Renewal Lutheran Church Wedding of Patrick and Evelyn

Originally posted 2016-10-22 12:46:36.

“Hi Grant!!! I have downloaded all the beautiful pictures!! Love it! 🙂 Thank you!! Cheers! ~Evelyn”

I LOVE getting this type of feed back and it is always nice to hear. Sadly so many people deny themselves good photography on their wedding day citing it is too expensive little realizing that the only thing that will definitely increase in value after their wedding day are the photos. Evelyn and Patrick’s wedding was held at Renewal Lutheran Church, the Oasis of Care, in Petaling Jaya. The church has several venues for weddings. Patrick’s mother is a Korean Pastor and sang a beautiful song for the couple, while the wedding ceremony was presided by Reverend Joshua Yee.

I used my Fuji X-T2 in classic chrome for many of these photos. It gives beautiful film like images.

Please enjoy these photos from the wedding below.

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Tips for Capturing a Wedding Discreetly without being a Distraction

Originally posted 2016-10-01 02:32:41.

I was asked recently by another photographer to write a post about one of the distinguishing features of my own particular shooting style. That is, how to capture a wedding discreetly, without being a distraction to the proceedings. I think we need to examine why this is important, as well as the factors which enable you to be discreet. I have been shooting weddings for nearly 25 years, and so I have managed to think this through a fair bit. Also with my corporate work I shoot on set while television shows are being shot and this also requires extreme discretion, where the slightest noise, or even your reflection in something shiny on the set can mean a reshoot.

Briefly the reasons why you want to be discreet and not a distraction are as follows.

  1. You capture people naturally thus getting better photos
  2. You enable the couple and guests to enjoy the wedding so they remember the wedding was fun, not the obnoxious photographer
  3. You don’t anger the pastors/priests which bites back the next time you are in the same venue.

In putting together this post I thought it best I contrast good and bad practices as many photographers learn by watching other photographers. I have encountered churches which had been burned by insensitive photographers in the past, and due to this now impose draconian policies restricting photographers. I can only hope these tips help budding photographers to help change the perception of our trade.

Now the secret to becoming a discreet photographer. The key is mind set. Mind set. Mind set!

Ask yourself, ” Why am I here?” “Who’s event is this?” “What are the requirements” These are basic and simple questions. At a wedding you are either the hired professional or the enthusiast.I will address these below.

If you are the enthusiast, the infamous Uncle Bob, ask yourself…why are you lugging your camera to the event? When I am a guest I LEAVE MY CAMERA AT HOME. And here is why. I am there to have fun, to eat drink, laugh and enjoy the moment and talk to my +1 or the people at my table. If I want to do a selphy I have my phone just like everyone else. I learned this lesson many years ago when I was first starting out. I wanted to “practice” at a wedding I was invited to. While shooting I was conscious of the hired photographer being cramped out by the other relatives who were all busy shooting. I realised I was adding nothing to this circus, so sat down and watched. I learned a lot. One of the key features that distinguish between a good photographer and a great one is if you are observant of what is going on around you.

annoying photographer uncle

And here we have the family friend, the “Uncle Bob”, blocking everyone’s view of the cake cutting. The video guy is also guilty here.

The other issue with Uncle Bobs is that they can get in the way of,  distract or slow down the professional. The above photo illustrates this. I wanted to trade my camera for a rocket launcher at this particular moment. I had been lined up anticipating the cake cutting when this fellow did an “Austin Powers” and jumped on stage.

If you are the Hired Professional: The key thing to remember is that it is the COUPLES and their families day first. You are of secondary importance. As painful as this is going to be, may I illustrate this?

Discreet wedding photographer

Beautiful. Wedding vows being made. Everyone can see.

annoying wedding photographer

Oops..there is a ring exchange in there somewhere.

annoying wedding photographer

And I think we have a kiss.

How would you feel if you had come to this wedding? I was not amused. I had known the boy since he was a young teen. Unfortunately this style is very common. Friends and family may have flown in from half way across the world, they came to see their friends or family get married. Not the backs and bums of photography and videography teams.

Another illustration below of why we need to think. We need to be discreet.  With the following photo set, TWO photography companies were hired. Believe it or not, this is common place with Malay weddings. The brides side hires a team, and the grooms side hires a team. Yes, it is much cheaper and better coordinated for one team to cover both sides however I don’t make the rules. In this wedding there were 3 in my team and 4-6 in the other. My guy is outside the window. We have been shooting together for nearly 15 years… so shoot very similarly. The team crowding around was censured to move back, as guests couldn’t see what was happening.  The problem with this team crowding  meant that both my other photographer, stationed in a mezzanine floor to the right, and myself, couldn’t get a clear shot due to the crowd. Not to worry as we act like a football team, playing using the whole room so to speak. This is another reason we can be discreet as we can hold back in various positions knowing one of us will get the required angle. The following close up shot of the bride was shot from the window photographers position. You don’t need to be in someone’s face to get great shots. annoying wedding photographer

The “mob” was asked to move out of the way. Note the photographer outside. He is part of my team.

Discreet wedding photographer

And the discreet “outside the window” photographer gets the money shot

So how do I shoot? My personal philosophy dictates this: “I shoot every wedding as though it is my own”.

This means I take the photos as though I was paying for the best photographer I could hire, but also that I shoot in a style I would want my photographer to shoot i.e. discreetly so my relatives could view the wedding. This dictates many things. It dictates my thought process, dictates my shooting style, dictates how I speak to people. It dictates my equipment and it dictates my editing. In the following two photos you can see how I shoot. I use a 70-200 F2.8. I can zoom in tight without blocking anyone. Todays cameras have a monstrous number of mega pixels so I can easily crop in even further later in post. If I need to get in close I come in, crouch, then stand up and shoot, then crouch down again. So my first gear plug is get the right lens. A 70-200 F2.8 is ESSENTIAL gear for me.

Discreet wedding photographer

3 Photographers. Can’t see all of us can you? Discreet and all the guests can see the ceremony. That’s me in the back with a long telephoto lens.

Discreet wedding photographer

The right way for a photographer to be discreet. Standing well back, long telephoto. EVERYONE can see the wedding easily.

With regards to flash photography, fortunately in Malaysia it is allowed in churches. This is good because most have really badly thought out lighting schemes, mixing big sodium lamps with fluorescents and incandescents. Our eyes filter out the foul colours but digital captures every ugly colour cast. I use a multi-flash system for 2 reasons. Firstly I can control the light a lot better and that means give better quality images to my couples, and secondly, because my MAIN lighting is off camera I can turn my on camera flash way down in power as it is merely a fill flash. This makes it a lot more discreet than using one on camera flash to illuminate a big hall.

Last of all… shooting on a TV set. This is where mirrorless shines. I use a Fuji XT1 and XT2 to shoot in absolute silence. None of my Canon or Nikon DSLRs come close in their “silent” modes. Sometimes you need the right equipment.

So there it is. Have the right attitude. Consider why you are there. Try your best not to detract or distract from the main event. have the right gear and have fun.

Last of all an endorsement. I received this email yesterday from an American University I shot recently:

“Thank you for the photos. You are the best photographer I’ve ever known!
You captured the joy and inner strength of everyone!
Thanks again,
Jackie”
I definitely don’t claim to be the best photographer…but it certainly was a nice email to receive, and I owe it all to being discreet. Many of those I photographed didn’t even realize I had shot them.
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Underwater pool photography with a Mermaid

Originally posted 2016-08-14 00:53:02.

I have been so busy with shoots that I thought I had better bring people up to speed with what I have been doing. This is from Fridays pool shoot with the wonderful “Queen Cobra” who was in town with her Mermaid tail.  I absolutely love shooting underwater however it’s really hard work with constant dives and adjustments to camera equipment. The renowned underwater model “Tarachin” was the brains behind the shoot and both ladies took turns in the pool, eventually wearing me out after nearly 6 hours solid in the pool with a brief respite for lunch.  I will post more photos later for sure. Just have to psyche myself up to the selection process and edit. Having models who love to edit their own photos (as in this case…thank you QC!) is a real blessing!

mermaid underwater pool photographymermaid underwater pool photography

 

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Profile photos for Web site, Facebook and Linkedin

Originally posted 2016-08-14 00:05:14.

