Posts tagged workshop

Creative Asia 2011

Creative Asia was a real eye-opener for me and I believe, also, many other from Malaysia and around the region. I’ve attended many conferences and workshops by now… not all of them relate or are about photography but yet, they are generally well attended. Most of the time, you do come out of them pretty much inspired to do things or with new ideas in your head.

This is no different with Creative Asia 2011. With plenty of international capable speakers and inspiring imagery, words and action, it’s almost impossible to not come out of the conference pumped out somehow. The conference schedule was as follows:

19 Jan (Wednesday)
815am Registration
9am-5pm Print Judging
7pm-730pm Opening Ceremony
730pm-9pm Opening Keynote by Joe McNally

20 Jan (Thursday)
8am-10am Visual Story Telling by Mike Langford
1030am-1230pm A Colourful World by Manny Librodo
2pm-4pm King of Wedding Filmmaking by Jason Magbanua
430pm-630pm Photoshop for show & Photoshop for dough by Daniel Capobianco
730pm-9pm The Showdown by various speakers

21 Jan (Friday)
8am-10am Standing out from the crowd by Dane Sanders
1030am-1230pm Reinventing group photography by Michael Greenberg
2pm-4pm Fast & Furious by Louis Pang
730pm-9pm Awards & Closing Ceremony

As you can see, it was a packed and more than a full day every day! I must give the Louis Pang Studio team a big hand (or several more hands) in organizing and delivering a world class conference right here in Malaysia.

The judging was the part I learned the most as it gives you tremendous insight into how world-class competitions are judged. It’s not cheating when you’re know what the judges are looking at but it will make you pay attention to details like placement or inclusion of elements (why are they there? If it’s included, it must have purpose) or things like color and flash.

Of all the other speakers, as usual, my favorite always will be Joe McNally. He never ceases to be able to capture my attention and I don’t think any other speaker will be able to do that for me. I also enjoyed the show-down as it really shows us how different styles and approaches can work for different types of photography and what kind of results it produced. The live demos were always welcome.

Finally, nothing is perfect and I do think that there are some improvements that can be made to the conference. One thing for sure is that at least the provision of coffee and tea at the registration/reception area in the morning. Almost every conference has that and I think it was a bit of a letdown. The creative participants of course rose to the challenge and you started seeing Starbucks cups everywhere — maybe Starbucks could be roped in to sponsor some free coffee! The conference hall was a bit large for the number of participants but perhaps the CA Crew were expecting more people. Content-wise, additional shoot-and-show kind of presentation would be nice.

To conclude, I met plenty of fun people and many familiar faces and CA 2012 will be on my calendar next year! I do hope to see more speakers and workshops (Syl Arena for us Canon users and speedliting!) and perhaps some sessions could have multiple tracks (i.e. a photoshop track, a fashion track, etc).

See you in 2012!

Creative Asia Interview

A couple of years back, I photographed this old couple who make a living selling curry noodles. When I gave them their photos, they were overjoyed. They showed everyone in their little village. They said that they didn’t expect anyone to take their photo at all.

I guess this kind of feels like that. I don’t think I’d expect anyone to interview me at all! So I was pleasantly surprised when I was asked to be interviewed!

Click the photo if you’ve a Facebook Account to go to the Creative Asia Facebook page. Just unfortunate that I’m unable to make it to any of the workshops as the smaller class and hands-on learning is really worth it. I’m consoled by the fact that at least I’ll be there for the three days of the conference! See you there!

And if you’re not on Facebook, the interview is posted verbatim below :

1. Tell us about yourself.
I was born and raised in Petaling Jaya and married to the most awesome person in the world. I did a Computer Science and Marketing course at a university in the US. Currently, I do business development for a Fortune 100 IT company and much of my weekends and free time are split between family, community service projects and photography. As a child, I dabbled with photography now and again using a 35mm point-and-shoot and my dad’s 8mm cine camera. My grandfather had a Leica M3 rangefinder and Contaflex SLR so you can say that photography is in my blood. Other than photography and my lovely wife, I also love cooking and a good cup of coffee.

2. How long you have been practicing photography?
I purchased my first SLR camera in 1999 which kick started my photography. It was primarily travel and landscapes initially. I shot my first wedding in 2001 on a Kodak Portra 160VC. Although I still love the film, my first digital SLR, a Canon 300D, purchased in 2004, sent me into the digital age.

3. What do you shoot?

Initially shooting mostly landscapes and travel, I now shoot mostly weddings and portraiture as I don’t travel as often as I used to. Occasionally, I do events and product shoots. For personal interest, I still shoot anything and everything from my dogs to my garden flowers and my own cooking. I also do pro-bono photography for a non-profit charity which I think really keeps me grounded. It’s an amazing feeling when you see people, who don’t even have a single photo of themselves, family or children, being grateful and overjoyed to receive their free portraiture shot.

