Saturday, April 29, 2006

Two months gone, one to go

I have spent just over 2 months in Chicago and have one more month to go.

As much as I am excited by all that I have learnt here, I feel an emptiness because my outlook in life has changed and I don't know anymore what images I want to produce.

When I first started photography, I was a romantic fool. I guess that is why I did well shooting weddings. I was also attracted to drama and passion, inspired I guess by what I saw on stage and film. Thus, a lot of my work was in black and white and lit dramatically. I am no longer a fool and no longer attracted to extremes of emotion. More and more I am drawn to finding a sanctuary within myself. I guess that I want to shoot portraits of people who are strong in their own spaces. Now, I have to find a visual language to express my new direction and find out how to do it consistently.

If you are wondering, I know well enough how to make a romantic or dramatic image still. In fact, I am more technically secure than I have ever been. Pay me enough money and I will do it. :) What I am saying is that I am in photography because an inner calling gets me out of bed each morning to shoot. In the past, it was shooting drama and romantic love. Now I am searching for a simpler, more peaceful image.

I don't know how I do it, but my next series is definitely called Sanctuary.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Aim High

I know that there are limitations to living in a small island but the world is growing smaller.

I have stopped actual day wedding photography, but if I was still doing it, these are the photographers who would be my benchmark,

Todd Johnson
Joe Buissink

On my own path, these are the photographers that inspire me,
Paul Elledge
Albert Watson
Keith Carter
Chris Rainer

It is not a competition for me. It is just simply that I aspire to create images that have the same impact and influence as the photographers who have influenced me.

It all sounds good that I am asking people to follow their dreams. I guess that I should be honest about the price to be paid too. I remember when I started classes at the London Contemporary Dance School, Duncan McFarland, a teacher there told the class that you have to be obsessed to be a dancer. It is such a difficult path. But it is true of any path of excellence, be it dance, photography, banking, writing, you name it. There is an obsession, an attention to detail and sacrifices to be made by you and your loved ones. To reach pinnacles, sometimes you leave loved ones, riches, comfort and safety at home.

The Art of Weddings

The Art of Weddings

I just found this link on Shuttebug's blog. Kuang, to my mind the best working actual day photographer in Singapore, has started his own blog. Ron, Ead and Wan Sheng, please don't get me wrong, I love your work, but Kuang does have the experience and the edge.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

In which I ask angsty art questions...

What makes a photograph a work of art?
Is a good photograph art?
What is commercial as opposed to art?
What is naive art as opposed to fine art?
Is it the photographer who defines his work as art, or is it how the viewer perceives it?
Are all these terms mutually exclusive or do they straddle a continuum?
Who gives a hoot and does it matter?
Can I just say that I like it and think its art? Then anyone can just say they like it and think its art?
Is my idea of art better than yours?
Does understanding art work enhance the experience or does that mean the art work failed? Those abstract conceptual artists really threw a spanner into my limited brain.
Why can I enjoy some art without understanding it, but appreciate some art work without enjoying it at all?
Why do I prefer visual art to literary?
Is the music of the Beatles simply pop music or pop art or art?
How does a martial art become an art? I mean using a sword to kill someone has the same effect as taking an axe and killing someone right? Wait, wait, is there an axe-welding martial art??

I got no answers for you. But if you want to shoot art, you have to start asking yourself what it is? I am not telling you.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Notes to myself

1. Being Mr. Nice does not actually get you anywhere unless your ambition in life is to be a doormat. Being the bastard is no good too, gives you ulcers. If someone takes advantage of you once, its that person's fault. If that person takes advantage of you a second time, it your own fault. When someone gives you shit, disengage. You have to stand your ground or people will roll over you for no good reason.

2. You have to be your own fan club. Everyone else who is going to achieve anything, wants to be achieving something and will want people noticing them. (Thus the blog, yeah, yeah, yeah.) You don't have to shove yourself down other people's throats like spam or junk mail, but you have to put your best foot forward and find ways to let people know you exist. My friend Wesley says that a second rate photographer with first class PR will be more successful than a first rate photographer with second rate PR anyday. True.

3. Appreciate the people that help you. I am doing so much of the dirty work at Paul's studio but it is an incredible feeling when they say 'Thank you Heng'. I feel that I am part of the team. I guess we all underestimate the power of a kind word or gesture. Continuing on that theme, Thank you to all of you out there who have been reading the blog and responding to it. It really has my struggle seem more worth it.

