Thursday, 26 April 2012

MNS: We Are Colourful

Exposure: Aperture F11|Shutter Speed 20s|ISO 100
In Myanmar, it's quite easy to see old-school car, I always think that old car has better design in term of outlook compares to new one, maybe it's just me. There are many hawker stalls painted with vivid colour can be found in Yangon, Myanmar as well. 

Thought process: Colourful car, colourful stalls, and extreme orangish background, there's fluorescent light on the camera right(45 degree). I really like the color contrast setting here, but I want to add some light so they have little bit of cartoon look; snooted blue light on the car head lights and generate specular green light to the bumper of the car to show its iron teeth.

Most of the time we will try to separate the foreground and background subject using low aperture number(below F8) to blur the background so they get less attention, but for this one, it's the RGB color!

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

MNS: Painting The Rusty Beauty

Image 01. Exposure: Aperture F16|Shutter Speed 74.5s|ISO 100
Image 02. Exposure: Aperture F9|Shutter Speed 30s|ISO 100
For this post I will go straight to thought process since the location is introduced in previous post. This location basically opens up a lot of opportunities for night photographer to try out stuffs.

Thought process: There are times when I want to be playful with light so the image comes out interesting and dramatic, there are also times I want added light to look real.

When I want the subject to look real, I usually fill neutral/warm white colour(high colour rendering index(CRI)) light to the subject, especially to bring out shadow detail. If I want them to look surreal, I will blend different colour of light into the scene.

This time I want to add different colour of light while making them look real and believable as if no light has been added. I'm still experimenting and hope to improve over time. Two important keys here, one is looking at the ambient light around so that you can plan on how to blend your light into the scene, second is examine the surface and its colour you plan to paint the light on. For me I want to create the image that brings the feel of rustiness here.

Image 01. 75 seconds exposure, just enough time to paint the light, I painted two portions in the image, one on the camera right, I filled the shadow with red colour light, it plays well with the background because you can see few stripes of red colour light at the back wall which illuminated by the existing light. The second portion is actually done inside the car, where I actually ran into and illuminated the wind-shield with green colour light, why green light, apparently the wind-shield has growing moss and I want them to be seen.

Image 02. Only one green colour light is added at the open door of  the second truck which is just beside the main truck, I hid behind the main truck and illuminated the open door, I tried to narrow the light as much as possible to bring out the detail even though it looked subtle.

Post processing wise, no image stacking here, just tried out couple of times to get the result, and slight contrast adjustment in lightroom.

More experiment to come, stay tuned.

Monday, 23 April 2012

MNS: Yangon Twins

Exposure: Aperture F9|Shutter Speed 30s|ISO 100
I have visited Myanmar couple of times, way before I started night photography journey. After gotten into night photography, I realize how much night needs attention than the day in order to photograph them.

In fact this should be posted first in my Myanmar Night Series(MNS) so I'm doing a flashback here.

First night discovery of Myanmar, Yangon, it was full moon night, I picked up my camera gears and took the taxi to China Town, after that walked alone without direction in mind but to discover what is around. It sounds adventurous because you don't plan it, and never know what you are going to encounter.

Everywhere is quite dark at night, because there are quite a distance between each street light or no street light at all. Walking in the dark is challenging especially in the location you are not familiar with.

Walking out of China Town into small village, where a lot of locals are living. I found that it is a gem for street photographer, really. Not only you can see but feel the living of people here.

Keep walking and suddenly, something hits me, not stick but the scene(as shown in the image above). I didn't rush into the location, just walked slowly to meet the people and asked permission to take photos. I felt grateful to get a "YES" from them(thank you Justin, one of the locals who can speak good English), but they were curious why I want to take photos at night. So the night is not alone, people who live here came out to see how I make the night photos, children were having fun by chasing each others and playing, it ended up becoming some sort of night activity for them as well. As this is the first time visit, and to respect their will since they usually sleep early, I finished my shooting at 11:15pm.

Thought process: For this image, what strikes me here are two identical trucks, and two identical houses, with the weird sky line which I have never seen before, it is so contrasty and surreal. There are two main light sources, the front street light, and full moon light, no light painting applied here, hopefully I able to capture the sense of place here. For a little bit of history, this location survives strong cyclone before, the houses around are in diagonal shape.