I have been asked recently to do a number of profile photos for web sites, or their LinkedIn and Facebook profiles. And as people ask me about the types of images I can do in my studio I have decided to post up these from a short session I did a week or so ago for the effervescent Rowena Morais. You can find out more about her and her professional writing and training services by visiting her web site here.

As you can see I am able to do both natural and studio lighting styles in both traditional and modern styles in the studio

corporate head shot photography malaysiacorporate head shot photography malaysiacorporate head shot photography malaysiacorporate head shot photography malaysiacorporate head shot photography malaysiacorporate head shot photography malaysiacorporate head shot photography malaysiacorporate head shot photography malaysiacorporate head shot photography malaysiacorporate head shot photography malaysia

 

21st Birthday Photography

Originally posted 2016-08-01 01:59:38.

Here we have a lovely 21st Birthday party we shot recently. The party had a Mardi Gras theme and was a very special birthday party. My colleague and I had a lot of fun shooting for Tharsika and we wish her all the best for the coming year.

21st Birthday Photograhy21st Birthday Photograhy21st Birthday Photograhy21st Birthday Photograhy21st Birthday Photograhy21st Birthday Photograhy21st Birthday Photograhy21st Birthday Photograhy21st Birthday Photograhy21st Birthday Photograhy21st Birthday Photograhy21st Birthday Photograhy21st Birthday Photograhy21st Birthday Photograhy21st Birthday Photograhy21st Birthday Photograhy21st Birthday Photograhy21st Birthday Photograhy21st Birthday Photograhy21st Birthday Photograhy21st Birthday Photograhy21st Birthday Photograhy21st Birthday Photograhy21st Birthday Photograhy21st Birthday Photograhy21st Birthday Photograhy21st Birthday Photograhy

 

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Family Photography in my PJ Studio

Originally posted 2016-07-31 11:50:26.

I have been asked by a number of people about family photography in my PJ studio, and so I decided to post up some shots from earlier today so people can see for themselves. I have chosen to go for a more modern look despite being asked fairly frequently for more traditional back grounds. People generally love the fresh clean look. Family shoots typically take about an hour, then they choose which photos they like the best which takes maybe 15 minutes or so. The whole process is fast and fun.

Lighting for the photos below utilized either 1 or 2 lights shot into my big white ceiling to give nice and even light. It is a fast and simple to set up, and less cables and stands for the children to knock down. I can go very complicated with set ups having perhaps 5-7 lights, but such setups are usually not used with families. These photos are pretty much unedited and direct from camera so you can see its an easy set up that provides some variety.

Pricing starts from RM300 for a session

BTW I do rent the studio out to photographers in need of a modern and clean facility.

Family Studio Photographer Petaling Jaya PJ and KLFamily Studio Photographer Petaling Jaya PJ and KLFamily Studio Photographer Petaling Jaya PJ and KLFamily Studio Photographer Petaling Jaya PJ and KLFamily Studio Photographer Petaling Jaya PJ and KLFamily Studio Photographer Petaling Jaya PJ and KLFamily Studio Photographer Petaling Jaya PJ and KL

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Wedding at Renewal Lutheran Church of Sarah and Louis

Originally posted 2016-07-16 12:45:03.

“Thank you for all the photos, they’re so lovely! It was very thoughtful of U to add the little surprise in as well 🙂 “~ Sarah

Sarah an Louis celebrated their wedding at Renewal Lutheran Church aka Oasis of Care, in Petaling Jaya.  It is a really warm and wonderful church. I have shot 3 or 4 weddings there over the years and I still remember the first time I was there how friendly the staff were.

The wedding itself began with a Tea Ceremony at home, and then on to the church ceremony. It was very tasteful and meaningful.

Do remember to scroll all the way through the photos to see their gorgeous cake!

 

Wedding at Renewal Lutheran Church Oasis of Care PJ of Sarah and LouisWedding at Renewal Lutheran Church Oasis of Care PJ of Sarah and LouisWedding at Renewal Lutheran Church Oasis of Care PJ of Sarah and LouisWedding at Renewal Lutheran Church Oasis of Care PJ of Sarah and LouisWedding at Renewal Lutheran Church Oasis of Care PJ of Sarah and LouisWedding at Renewal Lutheran Church Oasis of Care PJ of Sarah and LouisWedding at Renewal Lutheran Church Oasis of Care PJ of Sarah and LouisWedding at Renewal Lutheran Church Oasis of Care PJ of Sarah and LouisWedding at Renewal Lutheran Church Oasis of Care PJ of Sarah and LouisWedding at Renewal Lutheran Church Oasis of Care PJ of Sarah and LouisWedding at Renewal Lutheran Church Oasis of Care PJ of Sarah and LouisWedding at Renewal Lutheran Church Oasis of Care PJ of Sarah and LouisWedding at Renewal Lutheran Church Oasis of Care PJ of Sarah and LouisWedding at Renewal Lutheran Church Oasis of Care PJ of Sarah and LouisWedding at Renewal Lutheran Church Oasis of Care PJ of Sarah and LouisWedding at Renewal Lutheran Church Oasis of Care PJ of Sarah and LouisWedding at Renewal Lutheran Church Oasis of Care PJ of Sarah and LouisWedding at Renewal Lutheran Church Oasis of Care PJ of Sarah and LouisWedding at Renewal Lutheran Church Oasis of Care PJ of Sarah and LouisWedding at Renewal Lutheran Church Oasis of Care PJ of Sarah and LouisWedding at Renewal Lutheran Church Oasis of Care PJ of Sarah and LouisWedding at Renewal Lutheran Church Oasis of Care PJ of Sarah and LouisWedding at Renewal Lutheran Church Oasis of Care PJ of Sarah and LouisWedding at Renewal Lutheran Church Oasis of Care PJ of Sarah and LouisWedding at Renewal Lutheran Church Oasis of Care PJ of Sarah and LouisWedding at Renewal Lutheran Church Oasis of Care PJ of Sarah and LouisWedding at Renewal Lutheran Church Oasis of Care PJ of Sarah and Louis

 

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Hands on mini review of the just announced Fujifilm X-T2

Originally posted 2016-07-08 03:46:57.

 

Portrait photo with the Fuji X-T2 shot with the XF 18-55mm R.

Portrait photo with the Fuji X-T2 shot with the XF 18-55mm R.

Portrait photo with the Fuji X-T2 shot with the XF 18-55mm R.

A possible future Fuji Ambassador? The Fuji X-T2 shot with the XF 18-55mm R

At last the Fujifilm X-T2 has been announced! For the past few months I was privileged to be one of the beta testers for the X-T2 prototype camera, in exchange for reporting back back to Japan regarding handling and improvements. I am a working photographer (not a reviewer) and have been shooting a large variety of photos with it, including His Royal Highness Prince Andrews visit to Malaysia a couple of weeks ago, a shoot in my studio of Miss Universe Malaysia Kiran Jassal, several weddings, and earlier today a Hari Raya AidalFitri celebration in Alor Setar and Jitra, Kedah, Malaysia. Unfortunately Fuji has told us that we can’t show any photos of the X-T2 prototype cameras because they are slightly different from the officially released camera. But they are perfectly fine with us letting you know our thoughts and showing you photos taken taken with it. That said, the X-T2 absolutely ROCKS!

Miss Universe Malaysia Miss Kiran Jassal. Fuji X-T2 with 56mm F1.2

Miss Universe Malaysia Miss Kiran Jassal. Fuji X-T2 with 56mm F1.2

Miss Universe Malaysia Miss Kiran Jassal. Fuji X-T2 with 56mm F1.2

Miss Universe Malaysia Miss Kiran Jassal. Fuji X-T2 with 56mm F1.2

Miss Universe Malaysia Miss Kiran Jassal. Fuji X-T2 with 56mm F1.2

Miss Universe Malaysia Miss Kiran Jassal. Fuji X-T2 with 56mm F1.2

Now the list of improvements of the XT2 over the XT1 in no particular order.

