Tuesday, December 13, 2011

First Print

Okay, so I finally unboxed and install the printer last night. Although after going through my picture collection again and again, I realized that I have little to print, I need to print something personal as a gift. A friend was leaving the country soon so I want to give her something nice.

So I print something from one of our dinner outings..

The print was too dark...

At first I thought it was because my monitor setting was too dark. Then I recalibrate it using i1Display 2. Few problems arose. The calibrator said that green level is not high enough. The problem is that RGB setting was at their maximum value, I can't gauge it higher. The secret is that the value is all relative to each other. So I tweak down the red and blue a little bit, and voila! I also decrease the monitor brightness waaayy down. But the print result I had still too dark compared to the monitor, and the colors are somewhat muted.

Then I search for clues in the paper manufacturer websites and forums for some clue. I had a hunch that the paper setting in the print dialog is the key. But it doesn't have any custom paper option, while I'm using third party paper. After some searching, I set the printer to use Matte Black with Epson Fine Art paper.

I print the image once again, and... voila! Nice colors. I managed to improve the print only after one failed attempt. Not too bad eh?

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Ok.. since I submitted my enigmatic cat picture for a print sale. I've been thinking a lot about what makes a good print. More so when I finally bought a large fine-art printer. I think now I have a grasp of what makes a good print and what is not, in terms of subject and composition. I had gone through around five thousand pictures from my collection, and found just a handful print-worthy photos. I haven't even set up the printer since I bought it last week.

I pulled the trigger

and budget....

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Hollywood wants $$

So there is this.copyright law debate in the US. My view is that this is just a technological advance which Hollywood doesn't want to accept is not ready of.  I mean, the digital revolution has outdated the printing press. And the whole physical distribution chain. As much as I love printed books (and I just visited a very nice bookshop yesterday), I think it will be replaced by ebooks someday. I can subscribe 20 issues of NatGeo on iPad with 30 percent cheaper than printed magazine. Photographic book publisher Blurb now can publish your books to iPad too. Artists alike can publish themselves to wider audience. Youtube is a good example, a lot of unknown young artist record their own music videos and gain thousands of followers.

Anyway, I had a brief popularity yesterday because my picture was featured on TOP. Although I was excited that my picture is featured on a widely known photo site, I was also disappointed because it is not chosen as a print candidate. But now looking at the other photographs that also didn't make it, I'm quite relieved. I mean, obviously there are those which is better than mine.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Attended Google #devfest last week. I think that the web is becoming more like a platform, although I won't go too far saying its going to be the future. Which it probably will. :)
But I'm concerned that the browser becomes too bloated with. All those new JS API, CSS, multimedia extension, even SQL! Seriously....

But it will be interesting nonetheless

Thursday, October 20, 2011

After reading this article at TOP, it just occurred to me that a lot of Ansel Adam's devotee took his advice blindingly. I mean, Ansel was a landscape photographer. And quite a lot of people are using the same method for street photography. Shadow details? Zoning? Oh please!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Lightroom Preset

Ok.. I have some image comparison for the x-equal film presets. The shadow area is deeper and give more contrast for overall image. Some people want to see all the details, but somehow I'm more attracted to the darker, more contrasty scene.
Kodakchrome 200


Velvia or Kodachrome.. can't remember
Well.. in other news, Blurb will launch an iPad application to view their photobooks.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

River Ouse, York

This is one of the popular pictures from my UK travel. Maybe because it pictures the image of typical European old cities with a river in the middle of it :)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Technology updates

Few things I have discovered while I'm away from blogging.
I just logged into the dashboard, and Blogger.com has announced that they have released iOS Blogger app!!
This means I can write my travel diary from my iPad. Yay!
And the other exciting stuff I have found is film Lightroom preset from X-Equals. I bought both bundle for a special $5. The list price is $9.99. Before I found these presets, my pictures were just dull. Its the best $$ you can spend on LR preset.
Pictures will be coming soon... hopefully. *cross fingers*

Friday, July 08, 2011

The prints are here!

