Tabi basa & greetings everyone! Today, I would like to share about black and white photography. It is a subset of monochrome photography, where it is a branch of photography that uses single hue of colour, in this case, shades of neutral gray of varying tones. From its various tones, it represents the form and structure of the images captured by the B&W photographer.
In the early days of photography, B&W is the main medium of expression. You can see in the early works of Magnum photography legend, Henri-Cartier Bresson, it is captured in B&W.
By eliminating colour in your images, you basically removes distraction from your image. This enables us to focus on the subject, the textures, shapes, patterns and overall composition. For me, I also can convey emotion & expression of my subject through black and white photography.
Unlike colour photography, when you are shooting in B&W, you focus more on contrast, shape & form because these elements enable your picture to tell story better. A low contrast image will not be as flattering as a high contrast image because you can’t separate it – it seems to be blending in with the background.
However, in my area, Sarawak, black and white photographs are often associated with death, sadness & sorrow. That’s why, there are not many B&W photographers are my area. Most of the peoples shoot in colour, and the preference is to make the colour vivid. In that way, it is more classy.
I deviated away from this school of thought and shot B&W during my early days. I even bought Leica M Monochrom (M9) and It is one fine camera. I used it wherever I go. I stopped shooting weddings for a while because I want to focus more on my B&W art. However, the dilemma came, where I want to focus more on colour or B&W because both equally is a good way. Except colour makes money in Sarawak. B&W is not. Then I concentrate on doing colour images for my clients.
Street photography was put into a stop for a while.
However, as time goes by, 2022 might be the year I am actively doing B&W again. For me, it is not about gear. It is about the way I see the final image. There are some image that seems to be better in B&W than in colour and vice versa. To be balanced, I should shoot in colour, then convert it to B&W using Silver Efex. That way, I can still strike a balance between what I want to do and what actually makes money.
Hopefully this story gave a little bit of insight to all of you. As mentioned earlier, I will only post my stuff in my blog, not in social media anymore. Stay tuned for more. Thank you for the support and have a great week ahead!
Your Tukang Rantek, Claudius Weson Follow me on Twitter & LinkedIn: claudiusweson.
Note: 1. Claudius is a freelance photographer based in Miri, Sarawak, Malaysia. 2. “Tukang Rantek” means “photographer” in Bidayuh Serian language.
Tabi basa everyone! Today’s topic would be on the recent viral photographer that sparked a lot of discussion in local photographer community. However, it is impossible to not share bits of the information about the picture. To avoid triggering anyone, I won’t share the name of that particular photographer. What I want to emphasis here is the learnings.
On 19 June 2022, there was a photographer posted an artwork he called Motion Blur Photography in Malaysian Photographers Community (Official) Facebook Page. There was a lot of people commented on his artwork, among it includes people claiming his artwork induces vertigo, dizziness instead of breaking the rule.
The viral motion blur photography, inviting a lot of criticism.
All of photographers in MPC collectively agree that he was actually trying to imitate Olga Karlovac’s artwork as shown below. But her artwork is totally a different league. You can see Olga’s work in this snapshot below from her Instagram. It is something that we call Impressionist, with motion blur as its main creative method.
Olga Karlovac’s Impressionist Artwork
What’s The Issue Then?
The issue was with his attitude when he responds to the people who comments. He is not open to feedbacks. Not all feedbacks are being accepted openly by him, especially by those who said that his artwork needs more practice and compositioning in framing.
Some senior even commented that there were not rules broken because the one who posted it didn’t even know the rule though he claim that he is breaking the rules.
A lot of people can tell that he is struggling, but he fails to recognise that he needs a lot of work. Instead, he told others that photography is subjective. It is as wide as the ocean. But one senior has a good comeback to that. Because it is as wide as the ocean, a lot of people are drifting away.
How Does He Should Respond?
For me, when someone give honest feedbacks about my artwork, I will thank them, especially when they are my seniors or someone that I admire in photography. I admit that I have a long way to improve in photography. It is also one way for us to be
Let’s Talk About Motion Blur In Photography
In photography, motion blur is considered purposeful blurring of an object in motion in a photo to convey a story. It is widely accepted as a great way to capture movement in a photography.