  • TWO card slots! You can write to both at the same time meaning continuous backup which is essential to wedding photographers.
  • The X-T2 RAW files are ALREADY supported by Adobe!!!! What’s more Lightroom automatically adjusts for Fuji lenses without any user effort, unlike Nikon and Canon where you must turn lens corrections on, either as a preset or do it manually. This is why you will not find the X series cameras (other than the X100) or their lenses in Lightroom’s Lens Correction area.
  • 24 Megapixels, up from 16Mp.
  • 14fps RAW capture in continuous high…just in case you need it. The X-T2 must be in Electronic Shutter mode to achieve 14fps as when in Mechanical Shutter mode it is limited to the more sedate 11fps. The night photos shot at 12,800ISO featured below were shot in RAW at 11fps. At that speed the buffer fills quickly and in my experience you achieve only 22-24 frames before the camera starts to slow down. When the capture was set to Fine Jpeg I was able to get between 5-6 seconds at 11 fps before it began to slow down.
  • AF feels snappier and continuous focus has had a lot of effort put into it with 5 different user selectable modes with options for tracking speeds and the ability to ignore obstacles similar to what is on the Canon 5Dmk3. There is also one custom focusing option for the user to select their own tweaks.
  • The wifi connection seems noticeably more robust on the X-T2 when I compare to the X-T1
  • The XT2 is ever so slightly bigger…making it easier for manly hands to use. The X-T1 was a tad too small sometimes.
  • Construction feels tougher. The flaps covering the USB, HDMI, Microphone and remote ports is definitely stronger while the SDCARDs slot is now latched.
  • New joystick for focus point control.
  • Threaded shutter so we can now use threaded shutter release cables and soft release buttons.
  • 1/8000th mechanical shutter (up from 1/4000th on the XT1) and the now standard 1/32,000 electronic shutter. Want to shoot at F1.2 in the middle of the day? You can!
  • Flash sync raised from 1/160th to 1/250th second.
  • Ability to squeeze off single shots while in continuous low mode. With the XT1 you had to be content with 2 shots at a time when wanting to squeeze off only one shot in CL. The shutter button seems more sensitive.
  • Focus Assist function moved to pressing the rear dial inwards. No more accidental Q menu presses which I often did on the XT1 as the Focus Assist and Q buttons were too close for my hands.
  • Shutter speed and ISO dials can now be mechanically locked or released by depressing the central button. Old style was press and turn. New style is press and release, and the button stays as either locked or unlocked until pressed again. I really need to show photo but as mentioned I can’t show the prototype unit, but it is better than X-T1’s press, hold and twist.
  • The shutter speed and ISO dials are taller, making it MUCH harder to accidentally turn the metering or drive modes while adjusting ISO or shutter speed, which were painfully easy to move on the X-T1
  • The X-T2 rear screen tilts as it did before AND through a very clever engineering feat now flicks out 45° towards the right side, meaning low vertical or vertical tripod photos can be shot with ease! No need to lie on the ground anymore.
  • The newly designed vertical grip is well designed with a vertical component that increases the right hand grip-ability, and it now also accommodates 2 batteries. This means that along with the internal battery you can now have 3 batteries attached which is what I do. I was NOT a fan of the X-T1 grip and sold mine off quickly to someone who did appreciate it, but the X-T2 grip has changed my mind. The addition of there being 2 batteries and far better sturdier grip makes this a winner. The camera also tells you the state of each of the batteries, enabling you to swap out the flat ones. Still no chip in the batteries which means no percentages are given, just a visual indication of each battery level.
  • 325 focus points – not sure if I will use more the 3 or 4 🙂
  • 4K video. I am not a videographer but shot some for a commercial project earlier this week and the videographers with me who are Canon shooters were very impressed. 4K options include 24fps, 25fps and 30fps. Output can be sent to one of the SD cards or out through the HDMI output to an external recording device. Continuous focus while in video mode is very good and while I have no test data, feels superior to my 5Dmk3 in every way.
  • Tethered shooting in Lightroom is in the works and I suspect we will see it by the time the camera is released. I don’t use this or weddings but any commercial shoot or studio shoot it is a must.
    Chinese Tea Ceremony. Fuji X-T2 with 35mm F1.4

Chinese Tea Ceremony. Fuji X-T2 with 35mm F1.4

Chinese Tea Ceremony. Fuji X-T2 with 35mm F1.4

Chinese Tea Ceremony. Fuji X-T2 with 35mm F1.4

Church Wedding. Fuji X-T2 with 56mm F1.2

Church Wedding. Fuji X-T2 with 56mm F1.2

Church Wedding. Fuji X-T2 with 90mm F2.0

Church Wedding. Fuji X-T2 with 90mm F2.0

And the best reason to buy any Fuji Camera: Fuji knows and understands colour. This is where Fuji trounces everyone. They made their name with film and have crafted their cameras to emulate their film colour palettes perfectly. I am a RAW shooter however the ability to see the image exactly like it will be when you capture it due to the EVF and the superb Fuji sensors has meant I now shoot JPEG and RAW (old habits die hard) and often end up using the JPEGs as is. To understand this better read this article.

So are there any downsides?

  • Because it’s smaller than a DSLR, some people perceive you have brought a consumer camera to their shoot, not realising you are carrying a camera much more capable than many respected DSLRs.
  • Tethered Options: I asked Fuji regarding tethering and they have told me that Fuji and Adobe are working toward a tethering solution for the XT2 in Lightroom so expect to see that soon. Bad news is that Capture One is not interested!?! This is a downer as I like Capture Ones speed.

His Royal Highness Prince Andrew. Fuji X-T2 with 90mm F2.0

His Royal Highness Prince Andrew. Fuji X-T2 with 90mm F2.0

HRH Prince Andrew. Fuji X-T2 with 90mm F2.0

HRH Prince Andrew. Fuji X-T2 with 90mm F2.0

HRH Prince Andrew. Fuji X-T2 with 35mm F1.4

HRH Prince Andrew. Fuji X-T2 with 35mm F1.4

What could be improved?
The Custom “Q” menus. They are customisable but I really wish mode, aperture and shutter speed could be added into it. That way the shutter, ISO and aperture dials could be set to A, and then specific settings could be set much like the way the 5Dmk3 has its C1, C2 and C3. Being manual controls, if you want to switch several dials at once it takes time, and in a dark club or wedding venue it can be hard to do this.

Suggested Lenses – my go to choices. You may disagree.

  • 35mm 1.4
  • 56mm 1.2
  • 10mm-24mm f4
  • The cheap XC 50-230. I don’t use it for serious work but as a holiday lens it gives you mega reach. No more DSLRs on family holidays for me!
  • I also carry the 18-55 kit lens with me on work assignments as a general purpose lens or in my studio. The photos are nice and sharp and the top two photos of this post were taken with it.

Fuji X-T2 with 35mm F1.4. Wedding at the Avani Sepang.

Fuji X-T2 with 35mm F1.4. Wedding at the Avani Sepang.

Fuji X-T2 with 35mm F1.4. Wedding at the Avani Sepang.

Fuji X-T2 with 35mm F1.4. Wedding at the Avani Sepang.

Fuji X-T2 with 56mm F1.2. Wedding at Avani Sepang.

Fuji X-T2 with 56mm F1.2. Beach wedding at Avani Sepang.

I think every serious Fuji photographer is going to have a very long hard look at the X-T2. It’s now the camera I reach for all the time. Pair it up with primes like the 35mm 1.4 or the 56mm f1.2 and let the magic begin.

There are some things bigger DSLRs do better, sports being a notable one, but for many other things the X-T2 is a better choice. It’s smaller then a DSLR, has a phenomenal 1/32,000s shutter so you can shoot wide open in bright sunlight, gives you instant preview before you shoot and has gorgeous film simulations built in.

Lastly, I will add a couple of photos taken at ISO12,800. I have added 1.5 stops so the detail is easier to see in the shadows. It reminded me of the D3s “noise”. Monochromatic. The exploding firework was captured as I was set on continuous high. All photos shot in RAW.

Fuji X-T2 with 35mm F1.4. ISO12,800 HariRaya Fireworks

Fuji X-T2 with 35mm F1.4. ISO12,800 HariRaya Fireworks

Fuji X-T2 with 35mm F1.4. ISO12,800 HariRaya Fireworks

Fuji X-T2 with 35mm F1.4. ISO12,800 HariRaya Fireworks

#MissUniverseMalaysia

#MissUniverseMalaysia2016

#KiranJassal

 

 

 

 

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Prince Andrew the Duke of York at the Mandarin Oriental, Kuala Lumpur

Originally posted 2016-06-29 11:25:07.