Ok so few days ago the package from DigitalSilverImaging (DSI) arrived at my office. Its a huge package, and I think its a little bit overkill.

I got the 11"x17" fiber based print (bottom right) free of charge, courtesy of Eric Luden, founder of DSI. I was a little bit disappointed. Not that the print is bad or something. Its just that I was expecting something different.
I was expecting something like my cotton paper platinum print from Carl Weese. This print has glossy appearance, which makes them looks closer to RC prints. In fact, I prefer the RC print looks.
Maybe its just my ignorance, but I'm heading to England next week to see the street photography festival (=


One thing I like about DSI is that the back of their prints are clean. No filename a la Mpix. Even if you are not a professional printer or art collector, the text print is a big no. It makes the print look cheap.

Queen's Cat
Properly framed

My thoughts :
  • The adhesive tapes for the packaging are bad.. it can accidentally stick to the prints
  • The prints are arguably looks better than Mpix ones, but it might be becauce I post process them differently

Friday, June 17, 2011

Digital Silver Prints

As you already know I'm crazed about BW photography. And the prints of course, as the final result. Some said photography is not complete until you print the result.
I always admire the works of old masters like Cartier-Bresson, Ara Guler and the like, they are timeless.
In the past, if we shoot digital, its rather difficult to make true black and white print. By 'true' I mean the classic silver halides paper which has been used for over a hundred years. And it can last a hundred more. I've tried shooting film, and not too fancy about it. For me, digital offer much more convenience with only little trade off.
Now.. Mpix and DigitalSilverImaging (DSI) are two companies I know that can produce silver prints from digital files. I've tried Mpix before and quite satisfied with the result. However Mpix don't have fiber based paper, unlike DSI. So a few days ago I contacted them through Facebook and it turns out they have 50% discount promotion this month for Resin Coated (RC) paper. Eric is a friendly guy who own DSI, he is very helpful too. So I'm going to order some prints and see how it goes :)

Fairy Chimneys
FYI, if any of you are looking for BW conversion software, DSI is also NikSoftware's resellers. They have the cheapest SilverEfex pricing you can find on the online! If only I found out about their offer earlier!

Addendum : they are TOP's printer for the current print offering, you might want to get one ;)

Monday, May 30, 2011

Of Art.. and Politics and everything in between..

I managed to move my ass for a stroll this morning. I wanted to go to a place where my old office used to be, but then I missed one train station and ended up in marina area.

It was bustling with tourists. One particular shop bring back my memories, I remember back in 2003 when I first came to this country, and just visiting as a tourist, my tour guide brought me to this shop.

 But I don't remember them having a $6.888 wooden statue.

Saturday, April 30, 2011


Its been a looooooooong time since my last post. A lot of things has happened. But as usual.. I'm not a writer :) so writing long posts is not exactly my top priority ;)

Anyway, I just received my print order from Mpix. They are stunning! It came on Friday.
The package

I unwrap it while watching this
congrats Will, Kate! ;)

BW prints. Beautiful!
Enjoying it :)

Sadly I ruined two of my prints due to my ego by signing the print. *sigh*
Anyway.. I recommend to send your prints to Mpix. And if you are serious, you should print your pictures. Its true what they say, prints are far more superior than your monitor. Really!

Monday, March 28, 2011

I have been busy with a lot of thing lately. But I don't feel that I contribute much to mankind, or my neighbor even for that matter. So here are some (really) quick updates.
I'm experimenting (and in love!) with BW pictures. My less than interesting pictures look more appealing in BW. Maybe because it frees us from color distraction. We should be able to see the form and idea behind the picture more clearly.
I also had a rangefinder!!!! A compact RF, Olympus XA with a fast lens, and super quiet shutter. I almost feel that I haven't take any shot due to its quietness.

Monochromatic (and unhappy) Cat =)
 And I will move out from my current place.. which I have like so much.. :'(

The Golden Hour

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Ok today I just received Ara Guler's book on Istanbul, which have a special place in my heart.
It is moving to see images of the old city and try to image how it was like to live there.
Speaking of context, date and place will help a lot, if you add a note its even better. Today's camera with GPS and EXIF info is a blessing for photographers.

