[ahblack] APAW 2016 ~ maintaining pace... CONSISTENCY!


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ahblack

Senior Member
Jan 24, 2014
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#61

Well I came back from Taiwan!!! Bunch of photos to go through and edit, that's why this is later than usual...

We photographers, be it hobbyist or professional or just a simple human being, would certainly love to take beautiful photos when we are traveling. Difference is that one would spend how much time on taking photos. Me being me, had plans to take photos of street, sunrise, sunset, portrait of my family, etc... And it did get into our schedule as we constantly stopped at spots and take minutes of photos. Don't look down on these "minutes" of time, as it adds up to hours and ultimately destroys your plans. At one particular spot, a famous landmark at Nantou where I spent half an hour just to take photo of the temple. One of the shots (below), is probably one of my prized shot of the whole trip, was done in the expense of my family's precious time. Of course I got nagged by my wife (she was hungry...) and my parents-in-law were sitting there doing nothing waiting for me to finish my shots... So here is the question, how important is photography when you are traveling (with family in this case)?

Traveling with others is never easy, especially when you are going to do it with parents. Some places are hard to access due to walking or even climbing, and usually the best scenery requires more of that. There were 3 main spots which I planned for the trip with the intention of spending time on taking photos. First being Gaomei Wetland, which failed miserably due to heavy cloud on horizon (can barely see the sunset...) and very strong wind (my driver was kind enough to send my family to a place nearby where there's shelter while I stayed there for sunset). Then, Sun Moon lake which also failed due to foggy and overcast sky BUT I managed to visit this temple (highly recommended by driver) and nailed couple of satisfying shots. Lastly, Cingjing which I planned for sunrise (this was the easiest as everyone else was sleeping hehe...). Although the sun didn't burn as much as I hoped for, it gave me a different kind of shot in return ;) I have to thank my family for being so patience and understanding, and it made me rethink the way I should behave when I'm traveling with family. Taking beautiful is important, but spending time with family is more important than anything else. Chances of spending time with family will only get lesser as they are not getting any younger, while you still have a live long of time ahead of you, and you can visit the place whenever you want and take your own sweet time to do the things you like. So spend more time with your family, enjoy the scenery together and be happy together.

"Take more photos of you and your family, as you all will grow older and things will change, but the scenery will always be there and it will wait for you as long as it can."


week 42



文武庙 by Lee Wooi Chun, on Flickr



Sony A7ii + Samyang 12mm f2.8 AS NCS Fish-eye

 

ahblack

Senior Member
Jan 24, 2014
1,036
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Singapore (west)
#62

Do you ever had a feeling that you can nail more shots when you visit foreign country than wondering around your country during weekends? Thinking that it's much more happening THERE than where you're living. Of course, if you think this through, it's certainly not entirely true but you can't help to think that way. Why? Well it's human nature I guess. We can't help to feel more interested or intrigued by new things and places. That's when your mind opens up the most and work the most. However, things work differently when you are at HOME.

I used to think that Penang (my hometown) was a boring place, especially Butterworth. Friends from other states saying "Penang very siok leh, food nice scenery nice very happening" and my usual reply was like "yeah okay been there done that nothing special". Ever since I started working at Singapore, my view towards my hometown has changed. When I was still living at Penang, exploration was never in my mind. As you know, work is tiring and most people will just head home straight after work and stay home during weekends to rest. Now that I occasionally go back to visit my family, the feeling is somehow MIXED. I feel familiar yet strangely intrigued by those things which were once boring to me. Maybe it's due to the holiday mood, or I just simply want to know more about the place. Now when it comes to traveling to foreign countries, that feeling is heightens up even more. You constantly look out for things that happen around you. That's the first part of taking photo, is that you LOOK. Then, you start to take lots of photo, thinking that chances are harder to come by and you might not revisit the place anytime soon. Some will just whack and think later, some will appreciate the scene more and wait for the perfect shot. Either way, you get lot of shots as everything is interesting to you.

