Snapshots of Heritage Winners!

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Snapshots of Heritage Winners!
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16th July 2016, Singapore – Today is the opening of the Snapshots of Heritage Photo Exhibition. 100 selected entries (including th Winning Entries is currently on display at Capitol Piazza Level 1 (Open Plaza) from today till 11th August 2016. As promised, we are featuring the Winners’ Images here in this article. Congratulations to All the Winners & Exhibiting Photographers!

Entry: 357 – First Prize Winner
Image by: Ong Yi Chao
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The colourful row of shophouses at Joo Chiat reflects the rich heritage of the Peranakan culture. Over the years, these iconic shophouses have become a popular location for photography enthusiasts. It is of utmost importance to preserve these shophouses so that our younger generations will get to know more about the Peranakan culture of Singapore.

Entry: 388 – Second Prize Winner
Image by: Wong Chek Poh
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Tong Ah building is located at the corner of a triangular plot of land along Keong Saik Road. It is an iconic building with its distinctive red and white façade. The building had withstood the redevelopment around the area and has been conserved under the Building Conservation Act for its heritage architecture.

Entry: 282 – Third Prize Winner
Image by: Kelvin Ng
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Pearl Bank Apartments – One of the iconic apartment in Singapore. This was the first
all-housing project to be undertaken by the Urban Renewal Department of the Housing and Development Board’s sale of Sites Programme. With a height of 113m, the Pearl Bank Apartments was once the tallest residential building in Singapore when it was completed in 1976.

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Entry: 012 – Consolation Prize Winner
Image by: Eng Choon Siong
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Masjid Sultan – also known as the Sultan Mosque, is located at the intersection of Muscat Street and North Bridge Road within the Kampong Glam vicinity. This mosque is considered one of the most important mosque in Singapore and it features a prayer hall which can accommodate up to 5000 people at one go for mass prayers. Masjid Sultan is also one of the most visited tourist attraction in Singapore.

Entry: 040 – Consolation Prize Winner
Image by: Chui Yam Keng
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Trade – the life blood of our nation – Our family used to run a butchery business in Chinatown supplying meat to restaurants and walk-in customers. As a kid I remembered following my grandfather and father on their rounds to the abattoir in the early mornings to collect freshly slaughtered beef back to the shop and get ready for the day’s business. Although an insignificant trade, it is a part of our economy in those years. Featured in this photograph, a Bond certificate circa early 1900s.

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Entry: 549 – Consolation Prize Winner

Image by: Suhaimi Abdullah
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Thaipusam is a day for devotees to celebrate the fulfilment of their vows during the full moon in the Tamil month. The process involves gruelling ordeals for the devotees and always a marvel to watch. Let us preserve this heritage for our future generations to come.


Entry: 578 – Consolation Prize Winner

Image by: Ahmad Iskandar Bin Abdullah
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“It’s your Turn” – A game of Chongkak being played by our young generations. This is a traditional game played by many in the past and Singapore being Singapore, this game was already enjoyed by other races too.

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Entry: 046 – Consolation Prize Winner
Image by: Gary Chow
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One of Singapore’s most decorated temple – the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple. I am always amazed by how grand this temple was constructed, both the interior as well as the exterior. It  is widely regarded as a beautiful fortress in its own rights. A favorite with tourists too.

Entry: 071 – Consolation Prize Winner
Image by: Koh Lye Huat
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Now: Malay Heritage Centre, then Istana Kampong Gelam – this was once the palace of the Sultanate of Singapore. It is located near to the Sultan Mosque and the centre features the rich historical links of the Malay culture which was made up of Bugis, Arab, Javanese, & Boyanese descendants mainly from Malacca, the Riau Island, and Sulawesi.

Entry: 137 – Consolation Prize Winner
Image by: Alice Chia
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Bird Watching Pastime – One of our fast disappearing heritage. In our earlier years, our father, grandfathers and uncles will bring out their pet birds and listen to them sing.
The gathering place is none other than the bird cage hangers where everyone meets.
We are losing such sights fast due to the constraints of space in Singapore. This image was captured at one of our HDB estate – but it won’t be for long before it disappears one day.

Entry: 252 – Consolation Prize Winner
Image by: Trisha Lim
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Street barbers is a “sunset” industry in Singapore. During my childhood days, there were many street barbers, whereas today the street barbers are really not easy to find as compared to the street cobblers. Many of the street barbers are now in their late 60s and most of them had retired. I remembered the price of a haircut was only $6 – much lower than those barbers that are located in a mall, their prices starts from $10.

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Entry: 234 – Consolation Prize Winner

Image by: Jeannie Lim
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These Ang Ku Kuehs (a traditional Chinese Peranakan snack) reminds me of the ones that my grandmother used to make. I used to loathe them as a kid as they were made in abundance. However as I grew up, I realised the intricacies, effort and heart which went into making them. What a lovely sight!

Entry: 366 – Consolation Prize Winner
Image by: Steven Liew

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Reflecting the Past, Seeing the Future – The famous Lau Pa Sat, still standing tall after more than 120 years in existence. Formerly a wet market, it is now the famous food court serving mostly the thousands of office workers around the area during office hours & the curious tourists. Locals throng the food centre especially during the evenings and weekends. The structure of Lau Pa Sat was reflected onto the modern glass architecture of an office building across the street, giving it an unique and abstract outlook.
Entry: 413 – Consolation Prize Winner
Image by: Uthup Binoy
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The Band Stand – situated inside Botanic gardens, it is almost 157 years old.
Botanic Gardens is located at the heart of the city where it has got amazing greeneries. Personally I like to spend time strolling here as it makes me feel refreshed and I get to enjoy the calmness and the beauty of nature.

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Entry: 494 – Consolation Prize Winner
Image by: Lemuel Jose Lucas
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Chinatown Complex – A group of senior citizens can be seen playing a serious game of checkers (commonly known as Dum) or Chinese Chess. This activity usually peaks during afternoons at the recreation area of the Chinatown Complex, which was originally built in 1983. Despite the competitiveness of the players, the area is often filled with laughter and sportsmanship.

Entry: 541 – Consolation Prize Winner
Image by: Andrew Bi
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Dragon Boat race is a part of a traditional Chinese culture to celebrate the Duan Wu Festival. In this year’s DBS Marina Regatta (2016), the participants are made up of every race that you can think of and it is beyond just-Chinese. Dragon boat racing requires team work, a high fitness level and never-say-die spirit to win.

Entry: 308 – Consolation Prize Winner
Image by: Sharon Ng
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Fullerton – This neo-classic architecture is an inspiring display of Singapore’s modern eloquence. From housing the General Post Office, Singapore Club, exchange rooms and government offices to a renowned boutique hotel today, Fullerton Building’s timeless beauty facade dates all the way back to 1928. Being a prestigious hotel and with the conservation efforts to maintain the architectural wealth within its walls, Fullerton Building is now a national monument and a tourist must-visit place in Singapore.

Entry: 463 Consolation Prize Winner
Image by: Allan Abarra Espolong
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The Twin Pagodas of Chinese Garden – This is one place that is very meaningful to me in Singapore especially during the mid-autumn festival. I enjoy viewing those beautiful lanterns during the festival. Beside the mid-autumn festival, one of the reason I like it here is th possibility of capturing the beautiful sunset while framing in the twin pagodas. This photo is one of the beautiful shot that I had taken as the light is just right and the reflection from the lake is clear.

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Organizer: Capitol Piazza

 

Capitol Piazza Logo
Capitol Piazza panders to all who come seeking life’s finer pleasures. With seamlessly connected bespoke zones of retail, dining and entertainment, each promises businesses and customers an experience beyond exceptional.

 

Official Partner: Ourshutterjourney.com


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Founded in 2009, Shutter Journey Singapore is one of the fastest growing photography consortium in Singapore. With 12 specific photography groups and 6 associated groups, the group has a combined memberships/ subscribers of over 200,000 at press time. Probably the first hobby photography group in Singapore with their very own authorized service centre, a network of accredited photography merchants, registered membership program & lots of activities, no wonder they are known as the Advocators of Carefree photography.

 

Official Sponsor: Sgcamerastore.com
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One of the largest online photography brand with a full retail front, Sgcamerastore has grown to be an important establishment for local photographers. The comprehensive inventory ensures that all photographers’ needs are met with very reasonable prices and good selections of brands. Sgcamerastore is indeed the photographers’ lifestyle store.

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Sony a6300 – Made for Travel

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Sony a6300 – Made for Travel
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Photo: Editor AL at Bali with Sony a6300. (Image Credit: Cyndris Neo)


10th July 2016, Singapore/ Indonesia – Sony Singapore recently sent me the newly released a6300 accompanied by the Sony 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS Alpha E-mount Retractable Zoom Lens. When I was just wondering how should I review this camera, and without a second thought, I simply took it along with me to Bali, Indonesia for a planned photography trip. The a6300 was to be my travel camera for the trip – which turned out to be the best decision that I had ever made.

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Image: Water Blow at Nusa Dua Beach, Bali. Shot by Sony a6300

 

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Before we proceed, I am disclaiming (as usual) that if you found your way here looking for technical specs for the a6300 or a technical review, sorry to disappoint you – you can get those information easily from Sony’s website or on other review sites. Over here, we are only interested in what kind of images can we get from the equipment that we are reviewing.

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Back to the a6300, before the Bali trip, I was asking the editorial team on how should I review this camera. Should I compare it with its earlier predecessors? Should I compare it with other competing brands in the same category or price brackets? After much considerations,  I decided to review the a6300 as a standalone camera and as a travel camera – and so off it went with me to Bali.

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Image: Pandawa Beach, Bali. Shot by Sony a6300

 

DSC00409.JPGImage: Pandawa Beach, Bali. Shot by Sony a6300

 

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Image: Uluwatu Temple, Bali. Shot by Sony a6300

 

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Image: Kecak Dance at Uluwatu Temple, Bali at 50mm (75mm) Shot by Sony a6300

 

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Image: Kecak Dance at Uluwatu Temple, Bali at 16mm (24mm) Shot by Sony a6300

 

Made and designed by Sony as the mid-range mirrorless camera, it has (or takes) a lot to prove itself among the offerings by Sony. As the 4th 6xxx series E-mount, just like what everyone had expected, it came with many upgraded & improved features. Some key specs here – it has a new 24 mega-pixel EXMOR CMOS Sensor, a crazy 425 phase detection points to give ‘4D Focus’ Hybrid AF, 4K Video on tap, a 2.36M-dots OLED finder with 120 fps mode, Built-in Wi-Fi with NFC connection option & even a Built-in microphone socket.
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Image: Goa Gajah (Elephant Cave Temple), Bali. Shot by Sony a6300

 

DSC00523Image: A family praying for blessings at Goa Gajah (Elephant Cave Temple), Bali at 16mm (24mm) Shot by Sony a6300

 

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Image: A family praying for blessings at Goa Gajah (Elephant Cave Temple), Bali at 50mm (75mm) Shot by Sony a6300


Alan Photo

 

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Image: Goa Gajah (Elephant Cave Temple), Bali. Shot by Sony a6300

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Image: Coffee Berries (Coffee Beans), Bali. Shot by Sony a6300

 

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Image: Mount Batur, Bali. Shot by Sony a6300



Built quality is solid (as expected from Sony) and the a6300 features a dust and moisture resistant magnesium-alloy body that weights a mere 404 gm. Size wise, it had grown just a little (120 x 67 x 49 mm) over its predecessors which is largely maintaining the “friendly” compact size – which makes it a perfect travel camera. During the Bali trip, the a6300 was in my pocket, in my pouch and never once it was in the camera bag that I had brought along. For those who travels a lot, you will understand the convenience that I am talking about here.

