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Sunsets

Labrador Park Sunset

2013 Thoughts

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A new year. A new beginning.

The past year has been great for me in terms of photography. 2013 will mark the start where I try to balance photography with full time work. Hopefully I will be able to devote time to shoot and improve my photography skills.

The featured image was taken at Labrador Park during low tide back in December 2012. I did a reprocess of this image again to try out new techniques and I was quite surprised by the result. The final image was much closer to what I had in mind and it was much better than the previous edit.

I have just started to explore the world of mobile photography and I must admit it has been quite a fascinating process. The image quality exceeds my expectations and the variety of quality apps available for processing shows that it is a more than capable tool for serious photography as well.

Check out Kevin Russ and the amazing work he does with his iphone: http://vimeo.com/56803464

Inspiring.

when in doubt

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It’s been too long since I last took my camera out for a shoot and I decided to take a break from other things that I was doing and go for a sunset shoot. I was feeling a bit jaded prior to this and I needed to find my mojo back. Been wanting to go to Labrador Park for the longest time but it was not low tide at sunset. I went to Gardens by the Bay East instead via the Marina Barrage route and it was quite a walking distance under the blistering heat.

The sunset was beautiful which made me fell in love with photographing the beauty of nature again, it’s hard to explain why I get so much inner peace when I’m out photographing. Perhaps it’s the constant appreciation of all things that have to come into place when I get a beautiful sunrise/sunset. This was one of the rare times I did not get to experience blue hour as the sunset afterglow kept lingering which turned the sky pinkish. It was a sight to behold. Thankful that I was able to witness and capture it on camera. The view here might have been shot many times by other photographers but to me it doesn’t matter because the light is different everytime and more importantly this is my own personal take on this scene. For those who are sitting in front of their laptops and looking at photos like this and thinking that it’s over-shot and deciding not to go out and shoot, I rather “f/8 and be there” as opposed to missing out all the potential beautiful sunrises/sunsets.

When in doubt, do what you love.

taste of failure

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I wanted to write this post since about a week ago because it has been an extremely trying week for me and I tasted how bitter failure is. Things were not going the way I wanted and I’m glad that I have this space to write about my thoughts and clear them out of my mind. It keeps me focused and rid myself of all the negative energy inside of me.

My website was hacked last week and I lost access to wordpress database. I feared the worst. Rebuilding the entire site from scratch and losing my one year worth of postings will have been a nightmare. Thankfully it all got resolved after about two days of working together with my webhost and kenchuaphoto is back up again like the way it was before.

Montage 2012 has been overwhelming and I’m not even halfway done yet. I eat, sleep and breath Montage 2012, everything is constantly running through my mind with all the issues to coordinate and settle. Sometimes in the midst of it all, I wonder if I’m any good in being a leader at all. I have my flaws and I’m prone to making mistakes as well even though I try to learn as much as I can about being a good leadership. This constant struggle has been tiring me out and whenever I’m close to a burnout, I’m glad that I have photography as a way to take my mind off matters temporary. Whenever I’m in doubt or losing my way, I always remind myself to just “do the work” and “keep learning”

The shot was taken at Pandan Reservoir and it was the first time that I visited the place. A friend brought me here and it was lovely with a great view of the sunset. Unfortunately we were late and the by the time we reach to this spot, the orange golden light of the sunset were mostly gone. I was taught a harsh lesson that light waits for no one and only those who are there early will be rewarded with the light. This shot was my favourite of the day as it’s one of the rare occasion that I could include myself in the shot with the help of my friend pressing the remote shutter. It was a great experience amidst the hecticness to just appreciate the beauty of life.

The quote that inspired me during this difficult week:

“‎It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” -Theodore Roosevelt

Keep Shooting

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I think there is a myth that every single shot that I take is a good shot or that every photo outing that I go gives me a great sunset/sunrise. The truth is that it does not work that way!

I was out for a sunrise shoot yesterday and I’m still contemplating whether to show the photos as the sunrise was not ideal and I was not particularly pleased with my shots. Sometimes it’s days like this that I question myself why I’m doing this instead of sleeping in my bed. Most people care about the results and I do care about the results I get too. It’s frustrating to show up and not get rewarded with anything. Things doesn’t go your way all the time. This is a fact of life.

This shot was taken last friday at Lim Chu Kang Jetty and it was frustrating as well because the sunset was beautiful yet I was unable to take more photos because of security reasons. Thankfully I still had this photo at least, the only one with the sunset view that I could keep.

So why do I keep going? Do I know for certain I will get a good shot each time I go out? Honestly I dont. I keep going because I know that if I don’t, I will never get a good photograph for sure. However if I go, I know there’s a chance of getting a beautiful sunrise or sunset and be able to make a great photograph in return. If you know for sure that there is going to be Aces in a deck of cards and great sunrises or sunsets in a year, will you keep flipping those cards until you get an ace or keep chasing the light until you get a good sunrise/sunset? I will. That’s what keeps me going.

I want to share with you, whatever you are doing in life or if you are facing lots of obstacles in pursuing your dreams and goals, keep going. Keep flipping those cards. Keep shooting. Never quit!

Bloodscapes

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It’s officially a year since the first post marks the start of this journey of this website. Looking back how it was like in the begining, the profile picture is still unchanged, but the camera and lens have all moved on. I’m getting older in age and the portfolio link has not been updated at all. A total of 56 posts and a total of 2473 unique visitors from 48 different countries have visited my website but I wonder how many people were inspired by my photographs. I feel I have so much more to learn and to improve on my photography, so much more that I need to know in terms of technical knowledge and even more so to train my photographic eye and to see creatively. It seems like I been so long on this journey already yet it seems I am only still at the tip of the iceberg with regards to my photography skills and knowledge.

