September 28, 2009 10:16 by Adrian

Hey everyone!

          Ok, as promised, the photo gallery of this event is up on Ardent's portfolio site, you can click here or the manual non flash version here. All you need to do is click Events -> Robinsons 2nd Anniversary and you are set.   

          There are 88 photos under that collection, hope you guys enjoy it as much as we did taking it. Have a great week ahead! 

Cheers,

Adrian Y. 


September 23, 2009 10:39 by Adrian

Hey everyone!

        Hope everyone had a great Raya break. Just a short update, Robinsons have updated their site to include the photos from their 2nd Year Anniversary that was taken by us. Click here to view. I'll hopefully find some time to transfer the photos to Ardent's portfolio gallery this week as some of the images aren't perfectly compressed (images provided to Robinsons are much larger hence a need to compress the images to make life easier for web viewing).

        Stay tuned! 

Cheers,

Adrian Y. 


September 20, 2009 07:16 by Adrian

Hey!

        Jacky and I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone who's celebrating Hari Raya, a Selamat Adil Fitri as well as to seek forgiveness if we have offended or have done anything wrong, Maaf Zahir Batin.

        Do drive safe on the roads and lets all pray for a better new year filled with happiness, good health and great friends. Catch all of you soon.

 Your friends,

Adrian & Jacky 


September 16, 2009 11:40 by Adrian

Hey everyone!

        Ok, time for some backdated entry. A few weeks back I set up an on site photo studio to extend Ardent's professional services to the Aikido Shudokan Malaysia (ASM). Their website can be found here.  

        As you can see, I brought in two studio lights with me on the set. The reason why I decided to do an on-site shoot is simply because of the size of the action and the flexibility that you can only get at a large set. The only problem is the background which requires at least 2-3 sets of photography paper which costs easily above RM400+ which wasn't that practical. 

         Anyway the shoot started at around 2pm (set up began at 12pm) and ended around 8pm.. non stop..  but that's how life is on a studio set.. and like in a typical studio set, the client or in this case the Technical Director Sensei Ramlan and co-Technical Director Sensei Ken will provide me with the general idea on what they want.. and I'll use my photography mojo to achieve what they want.. of course I'll give feedback like ok this pose, the face isn't that appealing and we'll strike a well balance compromise between what looks good and what the image should portray.   

 

Above are all the technical directors analysing the 'models' to ensure that their form are all right and proper for the camera.  

All of these off studio shots are taken without any flash (to not prematurely trigger the studio lights) thus the photos may not be up to our standard but is shown here just to highlight the behind the scene of the studio shoot.

      Yup, that's me in action.. that fella really looks like in pain..  

     Ah.. a POV (point of view) angle shot..  

      Not to be vain (I'm sure those who knows me might say otherwise), I love this photo simply because it shows the busy studio with me being at the centre of attention.. a calm element among a busy environment type of feel..  Kudos to Jacky in taking this shot..  

 

     Hey, we @ Ardent knows how to have some fun as well, no need to serious right?  Tongue out kinda scary when all these fellas can just kill you with their pinky finger.. Cool

      Awww.. a sweet moment..  

      Now back to the topic of fusion of what the client wants and Ardent's photography mojo.. Ok the shot below, the client basically wants to have a proper form and the person being thrown should be vertical in the air.. So this all bores down to timing of the shot which isn't that big of an issue. So now, what I added in was simply to break away from convention of freezing both in action which to Ardent is basically a dead type of shot.. there is no life nor energy in a action frozen shot..

       So fusing with the client's requirements, I placed a slight blur to the person being thrown as shown below. With that slight blurring, it shows motion while maintaining sharp focus on everything else..  In the end, what we have is a photo that is filled with energy, beauty and form.      

      Needless to say the client was really happy with the photos. All in a days work here @ Ardent..  

Cheers,

Adrian Y. 


September 15, 2009 04:16 by Adrian

Hey guys and gals!

          As in my previous post, on the 10th of September 2009, Robinsons @ The Gardens Mid Valley celebrated their 2nd Anniversary and of course, they employed Ardent's photography services to capture the essence of the event. 