4. Music is a powerful mood enhancing tool. So is expresso for me but I already knew that. ;) Some of the new music that has been really blowing my mind is

Artists - Album
Air - Talkie Walkie
The Album Leaf - In a safe Place
Elbow - Leaders of The Free World
Kanye West - Late Registration
Manu Chao - Proxima Eastacion: Esperanza
Sufjan Stevens - Illinois

5. Better late than never. I was a late starter in my studies, a late starter in dance, a late starter in relationships, a late starter in photography. So I am late, but I have something I enjoy pursuing.

6. Don't hang with people that take your energy and time but give you nothing in return. It is not a value judgment on other people, it is a priority judgment in a world with too few hours to do everything you want. Especially for someone who is a late starter like me. I have said it before, I will say it again. There are enough real problems occurring when pursuing your goals, don't get bogged down with inconsequential issues and petty prejudices. Its tiring. If you have time, spend it with your parents and loved ones. If there are family problems, sort it out. Family problems are the type of problems that you cannot deny. You have to come to terms with it or it will sap your energy too. I am thankful that I have a great family, and I am not just saying that because I know my family reads this blog. :)

7. Believe in yourself. Believe that you deserve to succeed so that when it happens you won't reject it.

8. Go at your own pace. It is not in my nature to be a beach bum. I don't think that it is in my nature to be as driven as someone like Paul. So pace yourself to be productive in the long run.

9. Find good people to work with. No man is an island. Rambo does not exist in real life. Find people you click with and build a relationship.

10. Be generous, but not blindly so. When you are generous and it reaches the right people, it will come back to you. I believe in Karma.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Musings in Chicago

1. As an intern, you get to do the most menial work in a studio. I guess if it is not the intern doing it, it will be the assistant. So its natural the intern does it.

2. People assist established photographers for years before starting their own photographic careers.

3. If you just graduated from a photographic course, the stupidest thing you can do is ring up a studio and ask to be a second photographer. Don't even try asking to be the assistant, ask to intern for free. Be humble.

4. Royalty free stock images has really killed the photographic market for most photographers. People are now willing to accept bad photographs because it is free. They are not willing to pay photographers as much money as they used to. I guess as a photographer you really have to be much better than royalty free work and educate clients why you are worth it.

5. Commercial work at the highest level is so much about production work, logistics and solving marketing issues. A good producer is vital.

6. Photographers don't factor in time needed for processing digital files. It is inevitable that timing of digital file processing will become a crisis point.

7. Photographers don't factor in physical space for accumulating equipment, props, prints etc in their lifetime. It is inevitable that physical space will become a crisis point.

8. Photographers don't factor the disk space needed to keep the digital files they are shooting nowadays. It is inevitable that disk space will become a crisis point.

9. Photographers are not considering how to catalog their digital images. It is inevitable that someone is going to ask for some obscure image shot years ago and it will become a crisis point.

10. As professional as anyone is, life happens. Relatives fall sick, someone crashes into your car or your house, something majorly screws up your life right before a major shoot. There must be time and space to deal with life's crisis.

11. All clients nowadays want hi-resolution files. What exactly are high-resolution files? Your guess is as good as mine.

12. Whatever wizzbang camera you just bought, there will be a new better one six months down the road. Paying for new digital camera equipment will inevitably be a crisis point. If you want to make money, don't be a photographer, sell digital cameras.

13. Its just photography.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Images from the Chicago Art Institute

I am sorry that I did not upload these images with my last post. There have been problems uploading images with Blogger.

Monday, April 17, 2006

The Art Institute of Chicago: The Concerned Photographer

The Art Institute of Chicago: The Concerned Photographer

It was forecast as a rainy day in Chicago. So I decided to spend the day in The Art Institute of Chicago. The first thing that I saw there was The Concerned Photographer. The first quote that hits the visitor is

"The concerned photographer finds much in the present unacceptable which he tries to alter. Our goal is simply to let the world also know why it is unacceptable." --Cornell Capa (b. 1918), photographer

I have no real desire to be a photojournalist, but the work of concerned photographers have always affected me. Sebastio Salgado is one of my heroes. Sometimes the images of all the bad things happening in the world can really be depressing. I guess that this is a perennial problem. Some people try to do the right thing and other people mess it up. I guess that we can't point fingers or anything. Our very lifestyle of consumerism is contributing to the overall running down of the whole planet. The difference in lifestyle between the poor and the rich is just too hard to describe. Those of you who saw the Earth from Above exhibition will know what I am talking about.