His Royal Highness Prince Andrew the Duke of York is visiting Malaysia currently and carrying out many of the diplomatic functions he does on a regular basis. This visit to Malaysia has a very heavy schedule and included visiting the war graves of troops who fought and died in the defense of Malaya. Monday evening he was scheduled to be the at the Mandarin Oriental hotel, in the heart of Kuala Lumpur to address the Alumni of the University of Huddersfield. The event was hosted by the British Malaysian Chamber of Commerce and I was asked to be the photographer to cover the event. Below are some of the images from the event.

prince andrew duke of york malaysia visit mandarin oriental

Prince Andrew going through the University of Huddersfield promotional material

prince andrew duke of york malaysia visit mandarin oriental

The Brexit vote happened only last week so people were very keen to hear what the Prince had to say.

prince andrew duke of york malaysia visit mandarin oriental

Prince Andrew talking about the needs for closer ties with Malaysia

prince andrew duke of york malaysia visit mandarin oriental

Prince Andrew gave a good case for Malaysian students to study in the University of Huddersfield.

prince andrew duke of york malaysia visit mandarin oriental

Prince Andrew also encouraged the Alumni to keep their ties with the University of Huddersfield active.

prince andrew duke of york malaysia visit mandarin oriental

Alumni were very keen to meet the Prince after the meeting

prince andrew duke of york malaysia visit mandarin oriental

Prince Andrew sharing thoughts with one of the attendees

 

The Beautiful Kiran Jassal, Miss Universe Malaysia 2016

Originally posted 2016-06-24 09:30:44.

The lovely Kiran Jassal, Miss Universe Malaysia 2016 graced my studio a few days ago and I decided I would be remiss not to post about it. She does a lot of Miss Universe related activity and photo shoots are part of this. Her entourage came in and once she was ready we proceeded to do several costumes including swim suits and gowns. I will post up a few of the photos below.

BTW Please use the hash tags below to follow her. All the best at the big competition!

#KiranJassal
#MissUniverseMalaysia
#MissUniverseMalaysia2016

Lastly: If you do follow my site, DO come back again soon or follow me on Facebook (search for “grant corban”). I have an exciting post coming up in a few weeks with photos from this session and a few others that I can’t post now. Yes…a bit mysterious but I am sworn to secrecy about something coming up.

Kiran Jassal, Miss Universe Malaysia 2016

Kiran Jassal, Miss Universe Malaysia 2016

Kiran Jassal, Miss Universe Malaysia 2016

Kiran Jassal, Miss Universe Malaysia 2016

Kiran Jassal, Miss Universe Malaysia 2016

Kiran Jassal, Miss Universe Malaysia 2016

Kiran Jassal, Miss Universe Malaysia 2016

Kiran Jassal, Miss Universe Malaysia 2016

Kiran Jassal, Miss Universe Malaysia 2016

Kiran Jassal, Miss Universe Malaysia 2016

Kiran Jassal, Miss Universe Malaysia 2016

Kiran Jassal, Miss Universe Malaysia 2016

Kiran Jassal, Miss Universe Malaysia 2016

Kiran Jassal, Miss Universe Malaysia 2016

Kiran Jassal, Miss Universe Malaysia 2016

Kiran Jassal, Miss Universe Malaysia 2016

 

Interior Design Photography taken with the Fujifilm X-T1 and 10-24mm

Originally posted 2016-06-24 09:00:54.

Recently I was asked to do an interior design shoot for a show home that is going to be featured in a European home style magazine. I brought along a full frame DSLR mounted on a tripod with the intention of shooting tethered composites using multi-flash. However as the shoot developed, and due to both time and constraints on positioning of the camera I reached into my bag and pulled out my trusty Fuji-film X-T1 and mounted the the very handy 10mm-24mm F4 lens. This lens gives a ultra wide angle view and benefits in being a rectilinear design, so the straight lines stay as straight lines.

The only real problems with using this camera and lens combination, is that clients can look at it and think you brought a toy…it is so much smaller than a DSLR. The other issue I found is that tethered shooting isn’t a strength of the Fuji cameras. They are working with Adobe for better support in Lightroom however a Fuji-film engineer from Japan told me that it is unlikely Capture One will support any Fuji camera in the foreseeable future. This is a shame as Lightroom is a slug when shooting tethered.

The photos below were all shot at F8 which gave good depth of field, great sharpness and lack of chromatic aberrations that can start coming in at F11 or higher.

interior design photography kuala lumpur

Tethered DSLR composite photo using multi flash.

Fujifilm x-t1 and xf 10-24mm f4 commercial interior photography

Fujifilm x-t1 and 10-24mm at F8

Fujifilm x-t1 and xf 10-24mm f4 commercial interior photography

Fujifilm x-t1 and 10-24mm at F8

Fujifilm x-t1 and xf 10-24mm f4 commercial interior photography

Fujifilm x-t1 and 10-24mm at F8

Fujifilm x-t1 and xf 10-24mm f4 commercial interior photography

Fujifilm x-t1 and 10-24mm at F8

Fujifilm x-t1 and xf 10-24mm f4 commercial interior photography

Fujifilm x-t1 and 10-24mm at F8

 

Emma and Aidans Wedding at the Hilton Hotel in Auckland New Zealand

Originally posted 2016-04-06 23:07:17.

Emma and Aidans wedding was held on a glorious summers day at the Hilton Hotel situated on Princes wharf in Auckland, New Zealand. Auckland is my home town and it was certainly a treat to head down there with my shooting partner Pacino Wong so we could capture this really spectacular wedding. The gown was beautiful and the pastel colours of the bridesmaids dresses was really pretty. Aiden and the lads really looked smart too. Hope you enjoy it. And if you are in Auckland planning a wedding, drop me a line. We would be happy to cover your day!

Wedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and AidenWedding at Hilton Auckland Emma and Aiden

 

 

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Commercial and Industrial Photography

Originally posted 2016-02-14 18:06:32.

This commercial photography session was in a large factory owned and run by a large signage manufacturer in Nilai, Malaysia. If you are living in Malaysia you have no doubt seen their work before. Every Mercedes, Petron, Shell, Pizza Hut, KFC…well just about all the big companies who require signage use this company. Techniques used for these photos are subtle, as the location required “light painting” and multiple layered exposures to give quality images.

Testing of Lighting for Shell Stations

Testing of Lighting for Shell Stations

Hot press moldings

Hot press moldings

Point of Purchase Merchandising

Point of Purchase Merchandising

Laser cutting machine

Laser cutting machine

Mercedes Monolith

Mercedes Monolith

Electrical work being completed

Electrical work being completed

 

Nikon 200mm F2.0 VR Bokeh Balls compared to Canons 70-200 VR2 and Fujis X-T1 with 56mm and 90mm

Originally posted 2015-12-30 00:44:00.

While I have the Nikon 200mm F2.0 VR I wanted to do a quick test to compare the bokeh of the portrait lenses I have on hand. These are the Canon 70-200 F2.8 VR2, arguably the best 70-200mm F2.8 in the market, along with the Fuji 56mm F1.2 and 90mm F2. Until recently I had the Canon 85mm 1.2 and the Canon 135mm F2.0. I have sold both with no regrets. The 135mm F2.0 was redundant since I prefer the look of the 200mm end of the 70-200mm F2.8 which has stabilisation thrown in as well. And the 85mm F1.2….since its release in 2006 I have owned 3, and sold them all. It’s a lens I have always wanted to like but the sluggish AF and number of missed focus photos while shooting at 1.2 has finally tainted any love I felt for it. When it nails AF its wonderful, but when it doesn’t clients blame you. I shoot for a living, so happy clients are my priority and any gear not making money gets sold. An 85mm F1.8 or 1.4 is a faster focusing, easier handling and all around more useful lens. I am kicking myself now as I had an 85mm 1.8G handy and completely forgot to shoot with it…duh!?!

