Photography

Starting a career in photography.

The most unexpected northern light sighting.

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During our way back to Stockholm, we stopped by Sunsvall for a night. Sunsvall is further from the arctic circle compared to the Kiruna, Abisko, and Lofoten so we didn’t expect to be able to see the northern lights there.

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But we are wrong! After we checked in, we decided to go to the city center for our dinner, but when we got into our car, I saw the sky glowing green right above our heads.Then I realized it was the northern lights!

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We are all pumped up! we quickly googled a better location with less light pollution compared to our hotel,  we found a lake nearby and we drove there as fast as we could.

CMY_PHOTOGRAPHY-3The lake was frozen and surrounded by threes, it was a great location! When we got there the Northern light gets really intense and it was incredible to be able to see it up close, it was right above us, it was an epic experience for us! but after few minutes of northern light shooting, clouds started to came by and block our view. We are unprepared for the cold night and we headed back to our hotel.

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Our hotel is on top of a mountain, the view there is spectacular. It was quite late, all of my friends are going to bed, but I didn’t give up, I went outside and tried my luck on the northern lights. I was lucky, the sky cleared up and the aurora light show appears again, the weather and the strenght of the northern light was so great, I can see the light even on top of the city, where the light pollution is very high.

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After realizing how lucky I am, I quickly found a spot and point my camera straight up and started to take photos. When the northern lights are right above you, it is a lot more beautiful then looking at them in a distance, it was surreal!

CMY_PHOTOGRAPHY-6And this is where I got  my favorite northern light photos, the Angel.

Wrapping up! My Iceland Journey.

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It has been some time since my journey in Iceland. I am always been a forgetful person, I always argue with my parents that they didn’t bring me to anywhere when I was younger but the reality is that they did but I have forgotten everything. It’s lucky that I got in touch with photography, it allows me to go back to the time I took the photo whenever I am looking at the photographs. And this is also why I like to write about my journey, it’s a very enjoyable to reassemble those fragments of memories from all my photographs.

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Iceland is a place that can be easily found in anyone’s to-go list. It’s beauty already spreader throughout the globe, but I went there prepared for disappointments.  As I have visited many place that let me down from the high expectations that got built up during the planning stage. This time I went there without any research on where I wanted to visit.

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A road trip with no idea what I will encounter next is just too awesome, furthermore it’s Iceland. One moment we are driving through a green lush canyon, next we are on our way up a dense foggy mountain with ice all around us. It was an epic experience to have a road trip like that, traveling easily through different terrains and weather condition.

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One of the epic place to visit in Iceland is the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. Huge blocks of ice constantly break off the glacier, Breiðamerkurjökull, and large icebergs float on the lagoon. It’s amazing to see those massive peaces of ice clashing among each other near the exit of the lagoon. The color of the ice are also a beautiful bright teal even in a bad weather. It was raining during my visit, but me and my brother both agreed that the weather is perfect for that place, it created a more dramatic atmosphere.

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Another unique place to visit is the geothermal plant.The Kafla Power Station, you will pass through this power station if you are heading to the Kafla volcanic area, and everyone will drive through this pipe gate. The area around the power station are filled with pipes and giant golfball-like structures with steam coming out from them. We visited the tourist information centre in the power station, there they showed the process of how a geothermal power station work. It’s interesting information but the centre it’s very small, but do feel free to drop by for the free coffee inside. 😛

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Before we leave Iceland, we visited the famous Blue Lagoon. The main lagoon where people goes in are packed with tourist, and you will need to book the ticket online prior to your visit. Don’t book the ticket at the last moment as it might be fully booked, as everybody visit Iceland will basically go there. When we are there, it was very crowded, huge tour busses are constantly coming in with more people. After I experience chilling in the relaxing warm lagoon, I decided to get out before my brother to take some photo of the surrounding environment. I saw some smaller blue color lakes during our drive to the carpark, so I decide to do some exploration. Weirdly but fortunately there was just a few people there, the place was just outside of the main lagoon, but nobody seems to realize it. The landscape there are truly unique, weird alien rock formation with nothing but moss accompanied by weird blue lakes with white edges. If you ever go to the blue lagoon don’t forget to check out the surrounding, it’s a nice walk after a relaxing hot bath.

 

Here a short series of my photographs taken in Iceland. It will be in better quality in my website very soon. 😀 Do check them out with all my other work there.

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My first reindeer spotting.

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After driving through a heavily foggy mountain, we reached the other side of the mountain where the weather are looking a lot better. Originally we stopped the car after I saw some beautiful light shinning on some farmhouses, but then I realized that there are a herd of reindeers at a distance. I then changed to my longest lens, the 70-200mm f4 L , and starting to walk towards them. Even though I am very far away , they detected me very soon. I then started to crawl towards them while taking photos. They started to move away from me very soon, I wish I am closer to them. 😦

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Photo credit to my brother, he took this photo standing up with his iPhone. Now I know why the herd walked away even though I am flat on the ground. Thanks Bro. 😛 Just joking. I am guessing these two photos are taken at same moment or just a fraction of seconds apart form each other. 😀 We are assuming they are wild, what a cool experience to have during my trip to Iceland.

