April 2012 Archives

Papa don't see

Rayyan throwing a tantrum in the middle of Publika, KL. When he gets angry, he'll say, "Don't see you!"

I replied, "Don't care!" Then he covered his eyes. Click!

Papa, i can't see

A tribute to Robert Doisneau

This is what Wikipedia has to say about the great Robert Doisneau:

"Robert Doisneau (14 April 1912 - 1 April 1994) was a French photographer. In the 1930s he used a Leica on the streets of Paris. He and Henri Cartier-Bresson were pioneers of photojournalism. He is renowned for his 1950 image Le baiser de l'hôtel de ville (Kiss by the Town Hall), a photograph of a couple kissing in the busy streets of Paris. Robert Doisneau was appointed a Chevalier (Knight) of the Legion of Honour in 1984."

Going over his body of work today, i came across the iconic "Kiss by the Town Hall", arguably one of the most famous kisses ever captured on film. It was mesmerizing. 

Robert Doisneau - Kiss

From GBPosters.com on Flickr. 

Le baiser de l'hôtel de ville. Notice that what makes this photo great is not the kiss, but (1) the layers in the shot - foreground, subject, post-subject and even post-post-subject! - and (2) the woman's expression off the man's left shoulder as she seems to be looking directly into the photo. There is a great deal of complexity and engagement in this photo. That coupled with the obvious emotion of the kiss, and you have a winner.

It took me a moment to realize that i had captured a similar image just the day before when i attended a friend's wedding reception. It doesn't quite have the complexity and layering of Doisneau's, but it does add a complementary element to the kiss, something completely unexpected: laughter.

Overshadowed

Perhaps an uncle, portly, and happy with a glass of champagne in hand, laughing. For me, it makes the shot -- there at least a dozen others in the contact sheet for this particular moment, and i junked them all in favour of this one split moment when the uncle lit up with a laugh. 

Lesson to self -- be over-productive when with a camera. Take the shot. Take many shots. You never know what may just end up in the frame.

Shameless self-plug: I've submitted the photo above entitled, "A Kiss and A Laugh", to the DIGI WWWOW awards under the category, "Best Photojournalist" which is essentially an award for a photojournalistic photo. Would appreciate it very much if you could click on the image below and cast a vote in my favour. Thank you, and God bless.

Shooting through the glass

Reading Frank van Riper today, it inspired me to try something slightly different today -- shooting through glass. The most obvious candidates for such an assignment would be cafe's with their windows, and window dressings. So i went looking, and found some interesting samples in the Publika. Colour saturation and variety was what i was going for, and also looking for a moment where i would be able to make a connection through the glass. 

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Without the glass providing layers of reflections from inside and outside the store, this photo would be very much less interesting.

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Layers within layers, then that magical connection through the glass. 

Photoessay: The wedding reception of Bernard & Lee Yan

I don't get a chance to shoot many weddings indoors, so when i got the invite to attend an old friend's wedding reception, i jumped at the opportunity. I've known Bernard Sia for many years, we went to school together as young boys. After graduating, we lost touch, but then ended up working for the same company for a while and have been in contact ever since.

If there ever was an eligible Chinese bachelor, Bernard would have been it. I honestly did think that it would be several years yet before a lucky lady tied him down, but i was wrong. Lee Yan, a lovely lady with a disarming smile, is his wife, and they look great together. The camera, of course, doesn't lie!

Good luck you two, may you live long and prosper.

Click for the larger version. Click for the full photoset.

The bride and groom

Spotlight

The Family

The Family

Overshadowed

In loving embrace, k-i-s-s-i-n-g.

On a bed of clouds

I see the KL Tower every working day. I look out the window, and there it is. I drive to work, i drive home from work and there it is. I go for lunch, and there it is again. Can't seem to escape it. But i'm not complaining. It presents itself in many different ways. I've seen it in the dawn light, bathed in orange. I've seen it at dusk. And today i saw it floating above a bed of clouds. I wonder what our next meeting will show?

