Friday, February 28, 2014

The Epic Split

Volvo Trucks advert featuring Van Damme. i have always love Van Damme. He's my idol when i was a kid. i watched every movie he's in. Martial arts was the shit back then, i love this guy, although his career is no longer like it used to be, i am still a fan and always wished him the best.

But this video is the most epic i ever seen him, fittingly called "the epic split". Man, i got goosebumps everytime i watch this vid. I'm proud for the Muscles From Brussels. Very Happy for this guy. The music is beautiful, fits perfectly with this video. This is so damn good! 

I think this is a perfect video, i just cant explain it, its so good!

Goosebumps anyone?

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Street Shooting in Singapore with Olympus OMD EM10 ..... VSCO style!

Ok, today i'm gonna be lazy. I'm just gonna post process my pictures with VSCO's Fuji Superia 400 preset and adjust the tone curve to make it look faded and washed out. I wont bother with the color or white balance or exposure, this is OOC jpgs applied preset and boom!. I am no street photographer but with this kind of hat/thinking i get to just fire away shots, unlike back in the day, i was only shooting iconic places, or statues, or famous landmarks and so forth sometimes with that kind of habit i didnt get to really use my camera because Singapore is full of buildings, what so nice about shooting buildings?...yes, yes, yes, some buildings are awesome, like the white house, abe lincoln memorial, empire state, but those are still iconic, okay cityscapes is beautiful too but you know what i mean... i'm talking about boring buildings.... just an ugly tall building with windows...  but with street photography kind of thinking, i finally be able to just take pictures of whatever in front of me.... its gonna be shitty but hey, at least it brought back memories of the trip!

Just shoot shoot shoot....
thats where digital wins over film, flexibility to delete or keep photos, unless you're super duper rich to buy rolls of films, i dont. i just need an SD card.

So the story goes like this, i just bought an OMD EM10 at Vivo city Singapore, and i straight away want to test the camera.... i havent figured out how to focus at the center, it automatically chooses for me. Hell, lets just do it. This is also in 4:3 format thus the non wide look. i set the auto iso limit to 3200. i dont remember which mode i was, its either aperture or program mode. and so i left Vivo city with a brand new OMD EM10. Black.

Hop into the MRT 

 And stopped by Chinatown

So this is Chinatown, my first time here. its a street market. nice.

Lanterns anyone?

 My main reason to go Chinatown is to eat Chilli Crab or Satay, i'm looking for Maxwell Hawker Centre.

That aint maxwell hawker centre, lets move on

The year of the horse. Chinese new year just ended last week.

i love this kind of shot. blurred pedestrians. in chinatown nobody gives a shit if you have a camera with you. its a tourist area. so its kinda cheat/easier street photography 

My first taste of Boudoir photography. Some onlookers may think i'm a pervert and give me a strange look but hey the lighting is nice. Sorry but VSCO didnt do it justice. told ya im lazy!

This guy needs a bed

Told ya, nobody gives a shit with your camera but i do think twice here that white tshirt guy just seem so mean looking! dont hit me please!
Olympus focusing here is a snap. Olympus really is fast at focusing. Beats Fuji everytime. Thats why i got this shot. i hope there's no car on my left...

Made my way to the temple. Some chromatic aberration here. poor olympus.

 Which way to Maxwell Hawker Centre? No? No Sign?

Wide angle is really handy here. The Fuji X100S cant fit this scene from where i stood. but you can fit a wide converter lens which costs millions.... just kidding... its about SGD$500 here, so thats about usd$390

 Finally here....

 Damn, this place blows..... everything is closing. I did not find any Chilli crab here and the satay here is pork satay. i dont eat pork. What a waste of walking time.

In the end i settled for Indian Mutton Steak. Man, this stuff is tasty. and the lime juice is cold and yummy. i can feel my sweat dried off after drinking that lime juice. The Fuji X100S is for aesthetic only haha, i didnt bother to use the x100s as i had to carry a backpack too.... i dont want too much to carry around. i also want to test the EM10 capabilities. i think at this point the battery died on me.