 

DSC00632Image: Tirta Empul Temple, Tampak Siring, Bali. Shot by Sony a6300

 

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Image: Praying for Blessings & Cleansing of one’s soul. Tirta Empul Temple, Tampak Siring, Bali. Shot by Sony a6300

  

Operation wise, the handling is very “Sony”, ergonomics are comfy, switches are layout for easy control and I used the 3″ tiltable screen a lot for this trip. I just want to go really low near “some water” but not into the water – go figure. The 11 frames per second (fps) are another feature that I frequently used whenever I travel, maybe its just me, but for subjects that are moving, the fps speed does matters so I can get to select the frame that I want later during processing.

 

DSC00707Image: The Legong Dance, Bali. Shot by Sony a6300.

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Image: The Bali Museum, Bali. Shot by Sony a6300.

 

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On image quality, I was very impressed. OK, let me share a secret, every image featured here are shot on Automatic Mode (including the rest of the images from my Facebook Album). I do away with Manual this round primarily is to just “frame and shoot” while letting the a6300 do the rest. The a6300 seems to handle shadowed areas very well, guess the metering meter was working pretty hard, and in fact the number of images that I deleted is so minimal for this trip, but gotten more keepers than expected. (don’t forget I am on Automatic mode).

 

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Image: Jatiluwih Rice Terrace, Bali (UNESCO World Heritage Site). Shot by Sony a6300.

 

Focusing with the paired SELP1650 lens was fast, accurate and an almost silent operation. I locked focus in sub-seconds and always get the shot I wanted. I was really enjoying myself during the trip without worrying what the a6300 was producing after I visited the first location. With the a6300 in my hands, surely I am in good hands.
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Image: Jatiluwih Rice Terrace, Bali (UNESCO World Heritage Site). Shot by Sony a6300.

 

In conclusion, I am very impressed with the Sony a6300. Although marketed as a mid-range compact mirrorless, I can safely say that the a6300 definitely has its advanced market standing among users & against other brands. Priced friendly, light-weight, compact, ease of use, excellent image quality and features-packed, the Sony a6300 will find their way to the hands of many upgrading photographers, travel photographers & professional photographers. For the professionals, the a6300 is your best back-up cam in your bag or even as an “off-day” camera. It simply does wonders.

Thank You Sony Singapore for the a6300!

Buy Your Sony a6300 here.
View my entire album here.

Here’s a behind-the-scene images taken by Cyndris Neo in Bali. Enjoy!
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About Sony Electronics (Singapore) & Sony South East Asia
Sony Electronics (Singapore) was established on 1st October 1999 with business activities comprising engineering and manufacturing, sales and marketing, and logistics and information systems. As part of Sony Electronics (Singapore), Sony South East Asia is responsible for the marketing and sales of consumer products in Singapore, as well as for business and professional products in Singapore and other countries in the South East Asia region. It also handles export business for consumer products from Singapore to various parts of Asia. Since establishing our presence in Singapore in 1973, we have grown steadily over the years to become a leader in the consumer electronics market. For more information on Sony’s products and services in Singapore, please visit http://www.sony.com.sg/

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Toy Art (Vehicles) Photo Competition Winners

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Toy Art (Vehicles) Photo Competition Winners!

Jointly Organized by Ourshutterjourney.com & Kombi Rocks
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09th July 2016, Singapore – Kombi Rocks & Ourshutterjourney.com jointly organized this mini competition to interest photographers to try shooting toy scaled-vehicles. Of the 140 entries, there were really good ones as well as not-so-good ones which we hope the photographers who did not win win try harder next next time. Most of the common mistakes made are:
– Not managing the scale ratios.
– Using wrong scale figurines to complement.
– No proper framing or display of tech-know-hows.

Do not despair if you did not win this time, try hard, learn from others’ images and see where you went wrong.

Here are the images that made it to the last round of judging.
(Winners Announced after the jump below).

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Entries That Survived to the Finals.

#016 – by Alex Thong
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#021 – by Koh Lye Huat
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#024 – by Koh Lye Huat
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#034 – by Kendrick Tan
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#053 – by Pang Teng Lin
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#056 – by Pang Teng Lin
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#063 – by Johnson Ang
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#071 – by Lily Lim
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#081 – by Steven Yee
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#088 – by Wilson Ong
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#119 – Natalie Wong Chu Ning
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#120 – Tan Choon How
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#132 – Johnson Ang
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#133 – by Steven Liew
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And the WINNERS Are!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

1st PRIZE #021 – by Koh Lye Huat
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WINS $300 Kombi Rocks Credit + $100 Cash!

2nd PRIZE #056 – by Pang Teng Lin
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WINS $150 Kombi Rocks Credit + $50 Cash!

3rd PRIZE #063 – by Johnson Ang
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WINS $100 Kombi Rocks Credit

CONSOLATION PRIZES (05)
#120 – Tan Choon How
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#119 – Natalie Wong Chu Ning
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#088 – by Wilson Ong
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#081 – by Steven Yee
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#071 – by Lily Lim
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WINS Consolation Prizes: $30 KR Credit EACH! (05)

Collection Details:
There will be a Photo Critique session (by AL Lee) & Prize-Giving on 27th July 2016, 7.30pm at Kombi Rocks, please kindly RSVP at the below link!
https://www.facebook.com/events/1019118708141576/

Congratulations to All the Winners!
See you at Kombi Rocks!

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Snapshots of Heritage Exhibition

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Snapshots of Heritage Exhibition
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08th July 2016, Singapore – Recently we had done the judging of the Snapshots of Heritage Photography competition in association with Capitol Piazza, and we are glad to announce the exhibition. Including the winning entries, 100 selected entries will be exhibited at Capitol Piazza Outdoor Plaza! Get up close with the Judges and see your entries in large print! There will also be an open critique by Curator/ Judge AL Lee and a Prize Giving Ceremony to all the 18 Winners! So bring your family, friends along!

Date: 16th July 2016
Where: Capitol Piazza (Level 1 Open Plaza)
Time: Be there by 2.00pm

Program as followed!
2.00pm – Guests Arrival.
2.30pm – Opening Speech by AL Lee
2.45pm – Open Roving Critique by AL Lee & Hilarion Goh
3.15pm – Prize Presentation to Winners.
3.30pm – Group Photo Taking. (If we have 100 pax RSVP, we will do an aerial group shot)

RSVP at: https://www.facebook.com/events/1235861199782149/

FAQ:
1) How do I know if I had won?

If your entry had won a prize, you would have been notified by email by now.
Do check your junk mail – just in case.

2) How do I know if my entry had been selected to be exhibited?
If your entry had won a prize, you would have been notified by email by now.
Do check your junk mail – just in case.

3) Can I bring along my friends/ families?
Please bring your whole kampong. This exhibition is a visual treat – along with the interesting captions that depicts our heritage – Singapore’s heritage.

4) If I am unable to collect my prize at the ceremony, how ah?
Sure, please notify us (ourshutterjourney@live.com.sg) and let us know who will be collecting on your behalf. We will need the person’s Full Name and ID.
If you have any other questions, please send to the above email too.:)

See you there!
*Organizer Information below.

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Organizer: Capitol Piazza

 

Capitol Piazza Logo


Capitol Piazza panders to all who come seeking life’s finer pleasures. With seamlessly connected bespoke zones of retail, dining and entertainment, each promises businesses and customers an experience beyond exceptional.
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Official Partner: Ourshutterjourney.com


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Founded in 2009, Shutter Journey Singapore is one of the fastest growing photography consortium in Singapore. With 12 specific photography groups and 6 associated groups, the group has a combined memberships/ subscribers of over 200,000 at press time. Probably the first hobby photography group in Singapore with their very own authorized service centre, a network of accredited photography merchants, registered membership program & lots of activities, no wonder they are known as the Advocators of Carefree photography.

Alan Photo

Official Sponsor: Sgcamerastore.com
SgStore Logo.png

One of the largest online photography brand with a full retail front, Sgcamerastore has grown to be an important establishment for local photographers. The comprehensive inventory ensures that all photographers’ needs are met with very reasonable prices and good selections of brands. Sgcamerastore is indeed the photographers’ lifestyle store.

OSJ2

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Street Photographers Singapore

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Street Photographers Singapore
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27th June 2016, Singapore – GR Club Singapore’s Official Facebook Page is officially defunct as of today and it will be managed by Ourshutterjourney.com  with immediate effect. The New page – titled Street Photographers Singapore – is a new spin-off under Ourshutterjourney’s Photography Consortium which manages 11 individual photography groups in Singapore.

Nothing has changed except for the Page name as Ourshutterjourney continue to share cross-platforms photography events to service the community. Members are encouraged to visit https://ourshutterjourney.com/about/ to find out more about the consortium and what benefits and exciting events awaits.

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Alan Photo

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Melbourne with Olympus

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Melbourne with Olympus
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Image: Both of us were using Olympus gear throughout the trip.

26th May 2016, Melbourne Australia – Singapore – Recently we took another trip out of Singapore. This round to Melbourne, Australia and mainly to complete I left behind more than 10 years ago – that is to complete the Great Ocean Road. Olympus Imaging Singapore, as usual got wind of our trip and decided to sponsor us the equipment for the trip. Most of you who have been following this site will know that Olympus had been very proactive with our trips sponsorship and they had sponsored at least 10 of our trips since we started working with Olympus. Just earlier this year in March, Olympus had covered us for our Krabi, Thailand trip, the recent Melbourne, Australia trip and the upcoming Bali, Indonesia trip in July. Since we are travelling every 2 months, there will be a lot of new materials on Olympus.

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As a user of multiple brands, I had traveled to many destinations with different cameras of different brands. So when this Melbourne trip was confirmed, I was cracking my head which camera should I be bringing and what are the lenses that I really need. I decided to match lenses to the places that I will be visiting in Melbourne. Weight & size is a serious consideration as we will be moving around quite a bit and from the vast open Great Ocean road to the city in the heart of Melbourne and to a far flung suburban small town.

After much deliberation, Olympus was the answer. Light & compact bodies with really capable functions and lenses that weights next to nothing – means I can bring more bodies and lenses without breaking my back.

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Image: St. Kilda, Melbourne Australia.

Since I used a combination of 2 bodies and a few lenses (my partner took one of the body and 2 lenses), I shall not state individually what did I used for each image, but rather I would like to showcase what I’ve managed to captured in Australia with my OIympus gear. Purely Olympus. Looking through the images featured in this article, it will be really easy to know which lens or body I had used to capture the image. Have fun identifying them!

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Image: Brighton Beach, Melbourne Australia.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Image: Elwood Beach, Melbourne Australia.

I must state that all featured images are of minor adjustments & editing, mostly are cropping, straightening of horizon and the occasional “push” on contrasts especially on monochrome images. Otherwise, this is pretty much what I’ve gotten direct from the cameras.

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Image: Sun setting at the Twelve Apostles, Great Ocean Road, Melbourne, Australia.

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Image: Loch Ard Gorge, Great Ocean Road, Melbourne, Australia.

