Thursday, August 28, 2008

Photographing | Urban Landscapes

I love cities. While I enjoy getting out into the wide open spaces of the countryside I am also a big fan of the hustle and bustle of inner city life. It’s not for everyone but I find that such areas are so interesting to spend time in - both on a personal level but also photographically.

Some people might be a little depressed by the greyness of concrete, towering skyscrapers and graffiti covered walls - but I find them full of photographic potential.

Urban Landscape Photography looks for these photographic possibilities in the cities and and urban areas where we live and work.

Urban Landscape photography is a little slippery to define as it sits between a number of other genres. For the purposes of this article let me contrast it with a few related photographic genres:

Cityscape Photography - urban landscapes go beyond the capturing of the big picture cityscape that is usually quote polished and clean.
Architectural Photography - urban landscapes are less interested in the building and it’s architectural style and more interested in what happens in and around it.
Candid Street Photography - urban photography focussed more upon the city itself (and it’s life) than the people who live in it.
Urban Landscape photography is often gritty, it’s not always pretty and it can be quite abstract.
Following are 11 tips to help you improve your urban landscape photography:
1. Take a Variety of Lenses
I find that taking two lenses with me is usually enough for urban photography. I prefer to take one wide angle lens and a zoom with a fair bit of length to it. Longer focal lengths are useful for capturing the details of building and street scenes (be aware that they also tend to flatten pictures) but wide angle lenses are great for capturing the big picture and they tend to give a bigger depth of field which can add interest and a nice feel to your shots.
2. Other Gear to Take
The gear you take on an urban landscape shoot will of course reflect your own style of photography (and budget) but in addition to the above two lenses and DSLR I take a monopod (or tripod if I’m going to shoot into the evening), polarising filters, UV filters (for when I’m not using the polarisers), sling style camera bag (I use a Crumpler bag which I find gives me the access I need as well as being reasonably inconspicuous, spare batteries and I generally take my external flash with me (although I don’t use it as much for landscape shots - it’s there more if I find a good portrait opportunity).
3. Look for Contrasts
One of the things that I love about cities is the diversity that you can find there - both in terms of the people (it’s where all types come together) as well as visual diversity in the sites you’ll see there. Look for and capture the contrasts between architectural styles, building materials, colours etc and you’ll end up with some very interesting shots.
4. Regarding People
A constant challenge for urban landscape photographers is that cities are places where people naturally gather. There’s nothing wrong with people but in urban photographs they do tend to become the focal point of shots whether you want them to be or not. My thoughts on people in urban photography is that you either work with the fact that there are people in the shots and use them as a focal point or if possible they need to be eliminated from the shot - there’s not really too much middle ground. One way of eliminating people from shots is to shoot on weekends or after work hours. Ultimately when it comes to whether to include people in a shot or not I ask myself the questions ‘are they relevant to the shot?’ and ‘do they add or take away from the composition?’. If they add something - include them. If they distract - get rid of them.
5. Evidence of People
If you choose to take the approach of eliminating people from your shots they almost always still live in the shots by the things that they leave there. Urban landscapes don’t always include people directly but speak about the way we live (both good and bad). It can be very powerful to look for the evidence of people in a landscape and to feature this in your shots. In doing so you add layers of interest and make your photos more dynamic.
6. Research Your Locations
Urban landscape photography might seem like a pretty spontaneous thing (and at times it can be) but many of the most spectacular shots are a result of careful planning. It’s amazing how a location can change depending upon the time of day (as a result of angles of light especially) so scout out potential locations at different times of the day and consider returning to the same location over time to see what else it might offer. In terms of what time of day is ‘best’ to photograph - I’m not sure there is one but my personal preference is late afternoon or on days which are overcast but where it’d not too dark.
7. Look for Themes
While there is real diversity in urban areas there are also many recurring themes of life. For instance I recently saw one exhibition of urban landscapes that explored the places people lived in a city - it was a series of people’s home ranging from park benches, to converted warehouses, to old period homes. Seeing them side by side was quite powerful.
8. Look for Mirrors
Many buildings these days are built with highly reflective surfaces. These can both present themselves as an opportunity and a challenge. Some stunning effects can be achieved by shooting the reflections in such buildings - to find the perfect way to do this often means you need to try lots of angles to find the best reflection. If you want to eliminate the glare or unwanted reflections from mirrors or shiny windows it is worth investing in and using a polarising filter.
9. Shoot into the Evening
Cities change incredibly as evening comes and the lights go on. What can be a drab or featureless scene can quickly become something with a lot of character and mood. I enjoy shooting in the twilight zone between day and night as there is still light in the sky but you also get the impact of city lights.
10. Explore Different City Zones
One thing that fascinates me about cities is the differences in the feel and sites that you can witness from area to area. Within a block or two you can move from a business district or commercial zone to a gritty, run down industrial zone or a trendy inner city residential or shopping area. Many urban landscape photographers have a preference for one or more of these types of areas but if you’re just starting out it can be worth experimenting with exploring the possibilities that each of these areas can present you with. Keep in mind that not all areas of cities are always safe - sometimes for this reason it can be wise to shoot with others.
11. Finding the Urban in the Suburban or Rural
Perhaps I’ve been a little ‘city-centric’ with this post - but most of what I’ve written about can be explored in the suburbs of our cities and even smaller towns as really urban landscapes document and explore the places where people live and gather - bid or small.