          I would like to start of by thanking Robinsons for sharing their precious event with us. I hope that Ardent can extend our photography services for many many events to come.

          The photos are actually up but its on Ardent's private gallery and not in the public portfolio for the time being. It'll be transfered after a week so do check back for it. Of course it won't consist of the entire collection but a subset of it.    

          Below are just some preview photos of the event. As you see, we @ Ardent don't just take images, we tell stories with it. With that in mind, each photo needs to have an art direction to express the mood of the different stages of the event. 

          First we start of with the entrance of the pre-event preparation area. Its of course a private area (one of the perks of being the official photographer Cool, its part of the job to go behind the scenes). 

    There was a large window that brought in huge amounts of sunlight. Great for the Shu Uemura make up artists but to  photographers. Its tricky, very tricky. But then again, its part and parcle of the job, so no whining on Ardent's part there. I wanted a picture of the make up process and wanted to use the sun light as the primary light. With that vision in mind, the below image was taken. The sunlight hits the side of her face but not overly done until you can't distinctively see the outlines of her face. Of course I timed it right when the person at the back with the black shirt was standing right behind her. This shirt gave the necessary contrast especially on that sun lit area.  A studio shoot would have been even more perfect but this is taken as is, so a lot of it bores down to luck as no matter how skillful you are as a photographer, without that 'moment', it means for nothing. 

To capture the essence of the moment and couple that with Ardent's ability to take natural, balanced and creative images,  you'll get a shot like below. The shot below shows the calm and relaxed atmosphere during the pre-event stage, a model waiting for her hair to be done (notice those hair clips) quietly using the idle time to read a book and mixing it with a bit of Ardent magicical lighting and angle, further brings out the subject. The shot below was taken with the 105mm Nikkor f/2.8 lens.

Coming to the next image, I wanted an image that showcases the size of Robinsons (spanning 3 floors) and the crowd lining up to go in. 

The image below is what visual tension is all about, horizontal lines at the background gives way to vertical and diagonal lines on the paper bag.  

The crowd on that day was immensely long, stretching from Robinsons main entrance right close to reaching Isetan on the other end. The problem in taking a photo of the end of this long queue is that it serves no connection to Robinsons. Yes, you'll see a long queue but for what? such picture on its own serves little but was also taken as per client's request to take a picture at the end of the queue. The client is always right, right?.. RIGHT! 

Anyway, I'd prefer taking a shot like below. The sea of heads all looking towards Robinsons, all blurred except for the Robinsons signage, taken in portriat form, gives a natural flow into the image. 

Ah.. and of course part of my job is to take close up of the models. These models are modeling the handbags and assesories hence I took this half body shot that showcases just that. Nothing spectacular but this gal here had one of the sweetest smiles of all the models that day and of course she smiled at me all the time, which gets her 1 gold star .. Cool 

    And of course, the Fashion Show.. 

Below is the shot of the finale, where all the models take their final post up the platform.  

The fashion show was hosted by Marion Caunter with the top 4 model contestant from a local reality show, gracing the catwalk. Below are the top 4 model contestant having their photos taken. 

        That's about it for this round. Will try to find time to post more later.  

Cheers,

Adrian & Jacky 


September 9, 2009 13:34 by Adrian

Hey guys and gals!

              Tomorrow is Robinsons 2nd year aniversary @ The Gardens Mid Valley from 6.30pm to 10.30pm.. Ardent has been engaged to handle this event so if you are there, do say Hi.. Do check out their website here and their previous event photos here

  

 
 
       Its going to be damn happening event filled with games, activities, fashion shows and a few really hot VIP guests. Cool  Stay tuned ya! 
 
Cheers,
Adrian Y.  

September 1, 2009 03:03 by Adrian

Hey guys and gals!

        I've been wanting to write this article for quite a while but never actually found the time to do so, anyway 2 close friends of Ardents recently purchased a dSLR thus prompting me to write this article in the benefit of those who are taking those itsy bitsy baby steps towards the realm of photography.  