By this time i'm already exhausted from my yesterday all day walking trip but i still have to make my way to the airport, i dont know where else to go, i dont want to go to Orchard, i already spent on a new camera, i should just stop shopping now and just wait for my plane but flight home is at 9pm. There's more time to kill. a lot of time to kill. i need to go somewhere. chill somewhere. last thing to do is to eat some good food. shitty part is i have to walk with my backpack and my hand carry luggage, dragging it around. i love that luggage. its been with me everywhere i went, Washington, Vegas, London, all throughout UK, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore.....drag drag drag and the wheels are still working. one bad-ass hand carry luggage. Almost didnt fit all my stuffs but when there is a will there is a way hahah...

Anyway, i charged my OMD EM10 battery the night before and it took about 3 hours plus or maybe 4 hours.... and the charging light went off... i thought it never gonna went off..... pheewww... i thought id fully drained the damn thing till theres no more juices to charge. Again, i keep my x100s in the bag and hang the em10 on my neck.... but to be honest i just wanna stop taking pictures.... too tired.... too exhausting... too many things to carry.... a full hand.... i just wanna go home....

After checking out, i'm heading to Little India 

 Assalamualaikum brothers

i love how that path leading to ............... there....
 i dunno how to explain that...
perspective this perspective that...

 Some funky cool looking buildings...
or a failed window measurements hahah

Uhuh!.. Little india mari.... 

 I had to adjust the shadow slider here to get more details... i wanna take picture of the lady, so i pretend that im shooting this "chef" here... but i havnt figure out the focusing so the camera chooses the background...oh well.... and metered the background too... this is actually a dark picture.
Ah well..

 i'm not being sexist but please ladies... dont urinate here.. hahaha just kidding.
Okay okay its for the guys... Dude, please dont...

 Some dudes waiting for their meal

 The main reason to come here in little India Tekka Centre.. the let-me-translate-the-malay-words
"Power red bone soup"

 And 2nd reason, the briyani.... oh man... i need to lose some weight...

After my little india trip and my awesome lunch, i did not do a thing. i went to Funan, just to feed my GAS some camera window shopping and sit in one corner just killing time. so i decided to go to the airport early. by this time i'm already too tired to take pictures. but when i saw a moment i just took some pictures anyway. i just cant resist.

Thats a giant ass ceiling fan, just circling around like a windmill speed... i wonder how crazy it is on full speed. 

 For the life of me i havent figured out the auto exposure lock, i was trying the Zack Arias skill, pretending shooting the sign board and want to shoot those strangers on the bench but in the end, i couldnt figure to set the exposure right...the camera meters for the background, 
 so i'm left with this dark picture
on 2nd look, this silhouette looks nice too.. 

 Time to head home, 
"its coming home, its coming home, its coming," - Lightning Seeds Three Lions

Again AEL fail, but i like this photo. 
Its not the EM10 fault's, its just me not reading the manual yet!

Thats me on the airplane.... i used my OMD EM10 wifi to shoot this selfie in the plane.. hahahha
just kidding!

That is a lot of pictures...phewwwww....

See you again Singapore.... March!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Fujifilm Singapore

And so i went to Fujifilm Singapore in Funan mall. because i am a Fujifilm fanboy.

They printed photos taken with Fuji X systems, i was blown away by quality... thats why i love Fuji.

And they put all their X series cameras in the middle of the showroom, for test purposes, the feel, the user handling, i think its a great move. now everyone can just walk in and test the camera, play around with it, felt in love with it!

