Posts Tagged ‘university of southern queensland’

As previously promised, I am flooding my blog with posts. This is for all you “Jiaren, you never update your blog” people. However, I’ll probably write some draft posts and leave this one headlining for a while just because this is what I should be doing more and I really like the results.

So anyway, this story began a long time ago…but that not important. Whats important is that it ended just a little while ago. Last Monday to be exact. Thats the day Jun left to go back to Malaysia. The day before that, Jun asked if I would be able to photograph our group at our university’s own Japanese Garden.

Of course I could!

We arranged to meet at the gardens at 4.30pm so obviously I made it a point to be  there by 5.30pm…

which I did…

…barely.

Good news is we all got there eventually and almost everyone obeyed the “all black” dress code.

We started off at the far side of the garden where there was a couple nice sheltered benches which would be suitable for a large group portrait. We tried a couple of shots but the sun was way too glaring so we swapped around and shot into the Sun. I set up two lights on both sides of the camera to makes sure everyone was evenly lit while I pull down the background exposure. Here are the results:

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JunsFarewellByJiarenLau-9541I took over a hundred shots but I’ve weeded them to these few to keep from boring you, my dearest readers. After 20 minutes of positioning the lights, posing everybody, and getting the shot right without people blinking, we got some really good shots before moving onto the big red door. I like this door.By the way, have you guessed which one is Jun yet?

JunsFarewellByJiarenLau-9559See the smartie pants that didn’t conform to the dress code? *Ahem* *ahem* Will and Jun (Not the Jun thats leaving, we have two Juns in our group). Let me introduce you to the group.

From Left to Right: Will, Ted, Sabrina, Wilson, Stephanie, Neo, Jun, Ben, Edna, Shin Yong, Jun.

Next up is our group of lovely ladies in black.

JunsFarewellByJiarenLau-9567I like the above shot except for the cross shadows which make the girls look flashed straight on and defeats the purpose of strobing. (Phototip: The lights are meant to “look” natural and inconspicuous).

JunsFarewellByJiarenLau-9573Now with two flashguns shooting camera left at full zoom we can bring the background down to exposure without loosing the foreground. Remember shadows are our friends and almost this entire series was shot with the flash on full power or close to it.

Next we did some creative shots and laughed the whole way through.

This next shot is the “Eww, Yuck, its Jun” shot:

JunsFarewellByJiarenLau-9577This next one is the “PHeeewWWWIIiTTtTTT, Hubba hubba, it’s gorgeous Jun!!!”:

JunsFarewellByJiarenLau-9581This next one is just…well…I like the composition.JunsFarewellByJiarenLau-9583So have you guessed which one is Jun yet? Now we come to our hero, “Neo, the ladies man”:

JunsFarewellByJiarenLau-9588…or would you prefer, “Neo, you disgust me!” look?:

JunsFarewellByJiarenLau-9593Okay, enough of that…lets move on to more group shots ya?! Moving not more than 30 meters away is the Zen garden. The little pebbles on the ground were beautifully carved when we got there. It looked like crap when we were done, haha!

JunsFarewellByJiarenLau-9608In retrospect these pics remind me of the Friends series opening sequence…

JunsFarewellByJiarenLau-9610Don’t you love how it looks in black and white…when everybody conforms to the dress code? Will and Jun had already left by this time because they had other stuff to do.

JunsFarewellByJiarenLau-9611Every good Japanese garden has a red bridge so it wouldn’t feel complete if we didn’t take a shot there:

JunsFarewellByJiarenLau-9622Theres actually four bridges at our Japanese garden. This is one of the smaller ones. In the middle of the garden is a small island which I’ve found to be a great spot for photographs! By now we were quickly loosing light and were about to wrap up so we quickly had to get it over with. Once the lights were set up I was ready to go. Check out the reflections!

JunsFarewellByJiarenLau-9633Sort of has a “The Bold and the Beautiful” theme going on, hey? Heres another:

JunsFarewellByJiarenLau-9636You can see the flash in the picture which I felt would pass as a lamp post or something. I tried to clone it out but preferred it like this. At this point we were exhausted and ready to pack up. Jun had other plans. She wanted one last shot with Ben, Edna, and Neo so with plenty of people around I used them as assistants to finally get some use out of the umbrellas which I’d been lugging around all day without using for fear of them being blown by the wind. Its happened once and broke the flash that way. I had just got it too!