On the other hand, along with another 49 images, this image is selected to be showed in Night Light exhibition organized by Darkroom Gallery. I also plan to go back to the same location again, the people there become my friends now.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

MNS: Kandawgyi Lake In Black & White

Image 01. Exposure: Aperture F8|Shutter Speed 30s|ISO 160
Image 02. Exposure: Aperture F8|Shutter Speed 1/4s|ISO 800
Image 03. Exposure: Aperture F8|Shutter Speed 1/5s|ISO 400
I hardly make any B&W image, it is just not my thing.

To gain more knowledge about this genre, I did spend sometime finish reading few books about B&W photography, and learned some cool techniques but become forgetful as I hardly practice it that much. Few keys for good B&W photos are looking for/pre-visualize -

- Shape & Form
- Texture & Pattern
- Contrast
- Tonal Range

So why B&W this time? It comes down to the visit of Kandawgyi Lake at night. Today Kandawgyi Lake becomes famous leisure park and there are a lot of people visiting the lake, especially family and lovers, however the most interesting aspect of this lake to me is "you see a lot of hard light and strong shadow almost everywhere".

Thought process: Kandawgyi Lake seems to be a good playground for B&W photography, my friend has accompanied me to the lake since he want to see how I capture night photos. I spent sometime sharing my experience and showing some spontaneous light painting to my friend, after that I focused on hunting strong shape and shadow that reflect the objects I was capturing.

Post-processing wise, I'm gearing towards neo-noir style.

Friday, 20 April 2012

MNS: Waiting For Nothing

Exposure: Aperture F8|Shutter Speed 10s|ISO 200
Shooting this is fun, most of Myanmar people never shy away from my camera, to be honest I don't know what are they waiting for, neither do they talk to each other as well.

Thought process: I compose carefully on this one, position the camera to include the path in the frame, white balance is set to sunlight to retain the sense of place because it is hot night. What I don't expect is the 3 musketeers at the other side stays still for like 10 seconds, as if they are really posing for me ;)

Thursday, 19 April 2012

MNS: Water Truck For Living

Exposure: Aperture F9|Shutter Speed 25s|ISO 200
Exposure: Aperture F9|Shutter Speed 25s|ISO 200
According the the locals, the truck is used to send water to rural area for daily usage, it really tells how life is tough in the country.

Thought process: Get the composition and exposure right, then wait for timer to finish, you can see the beautiful sky color here, most of the time I will use tungsten white balance at night but not for this one since I want to retain orangish sky color.

For the second image here, there's street light in the front of the car which illuminates the water flow pumping into the water tank of the truck. I have also filled the shadow with my torch light to recover the detail of the rear part and watering ground.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

MNS: Creative Lens Filter For The Night

Exposure: Aperture F5|Shutter Speed 1/4000s|ISO 1600
Exposure: Aperture F5|Shutter Speed 1/15s|ISO 1600
Back from work, we are on the road and the old car has scratchy glass.

Thought process: I see interesting pattern generated by this scratchy glass, make use of it as my filter to capture the image. No way for me to do long exposures in the car, maybe next time I should ask the driver if I can buy his glass.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

MNS: Light Painting Experiment

Exposure: Aperture F8|Shutter Speed 34s|ISO 100

Exposure: Aperture F8|Shutter Speed 24s|ISO 100
History of this abandoned house is not known, I would like to know more but people over there don't really speak English language and I myself suck at speaking Myanmar language, most of the time body language is used to interact with people nearby the area. One thing I found interesting is most of the old houses in Yangon city are not straight up.

Thought process: I'm not really into composition for this one, however I'm trying to be more playful with the use of red and green light, including filling the shadow with the red light, and casting light(red) on the shadow that generated by the other light(green).

Saturday, 14 April 2012

MNS: Enter the night

Exposure: Aperture F8| Shutter Speed 15s|ISO 100
This is busy area during day time, where people are busying with their daily activities. At night however, nothing much happening around, cars are parked on the road side, everyone goes back to rest and sleep.

Thought process: Standing in the middle of the road while doing long exposures since not many cars around and I should be able to avoid crashing, to create balance, make sure building at both side has equal amount of present in the frame, tilt the camera up a little so that the perspective will show how tall the buildings are.

Friday, 13 April 2012

MNS: Rangoon War Cemetery 1939-1945

Exposure: Aperture F8|Shutter Speed 30s|ISO 400
For the history of the location, I can't explain better than this.

Thought process: I'm locked out of the gate, they don't allow visitors to enter after 7pm so I only have limited space to take the photograph of this war cemetery, to make it interesting, I illuminate the gate with my torch light to form the strong cross shadow and adjust it carefully to merge with the cross statue in order to lead the eyes to the main subject(cross statue). Red light is used here to remember the blood and tears of the casualties.