As I left the photographic rooms of the Art Institute, something started to develop in my mind. I saw native American Indian art, European art, American art past and modern and architectural displays from the great Chicago architects. What I found is that all these great pieces of art were made by concerned artists. Artists have always been making work to some ideal. Art has until recently been related to religion, a search for a higher calling. And in this modern world, it is not that we have stopped lacking ideals, it is because Science has become a new type of religion. Although technology is inadequate to replace religion because areligious and amoral, it still embodies ideals of efficiency and the idea of a human pinnacle.

We are in a confused era that is full of potential. With modern technology, we are at a point in time when I think the world does have the power to make a difference. However, the old sources of guidance like religion and family institutes are losing the attention of the man on the street. The modern economy in the industrialized world is based on consumerism and inflation. This system can only work if people buy more and more goods and more of the earth resources are used.

I guess that we are so caught up in this world of easy and the fast buck, that we choose to ignore the consequences of the less fortunate and the weather changes that also visit upon the rich.

I really don't know how it will be done, but the world needs new ideals with new vision. It needs a vision that can rise above religious and political bickering. People need to re asses their impact on the rest of the world. Someone left the world to us for a short period of time. What will we leave for future generations?

And I will hear some people going its so hard to live, how to think of other things? It is so hard to live, that is why we cannot not think about other things.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

A day comatose

It was a real nice day out. The sun shining and the temperature was 20 deg C. A great day for being tourist but I was completely knackered. I went out for breakfast with my camera intending just walking to Calumet on Goose Island. But I was just tired and came back to the apartment. I was on the internet for a while and then just went to sleep.

I guess that it is one of those times all the things that have happened just catches up with you.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Halfway Through my internship

Week 7 and my pound of coffee from London is almost finished. :) Yeah, those people who know me know that I live and die by my coffee. I was so tired on Monday morning from my Sunday excursion, that I actually overslept. I have not done that in a long time. The pace has not let up yet. Paul actually has 3 shoots this week. We just finished one today, have an editorial shoot tomorrow and then another commercial shoot on Friday. We have another big shoot next week too. I still have not had a social meal with Paul and Leasha or my landlord. Still, I cannot complain, my time here in Chicago is fully utilized.

There are so many reasons that have made my trip to Chicago completely worth it. And each of them would have been worth a trip. Learning how Paul works, how he lights how he shoots, all fantastic stuff. The Epson Print academy was a real help. And Hubbard Street Dance reminding me of why I started anything in the arts at all. The music that I have been introduced to is just great. Will write more about music in another post.

I have already talked a bit about Paul's vision. One thing I do realize, is that for Paul to function at this high level, his team is very important. On a big commercial shoot, there are so many things to look after. For example, aside from the photography assistants, there is the productions side. Leasha is the producer and has to be in charge of looking after the clients, scheduling the shoots, ordering the food, and make sure things like model releases are signed. There is a stylist who looks after the clothes and props. For the last shoot, the stylist has 2 assistants. There is hair and make-up. And while all this is going on, the studio manager, Audra, is back at the studio doing work for the upcoming shoots.

I already have an assistant and office manager when I return. Hmm... Need a producer, stylist and digital assistant. Yes... and interns. :)

Monday, April 10, 2006

Thank God for Sunday

I guess that today was a gift from the powers that be. The sun was up and it was a day to remember.

I had breakfast at a place called Milk and Honey. Now that the weather is warming up I am willing to walk a little further away from home and try out different things. I had pancakes and chicken sausages for breakfast. It was a hearty meal. And I thought that I was just getting pancakes, but no, it had carrot, coconut and rasins in them. I know breakfast sounds heavy, but it was prety well done. I only ate half the pancakes though, just too much for me.

Then I headed for Millennium park by train. On the way I stopped by Barnes and Noble and bought a whole stack of inspirational cards. I am really into these cards. I realise that being successful is more than just ability, it is also a mind game. That is why so many sports people have visualisation and pep talks. So I am conditioning myself to be positive too.

Millennium park is way cool. It has several amazing sculptures and is surrounded by some of the amazing architecture of Chicago. The sculpture I love the most is called Cloud Gate by sculptor Anish Kapor. It is inspired by a drop of mercury but the relfections in it are way groovy. Then there is the Jay Pritzker Pavillion designed by Frank Ghery. It was quite funny, I have only seen pictures of the Guggenheim by Ghery in Bilbao, but the metallic waves were unmistakeble and I knew that this Pavillion was designed by Ghery too. It is cool to walk around it and just watch the way the whole sculpture interacts with itself and the surrounding skyline.