This is where i fell in love more with the X-pro1..... before, i could only just look at xpro1 images on google but now i can feel it, how light it is, how great the experience was, i get to hold it, handle it, fire shots, play with the 35mm fitted to it.. oh man, that lens is a dream! ... , i really really want this camera added to my collection. For pro usage, i definitely gonna use the Xpro1 and X100S, my friend's engagement coming soon and i need to use this camera!

i'm only a lil bit put off with the price here, it still costs two grand singapore dollars, thats about USD$1600, i can get USD$300 cheaper on Ebay.

object of my desire

and guess what, hey hey hey heyyyyyy....

the X-T1 is here!
The much anticipated, hyped, talked about camera on the internet. and i get to feel it!
The EVF is definitely huge.
The grip is better here of course, but i would love it without grip! haha
Fuji give me a classic boxy camera, just a rectangle box, with a sharp triangle pentaprism, no grip, bad handling, classic lens, cos i need to feed my GAS. lol
its a fine fine fine camera the X-T1 but aesthetically i still love the X-pro1. i want the X-pro1. I need the X-pro1. i cannot wait for the X-pro2. i just have to have the X-pro1.

so i left the showroom with a pact that i must own an X-pro1.
thank you Fuji for the GAS you given me!

Olympus Zuiko 25mm 1.8 .... GAS alert

So the new Olympus lens is out and already available in Singapore.... hmmm... i can feel my GAS alert! but it is a bit pricey around SGD$598, thats about USD$460, where in the US it sells for $399.... sheesh.... i think it absorbed the shipping cost to the lens price.... anyway.... i need the 1.8 aperture... i wanna see depth of field/bokeh, i want to test this in low light mode.... because i'm not really happy with EM10's low light ISO noise.... or maybe im just so used to Fuji..... Oh well, thats what happen when you have 2 different system..... am i ready to sell the EM10? not yet.... i think it still complement my Fuji..... wait till i get my hands on the X-pro1....aarrgghh!

i'm heading to Singapore again this March, come 25mm!

And yes, i also need that cheap MF2 adapter so i can use my old OM10 Zuiko 50mm 1.8 lens on the EM10...

Choices choices...

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

How to get that VSCO washed out faded creamy look in lightroom

Today im gonna share you on how to get a VSCO washed out faded creamy look in lightroom. At the moment i'm using 100% of my photo editing workflow with Lightroom. Back in the day i used to edit my photos with Photoshop. Curves, Image levels, Brightness/Contrast bla bla bla.... i even used a free downloadable photoshop actions to edit my photos. its not wrong or bad but i just like to keep it simple with only one program, and that program is lightroom. i dont like to jump around between softwares/programs.

Anyway, there are a few VSCO photoshop actions on the net to get that washed out look, just google it, if you're lazy like me and are using photoshop.
Some of the techniques i used to do:-
1) 10% grey inclusion to get that washed out look,
2) fill in solid color and choose gray is also one of the techniques, or
3) use exposure settings and adjust gamma.

But now i know how to do it in lightroom and its simple too! Lets cut the bullshit and just show you already!


Go to DEVELOP, TONE CURVE and just follow that curve shape above and then if you want, just play around with that "bottom left corner point in the box", the more high you make the more dramatic effect you'll get. That is just about it.

Lets go back from the start,

1) if your tone curve shows the "Region" settings like the figure below, you have to click on the small box on the bottom right corner.....

2) To make it into this. (figure below)
    Most of the time your tone curve will look like this, just a straight diagonal line from bottom left to         upper right in the box.

3) Usually i'll make a few points on the straight line but it actually is up to you, just play around with it.

4) And take the bottom left point and raise it up, and depends how dramatic you want the effect to be, just play around with it. A curve (its not even a curve) shape like below will yield a really washed out VSCO moody style.

Thanks for stopping by.

Olympus OMD EM10 Camera Review that you've been waiting for!!!...

.....Not really....

taken with Fuji x100s

Having just own an Olympus OMD EM10, i just had to test the camera straight away. Take it straight out of the box, put in the battery, fire some test shots and here we go. i dont know how much battery power left so lets just snap away till it died.

