Friday, January 14, 2011

How I Learn My Photography Skill

I remember when I first got my DSLR, instead of feeling joyful and happy I was under stress because the day I received my DSLR, tones of trips awaits for me. I told myself if I can't improve in a day I will improve in a week and I will even learn everything in clash landing mode and shoot as much as I can so I could learn every single thing as fast as possible.

Funny thing was very trip I made was like a free photography lesson for me and finally after 2 months of learning  I get to post all the picture out in sequence from the first pictures that I like until the latest pictures that i had.

Here you will be able to see that dslr isn't that hard to learn because it is all about how many mistake you dare to make until you achieve to that certain level of failure and you become successful. Same goes to life, dare to fail and you will achieve something that you wouldn't expect from all the failure you made. 

The next day, I grabbed my DSLR and head on to Bukit Padang jogging track with Derek and ask for his mentoring in photography. His advice was ' Just take whatever you like'. Well, that's inspiring. 

Broken branch

I snapped a couple pictures and I found this picture satisfied me the most. I was on Ap-mode and I learn on how to close up focus an object and how to differentiate of which objects to focus and which should be off focus. Creating the depthness in the picture is important to give the appealing sense of view for the viewers.

My trip to kundasang with coursemate came with an intention of capturing the starry night sky of Kundasang but I failed terribly because I don't understand anything about night photography and I don't have a tripod at that moment.
Kundasang trip part 1
Kundasang trip part 2. 

This night photography portraits a plant beamed by the street light. Lighting up only the central part of the surrounding giving it a mysterious feeling out of it. You will need to maintain lower ISO around 200 - 400 to enable darker unlighted area and stable shuttle speed around 40 - 50 to allow you to photograph it.

Monochrome is an addition feature in dslr to give a black and white effect on pictures but I wasn't satisfied with the picture above because I have not learn about Shutter Speed and F in manual mode. I think the light was overexposed and it looked too bright to be a monochrome picture.

The picture above was inspired by random blogger online. She mentioned something using Manual Focus on DSLR would blur the image out can create another type of special effects on light. So I tried a few times and this is what I got from it.

That's how I learn the basic photography or some would say the Triangle (Shutter speed, Aperture, and ISO). All of these are important in Manual Setting because it allows you to photograph the best out of it.

A week later after the Kundasang road trip, I set sailed across the South East China Sea to Labuan for my next photography lesson but it wasn't a fruitful one. You can check out the post at Hidden paradise 

Capturing a moving object is another whole new level for me. It required higher shutter speed with higher ISO for compensation of darker lights entering the lens. It also required an understand on how the objects move and when to anticipated the best time of photography. Aperture is also important to ensure the field of focus on the object. This picture above took a good amount of time from me to capture it.

Another interesting effect that I picked up during my labuan trip was the "lens twisting speed effect". It create the speed effect by zooming the lense in and out after you focus on the object to be taken. It isn't hard and it's all about try and error kind of photograph, plus do be careful with your lense for not twisting it too hard because you might spoil it.

So that's all from Labuan! I've learn how to capture a moving objects and create the "speed effect".

A week later from my Labuan trip, I took a flight to Kuala Lumpur hoping to learn more about photography and that's the beginning of everything. My skills continue to increase from week 1 to week 2 and the opportunities of learning wouldn't stop. Here come some of the great pictures that I took that would probably amaze you.

The best night photography for beginner would be at Icity, at Shah Alam. There is no where better for any beginner DSLR holder to get their first hand experience at the wonderful LED lighted city of Shah Alam. You can check out more picture at previous post.

To be honest, I wasn't ready for night photography but my friend told me, if you can't get a good picture, we are not going home tonight. So I took up the challenge myself and took some night photograph without  any tripod to get the best picture I can.

I like how well focused the LED peach and I could the blurred background with dispersion of lights around the other LED lights.

Name by Eunice i actually send this picture for a Canon Powershot competition but I doubt I could  win the competition. Anyway, that night I have learn how to hold my hand as steadily as possible and I started enjoying taking night photography because it gives out so many unpredictable photos.