This week I've also been looking at Boubat, Bresson and Steve McCurry body of work. Most of them is a photojournalist and street-shooter. Great photos I'd say, I even tempted to get Bresson's collection.

And if you are movie lovers, you have to watch King's Speech. Don't worry I'm not going to turn this blog into a movie review site (yet ;)

Anyway, I processed my first roll of film yesterday. Well.. my first serious film photography actually, I've shoot films when I was a kid. Only one frame were successfully shot, and that was with point and shoot!
Sporty Painter, shot on Tri-X

Friday, February 18, 2011

Enjoying a Picture

Continuing my mind drifting.
I just received Peter Turnley's Parisian. At first I don't find the images interesting.
I find that to enjoy a picture, one must put a context into it. That's why an image is powerful when it has a story to it. Or why black and white picture is so compelling, because you can put your own context for the picture.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Achievement vs Enjoyment

Yesterday I was down with virus.. but I managed to go to work and finish at six nonetheless (I would like to give credit to a can of Pringles.. thank you.. I'll eat you no more! LoL) and today my stomach decide to rebel against me.
My friend decided to start shooting film because its fun. Sure its fun, but when you look the result.. well..its not so fun anymore. I think what he is really looking for is a sense of achievement. I mean, with film you have to carefully study the scene exposure and make good judgment before you shoot. Not so with digital, which do it for you in a split second, and better at it as well.
So if we capture a good picture with the film camera, we will get a sense of accomplishment because all of the effort that we have spent. But with the digital camera, the credit goes to the camera :) Sometimes the result is totally unexpected, in a good way of course.

For example, few weeks ago I went out and took some street shots. But the place was too crowded and it started to drizzle. I went home and feeling defeated. When download the pictures from the card today, they look good, and it captures the mood of the moment well!

The Temple

A Glowing Wish

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Pride and Prejudice.. and Film

Pride & Prejudice

I just replay Pride and Prejudice last night. I think it's one of the best movie about romantic Victorian era. It reveals about culture and norm of that period. And to say that Kiera Knightley has done a good job is a bit underwhelming. I think she is perfect for the role. Her face fits perfectly, its not strikingly pretty. But once you get past the surface, it will radiate elegance and beauty. And that is what the story is all about.. partly. What is fascinating about the Brits in Victorian era is their manner. Despite their feeling to whom they talk to, they will still show their respect and speak accordingly. I will certainly download the e-book version of the novel.

I've just bought a film camera..why did I buy it? Well.. first, a friend buy me into it :(
But then I like mechanical stuff, just like my self-winding automatic watch. Granted the FE-2 is not fully mechanical. And shooting film is not cheap, contrary to the general  opinion. I went on weekend to various processing lab and manage to obtain processing fee information. Lets just say, shoot enough rolls, you can buy yourself a decent digital SLR. But it's not about that. Shooting film is about selection, because every frame costs you. You don't waste any frame for insignificant shot.

Friday, January 28, 2011

I just pulled the trigger

For this one in the evilBay. *sigh*

Hey at least it is a good investment *excuse* $175 for a good body that comes with box and manual I'd say it is not a bad deal. Now I have to find a matching lens for it.. muahahahaha!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


I want a compact camera. Preferably a rugged mechanical one. Not film though. Something Leica-ish but not as big, and definitely not as expen$$i$ve! I was thinking about the new Fuji x100 but upon reading that the focus allegedly fly-by-wire, I was put off.
Okay.. enough daydreaming. I should go out more and shoot instead of buying more gears and books.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Went on an outing this morning in Chinatown. I want to go to a lot of places but I don't have time to visit them all. So now at least I can write off this place from the list :) I find the place quite interesting, but to get better pictures, I guess I have to engage my subject more closely.

Chinese new year is two weeks from now. So naturally the place was bustling with people looking for gifts.


Curious Onlooker

Drawing Artist

Old and New

My Cozy Little Corner

10.000 Buddhas
I didn't count it by the way