February 25, 2010 10:29 by Adrian

Hey boys and gals!

             How's the long festive holidays? I hope all those celebrating and those enjoying the long holiday break had an amazing and wonderful time catching up with family and friends.. 

             This article, I'll like to bring up some of the product photography work that Ardent did towards the end of last year. Its for Krespy Kreme and the first 3 drink photos can still be seen on the menus of Krespy Kreme. The client wanted a simple shot (no fancy angles or background) for them to incorporate it into their existing designs. So you'd guess that my job is pretty much simple.. erm.. and you'd be wrong..

             There are different packages for our product photography and this is usually the 'economy package' which most companies look for. In the basic package, the lighting is rather broad and not precise. The more expensive packages, we'll be employ the use of light snoops to control in high degree of precision to create a visual delicacy.. ever seen those advertising photos depicting watches? Lighting it is a real good challenge and takes a lot of patience and experience to pull of such a feat.. 

              But that's not what we are providing unfortunately this time around. Even then, lighting transparent plastic cups isn' t as easy as it seems. The trick is to get light in such a way that it brings out the color and contrast of both the Krespy Kreme logo and the color of the drink itself.  In addition to that, we have to get the light to create a light gradient from the right to the left (creating a 3d effect feel rather than it just being flat light, which is just too amatuerish) 

So I present you the actual shots taken (not the final version adopted by Krespy Kreme).

We @ Ardent are very passionate in our work, so much so that we want to be proud of the work we do. In saying that, these photos that are now being used on their menus, due to its sharpness, color and contrast, you'll be able to see the drinks in clear definition even from a distance. In addition to that, the cool condensation on the side of the cups creates the cool and thirst quenching sensation that promotes the drink itself.

Well that's the purpose for our photos, to help our clients market and sell their products.


The photo is what many would find in other coffee shops.. the problem I notice is to get sufficient contrast to highlight the white kreme.. i mean Cream.. The usual standard for photos of this nature, the whip cream are exposed properly but the logo of the cup and its contents are rendered too dark

December 18, 2009 02:34 by Adrian


        Its a week before Christmas.. hope everyone's geared up for the Christmas festive cheers! In the mean time, lets continue with some introduction on Product photography.. 

         For Ardent, we have a wide range of product photography, not in terms of what we take but rather on the number of lights used and the number of set up used as well..  as everything bores down to effort and time taken for each shot.. so a menu shot can be said the basic product photography package that we provide while a shot like below, is more of a higher end.. 

          The photo below again isn't the final product.. frankly I don't think I've ever published the final product due to respects to the client as the photos are still being used by them.. 

           Anyway, let me leave you with the higher end product photography that we @ Ardent take.. and when compared to the one much earlier, its obvious that here @ Ardent, we give you the value for the amount that we charge.. also thanks to our perfectionist nature, it helps being stubborn in ensuring only the best our client gets..

            Till the next time..  


Adrian Y. 


December 16, 2009 11:07 by Adrian

Hey everyone!

           This article is about product photography.. the photo below is not the final photo but rather just one helluva delicious cup of coffee that became my 'model' to test the lighting.. and which found its way into this article..  

            As the saying goes, a painting is worth a thousand words.. so can a product photo, make or break your marketing in terms of increase sales.. I can't stress it hard enough that a good product photo (obviously taken by a professional such as Ardent.. ahem ahem.. )  brings out the best of the product and draws people to buy.. 

           Anyway, I'll write more about this soon.. and in the mean time I'll leave you with this tantalizing cup of coffee..  yeah I drank it a bit.. Cool 


Adrian Y. 

October 6, 2008 10:21 by Adrian
Hey everyone! 

Its been a while since I've posted an entry.. with the change of weather here in Malaysia which is also known as flu season.. also known to doctors as Ka-Ching!! $$$ cash cow season! I guess I'm not exempted from it Frown

While recovering and getting prepared for Wedding season.. The 8th month of the lunar chinese calander is always the busy month for us photographers.. 

Manage to get consent from a wedding Jacky and I shot on 27th Sept 08 and shall be posting the pictures soon.. so do check out the work section ya!

Obtaining consent is just a matter of being courteous and responsible for the things I post up here. Not legally obligatory unless of course I sell pictures of someone, in which I'll need a model release form.. 

Oh great news everyone! the Zippo advert got approved by Zippo.. the thing is that they have chosen the portrait version and not the square.. The light box in which to house the advert is a 2 feet by 2 feet size, meaning square if maths isn't your cup of tea.. so I guess it'll have black lines on either side of the picture..