Kuala Lumpur Tower

Inspiration

Artists require inspiration in order to be creative. It is not commonly known that a lot of this inspiration comes from other artists. Working perfectly, this is an ecosystem that continually pushes the quality of creative upwards.

Several months ago, Loïc Brohard took and published the photo below. It generated a lot of interest, and for a while was one of the most interesting photos on Flickr. You can see for yourself -- the tones are lovely, the detail is immaculate, and the subject had an uncommonly interesting profile, at least in that split second of time when the photo was taken. 

Click for the larger version (trust me, it's worth it).

[EXPLORE] Attentive & Concerned (Candid Street Portrait Photography)


I spent quite a bit of time looking at this image, coming back to it several times. It was mesmerizing, and still is.

Despite this photo being in my subconscious, i don't think i actively sought a subject where i'd be able to capture the same. And even when i took the photo below at the recent Putra Brand Awards, i didn't really realize what i had until i saw the file on my computer at home. Immediately, i recalled Loïc's photo and recognized the similarities: quarter side profile, albeit reverse side, wavy fine detail in the hair and truly magnificent eyes, hauntingly distant and cold.

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It's debatable, i suppose, whether i was truly inspired by Loïc Brohard or whether this is just one of those uncommon coincidences. However, the mind works in unusual ways, and i believe that inspiration is an unconscious trait. Without wanting to be same, the subconscious mind saw the similarities in that split second i had, and lined up all the dots so that the two images would connect. 

A tribute to Elliot Erwitt

Was watching a documentary on the Magnum Photographer, Elliot Erwitt several nights ago on TV, and was particular impressed when he discussed the art of photographic sequencing. That and reading Ming Thein's blog the other day, inspired me to take these series of photos of friends during dinner at Sushi Zenmai. The star of the set is Fadzlin, for her honest expression and unreserved joy, first watching Keni devour a dragon temaki, then herself savouring the favoured black sesame ice cream.

Click for the larger version.

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Going...

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...Going...

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Gone!

Triptycal Fadzlin

Fadzlin with her black sesame ice cream, Japan's answer to peanut butter

Maelstrom over KL

At dusk yesterday, the skies of KL overlooking Pudu kicked up the perfect storm -- lovely buttery cloud textures, swirling patterns, and colour saturation of uncommon quality. I couldn't take my eyes away.

Click for the larger version.

Tripping the light fantastic

Faces at the Putra Brand Awards, 2012

As the winners of the Putra Gold Brand Award winners were announced, i realized that i've been fortunate enough to work for two of the winners, PETRONAS and now, Maybank. Giants in their respective industries, leading lights of the Malaysian economy -- i've been very lucky to have had the chance to represent both organizations in my career. 

The glitz and glamour of the evening was outstanding, the who's who of the marketing and branding world were in attendance. Including some very recognizable celebrities!

Click for the larger version.

Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, CEO AirAsia

Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, CEO AirAsia

Miss Universe Malaysia 2012, Kimberly Legget

Kimberly Legget, Miss Universe Malaysia 2012

Two Miss Universe Malaysias

Two Miss Universe Malaysias, Kimberly Legget, 2012, and Andrea Fonseka, 2004.

Little Red Shoes

My niece, Rui Lin, was wearing these shoes at Mia's birthday party, and they just begged to be photographed. Red is a colour hard to ignore. And when it looks as good as this, why would you want to?

Little Red Riding Shoes

Photoessay: You only turn one once

Time flies is the old cliche. And no where does it zoom by faster than when you're watching your children grow up. That's a sad and, at the same time, joyful truth. It wasn't that long ago, Mia Eryna was born to this world, and i was calling the azan into her ear. The smallest little thing, has transformed into a beautiful baby girl. If there are miracles in this world, it has to be the transformation that i'm privileged to see every day, in Mia, and in Rayyan. 

