Thursday, April 12, 2018

Hameer Zawawi Performing in Kuching This Saturday (14 April 2018)

Hey beautiful Kuching people!

My friend Hameer Zawawi, a local singer-songwriter is currently in the midst of his "Plug Out The Machines Tour" around Malaysia and guess what, the next stop will be in Kuching! He will be performing at the ground floor of Haus Kuching alongside some awesome local bands such as Nading Rhapsody. Event starts at 730pm till late. 

I have known Hameer for several years now, following his gigs around KL before he made it to the US and disappeared for a year. I fell in love with his non-mainstream yet still totally relate-able music, featuring his hauntingly powerful and soulful vocals. He has songs about TV shows, zombies and video games! Honestly, I have missed Hameer's live performance so much because he went on tour to the US for a year and was just back to KL very recently. It was indeed so refreshing to hear Hameer perform on stage again, and wow, now in a full band!

Thursday, April 05, 2018

Carmen's Farewell

You may have seen Carmen on my review entries before, especially when I was testing new lenses or cameras. Carmen has always been generous to volunteer as my test subject for the new equipment that I was reviewing, and put up with my noobness in portrait photography. She always did her best and eventually has helped many of my reviews significantly over the years. When we (her friends) heard of the news that she is leaving Malaysia soon, we decided to do a surprise farewell dinner for her.

Carmen in my recent Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III review. Image shot with the Olympus M.Zuiko 75mm F1.8 lens. 

Sunday, April 01, 2018

Black And White, Maybe?

I have been playing with colors all the time recently in all my images that somehow it felt that I have neglected black and white photography. I do love shooting black and white, just that I seem to appreciate colors more these days. However, when I saw the opportunity to create a black and white portrait of a friend yesterday while encountering dramatic lighting by the window, how could I resist? Sometimes, all you have to do to find inspiration is to observe how the light falls in place.

Portrait of a friend. 
Robert Evangelista (he is also an avid Olympus enthusiast)

This portrait shot was taken with the Motorola G5S Plus. There was not much post-processing done, except to boost contrast and deepen the shadows. The available light was working great to create a dramatic effect on Robert, highlighting the side profile of his face. 

Now I know what my mission is for my next shutter therapy session. To see everything in black and white. I shall even set the EVF/Live View monitor to fully black and white view (switching the picture mode to black and white) and compose my images without the presence of colors. Some images, especially the one portrait of Robert shown above, just stood out particularly well in black and white. 

Friday, March 30, 2018

Olympus Viewer 3 Basic Post-Processing Workshop

Tomorrow, I will be conducting my first ever post-processing workshop for Olympus RAW files using specifically the Olympus Viewer 3 software. I am both extremely excited and nervous at the same time, as I have not done this before, and I am showing my own RAW images in the live demonstration on how I achieve the "Robin Wong" look for the first time to an audience.

Selected RAW images for the Post-Processing workshop demonstration

I acknowledge the Olympus Viewer 3 is not the most user friendly software and it is so sluggish that it makes any grown man cry after using this software just for a little while. I would not recommend Olympus Viewer 3 for serious professional use, as it is resource hungry and it is just too slow for anything productive, especially dealing with a huge batch of images (wedding/event or sports shooters). I am not sure why Olympus could not make it any more efficient, it is surely just some programming optimization and even the fastest computer now will struggle with the use of Olympus Viewer 3, doing something so basic such as white balance tweaking.

So why the post-processing workshop with Olympus Viewer 3? The software ihas basically the same JPEG engine built into Olympus cameras, the Truepic engine, which renders the magical Olympus colors which I have worked with all these years, producing beautiful, life like colors and pleasing skin tones. Furthermore, having fully automated lens technical flaw controls (CA, distortion, etc), sharpness and details optimization as well as excellent built in noise reduction for high ISO images, I have not really found any other software that can get so much out of Olympus RAW files. The magic sauce that everyone is asking me all these years, how to achieve the kind of look in my images? The answer has always been openly obvious, I did most of my post-processing work with Olympus RAW files on Olympus Viewer 3.

If only we can somehow get Olympus to significantly improve the Viewer 3's operational speed and performance, at least good enough for commercial use.... One can only dream.