Every picture tells a story


tengk

Member
Aug 14, 2012
478
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I like taking pictures of anything interesting. Sometimes i have trouble interpreting a photograph whenever a caption is missing. I am also curious about the story behind the image. Knowing the story , how the image was set up and the various process helps me enjoy the image a bit more. Hence the title "every picture tells a story" and not " a picture is worth a thousand words".
We all have our favorite images from our own collection and many of them are quite personal (apart from the techincal aspect of composition, colour management which have a certain acceptable standards) but they all have a story to tell.
I am a newbie at this forum, sometimes i have an image which i like to post. But i am not sure where to post, apart from starting a thread and maintaining it. It can be a bit difficult especially if there are many other commitments. Some threads are exclusive to brands or style, while you can listen in you can't quite participate or feel it is not right to "butt in" .(even for someone with thick skin like me) Of course we can put it up at the C&C corner and be publicly flogged (which is of course good for the soul . It definitely puts you on your toes and possibly help set a higher standard for yourself) but then sometimes we just want to put up our images without C&C, for better or for worse. I hope that this thread will encourage any one who may have a few "picture with a story to tell" but not sure where to post to come forward.

I am just a hobbyist trying to have a bit more fun and hopefully posting some images on line will help me improve.

Some ground rules:
Image should have a story to tell, how long a story is up to you. But variety is the key.

Include your own copyright , releases, whatever if you are posting.

Every post should include an image eg. if i want to encourage the person and said nice picture , i would at the same time include a story of my own. But feel free to post an image even if you have no comment. I and i am sure many others would like to hear your story. So i'll start off with a nice picture and capitalise on her famous smile.



Poor Mona Lisa, seems like someone or something has snatched the attention from her. There was actually a queue snaking around to admire her, these people were in the queue to see her. I simply shot this from another angle to make it seem like Mona Lisa has been snubbed.

I also appreciate any C&C from the pros or senoir members who are willing to help me/ us improve. Image posting is optional for C&C (to encourage C&C) but are most welcome to illustrate the point. Thanks in advance.
eg. What a pretentious image!



This sapling was so out of place, Left to die on the concrete paved car park floor of an abandoned site. The place actually looked quite sad. It was like a john doe left on the concrete slab of a morgue. I did nothing except record its sad fate. Wait i did shift it a bit to get a better angle...food for thought. one of my favorites.

Most of all i just want to have fun with posting and hopefully make some on line khakis. Here is the one that got away.



Quick draw is a virtue for the photographer but i am not so fast.

That's it , i hope to hear many of your stories. Thanks in advance for sharing.

I am not sure if i am doing this thread correctly by having other people contribute to it. If it is wrong, moderators please let me know and i'll take it down.
 

tengk

Member
Aug 14, 2012
478
3
18
west coast
Attended a PMET organised talk , shoot and contest on the 19 Jan 2012. It was a wet and dull day. Some people managed to capture some meaningful pictures but i have nothing to show for it. I did try to set up some shots after finding some location that i wish to use but nothing happened. What i learnt from the judges' is (interestingly) have a story to add meaning to the image. As usual B&W is the choice for street photography on a dull day or any other day. And from the winning entries i noticed a preference for some sort of play with shutter speed to denote movement.
Since we are talking about candid, here's a story of one of my all time favorite. i have only a few candids. Most of them are taken while on holidays and that's when i have a camera on me all the time.
I love this poster the moment i saw it. I almost wanted to rip it off the wall. I visualised an image with the poster in the foreground and something else to complete the picture. Walked around , saw this guy nursing his coffee by the pillar and at that very moment this lady stepped in. It helps that the 2 ladies also look like mannequins. And i have my image. Luckily i squeezed the shutter at the right time, she did not step into the frame after that shot.



Here's another story. Whenever a large full height window with a garden view shows up, i will remember a scene in the Cappola's Dracula where the actress(can't remember her name) was reading, writing on a desk with a large full height window behind her. For some strange reason i like the visual effect of that scene. The moment i saw the reclining statue with the gesturing hand and the large window i waited. Then the well dressed gentleman befitting the scene appeared.



I look forward to your stories.
 

wolfton

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Jun 21, 2010
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I love #1 and #5.

For #5, you can crop away the right side, just show the full window with the borders, I think it does convey an unspoken message. I was thinking of a square crop, but you may wanna try to see if it works for you. But definitely I will crop away the distracting element in the foreground on the right side.