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Image: The Razorback, Great Ocean Road, Melbourne, Australia.

Given the rapid changing skies at this time in Australia – a minute sunny, next minute gloomy, the Olympus cameras & lenses combo seems to adapt & react really fast, in fact, I was able to capture the shots really easily and without having the camera messing up the exposure by metering the exposure wrongly or simply randomly assign a white balance causing color-run, that already reduced the chances of me missing an important shot. I believe most of you would want a travel camera that gives you “insurance” since moments can be missed within seconds and you need to have a camera to match that expectation.

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Image: Farm Calves, Great Ocean Road, Melbourne, Australia.

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Image: Puffing Billy, Belgrave, Melbourne, Australia.

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Image: Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne, Australia.

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Image: Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne, Australia.

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Image: Chinatown, Melbourne, Australia.

Alan Photo

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Image: Speaking of Good Luck! Managed to catch Amistat LIVE at Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne, Australia.

Personally, I think that Olympus’s user interface is pretty much idiot-proof and if you have been using Olympus, you will feel at home using any of the brand’s cameras – menus are easy to navigate, and buttons layout always makes sense. Although I am not exactly a fan of art filters, but I do know of people who makes full use of the art filters to max out the creativity options that came with the cameras.

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Image: Flinders Street Station, Melbourne, Australia. Shot from Federation Square. (Diagonally Opp)

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While many travel photographers will probably say that I am taking a “risk” by using an all-Olympus set-up for my trip (as compared to using a Canon or Nikon or Sony) while some will start commenting about sensor size, low light capability etc, well, I will say it all depends on the user. And what the user had planned to do or shoot. As for me, I had mentioned earlier that I had planned my gear according to my itineraries.

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Image: Luna Park, St. Kilda, Melbourne, Australia. 

 
When we returned, I scrutinized the images carefully and I am glad to share with everyone that I had gotten all the images that I had planned for and I managed to capture all just by using my Full-Olympus set up. You may wish to check out my full album from this trip here.

For those who are really curious what exactly are the Olympus cameras & lenses that I had used for this trip, do check out the next few pics.
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So that was all the Olympus equipment that we used for the trip, now try to figure out which ones & combo I used from my album.:)

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Image: That’s me posing beside Puffing Billy!

Thank You Olympus Singapore for the Sponsorship!

Read up past reviews that we had done for Olympus here.

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Call-for-Entry: ToyArt Photo Competition

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Call-for-Entry: ToyArt Photo Competition
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16th May 2016, Singapore – Organized by Ourshutterjourney.com & Kombi Rocks, this competition is about creating interesting images using and featuring Toy Vehicles.

Combining your photography skills, your creativity & your toy vehicle, are you ready to tak up this challenge?

Visit the Competition Page Now!

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ToyArt – Toy Vehicles Photo Competition is Jointly Organized by Ourshutterjourney.com & Kombi Rocks

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Supported by
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Pentax 645Z Digital – Reviewed

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Pentax 645Z Digital – Reviewed
by Daniel Ho.
Originally Posted at SGJP.
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May 2016, Singapore – A rather late review on a digital medium format camera by Pentax coined Pentax 645z. Thanks for Pentax for allowing me to have this beautiful medium format camera for a real end user field use in order to gather some thoughts on this review. Note: I am not paid for this review, and it is solely a review of a photographer who is looking to move into digital medium format photography.

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How I was tempted to try my hands on a digital medium format when Hasselblad announced their new Hasselblad H6D 50C/100C offering but at a premium price of about USD32,995.00 compared to the USD6996.00 for Pentax 645z on B&H today, and after reading on the Pros and Cons of the Hasselblad, I am having to consider the high price of owning one and weighing the obstacles of attempting shooting in the medium format photography.

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I was then offered by a friend to take a look at the Pentax version of their 645Z digital medium format with the 55mm f2.8 lens. It was an offer I just had to take up, and the initial impression is that it is an extraordinary experience in snapping on this camera.

Technical Specifications of Pentax 645Z Digital Medium Format Camera.

  • 51.4MP CMOS Sensor – 43.8 x 32.8 mm
  • Prime III Image Processor
  • Anti-Alias Filter-Less Design
  • 3.2″ 1037K Dot Tiltable Air-Gapless LCD
  • Full HD 1080 60i/30p/24p Video Capture
  • ISO Sensitivity Range of 100 – 204,800
  • SAFOX II TTL 27 Point Autofocus System
  • 3 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Weather Sealed Magnesium Alloy Body
  • Pentax Flucard and Eye-Fi Compatible
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Why would one want to look at a medium format camera when there are already many DSLR and even mirrorless (Sony’s) that have almost similar amount of resolution such as Nikon D810 and the Sony A7R. It is true while this camera is not a day to day street photography camera, and why would any photographer wants to try out medium format, especially a Pentax 645Z?

There are many reviews out there from photographers who wrote reviews on this Pentax 645z on their take on how this camera shines with Wedding Photography, Landscape, and even Portraiture. I feel the biggest strength of Pentax 645Z is that it is positioned between the lofty Hasselblad H6D and a Nikon D810, in terms of price, and allows a serious photographer to try out medium format as a step up. Despite many would say a DSLR can achieve similar quality, the couple of weeks of using this camera shows me that there is a step up in terms of quality that comes from this camera.

It is true, this camera is not for the day to day street photography, it feels good in my hands on a day to day shooting, and I would qualify this easily as a workhorse and a camera to fit in my bag everyday. I took this camera to the National Art Gallery to test out shooting this camera in an area that I love, Arts and Indoor, and I am more than sufficiently pleased by the high quality of photos that this camera is able to produce even in the out of the camera JPEG. The quality is I must say, better than my D810, and the colour rendered on the indoor photos is amazing.

IMGP2561w-768x576.jpgThis is the OUT OF CAMERA output when shooting in the National Arts Gallery, and I am impressed by its ability for my indoor architecture. The colour is accurate, the camera is capable of shooting at ISO3200 with absolutely no loss of quality, the White Balance is subtly capable as well.

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I took this inside the gallery, with very little light and casting on this sculpture, Pentax is able to handle the fine details despite shooting at ISO 3200 with very little noise.

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As a photographer who loves using the depth of field as part of my composition technique, the out of camera JPEG picture is amazing, this could be due to the 51 mega pixel resolution and the beautiful Sony sensor on this great camera, which just feels right in my hand.

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The “Bokeh” from this camera is pleasing at least and I would love to use this for my portraiture as well. The camera is able to produce the right light on the sculpture.

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Aside from my D810, and Leica M, the ability of this medium format camera at a 51 mega pixel, shows incredible details. The build of the camera is impressive, and the sensitivity range of this camera enables me to shoot even in the dim light of the gallery, and it allows this camera to be used in many more situations than other medium format cameras that does not featured weather and dust resistant and making it more difficult to be used outdoor. For Pentax 645Z, this is not the case, and I could envisioned that Pentax 645Z is probably going to be one of the first Digital Medium Format Camera to be more widely used outside of the studio.

IMGP2554wThe colour from the Pentax 645z’s Sony Sensor is incredible and the Red is Red where even with an auto white balance setting. Shooting in a gallery with the different lighting, this camera did not disappoint with the rendering of the colour in consistent with the mood.

While this is NOT a technical review of this amazing digital medium format camera, I must say, even with the large RAW file and the format unique to a medium format, I can easily adopt the workflow on my Lightroom. I would love to own this camera as part of my daily use and I will strongly recommend anyone who is keen on medium format, to take a look at Pentax 645Z. It is as capable to deliver high quality of photos and with every low learning curve. – Daniel Ho.

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Call-for-Entry: Snapshots of Heritage Competition

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Call-for-Entry: Snapshots of Heritage Competition
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19th April 2016, Singapore – 
Organized by Capitol Piazza & Partnering with Ourshutterjourney.com, “Snapshots of Heritage” is a photography competition & exhibition revolving around the theme on individual’s heritage, of forgotten places & memories, or any people, food or things that we hold dear to our hearts. Participants are encouraged to produce images to the theme based on their own interpretations & thoughts.

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Submissions will be curated progressively and published leading up to the final judging by a panel of judges. There are lots of great prizes and cash to be won!

Selected & Winning entries will also be exhibited at Capitol Piazza – so go out there, turn back the clock, immerse yourself in the good old days, replay some memories and capture these images for keepsakes!

Visit the Competition Page Now!

Check out the Judging Panel here.

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Organizer: Capitol Piazza

 

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Capitol Piazza panders to all who come seeking life’s finer pleasures. With seamlessly connected bespoke zones of retail, dining and entertainment, each promises businesses and customers an experience beyond exceptional.

 
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Official Partner: Ourshutterjourney.com


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Founded in 2009, Shutter Journey Singapore is one of the fastest growing photography consortium in Singapore. With 12 specific photography groups and 6 associated groups, the group has a combined memberships/ subscribers of over 200,000 at press time. Probably the first hobby photography group in Singapore with their very own authorized service centre, a network of accredited photography merchants, registered membership program & lots of activities, no wonder they are known as the Advocators of Carefree photography.

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Official Sponsor: Sgcamerastore.com
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One of the largest online photography brand with a full retail front, Sgcamerastore has grown to be an important establishment for local photographers. The comprehensive inventory ensures that all photographers’ needs are met with very reasonable prices and good selections of brands. Sgcamerastore is indeed the photographers’ lifestyle store.

 

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Saga Part 3: Wedding Boutique Clarifies

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Saga Part 3: Wedding Boutique Clarifies

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13th April 2016, Singapore – As more and more dramas unfolded itself in Singapore’s latest Wedding Dispute Saga, the boutique had stepped forward and shared their story with a local newspaper yesterday. Feline Wedding shared their side of the story citing that the couple had been difficult and had tried to get a refund due to the bad images. The rest of the story is pretty self-explanatory.

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After reading the claims from all 3 parties:

1) This couple wants a refund for the bad photos, including the slightly “better” ones.
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Alan Photo

2) This amateur photographer got shot for several non-industry standard practices like giving every photo from a shoot to the client, and accepted a full day assignment for $350.00 where other Pros are charging at least 4 times more as market rate.
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3) The boutique claims difficult customer wants refund and openly share the non-industry rate for a full-day wedding photography at $350.00
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You know what? We decided to wash our hands and find something else more meaningful to do after following this news for the last 3 days.

We hope all parties will come to an amicable settlement soon.

Read also:
Saga Part 1: What the Couple Could Have Done.
Saga Part 2: The Photographer Speak Up.

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Saga Part 2: Now hear from the Photographer

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Saga Part 2: Now hear from the Photographer
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Image: The better images of the same wedding by Chung.

12th April 2016, Singapore – further to our earlier article about a wedding couple whom had “their wedding day album ruined”, the photographer had stepped forward to defend himself. Our article was about sharing what the couple could have done to prevent a situation like this, but in this case, instead of the Wedding Boutique stepping up and explain the situation, the photographer who was sent to cover this wedding speak up.

The photographer who covered the wedding is Chung Siew Goh, to which he posted some photos of the wedding and a note offering a glimpse of the unfolding drama.

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Image: Screen Grab from Chung’s Facebook.

