Port Dickson, '89
I am truly grateful for that 'someone' who has kept this photograph for so many years in her collection. As what I mentioned earlier, I have lost all my original negative some time ago and this is the one of the two images left which left with a 5R print which was given to a personal friend of mine. This image was taken on a hot midday sun at the seashore of Port Dickson, a seaside resort approx. 80 miles away from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Well, the original intention was aim to illustrate to some friends who often believes it takes ideal lighting situation to take photographs and I have always tried to inspire them that is not the case to have such thought. Some photobugs just like to enjoy spending a lot of time "evaluating" his perfect timing for photography (The poetic morning and the romantic evening light... where no one thinks noon is not meant for such sessions). I respect such thoughts but often I felt beauty is actually all around us day in and out permitting us to interpret the many of such possibilities into a two dimensional piece of paper called photograph.
Simple, if we allow the circumstantial factors to affect our thinking, we might as well have all image making processes done inside a studio with a controlled environment. Frankly, a photographer should learnt to live with "real things" around us and at least try to convert unfavorable elements to our advantage. That is lately, I enjoy thinking and visualization more than actual tripping the shutter release button now ...
The equipment or hardware we used, view point used in any given scene, perspective, choice of lenses used, quantum of depth of field selected, the contrast range (in this case, a polarisor was used to narrow the higher contrast between the fore & background and more importantly, to beef the color density up further and visually add more "punch" in this photograph).
Technically, in this photograph, most things and elements that I figured and wanted were there to make a relatively good image, except - I just felt the image was too still, so still that I thought for a moment, something was missing...
So, I just left the camera there under the hot sun unattended (frankly, on a chair at the desired height and distance after composing) and just ..... wait to figure out what else should be added in there. Luck striked a few minutes later, the breeze blown... all of sudden, I realize the breeze could be the missling link where it can add some movement in such "stillness", but in order to register movement with the right degree of desirable "blur" effect to reflect the sea breeze on a hot tropical seaside, you will need to stop down the lens and prolong the shutter speed to at least 1/15 or 1/4 sec. The moderate film speed of ASA 100 couldn't help much, even with my 180mm lens stopping down to f/32 was still not achievable to such slow shutter speed that would help to create such effect. So I had another neutral density filter which was added in front of the polariser.. I bracketed a couple of frames, out of the seven shots, this particular one was the most satisfying piece from what I had visualized how the eventual image would be.
(Can you imagine your holiday at the tropical seaside without any breeze ? I hope you can figure out what I meant earlier)
Well, this is not a great shot by any standard, only just to fulfill a personal thought to see how a photograph can be made at times. The satisfying fact is - it was made with a lot of thought and toying with your gained knowledge both with the hardware you have in hand and the little skill that you have accumulated over the years. And it came out right exactly what you have envisioned it to be.
How satisfying, Oohs... you told yourself.
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