Another empty year?

Chinese New Year is around the corner, and this year it will be a little different. As the pandemic is still ravaging through the world, travelling to other countries are still difficult, if not impossible, which means I would not be able to head home to my hometown back in Malaysia to celebrate the new year with my family and friends. Well, it’s a little sad, but I’m fairly okay with it. We do our part in limiting the spread of virus, and to reduce the burden of everyone else, hoping that things would eventually turnaround as a result.

This made me think about my own photography. When was the last time I actually shot something with my camera? I think in 2020 my camera only fired a few test shots just to ensure it is still in working condition… nothing more. Perhaps 2021 would be the same again… who knows. Yes, I know, the world is still moving, many are still out and about shooting, but for me I just don’t feel like it at the moment.

I’m not complaining that there’s nothing to shoot, even when you are staying home under lockdown, one can embark on photography project from your home as well. One good example would be spending time learning with flash photography at home or try out macro photography and so on. For me, despite the situation here in Singapore is slowly getting better, I still don’t feel like heading out, roaming the streets and look for shots. In fact I’m still spending most of my time indoor, away from the crowd. I do not have plans for home project at the moment… so it seems like it is going to be another empty year for me when it comes to photography.

Well, we’ll see. Who knows what would happen in the days to come. Let’s hope everything would turn better soon. Till then.

A privacy rant

It’s been a while since my last post. First post of the year, though a little late, “Happy New Year” everyone, and sorry I’ll need to start off this year’s posting with a rant.

Privacy seems to be a thing of a past ever since the inception of internet and social media. People share everything about them to the public over social media, viewing private information in the public, storing private information over various platforms, and there came the rise of an era where these data were harvested, and scam, advertisements, products and services are developed to grab our attention and our money.

Despite working in marketing field myself, I am utterly gutted by all the things that happened over the backend. Well, what could we do as a person? Nothing much, unless you stop exposing yourself to the internet, which is impossible at this time of age.

For me personally, at least I’m trying my best to distance myself from all these as much as I could. I have been cutting social media by a lot, and now comes the time to ponder if that’s enough to shield myself from all the advertising, data theft, cybersecurity risk that I am exposed to on a daily basis.

For photographers, it’s a dilemma to post your work on the internet. On one hand you would get the exposure, on the other hand you could risk getting your picture stolen by others, and there’s nothing much you could do about it, especially some photo sharing site actually owns the rights of every photo uploaded on their platform.

Sorry for the long post without any solutions to solve the problem. For now, I will begin my own reflection on my own condition. I have done an audit to change my various accounts’ password, avoiding sharing of password across platforms and strengthening the password complexity. I have also deleted various information over services and sites that I no longer using. I have cut off Instagram a while back, now perhaps it’s time to evaluate whether or not I should kill off other platform as well, such as Facebook.

Alright, I think I should stop over here. For those who are reading, I would encourage you to take stock on your data privacy too, everyone is different, so you will need to do your own evaluation and decide what’s right for you. Till then.

Goodbye 2020

Merry Christmas everyone!

The same old wishes, but not the same old Christmas that we used to celebrate. This year has been either super eventful for some, or super uneventful for some. Some have battled through the illness and lived, some have gone through the pain and frustration of lockdown and testing, some have just stayed home and stayed safe for almost 365 days. 

For me, it was rather uneventful. Aside from heading back to my hometown during Chinese New Year period, most of the time I was just staying home and playing my part in flattening the curve. It has always been a quiet year by plan, so I do felt grateful that I managed to live through this hard time without much of a problem. Initially I was a little disappointed that my year end trip needs to be cancelled. However, as time goes by I managed to get over it.

In terms of work, in terms of life, in terms of photography, in terms of relationship, and in terms of everything else… it has been a quiet year and nothing much has really changed. I’m glad that I did some changes earlier on in reducing spending and cutting down unnecessary stuffs in my life, they proved to be extremely helpful in weathering me through the storm. And during this period of time, it just made me becoming more “minimalist” and think more about what I really want out of my life.

Perhaps it’s a good thing, perhaps it’s a blessing in disguise for this to happen. Let’s try to stay positive and don’t pressure ourselves too much at times like this. And most importantly, let’s be hopeful for better days ahead. Till then, thank you 2020 and goodbye.

Selfie?

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Not sure if I have discussed about this topic before, but here goes.

I don’t like selfie and I don’t really do selfie except a few rare occasions where I photographed myself holding my own camera. In fact I don’t like to be photographed altogether, if that’s even possible. But reality is… it’s impossible, I know. Sometimes it’s unavoidable that group photos or wefie need to be taken. So sometimes I just have to give in and play along.

For me, I don’t understand the appeal of taking selfies. I’m not any famous people, I’m not good looking, I don’t crave for attention, so why do I need to flood the internet with my selfies? Some argued that it’s for memory, some say it’s a proof that “I was there”. It’s okay, I really don’t need to prove anything to anyone. For me taking a picture of places I had visited is more than enough for me.

Anyway, that’s just my take, or perhaps my personal preference. I’m not judging you for taking your selfies, so please be kind to me and don’t judge me when I don’t want to be photographed next time.

The FOMO trend

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FOMO, in short for “fear of missing out”, is defined as “a pervasive apprehension that others might be having rewarding experiences from which one is absent” on Wikipedia. I know the world is on the rise of FOMO trend, but are you really missing out if you take a moment to think through before making your move?

When Person A took a insta-worthy shot and get a tons of likes, people will flock to the same place to shoot the same picture in hopes to gather the same amount of likes. When there is a new gadget released, people will flock to get it even though what they have now is equally usable. When there’s a sale going on, you must buy something otherwise you will left out from all the great deals.

It’s weird how people had ended up being defined by likes and the things one uses, and not by the personality and the quality one shown. Sometimes I do wonder how the world has evolved and changed to this state, and I dare not even to think about how it would become in the years to come.

Do you really and absolutely need to have the greatest and latest gear and be the first to own it at the same time? Do you need to just follow others footsteps and create something for the sake of “don’t want to lose out”, or creating something meaningful and true to yourself instead?

“But you only live once!” Well, whatever. That’s another discussion altogether for another time. You may not be missing out that much after all by just slowing down a little, take a moment to think before you act. So, think again.