JunsFarewellByJiarenLau-9640Thanks for reading all the way to the bottom! If you enjoyed what you saw please leave me a comment! Send me feedback, what I should or should not be doing! critic! We all learn from our mistakes. Let me leave by saying I appreciate criticism a lot more than flattery so don’t hesitate if there was something bothering you that you thought would look better only if…(I’ll leave the rest to you)

Take care and God bless,

Jiaren

Strobing and Misc

July 4, 2009

You know, its beeen a while since I went out shooting just for the fun of it! …and when I come to think about it, thats what its REALLY about!

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Its when I’m free from obligations that I actually push myself. Why I don’t know. I guess its because when I’m shootin’ for myself, I’m shooting against myself…and myself is very competitive…geddit? Also, I don’t feel confined to do what I know works and works well…instead I do things that others don’t think about…what others don’t see…and most importantly, what others couldn’t be bothered turn a second glance at.

Its when I can look at something simple. Something everyday. Something “normal”. For example, a calculator:

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Ok, nothing really special about that…just wanted an excuse to show off the tiny DOF of an f/1.2! Thats right! 50mm f/1.2 right there…at 50cm the DOF is a mere 6mm!!! SHWEEEEET!!! Here are a couple of shots taken at f/1.2…

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Notice how sharp the web in focus is? I don’t know why everyone keeps complaining about the f/1.2s?! They’re tack sharp wide open!

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Someone founds this little bead on the floor at church so I took a picture of it…(after the service of course…)

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Toowoomba’s own shopping mall – Grand Central.

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This, my friends, is where the f/1.2 REALLY shines! The picture is taken handheld at 1/60 with nothing more than a dim street lamp!

After that,…well…actually it was before that coz I just recently got the f/1.2…We were testing the shoot through umbrella for strobing…

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No comment.

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Needless to say this post will contain excessive Steph.

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Poor guinea pig Steph has to become my model for all my weird shooting needs…

After some fun indoor portraits we went outside to shoot some more portraits…real strobist stuff! This next picture is definitely my fave of this set! Check them out!

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By the way, thie series of outdoor portraits were taken at the University of Southern Queensland’s Japanese Garden…

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I also really like this above picture…

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Thanks Steph!

Thats about it for today…I also took some pictures of the Brisbane Floating Boardwalk which I’ve already uploaded on Flickr…will post about it tomorrow…I still have a lot of these sort of shots lying aroung the HDD but I needed to get some of it out to make space for next week. If you didn’t know I’m going to the Hillsong Conference in Sydney next week. We’re leaving this Sunday morning so I’ll try to keep the blog updated as the conference is held…Its gonna be LEGENDARY!

I am my Father’s son.

December 5, 2008

Yes, I will be blogging about my fun time flying around Toowoomba which happened last Saturday…I think.

However, first things first – family priority requires that I respond to my sister’s blog post in which she posted this picture:

According to some absurd cult ritual in the Scottard part of uncivilized UK, November is the month of Movember where you wear a moustache for charity…(I think my dad should be their spokesperson)…anyway, the point is that they wanna see what we ALL look like with moustaches…so…after countless seconds…

VOILA!

@Linzhi, sorry your moustache looks retarded – who ask u not to pose properly…

having said that…lets move on to the next thing on the agenda – Flying.

Before I begin I hope you (whoever reads this) understands that this blog is more of a Plog (word created by yours truly – remember you saw it here first!). This means its a picture-log. What THAT means is that I don’t really care what I write and don’t expect you to read it…its just a way to fill in gaps in between pictures.

Pictures themselves come in two flavours:-

  • watermarked
  • unsigned

Watermarked ones are those that are worthy of flickr and I actually bothered to put them into photoshop even if I don’t do anything except for adding the watermark, saving a backup of the original and uploading reduced file size version.

Unsigned ones are crap shots/ happy snaps that people in them should enjoy but aren’t something that I’d put up on flickr (eg. group photos).

…glad we got that sorted out.

so where were we…ah! who attended:

  • Jiaren
  • Aaron
  • Yew Meng
  • Elena
  • Wilson
  • Sabrina
From closest to furthest: front row: Wilson, Yew Meng. back row: Sabrina, Elena

From closest to furthest: front row: Wilson, Yew Meng. back row: Sabrina, Elena

can see the guys heads getting distorted from the wide angle…heres a better shot:

heres one with less distortion...

heres one with less distortion...

