On “Spraying” and “Backup”

Had a good chat the other day with this old man who bought over one of my lens. He has a shooting style that’s similar to me. We shoot mainly landscape and streets, and we chatted about the lenses, the locations, the setups and so on.

We talked about the habit of spray and pray. “Come to think of it, it’s crazy when I saw my friends just shoot 10 frames on the same subject, same composition, and then go home and pick the one “decisive moment” picture… for which they looked the same to me anyway.” There will always be those who just spray, well, technically speaking if you are shooting sports or actions, is kinda unavoidable to shoot in burst just to make sure you get both focus and composition right for one of the frame, even more so if it’s a paid shoot. But for hobbyists like you and me… it’s indeed a little too much.

The other thing we chatted about is on backup. “Do you backup everything from your memory card and keep storing them like forever, and then giving reasons saying that one day you might come back and re-edit some of those?” I must admit I’m sort of guilty on this. When I get pictures imported into lightroom, I’ll edit whatever pictures that I wanted and just leave the rest as it is and dumped them into my backup drive. Perhaps I should really start looking into improving my workflow, rate pictures accordingly and delete those that are not rated. There’s really no point for keeping pictures that you know is not good to begin with.

It’s nice to talk to others once awhile to learn about how they manage their workflow and how they view photography. Now I’ll need to take some of those best practices and incorporate them into my habit. Till then.

A little lost

Feeling a little lost lately. People around me has been asking me: “what are you going to do after graduating from your MBA?” It seems like everyone is expecting something from me… either a job change, a promotion, or perhaps starting my own business?

To be honest, I have no idea. There will not be any promotion happening any time soon. Will I be changing my job? Well, probably. Starting my own business? Not at the moment. I’m a little lost and can’t seems to figure out my next step. If I’m going to change my job, what role or industry do I wish to be in? I am yet to have the time to really sit down and think about it, and hence even me want to know the answer to it.

It brings back the memory of the old days when I felt lost about my future as well. Back when I was 17 years old, I was trying to decide whether to go for A level or local STPM; back when I was 20 years old, I was trying to decide which degree I should take; back when I was 24 years old, I was trying to decide which job I should apply for; and when I was 28 years old, I was pondering whether to continue to work in my home country or look for opportunities oversea.

Well, it happens, once in a while. Perhaps feeling lost is a good thing, at least i know that I’m trying to look for ways to better my life, to make a change, to keep moving. I’m glad that there are those who care about me, who wished me luck, who thanked me for what I had done so far in work. Hopefully I will manage to find my answer soon. Till then.

Auf Wiedersehen, Leica

Honestly, I had never imagined that this day will come, and yet it came to me all of a sudden. The day when I decided to pack it back into its box and say “Auf Wiedersehen” (or goodbye) to it… the day my Leica M-P Typ 240 leaves me and move on to its new owner.

This is the camera that was most hated by the Leica fans. Bulky, heavy, it shoot video, it uses EVF… everything that’s “not Leica” present here, in the iconic body of a Leica M rangefinder. Despite that, I believe this camera is a very important milestone in Leica M history. It marked the transition of a tradition rangefinder camera to a modern one, it served Leica well as a platform to test out a few ideas (like the cost down version of Typ 262, the screen-less M-D and so on) and not to mentioned all the cash cow limited edition Leica managed to release along the years. Without all these, I would argue that the M10 will not be as great of a camera as it is today.

funny bunny photography

“But why?” That’s the question I got from everyone. Nothing major, really. It’s just that I’m currently undergoing some self reflection phase (which I often do once in a while) and decided to make some tweaks and changes to things in my life. Just like with my film photography, I was thinking about having a short break from the M-P as well, at least for now. I had shot some pictures with this camera that I really loved, and despite all the complaints I have on the M-P and Leica Singapore’s customer service, I still enjoyed every moments and frustrations I endured with it. It’s something that I’ll cherish as a part of my journey in photography for the days to come.

So after selling my M-P off, what’s next? M-10P? Well, I don’t know. At least for the short term, it’s unlikely. I still enjoy shooting with rangefinder camera, that’s for sure. Will I ever get back to owning a Leica M? Probably, but no one knows what the future lies. So we’ll just have to wait and see. But for now, I’m only left with a Fujifilm X100F camera with the two conversion lenses. Maybe this will be my pure setup for next year? Or maybe I will buy something else since the market is so on fire with full frame mirrorless camera nowadays? Well, we’ll just have to wait and see. Till then.

The fear of “don’t know”

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People who act like they know everything and wanted to comment on everything… we will bump into this kind of people once in awhile, don’t we? Or perhaps we are one of them?

Looking back, I was once behaving like this as well in the older days. Fear of being left out, fear of missing out in the conversation, fear of being alienated, so I will talk and act like I knew about it when I wasn’t. There were times when I got by, there were times when I screwed up of course.

In the end, I reflected and thought: What for I need to feel the fear? If I don’t know about it, just ask, and then I will be able to learn more about it. The conversation will still continue. For things that I don’t know, I’ll try not to comment too much on it. 

The same goes to every other thing… be it work related, photography related or life related matters. The moment you acknowledged you “don’t know”, you emptied yourself to absorb more. Hence, there’s nothing to fear anymore. Just open up your heart and mind, and fill it up with knowledge you would have lost when you act like you knew.

A break from Analogue Photography

As 2018 approaching to an end (yes, it’s ending really soon!), as usual I’m taking a look at my stuff and trying to make some changes and tweaks in hope to improve myself, improve my life, reduce clutter, streamlining stuffs, getting closer to minimalistic and so on. 

This time around, my drybox gets a makeover. I sold off all my film related stuffs, from all the film cameras to scanner, all gone. Many people asked me why. Had I lost my interest in film and analogue photography? Is film dead? Is analogue not something worth to shoot anymore?

Well, not really. There’s a point of time in my life where I’ll need to make the decision, whether to stay or leave. Just happened that after some serious consideration, I decided that now is the time. I still love film, I still enjoy shooting with analogue camera. However, looking ahead, after completion of my study, I’m actually planning on something else, which will probably keep me busy again most of the time. I may end up having little time to shoot, let alone shooting with film.

Will I ever return to analogue photography? I don’t have an answer for now, but I think it’s pretty likely. As of now I still have a soft spot in my heart for films and film cameras. Hopefully after this break, someday… I will be back. I’m glad that I had captured some great photos with my film cameras, and I will cherish them for the days to come. Till then.