 

“I am the photographer on that day ….. Acouple long 10 hrs hard work..for this couple Edit 900 plus photo for them they use less than 20 pic to URGE not SATISFY wanted to refund cash paid ..but they already collected those photos NOW put up in media to show the whole world and spoil our Reputation which no REASON which not Fair to us..” – as posted by Chung on his Facebook.
OK, that was painful too read. Basically what he is saying is – he had shot this couple’s wedding which is about 10 hours (typical) and he had edited 900+ images and sent the photos to the couple. Then the couple picked out some terrible looking images and publicised it on social media so that they can pressure this Chung for a refund. Whoa! Too much of a drama?

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Image: The better images of the same wedding by Chung.

 

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Following our earlier article, the whole photography industry “woke up” and started to share their views across social media. While there were many questions posed to both parties, I’ve picked up a few points that are worth pondering over.

1) Why Even Give the Couple photos that are not acceptable?
Having been in this line for many years, this is a taboo. As a self-respecting photographer, I will only deliver the best images to my clients. Bad images are not meant to be given and better to delete away. Why so? Like some photographers had shared in some of the comments, why even give the client a chance to shoot you back in your feet? You can deliver good 1,000 images and the client can use 05 bad images and ask for a full refund – get the picture now? Not saying all clients are like that but hey! Many of the fellow Pros – including me – had encountered such clients before. If you are a new photographer and had just join the industry, please note this point seriously!

Alan Photo

2) A Tip-Off suggested the fees were $288.00
The Tip-off although not verified, I am not surprised as I had mentioned this point in my earlier article. Wedding Boutiques keep costs low to maintain a profit margin – like any other businesses – this is common. But $288.00 for a full day wedding, this wedding could have charged the couple between $888.00 & $1388.00 which is common in the wedding industry. So naturally, the couple will feel ripped off as they could have paid $1388.00 but gotten images that probably worth much less.
That probably ignited the drama.

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Image: The better images of the same wedding by Chung.

3) Other images by the Photographer are amateurish.
There are easily threads after threads of comments about the images that Chung had posted in his defence. As a working photographer, I agree with most of these comments. Looking through the “better” images by Chung, I am sorry but to agree that his work is of amateur-level. Exposures was inconsistent, flash pointing at the all the wrong places, focus points not defined etc and I have not even get to the part on composition and engaging the couple – a basic knowledge for all wedding day photographers.

4) Couple Looking for Refund
This is an important key point here. Did they purposely picked up the badly done images, make some crazy edit to them then post up to shame & pressure the wedding boutique to refund them? Seriously we won’t know and we shall not speculate any further. When money is involved, it can be anything, wouldn’t you agree?

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We tried contacting Chung for his comments via Facebook Messenger and we did not get a reply from him at press time. Then again, Chung is just a photographer engaged by the wedding boutique to shoot the wedding, the fire should be on the wedding boutique and not on Chung. Why set ourselves on a foot soldier when the mastermind remained quiet through this ordeal?

As we anticipate more drama to unfold, we urge everyone to remain neutral and hold your judgement until the wedding boutique speaks up. Meantime, we hope Chung can try to improve on his photography skills.

Read also:
Saga Part 1: What the Couple Could Have Done.
Saga Part 3: Wedding Boutique Clarifies.

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Saga Part 1: What The Wedding Couple Could Have Done?

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SAGA Part 1: What The Wedding Couple Could Have Done?
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Image: One of image submitted to Jaclyn featuring a ghostly color theme.


12th April 2016, Singapore
– A Bride – Jaclyn Ying – in Singapore received her actual-day wedding photos & “find herself “sorely disappointed with them” as quoted on her Facebook post which (expectedly went viral). We are not going to poke any fun to anyone but instead, we decided to compile of what they could have done so that other soon-to-wed couples can take a leaf out of this article.

So what went wrong?

“Here’s the lowdown – we got one of those “bao ka liao” wedding packages that included actual day photography from a pretty reputable bridal shop. Before we signed on, we were told that while we couldn’t choose our photographer, the standard of the talent pool was consistent. Naturally (and being Singaporean), we asked, “sure annot”. And were promptly shown a portfolio of actual day photos.  They looked alright, and so we signed on thinking, “okay la hor, how bad can they be.”  – Jaclyn Ying

 

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Image: One of image submitted to Jaclyn featuring selective color on a weird subject and the couple is badly under-exposed.

 

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1) All-in-One Wedding Package –
In any business, it is common for companies to procure and engage the lowest priced contractors/ freelancers while charging market rates to clients to max out their profit. In the wedding industry, it is most common for wedding boutiques to engage the cheapest possible photographers and send them out to cover wedding day. I am not saying ALL wedding boutiques does this, but many do it. Yes, that means wedding boutiques are also doubling up as “training schools” for newbie photographers while charging the clients for a professional fee.

 

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2) Choice of Photographers –
In this case, Jaclyn was informed that they cannot choose the photographer of their choice – what they could have done was to “explore” cancelling the wedding package – which at this point, many wedding boutique will be more than happy to accommodate as competition is really tough. They will not want to risk losing your business just because of a photographer. Further to that, you are a customer – you have the rights to decide what you want and not to be dictated by a wedding company. If the terms offered are not in your favor then move on and find another wedding boutique.

Alan Photo

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Image: One of image submitted to Jaclyn featuring selective color patch – like that also can?

 

3) Sample Portfolios –
Secondly, they were shown a portfolio of actual day photos and assured by the wedding boutique that the “talent pool” standard “was consistent”, well ask yourself, will a wedding boutique show you lousy photos? The couple should have asked for more photos to be vetted or be directly blunt to ask who will be the photographer that will be assigned to their wedding. The couple can go & do some homework & research before reverting. These days, it is not that difficult to find out who-is-behind-what right? And good photographers usually will have a website with their portfolio or even the most basic ones have a Facebook Business Page – there is where you get to see the works and decide for yourself.

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Image: One of image submitted to Jaclyn, also in a ghostly shade of ocean blue.

Ok, to be fair, we are not there at the scene when the couple signed the contract so we do not exactly know what happened and if the couple had been pressured into confirming the wedding package.

“Anyway, we’re looking for some redress from the shop at the moment, but nothing is going to take away the fact that our wedding photos by this dude are pretty much ruined. What’s more, he was our only “pro” photog for that day. This stag worked solo, man.” – Jaclyn Ying
3) Case Against the Shop –
This is going to be tough. Personally I know of wedding boutiques changing business names frequently but managed by the same group of people. It could be a case of many complaints and after building up to a stage that they cannot manage anymore, the company will decidedly close the company and re-open a new one operating under a different name (sometimes even at the same premise!) – and the cycle continues. In fact, do a check with the local consumer watchdog and you will know that disputes from wedding boutiques are common and it had been going on for years.

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Image: One of image submitted to Jaclyn, an unglam shot of a wedding guest.

With no proper accreditation or regulating party for wedding boutiques, there are many things that these companies can get away with. Once again, I would like to disclaim that NOT ALL wedding boutiques are like this – not all. I hope Jaclyn kept all the receipts and have the contract vet by a business lawyer before escalating the case. Some of these companies had received so many legal letters to the point that they are so experienced so their stated terms & conditions are usually in their sole favor.
4) A Ruined Wedding Day Photo Album –
This is where the real ammunition is. Further to the possible legal suit above, this is the part that Jaclyn can sue the company for an undisclosed amount of insane compensation for ruining their wedding day photo which cannot be re-enacted or duplicated.

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Further to that, the whole experience had “caused immerse psychological stress on the couple resulting in depression, insomnia, embarrassment & trauma which (might) further escalated to possible high costs of medical & psychiatric treatments and affecting employment commitments etc.”

A ruined wedding is a ruined wedding. At the hands of an amateur photographer who is out trying to learn new things but not given a senior or more experience photographer to follow. The photographer in this case was sent out by the wedding boutique and was given “solo” without any back up.

Seriously if I am that photographer, or a new photographer, I would have rejected the assignment if no senior photographer is going with me. On the other end of the scale, the wedding boutique should not have just sent out an amateur and try to pass the photographer off as a professional.

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Image: One of image submitted to Jaclyn, at the most romantic moment, a photo bomb appear. Some may argue not the photographer’s fault, but any experienced photographer will know how to avoid such situations or better still, had already communicated to the guests where not to stand.

Lastly, we think that Jaclyn & her husband had been really nice. Given today’s social media culture, if they had released the name of the wedding boutique and the name of the photographer, this news could have hit the headlines of our local press. A certain wedding boutique would have closed down today and a certain photographer may quit the industry altogether – but this couple didn’t expose the names.

For Jaclyn;
– if you are reading this, we felt really sorry that your wedding day photos had ended up like this. Our wedding photography team is proposing to do a nice Post-Wedding Album for you & your husband at No Charge – yes you saw it right – we want to do it for free for you as we really hate to see people’s wedding ruined. Do make contact with us at ourshutterjourney@live.com.sg to discuss. J

OSJ2

For the rest of you (photographers):
– if you think the wedding industry is easy to make money, please be reminded that this is a double-edged sword industry. Hone your craft well before you start to ruin others wedding photos.

For the soon-to-wed couples:
– Have a clear mind before signing on any contract from wedding boutiques. Read the terms & conditions carefully and better to have a business lawyer vet before signing. You are the customer and You have the rights to decide. If the terms are not in favor or if you are not comfortable, do not rush or be pressured into signing – there is always another wedding boutique out there who will accept your request.

Jaclyn – hope to hear from you soon! Our Wedding Team is ready & waiting.

Read also:
Saga Part 2: The Photographer Speaks Up.
Saga Part 3: Wedding Boutique Clarifies
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Image: Can’t resist this. 

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What Do You Really Need In A Camera

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What Do You Really Need In A Camera
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Image Courtesy of bollzy.com
07th April 2016, Singapore – The recent development of camera technology is getting very interesting. The manufacturers had been on a spree to outdo each other in their latest offerings and we on the consumer end, is trying to understand what exactly are these manufacturers trying to do? While many out there are obviously confused or simply overwhelmed by numbers, specs etc, we decided to write this article and share some thoughts on these specs & numbers.

In this article, I am going to take a comical look into the developments so don’t flame me. It’s just my thoughts anyway.

Let’s just take a look at some of the key features which are common in today’s imaging technology. However, no brands will be mentioned.

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Focus Points 
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I remember clearly my first autofocus SLR (film) has only 3 focus points, namely – Left, Centre & Right. Then came the early DSLRs with 5 points (Added top & bottom), then 9 points, 11 points, 19 points and suddenly 100+ points, 200+ points & the crazy 300+ points. May I ask, how many times do you really select the points? And if you are the person who will let the camera decide where to focus for you, how many times had you ended up with images that had been back-focused? Sorry but I am old-fashioned, I prefers to set my cameras to a single center focus point and employ the use of focus on subject>half pressed shutter>refocus & recompose>shoot type.

In my 9 years of doing commercial photography, I had only used that one single center focus point. In some occasions when I was shooting pre-wedding albums, I do use manual focus. 300+ focus points? I believe somewhere out there, some engineers are already working on 800+ focus points with probably 1800+ virtual focus points.
Do You Really Need 800+ focus points?

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Start Up Time
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This is one of the features that most camera specs will always include. From that second you switched on the camera, the start-up time determines how fast the camera will be ready to shoot an image. Well, probably the makers are anticipating photographers to switch on & switch off their cameras regularly. But wouldn’t that wear out the on/off switch faster? I remember almost all cameras that were built after year 1999 has a power-save or sleep or auto-off function? And this function can be customized to how long you want the camera to idle before it starts to hibernate? From the pace that this feature is being improved model after model, probably the next revolution will be – the camera may have a motion sensor with a fuzzy logic chip built in.