        There are actually 3 basic steps that everyone takes towards photography enlightenment..

Technical Knowledge

    The first step for any aspiring photographer is the need to know two things, their equipment in terms of settings and behavior and the other is the basics of photography such as what is shutter speed, apperture and ISO.

      Below are the quick run through on the things to learn up for : -

      Photography Basics 
  • What is a 'stop' - Well everything in photography is about light and how its controlled. This light is measured in stops i.e. 1 stop over or under.
  • How do you control light?
           Shutter Speed - Measured in seconds or miliseconds.  Doubling each speed is equilavent to 1 stop 
                                  e.g. 1/20s to 1/40s is minus 1 stop.     
           Aperture - The diameter of the lens opening, measured in F stops. F/2.8 to F/4 is equilavent to minus 1 stop of light.
           ISO - The sensitivity of the camera towards light, measured in ISO. ISO 200 to ISO 400 is equilavent to plus 1 stop of light.  
  • Types of light - Know the different white balance settings and what's the difference between incandesant light vs fluorescent light. 

       

      Camera 
  • Settings - where all the buttons, functions and how to access them
  • The difference between Auto Focus (AF) and Metering modes. (Auto focus is how the camera focuses on a subject and metering is how much light is needed for to properly expose the image)
  • Quirky things - as God made all of us different, so do different camera models and brands, each has their own different quirkiness. Like the metering is always -1 stop lower than what the camera indicate and so on.

       

You'll graduate from this when you can be confident in taking pictures with their correct exposures, consistently of course and with sharp images and not blurred by shake or incorrect focus. 

Composition

     Once you get have the basics and are consistent in getting images sharp and properly exposed, we move on to the 2nd stage. Only now we talk about what goes into the image. No point in trying to look at angles and composition when you can't even be confident in exposing the image correctly. The last thing you want is to take a once in a life time image, only to realize it was set too dark or too bright or worse yet, isn't sharp.

      Below are the quick run through on things to learn in this area: -

      Composition Basics 
  • 2/3 rule - Rule of 2 thirds. Try not composing the shot at dead centre but try placing it in other areas. Read up the 2/3 rule for photography composition.
  • Strong subject - Whether the subject is clearly defined, is the image too cluttered? This can be either by shape or by color.
  • Timing - Getting the shot at the right time rather than machine gunning the camera. You might think why not? well simple, you can't machine gun all the time especially when you are using a flash. So why not train up? will save you plenty of time from looking through tons of pictures of the same thing. 
       Of course there are more in this subject area, will talk more when the time comes. 
 
      
You'll graduate from this when you are able to look at a scene and determine how best to take the shot, with what type of setting and at which angle (yep all in your head). Up to the point that you are able to manipulate the scene to perfect the composition.  
 

Art Direction

      This is the final level of your photography journey and this is where you let your creativity guide you in taking the shot. At this level, you'll be able to envision what type of picture you want to take and with the skills gained from the 2 previous categories above, you can and will be able to get it. Art direction is quite simple actually, its basically what do you want your picture to portray.. the message.. do you want to take a picture of a lady that shows her character? or a picture that shows emotion? or something to look grand and classy? 
 
      
       So there you have it.. the 3 stages of your transformation to a true photographer.  Many out there just go straight into composition without the necessary skills or knowledge on what it takes. Most end up with photos that are under exposed and just poor composition. Don't be one of them. If you are new with your new love.. just keep on taking photos and get the confidence in the basics, trust me you'll need it later on when it matters most.
 
      I also hear a lot of people saying, ooh I don't have anything to photograph.. well you are just learning the basics so why not just photograph things around the house or area where you live? Try shooting indoors, outdoors and different lighting conditions. Play with different settings and see which works best on when. Trust me, its not as easy as it seems and the experience will help you. Lest not get into a situation where you need to take a photo but didn't know how to. Ouch!
 
      Anyway, that's the 3 basic stages in learning up Photography, I'll try to find time to go deeper on each area and explain more, so stay tuned ya! Till then, keep on shooting! Cool
 
Cheers,
Adrian Y.