We threw a party for Mia's first birthday over the weekend, just as we did for Rayyan's when he turned one. The plan is not to have another party until they both turn 5, so we had to make the first one count. Haha. 

Was very happy to see friends and family turn out in force. Uncles, aunts, grandmother, and office colleagues were on hand to share in the happy times, made all the merrier by an excellently organized McDonald's party planner. The food - burgers and nuggets - never tasted better, for some reason. Party games that the kids enjoyed and a fabulous cake rounded off a great afternoon.

Thanks to everyone who attended, thanks for all the congratulations and well wishes, special thanks to wife and mother, Siti Aishah, for painstakingly and lovingly planning it all to perfection. Here are some pictures for us all to remember the occasion. 

Click for the larger version. Click here to see the full photoset.

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The party princess

The center of attention

The center of attention

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Three generations of Kassims, all in a row

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Grand-uncle Kim Sang, the patriarch of the Cheong family

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Family portrait (minus me)

Experimenting with infra-red filters

Infra-red photography can deliver some very interesting results. From Wikipedia:

"In infrared photography, the film or image sensor used is sensitive to infrared light. The part of the spectrum used is referred to as near-infrared to distinguish it from far-infrared, which is the domain of thermal imaging. Wavelengths used for photography range from about 700 nm to about 900 nm. Film is usually sensitive to visible light too, so an infrared-passing filter is used; this lets infrared (IR) light pass through to the camera, but blocks all or most of the visible light spectrum (the filter thus looks black or deep red). ("Infrared filter" may refer either to such a filter or to one that blocks infrared but passes other wavelengths.)"

So what happens when you take a high contrast, colour saturated seascape and pass it through a Lightroom infra-red filter? You get a magical, dark ghosting effect that while very dark noir, becomes more pleasing the more you look at it. Certainly far more interesting and the plain blue and blue-green dominated image it otherwise would be.

Check it out. Click for the larger version.

Infra-Red Experiment: Before

Before IR filter applied. Kota Kinabalu seascape

Infra-Red Experiment: After

After IR filter applied. Notice how all the blue gets burned out, and the water gains a ghosting effect, similar to how it'll look like through an ND filter.

Photoessay: Exploring Sungai Kiulu, Sabah

Attending a 3 day intensive conference is no joke. The matter overload is nuts, and that's a good thing really. But the organizers did let us out once to have some sun and fun and while others chose to go golfing and snorkeling, i chose white water rafting along Sungai Kiulu. 

About 90 minutes inland from Kota Kinabalu, the river's source is Mount Kinabalu and is usually a calm and easy Level 2 white water experience. However, the rain over the last few days has been quite heavy, and this led to higher water levels, and certainly quite a bit faster running too. By the time we went in, it was Level 3 stuff, and despite the dingy nearly capsizing a few times, my team and i had great fun. 

Then at the end, we came up a small kampung, and I took these photos to capture the moment.

Click for the larger version.

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Waters were calm by this part of the river; was much more turbulent further upstream from where we had come.

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Not a large river, but not very small either. Water rushed by very quickly, the river was visibly bloated from the heavy rainfall

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The river guides enjoying a light moment while the rest of us dried off

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Further evidence of rain and overcast skies

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The evening sky was doing all sorts of funky textures; it was very beautiful.

Geartalk: Seascapes through an iPhone

Recently, i was in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, and took the chance to put some of my camera gear through it's paces. The iPhone proved quite capable when taking seascape photos, though it suffered when light was at a premium. 

Looking East.

Looking East. In pleasant daybreak light, the iPhone excels. Detail is sharp, colour is well saturated and noise levels are very very low.

Looking West.

Looking West. The real conditions when this shot was taken was actually quite a bit darker than the photo suggest. The iPhone sensor was still able to pick up the little ambient light there was, and managed to retain the colour accuracy, but noise levels are just through the roof. Still, a great option to have when nothing else is on hand.

Boat ride.