It can be seen in street photography (a person running in the street), sports photography (player running across the field) or nature photography (bird in motion).
Here are the samples that I have taken:
Aseania Langkawi Dancers In Action. It actually an impressive fire show. But for this post, I only show the motion blur part. Look at the trails of flaming particles.
Offshore Running Man
How To Create Motion Blur?
For this, you will need to fully understand your gears. I don’t care what you are using because fundamentally, it is the same.
Let’s talk about the three main ways to create motion blur, i.e. via:
Aperture Control – Amount of light entering the sensor (from 100% to 2%) – the smaller the aperture size, the less light will hit the sensor, then you can create motion. I usually will play with aperture smaller than f/5.6.
Shutter Speed Control – Sensor’s duration of exposure to light. Use slower shutter speed. Less than 1/120.
ISO Control – Sensitivity to light (e.g. from 100% (base ISO) to 40,000%). Use lower ISO numbers. Less sensitive = better motion blur.
There will be some school of thought that will tell you about intentional camera movement as well, such as spinning the camera, use zoom lens, use tele lens etc. Well, to each their own.
You can also create motion blur in photoshop if you wish to do so. It is possible.
THE GOLDEN RULE of motion blur
Firstly, master the rule of motion blur: anything that moves while the shutter is open will blur.
That’s all that you need to know. But there is a catch.
DANGERS IN MOTION BLUR
If you notice what I have written above, the motion blur should be purposeful. It is not really easy to create a purposeful motion blur, although in theory, it is very easy to create a motion blur. One has to be careful with what they are doing, and when they are doing motion blur. For me, the rule of thumb is to ensure the face of the subject is in focus. Other part of the body can be made blurry. Do refer to the offshore running man picture above.
However, whatever I have written here is not the absolute rule. There are literally tonnes of ways to create motion blur, with countless variation that you can pick from the sky. You can also create from the It basically means that you and I appreciate different things in photography. Feel free to create your own version of motion blur. You can do it. Most importantly, have fun.
Your Tukang Rantek, Claudius Weson Follow me on Twitter & LinkedIn: claudiusweson.
Note: 1. Claudius is a freelance photographer based in Miri, Sarawak, Malaysia. 2. “Tukang Rantek” means “photographer” in Bidayuh Serian language.
Tabi basa & greetings everyone! During Gawai, there is a lot of activities that peoples do. Some chose to have fun, some chose to visit their friends / relatives houses in a tradition called “bijarah” / “ngabang”. Some chose to drink & dance to Gawai songs. For us, we chose to do our very own photoshoot on the second day of Gawai.
For this photoshoot, I’ve collaborated with Cikgu Lelian of Kpg Bugu Mawang, Serian to do a photoshoot at her village, joined by other girls from BM.
I took this opportunity to “bijarah” to my aunty’s house there too before the shoot. It is our tradition. As usual, alcoholic drinks will be served. In case you’re not interested to drink, you can always decline politely because it is considered rude to decline something without any proper reasons. That is a common sense.
For our photoshoot, we just do it at the “bari” (paddy house) area, with the view overlooking the mountainous areas behind the village. Such is the signature look of Kpg Bugu Mawang. It is located at highlands. Other Bidayuh villages are generally located at lower areas. That is why the tapwater at Bugu is much colder compared to other Bidayuh areas.
Bi-Bugu, compared to other Bidayuh villages that I have visited are a happy bunch. Even though it is not Gawai, you can always hear someone playing music somewhere, as if the entertainment never stops at Bugu. But I’ll save that topic for another blog post.
The photoshoot went on smoothly. I always like to do a photoshoot with people who has no “diva” attitude. Though it is a side job, but it is important for us to do things that we like with the person that appreciates our work, especially art & things like photography.
For me, speed is important. In my artwork, I try to do it as much as possible in camera, and do some minor editing later on using CaptureOne. But I am aware that different people has a different approach, so it is totally up to the individual. If you happy with what you see here and wish to hire me, feel free to contact me via WhatsApp +60148677585.
You can also follow me at Twitter, claudiusweson.