In the end, it's about your mentality towards your surrounding. Despite being around Singapore for nearly 5 years, I still feel that there are more in Singapore for me to explore. Even the much over-shot MBS, you can certain discover more angles to it if you spend enough time exploring the surrounding. So to end this, a shot in Taiwan, at the Ruifang train station where you can catch a glimpse of the daily local x tourist traveling.


week 43



While waiting by Lee Wooi Chun, on Flickr



Sony A7ii + Zeiss C Sonnar T* 1,5/50mm ZM

 

ahblack

Senior Member
Jan 24, 2014
1,036
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Singapore (west)
#63

Well I finally missed my APAW zzz Not without a good reason though... I was down with fever flu coughing for a week, basically spent my days at home doing nothing other than eat and sleep. Aghh... I thought I could maintain my pace for a full year! Just like any weekend for the sick people, it was boring and boring, and boring. I felt better since Tuesday so I figured I should somehow make up for the missed APAW, so here it is!

Next APAW gonna be slightly exciting as I'M GOING TO KOREA TOMORROW!!! It's going to be 5th - 10th Nov, so I will probably update this thread around Friday. Stay tuned!


week 44 (missed..)



Sparkle at night by Lee Wooi Chun, on Flickr



Sony A7ii + Contax Zeiss Planar T* 2/45mm AF G

 

ahblack

Senior Member
Jan 24, 2014
1,036
12
38
Singapore (west)
#66

Korea was fun! But fallen sick during trip isn't... Coughing and flu came back to haunt me, and Korea was getting colder by each day. It even rained on some occasions. Nonetheless, it was fun and I got to visit some of those weird places where you normally won't go if you don't join a tour LOL For this trip, a great buddy of mine lend me his Sony Distagon T* FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA. Yup the best Sony native E mount 35mm you can get. Those who know me should have figured it out that I'm not a 35mm guy, so to force myself using the 35mm I didn't bring any 50mm with me for the trip. I DIDN'T BRING ANY 50MM WITH ME FOR THE TRIP... I admit I was insane (and a little bit regret about it) but must not let the lens goes wasted!

First off, the size and weight. Man... I really got spoilt by the small rangefinder lenses to the point that I can feel every single gram of the weight whenever I lift the camera to shoot. Distagon is one of those optic design which usually involves LOTS of glasses to achieve a very high degree of optic correction for wide angle lens. So with that many glasses in the 35mm, it's bounded to be heavy and big in exchange of insanely good IQ. The size gave me a headache whenever I need to plan and pack my lenses into my little ONA Bowery. I brought 3 lenses with me, the Samyang 12mm Fish-eye, Krobalux 21mm and the Distagon. The Fish-eye is only a hint smaller than the Distagon while the Krobalux is very small and compact. Here comes the problem, there was no way I can pack all 3 lenses into the Bowery and I didn't carry backpack. So it was either Fish-eye + Distagon or Krobalux + Distagon... But the Fish-eye was rarely seen the light as I had planned to use it on 2 locations only (Ansan Star Village and Dongdaemun Design Plaza).

The IQ... Do I still need to tell you how amazing is it? Of course there's some nitpicks about the lens like a wee bit of color fringe when shoot against harsh light at wide open, a wee bit of vignetting even with the lens optimization, etc... BUT! The Zeiss signature rendering is enough for you to throw everything behind your head and love the lens to death (if you like the modern rendering). I personally don't like it. It's just too "perfect" to my liking, the razor sharp and high contrast look of the image it can produces. The pop though... It's real and it's there, and I can't stop shooting with it at the widest aperture.

I'm gonna be brief about the technical stuffs. AF (never my thing...) is good, not blazing fast but it works great even at low light. I doubt I can give you an accurate comment about it so take this as a pinch of salt. I like the Click/Clickless switch for aperture ring, would be great for video. The hood is a bit unnecessary as it hardly flares (I left it at home because I scare I might lose it LOL).

So that's about it! It's an amazing lens, told by hundreds and thousands of people who tried it. But if you ask me, it's a big NO from me. Despite the insane IQ, I just can't get pass the size and weight of the lens. I will be better off with the small, not so perfect IQ and manual focus lenses. Of course, YMMV.


week 45



Sheep by Lee Wooi Chun, on Flickr



Sony A7ii + Sony Distagon T* FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA

 

ahblack

Senior Member
Jan 24, 2014
1,036
12
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Singapore (west)
#67

First of all, I never thought I will be holding on to this lens for this long, hence expect much from it due to the uniqueness of it. Fish-eye doesn't really work as a walkabout lens, unless you make yourself into it. The usual way of using it is probably bending lines and shape to create different perspective of the scene. I remember seeing a photographer used one for street, providing a very unique view to his series of photo.