Boat Ride. In a bright, high contrast situation where reflecting light off the water does all sort of funky things, the iPhone still maintains it's general composure quite well. Detail is retained, and colour saturation is outstanding.

With the iPhone this good, perhaps one day i'll be able to go on trip with only a camera phone in my pocket!

Geartalk: Hoya CIR-Polarizing Filter, 58mm

While shooting the Maybank Malaysian Open 2012, one of the problems i noticed that was the highlights were getting blown out; skies were just a mess of hot white. The contrast between the foreground, middle third and the sky was just too great -- something had to give. The skies were normally sacrificed in order to maintain the details of the foreground subject. Some post-processing magic can be applied to recover some of the blown out features, but generally, they were just too hot. 

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above Heavy post-processing required to recover the detail of the sky, but in retrieving the details, the colour became too funky; converting to B&W will hide the discolouration somewhat but isn't ideal

One way to get around this problem is to use a polarizing filter, generally one that stops down. By cutting the light, the photo retains a lot of it's natural contrast and colour saturation. It does darken the foreground significantly, but i've noticed that under the effects of the filter, it's easily recoverable with little loss in resolution and gain in noise.

Hoya CIR-Polarizing Filter

above The Hoya CIR-Polarizing Filter (58mm)

So i consciously remembered to pack my Hoya polarizing filter with me today and screwed it on just as began my shooting on the golf course. It was a brilliantly sunny day, very little cloud cover. Early in the morning, around 8am. The skies were a gorgeous blue hue; without the filter in place, the colour would have been lost. The following shots, one at the golf course and another a bit later in the morning in town, tell the tale. Minimal post-processing done on each. Just a bit of fill light, and minor cropping.

Corporate Marquees

above Notice the sky. That's nearly exactly what i saw with my own eyes, colour wise

Menara Maybank in Blue

above Again, notice the sky, and the captured texture of the cloud on the left

Very, very useful in high contrast scenarios. Will be taking it with me to the beach over the next few days, and into the foothills of Mount Kinabalu; quite sure it will prove it's worth again. For RM80 (about US$25), a nice little tool to have in the bag for those moments when you need it.

A cheeky grin

It's been a while since i've taken a photo of Rayyan Harris that i'm happy with, and not because of a lack of trying! He moves around a lot with a ton of boyhood energy, his face twitches from grin to smile to laughter too quickly for any camera to capture, and he just refuses to look into the camera because he's shy. Not an easy subject, thus making the shots i do like of him all that more dear.

Click for the larger version.

Cheeky boy, Rayyan

Dave Ching, cigar merchant

One of the most likable fellows in the local Malaysian cigar scene, Dave Ching has been a pillar for years. Just over a year ago, he opened a cigar store called Maduro, fulfilling a dream he's had for many years, as long as i've known him as a friend. The store is going strong, with a solid base of customers. It recently added a kitchen with a great chef who performs magic on the stove. And the walk in humidor has a great selection of fantastic cigars, easily the most extensive catalogue of any retail humidor in Malaysia.

Things are looking up, i'm happy for him. Here he is, smoking a perennial favourite, the Hoyo de Monterrey Petit Robusto.

Click for the larger version.

Dave Ching, owner Maduro

The Maybank Malaysian Open 2012

I've always enjoyed attending the MMO, this is my second year. The golf course is beautiful, the people are plentiful, and the colours of both are incredibly vibrant. But as a photographic assignment, it can be quite challenging. Despite being outdoors, the quality of light is unpredictable -- sometimes overcast, sometimes stunningly bright. It's easy to overexpose and blow out all the highlights, and it's also easy to overcompensate and just get it all wrong. After taking about 300 frames over the last 2 days, here are my favourite 5. 

The real action starts this weekend, as we approach the business end of the tournament. Should be much more interesting today, photographically speaking as the crowd swells.

Click for the larger version.