That’s all for now. I hope you like the pictures here.
Tabi basa & greetings everyone. This time I’d like to feature the recent work that I had done at U-Tea, thanks to U-Tea Senadin. Previously, I also did a photoshoot at U-Tea, where I collaborated with few Miri-based models, including Nurul Jasmine, Amelda & Annette.
This time, the talents are gym-buddies of Stanley Lai & Fui Chen, including Fiona, Ong, Boss & not to forget star of the show, Bong. During the photoshoot, Bong shared few health tips.
He mentioned that a lot of health problems that we are facing now are caused by what we eat. There is an abundance of processed food out there, and he advised us to be extra mindful of all these foods.
Being a nutritionist himself, he also shared his choice of food. He mentioned that his favourite is cucumber, eggs (lots of eggs), brown rice and plenty of fruits (e.g. papaya, banana, guavas). He is doing clean diet so that he can control his health better.
His realisation came when he was mixing with a group of youngsters aged around 19 years old, yet having gout. That is a wake-up call for him. Now, even though he clocks 4-series, he is still as fit as 20s, and there is no sign for him slow down his amazing life.
That’s all sharing for now. Thank you to U-Tea Senadin for sponsoring this photoshoot and the opportunity for interview with Bong.
Tabi basa & selamat sejahtera semua! In today’s post, I’d like to talk about U-Tea. U-Tea has a vision of bringing tea culture back to life among Malaysians by introducing a whole new tea experience through providing delicious and healthy tea-based beverages in the market.
“U-Tea” was formed with the ethos of transforming the long-standing tradition of Asian tea culture into healthy, delicious beverages that can be enjoyed by everyone. U-Tea believe that a happy, healthy lifestyle begins with what we drink, which is why they promote the use of only the freshest, most natural ingredients in our products.
Their first outlet was established in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah in May 2018, and due to an overwhelming responses received from their fans, subsequent outlets are rapidly emerging. Senadin, Miri outlet was established in 17 October 2019 with Mdm Yap Fui Chen as its branch manager.
“优” (Yōu) is a Chinese word that means “excellent, refined & outstanding”, and U-Tea aim to live up to their brand name by striving to be the best of the best in every aspect. That is why they insist on using premium imported loose-leaf tea that is freshly brewed daily in all their beverages.
Their outlets are all designed with their customers’ comfort in mind, and they choose to adopt an urban, minimalist interior design concept in all U-Tea outlets to provide a modern, simple and cosy environment their customers can relax in.
In U-Tea Senadin, there were few delicious menu introduced, including “Grilled Chicken Burger”, “Mushroom Burger”, “XO Prawn Paste Pasta”, “Grilled Chicken Chop” & “Breaded Chicken Chop” that promises satisfaction to each of their customers.
Therefore, visit your nearest U-Tea branch today to try it for yourself.
p.s. Thank you very much to U-Tea Senadin Branch Manager, Mdm Yap Fui Chen & Chef Billy for the delicious foods throughout the shooting.
Tabi basa & greetings everyone! For today’s post, I’d like to share the photoshoot that I have done for Stancy & Moses, from Long Apu & Long San respectively. Stancy is also another one of the very active followers of my Facebook page and she has been actively joining online competitions that I have organised.
So this time, we did something different.
It is a photoshoot for couples at Taman Awam Miri, followed by a sunset photoshoot at Tanjung Lobang. Taman Awam’s greeneries attracted my attention and that is why you can see that most of the photoshoots that I have done in Miri is done at Taman Awam’s tower, suspension bridge & its mini “forest”.
In the world where, the more number of partners you have, the “manlier” you are, chose to be loyal to one person. Instead of trying to love 1001 person, try to love one person in a 1001 different ways. In that way, you can always re-live and re-ignite the fire that you have for one another.
That basically sums up their relationship story. In a relationship, one has to be fire, and the other one has to be the water. You can’t have both fire or water in a relationship, otherwise, it won’t happen.