To me, the best part about the lens is not the Fish-eye effect, it is the angle of view then only followed by the Fish-eye effect. It's so wide that it can include more than what you see. There are not many FF 12mm choices out there which include CV12mm (or the even wider CV10mm) and the upcoming Laowa 12mm. De-fish is one way to get the ultra wide look, but you quite a bit of the view while losing resolution on the process. But of course, you don't get a Fish-eye lens to de-fish it. Personally I'm a bit tired of the usual rectilinear ultra wide view ;p

Fish-eye really does wonder at certain scenes. And when it does, you are gonna love it or hate it. Dongdaemun Design Plaze is such a nice place to play with a Fish-eye lens. Too bad most of the exhibition halls were not open while I was visiting the place... Maybe next time!


week 46



Archway by Lee Wooi Chun, on Flickr



Sony A7ii + Samyang 12mm f/2.8 ED AS NCS Fish-eye

 

ahblack

Senior Member
Jan 24, 2014
1,036
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Singapore (west)
#68

It's been quite long since I last used a 50mm, and man it was tough time... But forcing myself to stay away and then come back to it, actually makes me enjoy shooting with it much much more! While I was with other focal length, I had to rework how I usually shoot and I learned some realized some.

One of the foremost, is angle. I used to shoot everything on eye level with 50mm. What's the problem with that? Geometric distortion, which happens when you tilt your camera. If you are shooting with tele lens, you will barely notice any. However, it's very noticeable on wide angle lens. I'm not a very tall guy, not very short either and in many situation I have to tilt down/up when I shoot something relatively near to me. Geometric distortion can be used to create dramatic shot, but sometimes it's frustrated when you wanna shoot something straight up and forgot to pay attention to the lines. I saw video of a photographer going around his town with a M3 + 50lux, and he kneels a lot during his 36 frames. I personally tried that when I take photos of human subject, and the framing looks better. The human subjects look even more natural (less distorted). I'm glad to be born at this era where most of the digital cameras come with tilt/flip screen. The A7ii even has a digital leveler IN the display so one can always relies on the conveniences of technology.

To straight or not to straight?


week 47



Moment by Lee Wooi Chun, on Flickr



Sony A7ii + Voigtlander Prominent Ultron 50mm f2
 

ahblack

Senior Member
Jan 24, 2014
1,036
12
38
Singapore (west)
#69

Most of my photography friends know I have some weird obsession with Sonnar lenses. If you ask me why, all I can say is that I love their rendering, and that's it. I wouldn't know how to explain it any further. Maybe it's the bokeh? or whatever that comes with it... All I know is when I look at photos, those which I favorite would mostly made by a Sonnar lenses.

Talk about bokeh (which is probably the strongest strength of Sonnar), I remembered one incident which happened quite a long while ago. It was about a conversation (an exchange of opinion or you may call it argument) regarding shooting wide open. I don't think I will ever forget about the whole exchange because it was so mind-blowing for someone to think so highly of himself while others clearly think otherwise. He started by telling me "don't shoot wide open" and me trying to understand WTF he was trying to say. He then continued with his nonsense about people buying fast lens so that they can stop down to get its "optimized" performance (get f1.4 lens so that you can shoot at f1.8), adapting lenses may even causes diffraction/refraction/colour fringing/hazing. Wow~ I never knew these are caused these problems :bigeyes: Diffraction I know la, it happens when you stop down too much (normally around f11 or above). Refraction?! Don't anyhow throw out words that come to your mind leh, if you don't know then google the word before use... Color fringing is due to the optic design and hazing is due to the condition of the lens no? I mean, there are SOME points that can be taken from his nonsense, but the rest is just... nonsense? He said he was there to educate his member, well I won't stop him doing that but educate people also need to give correct info mah... I mean I might be wrong and right at the same time, but to shut people down entirely and enforces his own belief to his members? I don't think I can stand that, so I decided to leave and let his members judge what's right or wrong by themselves. I can only hope the members took the good out of our exchanges instead of just listen to him blindly.

Lastly, I would like to give you all a piece of my mind regarding photography, one photographer to another. You may not like what you see, but dislike/hate/condemn it AFTER you understand people's works. Don't brush off people based on your mere assumption. There's always REASON, or MEANING behind every photos and there are millions of WAY for one to express it. There will never be absolute right or wrong in photography, so be kind and understanding to others and they will in turn be kind and understanding to you. Don't be a GOONDU.


week 48



Counting stars by Lee Wooi Chun, on Flickr



Sony A7ii + Carl Zeiss Jena DDR MC S 135mm f3.5

 

ahblack

Senior Member
Jan 24, 2014
1,036
12
38
Singapore (west)
#70

My grandpa passed away last week. I flew back the next day after my mum told the news. To be honest, I never liked funeral. Not because it's "not good" in my culture or anything, it's just that I never know how to "be" in a funeral. There is too much emotions going around... Anyway, it was a nice gathering among all the relatives and friends, and catching up with each other. My cousins finally came back to visit my grandpa after so many years (long story), although my grandpa couldn't see them in his own eyes. Rest in peace grandpa...

