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A big hi and hello to all of you out there! Thank you for stopping by Jenny Sun Photography's blog! This is my brand new blog space! So please make yourself at home, and have a good browse around. There is plenty more to come so check back often :) Just in case any of you are wondering who on earth I am, my name is Jenny Sun. I own a photography company that spans across Australia and Malaysia, particularly in the Sydney and Kuala Lumpur regions respectively. Though I'm not restricted to those areas! :) I love photographing just about anything under the sun, but my particular passion is for weddings and portraits - I seriously LOVE people, their stories, the beautiful relationships formed, and the tales that are told when that shutter goes off!

This blog is my personal and visual journey along this path of photography. Please hop on board the ride, comment along the way (I shamelessly love comments!), and lets see where the wind takes us :)

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Seeing the light

I've been wanting to write about this topic for awhile now.

Reason being is because I get alot of comments about light in KL/Malaysia vs light in Sydney/Australia.

YES, the light in the two countries are very different. YES, it means that photos will turn out differently. BUT it does not mean you cannot achieve good photos in both places. Especially KL/Malaysia. I know alot of you photographers out there cry out against the haze and awful pollution that blankets and sometimes suffocates this city, and I have to admit, I have had my fair share of woes about the CONSTANT DAILY rain every afternoon which hits this place making for afternoon sunset shots very challenging or not possible.

Which brings me to my two points.

(1) In terms of light in outdoor photos, people should not expect the same results of photos taken in another country. I'm talking in terms of LIGHT (not composition or any of the other stuff that makes a great photo - as composition can be taken anywhere no matter what weather or place you are facing). So for KL/Malaysian people, you cannot expect to bring the same mood in terms of lighting in your outdoor photos as photos taken in Sydney. NOR can Sydney people expect to have the same tropical light that Malaysia has for your photos. What both Malaysians and Australians can expect to be consistent with a photographer's work is the way they engage with their subjects, the way they post process their images, and ESPECIALLY their composition, framing, - which I think are just as important if not more so important than good light. You can have great light, but if your photographer does not know what on earth to do with it or how to frame and use it nicely with their photos, then its just as valuable as zero. And if the photographer does not know how to engage and talk and interact with their subjects to make them laugh, pose, and move, then you may as well be working with a wood doll.

And finally:
(2) Sometimes you just need to know how to see the light. I believe good photos can be taken anywhere (at the right time of the day! So clients, LISTEN to your photographers when they give you advice on when to schedule your shoots)but you really need to know how to find it, and then how to use it to your advantage.

Today, I went out for a shoot at the crack of dawn, and as usual KL was enveloped with haze and cloud, masking the sun's amber brilliance. However, after a little walking at the location, we managed to come upon some spots that had some gorgeous sun, even behind all the haze... and what happened? We got some fabulous photos.

Here are some shots to show you that yes! we can get flare and beautiful backlit portraits in Malaysia. Aussies reading this, don't worry - weather where you are even with that huge ozone hole above you will give you great portraits with the same kind of mood almost all the time (as long as it doesnt rain! haha).

Thanks Poon and Siok Chin for getting up at such an ungodly hour of the day to get your POST-wedding photos done!! (Yeah, I'm an AWFUL blogger - Poon and Siok Chin got married last year november and I shot their wedding however I am still yet to post about their special day on my blog - sorry guys, I promise I will get my act together soon and blog about your wedding in due time. Anyhow, Poon and Siok Chin didn't have too much time for outdoor photos on their actual day, so they have done a POST-wedding session with me, which is great because I find that couples are alot more relaxed after their big day with each other! ). Anyhow, I'll blog about today's session another time, as this post is meant for educational purposes, but enjoy the below photos for now. I'm even giving you the exif data to help you budding photographers learn how the following shots were made.

No post-processing was done apart from adjusting curves in the first two shots:

Camera: Canon 5D
Lens: 50mm f1.2
Exposure Mode: Manual mode
Shutter speed: 1/1600
Aperture: 1.2 (to those that don't have the 1.2, you can get an almost similar effect with the 50mm f1.4 or f1.8 lens, shot WIDE open)
ISO: 100

Camera: Canon 5D
Lens: 50mm f1.2
Exposure Mode: Manual mode
Shutter speed: 1/5300
Aperture: 1.2
ISO: 100

And this last photo, I have only adjusted curves and added some texture to it (yep. just TRYING something new with my images). Nothing more. A thanks and shoutout to Alex Moi (who also helped second shoot that Phuket Destination wedding with me) for being so gracious in letting me know where this place was - it was very pretty! To other photographers out there, I highly recommend sharing information with one another - one of my BIGGEST BIGGEST pet peeves is when photographers get all secretive about where they shot, and with what, and how - I mean, we are all in this together helping each other to try and get better photos, and raise the bar with the industry we work in. I don't understand how that is possible if we keep everything to ourselves. So I highly recommend helping each other out and opening up - we'll start to see big changes and bigger improvements in our industry if each of us are performing at our best because we are feeding from each other's generosity and openness (plus it makes working in the industry with each other alot more fun!). Oh and don't forget to credit someone if they have helped you - that way you are helping them too and not claiming all glory for yourself (which is a bad bad thing!). And I can definitely tell you that I share information on how I get my work done if others do the same with me - just ask!

Camera: Canon 5D
Lens: 50mm f1.2
Exposure Mode: Manual mode
Shutter speed: 1/1000
Aperture: 1.2
ISO: 50

Alright, I REALLY need to get outta here now. I have a mountain of work waiting for me this weekend!! Plus a date with my husband tonight - yay! A saturday night off where I get to go OUT :D


Anna said...

gorgeous shots Jen :) especially the first one with the flare.

ditto to your comments about sharing info ;p

see ya soon!

Linda Truong said...

I am loving the buttery goodness of the photographs. I can almost lick my screen. f1.2 is beautiful! I love it!

The photographs are fantastic. Great work with the textured photograph. At times people can overdo the texturing but this one is just... perfect. Really makes me feel I'm in a jungle or something. Hey! I can see Tarzan in the back ;)

Anyway, thank you so much for sharing your information and experience. It really does help...

Jenny Sun said...

Thanks guys! You both rock :)

Adrian Christianto said...

yes, I have been wondering for the same thing, because back in my home country (your neighboring country Indonesia :) ), the light is just different compared to Australian light ... glad you bring this topic up !!

crayon said...

the pictures are very very nice! but im wondering how do u shoot with strong backlights? in this case against the strong sunlight? do u use reflector or flash on the bride and bridegroom? mind teaching me how to shoot with strong backlight? looking forward to ur teachings. thank you

Anonymous said...

Enjoying those photos even now!
I'm very encouraged, since I'm getting ready to pony-up and buy the 50mm 1.2 lens. Beautiful work, ma'am.