#1 is a moment that is not always available. Like what you mentioned, people normally will keep looking at that picture, but you showed a contrasting scene.

Overall I think your pics are nice. Can start to post more Liao :)
 

tengk

Member
Aug 14, 2012
478
3
18
west coast
For #5, you can crop away the right side, just show the full window with the borders, I think it does convey an unspoken message. I was thinking of a square crop, but you may wanna try to see if it works for you. But definitely I will crop away the distracting element in the foreground on the right side.
wolfton, Thanks for the feedback.:cool:
Since we are talking about distracting elements. I have a picture which i like to use to illustrate.
Sometimes wandering around taking pictures can be quite a challenge, there are so many distractions around us. Depending on what attracts or distracts us we see things differently.
Here are two different versions.

This is what i see when not distracted.





This is what i see when distracted(attracted).





So, were you distracted or not?

I look forward to your stories.
 

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tengk

Member
Aug 14, 2012
478
3
18
west coast
Stop and look.
Our hobby allows us to freeze a moment and make the memory tangible and visible to all. It encourages us to be more observant of our surroundings.
Many monuments, events are preserved. Some of us take the time to see and smell the roses, others seem like in a hurry. Maybe they are young and feel that they have all the time in the world.



Here's a closeup of the ancient monuments.




Paris equals romance, dreamy, foggy. That's what i saw when i was there.
Of course there is also the gargoyle overlooking the city but i don't know how to access that vantage point.



Paris also equals B&W
The picture of the couple is exactly how i would visualise a lovely couple strolling down the Champs Elysees. Thankfully this couple repeatedly posed for me.
There was actually a bride and groom who stopped in the middle of the road to have a quick wedding shot. They managed to have a shot before traffic came charging back.

 

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tengk

Member
Aug 14, 2012
478
3
18
west coast
The message that Chinese New Year is suppose to convey: of family bond, of respect for the elders sometimes get lost. It seems to be all about good fortune, luck. And why not. Huat ah! Of course we should not forget the importance of kinship.

With an expected larger population growth, do expect to spend more time in queues and jam. But you can be sure that no one complains at this queue, however long.



I can almost detect a hopeful smile of this punter. Good luck! Of course moderation is the key.


My daughter will soon be going away for her studies.
We were out printing some documents(she is in the background). She left her phone on the counter. It has a picture of one of her favourite TV characters. It shows Dr Who holding on to Amy Pond. At that moment i thought, it is about me letting her go, she will soon embark on her own adventure. All the best.



I look forward to your stories.
 

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tengk

Member
Aug 14, 2012
478
3
18
west coast
The eyes are a window to the soul, apparently some scientists in Sweden think there is some truth in it. Google it.
I was out one Sunday morning and came across this big burly chap with his highly reflective sunglasses and i said to myself i have to take his picture and so i did. It was pretty up close and personal. Since i did not get a reply from him for permission to post, i shall exclude him. Not wanting to waste this shot i cropped! I don't know about windows to the soul but i sure know what he is seeing. At least we can see that his friends are having fun. Besides i am just as interested in the reflections





I look forward to your stories.
 

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tengk

Member
Aug 14, 2012
478
3
18
west coast
Food , glorious food. Pork belly and its associated recipes are a weakness of mine and i am sure for many others too.

Crackling skin of roast pork, tender melt in your mouth flavourful stew pork are 2 of my favourites. I enjoy cooking too, so here is a picture of roast pork. I cook i shoot.
Here goes my story (recipe). Inspired by a good friend's mother's version and after some modification(in italics) to further simply the process.

1. 1kg pork belly, i use fresh/chilled indonesian pork.

2. Dry meat. Generous amount of salt and white pepper.

3. Dispense a fair amount of light soy sauce, hua tiow chiu(chinese cooking wine) and smashed about 5 cubes of fermented red bean curd and mix together in a tray.

4.Rub the meat only with this mix. Leave to marinate for a day in fridge.

5.Remove from fridge let it come to room temperature, about 1 hr.

6.Place pork belly into oven at the rack above the drip pan, set 150C . I start from a cold oven.

