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.
It’s been a long while since I posted an image in the weekly challenge. Blame it on a major change happening on the personal front, one which I will talk about (or rather shoot about) in the coming weeks. I was however able to squeeze some time out of the hectic schedule and manage to capture an image for one of the previous weekly challenge.
Getting back to the weekly challenge. This week my elder brother and his family were in Singapore on a business cum leisure trip, he was here on business, his wife and child were on leisure :D.
On their last weekend here, we headed to the Marina Bay promenade to witness the fireworks rehearsal for Singapore’s upcoming 50th National Day. Nothing screams event like fireworks! I’ve captured fireworks in the past but I had not done so with my current camera, so I decided to capture the fireworks as part of the weekly challenge.
The settings are quite basic. High ISO, low aperture and long exposure, a little post processing in Lightroom and voila here’s my (delayed) weekly submission.
Dug this one up from the archives. This shot dates back to 2010 and was taken with my very first DSLR camera, the Canon 500D. The image was part of a street photography exercise when I was taking a beginners course in digital photography.
On the day, there were some sort of celebrations taking place in the grounds of the Madrasah Aljunied Al-Islamiah near Arab Street. This damsel was part of a group of women all dressed up in similar attire and leisurely walking around the park grounds. The reds aren’t just limited to her dress but also seem to seep through her visage on the lips as well as the rouge foundation.
Her slightly contemptuous glance and regal adornments prompted me to dub her “The Red Queen”. Although I’m sure she must be an angel in person, that title has somewhat stuck ever since I clicked the image.
And with this image I strike off Red from my RainBow Series. Three down. Four more to go. Yay!!
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.
When I saw this week’s theme, I immediately knew what I wanted to shoot. The Night Sky. In fact astrophotography is one of the 52 challenges I have set out to accomplish this year. So on reading this week’s theme I was thrilled that I would be able to finally have the motivation needed to check that off my list.
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.
This week’s post evoked memories of several pictures I have taken since I start wielding a camera. Few landscapes are as enticing or exciting to click than pathways. Taking pictures of trails, roads, rail lines, sidewalks and even alleys, ah the memories.
The second in the RainBow Series project. Shot this image at Singapore’s famous Orchard Road.
For all the fashion conscious folk, this street is Singapore’s retail Mecca. Lined with big brands such as Prada, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Gucci and so many others, Orchard is always brimming with people, locals and tourists alike. As such you can always see people from different nationalities in this one square mile radius. Every photography enthusiasts delight! Street photography in Singapore does not get any more interesting than right here in Orchard Road.
Alright, so this week’s entry is a cheat, so to speak. I already had an image I had clicked that fit the theme almost too perfectly. This image wasn’t even taken this year though. In fact this particular shot was taken 5 years ago! But allow me to explain why I’m using this image for the challenge. This was the very first click from my very first DSLR camera. This was taken after a brief spell of rain in the park near my apartment. The dew on the leaf was absolutely picturesque and I was naturally drawn to the lovely texture of the leaf. As an enthusiast starting out with brand new equipment, this was an absolutely stellar thing to happen. And it kept me motivated to continue clicking and improve my skill. Continue reading →