10 Questions to Ask | When Taking a Digital Photo

What goes through your mind in the moments as you raise your digital camera up to take a shot and before you press the shutter? If you’re like many digital photographers you’re not thinking about too much - you just want to capture the moment and then move on.

However getting in the habit of asking some simple questions can help take your images to the next level. Here’s 10 questions to get in the habit of asking while framing your shots. I’ve included links in each one to further reading on the topics. I hope you find them helpful:

1. What story am I telling?
This is an important question and one that should help you to make any number of decisions in terms of composition, framing, exposure etc. In essence what you’re asking is ‘why am I taking this shot? What is it’s purpose and what am I trying to convey?’ Is it purely a way to keep a record of a moment, are you trying to capture the emotion of a moment, is it possibly a shot to give to someone, is it part of a larger series of shots or will it be the only shot to commemorate the moment etc.

2. What is the visual focal point of this shot?
What will viewers of this picture naturally have their eye drawn to in this scene? Once you’ve identified this focal point you can think about where to place it in the frame (consider the rule of thirds for example).
There are a variety of ways that you can enhance a focal point

3. What competing focal points are there?
Once you’ve identified what you do want your viewers eyes to be drawn towards and have placed it in the frame - scan your eyes over the shot and see if there are any competing focal points and ask yourself whether they add to or take away from the image? Secondary focal points can add depth to shots but they can also be very distracting and so you might need to reposition yourself or adjust your focal length and/or depth of field to accommodate or remove them from your shots (read more on removing clutter from photography). Also keep in mind that if your shot has more than one focal point that it might be worth taking two shots, one of each focal point, in order to keep things simple

4. What is in the background and foreground?
One of most common places for distractions in digital photography is the background of your shots. Run your eyes over the space behind your subject to see what else is in the image (do the same for the foreground). Consider whether you want the background in focus or nice and blurry.

5. Am I close enough?
Another common mistake in digital photography is taking shots where your subject is too small in the frame. Shots that fill the frame with your subject tend to be much more dynamic and show a lot more detail of your subject. To get this effect you have the option of moving yourself closer, moving your subject closer or using a longer focal length to give the effect of closeness

6. What is the main source of light?
Always give consideration to how your subject is lit. Without light you’ll lose detail and clarity in your image and your camera will have to compensate by doing things like increasing ISO and lengthening shutter speeds (which could lead to noisy and blurred images). What is the main source of light, where is it coming from, is there enough light, do you need artificial light sources (flash etc), do you need to stabilize your camera on a tripod to stop camera shake due to low light etc. Read more on using artificial light here and here as well as photographing moving

7. Is my Framing Straight?
It’s amazing how many otherwise good photos are spoiled by framing that is slightly offline. Sloping horizons and slightly leaning people or buildings should always be in the back of your mind to check. Read more on getting horizons horizontal and getting other lines straight.
Also related to this question is that of ‘Am I holding my Camera correctly?‘ Many people don’t and as a result suffer from camera shake and framing mistakes.