Testing methodology needed to be something typical of what I would encounter in real life. I decided to photograph Santa since contacting a model in the middle of the night was not an option. And after all I want you to look at the lights on my Christmas tree and compare them shot for shot, while I kept Santa at roughly the same size in the frame. Working distances varied with the shorter lenses however both the Canon 70-200 and the 200 F2.0 VR were mounted by their tripod foot on the same tripod which was not moved. The shorter Fuji lenses were shot at a closer distance, which is what I would do had I been shooting a person.

Cameras were the D750, 5Dmk3 and X-T1. They are ranked here in order of autofocus speed. The X-T1 struggling to focus at anything close to the other 2. Apertures were set at the maximum. White balance was set to auto on all cameras but in post processing I set them all to the same white balance as the cameras were all different.

Enjoy

Canon 70-200 F2.8 Bokeh

Canon 70-200 ISO4,000 1/60sec at F2.8

Nikon 200mm F2.0 bokeh

Nikon 200 F2.0 ISO6,400 at 1/160sec & F2.0

Fuji X-T1 56mm F1.2R Bokeh

Fuji X-T1 56mm F1.2R ISO1,600 1/80sec at F1.2

Fuji X-T1 90mm F2.0 Bokeh

Fuji X-T1 90mm F2.0R ISO5,000 1/80sec at F1.2

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Nikon 200mm F2.0 VR Model Portraits

Originally posted 2015-12-25 16:43:09.

Nikon 200m F2.0 portrait bokeh review

Nikon 200m F2.0 at 1/200 sec. ISO 1250

I have the Nikon 200mm F2.0 VR on loan from Nikon for a week, one of the benefits of being an NPS member. The purpose was to shoot a Christmas production but I decided to take advantage of it to shoot one of my favorite models around town and will be using it for an upcoming portrait shoot later in the week.

If you read nothing else: The Nikon 200mm F2.0 VR is one of those lenses you can’t help but fall in love with. It snaps into tack sharp focus immediately, produces beautiful bokeh balls, and melts backgrounds. It has the uncanny ability to separate your subject from any background better than any other portrait lens I have used and I have used a few!
Nikon 200m F2.0 portrait bokeh review

Nikon 200m F2.0 at 1/200 sec. ISO 1250

For this shoot I was inspired by Neil van Niekerk’s review of this lens and decided to do something similar. He shot in Times Square which is unfortunately on the other side of the world for me so I had to look for somewhere similar in Kuala Lumpur. The Pavillion was an ideal location, as they always have fantastic lights at Christmas and even have areas set up for people to take photos with their selfie sticks which also meant the place was going to be insanely crowded.

I decided to contact one of my favorite models (Ding Xiao) whom I partnered with when testing the Fujifilm 56mm 1.2 APD for a local photography magazine. That shoot is available here. When she met me her eyes nearly popped at the size of the 200 F2.0 as it is many times larger than the diminutive X-T1 and 56mm 1.2 APD. After finding a suitable spot we got down to business and did a quick 10-15 minute shoot.

All photos were shot hand held at F2.0, using available light. Enhancements in lightroom were my standard “Nikon” import actions, with a little tweaking of vibrance and contrast and to the models skin. I prefer photojournalistic photography so usually do not mess with “photoshopping” however this lenses only real fault is that it can be too sharp. It is merciless on any blemishes and while Ding has porcelain like skin she was mortified by this thing’s bite so I softened her skin somewhat. Incidentally, it is better to have a lens too sharp than too soft. Softness can be added in post, sharpness can’t.
Nikon 200m F2.0 portrait bokeh review

Nikon 200m F2.0 at 1/125 sec. ISO 1250

In order to avoid people in the backgrounds I got down low and shot upwards. Believe me it was crowded! That said the size of the lens gave me a lot of “street cred” and people stood back and watched. The only real issue we had was the inability for Ding to hear the shutter over the hustle and bustle of the Christmas crowd. She usually changes pose every shot and we usually go through a series of photos very quickly. In this case I had to keep vocalizing each shot..”yes…great…ok..again…look left….beautiful…” etc etc. You get the idea.
Nikon 200m F2.0 portrait bokeh review

Nikon 200m F2.0 at 1/125 sec. ISO 1250

Handling Size and Weight: There is no getting away from it. The Nikon 200mm F2.0 VR is BIG. For these portraits I attached a D750 to it. Note you attach the camera to this lens, not the other way around! A lot of reviewers comment on this things weight. Don’t let those comments be a full-on turn off, just let it be a consideration on whether you can live with it or not. If you live in the USA renting it is a viable option so you know what you are getting yourself into.  I am 6’2″ and didn’t find the weight off putting at all. I have used it for several hours at a stretch at weddings and concerts along side another body with a standard 24-70 zoom and was able to manage without any issues. In fact at a recent concert I also had a third body (Fuji X-T1 with 56mm and 90mm lenses) and was able to juggle all 3 at once. That said, in both of these above scenarios I would have found it more versatile and less tiring to have a 70-200 instead.

For the portraits on this page it was very easy to use, one body (D750) and one lens. And this is the way I would prefer to shoot with this lens if i did so on a regular basis.
Nikon 200m F2.0 portrait bokeh review

Nikon 200m F2.0 at 1/125 sec. ISO 1250

One advantage of its size is that its obviously a pro lens. People saw it, saw the model, and stayed back out of the way and enjoyed watching us breeze through the photo set. I will contrast that experience with the Christmas concert. The first day I used it and no one questioned me. The second night I left it at home and opted for the more versatile “small” white Canon 70-200mm 2.8L on a 5DMk3 and during the performance I was asked by one of the ushers to stop shooting as they didn’t know I was the official photographer. Tsk Tsk…I guess Canon 70-200 2.8 Ls are a dime a dozen these day. Heheheh. So size MATTERS! That said, at the concert the additional loss of a stop meant I had to trash more photos due to unacceptably slower shutter speeds and higher ISO’s with Canons horrible Hi-ISO noise patterns creeping in. The shutter speed is an issue not because I don’t know how to hold a lens steady, it’s because people move and no amount of IS or VR will prevent their motion blur.
Nikon 200m F2.0 portrait bokeh review

Nikon 200m F2.0 at 1/100 sec. ISO 1250

Regarding the competition, over the years I have tried out or owned quite a few portrait lenses including Nikons 85mm 1.4G, 105mm DC and 135mm DC, along with Canons 85mm F1.2L (ver 1 & 2), 135mm F2.0L, and both of Fujis 56mm F1.2mm R and APD versions along with their 90mm F2.0. All of these lenses produce excellent results, some of them are challenging to get an in focus photo wide open. I am looking at you Canon 85mm 1.2! Out of all of these fantastic lenses I believe the 200mm F2.0 is the easiest to get spectacular looking photos.
Nikon 200m F2.0 portrait bokeh review

Nikon 200m F2.0 at 1/100 sec. ISO 1250

If you are deciding between the VR and VR2 versions the differences between them (other than USD1,200 price increase) are minimal. Both have nearly identical lens and body construction. Same dimensions, very minimal weight change with the newer lens featuring a Super ED glass element to help cut flare. Oh yes…also that whopping price difference. I know of one photographer on dpreview who purchased the VR2 as he was very happy with the original VR1 and was hoping for more goodness on top, but ended up returning the new one as the differences were so minimal that he couldn’t justify the upgrade. He mentioned that the new lens flares even though it has a new Super ED element, however the VR1’s flare was more pleasing to the eye.

If I was buying one it would be the original VR.

I will leave you with a few more images from the shoot below including some full length ones. Again people were respectul and stood back and watched us at work.
Nikon 200m F2.0 portrait bokeh review

Nikon 200m F2.0 at 1/100 sec. ISO 1250

Nikon 200m F2.0 portrait bokeh review

Nikon 200m F2.0 at 1/100 sec. ISO 1250

Nikon 200m F2.0 portrait bokeh review

Nikon 200m F2.0 at 1/100 sec. ISO 1250

Nikon 200m F2.0 portrait bokeh review

Nikon 200m F2.0 at 1/100 sec. ISO 1250

OK that’s it. It’s Christmas day. I am going back to enjoying the day. Wishing you all a good one!

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Wedding on Top of Menara KL (KL Tower)

Originally posted 2015-11-14 15:55:09.