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The 18th green, and it's preceding fairway

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The 18th hole from another perspective, with the various corporate marquees flanking it

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Titleist umbrella, and a deeply overcast sky

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Balloon dude -- one of the many attractions in this year's edition is the SkyRider -- you get to go up in a balloon and have a great view of the course from about 50ft up in the air

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A keen spectator, with the best seat in the house

Trials of a father

It's never an easy thing for a father to see his child sick. It's compounded by the need to be emotionally grounded during the sickness, because rational minds make rational decisions, and emotional ones, make poor decisions. Quite a hard thing to handle, the need to be both at the same time. To be the father that cares and loves, and also the father who has to make the decisions in dealing with the illness. It's probably why doctors aren't allowed to treat as patients their own family members.

Mia is sick, has been for 4 days now. A fever that comes and goes, spikes and dips. She doesn't seem to have anything terrible, thank god. The lack of a rash tends to rule out the most obvious danger of dengue. Her appetite is good, but she's lethargic and cranky. I suppose i would be too if i was pumped full of medicine and felt like crap all day. 

Two different doctors have advised against the need to send her to hospital; they say, take the medicine and wait it out. Of course, they are the experts and i am not, so it makes sense to listen to them. A visit to the hospital, where she'll probably get stuck with needles and be in an unfamiliar place is a traumatic thing for a baby barely 1 year old. I'm trying to spare her that. 

I'll wait it out a day or two more, as the doctors advised. 

Get better soon, little one.

The Unwell Daughter

Photoessay: When i drive home each day

I see the same things every day, and have seen the same for the last 7 years. But have i really seen them? I don't know. So today, i decided to pay attention, with my camera. 

Warning: Do not drive and shoot photos. It's extremely dangerous. 

Click on each for the larger version.

The Stock Exchange

The KL Stock Exchange and the KL Tower. Twin bastions of capitalistic achievement of the nation. It's apt that they are easily found next to each other. The rock of washed granite, and the needle that reaches to prick the sky. A strangely poetic juxtaposition.

Charms and shutters

Part of the charm of KL is the heritage it attempts to retain, despite the bustling modernization. Old buildings that have stood since my grandfather's time still have their place. Not always in the best of conditions, but that's an indictment of a city that can't make up it's mind rather than owners who couldn't care less.

Encaged

Either knowingly or not, there is an uncommon sophistication in the architecture in the heart of the old city. Almost avant garde in nature. Certainly not a testimony of the dry British colonialists; it makes you wonder where it all came from.

Shadow art

Initially, i binned this photo. Out of focus, poorly exposed, and suffering from a bout of motion blur. Then i looked again, and saw the graffiti. The dusk light against the dark scribblings on a pillar, "Feki GayBoy" -- is it telling us a story? Enlightenment of homosexuality, or the setting sun, displacing it into the shadows. After giving it a thought, i couldn't bring myself to delete it.

Frying noodles

This man has cooked dinner for me many a night. I've often wondered whether he would agree to be my personal chef should i be able to afford one in the future. The meanest fried noodles this side of Shanghai. I've watched him closely often, and have come to the conclusion while other people use salt to flavour their cooking, this chef uses something altogether more natural. I leave it to your imagination to guess the secret ingredient.

A food van

You'll find mobile stalls like this everywhere in the city. Generally operated by ladies, they sell everything from drinks to rice to fried desserts. Sometimes they also offer a simple space to lean against and fall asleep.

Scary eyes

Mia, my daughter, gets most of the plaudits from my camera -- the glass just seems to love her, and her mannerisms and poses are so pleasing to capture. On the other hand, Rayyan, her brother, is a really difficult subject. Always moving, with the boundless energy only a young boy can have, and smart enough to know not to listen to his dad. Occasionally, i do manage a fun capture of my son. Most times quite by accident.

Click for the larger version.

Those are some scary eyes

Pineapple Cheese Cake

My wife keeps on telling me how she can't bake. Then she disappears into the kitchen for a few hours, and pretty soon the house is full of gorgeous aromas coming from the oven.