This is my review. This aint scientific. Hell, i dont even know how much megapixels this camera is, i just know that it's the same as OMD EM5 and EM1's processor but i still dont know whats the science in that. Since those both OMDs won awards i guess its a fine camera. This is not a pro review because this is for the noobs, amateurs, and enthusiast, pointers and shooters just like me. This is a point of view coming from a Fuji X100S user. So i'll be comparing the two. i dont care if its apples and oranges, yea you trolls just gonna bashed me, say its a different cameras bla bla bla (insert trolls lines here) bla bla....
I'll be doing point and shoot, a lil bit of manual controls, just a travel camera user experience kinda review. i dont really pixel peep. just occasionally for low light pictures. i hate unbearable noise. i am not gonna do tech specs or describe you how the body is, there's dpreview for you. lets just cut to the chase and show pictures shall we?

Anyway, i was in Singapore, i just hop off the MRT to Chinatown from Vivo City where i got my EM10. its night time. and i love low light. its also good way to test the Em10 low light capabilities. i set the auto ISO to 3200. i think based on my internet research everybody is not recommending the iso6400, thats why i still love my fuji. Damn those fujis are good at low light. These pictures will be OOC (out of camera for you noobies like me out there). i'm gonna try some night time street shooting. although i suck at street shooting.


taken with Fuji x100s

At this time i haven't figured how to set the camera focus at the center, so the camera automatically chooses which to focus. it sucks but the camera focus quickly, by the second focus it already focus where i want it to. Autofocus is handy but i still want to be in control. Need to RTFM. but the manual is in the CD and i dont bring a laptop. so i have to live with it. Lets just autofocus through the night.

The OMD EM10 is bundled with the new pancake auto zoom kit lens. that lens is awesome, its so small making the em10 compact easy to carry around. I think personally based on the compactness and the slight lighter weight of the OMD and dont me get started with the zoom, okay okay, it got zoom where as the Fuji X100S is just one focal length camera, if zoom is your sort of thing i think the OMD is a much better camera to bring around anywhere, covers all the angle, wide to zoom, its 14-42mm multiply by crop factor two so its 28mm-84mm. but with Fuji x100s u can easily get bokeh. you can get bokeh with EM10 kit lens if you zoom in.

and i also think the OMD in your hand handles better because of the slight grip than the x100s. Put the OMD around my neck and its not heavy, x100s too is not heavy. i once travel with SLR and i made a promise will never bring SLR for travel. too heavy and bulky. its a nuisance. but the OMDs and the Fujis, no problems at all. it doesnt fit your jeans pockets but its small enough to put in a backpack or pouch. i dont think i mind if i use a wrist strap all the way.

EVF is great. i dont really mind using both camera's EVF although i used a lot of OVF with Fuji X100S. During Sunny Day is a great time to use EVF's.

What else is there to say? hmm... lets just go straight to pictures.

Disclaimer: i'm not sure if blogger enhanced the pictures i uploaded but i upload this straight from my hard drvie. and if you wanna use my picture please ask permission and do credit me. lol...and i just realised that the pictures that i upload here are not the full blown out jpgs. its been resized by blogger.


iso 2000 f3.5 14mm 1/60

To be honset, honest...damn you typo... honestly, i think i prefer how the Fuji handles noise and their grain structure, whatever that means, the omd noise and grain is errrr... i dunno... to smudgy i think? but maybe there is a way of doing noise reduction, i mean like settings, or lightroom process. please point me to the direction. all i can do is play around with luminance noise in lightroom, setting it up to 30 seems to lower the noise better. not bad not bad at all... you just have to control the noise, limit the iso to 3200. More high isos pictures below.

All pictures above are ISO3200

a lil bit of manual shooting... blur pedestrians


The OMD wins hands down. You just have to point your camera, half press the shutter and beep, its in focus, shoot. thats ninja style. Fuji X100S likes to hunt sometimes. especially at low light scene. If you like a really fast auto focus then the OMD is the camera for you. i think the x100s mindset is like a leica, but in auto. a really fast manual focus but its actually auto. u get it? no? its ok. i rant sometimes.

With the OMD, i just need to pick up my camera and point at the subject and focus and shoot, sometimes i do it while i walked, the stabilisation helps though some pictures wont be really sharp if you pixel peep but its okay for web or 3R 4R prints.

i was looking for hawker centre when i saw this oldie sleep, like i said, point, focus, shoot, walk.
you cant do that on a x100s. maybe you can 50% of the time but the other 50% it likes to hunt. 
not with the omd.