Higher end models may even get a light sensor – so the minute you take your camera out of the bag, it wakes up by itself and ready to shoot by the time while you are bringing the camera to your face. Fast enough?
Do You Need your camera to stay awake the minute you wake up?

ISO
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Since the beginning of digital SLRs, we all remembered the ISO that we “paid for” starts from a standard ISO 100 to about ISO 1600 – and ISO 1600 back then is almost not use-able in print. Then we started seeing cameras showing up with ISO 100 to ISO 6400, then came the negative to expanded scale from ISO 50 to ISO 12,800 and some already reaching ISO 25,600. Today, photographers are talking about ISO 30 to ISO 3,000,000+. Wow! Before you say “shut up & take my money!”, may I ask you what is the highest ISO that you had ever used? Personally I had used up to ISO 6400 for certain assignments but never once I had given my clients a print with a ISO 12,800 – because there is no need to! So what if you have ISO 3,000,000 and the maximum ISO you use is probably ISO 12,800? As I write, I am sure engineers out there are already working on a camera that gives you ISO 25,000,000 and higher end models may even get military grade night-vision technology. Who knows right? Now ask yourself, do you really uses an ISO that high?

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FPS (Frame Per Second)
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FPS – Which means Frames-Per-Second, and further means how many images are you able to capture in a full second while your finger depress the shutter button. Sports Photographers, Birds Photographers or even Press Photographers will be the people that will (really) be concerned about this. I remembered vividly from the early SLRs which managed 3 fps to 5 fps and then from early digital’s 3 fps to a mighty 8 fps (top of the line DSLRs) and today’s entry-level DSLRs doing about 5 fps to an insane 20 fps for some pro model DSLR. On this part, I will think that unless you set your camera to “Burst Mode” all the time, or works with the press, shoot sports and birds, an average of 5 fps is ample enough to serve most needs.

While many will disagree with me, now be honest, after shooting in burst mode, count how many shots are sharp, and how many will you keep? As a user of flagship DSLRs from 3 brands, each doing an average of 10-15 fps, I know how it is like to be deleting and selecting the few images that I will really keep or submit to client. And the more I burst, the more time I have to spend viewing the images one by one and further deleting them while keeping a few that I really need. Do not forget that digital images take up spaces too.

And since our camera shutters has an intended lifespan of (average) 150,000 shots to 250,000 shots, let’s just take the lower 150,000 and use the soon-to-come 120 fps as an example.
Your shutter lives for 150,000 shots.
Your FPS is 120.
So 150,000 shots divided by the fps 120 will be 1250 actuations.
Congratulations, your camera shutter is going to “die” after you press the shutter for 1250 times – set to burst mode. Does that make any sense to you? Let’s see if the next update of DSLRs or other cameras will get us 80 to 120 fps.
Wait, do you need 120fps at all?

Alan Photo

Filters
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Image Courtesy of rewindandcapture.com 
No, I am not talking about the good old front-mount-screw-on filters or the luxurious square filters. What I really meant was the digital filters that came along with your cameras. When the days were much simpler, apart from the color shooting mode, we get a monochrome (Black & White or Bandicoot) option and for the lucky some, Sepia. Today, more digital filters are added with every new model and some are actually quite decent and fun to use.

One of the camera brands that started this trend had about 7 filters in their DSLR and today, almost every brand offers at least 20 to 30 digital filters in their DSLRs and adding new ones with every release. While the creative options have largely expanded with the inclusion of these filters, how many filters have you really used for your images? Sorry again but I am old-fashion, I will prefer to capture the image as it is then edit & process the images to my liking later. Yes, there are occasions that I walk about with the camera color set to Monochrome, but rarely, what about you?
Do you need like 100 “bubble gum” digital filters in your camera?

 

OSJ2


Bracketing

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Image Courtesy of exposureguide.com

Almost every decent DSLR or higher end compacts does bracketing. (Some can even do bracketing and in-camera blend) For those of you who know that you have this function but has never used or not exactly sure what it does, here’s a one sentence explanation. The camera captures a scene (basic) in 3 exposures that comprise a normal exposure, a darker exposure and a brighter exposure so you can layer them and merged them into a final image with a balanced exposure – in short HDR. Yes, you heard it right, 3 bracketed shots were what we have in the early days. Soon the number of bracketed shots was noted to have increased to 5 shots and to 9 shots in the mid era.

Today, some of the imaging demon cameras manage up to 30 bracketed shots. In the past, 3 to 5 bracketed shots gives very interesting end results as the images are on a much different dynamic range for example: -3, 0, +3. Today, those on 18 or more bracketed shots are really getting -8, -7.5, -7, -6.5, -6, -5.5, -5, -4.5, -4, -3.5, -3, -2.5, -2, -1.5, -1, -0.5, 0, +0.5, +1, +1.5, +2, +2.5, +3, +3.5, +4, +4.5, +5, +5.5, +6, +6.5, +7, +7.5, +8.  Tell me, if you had shot a configuration similar to my example above, after blending without individual edit, tell me what did you get? Still have dynamic range? Or you have to add lots of contrasts to make up for the DR losses?

Hate to say this but I suspect one day, the engineers developing the bracketing functions will soon give us 100 frames bracketing – and you will get an image that looks exactly like how you have shot it at 1/100, F5.6 & ISO400. (Just saying).
Do You Really need to bracket more than 5 shots?

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In-Camera Customization/ Editing
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Image: Full Suite Photo Editing Software built into camera?

From my understanding, not all but many cameras today allows you to edit your images directly from the camera. Although most of the options available now are cropping, straightening, some color & contrast  adjustments or adding a digital filter to your images, I am very sure more editing functions are on their way. Pardon me again for being old-fashion, but I really prefer to load my images to my computer and edit my images on the big screen.

And there are a lot more I can do from my soft wares than what was offered from the camera. Yes, that might save you some time if you are doing some basic and simple edit, but how many of you are really using this function? Camera manufacturers are constantly trying to outdo each other and probably, I say probably, soon you can add watermarks, super-imposed images, and even order Starbucks from inside your camera.
Do You really need this function?

Body Size
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Materials used for manufacturing our cameras are getting cleverer by the model. I believed many of you would have remembered how heavy the 1st generation DSLRs were. From engineering plastics to recycled compound, from aluminum to titanium alloys, our cameras are getting lighter and with the advancement of technology, our cameras are getting smaller and smaller too. The good news is, manufacturers are not exactly competing on who can design and make a camera that weight next to nothing, but the real competition is really more on the size. Just look at the entry-level DSLRs, some of them are just slightly bigger than the high-end compacts or bridge cameras. On the other end of the scale, who would image a professional spec full frame camera to be much smaller than a DSLR?

With the current trend of cheaper travel and more people taking up photography, size is definitely one of the priorities in the list. Not forgetting smart phone cameras are getting more advanced since the 2 megapixel hey days so camera manufacturers have to counter this carefully. Who knows, the next DSLR may be pocket-sized and mirrorless that fits into your wallets – ok, I will leave the rest to your imaginations.
Remember, it’s what you need from a camera and not what the size that determines your buying decision.
 Sensor & Megapixel Size
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There are 2 parts to this. 1st is the physical size of the sensor and 2nd is the ever-increasing megapixel war.

In the past, when you are using a Full Frame DSLR (35mm equivalent), wow you must be a pro, or a super-rich person as full frame cameras are out of reach for many people. Today, every other person is using a Full Frame camera – because it is now cheaper to the point it had fallen below the SGD $2K mark (street price) for a new Full Frame body. Don’t get me wrong, cropped-sensor (APS-C/ APS-H) DSLRs still have their foothold in the industry as these cameras are really meant for added range for a wide variety of photographic purposes. And further to that, it is cheaper to produce so that is probably why almost 95% of entry-level DSLRs are using APS-C sensors.

Between FF & APS-C sensors, both have their specific uses and capabilities. But sadly, in local context, using a Full Frame camera means “something”. From the way the R&D is moving, probably in future they will just do away with APS-C sensors and all cameras will released in Full Frame by default – and you can use a digital crop-factor (which some cameras already has this function). But what if I tell you now you can choose the crop factor from inside your Full Frame badass to either x1.3, x1.5, x1.8, x2, x5, x10, x35, x50, x100 – so using a 10mm ultra-wide angle can be configured to 1000mm by digital crop factor at x100 – ok, I am really just kidding!
So do you really need a Full Frame sensor?

On the megapixel race, personally I felt that it is mega-rated. I mean do you really need that many pixels if you are just shooting for fun? Maybe yes and maybe no. But allow me to share what happens when you upgrade from – say a 16 megapixel camera to a 36 megapixel camera. First and foremost, you need a higher capacity memory card – and memory is expensive especially the good ones (pun intended). Your 8Gb or 16gb memory card can no longer store as much images as before.

And do not think buying a cheap & regular 32gb or 64gb will justify, faster writing speed cards costs more money too. Next, you need a good resolution screen to match – else you are not really viewing what was captured – The screen costs money too. And do check if your computer and software can handle multiple big files without hanging or crashing, if not you will need to upgrade (money again).

After you have addressed all the earlier points, now you need to have a much bigger HDD or backup system to store your files. Big files = Big Storage, that’s pretty much common sense isn’t it? And deep storage costs you more money. So the next time if a newly announced camera is 100 megapixel or 1000 megapixel, be prepared to fork out money for a 512gb memory card, a 4K or 6K screen, a super computer with infinity memory ram, a 10,000TB Storage/ back-up system and everything else in between. OK, this is not funny anymore. So do you need 1000 megapixel one day?

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There are a lot more points that I would like to cover in this article but I do not wish to risk being sued for unauthorized sharing of embargoed information until they are official. As a final disclaimer, the above article was intended to pull some jokes on the camera manufacturers without releasing any classified information on the research and development of any camera, lenses or photographic accessories. All speculated specifications and functions are purely false and imaginary with no basis and no reference.

On a serious note, things are moving really fast in the digital imaging arena and as a photographer, it will be interesting to watch and move along with the technology – even with the absurd ones.

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Pink Submission #14 “Blue” Editor’s Picks

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Pink Submission #14 “Blue”Editor’s Picks
Pink Feature 

04th April 2016, SingaporePINK Photographers Singapore (PPSG) – We have a rather interesting theme this round for Pink Submissions #14. The Sponsor – Cathay Photo Store had selected a color theme and Blue was the color. Blue being very much part of everyone’s lives also can be used for a variety of expressions, moods and interpretations. Looking at the 300+ entries submitted this round, this further confirms that Blue is very simple yet vast at the same time, innocent and yet diverse. Not exactly an easy theme if you ask me.

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Together with the judges (Sponsor), We have selected the below images that best represent this theme and several things were considered before the image made it here. From compositions, exposure, image quality and clarity to final delivery and captions. Before we get to the selected entries, let’s hear what the sponsor Cathay Photo & the Editor AL have to say about the entries.

“When Cathay Photo told me they had selected the theme – BLUE – for this submission, I went blank for a couple of minutes. Seemingly a simple theme, but to submit an image with a Blue theme is not easy. And I wonder what images will the Ladies from Pink submit. Well, after the entries poured in, I am not disappointed, Good Job Ladies!”
 AL, Editor.