4. What do you enjoy the most in photography?

I enjoy the entire process; from trying to capture the special moment (or waiting for that lovely light) to seeing the final results and sharing the results. My first attempt at making a photo book literally involved a lot of cutting and pasting. It’s all digital today. What I love most, though, is seeing the expression and reaction of people whom I’ve photographed when the photos are done well and appreciated.

5. Why are you attending Creative Asia?

It may sound cliche to say that you don’t get such an event with so much talent, so available and affordable in Malaysia; it is an opportunity not to be missed! It’s just going to be awesome to absorb all the inspiration saturating the place during the event!

6. Why is learning from other photographers important to you?

All the photographers I look up to have their own unique styles and personalities. I think it helps anybody to get challenged and inspired every now and then. It’s what drives me to do better. Sometimes you see something someone else has done that absolutely inspires you or challenges you to raise the bar. I’ve learnt so much from other photographers by just imitating or trying to imitate what they have done.

7. Can you share one tip that you have found useful to your photography? (This can be a business/marketing or a photography technique.)

Get out of your comfort zone. When we’re comfortable, it means we’re staying stagnant. Taking a 3-day photography workshop in 2008 was definitely out of my comfort zone but it did wonders for my photography.

8. What do you look forward most in Creative Asia?

Meeting fellow photographers and getting inspired of course!

9. What’s in your camera bag?

I’m a Canon user so for most events and weddings (and travel), I always have my 5D Mark II bodies and my two favorite lenses, a 16-35mm 2.8 and 70-200 IS 2.8. I also have an assortment of lenses (from 10mm to 300mm) and flash units (580EX IIs) along with my RadioPoppers. Furthermore, I carry my GPS, Leatherman wave tool (helped get a jammed door at a groom’s house open), and a compact flashlight. I also have a Panasonic GF1 compact camera (micro-four-thirds) with me most of the time. It’s mostly used for travel and personal snapshots.

10. Your favourite photography tool/equipment?

I tend to have favorites from time to time (perhaps I’m fickle minded) but right now, it has to be RadioPoppers. Ever since I’ve started with studio strobes, I’ve always wished to have TTL control with wireless flash. After shooting a couple of weddings recently, I’m definitely sold on their ease of use and reliability that they’re constantly in my camera bag.

Creative Asia Photography Conference

World Class learning at an affordable and accessible price! Not only that, being in KL means much cheaper accommodation and travel costs for Malaysians especially if you compare to conferences and workshops in the US such as WPPI.

So why, wait? Sign up for the conference or a workshop or two today!

Video Workshop at Integricity Visuals

“What? He’s doing video also now?”

That’s what my brother-in-law said when he found out I was attending a video workshop. Funny but that’s where I was on a Sunday morning. In fact, the workshop ran on till past 7pm! We had a blast.

Why would a stills photographer attend a video workshop? Well, my DSLR has been called a VDSLR but I like what Vincent Laforet calls it, a HDDSLR — a SLR that shoots HD video. It’s also a world apart when working with stills and video. It’s not easy but it’s something that requires a different kind of planning, approach and all that stuff.

While I’m not sure if I’ll be producing a lot of movies, I do believe that no learning is wasted and that if you only stop learning when you die. So, even from the stills photography side of things, movie-making does give you a few ideas and a cinematic approach is not a bad thing to add to your array of styles or ideas.

It was fun to see how things are done in the movies and learn some interesting camera tricks as well. There was basically an overload of information and I think it would be best done as a 2-day workshop as the video project takes time to work out, and do. Also, movie-making isn’t a solo endeavor so teaming up is a good approach but time is a biggest factor here. That said, the entire workshop taught me a lot of things, not to mention that if you want a cinema look, try not to use the zoom! That’s pretty easy… zooming on a HDDSLR is not the easiest thing to do.

Sorry bout the some of the photos below… I was using my iPhone as the class pace was fast and loaded, making it difficult to reach for the HDDSLR and take notes at the same time! The only thing I wish there was more off would be more examples and sample videos but this is an intro workshop so can’t go into such depth. Time to save up for my Redrock Micro video DSLR rig and the Intermediate Video workshop 🙂

A fun thing would be to have a Collision Conference or Re:Frame right here in Malaysia.

Kee Sitt and Grace demonstrating a 180 degree flip… a no, no in video.

Gear envy!

Editing our little Nescafe ad we made…

By the way, I’ll post our end result once I get the final copy from Karan.

Louis Pang – From Ordinary to Extraordinary Workshop

From Ordinary to Extraordinary Workshop

icon_ltgray_open_quote There’s nothing ordinary about Louis’ workshop. From technical skills to people skills, Louis’ heart, passion, love and energy is at such a high level that it will leave you so charged up that the next time you hold your camera to your eye, you’ll still hear his voice! You not only see how the maestro works but more importantly, there’s no secrets and Louis really opens up all his experience, knowledge and skill for you to tap. You’ll find out soon enough that love and passion count more than f-stops and shutter speeds! Probably the only money you spend on Photography that will not lose value!icon_ltgray_close_quote