Before i put thoughts on keyboard i have a lot to say but now i think im out of words. let me just post pictures and you pixel peep all you want. and let me just rant whatever comes to mind. All JPGs size are average less than 10Mb. Same with X100S.

Nice to have wide angle lens. iso3200.

You do get a bit of bokeh with this kit lens. this is also iso3200.

Sometimes the 3 axis didnt really work wonders, i was trying to be a ninja but i think i shake a lil bit. i think i shake a lot. this was walking and then noticed there's an alley to my right, point, focus, shoot while walking. so there's a lot of shaking going on.

blogger enhanced this photo. anyway, i have to credit Zack Arias for this. his tips were really helpful. You pretend that you shooting for the menu board (looking up) via EVF and then point to the strangers looking at the back lcd pretending you're checking the photo you just took but actually taking their photos. 
too bad this guy at the right taking up too much space. need to crop this later.

the reason i went to little india. Red Mutton Soup.
iso2500. The noise during day time is better than night time. obviously. just mentioning.

 i want to do this in black and white but i promised you OOC.

Here's bokeh for you bokeh lovers. Zoom at 42mm equivalent to 84mm at f/5.6 iso3200

its handy to have a zoom. did i say that already?

Anyways, both cameras are great and i'm not ditching Fuji. i love both companies. But to be honest i still prefer Fuji, the way they handle/render images, i dont know what that means. honestly i think Fuji has better image quality although im not saying that the OMD sucks. OMD also creates good image quality with controlled noise. with OMD i had to adjust luminance noise in lightroom, not with Fuji. but maybe i need to use the OMD with a different lens, a faster lens, maybe the new 25mm 1.8. Please OLYMPUS lend me the lens, i want to try it before i buy it. i also have the old Zuiko lens of the OM10, i need to get an adapter, fast!.

So my conclusions would be:-

Fuji is better at low light conditions. Olympus is faster at focusing. The EM10 is also compact, smaller and lighter than the x100s. The X100S looks cool if aesthetic/rangefinder is your thing. EM10 kit lens covers all the angles u need for travel photography. The Fuji can easily get bokeh. Let me put in bullet points.

Fuji X100S:-

1. better at low light
2. cool looking rangefinder-ish (this is personal)
3. easy bokeh
4. faster lens


1. Faster focus
2. Smaller and lighter
3. Kit lens wide and zoom.
4. tilt-able lcd
5. Wifi, cool for selfies. and spy. and the list goes on.

Both have built in flash but i dare say Fuji X100S has better built in flash. The EM10 is too direct? splat on your face flash kinda. but the EM10 has wifi. You can take selfie with EM10 via your iphone. now thats pretty cool. you can zoom in and out via wifi. focus via wifi. thats some cool stuffs. i know the Fuji Xt1 have those features too but for one grand cheaper, the Em10 is value for money.

UPDATES: i just realised OMD is making noise when focusing. like a white noise/tv channel ends. google it up and its the axis stabilisation making noise. some kind of magnetic field. only in quiet room you can hear it but not annoyingly loud.

And i just remember when you record video with your OMD, you can take pictures at the same time too! aint that cool? Fuji dont have that. in fact everybody said Fuji videos sucks. i guess its a pure photography camera like a Nikon DF, except that a DF dont have video capabilities but Fuji does, just an added bonus of Fuji. i dont really mind with videos to be honest. im all pure photography haha.

i know back in my mind i have a lot to say but im just lost for words.

iso1000 1/30 f5.3 32mm
i loved tight crop and that is razor sharp. thats OOC.

So my GAS have won me over and make me buy an EM10. if i have to blame someone for my recent purchase of the omd em10, i guess its robin wong and damian mcgilycuddy. creating such nice pictures with the OMDs. Robin should get a raise cos he work for Olympus.

Next up Xpro1.