Saturday, July 29, 2006

Singapore Textures - The Holga Series III

The response to the Holga series so far has been either very positive or silence. I think this it good. It means that the work is challenging normal modes of thinking. And regardless of whether the viewer finds the work pleasing or not, it makes one take a longer look at the work. I hope that in that act of evaluating the images and making up one's own mind whether to embrace or reject the work, there is a deeper interaction than if one were to simply consume the expected beautiful images that are raining down upon our consciousness.

I am in a delicate balancing act between career, art, health, spiritual path and family. I have to thank my father for confirming the fact that life is full of challenges and is part of the human condition. I do not subscribe to a religion, but I know that this path is a spiritual one. Each act of photography can be a meditation on life. Although, I find that it is easier to meditate on personal projects than it is doing a commercial shoot.

Whether it makes sense or not, I make images in spite of myself and the challenges that I face. Each image is an act of living, and in living, I am.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Singapore Textures - The Holga Series II

Waterloo Street

Little India

Little India

Botanical Gardens

Singapore Textures - The Holga Series I

Waterloo Street

Waterloo Street

Koon Seng Road

Bussorah Street

I know that the future of my photographic career is linked to mastering digital imaging. But when I saw Shin trying out her Holga camera in Chicago, an idea struck me for shooting my series of Singapore textures. I came back to Singapore, loaded up film into my Holga and shot the photographs. Thanks Shin for the inspiration.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Cleaning the clutter

I spent the day opening months worth of mail and filing them. I also threw away old things which I would not use anymore. One of them was a book on Microsoft Access 97. I have no intention of creating my own database now. It is funny how things change, and to move on sometimes, what seemed like a good idea is superseded by the course of life. I have no time to look at computer programming now, I have too much to do with photography.

It always feels good to clear things. When I left London after living there for nine years, I threw away a lot of things that I knew I could not bring back to Singapore. And you know what, I felt an inner relief as well. By letting go of baggage from the past, I moved forward easier.

Once again, I am moving from one stage of my life to the next. I am in the midst of putting my work and personal life in order. There is a lot of actual clutter getting disposed of. But inside me, spiritual and emotionally, I have to let go of the negative memories and energies. There has been so much hurt and frustration that keeps my mind occupied and my energies drained. But deep inside me I feel that the future is bright. I see signs that if I work hard, I will continue to grow as a photographer. But I need to drain the cup of my soul of negative energy, to once more dwell in the energy of the possible.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Welcome on Thierry le Gou�s site

Welcome on Thierry le Gou�s site
There are reasons that my favourite photographers are working professionals. The money thing can swamp a photographer into treating photography as a job, and just a bag of tricks. But those photographers that manage, in the commercial world, to keep a vision, R!O!C!K! Just check out Soul and Antik Batik. This guy is fantastic.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

A Fishy Gift from Chicago

My going away gift from Jason and Audra was a Lomo fish-eye camera. Really interesting effects, but you need a lot of light to use this camera.

Thanks Jasson and Audra! :) It took a while to do a test roll because of so many things happening in my life.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


My friend Oniatta asked me to sponsor a portrait exhibition for the Breastfeeding Mothers Support Group. The event is called Breastography. It was quite trying with shooting so many babies in one day. But I think that the results were worth it. I think what I learnt in Chicago also helped me a lot in this shoot.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Charlene and Voon Jiet

My first job since I started working again. I like doing bridal work where I get to conceptualise and work on a theme for the couple. I think it is obvious what I am ripping off here. :) Thanks Charlene and Voon Jiet for having fun with me.

Scott Robert Photography- California Wedding Photographer

Scott Robert Photography- California Wedding Photographer

I know that the Singaporean wedding photographers that I hang out with are better than this guy. Consider this, he is charging US$5000 in 2006. In 2007 his prices are increasing to US$10,000.

Why are people in Singapore unwilling to respect good photography? And the amount of work in a well taken and well printed photographs is enormous. It is not just a click of a shutter. Especially in this digital age. The photographer has a lot more options, but also a lot more work, effort and inspiration to make use of his options.

Simply put, if you want to pay peanuts, you will only be breeding monkeys.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Micro Payment Agencies

Micro Payment Agencies

The photographic industry just keeps getting tougher.


Here are some tests for creating background textures.

My friend told me that the butt is too shiny. I guess that the mannequin is not the ideal subject.

I bought a second hand 350D and got it converted to an infrared camera in America by Lifepixel. It is really fun because I don't have to mess with filters, prefocus and put the camera on a tripod.

The thing is that I read in Digital Life yesterday that there is someone in Singapore that can do the conversion at $70. Including airmail, I paid $500 for my conversion. Hmm...

Friday, July 07, 2006

Dawn Sim - Pilates Pictures

While archiving I came across these shots for my client Dawn. She was a wedding client and then hired me to take shots for the Pilates studio. Really nice person, Dawn.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


Oh my god, it feels good to shoot, even if it is a test shoot.

This looks like a simple image but it has a lot of things going on. Let me explain.

In terms of technique, the main light is a gridspot with diffuser. Something which I have never done before. This has enabled me to get a directional light but with a slower fall off. I have also used a net to cut the light at the bottom of the shot to focus on the face and t-shirt. I can only do this with equipment that I bought in Chicago. Thanks for showing me the light Paul!!

I used to shout 'Popping!' each time I set off a test flash in Chicago. Everyone remembers me screaming that, and Shin bought the T-shirt as a going away gift.

The X3 Espresso machine is my main indulgence. It is designed by Luca Trazzi and made by Francis Francis. I just love the way it looks and it brews a mean cup of espresso. I don't smoke, drink alcohol or take drugs. But I drink espresso.

I bought a mannequin to do test shots. I have so much to try out from Chicago that I a just want to be able to test lighting at any time. Any this model is ready to pose for me at any time, clothed or not! :)

Sunday, July 02, 2006

The Pond Reopens for Business

Well, all things come to an end. End of the sabbatical. Tomorrow, The Pond officially reopens. Like a true ACS boy, The best is yet to be!

I am investing heavily in new equipment and will hopefully eventually expand staff count to 4 not including myself. I have already got 2 interns raring to go.

I guess that any help would be appreciated. If you could link my site and blog up. If there are interesting portrait projects to suggest or work, I would appreciate the help.

I have been updating the website. I have not shot much during my sabbatical but I have some new images in the portraits section as well as the projects section. I now have panoramics in my travel section, and I am contemplating if I should replace them with the Rajasthan photos? Hmm...

Back to Life, Back to reality...

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Fast Forward Frustration

This is my horoscope for today:

You may be feeling anxious to get up and get moving today, dear Aquarius, however everyone else may seem to be lagging behind. Your impatience might drive yourself and everyone else around you crazy. Slow down and take a deep breath. Don't feel like you need to stick to the itinerary today. Play things by ear and let your fanciful nature have a greater say in how you run your show today.

I think that this does not just apply to today. It has been how I have been feeling since I returned from Chicago. I think that I found the pace in Paul's studio exhilirating.

The combination of the things that I want to do and the amount of investment that I am making in new equipment is making me impatient to shoot and also to get work in. But I guess things happen much much slower in Singapore.

Sllllooooowwww down Heng.