I kept on hearing from my friends who are fellow photographers as well, that they sometimes found themselves struggling to find their reason to shoot photos, especially if they are working as freelancer photographer and projects or jobs are hard to come by nowadays, unless you have established your reputation as an accomplished photographer. This often demotivate them and the next thing we know is that their camera is collecting dust somewhere at the corner of the cabinet. What a sad fate.
I can relate to that since my full-time career is engineer, which requires me to travel from one place to another, depending on the occasion. Sometimes I go offshore too. On certain cases, I will not be able to bring my Leica camera due to work commitment, so I am often found with no camera. But that is if you discount your phone camera. So, I would like to share few tips that I have to keep the passion alive and keep the fire burning.
1. The best camera is the one you have with you
I am quoting Jay Maisel. Truly, the camera phone technology has developed faster and is closely approaching the quality of a standalone camera, and compared to the technology last 5 years, it has increased dramatically. Now, almost every smartphone makers want to build-in “depth effect” – which previously can only be created by using bigger aperture lenses. Leica also has collaborated with Huawei to create a smartphone with decent camera, like Huawei P8. But Apple and Samsung is also leading the pack. Apple with their iPhone X (pronounced Ten), has two separate lenses, one with telephoto lens and the other is lens with wider aperture for portrait. Samsung Galaxy S8 is also not bad. In summary, with all these brilliantly-engineered camera, you can always have mobile camera with you. I would foresee that the camera makers want to make their camera as simple yet intuitive like a smartphone to attract the masses, unless you are like me. Leica M’s timeless design has a special place in my eye.
When I am offshore, I do use my phone to capture the moments, as and when the opportunity appears. Despite the limitations, whenever the light is good, and the moment is right, I am able to capture almost all of the moments. The situations where I am unable to use my phone to capture the photo is when the light is too dim as the photo would be too “noisy”. Image noise is defined as variation of colour or brightness information in a photo, and you can always see this when you try to take photo in dim or dark places.
Nevertheless, smartphone is a good alternative if you don’t have any camera with you. But of course, if you have the choice, do use the proper camera to capture the moments, in RAW.
I have managed to capture quite a lot of interesting photo using my phone. I am using iPhone 6 Plus. Although iPhone X is an attractive replacement for this iPhone 6 Plus, but this phone has been serving me well for the past two years without fail. So, I will keep on using it. Enjoy the photos below.
2. Create Blog
As a new blogger, I have started to realise that the best thing to do when you have so much info to pass on or to be shared, is to type a blog. Even the best websites in the world has WordPress as its backbone (most of it). For me, I am compelled to write a blog because I love to type a lot of stuff at my Instagram post, but I am always frustrated with the word limit that it has. So, the other alternative for me is to write a blog, and this where we are now. Unless you write some controversial stuff, your blog will continue to live on as long as you pay the fee. There is no free lunch. If you are not paying for the product, you ARE the product.
3. Photography Community
Humans, like any other mammals in the world, are social-creature. Our passion towards something is amplified whenever we have met someone of the same interest and from that group, our fire lives on. It doesn’t matter whether you have the gear or not. In fact, the absence of your gear temporarily gives an opportunity for you to rekindle your passion towards photography. You will start to miss your gear, like how I miss my Leica camera and lens when I am away for duty.
I also have made a wonderful group of friends and I even met Leica legends like Fulvio Bugani, an amazing Italian Leica photographer, an M10 ambassador as well as Mathias Heng, a Singaporean Leica photographer. From Leica Store Malaysia, we have Daniel, Joyce, Shannel and Chi Loon. You can read the full article here, written by another friend of mine, Izwan Ismail of New Straits Time.
From Kuching, I glad to know people like Edwin Lay (www.edwinlay.com) and Barkley Lim (https://www.facebook.com/barkley.lim), whom I met during Tribal Warrior Challenge at Kuching back in 19 August this year at Sarawak Stadium – a venue where I have tested my M9 to the max, by running around in the rain wielding a Noctilux equipped with an ND filter simply because I love bokeh. Perhaps I can work again with them in the future.
As for the community, one of the interesting that you can do is to create your own photohunt around the town. Maybe you can also organise an event where everyone is encouraged to capture the most interesting photo. Apart from being a tool, photography is actually a way of life. A photographer is like an observer in this fleeting time flowing through space. For me, when I am away offshore, and when I happen to be in the same crew with Vera, we will always go to helideck to enjoy the sunset, and often we found ourselves lost track of time talking about photography, life and everything else in between.
With all of this being said, I hope you can find a way to ignite the fire within. You can always feedback or have a chat with me if you need a dose of encouragement.
“Inspiring others though my lens”