Tag Archives: inspiration

Heart and Intuiton

This morning I woke up to news that Steve Jobs had passed away. Although I am a quintessential Apple fanboy, his death really hit home for another reason. To me, he was the perfect mash-up of tech geek, entrepreneur, underdog and student of life. The man just oozes inspiration.

So this morning, I re-watched (several times) his Stanford Commencement address and grabbed this quote:

…have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

Sure, this is another way of saying the same thing you hear over and over again – do what you love. But in an industry like photography where the odds always seem stacked against you, and all rational thinking is telling you to quit, I am left some mornings with only a whisper of faith in my heart to keep pushing me forward.

It is that inspiration that I think I will miss most from Steve Jobs.

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1st RAW Photo Lab

February 5th marked the very first Photo Lab session (original blog post here) at the Random Art Workshop in Causeway Bay. The goal of the meetup was for photographers of all levels to share our work and ideas, get feedback and learn.

Thanks to everyone for sharing some really cool images (not easy to put work out there, I know!) and really interesting insight and feedback. And of course thank you to Joyce Yung for providing a great venue and grabbing this snapshot.

In the session we discussed how to:
– shoot from inside shade with very bright outside sunlight
– choose focus depth of field in different situations
– frame different landscapes? When to shoot wide versus focusing on details
– maximize background motion blur, use ‘panning’
– capture sun rays peeking out of clouds

We also debated the pros and cons of shooting:
– landscape vs. portrait orientation
– dead on straight (Joe made an awesome reference to Andreas Gursky’s style) vs. at an angle
– with post-processing vs. out of camera
– simply! Sometimes it’s best to just focus on one simple subject.

Next session’s theme will be “Food and Family” – however you want to interpret it. All are welcome to follow the theme, or share any other photos of your choice.

Date: Mar 2nd Tues 7:30-9:30PM
RSVP: info@randomartworkshop.com

(open to those who have taken a photography class or any other RAW class before)

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Joe McNally’s Hot Shoe Diaries workshop in Malaysia

Joe McNally is teaching his Hot Shoe Diaries workshop in Kuala Lumpur this week, and I was not going to miss it for the world. American photography workshops are rare in Asia, so my decision to fly from Hong Kong to learn from one of my favorite photographers was an easy one.

Well considered to be a master of lighting and environmental portraiture, Joe is a bit of a superhero of mine in the world of photography. Last year when The Hot Shoe Diaries book came out, I had my sister in NY help me smuggle a copy before it was available for sale here in HK.

Aside from learning buttons and dials, flash compensation and iTTL during the workshop, I was probably most impressed by Joe’s ability to bring thirty-something years of shooting experience yet still maintain an almost child-like sense of humor and enthusiasm. His approach to portraiture was methodic yet carefree, almost Brett Favre-like. It was just incredibly fun to watch and learn from.

As an added bonus of the workshop, I had a chance to shoot with other photographers from across the region. Wedding, landscape, journalism and corporate shooters and hobbyists took the day out to hone their craft. All the credit in the world goes to esteemed wedding photographer Louis Pang and his webshooter.tv team to put together an awesome experience. It was fun meeting y’all!

Here are a few other blog entries going over the day:
Joe McNally’s blog
Louis Pang’s blog (has a nice capture of me getting my learn on)
Qippy’s blog
Anna’s blog


Below is my favorite shot from the workshop with the lovely Evon Tan. I thought the black veil was a pretty cool thing to play with, and my mind started to wander into 1980’s-Madonna-Like-A-Prayer-land, and this is what we got.

joe mcnally workshop model praying
playing with light is way too fun.
joe mcnally laughing workshop
Joe and I nyan nyan~ at the end of the workshop =(
me and joe mcnally nyan nyan asian poses
a nice WTF shot on seamless grey! thx for grabbing this one Louis!
joe mcnally workshop group photo

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