THE FINAL RESULT
If you are interested with this kind of photoshoot, feel free to WhastApp me at 014-8677585. Have a good week everyone! 😄
BONUS TOPIC: VALUE OF ART
From my friends around Miri, I learned that recently there is always a certain group of photographers who charged way, way lower than the market price. These groups are called market disruptors (kacau market). Their aim is to get as much client as possible, without even thinking about the long term effect.
If you already charge so low, how are you going to make a living out of photography? You will ended up loathing & hating photography because you can’t buy much stuff from your job.
That’s why, understanding the value of time, money, attention & energy that I have invested in photography, I don’t want to charge myself too low. There are limits. For those who appreciated my art and is willing to pay the price I’ve asked, I thank you very much.
Tabi basa & greetings everyone! Today I’d like to share the recent photoshoot that I have with Felicia, one of the most active followers of my Facebook page & has participated in few competitions that i have organised online. This photoshoot was part of the reward of the recent event that I have done, namely Road To 2022. There are few other winners that I have scheduled to shoot with, but since I am at Miri for work, I just concentrate to do for those at Miri. There are some who is scheduled to visit Miri, and you will see them in my photoshoots.
This photoshoot is one of my way to promote my artwork and how I’d like to create my images. There are some peoples who like to use warmer tones. For me, I prefer to use cooler tones & inclined to make my images more vibrant.
Venue for this photoshoot is Taman Awam, Miri. It is one of the best place for us to do photoshoot in Miri. I only concentrate on the upper part of Taman Awam, as I target to fully utilise the structure that we have there.
Thank you Fenny!
Special thanks to Fenny, Felicia’s sister for helping me out with this photoshoot.
If you are interested with this kind of photoshoot, feel free to WhastApp me at 014-8677585. Have a good weekend everyone! 😄
Tabi basa & greetings everyone! For today’s blog post, I’d like to feature the recent outing that Seahorse Boys had with Mystic Gems Scout Outing, led by Norbert Sirai at Miri, at spacious area somewhere near Parkcity Everly Hotel.
From Seahorse Boys, those that joined were Clayri, Om Jay, Rapheal Lutta, Steve Maggie & myself. From the MGS-side, we are joined by Norbert Sirai, Mira, Sulaiman, Rosita, Nana & Boone.
Based on the words of Mystic Gems Scout, the costumes that was being used for this photoshoot is considered contemporary, inspired by Sarawakian costumes, and it has no intention whatsoever to disrespect anyone or any culture whatsoever.
If there is any offences, it is purely unintentional.
Also, these costumes
ENTER RICOH GR III
Usually, for my photoshoot, I will bring my DSLR because I don’t want to compromise on the image quality. However, for this photoshoot, since there is a request from Steve, asking me to bring my GR III, I decided to use my GR IIIs. instead for this photoshoot.
For close-up / portrait works, I used the 40mm GR IIIx and for wider-angled shots, i use GR III (28mm field-of-view equivalent). Both of these cameras were shot in RAW+, where it includes the JPEG files as well.
The images created by these GR III are superb, and its RAW files pack a punch. However, I tweak the final colour according to my taste, temperature and skin tones. I didn’t adjust the bokeh artifically using Photoshop as it takes a lot of time to go through the files one by one.
I just did the final adjustment using Capture One software because I like how it renders color.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GR III & MY GO-TO DSLR
Being so used to a camera where I can adjust everything without referring to the LCD screen, using GR III is another refreshing experience for me. The thing that I like most is the size, because I don’t have to lug my heavy gear, for now.
There are some compromises, but after using GR III for a while, it gets interesting. I start to appreciate its ease of use, though for more serious works, I will still use my DSLR.
GOOD BYE EASY-BOKEH
Being used to manual lenses that I can just twist to get a desired bokeh, for this one, I need to get very close to get a desired bokeh from my subjects. I can live without bokeh, no problem. By using this pocket-camera, it forces me to rely on the fundamentals, including lighting placement, leading line, composition and most importantly, the expression of the subject to create a flattering image.
After a bit of tweaking and contemplating over the images, here’s the final result.
THE FINAL RESULT
NORBERT & ROS
OTHER SEAHORSE BOYS IMAGES
STEVE M MAGGIE
Steve likes to play with tones, which is obvious in his artwork below.