Sabrina surprised this on Wilson as a belated birthday present…apparently his dream is to become a pilot…hes achieving that somehow by studying multimedia at USQ…ironic huh?

If you look closely you can see Aaron being a moron in the background

If you look closely you can see Aaron being a moron in the background

Aaron and I waited this one out…they went first and we went up for the next flight…

In the meantime we just chit chatted and took photos of random things, and various parts of the plane such as this:

Aaron told me but I cant remember what this is for...all I remember is that its something like a dipstick thingie and theres some liquid inside...

Aaron told me but I cant remember what this is for...all I remember is that its something like a dipstick thingie and theres some liquid inside...

shutter speed: 1/1250 (plane wasn't on full throttle yet tho...)

shutter speed: 1/1250 (plane wasn't on full throttle though)

of course we also took them about to take off...

of course we also took them about to take off...

...before returing to taking pictures of various components...behold - the Engine!

...before returing to taking pictures of various components...behold - the Engine!

Lycoming - best aviation engine manufacturer?

Lycoming - best aviation engine manufacturer?

no idea what this is...

no idea what this is...

instrument for calculating altitude, speed, etc...so dont forgetto take it off before flight!

instrument for calculating altitude, speed, etc...so don't forgetto take it off before flight!

nostrils?

nostrils?

Aaron.

Aaron.

This is a Piper. A piper is different from a Cessena in that its wing is under the body instead of on top.

This is a Piper. A piper is different from a Cessena in that its wing is under the body instead of on top.

When they landed it was our turn and because we were paying by the hour we couldn’t afford to waste time so I didn’t take any snaps during this transition…

up up and away!

Ps. Yew Meng; ex-Singapore air force - from cockpit to pulpit.

Ps. Yew Meng; ex-Singapore air force - from cockpit to pulpit.

ooh...many buttons...must...resist...temptation...

ooh...many buttons...must...resist...temptation...

view from the heavens!

view from the heavens!

You can see the runway in the above picture…wind was really strong that day and we barely used a quarter for both take off and landing!

click on the image to see where I live!

click on the image to see where I live!

This was the second time I’ve been up here but the first time I had my dSLR with me…so a quick tip for wannabe aerial photogs with no experience:

  1. First time enjoy the view. Forget the camera because you’ll get air sick and feel like vomitting. Looking through a viewfinder doesn’t make it better.
  2. Second time up stick to the telephoto lens. In this case it was a clear day so aperture wasn’t a problem. I used a 70-300mm VR lens which is very flexible.
  3. forget the lens hood. It’ll just make it harder to shoot.
  4. Hold the lens at its furthest point with a finger extended against the glass to suppress vibration.
  5. A monopod may come in handy but I didn’t have one.
  6. At that distance everything is infinity. Use manual focus with shutter priority or manual. Most shots taken at 1/4000 so ISO had to be bumped up.
  7. Take a picture. Check histogram levels. Adjust accordingly. then take another hundred or so pictures before checking again. DONT waste your time reviewing pictures on the plane. Plenty of time on the ground for that later on.
  8. most importantly, HAVE FUN!
First try at doing a tilt-shift miniature fake

First try at doing a tilt-shift miniature fake

Being in an elavated position I figured it was an ideal time to try out some shots for making tilt-shift miniature fakes. Basically what this does is it makes large images appear smaller so that the images produced appear to be a model instead of a real life scene. What do you think? Any comments?

Here’s another one of my university:

University of Southern Queensland as a miniature model.

University of Southern Queensland as a miniature model.

The university was probably too big to look good as a miniature but it looked better like this than a regular aerial photography shot so I left it as it is.

After we landed Uncle Yew Meng wanted some pictures and since the sky was so beautiful I took advantage of the wide angle lens:

...and my favourite one to finish it off...also printed one of these on A3 for them.

...and my favourite one to finish it off...also printed one of these on A3 for them.

Done. Next I’ll be blogging about a recent mother son photoshoot I did…I’ll admit its not my best work but I was crap tired that day and it had been a while since my last portraiture session. Either way, they loved the pics and I got to brush up on my photoshoot techniques. Ultimately, it was huge fun both for them and myself – and thats whats important!

sneak preview:

Auntie Ivy and Gabriel.

Auntie Ivy and Gabriel.

till then…chao!