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Showing posts from June, 2014

TBT: Philosophical Shopping in Art Museums

Kind of a sequel to my previous post, today's post has more photos featuring the creative decor of certain stores, Club Monaco being one of the previously mentioned ones.  The "bird" and "tree" are actually not from Club Monaco, but from Call It Spring, reason being that I wanted to save the Club Monaco photos for today's post.  I wanted to use these photos for a Philosophies - Part 2, two thousand words of wisdom captured in the photos below:

If a picture = 1 thousand words, 2 pictures = 2 thousand yes?  Math seems to check out.


Both of these photos were taken at (different) Club Monaco stores, but the first one was taken with my DSLR (fun fact: you can see Anita reflected in one of the mirrors!) whereas the second was taken with my cell phone (HTC One).  If you haven't figured out the philosophy yet, it's that the photographer makes the photo -- not the camera.

I occasionally forget this lesson too; it's so easily to let yourself give up becau…

Shopping Shenanigans: Summer Fashion Trends

Thank you everyone for the overwhelmingly positive feedback on my last two posts! 
I had/still have a lot of reservations when it comes to posting photos of myself so it really means a lot to me to have such great support for this project.  I'll have to try to remember to dress nicer more often so I can have more photos for The Other Side.
For today's post, I wanted to go back to one of my most comfortable themes - Shopping Shenanigans. If I don't travel outside of the city, two of my common places to hang out with my friends is either at a park (enjoying the sun) or at a mall (enjoying the sights).  I'm a pretty visual person so being at a mall isn't just for the simple purpose of buying things, but to also appreciate the pieces in the display windows.  I definitely consider clothing, shoes, bags and jewellery to be pieces of art; its design and execution is a result of someone's creative vision, the same way a painting or a sculpture comes to life.  Furtherm…

The Other Side: Mustard Skirt for Practical Purposes

As mentioned in yesterday's post, today's will be featuring the photos from the Mustard Skirt photo shoot (see below). This set of photos was actually taken the same day as Carlie's park and blossoms set, just a couple hours after and at a different location.

The Other Side is a mini-project I've decided to pursue as part of my photography journey, in which I take complete control over a photo, becoming both the photographer and the subject (this sounds like a very fancy way to describe a "selfie").  In addition to having very specific ideas for photos, another practical purpose for being on the other side is to gain a better understanding of the model's perspective.  While she took many of my suggestions very well, my session with Carlie made me wonder about the difficulties one would face if not blessed with the model gene.  As I should have known, I, too, am not fortunate enough to have the natural ability to model (Amanda darling, teach me your ways!)…

The Other Side: A Moral Dilemma

Occasionally, when I have very specific ideas for the content of a photo, I'll end up on the wrong side of the camera.

One of the many problems I'll run into is my laziness; I have never brought my tripod with me, even if it's just from the second to the ground floor of my house.  So instead I'll ask my unlucky companion of the day to be my "stand-in tripod" (will be credited as c/o - courtesy of).  I'm not entirely sure if this term already exists (although a quick Google search would answer that question) but I choose to use this term because of another issue I ran into a while back, when I was compiling photos for my album and blog. 
Along with a blog, I had wanted to create a watermark for my photos.  The concern was with whether or not it would be right/morally acceptable for me to slap my watermark on a photo where I did not physically click the shutter button.  After many inquiries to my other photographer friends as well as the /r/photography c…

TBT: Roots

Warning: lots of lame plant-related puns below 
Even before Anita and I decided to play dress up, I had a budding interest in photography.  One of the two things I mainly took photos of were the flowers in and around the house.  My mom's pretty into gardening, so along with all her roses and tulips, she planted the idea of photography in my brain.  
My earliest ones are what I like to call the "Windows Desktop Background" Series:





And then moved on to some portrait-style shots:
Eventually, as my mild interest blossomed into real interest, I started to branch out to photograph other subjects, but continued to find appreciation for nice looking plant-life in less conventional places.
The trick to flowers that I've found is that because they're 1) stationary, and 2) intricately detailed, there's so many choices when it comes to choosing a focal point, so it's good to take the time to grab as many slightly varying shots while you've got the chance, and the…