Clay is enjoying the session. More images will be coming soon.
JAY POTRET – RAJA BOKEH
From what you can see, Jay is a huge fan of bokeh. You can see the effect of this beautiful medium-tele lens and its pleasing bokeh. It also created a flattering face-form for Nana.
LEARNINGS FROM USING RICOH GR III
Lesson 1: Reinforcing Photography Fundamentals
First and foremost, by using this camera, I helps me to reconnect back with the roots of photography that I have always passionate about. It forces me to think more, act more and experiment more because the high-end camera ends up pampering me too much that if I have a poor background, I just blow it all out using bokeh. Simple, right? But it doesn’t help me with mastering the fundamentals.
I should use it more often.
Lesson 2: Testing Colour Grading Skills
In terms of post-processing, there are a number of colour correction that I need to do because the final image is too reddish for my taste, but it’s no doubt still a good colour, and I will still choose GR III over other APS-C models. This is a matter of personal choice. Yours might be different, so let’s agree on this.
Lesson 3: Ricoh GR III Is A Good Alternative For Event Cameras
If you don’t need to emphasise on the portrait, but rather focus only on the moments, then Ricoh GR III is a good camera that you can use. All you need is a couple of extra battery because one of the known issue with GR III is its small battery capacity. Two should be sufficient.
In terms of ease of use, it is definitely good one for me. It is superlight (relative to my DSLR), and I can even pocket it easily without anyone noticing. You can be a stealth cameraman for the event.
With its matte-black finish, it is a design that I like. No wonder it is called Street Photography King (Sorry M & Q).
BONUS TOPIC: DON’T UNDERVALUE YOURSELF
If there is something that I really appreciate, it is respecting one-self. If you don’t respect yourself, how do you expect others to respect you? For example; you know already that you have issue with alcohol & money, but you keep on doing it because it “feels good”. In the end, you’ll be having health issue & broke. Worse, you have the balls to blame others. That person definitely don’t command respect from anyone.
Same goes to photographers. A lot of peoples are aspiring to make a living out of their photography art. But when it comes to getting a paid job, that’s where their delaying gratification is being put to the test. Would you like to live with a small paid job from now until today? Or would you like to learn about photography fundamentals for the next 5-10 years, so that you can command a higher price the next decade?
Who doesn’t want an instant cash? But there is a limit to this. As a start, if that particular job is less than RM500 per hour or RM1500 per job, I won’t accept it because my time, energy and attention worth more than that. The struggle comes after shooting, where I need to do a lot to ensure the images created is worth their money.
When I first started this journey, people paid me RM300 for a day to day. When I think back about it, it is such a small pay, but it teaches me a lot of lesson; especially about knowing your worth and how to value yourself.
I want to deliver the best to those who appreciates my art, but if they don’t appreciate it as much and not willing to invest, then they are most welcomed to look for another photographer.
For me, the session has been a wonderful one. It is fun to meet and have a photoshoot with new peoples. Thank you to Norbert Sirai for his kindness, Mystic Gems Scout team for the wardrobe, Man, Nana, Mira, Ros & Boone for becoming our models and you, for reading this until the end.
Tabi basa & greeting everyone! This time, I’d like to share about the recent outing that we did at Miri with the Seahorse boys. For those who didn’t know, Seahorse Boys is a group of photographers based in Miri from various background, as what you can see below. In short, most of us shoots portrait.
For this photoshoot, it was held at Kpg Wireless, at Miri Waterfront, where we did a photoshoot with talents, namely Leha from Tatau and Agnes, who was eventually called Seroja by us. The event organiser is Aiman Iman, who is a well-known make-up artist based in Miri, and he is known for his unique style of make-up, including body-painting.
The second venue of the photoshoot was at Miri City Fan, where Jay and the rest intends to re-create the images that was done by Cikgu Sean of Prodigy. Lots of attempts were being made.
Below is the result of the images that was shared to me for this blog post purpose. I only received from Steve for now. Therefore, here’s his artwork, followed by mine.
STEVE M MAGGIE
Denzel – none shared yet.
Clayri – none shared yet.
Jay Potret – none shared yet.
Rapheal – none shared yet.
