Sunday, April 19, 2015

An EPIC Weekend Adventure to Kuantan Shooting Stars, Sunrise and Anything in Between

Shutter therapy took an unexpected turn this weekend. I took a break from what I do normally and took on a journey to many firsts: 
1) My first trip to Kuantan, Pahang
2) My first time seeing the Milky Way and shooting it (I told dear friend Sameer I have seen it, but now that I tried to recall I actually have not seen it)
3) My first time shooting everything night sky, besides the Milky Way I also shot Star Trails
4) My First time using the amazing function in the OM-D, Live Composite setting
5) My first time shooting steel wool
6) Basically, this was my first all out landscape and night sky photography outing. 

I was travelling with a HUGE group of photography enthusiasts from Photographic Society of Petaling Jaya (PSPJ) to Kuantan, Pahang, a state on the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia. This was quite an adventurous photography outing, with activities planned to fill the shooting hours all the way till the darkest hours of the night. I departed with more than 30 photographers from Kuala Lumpur, driving about 3 hours to arrive at a sea-side location at ungodly 4am in the morning, and shooting started immediately with Milky Way beaming down on us in the dark, beautiful skies of East Coast Malaysia. The shooting went on non-stop with very little sleep in between and boy, what an exhilarating and fulfilling weekend, both for my photography self, and my soul!

After work on Friday evening, I headed home, packed up enough change of shirt for 2 days adventure, and brought along the new Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II with several M.Zuiko lenses, 12mm F2 (primary lens for this trip), 9-18mm F4-5.6, 25mm F1.8, 45mm F1.8 and 75-300mm. I used all lenses  in this trip. I also brought along a tripod, which was an absolute necessity for almost all photographs shown in this entry. 

I will as usual, share my experience from the trip, with plenty of photographs taken, and also what went behind each photographs, what I have learned and what could have been improved. 

Let's start with the night sky. The Stars. It was a Sky Full of Stars (cue Coldplay song). 

12mm F2, 25sec, F2, ISO3200

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Overexposed

People say, Olympus Micro Four Thirds image sensor is small, hence has limited capabilities when it comes to overall dynamic range captured in a photograph. We have been told that larger image sensors such as full frame sensors can retain more details in the extreme highlight and shadow regions, preventing from highlight and shadow clippings. While we do not defy the rules of science and physics, my question here remains valid, how much more dynamic range do you really need?

I have to admit I am not one of those technical freaks who would scream out loud when I spot a tiny bit of highlight burns in my photograph. I am very forgiving and may tolerate a lot more loss  of dynamic range in my photographs than many others. However, I have also rarely encountered an issue whereby the dynamic range of the Olympus Micro Four Thirds system is not sufficient. 

E-M5 and 25mm F1.8 lens


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Penang Shutter Therapy, a Short, but Fulfilling One

Important Note: 
Please support my friend Jackie Loi and his charity cause, as he is selling his photographs to raise funds for an Orphanage. All his photographs are taken with Olympus, and you may find some really amazing stuff, and donation starts as low as below USD10 per photograph! 
For more information, kindly go to Jackie's page here (click). 


I have been severely deprived of my shutter therapy sessions. 

Work has caught up on me, the last weekend I was away to Penang, and subsequently Seri Manjung for Olympus Malaysia Touch and Try events. It was great fun meeting so many amazing people who do use Olympus system from up north of Malaysia, and sharing so many incredible stories and adventures using OM-D and PEN cameras. Many came up to me and said hi, following my blog and I feel so blessed to be able to reach out! I always feel at home in Penang and Northern states of Malaysia, mainly because people here speak generally Hokkien, a language I am very familiar with (main language in my hometown Kuching as well). 

In the midst of all the huff and puff, chasing the dying light of the day, I had about one hour before sunset in one fine evening in Penang. One hour may seem too short to do anything after a long, exhaustive day of work, but my desperation to shoot on the streets took over. Penang is heaven for street photography, and if I had my way I would spend a FULL DAY shooting till my legs fall apart. People in Penang are so friendly, the streets are beautiful, rich in both culture and history. After all, Penang is recognized as a World Heritage Site by Unesco. 

I was using my own Olympus OM-D E-M5 with M.Zuiko lenses 45mm F1.8 and 25mm F1.8

I live to eat food like these. Cendol in Penang has got to be the best in Malaysia

Portrait of a Stranger, in Penang

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Exploring Video Recording of E-M5 Mark II

I am very, very new when it comes to video but that does not stop me from doing it. I studied my past video recordings which I have done (with numerous cameras, E-M10, E-M5 and E-M1) and there are many shortcomings which can be improved. No, this has nothing to do with the cameras' capabilities of recording video, it was due to me, the user's almost non-existent experience and knowledge in making a good video.