Brunei Darussalam

2009 A YEAR OF RESOLUTION

Resolution 1. the quality of being resolute (determined, unwavering) 2. a firm decision 3. the degree of detail visible in a photographic image.

This is my first post of 2009  and after a year’s hiatus from the wedding scene and having turned down over a dozen enquiries, I’m delighted to announce that I’ve made a conditional come back to the wedding market. Visit my wedding page for updates (when I get round to updating it). I had spent a great part of 2008 in search of inspiration  so the wheels are in motion (pardon the pun) even as I usher in the new year with this post. Congratulations to newlyweds cousin Daniel and his lovely wife Santi for their wedding on January 4th 2009.

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I sold my EOS 5D to a friend right after I returned from KK and on the morning I picked up my 5D Mark II, I also picked up a 50mm f/1.4 lens on his behalf and invited him to this shoot. The first three images and the last one (the one that Nick made an exception) were taken by G. and considering this is first ever wedding shoot using his first ever DSLR, he’s discovered a learning curve and there’s no event that pushes all boundaries than shooting a real wedding—for the first time! I like the third picture in the hotel room when Daniel reaches in his pocket for the ring!

↓ This is not part of the bride-sisters torture routine. I came in this car and we had actual car trouble and needed the assistance of the groom’s entourage to get it running again. During this time, I had taken off in the main wedding car, the Honda Odyssey.

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G. sighed that he had forgotten to turn on his flash. I think otherwise. Had the flash fired, the shot might not have conveyed the mood of this picture that I like. A bit of retouching and all is well and I particularly like how the bride’s father is observing at a distance as his son-in-law reaches in for the symbol of their unity—no drama—he had the ring!

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I thought an ultra-wide angle shot of this worked rather well. Holding the 5DII and 17-40 @ 17mm up against the ceiling to minimize shake.

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From the groom’s home to the lunch reception at the Soon Lee Ayamku Seafood Restaurant in Kuala Belait. This is a shot of the red napkin on the main table with an inverted image of it through the salt and pepper shaker holder.

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I’ve seen many “street style” shots like this in Singapore weddings and really the chance of a scene like this in Brunei is pretty rare to impossible. It’s not cultural to drag a wedding gown through town. You can imagine how delighted I was as, even for a fleeting moment, Daniel and Santi made their grand entrance they chose this path. This may be the closest opportunity I’ll ever get for a long time unless I drag the next couple through our hawker stalls 🙂

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The 5D II’s low light high ISO performance is truly amazing. The venue isn’t particularly bright and the location where the wedding cake is placed and subsequently the champagne opening routine is at least one stop of light dimmer than the far end. On my favourite lens, the EF70-200 f/2.8, I was able to get 1/200 sec at f/2.8 at ISO 3200.

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Here is the first shot of my 5D II taken by G. (you know how it is when you’re ecstatic  with the newly acquired  gadget) as I was getting ready for the family group photo. If you’re in the market for a full frame body, the 5D II is competitively priced and as far as I know, is in a class of its own with its HD 1080 video capability. For a very thorough review of the 5D II, check out Roland Lim’s blog. I did say 2009 is a year of resolution—a lot more of it !

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13 thoughts on “2009 A YEAR OF RESOLUTION

  1. Hello,

    Enjoy the pics very much….. er.. has the car broke down in the second pic? Anyway.. i like your dynamic composition of the photos (angled but draws the eye all around the picture)

    Your pics in KK… that was wonderful. The story behind the pics really ‘icing on the cake’.

    How’s the photo workshop preparation going along? I’m really gung-ho for it, unfortunately I’ll be away for the most part of the year soon. But I fully support your efforts!!

    Have a great year and I hope it is not too early to wish you and your family Gong Xi Fa Cai!

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  2. Jan,

    It has been a great pleasure accepting your invitation to “Daniel & Santi” wedding shoot ..

    not forgetting on the advise “your shutter is too slow” while you in the middle of focusing on shooting a great story 🙂

    Considering this a great start for my new year’s resolution for 2009 which was only a dream until your encouragement

    Like

  3. No black dots and autofocus issues, I hope!

    Great shots of the champagne to demonstrate the 5DII’s low light capabilities. I can see Jeff is drooling already.

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  4. Enjoy the pics very much….. er.. has the car broke down in the second pic? Anyway.. i like your dynamic composition of the photos (angled but draws the eye all around the picture)

    Thanks Shamsul! Apologies for the slow reply. I have acquired a habit of taking my time to respond to comments. Perhaps I need another new year resolution to fix that but nonetheless I do make it a point to reply no matter how late! You know what they say about “good things come to those who wait” and I happen to subscribe to this belief 😀

    The RX8 broke down for real. Not sure what happened but word was the battery was too weak they couldn’t even get it to start with a jumper cable but all was well with minimal disruption to the morning event.

    How’s the photo workshop preparation going along? I’m really gung-ho for it, unfortunately I’ll be away for the most part of the year soon. But I fully support your efforts!!

    I should probably update the Louis Pang Workshop post to keep information central. I did however mention somewhere (and even I don’t remember where and when) the workshop has been pushed to April time frame pending a confirmed venue. It’s also likely that interested participants will register online once the facility is setup.

    Have a great year and I hope it is not too early to wish you and your family Gong Xi Fa Cai!

    I appreciate the well wishes and no, it’s never too early or too late to wish Gong Xi Fa Cai. In fact GXFC greeting is no longer considered culturally sensitive. We use it casually on someone when we recognize and appreciate their success and prosperity. It’s almost the same as “What’s Up?” 😀

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