8. What other perspectives could I capture this subject from?
Put 10 digital camera owners in front of a scene and most of them will take exactly the same shot from the same position. Make your images stand out from the crowd by challenging yourself to not only take the standard shots that everyone else will get but to find creative and fresh angles and perspectives to shoot from.

9. How would holding the camera in the other format change this shot?
Many photographers get into the habit of always holding their camera the same way (horizontally/landscape or vertically/portrait). While it’s OK to have a preference one way or the other it’s also worth remembering that changing the format can drastically change the impact of the shot. Don’t forget you can also hold your camera at an angle for an effective result too.

10. How will the eye travel through this image?
This is related to asking about focal points but gets in touch with the fact that while you’re photographing a still image your viewers eyes don’t remain still as they look at an image. People tend to follow lines and are attracted to shapes and colors so considering all of these different visual elements and cues can help improve your shots considerably. Read more on horizontal, vertical and diagonal lines and how they impact a shot

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Love | Dictionary of Image

To have a feeling of intense desire and
attraction towards a person

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Semua Tentang | Kita

the time seems passed by,
left the story two of us.
soon your laugh no more
to kill the loneliness in this heart,
there's a story of me and you,
once we're together,
there are joy , tears and cheers moment..

Saturday, August 23, 2008

|Light Experiment|01|

Light Experiment 01
Pada hari rabu lepas(20.08.08) balik dari office awal ingat nak fight bola (Ps2) dengan housemate but malam tue kawasan rumah kami bekalan elektriknya terputus.. dalam duk boring-boring dalam gelap tue timbul la idea nak buat ekperiment ngan kamera aku.. so terus dalam kepala plan nak wat lighting experiment.. uhuhuhu.. best gak... so aku suruh housemate aku NIK jadi model and jiran tetangga aku Armean jadi Lightingman.. memang kelakar.. kitaorang maner ade sistem lighting yang cukup so hanya berbekalkan lampu suluh jiran sebelah ( Armean ) kami melakukan experimen nie.. aku selaku art director Cum Photographer mengarah la model dan lightingman aku nie menjalankan tugasnya... bermacam-macam cara kami gunakan.. dalam banyak-banyak shoot tiga (3) shoot nie la yang aku rasa "boleh la" uhuhuhu tengah syokk duk buat ekperiment ia terpaksa diberhentikan pada jam 1130mlm kerana bekalan elektrik kembali ada....
Thanks kepada Model (NIK) dan Lightingman yang bertungkus lumus pada malam tue melayan kerenah aku..
p/s : Next Time kita buat lagi ek..

Friday, August 22, 2008

| Feeling in Love |

Love is so Powerful because
being loved cause one to love oneself.
Nothing contributes to the self-image
more than being loved by another.
When the words."I love you" are expressed
to you for the first time, your world blossims,
your heart glows with inspirations,
confidence and thoughts
of the mountains you can move,
It's more than an emotional kick;
suddenly you like your self more
than you ever have before



Selamat Pengantin bari di ucapkan kepada Rosman & Shida. Majlis pernikahan & persandingan berlangsung pada 15&16.08.08 dirumah pengantin perempuan di Lanchang Pahang. Majlis persandingan pihak lelaki pula berlansung pada 17.08.08 di Bentong Pahang.

Didoakan kepada pasangan pengantin "Semoga kekal sehingga ke akhir hayat dan semoga berbahagia selalu. -amin-

Can't Stop Falling For You

The effect you leave on me

Is something unbelievable

When you walk in the room It makes my breath unbreathable

My heart leaps like a star shooting in the sky

Your arms wrapped around me Makes me want to cry.

Not the kind that brings sad thoughts

or the ones for fear But the ones when you know that The one you love is near.

With your hand around my waistand your head hearing my heart

Your hand just grasping mine Wishes we'd never part.

The way you tell me its all ok and the way we get in fights not

only makes me yell at you but you make it all alright

I'm not scared with you near me And I am not afraid of you

The only thing i wish was true Was that you love me too

I just cant stop falling for you

p/s: Gambar lain akan di upload kemudian

Thursday, August 21, 2008


"Renjis-renjis dipilis, ditepung di lah tawar, hai beras kunyit ditabur disiram si air mawar"

Tahniah Diucapkan Kepada pasangan Farah Deeba & Shah semperna Majlis perkahwinan mereka yang berlangsung di Putrajaya pada 16 Ogos 2008 yang lalu. Didoakan semoga Berkekalan Sehingga Ke akhir Hayat dan Berbahagia Selalu.