Pride

Thank you to everyone for your wonderful feedback regarding my last post!  I was filled with mixed emotions, mostly a blend of happiness and embarrassment, with a smidgen of pride. Pride as an emotion has pretty negative connotations, but it's because most people think of hubris, which actually refers to being overly prideful and arrogant for no reason (think source of Shakespearean heroes' downfalls).  Pride on the other hand, is a basic human emotion that is even displayed by young children.  It is natural and yet so misunderstood.  Though I know this now, it was not always the case.
Pride is/was a difficult for me to admit.  Growing up,‎ I always felt like pride was only warranted if someone else was proud of me first, or else it'd be called arrogance.  There is definitely some cultural influence, as most Eastern cultures highly value being humble and humility as great virtues.  For me, this meant that I had to do well on an objective measure, such as a test or an exam…

Kingston Mills Scenery

Brace yourself: This post has 4x as many photos than all previous posts.

In the past, scenery has always been my least favourite thing to shoot.  No matter how beautiful it looks to my eyes, I've never managed to accurately translate what I see on to a photo.  I've tried and tried and have always been disappointed, and it only takes so many disappointments to become discouraged.  And to be honest, portrait shots seem to be more rewarding, since you can physically see a person's happiness and hear their thanks.  That's why even if I find a good landscape, it'll always just become background to a model.

This weekend, we were taking a family trip out of the city and naturally I brought my camera along.  It was about 2/3rds into the long stretch of the highway when we stopped for some gas, and heading back on pointed us towards the setting sun.  I'm not sure what I was thinking given my track record, but I picked up my camera anyway and snapped up a few shots, this…

TBT: Gratitude

I decided to do another throwback Thursday post to thank someone very important to me as well as to my photography journey.  It's almost blasphemous that I haven't mentioned her yet but I wanted to make sure the post I write does her justice.

Here is a shot of the cutie in question:


My dear dear friend Anita has been by my side since...oh god, I can't even remember.  But eons ago, we decided it'd be fun to play dress up and do a couple of photoshoots around my house (most of the pictures are still on my old laptop, will definitely have to dig those out!)

I took these shots 3 years ago, at the park behind my house.  We were actually not supposed to be shooting that day, just chilling at the park, but so began what will be an enduring habit of bringing a camera when it's least expected.

So this post is really a huge thank you to Anita, who has been with me since day 1.

First and foremost, thank you for sharing my love for photography.  Thank you for being as excited …

Photoshoot: White Umbrella and Pink Blossoms

My meeting with Mr Moth was actually quite critical in my photography journey.  I went home that and excitedly recounted the story to whoever would listen (sometimes more than once, but in my defense, the second time I had visual aids).  That was when I realized that in addition to taking photos, I love to tell the stories that go along with them.  And so the moth story really strengthened my desire to start a blog.
The next day, I had planned a photoshoot session with Carlie, who happened to be back from Waterloo that weekend.  Humbled by my encounter with Mr Moth, I told myself to try my best but not to expect too much too soon, especially since I had never photographed Carlie before.  It's always a little more daunting when you don't know what your model is going to be like, because they can really set the tone for the shoot.  Luckily for me, Carlie was very enthusiastic.  Not everyone is gifted with the model gene like Amanda, but I really appreciated how receptive Carli…

Park Day

Shortly following the successful shopping outing, I called up my friend and neighbour Laurel, who recently came back from Waterloo, to hang out.  I felt empowered with a new sense of motivation and was eager to get more photos.
Unfortunately, not everything always goes as planned.  It was a lazy, sunny day, and both Laurel and I were in whatever shorts and t-shirt we found lying around the house.  We headed to the park to sit and catch up and naturally gravitated to the swings, and then the see-saw (we're grown adults, we can sit on whatever we want).
I snapped up this shot:

and just the raise and lower of my camera drained all the energy I had in my arms.  My camera felt like the weights at the gym that I never lift because just looking at them made me tired.  I had to face the fact that I simply didn't want to take photos today.  The motivation I left the house with was somehow left back at the house, and my camera was nothing more than dead weight.

I tried not to get too …