I was told that the only guarantee for failure is not trying at all. In landscape photography, it’s a numbers game, some days you get a good sunrise/sunset and some days you wont get any good sunrise/sunset. The only thing that I can do is just to keep going and showing up to shoot and see what I’ll get in the end. You just got to keep trying and I always believe that I will get rewarded in the end so I kept trying no matter what. I thought it was not going to be a good sunset as the sky looked dull on 5th May. My journey to Punggol Beach took much longer than expected and I wanted to switch to a nearer location, thankfully I did not as I thought I should just give it a try anyway since Punggol Beach is a new location for me. It was already sunset when I reach and I was in a haste to setup before the light dies off.
And out of nowhere, the sky lit up, burning almost the entire sky, burning red. It was an amazing sight which totally caught me by surprise. A pleasant surprise indeed. I’m glad that i followed through with my plan to go punggol beach after all. I wished I had done better with the composition though, was about knee deep in water and decided not to change my tripod position as I was afraid the light will die off anytime. The burning red sky lasted for less than 5 minutes and it went away as quickly as it came.
This post is title bloodscapes because I literally shed blood for this. Pure recklessness on my part, went in barefoot and assuming that the beach was safe, as it became dark and I was walking back to shore my feet were just feeling their way back and I stepped on some pretty sharp rocks and got multiple cuts trying to get a gripe on my balance. Finally reached the shore with bloodstains on the sand and it was super painful. It was quite a walk back to the nearest toilet to wash my wounds. In a way Punggol Beach made my first experience there highly unforgettable. Definitely will wear my shoes into water no matter where I go next time. Lesson learnt: There are more important things than keeping my shoes dry.

iLight 2012

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This is an long overdue post, been wanting to post this a few days back but many things have happen since and I’m not sure what I should write about. iLight 2012 was amazing, glad that I went in the end to shoot and I realised that you will definitely need more than a day to really appreciate and shoot finish all the amazing light installations.

Enjoyed myself and the sunset was great as well, thankfully I did better this time after learning from the mistakes I made at Henderson Waves and I chose to feature this photograph from all the rest because even though this is still not the perfect shot, I enjoyed how much it speaks to me. This is the first time I am back here to shoot this view with my wide angle as previously I had to rely on my kit lens 18mm for landscapes shots. Seeing the CBD area at 10mm view for the first time was amazing. I wished the waters were smoother but I did not go for a longer exposure as I wanted to retain the nice details in the sky instead of smoothing the sky out. The sunset was perfectly on the right side which gives the photo an illusion of 2 worlds split into half in the center of the photo and I really liked that a lot. To me the photo has a great sense of duality which I feel that portrays the struggles that I go through a lot. For example do I want to be spending my time during sunset in the CDB office or do I want to be watching the sunset together with my camera? So which side will triumph over the other in the end?

This website is coming to a year now and I’m glad I started this which made me shoot more and subsequently reaping the rewards from photography, hopefully in the coming months, I will be able to shoot even more. 2012 will be an pivotal year to me and let’s see how things go.

 

 

Sunset Rocks

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This is my first sunset shoot of 2012 and I’m very glad that it was a beautiful sunset. I was near the SAF ferry terminal and I wanted to walk further down to check out the sunrise spot in preparation for the next day morning but decided against it as I felt I would not have enough time to walk back to this spot. Upon reaching here, there were already 2 other photographers capturing the sunset which was spectacular as the reddish sun could be seen in it’s full glory. I reluctantly turned away from the sunset and tried to capture other angles since I did not wanted to fight with them for a spot. Thankfully they left after the sun disappeared behind the horizon and I had the whole place to myself. Found a perfect spot (would have been more perfect if I did not have to soak my legs in the seawater) and waited for the afterglow of the sunset. I was duly rewarded with a beautiful afterglow and I decided to use my wide angle to capture a wider view but the downside was that I did not have any filters for it unlike for my usual kit lens and I was unable to hold the scene in a single frame. Took a few shots at different exposures and prayed that my ailing tripod holds firm and decided I shall do a manual blend in photoshop when I’m home the next day.

This is a manual blend of 2 base frames adjusted into 3 frames and blended into one single frame. This is my first successful attempt at manual blending and actually on closer inspection you can actually see some flaws in the blending.

 

24th Storey View

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Once again another shot from a high viewpoint. This place was near the place of my internship and I had the luxury of doing a reece during lunchtime prior to the evening shoot. The view at the top was amazing and this time I was not alone to catch the sunset. There was 2 other strangers who came shortly after I had picked my spot and since they were both friends and the space was too small for 3 persons, I decided to go down to the 24th Storey to get an unobstructed view.

The place was awesome as one could observe the sun as it sets and especially at the last few minutes before the sun disappears from the horizon, the sun would turn to a dark red, turning into a nice “egg yolk.” It was a pity that this spot was very far away from the sun, thus I could not get a nice close up shot of the sun. As I waited for the blue sky, I was surprised by what I saw soon after the sun had set. The sunlight had reflected back on the clouds and diffuse over the sky creating a beautiful soft glow of orange. It was breathtaking. After looking through all the photos, I decided this was the shot of the day. In order to focus on the beautiful sky, I did a crop to mimic a panorama from a single shot.

Landscapes shots always test my patience but the wait is always worth it. To feel the light breeze blowing in my face, watching the light changes at the top is one amazing feeling. These are the things that keeps me going, to continue to capture the beautiful scenes that I see which most people in Singapore might missed out due to their hectic pace of life. I want to share the beauty with all. Light is beautiful.