I’ve been working in an agency for a year and couple of months now, and most of the time, my creative director/boss told me to get back to fundamentals of design.
Balance, composition, repetition, perspective, colour, typography… I kinda regret for not putting more effort when I was in college to brush up my skills and art sense. Seeing works of creative students from all over the world puts me to shame. (Check out Student Show by Behance for works of awesome creative students.)
What I learned while working here:
1. Printing production knowledge is very important.
Sometimes we might think that we’re graphic designers, we only need to be in front of our computer design and give our files to the printer for them to proceed.
2. You need to have a rationale for your design.
When we design, we need to know our client. What is this design for? Can we incorporate client’s products/services into the design? We need to study the client, and their industry.
*Note: This post was written and stored on November 29, 2013. I was looking at my old websites and posts and noticed this post I made for myself, since I seldom update my art blog, I’m posting this now, it’s an unfinished post.
In 2013 I’ve bought an Olympus OM-D E-M5, and because of it’s small size and lightweight, I carry it with me more often than I use to compared to my Nikon D7000 (which I sold to fund my Olympus) and I took more photos than before.
So here I’ve picked 10 of my favourite shots in 2013. Photos are not arranged in any order. You can click on the images to go to the Flickr page to view larger versions and also check their EXIF data.
1. My Nephew, Joel
I love to photograph my 2 nephews, Johann and Joel. This shot is taken on Johann’s 2 years old birthday celebration, after dinner, outside the restaurant at Desa Park City. Shot using Nikon D7000 with 35mm f1.8G.
2. My Sweetheart, Celine
This was taken in Sabah. A holiday with Celine and friends. Shot using Nikon D7000 with 35mm f1.8G. You can watch the video I shot and edited for the trip here.
3. My First Mechanical Watch
Bought this watch 2 years ago, it’s the first watch I buy with my money, not a gift from friends, not from parents, or brothers, and to me, it’s expensive. Shot this to test my new camera and it’s kit lens’ macro abilities. Olympus OMD EM5 with 12-50mm kit lens & YongNuo YN560 II flash.
4. Warp Speed
In 2012 I started working as a junior graphic designer in an agency. And I travel to work by commuter to save money from car petrol and parking fees. And after some increment, and also sometimes I have to work late, and many other reasons (Malaysia’s KTM commuter service is unreliable), I decided to drive to work.
5. Bon Odori Festival
Obon (お盆) or just Bon (盆) is a Japanese Buddhist custom to honor the spirits of one’s ancestors. In Malaysia, the festival is celebrated on a much smaller scale in Penang, Selangor and Sabah, and is less associated with Buddhism and more with Japanese culture. Held mainly to expose locals to a part of Japanese culture, the festival provides the experience of a variety of Japanese food and drinks, art and dance, with the vast number of Japanese companies in Malaysia taking part to promote their products. (Taken from Wikipedia)
My first time going to Bon Festival, the highlight of the event was the fireworks in the end.
6. Church (The Bridge 35th Year Anniversary)
The Bridge Communications, is a local Chinese Christian publisher. They produce Chinese Christian magazines and books. This was shot during the 35th anniversary celebration. I like it because it’s from a perspective that I seldom see. You can view other photos I shot on that day here.
7. Jayson’s Proposal
Shot at Sekeping Serendah. We went there in the afternoon to decorate the place and prepare dinner for the dinner. At night, Jayson went to fetch Rachel here and she shed tears of joy when she saw the place we decorated, she knows he’s going to propose.
8. My Nephew, Johann
My eldest brother’s son, my first nephew. This shot was taken after dinner with family. I’ve taken thousands of photos of him, you can check out this video I made using only photos of him here.
9. A Walk in the Park
Wanted to try shooting ourselves without another photographer. I set the timer and used a tripod for this. Shot at Lake Gardends.
10. Colours of Sunrise
Went to Genting with friends without my girlfriend. I woke up early in the morning because it was too cold. I was unable to shoot the sun as it was on the right and blocked by the hotel building, but I like how God painted the sky, so cropped the photo to remove the building. You can watch the video and photos I shot during this trip here.
I photograph to document my life, to record moments, to remember the times we’re enjoying ourselves, having fun or events, to share my stories.
My passion in photography is growing stronger than my passion for design or music. I spent more hours on photography or camera related websites and blogs than design websites. In 2014, I will be shooting more, would like to be a great photographer one day.
I used to think that infrared photography can only be achieve with a modified camera. Recently, my friend showed me a filter on eBay and told me that it can be used to shoot infrared photography. I wasn’t sure at first, so I went to do some searching and found some people use Hoya IR72 filter with their Olympus EM-5 camera, so I bought a cheap 52mm IR720 filter without any brand to go with my 12-50 kit lens, reason I choose the 52mm is because I was gonna buy a Olympus 9-18mm lens, it has the same filter size with the kit lens.
From the forum post, gidferrer suggested to set white balance to 2000. I shot RAW for these images, so that it’s easier for me to change the white balance later.
Here’s the first OK shot using the filter.
Here’s 2 shots I took in the afternoon on the same day:
Not too bad. But lots of noise. I’m not sure if it’s because of the high ISO, or because it’s heavily edited. And I also noticed there’s a hotspot at the center of the image, not sure how to get rid of it, maybe I need better lens or better IR filter?
Here’s another 2 I shot when going to Fraser’s Hill:
Morning session I’m the second videoman (Yie Meng’s the main videoman for morning session), and at night I’m the main photographer.
I prepared 2 bodies, EM-5 with 12-50mm kit lens and YongNuo YN560 II and EPL-5 with 45mm f1.8, I end up using only EM-5 99% most of the time.
One problem about small cameras is the grip. I find it difficult to hold with the YN-560 flash mounted on top. I plan to buy a grip when I have the extra money for it. And I need more spare batteries. I already have 3 batteries now, but I prefer to have one or two more just to be safe if I’m going to shoot for the whole day.
Using EM-5 for video
Here’s the same day edit Yie Meng did, it was played during the dinner. There’s only about 20% of footage that’s from my EM-5. Most of the footage is from Yie Meng’s Canon 60D.
Watch Ray & Terrie SDE on Vimeo.
There’s plus and minus using EM-5 for video shooting. There’s the EM-5’s in body stabilizing system, which is great for video mode. But during video recording, EM-5 can’t change exposure in manual video mode, which I find is a bit of a let down, because sometimes we move from indoor to outdoor, it’ll become overexposed. If I use auto video mode, it’ll change the exposure itself, but I still prefer manual controls.
Overall I wont say that this set of photos are great, but I give myself a passing mark. It’s been too long and I didn’t do my homework at improving my skills, if there’s another chance, I’ll do better than this.
4 years ago I saw a design & art related blog that has lots of information, tutorials, and inspiration, and thought that I want to start something like that! And that’s how this blog was born. Even with the lack of activity of this blog, at least I’m updating once every few months. Hehe.
So anyway, in this post, I’m gonna share websites and blogs I follow and I will update this post from time to time.
http://abduzeedo.com/ – Collection of visual inspiration and useful tutorials
http://blog.iso50.com/ – Musician and artist, blogs about music and design
http://blog.mingthein.com/ – Ming Thein, photographer’s blog. I like how he share his reviews, opinions, philosophies about photography.
http://robinwong.blogspot.com/ – An engineer who’s really into photography
http://www.behance.net/ – Great source of inspiration for all design related fields
http://www.behance.net/galleries/curated – Curated galleries of top creative work, powered by Behance