"What's baking?"
"Oh a little something, don't think it'll turn out very nice. I can't bake."
45 minutes pass...
*a full mouthful later*
"OMG! This is great, you should sell this and become rich!"

All she can do is smile shyly. Haiya. No need to be shy. If you have it, flaunt it.

Click for the larger (and yummier) version.

Pineapple Cheese Cake

Iconic architecture

There are several architectural masterpieces across the world that are so easily identifiable, they don't need any introduction. The Eiffel Tower. The Empire State Building. The Petronas Twin Towers. Big Ben.

No prizes for guessing the name of this building. The coup d'etat, a curved roof, gives it away. Do u c whut i did thar? :)

Click for the larger version.

Iconic

A family in three layers of happiness

Sometimes all your eggs just line up perfectly. A trifecta of happiness, so to speak. And when that happens, it's a great to have your camera in your hands.

Three layers of family

Brown paper packages

The almost never contain anything bad. Even when they aren't very brown.

Brown paper packages

Geartalk: Changing My Canon 5D Mark II Focusing Screen

Ever since i've been bitten by the Zeiss Distagon ZE bug, i've hardly used any of my other lenses with any great regularity. The 28mm Distagon (read my Day 1 review) is an excellent multi-purpose lens, well suited for the type and style of photography i currently enjoy. It is however, a manual focus (MF) lens. The accuracy of focus depends on how well i can see things in the viewfinder and how accurate the depiction of "in-focus" appears in the VF. Despite the fact that a ZE mount does speak to the Canon body, and the camera gives off the familiar in-focus "beep" when it thinks focus has been achieved, finding focus with the default focusing screen is a pain -- slow, inaccurate and prone to false positives.

The Canon 5D Mark II comes default with the EG-A focusing screen. Very clear, quite bright, and a well-meaning all-purpose FS. But its inadequate for MF purposes. Due to the clear finishing, it's difficult to tell the difference between in-focus and out-of-focus (OOF); it all looks the same especially in hair-splitting scenarios, where micro focus is required or when using wide aperture lenses and DOF is very thin, such as the case with the Distagon 28mm at f2.

To solve this problem, Canon offers the EG-S, a "super precision matte focusing screen". I looked for it high and low here in Kuala Lumpur and couldn't find it. I was in Singapore a few weeks ago for work (visiting the impressive Google campus), so i popped over to the famous Cathay photography super-store at Peninsula Plaza and was not surprised at all that they did have it in stock; it seems they have EVERYTHING in stock, the store is so large and well equipped. The helpful staff there showed me how to install it (very easy, 10 second job, no risk at all to your camera as long as you do it in a relatively lint/dust-free space), and i was away.

Two beautiful girls

Taken with the EG-S focusing screen, overall light was low, indoors. No issues focusing.

The difference was immediately noticeable. What the screen does is darken out the edges of the viewfinder considerably, akin to in-camera vignetting and brighten the middle of the screen dramatically. The additional contrast makes it easier to see the subject to determine focus. If the subject is even slightly OOF, it'll be obvious, thus allowing for adjustments. If the EG-A was giving me 4/10 performance in terms of ensuring focus with a MF lens, the EG-S was giving me 8/10 performance with the misses my own fault rather than the screen's. It really is quite good and works normally with regular AF lenses with no issues whatsoever. The only downside is that in low-light and with lenses that have a greater aperture than f2.8, the screen is slightly dark, and this may cause composition issues. But it's not as big a deal as it sounds, and not a real hindrance in real-world use.