“We selected a color theme and thought that this will be good challenge for the Pink Photographers. Blue happened to be our favorite color and we wanted to see how the color Blue gets interpreted by so many individuals. We went through every single entry and finally selected the winning images although we really love almost all the submitted images! Nice work Ladies!”
– Charmaine & Jasmine, Cathay Photo Store. 

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Enjoy the Editor’s Picks (Selected entries)!
(Winners Announcement after the jump)
(Appearance in NOT in any Order)

Pink Submission #14 “BLUE” Editor’s Picks

1) Selected Featured Entry Blue Bayou by Yuli Wan
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2) Selected Featured Entry Blue Electrocuted by Trisha Lim
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3) Selected Featured Entry Untitled by Cindy (Muse Muse)
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4) Selected Featured Entry Manta Ray by Joanna Ng
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Alan Photo

 

5) Selected Featured Entry Reflection by Ellis Jade Tay
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6) Selected Featured Entry Serenity by Nicole PH
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7) Selected Featured Entry Blue Theme by Magdalene Teo-Yong
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8) Selected Featured Entry Dawn by Pang Teng Lin
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9) Selected Featured Entry Sun Set by Chew Mei Mei
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10) Selected Featured Entry Patterns by Jeslin Tan
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11) Selected Featured Entry Early Blue by Peh Huili
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12) Selected Featured Entry Sun Set Blue by Soh Chui Lian 
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The above were the selected featured entries for this submission. This round, I am doing away with the commentaries and critiques as I think that the interpretations are far to many for this theme, so are you ready to find out who are the winners?

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And the Winners are!!!!

1st Place – Sun Set Blue
Photographer: Soh Chui Lian 
Congratulations Chui Lian! You’ve WON a Lowepro Nova Sports 35L worth $118.00!
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2nd Place – Blue Theme
Photographer: Magdalene Teo Yong 
Congratulations Magdalene! You’ve Won a Lowepro Nova Sports 17L worth $90.00!
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3rd Place – Untitled
Photographer: Cindy (Muse Muse)
Congratulations Cindy! You’ve Won a Lowepro Nova Sports 7L worth $56.00!
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Prizes this Round are Proudly Sponsored by Cathay Photo Store!

All Winners Will Be Notified via FB Messenger on the Collection Details.
Congratulations Ladies!

Special Thanks to Cathay Photo Store for sponsoring the prizes!
For those that didn’t win, don’t give up & please try harder next time.
Thank you for your participation Ladies!

Join PINK Photographers Singapore (PPSG)’s Next Upcoming (Photo Outing)! Click here for more details!

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Olympus Pen-F(antastic) – Part 3

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Olympus Pen-F(antastic) – Part 3
– Featuring Guest Editor Daniel Ho.
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Image: Our Guest Editor Daniel HO from Singapore Journal of Photography (SGJP)

 

24th March 2016, Singapore – The Editorial team decided to invite a Guest Reviewer to test out the Olympus Pen-F and he is none other than Daniel Ho, a professional street photographer who dabbles in the dark art of monochrome realm, an activist for film photographer and a lover of classic cameras. Daniel came across to us as a quiet guy who reasons with photographs, a nice guy who is willing to share his knowledge to anyone who is willing to listen and photographer that produces soulful and contrasty nostalgic images.

Following my Part 1 review of the Olympus Pen-F in Krabi, and after our Sub-Editor Gary Chow took the Pen-F out to spend time and wrote the Part 2 review, we decided to contact Daniel and let him have the Pen-F for a week. And we are not editing Daniel’s review and decided to publish the article”as it is” for everyone! Here we go!

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First impression on Olympus Pen-F with 17mm f1.8 Olympus M-Zuiko Digital Lens
– Review by Daniel Ho.
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Olympus was one of the first camera manufacturer to take the jump into the micro four third format cameras and has remained as one of the leading micro-four third camera brands ever since. After years of the introduction of their OMD line up and an aging micro-four third sensor compared to their competitors, Olympus’ latest Pen-F launch after the Pen Series and moving back into their nostalgic Pen Film and entry level Pen Digital Series, a 20-mega pixel sensor is like a breath of fresh air for the Micro Four Third Aficionados.

I have the privilege of having this beautiful camera for a quick review and I have decided to do one that I feel, is uniquely to what this specific camera has to offer, the incredible Black and White or Monochrome mode that can deliver out of the camera a Tri X 400 Effect. Before I get ahead on my comments and thoughts, do take note that I am not providing a technical review of this camera nor a comparative analysis of this camera against other camera, but just a user review of using this camera for the last one week.

These are the specifications of this camera:

  • 20MP Live MOS Four Thirds format sensor
  • 5-axis image stabilization with automatic panning detection
  • 36 million dot OLED electronic viewfinder
  • Up to 10 fps continuous shooting (20 fps with electronic shutter)
  • Highly customizable interface, twin controls
  • Fully articulating 1.04 million dot, 3″ LCD touchscreen
  • 50MP High-res Shot mode
  • 1/8000 sec top mechanical shutter speed (1/16,000 with e-shutter)
  • 1080/60p video recording

 

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Handling
The body comes in an aluminum and magnesium body with a faux leather wrapped around which I think is classy and sexy compared to the more professional range of OMD series. The various knobs on the top plate have a solid feel to it. The handling of this camera, however, is less than an ideal camera, as the small knobs to the settings will take some time to get used to, and especially for someone like me with big fingers, I could not respond to a change of exposure fast enough in order to adjust the compensation dial, or fiddling with the back and forward dial to figuring out where is the aperture settings and realizing both of it can be used to change my aperture.

The dial in front of the body is a stroke of genius compared to the OMD where I have to go into the menu to make a change to the filter available to me, but I am just not used to the weird location for me to get to the dial where I can set the artistic filter options.

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The Black and White Mode
This camera does renders beautifully the photos even in the various artistic filter available in the camera, but I will do a more immersive review on the monochrome mode which appeals to me as a photographer more especially when I have grown up falling in love with Black and White, and I am till today, still shooting on my Nikon Fm2 with the Tri X 400 films, so you can imagine how exciting I am when I learnt and read that Pen-F does Black and White in a simulated mode of Tri X film, and that’s something that unless you have to post process in a software like Lightroom by Adobe, I have to say, the nostalgia of a Tri X film and its beauty is something every Black and White photographer will want. So the end result, I took the opportunity when I was offered a chance to do a review of this camera

Alan Photo

 

My First Thought
I love not just the simulated mode of the Monochrome that is very closed to a Tri X 400 look, but the custom settings allow me to change the highlight and shadow, and this function was more or less what I do on Photoshop if I want to change the look and feel of my photo to a more contrasty black and white but now I can do this off the camera custom setting immediately. I took a few test photos and it looks really good out of the camera (OOC) and you can see below.

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Image: This photo was taken straight OOC at a café, which shows a beautiful rendering of shadows and contrast against the hard shadow on the floor with the chairs.

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Image: This was a really cute dog taken at a farm, and I love how close at this proximity to the dog, the 17mm at 1.8 at 35mm equivalent of full frame.

There was a pinochle effect but it was not too adverse to my liking, the bubble effect does lend to an unique perspective looking down at the dog waiting for her next treat.

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Image: Tested the camera shooting through the foliage has produced a desirable effect while showing the good details of the leaves.

As expected on the Black and White tone of green, it does render the tone of colours as appearing on the monochrome setting, it is however, slightly more balanced than the contrasty Tri X effect.

From the real life testing of this camera on the monochrome exclusively, I believe this is the more affordable alternative to the revered Leica M Monochrome, and with better lens option from the increasing number and better quality than before micro four third lens out in the market and the custom settings by which you can alter the histogram, the ability of getting OOC Black and white photos is indeed very appealing.

Other Considerations
In terms of the camera ability to capture brilliant Black and White photos on its monochrome setting, and the OOC Camera capability, this camera could turn out to be a legend on its own. However, there are some issues that unless Olympus resolve this soon, this could be a hit and run on another camera model that made it to the shelf; which is the key, so far, this camera seems to be only working for social media junkie where like many modern camera that is equipped with wi-fi, you can transfer JPEG to your phone to be shared on the social media such as Instagram, and that’s the end of the use of this camera, unfortunately.

The RAW file is not readable by Lightroom and that’s a pain, as RAW is crucial to every professional workflow and without this being made available to be read and manipulated in any post processing applications, this camera is just another nice toy among many other capable alternatives with OMD, Fuji X Series and even Sony.

In conclusion, this is a great camera to be in the bag, as it is small and portable, and enough power in a single charge to do some street photography and the monochrome function is a revelation from Olympus and good thought on that.

Review by Daniel Ho –
Email: daniel.ho@gmail.com
Singapore Journal of Photography (SGJP)
SGJP Facebook Group.

You can view the above review at SGJP’s website here.
For Pen-F Part 1 Review by Editor AL, click here.
For Pen-F Part 2 Review by Sub Editor Gary Chow, click here.

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Thank You Daniel for sharing your thoughts about the Olympus Pen-F!

Read up past reviews that we had done for Olympus here.

OSJ2
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Olympus Pen-F(antastic) – Part 2

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Olympus Pen-F(antastic) – Part 2
– Featuring Sub-Editor Gary Chow

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Image: Here’s the guy (Gary Chow) who insisted that I should let him have the Pen-F for a weekend.

19th March 2016, Singapore – Following my review of the Olympus Pen-F in Krabi, our Sub-Editor Gary Chow was so interested in the Pen-F after reading the review and had requested for some private time with the Pen-F before I pass the Pen-F on to another Reviewer. Seeing the gleam in Gary’s eyes, I decided to let him have the Pen-F for a weekend. And it’s one of those rare occasion that I also decided to publish his review & thoughts of the Olympus Pen-F pretty much unedited.

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My Thoughts on the Olympus Pen-F

Words By: Gary Chow (Sub-Editor, Ourshuterjourney.com)

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Image: By Gary Chow, Shot by Pen-F. 
The original Pen F is a cult classic film camera that is hugely popular during 60-70s.  It is a 1/2 frame film single lens reflect camera that can get you 72 exposures from a roll of 36 exposures 135 mm film.  Today (yes today!), it remains very popular among those who loves film photography.

As an Olympus-user, I am in favor of the OM-D series more than all the previous digital Pen series which does not have an electronic view finder (EVF) until the arrival of Pen F. Before the Pen F became a reality, there are a lot of speculations before the official launch of the Pen F – from various designs to the specifications that had appeared on most photography rumor sites.  These speculations had caught my attention especially one of the rumor suggested that the new Pen-F comes with the EVF. The other rumous that was spot on is none other than the tilt-table LCD screen that was built differently from the current Pen series. Maybe that’s why Olympus called the Pen F a masterpiece.

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Image: By Gary Chow, Shot by Pen-F.
I have been anticipating the  arrival of this masterpiece, waiting to see, touch it, feel it and play with it.  The store that I always visit & who sells the Pen F is always packed with people.   Fortunately, I know the Editor AL is reviewing the Pen F, so I decided to contact him and beg him to let me have it for a weekend (lol). My first initial impression of the Pen F is like – WOW! with a big exclamation mark.  It is a beautifully crafted camera with no trace of screws on the exterior.  Yes it is screw-less and i have yet to see the same on any other cameras !!! It weighs quite a bit but it is well put-together with a good mix of metal and leather.  It is a definitely a solid modern classic, a handsome street camera packed with powerful features that is unique to Olympus.My favourite features from the OMDs are all available in this modern classics, features like live-comp & live bulb (to die for) especially you are into long exposure, light trail and milky way photography. Now the Pen F is packed with a 50 mp high res mode, the results are as good as any full frame camera as long as the subject stay still.  I didn’t see a lot of differences between a 20 mp and 16 mp. However, reading the specs and looking at the images that I’ve gotten, I assure you that they are improvements over the old sensor.

