Regarding photo art association, i have some comments from my one and only visit to it (together with ckiang and simon. I believe that was ckiang's only visit as well......)
- Lots of knowleageable pple there to trade ideas, tips
- Lots of equipment envy - Contax, Hasselblad, u name it, there will be someone who has it there
- Professional studio setup: this is not a playground. Everything is setup nicely, polariods are taken with medium format cameras to check exposure and flash positioning (they could really use a digital camera here
- They hold classes, and they seem pretty good.
- Darkroom rental, studio rental
- they have activities every week(!) with buses for transport to outdoor shoots.
- price is reasonable
- they do get pretty female models
- Professional studio setup: this is not a playground. U dun get to arrange the lights yourself, you don't get to decide on wat the model wears, you don't have a say in the arrangement of the entire setup. U just plug in that flash cable into your SLR's PC terminal, set to the recommended aperture for the studio strobes, and point and shoot. For studio shots, you can get the model to pose in a certain way for u. For outdoor, i believe u just make do with watever position u happen to get
- like wat ckiang said, it's very contrived and cliche. You don't get to play around with creative concepts - the theme is set and chosen by the organisers every week. From the shots posted here, from woodcutter, to banana man, to snake charmer, to trishaw puller etc etc, the style is always the same.
i may be pretty biased in my assessment though. If u know me, i hate studio shots, formal portraiture in a studio setting etc - too static and contrived for me. I find such setups uninspiring.
i guess i'm just more of an available light shooter and i much rather prefer to freeze a spontaneous moment than a posed one.
ps: i just got an ST-E2 Speedlight wireless transmitter (as a birthday present!) for controlling multiple Canon EX flashes, and i am eyeing another EX series flash, so the above may change though