7.About 1.5 hours later (i have a temperature probe which registers internal temperature of meat at about about 77C after 1.5hrs in my oven, yours may differ, buy a temperature probe), remove pork from oven. Reset oven to grill and don't forget to press start again. Let lose your pent up frustrations by impaling the now very softened skin of the belly, do it gently otherwise the skin may come loose. Stop after creating about 2500 pinpricks or when you no longer feel frustrated. Stop , dry the skin and replace meat in oven, on the same rack level.

8.Start paying attention to the skin after about 10 mins. You will hear pork skin blistering and fat dripping onto the rack. The unmistakable aroma of roast pork will wafe through the kitchen.
This part is by far the most crucial, take out too soon and you'll not get crispy skin, peep into oven, careful of hot air, and obseve the structure of the skin, see my image for appearance of skin. Look at the depth of crispyness of skin. If you re,move too soon, you'll see a gelatinous looking skin below the crispy layer, it won't crackle.

9.Sometimes you may char the skin, turning it black. Fret not.

10. Remove from oven and rest for 10-15 mins. Scrape the charred parts away over newspaper. By now the queue will form up at the kitchen, listen to the crackling when you chop up the meat. It will be half gone before it reaches the table! Enjoy with Dijon Mustard or just plain!




I hope i have enticed some of you, i look forward to your stories.
 

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pauliggy

Member
Nov 11, 2009
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Very interesting thread and I will try the recipe!!
Thanks for sharing ;)
And nice pics too!!
 

tengk

Member
Aug 14, 2012
478
3
18
west coast
Don't just walk ahead, look back.
Sometimes we can run out of ideas with regards to subject matter. Whenever that happens i will forget about trying to take a picture, i just look out for textures and tones. I always like to fall back on these 2 whenever i feel lost. Many a times while walking along i will immediately look around when the clouds break and the place lights up or whenever i see shafts of light shining through. I will look out for features that suddenly look different.
Here are some of those chance encounters. I did boost the colours a bit because that's how i like it.







I visited the Louvre museum and thoroughly enjoyed evey moment of it. Pretty inspiring place for me considering quite a few of my favourite shots in this thread comes from within the walls of the museum.
I spent some time admiring and photographying , at close quarter the beautiful and majestic "winged victory of Samothrace”, simply documenting the encounter. After some time i moved on to the next level of exhibit, upon reaching the top of the stairs i looked back to have a final look, boy was i glad i looked back!
I can't believe that a headless and armless statue can command so much energy, power and grace. I love this view, excuse the blown highlights though. I could almost imagine the statute lifting off and breaking out of the museum through the skylight. Of course i lingered longer to take in this view. This is my best experience at the museum, strangely i felt moved by this encounter.



Hi pauliggy, Thank you very much for your feedback. Do appreciate it. I hope the recipe works out fine for you.
Some ground rules:
Every post should include an image eg. if i want to encourage the person and said nice picture , i would at the same time include a story of my own. But feel free to post an image even if you have no comment. I and i am sure many others would like to hear your story. So i'll start off with a nice picture and capitalise on her famous smile.
Maybe you missed the ground rules. Since it was not C&C, You do owe this thread a story and i/we look forward to it. TIA:bsmilie:
I look forward to your stories.
 

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tengk

Member
Aug 14, 2012
478
3
18
west coast
I have no talent but still enjoy taking portraiture and you soon run out of friends and relatives to shoot. I suppose mere mortals like us with no access to talents with beautiful or craggy faces will have to look elsewhere. Besides try asking your mum to pose or shoot your grandparents craggy faces.
One of the first lessons i learnt was the art of directing a pose. We can learn a thing or two from the ancient masters and patient models. And in this day and age, YouTube. Again someone from the ever so inspiring Louvre Museum, Venus with her classic S pose. So here she is.



I think every aspiring talent or photographer should learn this pose. If as photographers we can't strike or direct this pose then maybe we should buy the 1000 poses book which i saw on the home page of clubsnap. I have a copy of this book, fun to read. I did not know there can be some many poses! It should be a gift to your favourite talent, maybe it is already her/his daily read.

