancake lens.  An otherwise common travel photo.  The afternoon blue sky reflected from the surface of lake with a nice polarising, graduation effect, it is the situation when PL is of not much use here.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Design Reflection

A recent image made during a visit to the World EXPO 2010 at Shanghai, China.  The major square is cleverly designed to have a very shallow pond, perhaps only 15mm deep, a perfect execution in construction and a great idea itself, something I beleived will be adapted by many large construction work in the future.
The heavily use LED technlogy is the main lit of the site, with programmed color shift and animated image, festive, but a bit too much to my taste, but this is China - more is better!
Shot with Canon 5D II with EF 24-105/4L IS. ISO 1,000, the camera's low light ability allow me to shoot this one hand-held, at 1/20s.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


Certainly taking a picture is not simply pressing the shutter button, it has a lot more process into it.  It starts from observation.  And then you come to expect.  It all happned spontaneously, but getting an image is not depend on luck, it depends on heart and mind, and your eyes.
Shot very recently in Zhou Chuang (Village Zhou), China, with Canon 5D II with EF 24-105/4L IS, an all too often scene one would see in Zhou Chuang, or many places in China, here the subject is a cool day and  the breeze.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Sharpness is often ignored, but quite an important factor in the final pictorial quality.  Not that it has to be sharp or other way around, it is the right degree of resolution to our eye that define the image is sharp, or less sharp, soft, or even blur.  A heated debate more on the digital imaging, both still and motion; less a subject in the film days, perhaps because digital technology allows higher degree and more flexible manipulation. Whatever it is.  This image was taken with Canon 1Ds III with EF Macro 100/2.8L IS.  While finishing the final image, I merged a less sharp layer on the original ones to reduce the visual sharpness to give the final image a softer feel.

Monday, June 14, 2010


A recent jewelry work for SK, the set up was rather simple. The art director, Kanjana Chaiwatanachai wanted to have the impact more on the jewelry, to avoid the beautiful Caucasian model, Alisa, to split the attention so the make up on this image intendedly darkern her face, while still leaves the rest of body in a little pale color, and to add the interests on the image, the hair was made as if it is a part of silhouetted profile image.
Shot with Canon 5D II with EF Macro 100/2.8L IS.  The use of Canon 5D II also because we shot motions for this work, and as everyone in industries already knew, the motion file from Canon 5D II is just breath taking!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Daria Portrait

Shot with a Canon 1Ds III with EF Macro 180/3.5L.  Lighting was rather simple, just a 5ft large Profoto reflector with Pro 4 pack and light.  The tele-photo lens is not my common choice of lens in studio portrait works, not that the studio is not big enough for this focal length but for the distance between the model and photographer is a little further than I would like for portraiture work.  Here, however, as I want a little extra glamorous look of the image, 180mm was the call.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Bamboo and painting

A shot took in the Holiday Inn Crown Plaza, Kathmandu, with a Panasonic GF-1 mounted with the beautiul pancake lens 20/1.7.  It was the last day of my trip, the group already left to the airport, I have a later flight, so I enjoy a little solitary, with a small camera on hand, walk around.
This is an interesting view to me, the half fake bamboo plants, the building column, the painting.......

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Simle Color

A recent work, the color is tuned down to almost mono-tone, and keep the lighting simple, a studio shot.  Canon 1Ds III with EF Macro 180/3.5L, it is not too often I use the 180mm macro in studio, but for this shot, I want to simulate more outdoor atmosphere, so I took a long shot so the hair on the back and also the gold-foil backdrop with have a more nutral look.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Holy Mountain

This is a shot made recently during a trip to south west China, the region I traveled to is recongnized in China of rich minor and tribe culture, Han Chines, Tibetan, Tai and etc., wtth complicate landscape of terrain and beautiful mountain.  It is also a region connects the Tibetan plateau and mainland China, with geographic significance that many famouns rivers originated from here and drain into East China sea, or run into Indo-China Peninsula, to South China sea and Andaman sea of Indian ocean.  Rightfully speaking, this is the birth place of many cultures, and land of history.
Most of the ancient tribes share one thing in common - respect of nature.  It is of this respect, in particular to those mountains dominate the skyline, they are all considered holy.  This image of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, is no exception, highly worship by the locals. Shot in Shuhe ancient town with Canon 5DII with EF 100-400L IS, this is a panoramic image stitched from 6 separate captures.  Setting sun cast the clound with rich red-orange color that gives more life to this image.

The Moment

Our eyes and mind has a special connection, lots of things at work.  When we see an image like this, not only our mind register the subject itself, the background, where the light come from.... these are all static. Our mind reads a lot more, we recognize what she is doing, the direction where she walks from, what would happen immediately next. A totally differnt matter if the modek simply sits on floor.
Still image does not need to be still.  But this is a decision the photographer has to take.
Shot with a Canon 1Ds III with EF 85/1.2L, studio set up.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Skin & Hair

And nothing else!  A slighly long shot on this beauty, using Canon 1DsIII with EF 70-200/2.8L IS.  Lighting is a little more difficult on this shot to not to over-expose the skin while the definition of hair needs to be sharp and clear. The large Pro Foto reflector I often use was placed a little further away to keep the lighting ration on skin and hair closer, also to achieve sharper effect.

Rain Drops

Pocket digital camera today is so good, in fact, even those back in few years ago was already quite good.  This image, taken with an already aged, but still quite good Canon G9, in southern Thailand, in the garden of the restaurant I just had my dinner.  Walking back to the car, I walked pass a small pond, the reflection of the water drops on the dark green lotus leaf caught my eye, with a pocket camera on my hand, I turn on the flash of the Canon G9, and made this image.  Tip: shot such as this, trust yourself, turn to M mode.
People often ask me, how important is to have a camera always on hand?  I always reply "....then how important is photography to you?"