Mont Saint Michel.

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On our way to Mont Saint Michel, we saw these beautiful horses at the road side, we quickly stopped our car and get down to take photographs of them. They saw us coming and started to get closer, they pose for us for a few minute then ran away.

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We reach Mont Saint Michel at the evening, the sun is very low then. I can’t wait to see the awesome structure, so right after i drop m bags in the hotel I ran out to scout around our hotel to see whether Mont Saint Michel can be seen there. I found a nice place that have a decent view at the structure, but it’s still very far away.

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We drove to Mont Saint Michel, but I remembered that I saw some website that we can’t do that. But luckily we didn’t face any trouble driving strait to the main entrance. The small island was always highly fortified since the ancient time, but since the 8th century AD it has been the seat of the monastery from which it drawn it’s name. It definitely reminds me of the Disney Logo. 😛 After sometime shooting in the strong cold wind, we decide to call it a day and then went back to our hotel.

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The next day morning, I woke up real early hoping to see the beautiful Mont Saint Michel during sunrise. It’s hard but it is definitely worth it! I walked to the place I found the day before, and started to walk towards the island more. Then I found some tiny stream curving around the grassland. 🙂 Used the streams as foreground , and a long exposure to get the shot above. But it is quite windy then, that why the grass are little bit blurry. 😦

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Just before I started to leave the place, a huge herd of sheep started arriving at the grassland. Controlled by a clever herding dog, they are start to head towards Mont Saint Michel. I am so exited back then. 😀

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I shot a lot that time but personally liked this photo the most. I like how there is only one sheep turn and looked right at me, and the morning sunlight highlighted it from the herd. 😀 Waking up early it’s always fun during trips/vacation.

 

Letting mother nature do the drawing.

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Wondering around London and found this interesting spot to take photo. Actually I saw photos of this place online before, when I look up and realised that I have stumbled upon a very nice photographic point. I then set up my tripod in the middle of the walkway ignoring every one around me and starts to take photos upwards. I can’t get what I wanted for the first few shot, the sky are too gloomy and covered by thick clouds. I decided to stay there and wait for awhile, after around 10 minutes, the clouds started to clear and they are moving quite fast across the deep blue sky. Finally my patient pays off, since I am already set up for the shot, I just press on the shutter and let mother nature paint a background for my shot. 🙂

Architecture + time

My recent project is to capture architecture and time together. These are the result after my solo photo-walk a couple of weeks ago.

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No.1 London Bridge Road.

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The “Walkie Talkie” at 20 Fenchurch Street. designed by Rafael Viñoly. I took this photo across the River Thames.

 

 

 

My visit to Brighton.

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Visited Brighton few weeks ago, I went there alone with my camera and a tripod. After looking at the weather forecast, I know I will get one day of rain and the other as a bright sunny day. This photo is taken during the sun set at my second day there, just minutes before I packed my tripod and ran to the bus station for my 6:30 bus heading back to London. I wished I had booked a later bus, as the sky are so beautiful that time. 😦 I might try to print this out for my crit-session next week with my lecturer and course mates. Let’s hope the print will look good. 😀

My first enlargement.

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After I shot my first roll of 120 film, I did my first enlargement. It was taught by a course-mate of mine. 😀 I was surprise of how enlargement is done, it is basically taking a photo again, you have to chose a lens, and your ‘film’ the photographic paper. Then you need to set your aperture of the lens, size the projected image to the size of your paper and then focus the image projected. And then after you put your photographic paper into place (with the focusing light off) you then uses a timer machine that control the amount of time the enlarger will project the image on the paper. At first we will need to use test strips to find out the exposure needed for the end result you want, normally we will start with a 5 seconds projection of light, and expose our test strip in 3 different places for the period of 5 seconds,10 seconds, and 15 seconds. If you are lucky, you will get the perfect exposure that you wanted from one of the exposure, but most of the time we will need to do many more test strip until we get our desirable result. After figuring out the period of time need for my shot with numerous amount of test strip, then only we can use a full size photographic paper, and to tell you the truth, I am nervous at that time. But when I see the finished photo, I am very happy with it.

I got more than what I was expecting, maybe this is where the essence of film photography is. The texture, the annoying dust that are now permanently printed on my photos, the naturally occurred frame around the photo, and finally is to be able to see a finished product that you spent hours in the dark room to create is just awesome. But this is definitely not a easy thing to do. 😀

Ilford FP4+ 120 – 1/10

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My first roll of 120film, shot with a Mamiya RB67 in a studio. Thanks Mauri Sherrington for being my model. This is the first exposure, and thanks to my inexperience of a medium format film camera, it’s shot too early into the film roll. But the mistake dint stop there, I scanned it with a wrong setting, thus my black and white film is now colorized. But this is my favorite photos out 10 of them. 😀