p pol The Adventures of Carboman: My Diversion

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

My Diversion

I'd better learn to keep my mouth shut! I thought having the hawks circling will send the rodents scurrying off to their burrows earlier than usual but I was proven wrong. No critter gave a hoot. Today was the second consecutive day I left the office at 10pm. No shit. I told my wife that for the sake of the kids we must leave by 7pm tomorrow. See I didn't learn my lesson and just committed the sin again. Damn. Ever since the arrival of the 40D, I've had quite a few of photo ops. Since this is really a learning phase, I carried it along to a company function this afternoon. It took place in an auditorium and that gave me the chance to test out some learnings such as shooting under dimmed lights. Some shots worked and many didn't. No matter, it's all about learning the controls.

Tomorrow (sigh, it's now past 12, so it's technically today) I'll be heading to the Chinese temple just 2 doors away from my office. The temple has quite a number of ornate carvings and though it doesn't retain the rustic look due to the number of rich patrons on its roster, there are still some possibilities for interesting shots. Hope I'll be able to spot them.

Last weekend was a visit to the world's largest free-flying bird park (that's what it says on the banner, though I've no way nor need to verify it), the KL Bird Park. Brought the 2 kids along and they had a reasonably good time. Shot close to 200 frames and will post some up when I've the time to properly review them.
This diversion isn't really out of character for me. I've always been inclined towards the arts, having sold off a couple of drawings in my early to mid-twenties. I made that sound like it was long ago. Actually it was! My "specialty" was colonial and heritage buildings in technical pen. I still keep a few framed up and there was also a large oil pastel piece which is among my favourites. Drawings and paintings are no longer possible at least for now as they take too long. Photography provides quicker gratification for my need to offset the numbness of work.

Peering through the viewfinder, studying and composing the shots slows things down and calms me. When you slow down, things become clearer. You're able to play the role of an effective observer of the goings on around you. And hopefully at that precise moment capture and preserve a second of the life of the subject. I'm not sure which area of photography I'm most likely to find my niche. As I've said, I'm learning the skill-set necessary to dig deeper. And for that I can't choose. I need to be with the masses. And that means shooting closeups of flowers, insects, corny V-flashing folks (I never understood the need to flash a V), my kids, buildings, shot-to-death superstructures and inside auditoriums. If becoming a good lensman requires building the skills to recognize and respond to a particular situation by shooting everything, I'll do just that. But sidewalk photography like Dave Beckerman's amazing works appeals very much to me. To achieve that, the shooter has to blend himself in to the extent that he appears invisible (like the juxtaposition?) to the subject, and thus allowing the subject's true nature to surface. All very Zen like I admit but that's how I see it.

Equipment, other than the basic implements is really secondary to me. I've no brand affinity - probably because my budget dictates that. Before settling on the 40D, I'd wanted the D300. It started with my ex-colleague's D100, then D200 and I was hooked to the build and handling of the Nikons. But I never got to owning any of them. And so I settled for the (very) good Powershot S3 which is an amazing point-and-shoot with good IQ (image quality), excellent video capability and stereo sound recording no less. It was small, light and toy-ish, and a Canon. Granted its capabilities very rather limited as can be expected. I like the results of the Canon but my mind still wasn't settled because I was unimpressed with the 450D. Holding it didn't give me the "at-home" feeling. But the 50D was a different animal altogether. To cut a long story short, I settled for the 40 due to the price factor, the marginal increase of the 50D's capabilities over the 40, and my believe that we should always buy smart.

Only a few days of toying with it did I realize that the 40 is actually my 3rd Canon. The very first being the Prima 115 bought in 1998 at the Commonwealth Games Expo!

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  • Aiyah... You go Bird Park no call me. I always wanted to go thre for photography but my "sifu" has phobia of birds, especially chickens. Guess have to go myself. Sob sob...

    Whether Canon or Nikon, the most important thing is that you like it and it serves you well.

    By Blogger Runnerz, at 2:44 PM  

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