Singapore Family Photography

Just had another great trip to Singapore. That town has a ton of great locations - jungle, cool colonial architecture, beaches, crazy theme parks, Chinatown...
Never a problem to find some perfect places for my style.
This trip was somewhat rudely interrupted by terrible haze. Will be back soon! Contact me here for more info.

Singapore Family Photography


Singapore Family Photography



Singapore Family Photography

Singapore Family Photography

Fuji XF 18mm f2 on the Fuji X-T1

Just a little blurb on this Fuji XF 18mm f2 lens. I picked it up, along with the Fuji XF 35mm f/1.4 to use on my Fuji X-T1. The 18mm is like a 28mm on 35mm sensor, and the 35mm is same as a 50mm. They are both pretty amazing. Here is a sample from a shot I was playing with this evening.
I had taken the camera to Surin, Thailand for a weekend. Met this tattooed guy in the market and snapped a shot wide open at f2. Here is the shot, and a detail crop. (Click for the large versions.)
These little cameras are closing in on the DSLRs. Obviously I will take my Canon 5DMK3 every time when it comes to quality, but for the size and cost, this little camera is insanely impressive. I prefer the controls over the Sony A7 series as well.

Fuji X-T1
Fuji XF 18mm on X-T1 (Surin, Thailand)

Fuji XF 18mm crop


Sandbanks Provincial Park - Singh Ray Color Combo, Canon TS-E 24mm

I recently took a wander into the dunes at Sandbanks Provincial Park, near my hometown of Picton, Ontario. I was playing with relatively new kit - Canon 5DMK3, 24mm Tilt Shift, a Singh Ray Color Combo polarizer and a couple of Lee ND grads for the skies. I aimed for colour images, but they looked much more interesting converted to B&W. I had read that the CC filter made for better BW conversions, but my completely unscientific results back that up.
Handheld camera and grads.

Sandbanks Provincial Park

Sandbanks Provincial Park





Hasselblad Xpan - 2014

I carried around my Xpan for much of 2014. It made it to Canada, Tibet and a few places in India. I got everything processed and scanned but never really looked at the images till now.

Here are a few.

Xpan - Tamil Nadu



Xpan

Calcutta

Xpan Tibet

Tibet
Xpan

Autonomous Region

Gardze

Xpan - Tibet
Rice Lake, Ontario


Xpan -Tibet

Raccoon Lake, ON

Xpan - India


Long Exposure Black & White Photography

My day jobs consists of taking very very fast portraits. I am relying more on instinct than any kind of planning. To use the used parts of my photo-brain, I have taken up long exposure photography. This really slows me down and forces me to build up the shot bit by bit. Making instead of taking perhaps.
There are some necessary gear purchases for this - 24mm tilt shift lens, a better tripod and 16 stops of ND. (I used Lee Big and Little Stoppers.) This way I can get the eight minute exposures needed to smooth the water out completely.
This is my first result, the bamboo bridge at Kompong Cham, Cambodia. I hope to do more of these this year.

Bamboo Bridge at Kompong Cham

Sigma 35mm f/1.4 ART Lens

No matter what job I am on, I always have a fast 35mm lens with me. If I have two bodies, one wears a 35mm all the time. For around eight years I used a Canon 35/1.4L, but it was nearing the end of it's natural lifespan and I dropped it again, so it needed to be replaced. (It literally had Crazy Glue holding parts on, but it worked fine.)
A couple of days before I had been out with a Reuters news photographer who was raving about the Sigma 50/1.4 ART. I checked out the reviews for the Sigma 35/1.4 and bought it the same day.
This lens is at least as good as the Canon, and maybe better. The corners are pretty much perfect wide open, as long as there is sufficient exposure. Color, contrast, everything. It's an amazing lens at two thirds the cost of the Canon.
The only downside is that the lens hood sticks and it seems permanently welded to my lens until I can take it in for service.
Sigma is doing an amazing job of picking off the Canon Holy-Grail lenses. Once they release an 85/1.2 they will grab a big chunk of the fast glass market.
I now use this lens, with the Canon 85L and 135L for about 80% of my commissioned kids work. The 24L and 70-200 2.8 IS gets the rest.
More samples from this lens here and here.



Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art Lens
Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art Lens

Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art Lens

Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art Lens


Hong Kong Children's Photography

Had another great couple of months shooting in Hong Kong. Perfect mix of urban, park, beach and more.
Here are a few samples from the last trip.

Hong Kong Children's Photography

Hong Kong Children's Photography

HK Kids
Hong Kong Children's Photography


Hong Kong Children's Photography


Hong Kong Children's Photography

Hong Kong Kids Photography

Hong Kong Kids Photography


Hong Kong Family Photography

Lomography Petzval

I made a rare impulse buy in the lens department recently and grabbed the new Lomography Petzval Art Lens. This is a fully manual brass lens based on a 1840s design. The look of the images is completely unique, with the sharp center of the image and swirling out of focus backgrounds. Not for everyone I imagine, but as I like to shoot wide open, I thought it was worth exploring.

The lens itself seems incredibly well made. It's a beautiful 'thing', solid brass. For around $500 it seems like a bargain.

The packaging is impressive, they should have moved some of those resources into better design of all the elements IMO. First off, the lens cap is too big and doesn't stay on. The beautiful leather bag doesn't really make sense as it isn't easy to get the lens into, especially in the field. The waterhouse stops are not secure and fall out if you tilt the lens. But, the lens itself is beautiful.

Here are a couple of shots with the lens. Not for everyone perhaps, but it works for my style.

Petzval
lens
Petzval



Fuji X-T1

When I first bought a digital camera in 2005 I just brought it along on shoots as a back-up in case my film camera went down. I sort of feel the same about this new generation of excellent small cameras on the market. Last year I had the Sony A7 for a while, now I have the Fuji X-T1. I am now getting to the point where I am using the Fuji for lots of projects.
For now I am still using Canon for my day to day kids photography, mainly because I have a great set of lenses. Secondly due to the ridiculously great autofocus on those DSLRS. But for almost everything else, this Fuji is the camera for me. I'm not going to go on about the specs etc, that has already been done to death. I'm just going to show a few examples from a decent variety of situations. Kids photo sessions, documentary stuff for an NGO here in Bangkok (day and night), as well as a few street images and random shots.
I can see a day soon where these small cameras are going to be all most of us need to make a living. My aching shoulders will love it.

Fuji X-T1

Fuji XT1
Fuji X-T1
Fuji X-T1
Benz Blues - Bamgkok
 

Hong Kong Street Photography 


 
XF 18mm
 
XF 18mm
For The Human Development Foundation, Thailand
 
Human Development Foundation, Bangkok
 
Fuji X-T1, ISO 2000
ตลาดลาดชะโด
 
XF 35mm f/1.4
 
Fuji X-T1
 
XF 35mm f/1.4
 
XF 35mm f/1.4


Canon 35mm f/1.4L

As a photographer I have some pet peeves for sure. One of them concerns "portrait" lenses.
For me a portrait lens is a lens I use to take a photo of a person. I have used 15mm and 200mm,  but prefer a couple of focal lengths in between those extremes.
My all time favourite is probably the Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L. This is a perfect focal length for the type of environmental portraiture I do day to day. (That means showing the subject in their environment.) 35mm is just a bit wider then the eye sees, and the 1.4 aperture allows me to really blur the background as is my style (or schtick).
Which brings me to my peeve. In so many of these online photography forums you have people saying that 85mm is "the perfect portrait lens". Don't get me wrong, 85mm is one of my other go-to focal lengths, along with the 135mm. But to limit yourself to this kind of thinking hobbles your efforts before you even take a shot.
Don't worry about what others tell you to use. Use your eyes, then the gear. Don't worry about these ridiculous camera club rules.
Here are a few samples of my work with the 35L.

Canon 35L

ian taylor bangladesh
Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L

Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L

battambang
Canon 35/1.4

Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L


bangladesh
Canon 35L

Cambodia