Throughout the whole funeral, there were many instances I wished I have the camera on my hand but I didn't feel appropriate to shoot. Well I guess everyone would have feel the same way as I do, after all it's a funeral. If you don't feel like it, don't do it then. Photo was never important when it comes to certain things.

So photo of the week... Something irrelevant, an angry crab which will end up in someone else's stomach. Like a portrait for its funeral, not entirely irrelevant I guess...


week 49



Crab ANGRY by Lee Wooi Chun, on Flickr



Sony A7ii + Contax Zeiss Planar T* 45mm f/2 AF G

 

Last edited:

Nikonzen

Senior Member
Nov 3, 2014
2,570
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Oklahoma, USA
#71
In regard to 50mm...that focal length is powerful. Your expose reminded me of something I was once taught about shooting short models. By crouching and shooting upwards one can elongate the model making a short gal look like a tall supermodel.

Old rule of thumb...two stops from wide open is usually the sweet spot...what a boring rule.

Lastly my condolences on your grandfather. This is a heavy loss. I have lost both of mine. Initially it did not seem so bad but as time goes by I miss them terribly.

Keep the flame burning bro.
 

ahblack

Senior Member
Jan 24, 2014
1,036
12
38
Singapore (west)
#72
In regard to 50mm...that focal length is powerful. Your expose reminded me of something I was once taught about shooting short models. By crouching and shooting upwards one can elongate the model making a short gal look like a tall supermodel.
50mm is still my favourite focal length. It's a focal length I have shot a lot with, yet far from truly understand it.


Old rule of thumb...two stops from wide open is usually the sweet spot...what a boring rule.
Well there's only so much the optic expert can do when it comes to super fast lenses. However, accept the lens as a whole is how one can fully utilize the lens. Unlike the kind of thinking that the person tried to force into others' mind... You want good IQ, you pay for a good lens. DO NOT SHOOT WIDE OPEN? that's what got on my nerve.

Lastly my condolences on your grandfather. This is a heavy loss. I have lost both of mine. Initially it did not seem so bad but as time goes by I miss them terribly.

Keep the flame burning bro.
Thank you sir, you have been a great support!
 

ahblack

Senior Member
Jan 24, 2014
1,036
12
38
Singapore (west)
#73

It's year end and celebrations are everywhere! I had the celebration of my own last week, the 11th year anniversary with my wife (married for 4 years). I brought her to our first "atas" dinner at Sky on 57! The view and ambience was great, perfect for such occasion (once a year still ok, wallet still can tahan...).

Like most of the people here, I didn't miss the chance to bring my camera out. However, I barely used it and instead I was using my handphone to shoot most of the time. Convenience is one thing, spending more time with the subject herself is way more important than taking nice photos. There are times when people tends to forget about putting down the camera and enjoy the moment. Although photography is the focus of this forum, but it's not everything and people should understand there are more than just taking good photo. If you watch The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, you would know one particular quote from the character played by Sean Penn, which says "If I like a moment, for me, personally, I don't like to have the distraction of the camera. I just want to stay in it." I like that movie a lot, and it changed some of the ways I view the world we all living in and that quote is one of them.

So stay in it, enjoy the moment. Don't get caught up by all the numbers and specs. Sharpness? Color? Sometimes a blurred B&W photo speaks more than a sharp colorful photo.


week 50



Night is young by Lee Wooi Chun, on Flickr



Sony A7ii + Sony FE 28mm f2

 

ahblack

Senior Member
Jan 24, 2014
1,036
12
38
Singapore (west)
#74

Well it's already Friday! My week was so packed to the point I only have the time now to update this thread. Everything has to rush due to the holidays... But my company got us into Adventure Cove and dinner at Hard Rock Cafe last weekend for staff gathering! We all did enjoy the day, but might overly enjoyed it and everyone got so shagged on the next day LOL

