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Sunday, July 18, 2010

Shutter Journey of Singapore

Nicole first invited me to join her in a photo shoot back in the middle of May, with a Facebook-based hobby group called Shutter Journey. They were going to the CBD on Sunday to take photographs based on the theme of 'reflections'. How interesting, I thought, and joined in.

 Iconic fountains outside Capital Tower (album link)

It is now mid-July, two months on, and the amount of things I've learnt and been able to apply to create better photos is simply incredible.

 Onion stacks at Pasir Panjang Wholesale Center [not with SJ] (album link)

I cannot vouch that Shutter Journey is the best photo club (to term it loosely) to join in Singapore, especially since it's the first and only group I've joined. For the same reason, I also can't say if other groups in Singapore are about to teach you more or less things about photography than Shutter Journey. What I can tell you from my short experience with this bunch of people is that they have a burning passion to share what they see with the world, and for most of these people it is self-evident if you just visit their personal Facebook page, because they're constantly uploading photos (stunning ones too). And even more than that, something about most photographers, and definitely those in Shutter Journey, make them totally selfless people very eager to share knowledge about techniques and factors cumulating into those rare, once-in-a-lifetime moments that photographers live for.

 Best and luckiest shot so far. (album link)

It is natural that not everyone joining such an open group would have a DSLR, myself included. Apart from the more recent shoots or occasions where I know I will need a particular lens type and borrowed my brother's 500D, my weapon of choice is a G11, and all the shots in this post at least are products of the G11. On normal shoots, my darling can do the job, and I daresay one or two things that DSLRs can't, but I felt severely unequipped when I went along with their trip to the zoo, where the theme of the day was 'eyes'. Everyone came with telephoto lenses formidable enough to use as battle clubs, and there I was with my overly bulky point and shoot camera. But for me and everyone who subsequently came with very normal point and shoot cameras, there were always people insisting that no matter what you held in your hand (well, as long as its a camera), good shots are never out of reach. And indeed, one would be amazed what compacts can do in the hands of an inspired photographer.

 The star photo of my most challenging shoot - animal's eyes at the SG Zoo (album link)

At the end of the day, Shutter Journey just aims to have a big load of fun with people of similar mind and passion. Ask any of the event regulars - they'll gladly tell you that there's always a risk of being bent over in laughter while your precious photo opportunity floats serenely by. If you want to learn more about photography, or if you're thinking of joining a group that goes on regular excursions, you can always consider Shutter Journey.

 The only time we had two group shots - toy art photoshoot (album link)

It's alot easier when you're with a whole bunch of people who perfectly understand when you're 100m behind trying to get your perfect shot. Chances are, there'll be another group about 50m behind you anyway.

ToyArt toy group shot

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


About a month ago, I decided to stick my greedy fingers out there, and just join any competition or contest (legit looking ones, I'm not about to click the big red YOU WON!!!!!!!!!!! banner) to see if I can snag myself anything. I've joined two Twitter contests for 5DMk2s, and a FB photo competition vying for an iPad.

This FB competition is actually an FB page started by my dear friend Willy Foo, called Photo Tourism. I guess it's quite self-explanatory. I hadn't met him in awhile, but when we both happened to attend the same event recently, he told me to my immense surprise that my photo got shortlisted.

The Statue of Brothers, Korean War Memorial, Seoul, South Korea

I took this while I was in Korea. It wasn't exactly evening, it was more like late afternoon (5ish I think) but I just flicked my G11 to the Sunset mode anyway to get the enhanced orange colors (which is still relatively weak in view of the time) and the high contrast which resulted in the firm solid silhouette you see. I knew it was a keeper immediately (not because I so damn good, mind, but only because of right place right time), and for a short while it was my trophy display as my laptop's wallpaper. As I said though I was just trying my luck, and I didn't expect anything out of it. In fact, I totally forgot about that page until Willy told me.

The iPad obviously still mattered, but suddenly I wanted people to Like my photo (that's how they tallied the votes of course) because it touched them, not so much for the iPad anymore. And I thought to myself "What a huge about-turn of perspective!" And in that sense I realised that photographers too are attention-seekers and artists in a way. It's just that we use pictures to speak up, instead dying our hair hot pink and wearing chocolate skirts.

Well, the photo didn't make it to the second round of shortlisting to the top 20, but after looking at the other shortlists, I would have been far more surprised if I made it through. I mean OMG see for yourselves.

I have a nice photo, I will be the first to tell you that. But that's nowhere near these stone cold stunners.

While we're here, vote for your favorite photo! You won't win anything, but remember kids, good deeds always make a U-turn!