[portfolio: vamos.com.sg email: foocheechang@gmail.com phone: +65 9622 9024 twitter: foocheechang]

tech

meeting the prime minister

well, not exactly. i did get my first picture of madhav kumar nepal yesterday though, on the show floor of info tech 2010 in kathmandu where i was doing a story at with ahmad. turned out makunay (as in his nepali initials) was the guest-of-honour. really charming of him to look into my lens. maybe he was just surprised that this photographer was not jostling with the rest of the press for choice angles.

no surprises here. with the murder of rajesh mandal, a maoist leader in parsa the day before, security was tight as it could be. maybe it’s just like this everytime the pm goes somewhere.

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speed & the city

time-lapse photography i did for a recent school assignment. put together in quicktime pro and imovie.

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freni promo shoot + dinner

l-r: shi hui, tze, lide, walter, liz. check out the details and the props!

did a really fun photoshoot for some friends a couple of days ago to make some pictures to promote their group in the upcoming wkwsci orientation camp next week. it was a nice get-together at sarah’s place (with the super cool old-world-looking basmement!) for dinner followed by the shoot.

since the theme of this year’s camp has a mafia-ish feel to it, we wanted to do something in the same grain – thus the choices of costumes and location that that you see. before i move into the technical stuff, just want to thank yudi for being an awesome assistant (always brings great insights and ideas to the shoots), sarah for being a wonderful host and supplying the food and location, and of course, the cast – tze, lide, shi hui and walter for being so fun and sporting and a pleasure to work with.

for the first photo on top, we had a speedlight close to camera right set to bounce light off the white ceiling for general fill. since there were a couple of available light sources (the lamp lighting shi hui and a spotlight on the ceiling lighting liz), we wanted to incorporate those into the setup and achieved that by setting a slower shutter speed to allow them to “burn in”. the main light was a CTO-gelled (for warmth) speedlight with omnibounce attached and pointed straight down from the ceiling to simulate a bare bulb. we flagged the side pointed at the wall to minimise ugly specular highlights from forming.

since the lamp was rather strong, there was a noticeable light falloff from left to right before we corrected that with a speedlight (low and right of camera) fired into a relector to match the brightness of the left. i then had to do quite a bit of selective colour-correction in photoshop to match the different colour temperatures of the various light sources.

for the set of images that you see above, we set up a speedlight bounced off a reflective umbrella right of the lamp, high and aimed at the subject to make it seem as though the lamp was actually the light source (it would have been too harsh a light if we were to use it). we had a reflector out of frame on the left to lift the shadows a little. that was it, simple setup.

i then wanted to try a low-key portrait with a warm light as the main and a cool light as the kicker. turned the camera’s white balance setting to tungsten to get a bluish tone (for the kicker light) and gelling the main light orange for the warmth.  the shutter speed was set near maximum sync-speed to remove all the ambient light (turning the background pure black). 2 light sources for this – a speedlight, gelled orange, bounced off a reflective umbrella right and just out of frame and another speedlight grid-spotted to control the spill, left of frame. got the following:

for the fun of it, i also made a “movie poster” version by combining the 5 pictures above in photoshop and bumping up the contrast and stripping a bit of the colour for the edgy look.

and of course, i had to get my portrait of sarah. another one for the collection!

thanks for reading! hope this was informative.

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jeffrey & jasmine

many thanks once again to jeffrey and jasmine for making me a part of their big day. the pressue of covering a wedding and creating images that capture the essence and the memories of the important day is great, though at the same time a very rewarding experience.

below are my favourites from the day (you would have seen some of them in the slideshow above) with the accompanying captions.

the day started at the grand mecure roxy at roxy square. the sky was just starting to light up with a bluish hint and i thought that the warm lights of the hotel contrasted nicely with it.

went on to do some make-up shots and capture some details as well.

the groom arrived shortly after with his brothers to “crash the gate” (except there was no real gate in this case). the door games then began, orchestrated by the bride’s sisters. they included:

having to consume a variety of food items that normally have no place together (think wasabi replacing kaya in sandwiches). a true gastronomical experience;

the brothers taking turns to “act the goat”. they had to behave and sound like the animals they drew. what kind of sounds do giraffes and earthworms make?

the groom then had to sign a treaty that was unfairly favourable to the bride. girls, you can get away with a lot on your wedding day so better milk it dry!

after singing a cantonese love song, jeffrey was finally granted access.

we then headed over to the groom’s place for the tea ceremony and some of the other customary activities. i like the way the sidelight caught the bride’s veil. gives the photo a luminous quality. oh, the sign for context.

some more details.

we then went over to a park nearby to do a little photoshoot. did not really have a lot of time to do it and it was midday so the light was not exactly the best so had to make do and see what i could do in post.

the couple with their crew.

played around with the cross-processed look for the series of pictures above. the one directly above was used as the closing slide of the slideshow.

was actually hoping to do a few more photos at east coast where the dinner was to be held at 1-twenty six. great light approaching sunset but as with all weddings, time is of the essence so as usual, just made the best of what i had to work with. and of course, grab a few portraits on the fly, such as the ones below.

an idea of the setting…

some candids…

above is charlotte, having a go at the rings. got to thank her for getting the restaurant to get me some food before the proceedings started because i was feeling really hungry!

the light started to fade and go dim after the first march-in and frankly, it was technically really challenging to shoot. the place was lit only by some spots and candles, with no white or even light-coloured ceiling to bounce the flash off. great ambience, not so great for the photographer though, haha.

thankfully, i had my homemade foam bounce card and a couple of fast primes. the 5d performed not too badly at iso 1600, though many times i wished i had the 5d mark 2! dragged the shutter as much as i dared and mixed that with the flash.

it was lovely to see jeffrey and jasmine perform. i think the gift of music is amazing, and even more so when 2 people in love play it together.

my very best wishes to jeffrey and jasmine once again! remember – love, life, laughter!

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asian journalism fellowship 2009

an event i shot a couple of weeks ago. trying out presenting the photos in the form of a video slideshow with music but the image quality is kind of bad, especially just right after the transitions. think it is probably something to do with the frame rate and the compression.

if you have any ideas on how i can tackle this, please leave a comment!

for more on my photography, click here.