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Simple introductions to various aspects of photography, tips and tricks that I wish I'd known when I started out, interviews with other photographers, and more.

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Shooting lifestyle and interior design

My wife recently started an Instagram account called Modern Asian Life, where she shares contemporary Asian lifestyle photos centering around interior design and home styling (mostly from our home), artworks which she collects and curates, and jewellery that she designs. As you can imagine, most of my photographic endeavors of late have centered around this project, with a lot of interior design, lifestyle, and product photography. It's been quite a departure from travel phot

Talking Photography: Jeremy Long

Jeremy Long of Jemanci Portrait is a portrait photographer who specializes in "magazine-style portraiture". I'm a long-time admirer of his fine-art studio work - an area of photography that I myself am really interested in - and I am very excited that he agreed to talk photography with us, so thank you Jeremy for making the time! All photos in this post are by Jeremy. How did you become interested in photography? Jeremy: America’s Next Top Model. I was obsessed with it for aw

A simple recipe for using a strobe to light a portrait

Have all those flashes, triggers and extra electronics put you off learning about strobe photography? You're not alone. Getting started with strobe photography can seem intimidating - not just because of all of the equipment involved, but also because of the cost of purchasing all of it. But you can do a lot with just a few simple pieces of equipment and a shift in how you think about strobes. In this post, I'm going to break down a photo, recipe-style, and tell you exactly h

Talking Photography: Marklin Ang

Marklin Ang is a photographer based in Singapore, known for his breadth of stunning landscapes ranging from waterscapes to astrophotography. From working with tourism agencies to giving a TEDx speech about his travel photography, Marklin is a wonderful person to speak with about capturing the majesty of your surroundings with a camera. Thank you Marklin, for taking the time to talk photography with us! All photos in this post are by Marklin. How did you get into photography?

Talking Photography: Jasbir John Singh

Jasbir John Singh is a photographer from Singapore, who specializes in social documentaries, street photography and other non-commercial genres of photography. He identifies his work as mostly artistically-driven and humanitarian by nature. Jasbir is a UN Volunteer and has produced several award-winning fine art photo series which he describes as "Visual Poetry". Jasbir took some time off his busy schedule to share his thoughts and insight, so read on! All photos in this post

Talking Photography: Adam Stamenkovic

Adam Stamenkovic is a lifestyle & wedding photographer from New York, who lived in Singapore for a number of years and is currently based in New Zealand. I had the chance to pick his brains on photography so read on for his invaluable insights! All photos in this post are by Adam. What got you interested in photography? Adam: Behind-the-scenes photos of movies in production. The ones that give you a glimpse of how the magic actually happens. What's your favorite thing to shoo

Photographing animals

Animals are wonderful subjects to photograph. They're never self-conscious, they're just themselves. Here are some tips on photographing animals. Tip 1: Focus on the eyes Photographing animals is like photographing people - every shot is a portrait. Focus on the eyes. Tip 2: Be careful Animals can be unpredictable so be careful. Give them space so they don't feel unsettled, startled, or threatened by your presence. Tip 3: Snap fast! Every photo is candid and you never know wh

Make your own lightbox for product shots

Lightboxes are fun. They diffuse light evenly from all directions, allowing you to get a clean product shot against a white backdrop. Here's a link to a lightbox available on B&H (It's not sponsored and I don't get any affiliate earnings or anything, it's just a link to show you what a lightbox looks like). This is what you might find at photography shops. It's not particularly expensive as far as photography equipment goes, but it's not cheap either. US$79 buys a lot of Shak


I touched on the quality of light a bit in my earlier post "Let's take portraits - 7 tips for improving your portraiture" but in this post I'd like to talk about light in more detail. It's a big topic but I will try to present it as simply as I can. Light is light is light. There are many different sources of light, but the source of light is much less important in photography than the quality of light. This means that if you understand how to manipulate the quality of light,