I then went to watch Hubbard Street Dance at the Harris Theatre for Music and Dance. It was just at the top of Millennium park.

I had forgotten how much I loved dance. What I watched was a mixed bill of four dances. As I watched the first dance The Manifests choreographed by Lauri Stallings, I almost cried. The physicality of grace of the dancers reminded me the first time I watched Strong Language by Richard Alston, danced by the Rambert Dance. This was the type of dance that got me involved in the arts. Today, watching Hubbard Street Dance, my breadth was stolen, just like the times I watched such beautiful dance in London. And it was so funny, one of the pieces of music was from Wong Kar Wai's In the Mood for Love. Strange how the arts influence one another.

The next three dance pieces was by 3 of my favourite choreographers, Nacho Duato, William Forsythe and Jiri Kylian. The Nacho Duato piece was Cor Perdut and was set to music by Maria del Mar Bonet. A beautiful piece of Tunisian music and a fantastic duet.

Then there was vintage William Forsythe with Enemy in the Figure. One immediately recognises the syncopated movements of Forsythe's choreography and it is enthralling. But in this piece Forsythe also gives a class in dramatic lighting. For the most part the dance was lit by a huge floodlight on wheels that the dancers moved around the stage. In the middle of the stage was a wavelike wooden sculpture. This floodlight on wheels would create extreme brightness and dark shadows, sometimes flattening out the dancers in a harsh frontal lighting, at times just creating slithers of highlights with side lighting and then always casting amazing shadows. Forsythe's work is not pleasing, but it is undeniably engaging.

The last piece was a hilarious dance by Jiri Kylian to music by Mozart called Sechs Tanze. In some ways it is easier to do darma. It takes a real master to do humor.

I was sitting next to a silver-haired Chicago lady who had been following Hubbard Street dance since they began. She was really having fun with the dance pieces and laughed to herself quite a lot.

I am reminded of why I am here as a photographer. I am inspired to strive harder.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

On being an outsider

I have always been an outsider. In school I was not a macho sportsman, I was not clever enough to be a nerd and I was not contented to follow the main body of students. I was and still am a person carrying in me a world of dreams. I just wanted to be like Ged, the wizard hero in Ursula K. Leguin's Wizard of Earthsea. It is one of the earliest books I remember reading. Ged was a powerful wizard. But because he dabbled in magic that he is not supposed to, he releases a shadow into the world that threatens to destroy him. Through a huge struggle he finally overcomes this shadow. Ged is not an action hero. He is a person who was born with some talent and trained to become the greatest wizard in earthsea.

I guess that I have always wanted to be extremely capable, not in an obvious showy way. I just want to train to make sure that I fully realize the potential of the talent I have. I want to be able to scale the mountains that I set my eyes.

There is a part of me that has always hated extreme competition. This applied to sports, chess and even student rankings in school. This is why I have always preferred activities like dance, rollerblading and kite flying.

Along the same lines, I don't think that the mountains that I want to climb ever put me up against the main stream of people. Not that I do not face competition, but in something like photography, the competition is not really head to head. At least not the way I chart my path.

What do I mean? I mean that I am not in photography to be able to shoot what the bulk of commercial photographers shoot. I have a storehouse of personal experiences, tastes and ideas. I will let all that non-photography stuff in my life help me create a unique photographic viewpoint and style.

As always I am outsider. There are so many commercial photographers who follow the trends and make copies of other people's work. I was told by a commercial photographer when I was starting out that I should know lighting so that if an art director gave me someone else's work, I would be able to recreate the lighting exactly. That just went against my grain. I want people to hire me because they like my lighting or the way I shoot. I do not want to be a jack of all trades, I want to be the best Ngiap Heng I can be. I can only be a second class ...... (put the name of any great photographer you like here).

So I do my own projects. I choose what I want to learn and with whom. I take what I need and leave what I do not. I let people influence me if it helps me along my way. I am a stubborn ass if someone wants to bring me on another path or a detour.

Which brings me here. I have an interesting hodgepodge of work. I have yet to develop a coherent style. This is my weakest point right now. Still I think that people have already begun to appreciate the fact that I am my own photographer. Clients that hire me realize that I can give them something other photographers cannot. I need to create that distinctive vision.

