Wednesday, June 21, 2017

How To Create Hipster Looking Food Photograph

You know those super polished, beautifully lit, totally Instagrammable food photographs? I know I should not join those hipster crowd but being Asian myself sometimes I just could not help it. I too, take plenty of food photographs at cafes and restaurants. So, in this blog entry, I will show you how I do it, in step by step instructions.

Image was taken by Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II and M.Zuiko 12-40mm F2.8 PRO lens

1. Find a few friends to go along to a restaurant. It is better than going alone, so you can have more food orders, more variety to photograph. 

2. Make sure the restaurant has large, transparent window panels for that awesome side lighting. If the restaurant has crappy light, go to the one next door that has ample ambient light. Light is king. Even for food photography. 

3. Choose your seats next to the large window. MUST get your seat next to the window, anywhere far from the window will be suicidal. If you cannot find a seat next to a window, go to the next restaurant that you can. Window seats are crucial. 

4. Make sure everyone orders different food, no repeats. The more variety the better. 

5. When food arrives, arrange the food in symmetrical layout, or make it completely out of order, it does not really matter, as long as it looks good in photographs. 

6. Do the Flat Lay, place the camera directly on top of the food. If your camera is as awesome as mine, it should come with a flip out screen that helps with this difficult composition. If you are using some dinosaur DSLR that does not have live view or tiltable screen, then stand on the chair if you must to compose your shot through the optical viewfinder. 

7. Take as many shots, as many variations of the same food, as you can. When you review the food, if you cannot smell the aroma of the food out of your camera screen, you are not doing it tight. Try again. 

8. If you are pretty, take a selfie with your food. If you are ugly looking like me, then skip this step. 

9. Enable Wi-Fi and transfer your images to your phone or tablet or if you have a laptop standby that could work too. Open up your favourite photo editing software and process the images away. Add saturation, boost the contrast, straighten the composition, do the best fitting crop, all the necessary adjustments to finish up that perfect shot. 

10. If you managed to get all the above steps right, you should be receiving floods of likes and comments on your social media. Make sure you add in the most inappropriate hashtags ever to accompany your perfect shot. Like #yummilicious which is totally bull because your food has gone completely cold and tastes like crap after all the photo shooting process. 

Friday, June 16, 2017

Nature Thru The Lens - An Exhibition by Malaysian Nature Society

Important note:
Hey beautiful people! If you have not found out, I have joined Ming Thein's site as a contributor, and will actively write and share about photography there. However, I will still keep this old site of mine alive, with updates about happenings of photography community around Malaysia, a little bit of personal journal and also random stuff about life and things that go about around me. 

Last evening, I was invited by Mahesh, an awesome photographer friend to attend an exhibition launch that he was participating in. The photo exhibition was titled "Nature Thru The Lens", organized by Malaysian Nature Society (MNS), which was also a fundraising for the MNS group. The exhibition showcases immensely inspiring, 81 tightly curated nature and wildlife themed photographs from dozens of local Malaysian photographers. The exhibition is now taking place in The White Box, Publika, happening daily from 13 to 18 June 2017. The entrance to the exhibition is free, and the photographs on display are also on sale with profits going directly into nature conservation funds.



Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Big News! I Am Joining Ming Thein

I have been teasing about a new project I am working on post Olympus departure, and it is finally happening today! I am joining Ming Thein, a fellow photographer who is also based in Malaysia, actively writes about photography, sharing his inspiring photography work and also reviews imaging products. Congratulations to those few who have guessed this right, it is amazing how people can put pieces that were so far apart together!

It all started on the actual day I officially handed my resignation letter to Olympus Malaysia. Ming Thein was visiting on the very same day, and during our coffee session, I instinctively decided to tell him that I have left Olympus though only a very small handful of people knew about that at the time. Ming was shocked by the news of course, then something unexpected happened: he invited me to join him!



Ming Thein was the only one photographer from Malaysia (apart from myself) who genuinely has a strong online presence within the photography crowd. His meticulous approach and expertise when it comes to technical photography execution come almost second to none. In my life, I have not met anyone more knowledgeable, intelligent and passionate about photography than Ming. His imaging product reviews have been used as reference, even against larger photography sites such as DPReview.com. His photography articles resonate with his audience and often many have benefited and learned plenty from his generous sharing of knowledge and experience.

Therefore, when he asked me to join him, my response was an instantaneous, absolute yes.

Both of us love photography, we write articles pertaining to photography regularly, and we produce fresh photographs to share. We both have considerably strong audience base, though we probably speak to different groups and levels of photographers. My target audience has always been newcomers to photography and also entry level photographers who wish to improve themselves. Ming Thein's crowd is generally more advanced, ranging from mid-level photo-enthusiasts to advanced professional photographers, many who live and breathe photography and know what they are doing. It makes sense that we combine our resources, work together and build a platform on a singular page that can speak across to all spectrum of photographers. While Ming Thein elaborates on the real difference that a medium format can make in terms of pure resolution and tonality, I will remind you that it is important to pick up the camera, go out for a satisfying shutter therapy session. I strongly believe our differing perspectives and purpose of photography shall complement each other, wonderfully and further help to create a more interesting and complete photography based website.



Rest assured that I will still be Robin Wong, that will not change. What I have been doing on my blog so far, sharing about shutter therapy sessions and also doing product reviews, I will continue to do so over at Ming Thein's site. I will continue to shoot, explore photography, do more experimentation, share my thoughts and tonnes of new photographs.

So what is happening to the old blog, robinwong.blogspot.com? This site will remain open and available, all my past cameras and lenses reviews will still be online. While I am moving on and update most of my future photography related articles on Ming Thein's site, I will still come back to this old site from time to time. I may want to continue to explore smartphone photography, or write about recommended noodles places in my hometown, that awesome barber shop that is hidden at a corner, and maybe even talk about that new pair of audiophile grade wireless bluetooth earphones I have just bought. I will not update this blog as regularly as before, and after many, many years of photography heavy blogging, I am finally reverting this blog to its original form: a personal online journal.

I am both excited and anxious at the same time, about moving over to Ming's site. To Ming Thein, thank you so much for believing in me and having me on board! This is a challenge to myself to step up my game and continue to push myself to become a better photographer. I am thrilled to see where this collaboration will take us to.

To all my beloved readers from robinwong.blogspot.com, thank you for staying with me all this time, and please to continue to follow me over at blog.mingthein.com! We do have some interesting articles in the pipeline and cannot wait to share them soon.