Friday, September 26, 2008

Does ideology trump facts? Studies say it often does

Does ideology trump facts? Studies say it often does

This is an interesting article that makes depressing reading for me. This shows that people do not study facts well and make decisions based on those facts. I always thought that a way to get the world into a better shape is to give a liberal education and get people to evaluate facts for themselves. I guess that this does not apply.

Some guy sneaking a preview of Photoshop CS4

Thursday, September 25, 2008

blogSAFOTO » Blog Archive » • Instituto Cultural De Mexico

blogSAFOTO » Blog Archive » • Instituto Cultural De Mexico

It seems so distant and far away. I guess it is! But it is nice to know that I have a few photographs in Fotosemtiembre USA. Thanks to the curator Michael Mehl for giving me this opportunity. I wish I had the time to go visit this.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A quote from Kuldelka

I attempt to find an approach that suits the essence of each project. I do not like to repeat myself. Repetition is not interesting after you take an idea as far as you can, and get what you want to get. Otherwise repetition leads to getting stuck in your habits, which soon becomes rules. You get locked up in the rules and you cannot get out. So what can you do? One way is to destroy them.

Joseph Kuldelka in an Aperture interview

At this point in time, Kuldelka's words resonate with me. Next year, my photographic journey starts anew.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Is the rich-hued Kodachrome era fading to black? - Yahoo! News

Is the rich-hued Kodachrome era fading to black? - Yahoo! News

Recently, in the photographic industry, lots of things are being laid to rest. Times change. I guess we have to be humble, because we will go too some day.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


Trying to capture what cannot be stopped. Gentle, unrelenting.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

When right is wrong

One of my course mates on the Antonin Kratochvil course, Herman, asked me why he could not get a good histogram when he had a Kratochvil style dramatic image. And the truth is a good histogram is for a typical, general image. An image shot in sunlight with a good range of brightness values. Take this example of a holiday photograph of a man in Marrakesh.

This is the histogram for the above portrait. It shows a 'good' histogram. One that shows a right exposure and a nice range of brightness values. And this image is pleasant.

Now in this portrait of Masimo, another student at TPW, I have a relatively nice histogram at capture as well. And the image is in colour.

The colour portrait of Masimo is ok but I want a dramatic image! I turn the image into black and white and darken everything considerably.

And now look at the histogram of the black and white image, it does not have a 'right' histogram. In fact the histogram is heavy in the dark areas, but the image provides the mood that I want.

So right is not right. For the drama that I envision, the histogram is 'wrong'. I remember last year in Andreas Bitesnich's class, he said that the histograms for his images were wrong, but if the image looks great, he does not care.

However, I would not recommend shooting a dramatic vision in camera. There will be very little detail and a lot of noise in the shadow area. I would recommend shooting an image to get a decent histogram and then create the look in raw processing. If you want to know why I recommend getting the 'right' exposure at capture, refer to this article on the luminous landscape web site.

While on the topic of when 'right' is wrong, should an image be sharp? In this series of captures for a portrait, in the first two images I have an eye that is sharp and of a tattoo that is sharp. But in the end it is the blurred image at the bottom that is my favorite. It gives me a dreamy quality that conveys my emotions much better than the sharp images.

So in my mind, what is 'right' for general images, can be wrong for evocative images, images that go beyond the literal representation of what we see.

I have been meaning to blog about this since Herman asked me the question in Italy, but I have been so swamped since I returned to Singapore, that this has been my first chance.

Sunday, September 07, 2008


I have not been doing any personal dance photography of late. Just bogged down with work and other projects. But a dancer is leaving Singapore and so we had a session.