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Thursday, September 28, 2006

Michael Busselle remembered

Michael Busselle remembered

Photographer and writer Michael Busselle has died at the age of 70. Having begun work as a photographic assistant he established his own studio in London working on commercial shoots for the advertising and publishing industries. His first book, Master Photography: Take and Make Better Pictures set him along a path in which his name became synonymous with photographic writing. Alongside articles in the photo press, Busselle wrote over 50 books including several volumes on travel and wine.

Despite failing health Michael continued to work into 2006 with his last completed project, A Better Digital Photography Guide to Landscapes: Seas and Skies, published by Argentum earlier this year.

Michael is survived by his wife Patricia and son Julien. To see examples of his work, visit Michael Busselle's website here.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

TWO ORCHIDS

Two Orchids #1
© 2006 Martin Liew

Two Orchids

Who says we can only shoot floral photographs in the day time? Well of cuz we are making full use of the natural sunlight to make the best floral pictures be it close-up or macro format. What I did here was to make floral photography more creative in a way that I make the pictures in the night time, in dark area of the garden away from stray light sources particularly from those lamp posts. The pictures featured here were taken on Kodak slide film with my favorite manual SLR, Nikon FM10, handheld.

Well you might ask how did I do it handheld when the surrounding area is so dark? It definitely requires a longer exposure timing and a sturdy tripod is a must here, you might say. Yes you are correct on that point. Didn't I mention it was a night of light-painting or should I put it more appropriately, color-splashing?

For the set up, I used 2 flash units each mounted on a normal tripod respectively. I placed each on the left and right side of the Orchids. The left side flashhead was fitted with a DIY blue colored gel and the other with a DIY magenta colored gel. With the help of a wireless flash transmitter and 2 receivers, I was able to take such pictures handheld. Though this shot was quite under-exposed, I still kinda like the blending of the color effect. I could have set the flashes on full power or use a wider aperture, say f/5.6 or f/4 with shutter speed of 1/125sec.

The picture below was taken with a different color gel i.e. replacing the blue with red but the results aren't that good.

Two Orchids #2
© 2006 Martin Liew

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Matilda House

Matilda House
© 2006 Martin Liew

Matilda House

Located at Punggol End, Matilda House was built in 1902 for Mr Joseph Cashin whose family history in Singapore can be traced back to the early 1840s. The building is a fine example of an early style tropical bungalow. The tropical style of the building is accentuated through its architectural features such as open verandahs, raised floors and the use of timber framed lattice and louvres to permit cross breezes. As the only remaining historical bungalow in Punggol, the conservation of Matilda House will serve as a significant landmark for the future Punggol new town and as a reminder of "old Punggol".

There are many stories about this house especially of haunting & spiritual stuff. I was thrilled about making nocturne pictures of such old house and did not bother much about it. As mentioned in my early blog, nocturne photography, to me, is a experimental and creative way of expressing on how I see this world in another dimension. Well I think the nocturnal effect I did here does add up the spookiness and makes it look more eerie. But ultimately that wasn't my main objective.

For the above photo, I was using a wide angle lens, setting my camera at a very low angle point in such to frame the whole house. I exposed it for a full 10-minute during which I used 2 colored gels to light-paint. Same exposure timing for the photo below which is the back area of the house.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Club Moss Trees

Clubmoss Trees
© 2006 Martin Liew

Club Moss Trees

Lepidodendron is the name given to a giant Lycopod or scale tree which formed an important part of the coal swamps of the late Carboniferous which grew to heights in excess of 40 meters. The extinct genus of primitive, vascular plants were related to the Lycopsids (club mosses) and are sometimes called giant club mosses. They thrived during the Carboniferous period.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

My Nocturne Photographs

Orchids Spectrum
© 2006 Martin Liew

Orchids Spectrum

I first came across this art form of photography at The Nocturnes (www.thenocturnes.com) and I was really impressed by the works of many famous night photographers in US. I particularly like the works by Andy Frazer, Tim Baskerville, Troy Paiva, Larrie Thomson, Michael Frye, William Lesch and many more.
I was so inspired and motivated that I got myself all the essential tools for nocturne photography, such as colored gels, strong flashlights (torchlights in Asia term), external flash units (cheap ones from Yin Yan, China made which I bought online recently). I use a fully manual 35mm film SLR, Nikon FM10 with 2 lenses i.e. 17-35mm & 35-70mm. Well most of the time I use the former lens for a wider coverage and perspective on architectural structures and landscapes. The film I used is Kodak Ektachrome E100VS. For "Orchids Spectrum" I used an expired Kodak E100GX therefore there are color shifts but I still love the color it produced. I use E100VS becuz I like the color sdaturation it produces.
I never intend to record any "true colors" of the night or make pictures of the "real" world in the night. Nocturne photography, to me, is experimental and a creative way of expressing on how I see this world in another dimension. To create an unworldly pictures with bright colors. Making nocturne pictures isn't as easy as it seems especially here in Singapore, where stray light sources from street lamps, house lightings, traffic lights, etc etc. So it's hard to come by any area or spot that is in near darkness. Well I do enjoy the whole process of making nocturne pictures and it does make me see and feel things differently in my surroundings. Of cuz it challenges me on the technical as well as artistic aspect of photography.

Here's one of the many photographs I made early this year and I will post each picture from time to time. Do come back and check them out.