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Just…Start

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Akeem at Tindakon Dazang, Kudat

“…Start now. Start where you are. Start with fear. Start with pain. Start with doubt. Start with hands shaking. Start with voice trembling but start. Start and don’t stop. Start where you are, with what you have. Just… start” – Ijeoma Umebinyuo

I accidentally found this quote while browsing Facebook recently. It came out the quote are very widely used in blogs. The quote may be not related to the photo above but who cares. I just like the quote and I want it to be here in my blog. It can motivate me whenever I read this post.

“Just…Start”

My last blog post was on Aug, 2015. When we stopped doing it, it is hard to get started again. I don’t know how to start but that quote has made me start.

I like to highlight comment by a good friend of mine;

“To get start is quite easy actually but to continue doing what you have just start, take a lot of perseverance. For an example, starting a blog is a piece of cake, updating it daily or monthly, will take a mammoth effort” – Wazari Wazir

 

START NOW!!

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Child Photography – Shoot Backlight With Fujifilm X100T

X100T Classic Chrome + Snapseed on iPad

X100T Classic Chrome + after light  on iPad

X100T Classic Chrome + After Lgiht on iPad

X100T Classic Chrome + Snapseed on iPad

When we compare the workflow of a photo let say 5 years ago, things has been changed a lot. When we shoot with camera, we do have an options for our jpeg output like Black and White or Sephia etc. But the latest camera (talking about Fujifilm) nowadays have another option called Film Simulation. My first 4 months of using Fujifilm X-Pro 1, I shoot with “Astia”. I like the effect how it deepen the shadow area and pops out the colour but not too much which suits my taste. This Film Simulation effects will do nothing to your RAW file. With X100T, I think I’m in love with the Classic Chrome, it appear to be a default film simulation in my camera which I use almost all the time except when I shoot in black and white. After the shooting, you need to transfer your images to your computer, do some editing to enhance the photo and share your work in Facebook or other social media.

Then the WIFI feature introduced in most of the camera nowadays. We can now install apps to our phones or tabs and connect to our camera. When connected, we can geotag, browse and fully control a “live” remote shooting with it. The images can be shared straight away after the shooting without transferring images to a computer. It actually cut down the workflow that we used before. The are dozens of photo apps can be downloaded providing amazing photo enhancement. For me, by the time I write this post, I’m using Snapseed, Afterlight and VSCO cam, there are some limitation with these apps, but not a big issue if those images intended just to be share on social media.

Travel With Fujifilm X100S : Portrait Of Suraksha

While I was talking to her, she stopped the conversation for a while. She was enjoying the Ultra Light Flight circling the Sarangkot Hill. Even though she have seen it hundred times before this, but it never makes her bored. Getting ready to get to school, this 10 year old girl is among the kids living at Sarangkot Hill with her parents running guest house business. Meet Suraksha, speaks fluent in English, I can’t speak well in english when I was at her age. She walks about 30 minutes to reach her school, and it took about 1 hour going back to the hill.

 

Suraksha, 10

Travel With Fujifilm X100S : Manakamana Hill Side Academy, Gorkha, Nepal

The gondola lift transportation has always steal the eyes of its viewer who pass-by Cheres, Chitwan after about 104km journey from Kathmandu – Pokhara route. The Austria imported cable car system connecting between the Base Station (Cheres, Chitwant) to the Top Station (Manakamana, Gorkha). Here is the fees for the cable car.

Screen Shot from Wiki

Screen Shot from Wiki

At the top station, about 1302 above sea level lies the Mañanakamana Temple, a Hindu temple which pilgrimage bring goat to be sacrificed in a pavilion behind the temple. The name Manakamana originates from two words, “mana” meaning heart and “kamana” meaning wish.

As we walk around the village near the temple, we came across an elementary school slightly below the hill. There we found the Manakamana Hill Side Academy

Manakamana Hill Side Academy

Manakamana Hill Side Academy

Manakamana Hill Side Academy | Mr. Ghupta, 24, Teacher

Manakamana Hill Side Academy

All image are taken with Fujifilm X100S (Silver).

Shooting Backlight – It can be at your own backyard

I took these photos during my trip to Labuan last year. I was really in love with backlighting during that moment. I took my family to search for a shooting location. We moved 1 place to another, but I couldn’t find the desired spot. So I decide to just forget about it and move on to do something else. On our way to the City, we passed by Jumidar Buyong, there was an empty lots for sale among the elite houses with the scenery that I was looking for. The challenge here is to deal with my background, the best is to have trees as background or at least any dark background. I have no choice but to raise my camera higher than my daughter’s eye level. Another challenge is to keep my daughter to stay in focus, she can’t stay still even for a few second. I managed to get few shot, the shooting time is less than 5 minutes, but 1 of these shot stays for months at my phone wallpaper. It was 1 of my favourite backlighting shot I ever made. Below is my shot sequence on my attempt to get the shot I intended.