Photography is a really strange thing..  altering the image slightly up or down, cropping it here and there, even ever so slightly, alters the feel of the image..  cropping the portrait image into a square just doesn't feel right.. I just hope that things work out and Curve Management will approve the advert for display as soon as possible... fingers crossed!

Ok, here's the approved portrait version..  

So far the feedback received is that the flame on the first version is better.. Well.. I will have a major sit down with the flame and make sure that it won't suffer any performance anxiety.. :P Strangely we've tried to take this picture on two occassions with a total of 4+ hours and hundred of pictures.. the flame was just not cooperating.. at times too big, others too small.. only at the very end did some good shots took place.. 
Well its not like the first but it is indeed unique to its own.. a proven testament that the difference between a good image and a great image is being at the right place, the right time and with the right equipment..  
And below is the square version..  
This shot was done with much ease due to the distance (not so close up)..  
Hope to update with good news soon..
Adrian Y. 

September 17, 2008 06:16 by Adrian
Ahh.. last Friday (12th Sept), I received an email from CK to let me know that the Zippo guys and gals liked the picture but required a change of lighter as that lighter design isn't part of their original designs. Its more like a custom Zippo The Embershoppe design..  Anyways, they liked it! tho I need to do a retake.. so with that, here I present to you the Zippo Advert version 1.0. .. the 2nd version which comes in two flavors (portrait & square) is what have been keeping Jacky and myself buzy since that email... 
Manage to submit version 2.0 of the Zippo advert yesterday evening in print and softcopy.. it has a slightly different style to it than this image.. will elaborate further once Zippo gives the thumbs up.. (pray pray) 
Anyway here's version 1.0. 
Just cant help but stare at it..  Cool  Now doesn't that look better than the zippo advert in Subang? sure sure.. call me bias.. Tongue out

September 11, 2008 11:28 by Adrian

Hhhmm.. Jacky came across an official Zippo advertising in Subang Jaya.. this is taken with her K800i at a distance but sufficient to see the overall advert itself...

The second picture is the one we took for the Embershoppe zippo advert.. the post can be found here.

I'll leave you to be the judge on which one is better... cough.. cough.. vote me.. cough...  must be catching the flu... Cool


my flame is larger and longer.. ahem ahem...  sorry.. just had to say it! 

September 8, 2008 05:11 by Adrian

Last Saturday, I've finally submitted in A4 size print to CK The Embershoppe @ the curve. Jacky and I are extremely happy to be given a chance to take this Zippo picture and to have it shown like the picture taken below with my k800i (yeah, didn't thought I'll need the camera that night.. missed out a tobacco rolling competition also.. ) @ The Embershoppe.  

Jacky and I moved away from the typical Marlboro man holding ciggs type of advert style and wanted to do something that is new, something that captures your attention immediately and better yet something that just makes you want to look at the picture.

In the end, a lighter by itself even with background of ciggs around it or what not, will look a bit dead. I wouldn't mind shooting a Belvedere Vodka bottle in a white desert sand type setting, blue skies and a Belvedere Vodka type tree at the background! but for a Zippo? its a lighter and what better to showcase a lighter in the hand of a man.. ME! kekeke.. anyway I don't own one... yet..

A picture holding a lighter? boring right? .. in the photography line, it is the photographers job to not only put your thumb in the line of fire (literally as the picture shows.. and also multiple times), but to also bring something new even of something  boring. Different angle? different lighting? different crop? 

We went for all 3. The angle is a slightly off, making it look different by itself. As for lighting, we used Nikon's amazing wireless lighting system (2 SB-800) to create a unique lighting effect to further accentuate the thumb and lighter. The last is crop. Well we used this amazing macro / portrait lens, the AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED which can take 1:1 ratio shots!. A simply amazing lens to use for portriats and macro. With this lens, we didn't need to crop the image at all as we can go as close or as far as we liked.

In the end, the image was taken just perfectly fitting the flame and the embershoppe name etched on the lighter. The lighter and hand is both visible but yet not visible which creates extreme visual tension which makes the viewer gaze at the picture for sometime while the viewer looks at every part of the picture.

The flame is perfectly shaped, all thanks to Jacky who manage to timed it right while holding the camera steady. Seriously, shooting at 1/10 of a second with a 105mm lens, even with VR (even with 4 stops VR, means the max is 1/20 of a second) isn't a walk in the park. The problem wasn't the 1/10s but the flame's cooperation in making itself look good.. maybe camera shy.. :P

In the end, we got the shot we wanted. I'll showcase the full picture here as well as in our Work page later once everything is settled. 

Now its all up to Zippo to give the green light to use their name on this picture. Pray pray!