I attended a talk held at the Art House recently by a Filipino photographer, Manny Librodo. He shared with us many beautiful images and the stories behind it. I thoroughly enjoyed the presentation. It makes you want to try making images of beautiful and craggy faces. I was pretty fired up after the presentation and right after went hunting for that shot. I know exactly who to shoot. And here he is, pretty striking pose for a gentleman but…



Since i am suppose to know something about lighting the subject, i waited. I shot, I bracketed. I waited till blue sky . Blue sky came and went but guess what, there was no proper lighting on the statue of Sir Stamford Raffles! There was only bad lighting. Can you imagine scores of tourists sending home pictures of the statue Sir Stamford Raffles in “poor light”. We are talking about the iconic brand “Raffles” here!
Sir Stamford Raffles next to a Traveller’s palm is like a giant “Welcome to Singapore” sign for the tourist. And can you imagine all the tourists sending home poorly lit images! So I decided to do my part and wrote to the Singapore Tourism Board this morning asking them to cast Sir Stamford Raffles and the Traveller’s Palm in better light. They replied in the afternoon and say that they will share the feedback with their relevant department for consideration. I wait with bated breath.

Maybe someone can enlighten me on taking this picture in better light. I am sure the picture will look a lot better if there is a full/crescent moon and maybe a couple of stars, a flying object even a bird, a plane and better still UFO like in Independence day or Battle: Los Angeles. But for now this is what I have.
Since we are talking about portraiture, Some time last year I attended a shoot and post process workshop by another Filipino photographer, Jake Radaza. I learnt some of the post processing techniques, did not follow up on it as I have no talent to start. The organisers themselves are Filipinos and they have very striking portfolios. I am beginning to wonder if it is a Filipino style of portraiture. They are after all pretty colourful people.

Here is my on the spot attempt at manipulating the image during that post processing session. My sloppy first attempt at portraiture post production. The direction of light, highlights and shadows are wrong and as bad as those cast on the statue. Rather clumsy, all the brush strokes totally visible. Lots of finesse require to hide the brush strokes. I love the cinematic effect of this style of photoshop. I will endeavour to learn these photoshop actions and techniques! But with practise i can only improve. Here’s the lovely Victoria in bad light.



As for lack of talents, wardrobes and makeup…well, instead of clicking on my shutter, I’ll right click on beautiful images and practise on them.
I look forward to your stories. Thank you.
 

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tengk

Member
Aug 14, 2012
478
3
18
west coast
Of shades and shapes.
I was sheltering from the rain under the bridge around Fullerton Hotel when i noticed this scene with transition from almost B&W to colour. It reminded me of the opening scene from the movie "Phantom of the opera". The scene started off in B&W with a rather eerie background music before it gradually transformed into a colourful scene. The scene literally lit up. One of my favorite opening scenes in a movie.
Here's the scene titled "into the light" which reminded me of the opening. Not as dramatic though. But will keep this idea in mind for future shoots.



The idea of transition made me wonder about some photographs i shot that could be used as a story board for a horror movie. The light was rather dull so B&W transformation saved the day.
The scene started off innocently enough, like a walk in the park.



Then came the crows and brooding clouds, standard fare in many horror movies.



Sooner or later they all come together and all hell broke loose.



I also like this series because of the play with shapes. The images looked better against a black background, darker and more omininous. I always wondered why clubsnap does not use a black background to highlight the pictures? Maybe it uses up more bandwidth.
The good thing about taking our own photographs is that we can interpret it in any way we want and have fun too. I look forward to your stories. Thank you.
 

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tengk

Member
Aug 14, 2012
478
3
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west coast
We are rarely away from prying eyes, we should know, photography is our hobby.
Always on the look out for someone, something to shoot. Who knows maybe someone is shooting us behind our backs.
Sometimes the watcher is being watched. Many who work in museums are pretty vigilant, i couldn't resist capturing this guy in action. Quite an authoritative figure. The key said it all.



Parents are responsible for teaching their kids, here is a fine example of a learning journey at our Siloso beach. You never know who is watching you watch others. Of course they may just be out there in the blazing hot sun learning about heat transfer or watching ships in the distance.



Parents are also responsible for our kids safety, out there lurks someone who can't keep their hands to themselves.



This shot came about while i was testing the 80-200mm nikkor at a shop in Holland village. I was randomly shooting when this little girl walked into the light. I couldn't resist hairlight. The lurky bit came during review of the picture and that is when i saw the "straying hand", hence the story of kids safety instead of a wasted hairlight shot destined for the trash bin. The batman mask was added to hide her identity.
It also brings to mind the movie "Taken", coincidentally i watched it when my daughter was planning to travel alone or with friends. You can say i was rather reluctant to let her go. All young ladies travelling alone should watch this movie. You can never be too careful in a distant land.