1. I like the sun ray above my dauther’s head, this kind of ray I what I looking of in backlight, but the houses is distracting this shot.

2. I managed to get clean version of the shot. I raised my camera above my daughter’s eye level. I quite happy with the shot but I think I need to be closer as there are so much negative space in this shot. It actually works if we planned to put some writing on it.

3. I move closer, shot with lower angle than the previous image. I knew this was the shot I was looking for but I kept shooting few more angle. Back at home when editing, this image is the shot I like the most.

This image was shot using Nikon D90 with Nikkor 35mm 1.8 @ F2.8. What I learned is:

  • it is better to visualise the desired shot, this could be your starting point to plan your shoot
  • when you visualise, to find location is much more easier
  • if the location is not working, forget about it and find another location.
  • to pay attention on distraction at the background and its surrounding
  • if it doesn’t work at this angle, try another and keep trying
  • go out there and shoot!

“The most important lessons in life can never be expressed in black and white, but must be experienced” – Benny Lewis

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Baby Portrait With Fujifilm X-Pro1

X-Pro1 With YungNuo RF603 Triggers & Nikon SB600

X-Pro1 With YungNuo RF603 Triggers & Nikon SB600

Image above taken with Fujifilm X-Pro1 with YungNuo RF603 triggering Nikon SB600. I didn’t plan to do any shooting that night, but I found a Lastolite Ezybox Hot Shoe Plate belong to a friend in my car boot. It was very light & had a hole just in case you want to use umbrella instead of soft box (someone please confirm me about this). So I decided to give it a try with my 24×24 soft box. My triggers flash sync is 1/125, set aperture to F2.8 and adjust my flash manual until it gets the effect I wanted. I was shooting myself at the beginning, and this baby boy just awaken from his sleep. It ended up me shooting him while my wife holding him to make him stay calm for a while.

Newborn Photography | Muhammad Faiq Hakeem

Newborn Photography | Muhammad Faiq Hakeem

It has been a while since my last post about our new comer in our family, Hakeem. This picture was taken on his 17th day after he was born. For about two weeks he has been fighting with jaundice, warded for about 18 hours in the tube. He was discharge after seeing positive progressive, but still we need to bring him to clinic for blood sampling about 3 times a week. Alhamdulillah he is now becoming better day by day. Thanks for the tips given (on Facebook) which helps alot to reduce the his jaundice.

“Jaundice is a common condition in newborns, it refers to the yellow color of the skin and whites of the eyes caused by excess bilirubin in the blood. Bilirubin is produced by the normal breakdown of red blood cells. Normally, bilirubin passes through the liver and is excreted as bile through the intestines. Jaundice occurs when bilirubin builds up faster than a newborn’s liver can break it down and pass it from the body.” – kidshealth.org

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Child Photography | Backlight II

These are some additional images from previous post.

Actually, these are collection of my favourite picture i took recently. However, those picture has several issue that it doesn’t speak like the other 2 images in my previous post. Sometimes, we are there at the right time, good lighting and you can’t miss the shot. But capturing with natural light need you to be quick especially during golden hour as the sun can’t wait us to clean up things (background/foreground), to stage or to arrange certain kind of thing. Even though it has several weakness, it does speak. I didn’t missed the expression & mood. It is good enough to print it and put it in our family photo album

Child Photography | Backlight II

Child Photography | Backlight II

Child Photography | Backlight II

Child Photography | Backlight II

Child Photography | Backlight

I can’t describe how i really love backlighting. When I travel around, I always scout the best place for backlighting. There are actually countless good backlighting spots between Kota Belud and Kudat.  Most of the spots are located just by the road site, but we still need to enter locals compound to be able to get the best composition. Kota Belud offering backlight with paddy field and chances to get some nice reflection too. When i drive back and fourth to Kota Marudu from Kota Kinabalu, I always want to stop by and take some picture. Time constrains, bad weather and most often is to pass this route not at the right time are the reason why i still have no photo of it until today.

Anyway, these are some backlight shots i managed to get recently at Kg. Indrason, Matunggong.

Child Photography | Backlighting

Child Photography | Backlighting

About the pictures above, all are taken with available light. The trade off for backlighting is we can’t really preserve clouds detail and it will appeared clipping highlight in our histogram. Those images then post-prosessed in Lightroom with VSCO Film Pack 04 presets.

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Newborn Photography

I’ve been inspired to do this shot by a good friend mine, Wazari Wazir. He shared his secrets in his blog, and i just can’t believe he manage to get the images without any studio equipment. So today with the curiosity in my mind i took few shots of my newborn baby boy just to see whether i can get the same result with just minimal set-up.

The set-up is really simple not as hard as to keep our baby remained calm. It was very quick shot, not more than 2 minutes before our baby break the silence.  You can actually “find” the newborn photography tips by Wazari Wazir in his blog (click here), just spent few minutes to dig in his blog to find the treasure. I’m pretty sure you will learn something along the way.

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