Leena and Ravin’s wedding was held on top of Menara KL.  Leena is based in Qatar so we communicated on line to sort out all of the main details for the wedding. The big concern was that it has been the rainy season in KL and so we were all a bit nervous, especially because the day before the rain had been very heavy. Fortunately the two heavy deluges we could see from the tower during the ceremony completely missed us and we had a really nice experience. The wedding banquet was also held in the tower and it affords great views of KL.

Bridal makeup Menara KL wedding

The girls getting ready

Menara KL wedding

The bride looked stunning

brides wedding shoes inscription Menara KL wedding

He’s Mine!

brides wedding shoes inscription Menara KL wedding

I told you! He’s Mine!

black and white wedding

Final touches

Menara KL wedding

Simply Beautiful

Menara KL wedding

The view from the top of Menara KL (KL Tower)

Menara KL wedding

Wedding setting. Note the tower’s curvature.

Menara KL wedding

Lovely bride arriving at Menara KL

Menara KL wedding

The couples arrival was a show stopper.

Menara KL wedding

Father and daughter waiting for the bridal march.

Bridesmaids bouquets Menara KL wedding

Bridesmaids bouquets

Menara KL wedding

Note the heavy rain in the back ground. Fortune smiled and it stayed away.

ring exchange Menara KL wedding

Ring exchange.

bride and groom at Menara KL wedding

The wedding kiss

bride and groom at Menara KL wedding

We are married! Let’s go!

Wedding portrait on top of Menara KL wedding

Top of the world.

Bride and her bridesmaids Menara KL wedding

Bride and her bridesmaids

Wedding Cake Menara KL wedding

The beautiful wedding cake

Dinner Banquet Menara KL wedding

Bride and grooms speech

Wedding Cake Menara KL wedding

I love the maid of honors look in this photo.

Menara KL wedding

A lot of friends flew in from across the globe

Dancing Menara KL wedding

The party went for hours!

Menara KL wedding

Cheers!

Dancing Menara KL wedding

Exhausted!

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Frozen Themed Birthday Party with Princess Elsa Cake

Originally posted 2015-10-31 19:11:10.

Welcome to Arendelle! Queen Ayesha celebrated her 3rd birthday with a totally awesome “Frozen” themed party. Mum and dad made her a very special party….absolutely wonderful!  The level of detail just made me go “Wow!” Please enjoy the photos included below.

details of Frozen themed childrens birthday party

The entry to Arendelle – BTW house number is obfuscated

details of Frozen themed childrens birthday party

I am going to show lots of detail photos of this Frozen themed birthday

details of Frozen themed childrens birthday party

…detail photos…

details of Frozen themed childrens birthday party

…detail photos…

details of Frozen themed childrens birthday party

…detail photos…

details of Frozen themed childrens birthday party

…detail photos…

details of Frozen themed childrens birthday party

…detail photos…

details of Frozen themed childrens birthday party

…detail photos…everyone can be a prince or princess

details of Frozen themed childrens birthday party

…detail photos…

details of Frozen themed childrens birthday party

…detail photos…snow!!

details of Frozen themed childrens birthday party

…detail photos…

details of Frozen themed childrens birthday favors

…detail photos…the party favours pluckable from the walls

details of Frozen themed childrens birthday party

…detail photos…

details of Frozen themed childrens birthday party

…detail photos…

details of Frozen themed childrens birthday party

…detail photos…

details of Frozen themed childrens birthday party

…detail photos…

details of Frozen themed childrens birthday party

…detail photos…all edible!

details of Frozen themed childrens birthday party

…detail photos…

Frozen themed door

Frozen themed door – the birthday girls room

Frozen themed door – Dad’s den

Frozen themed childrens birthday party

Christmas decorations are great for Frozen parties.

Frozen themed childrens birthday party

Frozen theme means it’s cold!

Frozen themed childrens birthday party

A lot of friends came

Frozen themed childrens birthday party

More snow!

Princess Elsa Birthday Cake

Princess Elsa Birthday Cake

Princess Elsa Birthday Cake

Princess Ayesha and Princess Elsa

Frozen themed childrens birthday party

Everyone having fun

Frozen themed childrens birthday party

and more fun

Frozen themed childrens birthday party

Let’s unwrap the presents

Frozen themed childrens birthday party

Most of the gifts were aligned with the Frozen theme.

Frozen themed childrens birthday party

Frozen theme blankets

Frozen themed childrens birthday party

Princess Ayesha with friends

Frozen themed childrens birthday party

The birthday girl

Princess Elsa Birthday Cake

Pretty Princess Elsa birthday cake

Frozen themed childrens birthday party

Daddy’s girl

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A Bishops Birthday

Originally posted 2015-10-25 23:41:13.

Bishop Popsons church gave him a wonderful 50th Birthday Celebration this weekend. Many of the congregation gave testimony of his dedication in helping them as well as the impact of ministries he is supporting back in his homeland of Nigeria. The church is multicultural, which is one of the beauties of this fine country. I really felt welcomed and it was a privilege to be part of the celebrations. The food afterwards was most excellent too!

bishops 50th birthday celebration

The Birthday Cake

bishops 50th birthday celebrationbishops 50th birthday celebrationbishops 50th birthday celebrationbishops 50th birthday celebrationbishops 50th birthday celebrationbishops 50th birthday celebrationbishops 50th birthday celebrationbishops 50th birthday celebrationbishops 50th birthday celebrationbishops 50th birthday celebrationbishops 50th birthday celebrationbishops 50th birthday celebrationbishops 50th birthday celebrationbishops 50th birthday celebrationbishops 50th birthday celebration

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Hello Kitty Themed 1st Birthday Party

Originally posted 2015-10-25 11:00:19.

Yi Hui’s 1st birthday party had a Hello Kitty theme. It was held at the “W” Cafe at the Encorp Strand. The pink Hello Kitty theme was perfect for a 1 year old girl. One of the good things about hiring a photographer to cover a birthday is so you dont have to worry about running around trying to shoot moments as they happen. It enables you to enjoy yourself and you get back a lot more photos than you would have taken. birthday party at W Cafe Encorpbirthday party at W Cafe Encorpbirthday party at W Cafe Encorpbirthday party at W Cafe Encorpbirthday party at W Cafe Encorpbirthday party at W Cafe Encorpbirthday party at W Cafe Encorpbirthday party at W Cafe Encorpbirthday party at W Cafe Encorpbirthday party at W Cafe Encorpbirthday party at W Cafe Encorpbirthday party at W Cafe Encorpbirthday party at W Cafe Encorpbirthday party at W Cafe Encorpbirthday party at W Cafe Encorpbirthday party at W Cafe Encorp

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Adriels 1st Birthday in Putra Heights

Originally posted 2015-10-24 21:25:19.

Adriel’s 1st Birthday was held at home in Putra Heights. There is nothing quite like having a children’s party to fill you with joy. In Malaysia it is a long accepted custom to put up marquees onto the street when having a wedding, birthday or wake. All races do it and drivers respect the practice. One of the problems at night is lighting them sufficiently for photography. Sharp eyed people will notice the use of off camera flash in these photos. In fact I do point out in one of the last images of this post to take note of them. This is a technique I have used at almost every shoot I have done for well over a decade. It really makes the colour POP!

Putra heights BirthdayPutra heights BirthdayPutra heights Birthday

Thank you bags

Putra heights Birthday

Kids love sweets.

Putra heights BirthdayPutra heights Birthday

The very joyful birthday boy

Putra heights Birthday

Great food supplied by Big Raja

Putra heights Birthday

Beaming Parents

Putra heights Birthday

Birthday Cake

Putra heights BirthdayPutra heights Birthday

The grandmothers were very happy

Putra heights Birthday

Time to cut the cake

Putra heights Birthday

The joy of having a nephew

Putra heights Birthday

Note how using remote flashes enabled lighting up the inside of the marquee

Putra heights Birthday

Goodnight!

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Sikh Birthday Celebrated at the Gurdwara

Originally posted 2015-10-17 23:16:08.