Creative iPhone photography at home

A friend of mine recently told me about a photography competition being held during this lockdown (#stayhome amirite?), that requires participants to submit a photo taken on a smartphone at home. I like a good challenge, so while I typically don't submit photos to competitions, this piqued my interest. Initially I thought maybe I'd style up something nice at home and shoot it. But then I figured - look, anybody can take photos of things in their home. People do this all the t

Shooting water droplets at home

I ended my previous post with a tutorial video from Adorama on photographing water droplets at home. This past weekend I had some free time and decided to give it a go. Here are some of the results. I'm quite happy with how the photos turned out! If you're interested in water droplet photography, this is a fun and easy photography project that you can do at home. I followed the instructions in the tutorial quite closely - basically I used: a tray with some water a plastic bag

Photography at home

These are strange times. COVID-19 has radically changed daily life around the world. Masks have become normal, handshakes have become uncommon, and life now generally centres around activities in the home. If you're going to be stuck at home for the next few weeks, you may be wondering what you can do to keep practising photography. Here are some ideas! Photograph your loved ones Pets, children, spouse; since you're all spending more time together, it's a great opportunity to

Beyond taking the photo

When we look at "finished" photos, they're really a product of a 3 things (excluding the subjects): taking the shot - i.e. manipulating the camera lighting conditions post-processing I've focused primarily on (1) so far, because learning how to manipulate the camera, and analyze and prioritize your settings to create a shot, is really the first step in creating a better photo. But I'd be lying if I said that understanding light and post-processing wasn't necessary, because th

Let's take portraits - 7 tips for improving your portraiture

I've set out some of my favorite tips for taking nice portraits. I use these all the time and hope you find them useful. 1. Make your subject the focus of the photo Eliminate distractions. If possible, compose the shot so there are no distracting elements in the background. If that's not an option, you can also use a shallow depth of field to create some creamy bokeh to reduce distractions too. 2. Focus on the subject's eye. A common mistake is to focus on the nose. Don't do

Film vs Digital

A few posts ago, I mentioned that the question of "What camera to buy" attracts a lot of debate. Well, here's another area that's often debated within the photography community: film vs digital - which is better? The answer depends. (I'm a lawyer in my day job, remember? Gotta keep it real.) Film. This is a behind-the-scenes photo I took on film for The Wedding Scoop at a styled shoot. Check out the full feature for stunning photos taken by Peter Herman, a gifted phot

My go-to camera settings

Every photographer shoots in their own unique way, but these settings work for me most of the time, so I'm sharing them here. Bright daylight settings I typically shoot on Aperture Priority (Av) mode in bright daylight. In other words: ISO: Auto Shutter speed: Auto Aperture: As required I set my aperture to: f5.6 if I'm shooting groups of people; f8 if I'm shooting buildings or need everything to be in focus; and as big as it can go if I'm shooting portraits and want bokeh. S

Shooting modes

You may notice that your camera has a dial on top, with various icons and letters. Not all cameras will have this, but many do. Sometimes instead of a dial, the icons and letters will be somewhere in the settings menu on your camera's software. These icons and letters are for setting the camera's shooting mode. In my earlier blog post on Balancing Aperture Size, Shutter Speed, and ISO, I talked about how these 3 elements interact to control a photo's exposure. The shooting mo

A few of my favorite cameras

I'm sharing some thoughts on what cameras I like and why, so that if you're interested in cameras but don't know where to start, this (and my tips for buying cameras post) might give you a starting point. I should state upfront that I'm pretty mercenary about gear - I have used a few different brands in the past, don't have any particular brand loyalty, sponsorships, or affiliations, and just like what I like because it works for me. So any thoughts I have on gear are un-spon

Creating bokeh

As mentioned here (Understanding Aperture) and here (Composition), "bokeh" is the aesthetic quality of the blur produced by a lens being out-of-focus. It's useful for drawing the viewer's eye to important parts of the photo. That's Kai - check him out on Instagram here So how do you create bokeh? It's quite simple - it's all about the ratio of the distances between you, the subject, and the background. For maximum bokeh, all you need is: minimum distance between you and your

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