I Love You

Roses are red, Violets are blue,
Nothing is sweeter, than loving you.
The things you say, they make me smile.
I re-read all your letters, every once in a while.
The things you write, with all the rhymes,
They brighten my day a thousand times.
Valentines days, in years gone passed,
none of the boys, to date me they asked.
The dances at school, before I went home,
I'd stand at the side, all alone.
Then you came along, and said three words,
and of those three, I'm glad I heard.
So hear is a poem, from me to you,it's simply to say,
how much I love you!

Photo Outing At "KL Bird Park"

Tema/Subjek : Burung
Tempat :KLBirdPark
Tarikh : 19 Ogos 2008
Masa : 1200 Hingga1500

Nie Outting Photo pertama yg aku buat bersama Nik & Ridzwan.. memang agak sukar untuk mengambil gambar yang baik tetapi berkat kesabaran dapatlah kami rakamkan beberapa keping gambar yang dikatakan "Boleh Tahan" la..
p/s : Memang payah nak capture gambar burung nie.. macam maner la wildlife Photogtapher bleh buat.. Next Outting "Street Photo"
Gear : Nikon D80

1st Reunion | Art & Design 2001-2004 | UiTM Machang | Ulu Yam | 27 Julai 2008

Hello... nie perjumpaan kami yang pertama yang diuruskan oleh "kachang" Konsep perjumpaan kami kali pertama tue.. mandi manda di sungai dan ber BBQ.. uhuhu best gak!!hemmm.. Aturcara sebenarnya mengikut janji melayu.. berkumpul di parking Batu Caves Jam 7.00 Pagi tapi biasala Janji Melayu.. hAmpeh... Aku a.k.a HAKA, AGUS & AMAT jer yang sampai dulu.. Tunggu punya tunggu dah jam 9:30 tak timbul jugak last-last aku and The geng brakefast kat petronas.. tunggu punya tunggu tak sampai gak geng "Kachang" nie.. last dapat sms tunggu di Pertonas menghala ke Ulu Yam.. Cissss.. Merungut Amat.. Plan tak betul.. Tak per sabar... nie first time punya plan biasala.. huhuhuhu Lepas tue Kitaorang Gerak ke Petronas sepertimana yg diarahkan tue... sesat gak.. uhuhuh salah information.. kita g Pertonas Kat Pasar Selayang.. Salah Info.. ( But Yg Salah C0-Pilot ) tak reti uhuhuhu Aper pun setelah menghabiskan minyak kete yg mahal tue.. sampai jugak di tempat yg dijanjikan.. sampai jer tengok "Kachang" & "Alan" jer yg ade.... diorang kata yang lain akan menyusul... Tgk jam dah lewah about 1030.. so kami gerak la ke tempat tujuan ULU YAM.. uhuhuDipendekkan cerita.. kedatangan utk pertama kali nie okey la.. ramai la jugak.. but semua lelaki yg Gurlnya tak tau la maner.. mungkin semua ada urusan.. nie semua salah organiser ( Jgn Marah Kachang ) uhuhuhuhuhu... dia kata but nie pun tak berapa nak secara terperinci pun.. main buat jer.. tgk sape yg dapat cari di dalam masa terdekat tue.. akhirnay dapat la kumpulkan hampir 20 orang jer.. + girlfriend/pasangan (MuM, Wak JONG & Pok Jat + wife (Ali )hemmmm.. secara keseluruhan program nie.. berjalan lancar.. okey la.. dapat mkn ayam bakar mandi-mandi sungai huhuhu syokkkk betul dan yang lagi bermakna dapat berkumpul ngan kawan2 lama tue yg lagi penting... kitaorang ada bincang nak buat lagi sekali but tak tau bile.. nanti bincang lain.. harap lain kali dapat la datang ramai-ramai lagi.. kita wat konsep lain pulak.. huhuu aper2 happy dapat jumpa kekawan lama...Program tamat sekitar jam 4 dan semuanya balik ke destinasi masing-masing.. anyway... best dapat jumpa korang semua..