Now I'm eager to learn even more and the next step would probably be portrait pictures. Weird enough, I think the opportunities came in one package and I had the chance to visit one of the annual biggest motor show in Kuala Lumpur. 

The Kuala Lumpur International Car Show. 

I strongly believe any straight guy would love to be in in this event but my intention was to improve models photography shoot. Hanky panky may comes as smoothly as it may. *wink

Agnes Lim

Anges Lim

I think taking portrait pictures required mutual skills from both sides because the model need to know how to pose and the photographer need to find the best angle of the model to shoot. Either way, it's important that the composition of the picture are balance and steady. 

She was on a rotating platform when I tried to take her picture.Initially I had the trouble of getting the right timing with everyone pushing me around. After a few frustrated shoot I decided to turn on the continuous shutter mode and turn my DSLR into machine gun. cang cang cang cang.

Jane Yew


Gen from Times square PS3 EXPO

The main challenge photographing in a huge event like KLIMS is the large space and huge photographer crowds. I 'm talking about 15 - 20 photographer surrounding the model like wild beast anxiously waiting for the right shoots. In order to wait for the model to glance or look at you, you need to be patient for that.  BUT, Of course if  you want the model to look at you, you could dress up presentably in stylist matter for men and you will definitely catch their attention in no time. WHY? because most of the photographer don't dress up well. Last but not least, be fast and respect the model. Show a hand language ' thumbs up' telling them you are done and show them the picture because that would make their day. IF they want to exchange their facebook with you, that would be a bonus.

After all those model shoot session it is time to bring my feet down and face the reality. Those girls wouldn't be mine anyway. :( SO, the next lesson took me into a pink tattoo parlor where i get to shoot alot of small miniature dolls.

 Composition in photography is very important because even you got the best thing to capture but you fail to arrange the composition your picture would be no value at all. Focus and try to imagine even before you tried to snap the picture. If you can imagine what kind of picture you want, you will for sure be able to get it.

After having a good photography session at KL motor show, now I'm even more confident to shoot for model. Luck was on my side and I was able to attend the Comic Fiesta KL 2010 and taking picture of cosplay model is about the same with KL motor show except you won't be seeing any hot model over the comic fiesta.

It was a tough day not because of the photography but it was busy the area over there is really over crowd. Need to be very patient and wait for everyone to get your chance of photography.

I think i picked up most of the basic photography skill at KL. Thanks to YL and KL. I managed to got in the rank of manual model dslr user. LOL

After 2 days back from KL i take another flight to Singapore. It was like a revision trip for me to further improve my photography skill. I didn't really had much artistic picture but this is some of the picture i like over at Singapore.

Up to now, I made a marathon of trips from Kundasang, Labuan, KL and my final destination is Singapore.

Slow shutter speed create a dreamy and blurry effect on the water floor.

Song of the Sea - Sentosa Island

The post is yet to come in future because i got tones of post pending. It was another specular view of fireworks. it was so eye popping and jaw dropping until i couldn't even pay attention to capturing a good composition of it. never get distracted -.-

3 days after i got back from Singapore i head off to another random trip with my ex high school mate. When i am with my high school mate, lord knows what would we do when we are all alone without any parent supervision and things started to become even more crazier.

We did this high shutter speed shoot first thing in the morning, i got to say please don't do it on your own bed and own room because you might get whoop by your parents. Do it over the hotel room and please becareful don't spoil anything in the room and protect yourself from injury.

There are just so many thing yet i haven learn in photography but I can't wait to install those skill into me as soon as possible and for the last picture of the post is by my cousin sister.

Open your eye and let your creativity flow through a narrow stream then only you will able to explore every single piece of the creativity you had within yourself and let it out go through a wide sea.

Please do like my page in facebook if you are a regular reader as for the new reader I would say welcome to my blog and i hope you guys will return to my site.

Hayden Chan


  1. I SUPER LOVE THIS POST <3 <3 <3
    Now, thanks to u.. I gt something new to learn.. yeeheee~
    arigato =D

  2. haha your welcome!! :D glad to hear that you learn something :D let me know and see your new upcoming picture too okay! :D