For the last few years, I've walking on the same path on weekdays. Walk from home to Yew Tee MRT, train to Novena MRT, and then walk to my office. Along the path, 90% of the scene is basically the same throughout the years, while the other 10% is random encounter. Despite the 90% and 10% differences, it's 100% photo opportunity everywhere. People tends to get numb to the norm and simply look pass the beauty within it. For example, the much loved/hated MRT which you access every single day (I know some drive...). Trains running on 2 rails at 2 directions. People rushing in and out to get to their destination. Door closes, leaving the station and the next one comes. Underneath the surface, there lies the beautiful daily life of locals. I kinda started a "Commuter" photo series of my own even before I knew it, and I still hoping to capture more of its beauty. Last Friday, I walked out of the station and look up, and there it was... Something that is already there and I've never notice it.

All you have to do is just look around and don't look too hard :bsmilie:


week 51



Stripes by Lee Wooi Chun, on Flickr



Sony A7ii + Zeiss C Sonnar T* 1,5/50mm ZM

 

ahblack

Senior Member
Jan 24, 2014
1,036
12
38
Singapore (west)
#75

Merry "belated" Christmas and Happy New Year! You guys had a great Christmas during the weekend? My wife and I didn't celebrate the holiday this year as we were really tired due to our work. Good thing was a friend of us (childhood friend of my wife) flew all the way from Alor Setar only to spend a day of Christmas with us! We had some fun going around, jiak holiao! And most importantly, my wife finally had the chance to release a little bit of her stress on work and spent a night pillow-talking with her closest friend. As for me, I WAS FREEEEEEE for 1 night to do what I enjoy the most... GAMING!!!! Sorry photography can wait LOL

I had another nice run with the Everyday Sling by Peak Design again last weekend, with my almost full gear setup. Sony A7ii, Samyang 12mm f2.8 fish-eye, Sony FE 28mm f2, Voigtlander Prominent Ultron 50mm f2, que Bottle and an umbrella. Everything fit nicely into the Sling, but being a sling bag it tends to wear your shoulder down pretty quick as the weight concentrated on 1 side of your shoulder. Not gonna turn this into a bag review post, so I will probably do one during the upcoming weekend.

Being a 50mm addict, going out without a 50mm in the bag is a guaranteed suffering. 50mm is as versatile as it gets. It's usually fast enough for subject x background separation and great for low light situation. A short tele with nice working distance, and wide enough for vast landscape/cityscape. BUT! It doesn't mean 50mm is the best lens in the world. Same goes to lenses with different focal length. Every lens has its own pros and cons, but it doesn't mean it can't do more than what it is. Nowadays, people tends to label lenses based on specs and that limits one to fully utilize the lens. Any lens wider than 20mm is landscape lens? Any lens in 20mm-50mm is street lens? Any lens longer than 50mm is portrait lens? Nonsense... The lens only as good as the person who shoot with it. There are a lot of photographers making their names on being creative in their works, by exploring what they can do with what they have instead of getting new gear to do new thing. Curing your GAS is definitely satisfying. But after a while, you will realize that it's just money down the drain if you didn't put your gears to good use. So don't complaint about what your gear can't do, think about what you haven't do with it.


week 52



Urban pattern by Lee Wooi Chun, on Flickr



Sony A7ii + Voigtlander Prominent Ultron 50mm f2

 

zaren

Moderator
Staff member
Oct 27, 2003
10,961
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#76
great thread, love your photos and write-ups!
 

wonglp

Moderator
Staff member
Jul 20, 2007
6,813
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Bukit Batok
#78
Keep shooting bro, no #bagbrag shots here?
Btw,cya in 2017 APAD ;)
 

ahblack

Senior Member
Jan 24, 2014
1,036
12
38
Singapore (west)
#79
Keep shooting bro, no #bagbrag shots here?
Btw,cya in 2017 APAD ;)
LOL will brag at review section if i can finish the review pn weekend

APAD too hiong d, confirm fail LOL

Sent from my SM-N9208 using Tapatalk
 

wonglp

Moderator
Staff member
Jul 20, 2007
6,813
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Bukit Batok
#80
LOL will brag at review section if i can finish the review pn weekend

APAD too hiong d, confirm fail LOL

Sent from my SM-N9208 using Tapatalk
Haha, awaiting your review! Just gotten my Sling and 30L, love the Sling was using ytd for my long exposure stuff, 1 body, 3 lens, bunch of filters and holder and a tripod hehe.
 

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