 

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Personally, I enjoy shooting with the Pen F, especially with the new dial at the front of the camera that gives you quick access to change the levels of highlights and shadows, colour tones and tonal curves.  It is a useful features if you don’t want to waste too much time post processing your pictures. If you want SOCC pic without much post processing, this will be the only camera you need.  As always, the Olympus jpeg are gorgeous, this new features certainly helps to cut down workflow.
Just imagine this new workflow using the new Pen F;
– shoot subject with in camera post processing
– wifi to camera
– upload social media
= ultimate convenience and enjoyment.

Alan Photo

There only 2 things that i wished that the Pen F has,
1. have a taller body to accommodate the PRO series of lenses without the need of a additional grip.  As of now, the PRO lenses are protruding out from the camera base.
2. have a weather sealed body at this price point.

Overall, the Pen F is a fantastic street camera that you will enjoy shooting.  It looks cool and works great.  I am not saying it is a perfect camera, there are certainly some areas that need to be improved and i trust Olympus will definitely provide timely update as they always do.

Gary Chow.
Sub-Editor
Ourshutterjourney.com

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Thanks Gary for sharing your thoughts about the Olympus Pen-F. We will highlight & feedback to Olympus Singapore on your thoughts.Mean time, look out for Part 3 as we passed the Pen-F to a famous street photographer, Daniel Ho and see what will he say about the Pen-F.

 

Do check out what we did with the Olympus TG-870 that we brought along here.
Read up past reviews that we had done for Olympus here.

To read Editor AL’s Part 1 Review of the Pen-F, click here.
To read Guest Review Editor Daniel Ho’s Part 3 Review of the Pen-F click here.

 

OSJ2

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Olympus Stylus TOUGH TG-870

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Olympus Stylus TOUGH TG-870
– The NEW Tough TG-870 Reviewed at Krabi, Thailand.
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Image: The NEW Tough TG-870 from Olympus.

12h March 2016, Krabi, Thailand/ Singapore – So along with the Pen-F package that Olympus Singapore sent us before our Krabi trip, we found another camera inside the bag. It’s the latest Tough TG-870. I broke a little evil grin as I remembered what we did in 2013 for the TG-2. In fact many photos were removed from the review after we published it – photos of me swimming underwater with the TG-2 & TG-1, placing the TG-2 & TG-3 in a freezer etc. OK, I knew that was dangerous and worse, if you search a bit, you would have also know that I had also went swimming & bashed (tried) a few Nikon AW and put some Pentax camera under a Honda Civic etc.

Knowing what I am capable of, Olympus told me that this is the limited few units for review and had hinted that I should not put the TG-870 through a camera version of “NCAP Rating Test”. OK, so no extreme methods were used this time.

P3060391.JPG Image: The NEW Tough TG-870 from Olympus. The tilt screen is super excellent for selfie and Olympus even has a Selfie Mode!


Before I proceed, if you found your way here looking for specs and technical review, too bad, over here, our style has always been the End-User (layman)’s approach and we are really more interested to find out what the camera can do and the images that it can produce. (If you really need the specs, please visit Olympus Singapore’s website here.)

This 16 megapixel ultra tough compact is a camera that you WANT to bring with you wherever you go. Featuring a focal range equivalent to 21-105mm with an aperture of F3.5-5.7, this is actually very useful! Why? I will share about this later. The ISO is pretty generous (this is a compact mind you) doing a ISO 125 to 12800.

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The TG-870 features an arrays of Art Filters (expected from Olympus), which makes the TG-870 an ideal “Creative on the Go” compact. The compact size measuring 113mm x 64mm x 28 mm and weights a mere 221gm fits most pockets & pouches. I had the TG-870 in my pocket throughout my trip to Krabi if you must know. Apart from the solidly built exterior, this is after all a TOUGH series camera from Olympus. It was built to swim up to 15m depth, withstand a car’s rollover weight up to 100kgf (ok in layman terms, up to a car the size/weight of a 2016 Honda Civic), a careless drop from a height of 2.1m & you try shooting in a freezer up to -10 degree before the LCD freezes up no you. 

P3060390.JPG Image: The NEW Tough TG-870 from Olympus. The controls are similar to past TOUGH series cameras – but we love the Selfie Mode on the Round Dial. (Below P Mode)

So what did I shot using the TG-870 at Krabi? Check out the images below.
All images are not edited except adjustments for horizon alignments, croppings and adding water mark. Everything else is what I got directly from the TG-870.

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Image: Above Krabi. Shot by Olympus Tough TG-870.

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Image: Above Krabi. Shot by Olympus Tough TG-870.

While my Olympus Pen-F is inside the overhead luggage compartment, I am so glad that I have the TG-870 inside my pocket while the plane is approaching Krabi International Airport. Took it out and gotten the above shots, 1 in color and 1 in mono. I was pleasantly amazed by the colors (no art filters, just regular shooting modes) and more amazed with the monochrome version. After looking at the images, I ended up having the TG-870 in my pocket throughout my stay in Krabi.

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Image: The Inifinity Pool at our resort. Aonang, Krabi Thailand. Shot by Olympus Tough TG-870.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Image: A lotus flower in full bloom at our resort. Aonang, Krabi Thailand. Shot by Olympus Tough TG-870.

Alan Photo

Since one of the highlights at Krabi is the amazing sun set, we went to the beach earlier to look for a good spot for a good review photo for the Pen-F. After settling for a spot, we decided to have some fun with the TG-870. (Especially the Selfie Mode)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Image: Our shadows at 5.00pm (Thailand time) on Aonang Beach, Krabi Thailand. Shot by Olympus Tough TG-870.  

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Image: My Selfie at Aonang Beach, Krabi Thailand. Shot by Olympus Tough TG-870.   
After I’ve gotten my Review Shot for the Pen-F, it’s time to lepak. Then just when I kept the Pen-F into my bag, I saw 2 horses strolling on the beach front and needless to say, it’s TG-870 for the shot! The colors produced by the TG-870 is really amazing!

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Image: Horses & Sunset at Aonang Beach, Krabi Thailand. Shot by Olympus Tough TG-870.

Don’t you love the colors too? And from the Pen-F article, you would have read that we climbed the Tiger Cave Mountain that features 1260+ vertical steps. At the peak of the Tiger Cave mountain, apart from the magnificence scenic overview, there are a few giant Buddha statues. Sadly, I only had the Zuiko 17mm on my Pen-F and the space up at the peak is pretty tight. Thank God for TG-870, the 21mm on the TG-870 is super useful at the point!

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Image: A view from the peak of Tiger Cave mountain, Krabi Thailand. Shot by Olympus Tough TG-870.

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Image: A view at the peak of Tiger Cave mountain, Krabi Thailand. Shot by Olympus Tough TG-870. (Lucky and Really Thankful for the 21mm wide angle!)

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Image: A view at the peak of Tiger Cave mountain, Krabi Thailand. Shot by Olympus Tough TG-870. (Lucky and Really Thankful for the 21mm wide angle!)

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Image: A view from the peak of Tiger Cave mountain, Krabi Thailand. Shot by Olympus Tough TG-870.

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Image: A view at the peak of Tiger Cave mountain, Krabi Thailand. Shot by Olympus Tough TG-870. (Lucky and Really Thankful for the 21mm wide angle!)

In a nutshell, the Olympus Tough TG-870 is a little monster that I will love to have 1 in my pocket anytime. It is probably the best companion to any camera that you are using or bringing around. For travelers, this is the cam you might wish to have it with you – especially to destinations where weather is harsh and unforgiving. The TG-870 is inexpensive, works like a horse, compact & light, tiltable screen with a host of “everyday” functions & shooting mode – Go Get It.

Thank You Olympus Singapore for the Sponsorship!

Do check out what we did with the Olympus Pen-F that we brought along to Krabi.
Read up past reviews that we had done for Olympus here.

Below Images: Behind-the-scene photos for the Olympus Tough TG-870 by Cyndris Neo.

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Olympus Pen-F(antastic)

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Olympus Pen-F(antastic)
– The NEW Pen-F Reviewed at Krabi, Thailand.  
P3040123.JPG Image: Aonang Beach Sun Set, Krabi, Thailand.
Shot by Olympus Pen-F.

11th March 2016, Krabi, Thailand/ Singapore – Olympus Singapore sent us their new Pen-F & the new TG-870 recently, quite timely as we have a short getaway trip planned to Krabi, Thailand. Strange as it seems, Olympus seems to always know when we have a trip planned. If you do a quick search on the Search Bar on the right column, you will notice that we had reviewed Olympus cameras in destinations like Bangkok, Cebu etc.

As an OMD user, my approach to this review is trying to imagine that the Pen-F is just a digital reincarnation of the good old half-frame Olympus Pen from the film era. (But later found out that I was pretty wrong) Before I proceed, if you found your way here looking for specs and technical review, too bad, over here, our style has always been the End-User (layman)’s approach and we are really more interested to find out what the camera can do and the images that it can produce. (If you really need the specs, please visit Olympus Singapore’s website here.)

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Image: The NEW Olympus Pen-F paired with the Zuiko 17mm & 45mm for the trip.
(35mm FF equiv: 17mm (34mm) & 45mm (90mm)

With much talk across every other photographic social media platforms – and like every other persons – we are very curious about the Pen-F. Some quick specs here before we get to the photos. “Reborn” as a micro 4/3 20 megapixel retro-style digital camera with interchangeable lens, the Pen-F features an electronic viewfinder with 2.36 million dot OLED – this means you get to view what is exactly outside the viewfinder from exposure to movements. The crazily fast shutter that does a 10 frame per second (FPS) and doubled to 20 fps when you activates the electronic shutter. Use the Pen-F with the built in 5-axis image stabilizer that comes with an automatic panning detection sensor, you can imagine what you can do with these functions.

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What we really like is the how the way the buttons are laid out. Similar to other “Range-Finder” style cameras (think Nikon Df, Fujifilm X-series etc), the buttons & dials are purposeful and not overkill, which personally I find it a joy to use – just like film cameras from yesteryears. And the NEW Pen-F took this to another level as you can customize almost every function and assign it to a button of your choice, that is really something as this means every one can (now) have a camera that will be “tuned” to their preference.

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The New Pen-F has a nice 3″ tiltable screen, best for the low angle shot or even the ocassional selfie! Although I am not a video person, the Pen-F is capable of video recording at a decent 1080/60p speed if you care to know. One of the feature which was highly speculated was the ability to shoot 50 megapixel under the “High Res Shot” mode. As an end-user reviewer, I did not venture there but already happy with what I had gotten from the regular modes.

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The Pen-F is pretty small at 124.8mm width x 72.1mm height x 37.2mm depth and weights a mere 427g. This is perfect as it will fit almost any camera bags out there and a perfect camera for travel. The built is super solid comes cladded in an armour of aluminum & magnesium and the best part, you can’t really spot any fitting joints or even screws!