It has been a long lonely preparation and journey to the base of my mountain. Now begins the climb upwards! If I did not need to do my work in the commercial sector, I would have preferred to climb this mountain isolated from the public eye. Still, I have nothing to be ashamed of. I am not doing anything illegal or immoral. I am just scaling a photographic mountain, hoping to see into magical horizons.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Friday Night Off

Paul and Leasha went to visit Leasha's mum and I finally get a Friday night off. Jason took me out to see the town. First we went to his apartment where we met up with his friend Matt. Then we went to the Museum of Contemporary Art. On the first Friday of the month, the open up the museum late, have a buffet service and even had a rock band blasting music away. Even though they was a cold win blowing, there was a huge crowd at the museum. I think because there was a Warhol exhibition on. I appreciate Warhol's art as a marketeer, but I have never been a real fan of his work. I have been a great believer in work and mastery. So even though Warhol's commentary on American life is striking, I still feel something lacking for me in his works.

We met another of Jason's friends at the MCA. She is a photographer and her name is Melissa Weimer. She gets her kicks by sneaking shots of people in the exhibition even though she is not allowed to. I decided to join in the fun. :) Melissa has a blog and web site. Its crazy how many good photographers there are in the world.

Jason was standing on one side talking on his phone and I was trying to take a picture of him with his hat. All of a sudden a girl turns up and goes 'Oh he's so cute. Can I take a picture too?' So here is Jason, girl magnet and a perfect stranger standing next to him.

Jennifer, the stricken girl, liked the first image and I managed to push it with this shot. I like it a lot. Just hope I am not getting predictable.

The sky scraper scene from the window of the museum. I seem to be doing a lot of these window portraits in Chicago.

We then went to what was supposed to be the Chicago disco, Le Passage. The music was rocking. I used to feel stupid dancing alone on the dance floor like a loser. But WTF, life is too short and the music was really good. So while Jason and his friend Matt was talking to some girls, I went and boogied on the floor. I did not manage to get a decent shot in that space, but there was really some nice Asian eye-candy there. There were some gorgeous blondes and brunettes there too but somehow I have never been that attracted to Caucasians.

I am working my ass off, but I am getting to know Chicago bit by bit. Sometimes with the help of Jason and Shin.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

A Great Shoot- 200th Post!

What a posting for the 200th. Unfortunately, I am unable to show the final results because it is for an ad that will come out in six months time or something like that. However, this shoot was different from any that I have seen in Chicago. In fact it was different from anything that I have ever seen in real life before.

We were back at Essanay sound stage 2. We were shooting 2 still life shots for an ad. One was of a house that had been burgled. The other was a bathtub overflowing. The ads were for an insurance company. This is the first time I have seen sets purpose built for a shoot. And not just that, the sets were built and then wrecked!! How cool is that?

Paul is a portrait photographer but he was trained by a still life photographer. He likes taking this type of job once in a while because it is a change of scene for him and he enjoys it.

However, more than that, I have never seen a person light a set before. This is the first time I have ever seen it.

This was the lighting for the overflowing bath shoot. There are 4x4800 watt powerpacks with four heads pointing into an umbrella! It looks like something from the matrix. I had to look after the packs to make sure the power charges up between each shot and the POP of the flash was loud. There was once Paul popped a shot when I was not expecting it and nearly jumped out of my skin!

There was a 'rigger' named Jay, who used a pump to make the effect of overflowing water. It was amazing, he made a small shelf around the edge of the bath tub and pumped water into the shelf to overflow. He used vaseline to control exactly where the water was overflowing. The he channeled the water of the ground and knew how to make the water flow just right!

This is overhead lighting for the room that was broken into. You can see that the umbrella is relatively simple, but there is so much use of flags and black cardboard to shape the light onto the set and wall!

Paul had a blast breaking the set to pieces. I think that is why he took the job!! He was pumped up.

The shoot went swimmingly well and the work day ended at a reasonable hour. Jason, Shin and I decided to go out for dinner. We had sushi at a swish joint. I did not take a photo but I had the greatest beef maki. :)

After dinner, we hung out a t a hookah joint. I have never done anything like this before, but what the heck, it is only a herbal smoke. It was like inhaling gaseous strawberries. We had a hoot trying to blow smoke rings. None of us had a clue.

It was nice to go out with Jason and Shin instead of coming back to the apartment by myself. They promise to take me out again to see more of the nightlife of Chicago. Looking forward to it. :)

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Warmed up Weekend

The temperature has finally started to rise to about 10 deg during the day. When the sun is out,it is really nice.

