January 2012 Archives
It was a bit of struggle to get this photo. There aren't many wide open spaces in my neighbourhood; except for this one patch of really tall grass, an empty bungalow lot. The only problem was that the lot was walled off by a really tall (8 or 9 feet) solid zinc fence. But i wasn't to be defeated, there was a small hold in the wall, i put my hand and camera through the hole and pressed the shutter release.
Generally, kit lenses are temporary place holders for better quality glass; something to use while an upgrade is pending. This past week i've changed things up, and relied exclusively on the PEN Mini kit lens, shooting exclusively in the 28mm equivalent focal range. At f3.5 (though i used f4 mostly -- found the half stop making quite a difference in the IQ), it's a relatively slow lens, but very usable in most available daytime light conditions. I was very surprised at how sharp the lens is at f4.0 and at f5.6, this sharpness extends from corner to corner quite well. Not your average kit lens, this. Very pleased.
HDR, or High Dynamic Range, photography is a technique that allows for the darkest and lightest portions of the photo to be far apart and still allow for acceptable contrast. HDR images can be obtained by either computer rendering, or via the merging of several different photos that represent the exposure range being captured. Many modern enthusiast digital cameras facilitate this via automatic exposure bracketing (AEB), ranging from 3 to 9 shots. A typical 3-shot bracket may have the same photo at -1EV 0EV +1EV. Then software such as Lightroom is used to merge the photos together. The results can look something like this, 3-shot bracket, -1.3EV 0EV +1.3EV, Olympus E-PM1.
From Wikipedia - The herons are a widespread family with a cosmopolitan distribution. They exist on all continents except Antarctica, and are present in most habitats except the coldest extremes of the Arctic, extremely high mountains and the driest deserts. Almost all species are associated with water, they are essentially non-swimming waterbirds that feed on the margins of lakes, rivers, swamps, ponds and the sea.
During a Lunar New Year party recently thrown by a friend, i got some facetime with the Leica M9. The last time i had this marvelous piece of precision engineering in my hands, it was paired with the Noctilux 50mm f0.95. This time, it came with the Summilux 35mm f1.4. The results? Amazing. It might be a brand association, or just a placebic mind trick, but Leica photos have a unique "pop". See for yourself.
For the first time in my life last week, i experienced the infectious nature of a flashmob. An impromptu (or seemingly so) group of dancers coming together to perform for a few minutes in a random location. Beside myself, i couldn't help but to sway and hip and hop to the beat. I almost missed this lovely shot of another person, similarly infected.
The Danish women's doubles pair made it into the Finals of the Maybank Malaysia Open 2012 after a tremendous effort. The whole match they were sombre and serious, even when they were on the verge of victory. And when the final ball went in, winning them the match, the release of emotions was palpable.
Last Friday night, i met up with friends to share a new cigar, the H Upmann Half Corona. You can read the full review here. Besides the wonderful cigar and food, the camaraderie was outstanding. Catching it all on film is a bonus.
There are certain symbols that are instantly recognizable. The swastika is known as a Nazi symbol. The Nike swoosh is unmistakable. If you see a stick figure without a skirt on a door in a mall, odds are good you know you're looking at the entrance to the gents. Here's another, a pop culture icon. Even in a sea of thousands, in low-light, one look and you just know.
At the New Year's Eve party last night at Dataran Merdeka, KL, it felt as though half the city had turned out to see the festivities. Packed to the brim, there was hardly enough space to turn. When the fireworks lit up the night sky, "Ooohs and ahhhs" resonated through the crowd. The booming blasts of lights ushered in a new year, the 2012th edition of the modern calendar.
May your year be full of OOOH, AHHHS and BOOMS. Happy New Year 2012.