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Like most of the Olympus cameras of today, you get lots of effects filters, art filters and whole lot more of customizable frames etc. Another highlight of the Pen-F is the “Grainy Film” effect. (You can find it at the Art Filter menu). Which I used for quite a number of shots. Let’s check out the photos that I’ve shot at Krabi using the new Olympus Pen-F.
(All images in this article are not edited except with the usual adjustment of alignment, cropping and adding watermarks. Click on them to view the full size.)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAImage: Long Tail Boats for island-hopping tours docking back to mainland.
Aonang Beach, Krabi Thailand. Shot with Olympus Pen-F.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Image: Bikes for rental. Aonang Town, Krabi Thailand. Shot with Olympus Pen-F.

Here’s what happened when I switch the dial at the front of the camera (below) to “Mono” and activated the “magic” of Film-Like black & white photos..

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Image: The control dial at the front of the Pen-F.

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Below are the images from the Pen-F in “Mono” mode. Like most tourists town in Thailand, Krabi is very much the same, from street food hawkers to street peddlers, selling a wide variety of souvenirs and art pieces, shooting them in Mono kinda added the “feel” of the image and looking at them brings me “back” to Krabi. Check out the next few images.

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Image: Street Stall selling Leather Goods, Aonang Town, Krabi, Thailand.
Shot by Olympus Pen-F.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Image: Street Stall selling Leather Goods, Aonang Town, Krabi, Thailand.
Shot by Olympus Pen-F.

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Image: Art Shop , Aonang Town, Krabi, Thailand.
Shot by Olympus Pen-F. 


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Image: Art Shop , Aonang Town, Krabi, Thailand.
Shot by Olympus Pen-F. 

 

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Image: Tourists checking out a restaurant menu, Aonang Town, Krabi, Thailand.
Shot by Olympus Pen-F. 

Like the mono images? I do not know about you guys but I am certainly in love with it!
Now check out the color images below!

 

Alan Photo

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Image: Street Food, Aonang Town, Krabi, Thailand.
Shot by Olympus Pen-F.

 

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Image: Seafood Happiness for 50 baht, Aonang Town, Krabi, Thailand.
Shot by Olympus Pen-F.

 

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Image: Sea food on grill (Street Food), Aonang Town, Krabi, Thailand.
Shot by Olympus Pen-F.



Since we are at Krabi, we decided to climb 1260++ vertical steps up the Tiger Cave Mountain. (It was a very, very tiring decision – but it’s all worth it!)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Image: At the foot of the Tiger Cave Moutain, Aonang Town, Krabi, Thailand.
Shot by Olympus Pen-F.  

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Image: At the peak of the Tiger Cave Moutain, Aonang Town, Krabi, Thailand.
Shot by Olympus Pen-F.

 

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Image: 10 inch Sports Rims Wow!, Taxi at Aonang Town, Krabi, Thailand.
Shot by Olympus Pen-F.   

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Image: Take a stroll long Aonang Town, Krabi, Thailand.
Shot by Olympus Pen-F.   

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 Image: Aonang Beach Sun Set, Krabi, Thailand.
Shot by Olympus Pen-F.

In summary, the New Olympus Pen-F is a F(antastic) & well-packaged camera! Although Olympus market it as a Street Photography camera, I beg to differ. The Pen-F is pretty competent for travel and for most photography applications too. And for those creative ones, the art filters will ensure hours and hours of fun. Reasonably priced and well built, this is a camera that you should really consider getting it!

For those who might ask me, “What about the OMD”? Well, all I can say it fellas, go read up on Olympus’s heritage cams and find out for yourself. For me, I will say that the Pen-Series is a different class of cameras and it is one of those really fun ones to have. For now, I will continue to pretend the “F” in the Pen-F is a secret code that stands for F-antastic!

Thank You Olympus Singapore for the Sponsorship!

Do check out what we did with the Olympus TG-870 that we brought along here.
Read up past reviews that we had done for Olympus here.

To Read Part 2 Review by Gary Chow, click here.
To Read Part 3 Review by Daniel Ho, click here.

Images: Behind-the-scene photos for the Pen-F Reviews by Cyndris Neo.

 

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Explore The New world of Photography with SIGMA dp Quattro Cameras

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Explore The New world of Photography with SIGMA dp Quattro Cameras
– Featuring David Yeo

UPDATE!: 22nd March 2016 – Workshop Date Had Been Changed From 26th March 2016 TO 02nd April 2016
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09th March 2016, Singapore – Due to overwhelming response, Sigma Singapore is organizing another round of Photography Talk for the highly popular Sigma DP Quattro series camera. The talk – titled “Explore The New world of Photography with SIGMA dp Quattro Cameras” will be conducted by Mr. David Yeo, an award-winning photographer that has a chain of awards dating back all the way to 1986.

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David is almost an all-rounder having experimented in all the photography genres and (still) a very keen learner despite his achievements in photography. David will be touching on the various aspects of the Sigma DP Series Cameras, which will be very interesting to many as – because many do not really understand what the DP series cameras is all about.

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No, it’s not just about Sigma squeezing a Foveon  Sensor into a compact, there’s much more than meet the eyes (or the specs). So this is your chance to learn more about this “little monster” from Sigma and you get to meet the man – David Yeo – in person too!

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David’s Award Timeline:

-1986
Selected as an Active Exhibitor by the Award Committee of the Photographic Society of Penang (AEPSP), the Active Exhibitor of Photographic Society of Penang and an Senior Associate member of Wilmington,USA.

– 1988
“Artiste FIAP (AFIAP)” by the Federation International De L’Art Photographique (International Federational of Photographic Art) of Switzerland.

– 1989
Elected as an Associate member of the Photographic Society of New York (APSNY).

– 1991
Gained Licentiateship (LBIPP) from the British Institute of Professional Photography.

– 1992
Work was selected by the Photographic Society of America (PSA) for the World Exhibition 1992 PSA Convention. This piece of work is now at the PSA – Colour Slides Division Permanent Collection. It is only shown at Special PSA Events.

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Image: Shot using the Sigma DP Quattro by David Yeo.

Alan Photo

– 1993
“PSA Galaxy Three Exhibitor Award” by the Photographic Society of America.

Gained a Fellowship of the Photographic Society of Malaysia.

– 1994
Gained the Licentiateship (LMPA) from the Master Photographers Association(UK).

– 1996
Gained the Licentiateship in the Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers of London.

– 2014
Received EPSA(Excellence) from the Photographic Society of America.

On 14th December 2014, Lens Eye Portal in India conferred David a Mentor of Lens Eye – the only person in the whole Asia region.

David also participated actively with the Photographic Society of Singapore where he was holding various key appointments as a Honorary Secretary (1989), Assistant Secretary (1988) and the Chairman of the Singapore International Salon of Photography (1990).

 

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Impressed? Get to learn about the Sigma DP Quattro & meet David Yeo in person!
Now here’s your chance!

Date: 26th March 2016
Time: 11.00am to 12.30pm
Venue: Sigma Marketing Office
3791 Jalan Bukit Merah
#07-19/20 E-Centre@Redhill
Singapore 159471

Registration: RSVP by email to rbteow@apds.com.sg.
(Please provide name & contact number)

RSVP Closing Date: 23rd March 2016

To read all our reviews & news from Sigma, click here.
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We Are SIX !!!

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We Are SIX !!! IMG_7144Anniversary
Image: Ourshutterjourney.com Combined Groups Administrators Circle 2016.
Left to Right: AL Lee (Group Founder), Kase Low (SJS, P@P), Eng Choon Siong (SJS), Alvinn Lim (SJS), Ang Qianling (PINK), Robing Ng (SJS), Cindy Muse (PINK, DSG), Gary Chow (Managing Partner, SJS), Magdalene Yeo (PINK, DSG), Alan Lim (SJS), Magdalene Teo-Yong (PINK, SJS, DSG), Robin Choo (SJS, DSG), Susan Gwee (SJS, PINK DSG), Jonathan Chua (SJS), Trisha Lim (SJS, PINK, DSG, SIREN), Vince Tan (SJS, SIREN) & Kenneth Chui (SJS).

01st March 2016, Singapore – Ourshutterjourney.com Celebrates our 6th Anniversary today. It had been a bumpy ride through these years and six years in the photography industry is a (really) long time. Today also happened to be the 3rd year Anniversary for P@P & AMN, and a few more days, will be the 2nd Anniversary for SIREN. Time indeed waits for no one. Running a photography agency in Singapore is probably one of the toughest industry and a challenging one. Looking back, we have indeed braved many storms and pushed many boundaries – and some of things that we had done – probably no other groups in Singapore had tread where we had ventured.

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Image: Ourshutterjourney.com Combined Groups Administrators Circle 2016.

I was browsing through the recently revamped gallery of our past outings & events, I couldn’t help but smile at some of the really fun outings that we had and the friendships that had bonded everyone together. Among the older photos, I must admit that I was almost tearing up when I saw some of the “friends” that was once close to me who are no longer with us today. Nevertheless, I wish these friends had found what they are living for and I hope they continue to pursue the art of photography – in their own respective groups.

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Milestones after milestones, Ourshutterjourney is the first independent photography group in Singapore to incorporate a comprehensive list of approved & accredited merchants to serve the members community, and we went on to be the first group in Singapore to have our very own Authorized Service Centre – that raised many eye browns when we did the announcements – but since we are always moving towards a well-organized & syndicated photography group, this is what we want to do – to innovate how a hobby group can be professionally run. Eventually we have come to a point that all the various Photography Groups that were formed by us went under the main management of Ourshutterjourney LLP, a Singapore registered company in 2013 & Ourshutterjourney Photography Consortium was officially formed.
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With the launch of our membership program in Nov 2015 at SITEX Singapore, Ourshutterjourney had moved to the next level of syndication where we offer registered members a host of benefits that by far, (and we were told by our registered members) one of the best membership program available from a photography group. We were thrilled when we heard this. The team will be working hard to bring everyone more interesting events in the future!

 

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So all the admins came together (first time!) for a photo shoot and we had a meeting to map out plans for the rest of the year and we are really excited of what’s coming for the next 10 months! Apology that we are not announcing here yet as we are still in the midst of confirming all the details and bookings and do wait for it.

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Special Thanks! – YellowKorner Singapore had kindly let us use their store for the group photo shoot and we are indeed grateful for their kindness. YellowKorner is a gallery for large photo prints, a showcase, a cinema of still images, a retailer of high quality photo prints of amazing works by photographers from all over the world. Located at the basement 2 of 313 in Orchard Road, Singapore,  you should pay them a visit if you are in Orchard. You will be amazed by the works on display – just like how we were amazed too.

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Image: YellowKorner Singapore. Basement 2, Orchard 313. 
THANK YOU! – No organization can run successfully on a “One-Man show” – our existence today are only possible with the help and support of all the Administrators which had selflessly taken time out of their busy schedules to make (many) things possible for everybody. Each Administrator contributed in their own way and play multiple roles to ensure the group’s operations, events, online activities are well taken care of – they deserves the biggest THANKS from all the members! Thank you Admins!

Thanks to All the Accredited merchants & Brand owners who are with us in our accreditation program and continues to add values to our activities and events.

Last but not least, to all our Registered Members, Members, Subscribers, Followers and Supporters – You Made All these Possible – THANK YOU!

Sincerely,
AL LEE
Ourshutterjourney Founder.

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