photography Archives - KenChuaPhoto

Japan 2017

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Japan 2017

In early March this year I went to Japan for the very first time in life and you could say perhaps it was long time coming to finally be able to go there. Anyway for those who visit this website regularly (I doubt there’s anyone though) will have noticed that I already had a Japan 2017 post previously and it disappeared. This was because my website database got corrupted by an upgrade and destroyed my entire website and despite my many attempts to work with my webhost to restore my website, all I could recover was everything before the Japan 2017 post.

So I sort of gave up because how do you rewrite a post? Plus I have forgotten everything that I wrote about for the Japan 2017 post. I finally got back into writing into this post because Japan 2017 was really important for me and as 2017 is ending, I wanted to make sure that the memory of Japan is recorded somewhere.

This photo at Chureito Pagoda is my personal favourite photo as it holds so much memories for me, before this I was at Fuji-Q Highland and it was quite uneventful there as we queue for more than 1.5 hours for a ride and they announced that the ride had to be closed due to the wind conditions. Plus my sister lost her ride pass and had to repurchased another one. As we ended the day at Fuji-Q, we made the decision to check out Chureito Pagoda despite the fact that it seems like we will probably not catch the sunset in time. I think my most memorable moments were rushing to reach the base of Chureito Pagoda only to realise that the amount of steps needed to go up looks insurmountable.

It was all worth it in the end though. The view I saw was definitely a personal top 10 of all that I have encounter so far and this time I was glad that I was able share that with my sister unlike in Nepal where I enjoyed the night view at Namche Bazaar alone.

P.S: I’m going to do a full website backup right after posting this post so that history does not repeat itself again haha.

In the meantime, I’m not sure when the next post will be published on this website, do check out my instagram account where I continue to post more regular updates through my instastories and longform instagram posts.

when in doubt

By Blog, Landscapes, Sunsets No Comments

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

iLight 2012

By Blog, Landscapes, Sunsets No Comments

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.




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There is a noticeable slow down of pace of updates here. Partly due to all the stuff besides photography that I’m busy with and partly due to my tighter quality control over my own work. For this shot I actually process two different black and white version and I still cannot really decided which one I like best. Finally decided to go with the blown out sky to draw the focus on the geometry of this shot.

I remembered I was very unprepared for this shoot as I was asked last minute to do it. The weather was a killer. Sweating all over by the time I was done shooting the MBS. In the end I’m glad Proud asked me to shoot the MBS. It was all worth it in the end, seeing my shot used as an ad for ADEX 2011, printed on a large banner that was displayed at MIDE and I even kept a flyer for keepsake. Amazing DI work by Proud. Since there was no way I could make my shot as nice as the edited version in colour, I did it in black and white.

*bonus* here is how the ad looks like

Before it turns dark

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What a week! Arts camp, seeing my work published in The Read, winning a pair of air tickets, the success of project strangers to friends, attending gupson on2 intro and finally hanging out with the crew. Tiring but fulfilling week!

It took me a while to find a this place to shoot Lau Pa Sat Market. When I finally decided on the spot, I must admit I thought there’s a high chance that this shot will not go public. The distance between the shooting location and the buildings meant that barrel distortion would be very obvious. The lack of a wide angle lens meant that I use the panorama method in order to get the image that I had in mind. The ledge also hindered the panning process, coupled with my many failed attempts to capture the light trails that I wanted, I thought it would be hard to combine three frames as the light was dying fast.

As expected, the distortion was a pain in the ass to correct and I  cannot remember spending so much time on restitching and restitching correcting the distortion. There is still imperfections in this final shot but more importantly this shot is a reminder that light is beautiful.

Alternative Landscapes

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It has been pouring recently and that has dampen my mood to go out to shoot. I decided that it was a good opportunity to shoot other stuff though. Since I bring my camera out most of the time, I decided to shoot randomly indoors near town area. What a rewarding experience it turned out to be, looking at things with a new perspective and trying to capture details that are usually missed by people. I ended up with lots of ‘sketch’ images (David duchemin coined this term) which really exercised my vision muscles. I had an image that I really wanted to capture but after waiting for the people that passed by, none of them fitted what I wanted. Looks like I have to try again next time.

This particular image was from the shoot and I really like it because it reminds me of landscapes pictures that are usually found outdoors. This was converted to black and white to give a better illusion of a landscape picture. I hope this image ignite your imagination as much as it does to my. 🙂

Square Crop

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I remembered heading in the opposite (wrong) direction to reach this location and because of my mistake, I wasted valuable preparation time. I was running when I realised I was going to be late for blue hour and was sweating by the time I reached. The sunset afterglow was amazing on this day and I was teased by nature for choosing the wrong shooting location for the day. From this building, I was only able to catch a tiny glimpse of the sunset afterglow located at the opposite side of the building.

I’m not sure if anyone noticed, I’m a big fan of the square crop (medium format photography) and I will always try to incorporate a square crop whenever the composition is suited for it. There is a certain sense of harmony in a square as compared to the standard rectangle and the rule of thirds. I really like how this landscape shot turned out in square and the harmony of the elements inside a square crop. Hope you guys enjoy this. 🙂