I was asked to cover the 1st birthday and baby dedication at a Sikh Gurdwara last weekend. The ceremony began with some prayers, then we went out to do some portraiture while we waited for the guests to arrive. Then the main blessing ceremony was conducted followed by the cool Mickey Mouse cake and party.  As can be seen it was a colourful affair The photos below are small sample of the 350 images taken.

sikh gurdwara worshipsikh gurdwara worshipsikh gurdwara worshipsikh gurdwara worshipSikh Birthday Celebrated at the Gurdwara

Sitting with Grandad

Sikh Birthday Celebrated at the Gurdwara

Cute as a button

sikh gurdwara worshipsikh portrait photography

Family portrait

sikh portrait photographysikh portrait photographysikh portrait photographysikh portrait photographysikh gurdwara worshipsikh temple worship

Getting tired about now

sikh baby blessing

Sikh blessing in progress

sikh baby blessingMickey Mouse Birthday Cake

Cute Mickey cake

Mickey Mouse Birthday CakeSikh Birthday Celebrated at the Gurdwara

The children loved the cake and party snacks

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Event Group Photo at Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur

Originally posted 2015-10-09 14:43:37.

Group Photo at Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur

Group Photo at Le Méridien, Kuala Lumpur

Just a quick post today. I was covering an event at the Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur in Sentral this morning for the INCF event. I was asked to do a group photo for it so got to work. Part of a successful group photo is to feel at ease in front of a crowd of strangers and chat away in a good natured manner explaining what you need from them. Once they know you are wanting to make them look good people will work with you. Important when it is warm and muggy outside. Note the smiles and that everyone is visible. I asked some of them to stand on tip toes in order to achieve that.

This photo was taken with a 24mm lens. This focal length is usually classed as too wide for groups shots because people on the corners start to distort. Switching to anything wider would have been very noticeable and introduced branches from the trees that were adjacent to me into the sides and top of the frame. I would have been happier going to 35mm for a more pleasing photo, but in this case it was simply impossible. That said, the hotel was happy and have a copy of the photo for their future clients reference. Thumbs up.

A Wedding in Saint Barnabas Klang and Wedding reception at the KL Sentral Hilton

Originally posted 2015-07-25 22:58:57.

Annie and Andre’s wedding was a split affair between the traditional Bidayuh wedding in Kuching, Sarawak and dinner at the Hilton in KL Sentral. I only covered the Kuala Lumpur side, which included a church wedding at Saint Barnabas church in Klang. The decor at the Hilton was stunning. Really fine affair with everyone dressed up for a fantastic evening out. You cannot have a Bidayuh wedding without the traditional Tuak. It is called a rice wine but in reality it is much more like Sake or Tequila. POTENT as you will see in some of the photos below.

bridal prep at the kl hilton in sentralbridal suite at the kl hilton in sentralbridal prep at the kl hilton in sentral

bridal prep at the kl hilton in sentral

bridal prep at the kl hilton in sentralbridal prep at the kl hilton in sentralbridal prep at the kl hilton in sentralbridal prep at the kl hilton in sentralbridal prep at the kl hilton in sentralbridal prep at the kl hilton in sentralbridal prep at the kl hilton in sentralbridal prep at the kl hilton in sentralbridal prep at the kl hilton in sentralbridal prep at the kl hilton in sentralWedding at Saint Barnabas Church in Klang

Saint Barnabas Church in Klang

Wedding at Saint Barnabas Church in KlangWedding at Saint Barnabas Church in Klang

Groom waiting with his mum

Wedding at Saint Barnabas Church in KlangWedding at Saint Barnabas Church in Klang

Bride arrived in a nice white Mark 2 Jaguar

Wedding at Saint Barnabas Church in Klang

Beautiful bridal bouquet

Wedding at Saint Barnabas Church in KlangWedding at Saint Barnabas Church in KlangWedding at Saint Barnabas Church in KlangWedding at Saint Barnabas Church in KlangWedding at Saint Barnabas Church in KlangWedding at Saint Barnabas Church in KlangWedding at Saint Barnabas Church in KlangWedding at Saint Barnabas Church in KlangWedding at Saint Barnabas Church in KlangWedding at Saint Barnabas Church in KlangWedding at Saint Barnabas Church in KlangWedding at Saint Barnabas Church in KlangWedding at Saint Barnabas Church in KlangWedding at Saint Barnabas Church in KlangWedding at Saint Barnabas Church in KlangWedding at Saint Barnabas Church in KlangWedding at Saint Barnabas Church in KlangWedding at Saint Barnabas Church in KlangWedding at Saint Barnabas Church in KlangWedding at Saint Barnabas Church in KlangWedding at Saint Barnabas Church in KlangWedding at Saint Barnabas Church in Klang

Selfie time. Even grooms do it.

Wedding at Saint Barnabas Church in KlangWedding portraits at Saint Barnabas Church in KlangWedding portraits at Saint Barnabas Church in KlangWedding portraits at Saint Barnabas Church in KlangWedding portraits at Saint Barnabas Church in KlangWedding portraits at Saint Barnabas Church in KlangWedding portraits at Saint Barnabas Church in KlangWedding portraits at Saint Barnabas Church in KlangWedding portraits at Saint Barnabas Church in KlangWedding portraits at Saint Barnabas Church in Klangbridal prep at the kl hilton in sentral

Grooms mum getting ready

kl hilton sentral wedding dinner decor

Welcoming committee at the KL Sentral Hilton Wedding dinner

kl hilton sentral wedding pre dinner cocktails

Pre dinner cocktails were a hit

kl hilton sentral wedding dinner main door decor

The main door decor at the wedding dinner

kl hilton sentral wedding dinner table name ideas

Great table name decor for the bride

kl hilton sentral wedding dinner table name ideas

Grooms table tag

crystal ballroom chairs at kl hilton sentral wedding dinner decor

Nice crystal chairs

kl hilton sentral wedding cake

The official wedding cake

kl hilton sentral wedding dinner decortable decor at kl hilton sentral wedding dinner

Nice table centre pieces

Wedding at KL Hilton sentral and Saint Barnabas Church in Klang

wedding photos at kl sentral

Bride and groom enter the ballroom

wedding photos at kl sentral

Grooms mum

wedding photos at kl sentral

Cheers!

wedding photos at kl sentralwedding photos at kl sentralwedding photos at kl sentralwedding photos at kl sentralwedding photos at kl sentralwedding photos at kl sentralwedding cake at kl hilton sentral

Bride and groom cutting the cake

wedding cake at kl hilton sentralbirthday cake at kl hilton sentral

Birthday party too

birthday cake at kl hilton sentralwedding photos at kl sentral

Groom’s turn to give his speech

wedding photos at kl sentralwedding photos at kl sentralwedding gown designer with bride

Carvin Ong designed the gown

Wedding party at KL Hilton sentral

Kids got the dancing going

Wedding party at KL Hilton sentral

The pretty bride enjoying her night

Tuak at Bidayuh wedding

It’s Tuak time!!!

Tuak at Bidayuh wedding

Matsalleh enjoying Tuak. Tuak is a “rice wine” with the potency of tequila

Wedding at KL Hilton sentral and Saint Barnabas Church in KlangWedding at KL Hilton sentral

All the relatives came dressed beautifully

Wedding dance at KL Hilton sentral

Bride and grooms first dance

Wedding dance at KL Hilton sentralWedding party at KL Hilton sentral

The wedding party really got underway

Chocolate Wedding Cake

Chocolate Wedding Cake

Chocolate Wedding Cake

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A Childrens birthday party at the Raintree in KL

Originally posted 2015-06-27 20:07:59.

I shoot birthdays quite frequently. The birthday featured below was a pool side one at the Raintree in KL. It included swimming, a clown, balloon artist and of course a nice birthday cake. Birthday photography is all about capturing the children having fun. Photographing the event is usually quite hard for the parents who are busy entertaining their children, or in the pool, or making sure the cake doesn’t melt! I make sure my rates are clear, simple, fair and straight forward, and this means I get called back again and again.

www.grantcorban.com

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Corporate Head Shot Photography for Atlantis Capital

Originally posted 2015-06-26 15:55:28.

corporate head shot photography by grant corbanThese photos were taken in one of the studios I regularly use for corporate head shot photography. Everyone (yes I mean you!) should have a current head shot photo. Head shots are important for every one in business, whether it is for LinkedIn, Facebook, resumes or web site purposes. A good one can get you an interview, while a poor one will get you passed over when they are short listing candidates. I offer very good rates for these.