Side wall of Helix Photography Store

There is something about the saturation of the colour of the sky in Chicago, when the sun is up. It is not cyan like it is back home, but truly blue.

I finally went on a tourist jaunt on Saturday but I do not have the photos to prove it. I went to Oak Park to visit Frank Lloyd Wright's house and studio. There are also several houses in Oak Park that are designed by Wright. Wright apparently created the prairie style of house, which was longer than the normal architecture for houses then. He emphaised a breaking out of the box and used ornamentation inspired by nature. The first building that I have ever seen by Wright is the iconographic Guggenheim Museum in New York, a work of modern art. So his prairie houses were personal and human in scale. It was a real eye-opener for me to see such a different side of this architect's work. I may have to try another trip out there to take a walking tour of the houses before I go home.

Michigan Ave

On Sunday, I went to the Apple store in downtown Chicago and bought absolutely nothing. Although the temperature was rising in Chicago, the weather over the weekend was mainly overcast. So I spent a lot of time indoors window shopping. And then as I left the Apple store, the setting sun broke through the clouds and I had to take a walk amongst the tall buildings of Chicago.

What a lot of people, like me before coming to Chicago, may not realize that the tall buildings of Chicago are clustered in the city center. Most of Chicago is like a sprawling suburbia of buildings no taller than four stories. This is the Chicago that I had become accustomed to over my months stay here.

Michigan Ave

I am not really that much of a shopper that I would come back to the city center anytime soon. The parking for about 2 hours cost me US$25! There are much more extensive shopping areas on North Ave and Clybourne where you can find free parking spaces with some patience.

Michigan Ave

I will come back in May when there is achitectural tour along the river. The tall buildings are impressive, but without explanation, they are just tall buildings. It would be nice to understand the context of such pinnacles of achievement.

I read this comic while having breakfast at the Dodo. I really love it.

Monday, April 03, 2006

The Path alone

While in a foreign city, I have been fortunate to stay in touch with people in various countries using messenger. I guess I know a lot of people trying their best to follow their dreams and find their own path.

I am fortunate to be able to pursue my own path without financial worries. And in an ideal world, the photography that I do is its own reward. So when I tell people to follow their dreams, I usually hear a 'but...'

I got to be honest with everyone, even with the cards stacked in my favour, there are moments of doubt, there is fear.

The truth is we do what we do, and especially in the an 'artistic' pursuit, there is no garuntee that there will be be an audience for our work, let alone a paying audience. And even if we do find some success, it is only short-lived. In the arts, we are literally only as good as our last piece of work. It is not like we invented a bottle-cap or the ipod and just watch the royalties roll in while sunbathing on some beach. Even if we are successful, we will continue to struggle, to strive to find a way to grow in our work. And it is in the nature of our growth and change that some of our supporters will be dismayed, some of our previous detractors will be won over. All this while, most people, whether they like your work or not, are going to try and get as much out of us for the least amount of money.

As great as the photographic experience is for me in Chicago, it is at times cold, at times lonely and at times plain foreign to me. Even though I find the Chicago people to be some of the nicest and most straightforward in the United States. So why am I here? Why am I giving up the tropical warmth and the oh so familiar surroundings of Singapore? Why the hell am I struggling to be a photographer and not just working for an electronics company in Singapore?

I guess that a card which I bought in a bookshop sums up the reason why nicely,

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. EXPLORE. DREAM. DISCOVER.

I dream of images that reach into the soul of my subjects. I need to bring those dreams to life.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Rajasthan Pictures up at Citilink

Jodphur Fort

Betty, Eadwine and Ron were kind enough to help me change my display of photographs at Citilink. I now have the first half of a two-part exhibition at Citilink mall. Here is the mounting exercise documented by Ron,

shutterbugISm: the art of seeing

The images can be previewed in my blog archives in the following links

December 2005
January 2006

I think that these were the best holiday photographs that I have taken in two years. The key is summed up in one word, Freedom. I am not a nasty person, nor am I anti-social. Still, I feel to shoot well, one needs space, in all the meanings of the word, to explore and interact honestly with one's suroundings and subjects. You cannot do this full or fears and worries and petty concerns. It sounds a bit naive, or selfish, but what can be more important than to simply be in the present completely? The past is a memory and the future is but a dream, we have only the present. It may be good or bad, but that is all we really have. Don't live with imagined shit.

Thanks to Betty, Eadwind and Ron. ;)