But i was still unsatisfied, i wanted the "real" (i use the world liberally) MF experience. Being brought up, my first camera was an old Nikon, about 30 odd years ago. It had a split-prism focusing screen, something that looks like this.

praktica super tl 3  split screen viewfinder

The great advantage of the split-prism is that focus is easily achieved by aligning the image in the focusing circle; there is very little guesswork involved. Get the image aligned, and focus is guaranteed, all other things being equal. The bad news is that Canon doesn't offer split-prism screens for the 5D Mark II. It does offer them for the Canon 1Ds and some enterprising techs sell modified Canon EC-Bs for the 5D Mark II. I found one such vendor on Ebay who had a good rep, and since the price was cheap, i gave it try.

Customized EC-B Focusing Screen

The customized focusing screen from Ebay

The focusing screen arrived a week later, swapping it in was easy. There are tabs on the focusing screen and in the camera that make it easy to align and lock the focusing screen into place. Pop out, pop in, 10 seconds flat.

The customized screen delivers on it's promise -- it's a split-prism and is extremely bright in the middle and very, very dark around the edges, much more so than the EG-S. I would say, in low-light conditions, too dark to the point of being unusable if composition along the edges is a concern. But, focusing has never been easier for MF. If the EG-S is 8/10 as far as focusing ease and accuracy is concerned, i would rate this customized screen as 9/10; it's really hard to miss focus. I switched over to a couple of other AF lenses, and they all performed normally; the focusing screen doesn't influence how the camera finds AF.

Here are a couple of shots taken with the customized focusing screen, heavily cropped into the subject to demonstrate focusing accuracy. Also worth noting that since finding focus is so easy, focusing times are very short as well.

Rayyan Harris, chillin' and posin'

Rayyan Harris, chillin' and posin'

It would seem that i've solved my problem with MF lenses on the 5D Mark II. Both the EG-S and the customized EC-B do the job admirably. Since the swapping of the focusing screens is painless, it really does depend on mood and circumstance which focusing screen will be used, though i feel the EG-S will generally see more use as a balance between needing to nail MF and having a bright enough viewfinder for most conditions.

Danial Smurthwaite, Brandtology

It's been a bumper week for black & white portraiture! Yesterday, Clifford Narcis was a prized capture. Today, i had a visitor, Danial Smurthwaite, who turned out to be an excellent addition to my set of Captured Portraits. Over lunch at Anuja, i waited for the right moment, and just as the conversation turned to something humourous, i knew the opportunity was approaching. A quick capture later, and i had my shot.

Click for the larger version.

Danial Smurthwaite

Clifford Narcis, the walking lightbulb

I've been fortunate to meet some really interesting people in this life. Clifford is one of them. A creative force, he is rarely without a good idea. But that's not what makes him special to me -- his everlasting stream of positive energy does. The first person to crack a much needed joke in a room of tired minds, the first person to look at the glass half full. When you are around such people, you just can't help but feel better about yourself and the world.

And that's special in my book.

Click for the larger version.

Clifford Narcis

The finer things in life

As i was composing this photo, a friend who saw what i was doing remarked, "I walk by that stack of magazines everyday, and never think that it's something worth taking a photograph of."

I took the photo, then replied, "What's there not to like? It has colour, it's straight lines, parallel arranged, and it has a catchy subtext - The Finer Things in Life."

I showed the photo to him, and he smiled in agreement.

Click for the larger version.

The finer things in life

Wicked, the musical

It's been a long time since i watched a really good stage performance. The last one was Mama Mia, here in KL when the tour rolled into town. Years ago.

That's why I was really happy to have the chance to catch Wicked (the Australian production) during my recent trip to Singapore. The lovely Jemma Rix as Elphaba and the effervescent Suzie Mathers as Glinda. What a performance by them, and the whole cast! The performance of "Defying Gravity" in particular, practically brought me to my feet in gleeful applause. It was a feast for the senses!

I normally don't buy any theatre merchandise, not even program books, but this time i just couldn't resist. The green aluminium bottle, "The Wonderful Wizard's Green Elixir", as a keepsake for such a fantastic show.

Click for the larger version.

Wicked

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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from April 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

March 2012 is the previous archive.

May 2012 is the next archive.

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