I look forward to your stories. Thank you.
 

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nedy77

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Jun 21, 2005
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Nice work here :thumbsup:

I like #1 most
 

oneANT

New Member
Apr 7, 2010
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ɹǝpun uʍop
I love #1 and #5.

For #5, you can crop away the right side, just show the full window with the borders, I think it does convey an unspoken message. I was thinking of a square crop, but you may wanna try to see if it works for you. But definitely I will crop away the distracting element in the foreground on the right side.
Just to contradict, street is warts and all. Resist cropping ...seriously resist cropping. Its also a symptom that some have from using zoom lenses. You will make your eye weak if you keep putting the scissors to everything you see.
The pointing finger on that sculpture, its so in keeping with the image that it needs to be kept.

Teng ...I love your stories and your willingness to share. Most are out to promote themselves without supporting anyone else and this make you the genuine street photographer. That street is bigger than you.

I think your picture are stunning and I'm very fond of your voice.

Food , glorious food.
Thanks for that, I'll let you know how it worked out, looks yum. Besides this is the only cutting any of us should be doing.
Am making barbecued pork for a noodle soup (marinated overnight and I'll roast it today (grin)

Ant.
ɹǝpun uʍop puɐl ǝɥʇ ɯoɹɟ
oneant.com.au
 

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oneANT

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Apr 7, 2010
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There is so much in these for us to make our own stories and I am very fond of them ...but somehow I think this one is about you and so far is my favourite picture on the forum.



...just stunning the way it tells a story about the photographer.

Ant.
 

tengk

Member
Aug 14, 2012
478
3
18
west coast
The past few days have seen a flurry of activities on this forum, on one hand you have a fervent and passionate street photographer and on the other a long time popular contributor to this forum. Most of us are extended the courtesy of posting on this forum and i for one have benefited too. And in the true spirit and art of street photography i too have erred in the presentation of some subject matter. On the other hand in the spirit of give and take (eastern philosophy) , does it matter?
I can totally understand the passionate artist defending the genre of street photography. It extends across borders to wherever the art is practised.
From the rest of us who had never given the matter much thought, myself included, i can also understand the incumbent's "Why now? and who are you to come barging in? and if the host don't mind why should you?"
Now the stage is set.



Some will care, some don't care.



But we must give it some thought,



what's the next move? To move or not to move? Does it even matter?



Thank you.
 

macaroni

Senior Member
Sep 7, 2010
1,331
10
38
northside
Love the way u put it across in pics and your own words. Very original. :)
 

tengk

Member
Aug 14, 2012
478
3
18
west coast
Friends or foes?
They are among us and even within our households.
Some toil in the background taking care of our homes, streets, help with our construction and not to forget, drive our buses. Some have jobs like ours, some have better jobs than ours. Most are away from their comfort zone. They, together with us are the cogs to ensure the gears run well to power the machine. In return we share our enviroment with them.
I can’t help but notice him and her. So close yet so far apart. She sat there enjoying the view while he went about happily tending to our greeneries, maintaining that beautiful view. I asked this gentleman for a word and his favorite food, his answer was happy and fish. He happily consented to me taking his photograph, i did seek his permission to post this on my previous personal project, and since i asked and did not get a reply, so on goes the batman mask. Here is someone who is proud of what he does. Maybe we should roll up our sleeves and join in, who knows happiness may be one manure heap away.



Here's the answer to the philosophical question of "How many Singaporeans to change the light bulb?"



Competition is part and parcel of every day life.
It could be a local Singaporean, PR or foreigner. But in truth we all know it is competition with the rest of the world. There is no slowing down or turning back, it's a constant race to the end. We just need to find our own oasis, maybe ignore expectations of other people or reduce our own or well, try to run faster.
Here are two trying to race ahead while we are slowing down. I like to think of them as friends spurring us on.



Thank you, wolfton, , ge0tay, JacePhoto, nedy77 and macaroni, I truly appreciate your most recent comments and encouragement. Thank you walterlty for your posting tip as well (I have reduced the file size to under 300kb for faster loading)
And most of all Thank You, oneANT for your kind comments and especially for spurring us on.
I look forward to your stories. Thank you.