Solomon – working at Bintulu.
“Tukang Rantek” Claudius
Lesson Learned from This Photoshoot
I’ve written about outing ethics in this long Facebook post, which is written in Malay. You can read it here. In summary,
Respect One Another
Feel Free To Use “Please”, “Thank You” and “Sorry”
Do Not Touch Model / Talent
Do Not Ask Sensitive Questions & Joke Responsibly
Do Not Disturb Other People’s Gears / Settings Without Permission
Do Not Brag About Gear
Be Punctual & Give Model Time To Rest
In writing those ethics, I have no ill-intention against anyone, because it is a set of thing that every photographer should try to obey and adhere to if they want to be a likeable photographer in whatever occasion that they use.
Gears used in this photoshoot is Leica S3 & Summarit-S f/2.5 35mm & Summicron-S f/2 100m, both ASPH. lenses. It is a really great set of gear, the colour reproduction is great. You get what you invest.
But for the next shoot, I challenged myself to use a different gear, which is a compact camera, a well-known street photography camera called Ricoh GR III. I will show it in my next blogpost.
Tabi basa and greetings everybody! I hope all of are healthy and had a good weekend with your family and friends. Even if you are alone, I hope you took that opportunity to improve your craft or whatever skill you wish to be good at. Silence is golden, and solitude is necessary for growth, just like a seed, buried in the darkness.
PHOTOSHOOT AT JLN MARINA, MIRI
For today’s post, I would like to share the activities that I had with fellow Miri photographers at Jalan Marina, Miri, not far from Miri Time Square.
Behind The Scene
The theme for today was actually lady in red, but since Kat is appropriately-dressed, we took her in for photoshoot too. Besides, she was also one of the regular faces for photoshoot by our fellow photographer circle in Miri. For this photoshoot, the goal was to learn more about lighting placement, because that is one area that I wish to be better at. Due to work commitment, I rejected a number of jobs, especially those nearing Christmas and New Year as I will be on duty. However, as and when I have the opportunity, I will join Denz Harper and the other boys; Jay Potret, Steve M, Raf & Clayri (first time meeting these two) for photoshoot. This would be the last for 2021 with them though and I’ll join them again next year.
The talents for our photoshoot was Viviana Uring, Elisha & Katheria (Prudential insurance agent, can look for her. She’s very helpful). As usual, we took turns to do photoshoot with these talents. Basically we just shoot until we think we have all the shots and then move on to the next talent.
Group photoshoot is something that I only do twice ever since I took-up photography. It is primarily due to bad past experiences, which makes me prefer to go and do photoshoot on my own.
How to play with light and shadows are the fundamentals. There is a lot of other aspects too, with gear being the last. Gears are supposed to make our life easier, not the other way round. In fact, you don’t need to break the bank to be really good.
A good photographer can create a beautiful image from any gear.
As for myself, if the outcome is not great enough, it is because of my lack of skill, not because of the gear. That’s why I am pretty excited and look forward to the upcoming workshop with Sean as discussed with Denz, and hopefully it is in Miri.
From group photoshoot also, we also learn how to appreciate that each photographer has their own ways of editing. There is nothing to quarrel about. Only when they seek for our opinions, then we offer ours.
THE FINAL RESULT:
These are the images that I favour from the rest of the pictures. Feel free to have a look.
Note: her photoshoot is not planned, so that’s why she not wearing red.
RAW/DNG OR JPEG?
I only shoot DNG (RAW) because I would like to have the ability to fully optimise whatever images that I have created, let’s say I wish to edit it differently later in the future. This is the thing that I have discussed with Denz, Clay and Jay over our coffee talk yesterday.
Denz and the rest are mainly Photoshop users. Before this, I tried using Photoshop. But it is a steep learning curve for me. Then I used Lightroom until I discovered Capture One. Now, I am using Capture One for all of my editing, though I still keep Photoshop standby if I need some heavy lifting. Like what Denz always say, try to master one software first before moving onto the next.
It was such a fun evening with these peoples. I look forward to do another photoshoot with them again in the future. Don’t forget to follow me at my social media here: linktr.ee/claudiusweson.