It’s been a while since my last post. Blame it on the move! My wife and I relocated to Sydney, Australia in the last month and the last few weeks have been filled with apartment hunting, Bank accounts, IKEA furniture assembly and the usual moving in chores and tasks. Not to mention my trusty Mac Mini was out of commission for a bit (long story, maybe a worthy entry in my other blog)
Coming back to the weekly challenge, this entry is playing catch up for an earlier week (first of many). The images I post for the catch up entries maybe backdated but were taken AFTER each week’s theme was announced and so have been shot keeping in mind the theme of the week. Although I will be aiming to work on the current week’s challenge, there will be additional entries each week to help me catch up on the previous weeks.
This year on August 9, celebrated it’s 50th Anniversary as a nation. Although I was not in Singapore for the big celebration, I was lucky enough to capture the rehearsals from a spectacular vantage point during my brother and his family’s visit, their hotel room on the 40th floor!
The aerial spectacle that is choreographed and executed by the Singapore Air Force for the National Day celebration is simply awe inspiring. This particular sequence stood out from the host of shots I took. The image to me conveyed a sense of honour and service that the armed forces have towards their nation.
I wanted to accentuate the National flag in the image so decided to play around with the image in Lightroom to isolate the Reds and render the remaining image in a monochrome flavour.
So there you have it. My take on the theme of Service.
I’ve never looked great in photos. Correction. I’ve looked absolutely completely, totally hideous in all pictures. I suppose its got something to do with the awkward body dimensions coupled with an equally disproportionate visage structure and god awful facial hair situation. Whatever the reason, I just don’t make for a good photo subject. So when this week’s theme was announced, I fell into a man-hole and decided not resurface.
But since the whole idea behind the weekly photograph challenge IS to challenge my own skills and push myself out of my comfort zone to work smarter and better, I decided to man up and face the music.
I was certain that I would not go for a straightforward selfie with me posing in all my (un)glorious self. There would need to be a certain creative streak to the image that would possibly help defect the attention from myself and instead to the composition of myself.
I had a few ideas which involved heavy use of Photoshop. But decided against using them on account of time, or the rather the lack of it. I’ll stay away from the details for now since I do plan to put those ideas into practise sometime in the near future and there’s no fun in ruining the surprise of you guys!
Then it struck me! Why not frame a shot with the device that caused the term “Selfie” to go mainstream; the hand phone. After all the term “Selfie” gained mainstream acceptance and usage thanks to the ubiquitous camera phones in the late 2000s.
I have taken shots with a DSLR or point and shoot in the past that capture the image as seen through the eyes of a handphone. So the setup was not something I wasn’t familiar with already. The trick was to ensure that both cameras focussed on me well enough for the main camera’s shot to be clear. Cue the handy tripod and the self timer on the Fujifilm to the rescue.
After setting the focus for the handphone screen, I clicked the shutter release button on a timer of 10 seconds to allow myself to position myself in front of the handphone. Fortunately it took very few attempts to get the shot. Although the background is kinda lacklustre I felt the overall composition was pretty close to what I had in mind so I went ahead.
Post processing involved cropping the image enough to allow the focus to remain on the handphone screen and the image therein, i.e. my ugly mug! Rendering it in black & white was a conscious one since there was a lot of light and very muted colours in the frame.
The temptation to make our pictures vibrant and colourful is understandable. After all colours make images pop. But there are times when going the other direction makes the image stand out even better. I’m of course talking about rendering pictures in monochrome, specifically in black & white.
For this week’s theme I was determined to use images from a recent photo walk. Since weekdays are dominated by the usual 9 to 5 (6 in my case) routine, I set out on Saturday for some photography walking in the city.
Amsterdam is famous (or rather infamous) for having a rather risqué nightlife. But the city isn’t only about getting freaky. Amsterdam is home to a large number of students and budget backpackers. And these folk come together and bring a truly contagious energy and enthusiasm in the evenings with their group performances. Usually you can find such communal performances at the city’s social epicentre, Dam Square.