Technical: Photos were taken with an 85mm F1.2 hence the shallow depth of field so that the books are not identifiable. Studio lighting was used to balance ambient light.
corporate head shot photography by grant corbancorporate head shot photography by grant corbancorporate head shot photography by grant corbancorporate head shot photography by grant corban

Food Photography Shoot in Episode Restaurant at Publika

Originally posted 2015-06-01 13:52:14.

Episode Restaurant in Publika is a fantastic place owned by Wolfgang. His vision is to provide great food at reasonable prices. Believe me, the food is AWESOME. They serve lobster just how I like it. The owner is a food importer for many hotels and restaurants and saw a niche market for providing quality food at affordable prices.  The photos below were shot using medium format PhaseOne and small format Sony A7 cameras. If you would like to know more their facebook page is here.

Episode Restaurant owner Publika Kuala Lumpur

Beautiful coffee machine produced great coffee

Episode Restaurant owner Publika Kuala Lumpur

A sit down chat with the owner of the restaurant

Episode Restaurant owner Publika Kuala Lumpur

Wolfgang is bringing freshness and quality to a new level

Great food in Episode Restaurant owner Publika Kuala Lumpur

Food was as sumptuous as it looked

Great food in Episode Restaurant owner Publika Kuala Lumpur

Fresh fish prepared expertly

Great chinese food in Episode Restaurant owner Publika Kuala Lumpur

They serve non-pork Chinese dishes

Fresh Lobster in Episode restaurant publika

I love fresh lobster. Episode does it beautifully

Fresh Lobster in Episode restaurant publika

Only the freshest lobsters used

beautiful restaurant ambience publika episode restaurant

Episode has a lot of ambience.

beautiful restaurant ambience publika episode restaurant

Fine dining in style

Episode Restaurant Team in Publika

The Episode Team

Fujifilm 56mm F1.2R vs 56mm F1.2 APD Bokeh Comparison at a Wedding

Originally posted 2015-05-28 10:47:57.

Now it’s time to go to a wedding with the final installment of this real world test. As weddings are incredibly fast moving there are limited opportunities to actually set up a tripod and play lens switching with a bride and groom waiting around for me. So this set of photos is strictly limited to while we were waiting at the dinner venue.

I DID shoot the bride and groom’s portraits with the 56mm F1.2 APD and at other times during the day but as this is a comparison I am not including the photos here. You can see the portraits in this post.

If you missed part one, the introduction and corporate shoot then click here. To see the model comparison, click here.
Fujifilm 56mm F1.2R vs APD Bokeh

The “plain” 56mm F1.2R’s bokeh

Fujifilm 56mm F1.2R vs APD Bokeh

56mm F1.2 APD. Note the difference to the left of the cake.

Fujifilm 56mm F1.2R vs APD Bokeh

56mm F1.2R Control. Note the slightly “onion” bokeh

Fujifilm 56mm F1.2R vs APD Bokeh

56mm F1.2 APD. Again the difference seems obvious.

Conclusion: I entered this test a wee bit skeptical. I had read other peoples reviews and they seemed to indicate that the difference between the two lenses was not that noticeable.  The first few photos I took left me feeling similar but as I continued the differences became more  apparent, perhaps because I knew what to look for. Would a paying client notice? Not likely. Would you as a photographer notice? Yes.

I fell in love with the lens and it did not take long for me to be leaving my “normal” 56mm 1.2R at home and using the APD version exclusively. When it came time to return the lens I tried to delay doing so as long as I could. But all good things come to an end. So there is my endorsement. If you can afford it, get it.

 

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Fujifilm 56mm F1.2R vs 56mm F1.2 APD Model Shoot Comparison

Originally posted 2015-05-28 10:39:52.

This model shoot was a really fun project. Having an experienced model really helps the shoot run smoothly. As before all photos taken at F1.2 in aperture priority on a tripod. Let’s see how the 56mm F1.2 APD stacks up against the R.

Fujifilm 56mm F1.2R vs APD Bokeh

56mm F1.2R looks nice

Fujifilm 56mm F1.2R vs APD Bokeh

56mm f1.2 APD – Subtle improvement over the standard 56mm.

Fujifilm 56mm F1.2R vs APD Bokeh

56mm F1.2R again nice.

Fujifilm 56mm F1.2R vs APD Bokeh

56mm f1.2 APD – Look at the detail/bokeh in the flowers behind the model.

Fujifilm 56mm F1.2R vs APD Bokeh

56mm F1.2R looking good again

Fujifilm 56mm F1.2R vs APD Bokeh

56mm f1.2 APD- Compare the yellow on the lanterns in the area to the left of the model.

Fujifilm 56mm F1.2R vs APD Bokeh

56mm F1.2R

Fujifilm 56mm F1.2R vs APD Bokeh

56mm f1.2 APD Subtle but noticeable difference in the lanterns at the top right.

Fujifilm 56mm F1.2R vs APD Bokeh

56mm F1.2R. Again a pretty effect.

Fujifilm 56mm F1.2R vs APD Bokeh

56mm f1.2 APD – again a nicer control in the out of focus bokeh.

End of part two. Lets move to part 3 where we get some wedding detail shots. Click here for Part 3

If you missed part one, the intro and corporate shoot, please Click here.

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Fujifilm 56mm F1.2R vs 56mm F1.2 APD Corporate Shoot Comparison

Originally posted 2015-05-28 10:37:56.

Fujifilm 55mm F1.2R and APD Comparison test

Side by side the 56mm F1.2R and APD version look nearly identical

I had an opportunity recently to compare the Fujifilm 56mm F1.2R with the newer APD version. They are both currently in production so the Fuji user has a choice on which to purchase. The APD version is about 60-70% more expensive. That’s about USD600 which may or may not be a major factor in your decision to purchase the lens. It is designed for the portraitist with the goal of controlling bokeh. Some disclosure. I own the original 56mm F1.2R and like it a lot, so had high expectations.

Outwardly the lenses look nearly identical. The giveaway is the “APD” on the lens barrel and orange T-stop markings. T stops show the actual light transmission. The special APD lens element does two things. The first is a positive and the second not so much.  Firstly and most importantly it makes the bokeh more pleasing to the eye and secondly it absorbs some of the light going through the lens. This means that shooting wide open at F1.2 you are only going to get the same amount of light transmission to the sensor as if you were shooting at F1.7 on the normal 56mm F1.2R. This is not an issue when shooting as todays sensors can simply bump the ISO a little. Please note that at F5.6 the effective T stop transmission is the same on both the lenses so the T stops markings cease at that point.

As shooting brick walls is not my thing I decided to take the lenses out on some actual photo shoots over a couple of weeks. My methodology was to shoot using a tripod so as to keep the subject and backgrounds similar while I changed lenses alternating between the R and APD versions. All photos were taken in aperture priority with the aperture set at F1.2 which is likely the most common scenario when using this lens.

Please also note that the differences appear more subtle on this web page than they do on a 24″ screen or in a print. The first four images below left me nonplussed. The differences were only obvious after very close scrutiny on a large screen. On the back of the camera I couldn’t see any differences so was feeling “ho-hum”. However when we started to shoot outside the difference in the background foliage was very apparent.

All photos taken with the Fujifilm X-T1.

Fujifilm 56mm F1.2R vs APD Bokeh

56mm F1.2R Control Photo

Fujifilm 56mm F1.2R vs APD Bokeh

56mm F1.2 APD. Note the subtle difference in the flowers and chairs.

Fujifilm 56mm F1.2R vs APD Bokeh

56mm F1.2R. Nice enough.

Fujifilm 56mm F1.2R vs APD Bokeh

56mm F1.2 APD. Again, very subtle difference.

Fujifilm 56mm F1.2R vs APD Bokeh

56mm F1.2R Control Photo. I liked the painterly foliage…until…

Fujifilm 56mm F1.2R vs APD Bokeh

56mm F1.2 APD. Very obvious quality difference in the foliage.

Part two will feature a model shoot. Click HERE for part 2

 

 

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Grant Corban Photography