Friday, July 31, 2009

Father of "PEN" passed away at 76

Yoshihisa Maitani, the visionary designer who created the popular Pen series of cameras for Olympus, passed away last night at a hospital in Tokyo.

Yoshihisa Maitani with the Olympus Pen F. (Photo: Olympus)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Déjà vu 8 - Workshop In Kuching

The last time when I was working in Kuala Lumpur for four years, I must have attended more than 20 "workshops" and "seminars" that were "Photography related". But sad to say, like a lot of the participants I spoke to; we came out of such workshop none the wiser!

I found almost all the workshops and seminars are sponsored by big name camera manufacturers and understandably the seminar presenter is more keen on promoting their products than teaching you how to shoot better pictures, after all; most of these "talks" are free and usually with a good lunch "thrown in" :-)

So when the Sarawak Newspaper Association asked me to give a one day workshop to their members, I was in a bit of dilemma. Their "members" are all working media professionals, what can I teach them? At the end of the seminar they better learn something, my reputation is at stake and to fly me from K.L. to Kuching, Sarawak; the two nights stay in a 5 stars hotel beside the colourful Kuching River, all the makan and a "token ang pow" cost a good sum too!

These were my plan:

Thursday, July 23, 2009

They Shoot Spider Don't They?

You might be wondering how all this come about... no, it got nothing to do with Spiderman :)

I was sitting on the carpeted floor watching TV while having dinner on our second hand coffee table when I felt a sharp pain on my lower right shin.

What do you know, I was bitten by a Kiwi spider and I am bleeding! The creature was squashed to a pulp when I felt the pain so I do not know what species it was, but knowing there are not that many poisonous spiders in NZ I felt pretty reassured!

Don't be so sure if you are living in Australia though :-)

I then remember the picture of a BIG spider I took at the Brisbane airport. Why in the world do I photographed a spider you asked. Story....

How do you kill time when you arrived at Brisbane airport at 6 am (Australian) and your connecting flight home to Wellington was 4 hour away?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Déjà vu 7 - SMILE! You are on...

Once upon a time, in a land far far away... there was a Japanese princess name Naoko who was so bored with the palace life that she decided to sneak out and attend the first F1 race at Sepang circuit in Malaysia.

Being of royal decent she was admitted to the prestigious Petronas stand and while taking her plate of food to her seat she was spotted by the notorious paparazzi Leow-San, who took a series of exclusive pictures of Her Highness! But wait! She seems to enjoyed her pictures being taken!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Heather Behind Lens

For a change I am going to post a selection of eleven pictures taken by my colleague Heather Newby.

Heather is our microfilm camera operator, she is crazy about snapping pictures! Everywhere she went, her "cheap" Canon Powershot A470 is there, snapping away!

She is not worry about mega pixels and all the bell and whistles missing from her little point and shoot camera, she just wanna have fun taking pictures and capturing a slice of memory!!

More of us photographers should be like Heather!

Last week Heather went on a two week break to Greymouth on the west coast of the South Island . They went through Arthur's Pass which is 45 minutes drive from Greymouth.

Her dad`s house is right next to the beach at Greymouth.

Here are a selection of her shots I help edit.

A waterfall at Mitchells, West Coast.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Mid Summer WHAT?

Sometime I think the Kiwis have a strange sense of humour, we are experiencing the coldest winter in 25 years and our work place (NZMS) is holding a Mid Summer BBQ! Ha ha ha...

But Kiwis are sporting though, they came dressed for the occasion! A little fun won't hurt anyone :) and good time to catch up with each other, especially over plenty of bangers (sausages) and intoxicating beverages ;)

After operating the microfilming camera for untold hours, Heather find this ultra-blue sunglasses advantages to see in the dark!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The "X" Factor

After reading my "Photographer's Swan Song", Angela Rao from Stockholm commented:

"Hey CY! I have to agree with everything you've said here. Those pictures were outstanding....nothing like it in the papers now! Hope you pass on some of your "oomph" to the younger generation at the Star. The picture of the doll and the slippers were freaky!"

Thank you Angela and that bring me to a very often asked questions from GEIC, MD and Editors of newspapers that I worked: "Why can't you train your photogs to shoot better news pictures?" or "After two years as Picture Editor, why can't they shoot pictures LIKE YOU?" or better still, and this actually came from a top Editor of The Star in Malaysia, "Why can't they shoot like LIFE magazine's photographers?!!" DUH!!


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Déjà vu 6 - A Day In Malacca

The last time I was working in KL I went to Malacca thrice in four years, none of those trips were specifically photography orientated... then I got a call from a Creative Exec of Pricewaterhouse Coopers, the brief:

One day shoot in KL and Malacca, among the shots; they will select 5 from each location to be used in their Global Image series.

Would any photographer worth his salt... oh... lens, turn down an offer like that? :-)

So one fine Saturday morning I pack my gear and took a young photographer with me, who that person is; best remained unknown but I am happy to say that the young photog has learnt a thing or two from me.

For my choice of equipment I thought I will give my long idled workhorse, the Nikon F3P a workout. I took with me the 20/2.8, 50/1.4, 35-70/3.5, 80-200/4 and the ultra compact 300/4.5 IF-ED. The Canon EOS1n came along because I can use it for the 15 mm fish-eye. All shots were done on Kodak Ektapress 200 and 400 film.