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November 4 2010 8:45pm

Did I mention magic in the last post? I did right? So here you are, a vision brought to life, at 8:45.

Before the banquet began, I was roaming about the ballroom looking for perspectives and angles to frame shots with. And when the time came for the first march-in, Michel and I discussed the areas we would be covering. With him shooting from the front as Elwyn and Serene marched in, I was free to be creative.

Michel would first get the shots he needed from the front while I waited out of sight at the rear. As the couple approached the stage, Michel and Samuel (videographer) from Simplemotion would have cleared to the side and I took the chance to snap this shot. I’m happy that it worked out although it still took a bit of saving in post-processing as I had forgotten to compensate for exposure. With the two glaring spotlights shining in my direction, the initial result was an underexposed image. Thank goodness for the technology of the digital darkroom.

6 years in the army as a specialist/instructor isn’t for nothing. Scouting, planning, tasking and communication are important when there are more than one person on the job. Here it felt like we had just executed a tactical ambush with a flanking maneuver, only that we were shooting with Canons and not M16s. Trip flares and smoke grenades were present too but just not in the military sense. Could you identify them in the picture?

Do pardon me for reminiscing about my army days. I do sometimes miss my days in green and especially the pals who endured the training and hardship beside me. Elwyn and Serene are not my enemies. They are my dear friends. I had long swapped war raging rifles for the romanticism of the camera. While this isn’t the most romantic image, I do think it is in a way quite captivating.

Photography Andy Post-Process Andy Words Andy

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November 4 2010 9:40pm

I started the day of November 4, 2010, very early. After making a stop at McDonald’s to pick up some breakfast, I was over at Michel’s place to pick him up before making our way to Serene’s place. We reached at 6.00am. Sending a sms to Elwyn to greet him a good morning, his reply to me was, “Morning! It’s going to be a long day. Hahaha!” And indeed it was.

The day was very eventful and there were many auspicious timings to meet. It all started with Elwyn’s wedding gate-crash, followed by a tea ceremony and a stopover at the couple’s new residence before another tea ceremony back at Serene’s place in the morning. There was a buffet lunch before everyone gathered at Goodwood Park Hotel for the couple’s matrimony solemnization. Thereafter was a break in the mid-afternoon before the dinner banquet later in the evening.

Michel and I took the opportunity before the dinner to head home for a breather. When it was time to pick him up again to head back to the hotel, I realized something and said this to him, “You know what’s funny? 12 hours ago I was here at exactly 5:30 to pick you up and here we are again at 5:30.” He looked at me and said, “Yes, I know. It’s scary. The day hasn’t end.” It was irony and we both laughed.

Michel and I took quite a lot of pictures throughout the day. Whenever possible, I’ll remind him and myself not to take too many and look out only for those that count. In this digital age it’s quite easy to get carried away. “Less is more,” I’ll say.

Of course there will be some moments that you’ll need to squeeze a few more frames to ensure you get the shot. A photojournalist in the film age would term such an occasion as “letting it rip!” Sometimes there just isn’t time to frame and wait. A roll of good old 36 would fire away just like a magazine from a machine gun in seconds and it’s time to reload. Isn’t it a blessing that an 8GB CF card can store more than 200 RAW on a Canon 5D Mark II without much of a worry these days? I’m grateful to digital photography.

To be honest, it took a few frames to get this shot of Elwyn and Serene. I anticipated the laughter but there were still elements out of my control. It usually do not look too flattering when we laugh too heartily and I have some shots of those. They are the ones I’ll never show! Elwyn’s sister and brother-in-law were the ones in the background. In some shots they were expressionless. This one here though is just right. I’m glad that I persisted and waited for the magic to happen. In the words of a National Geographic photographer, “You cannot force the magic.”

It was a long day but magic happened. Here is one on November 4, 2010 at 9:40pm. Keep those happy smiles, Elwyn and Serene, let magic happen again and again. Your life together has only just begun. Bless the two of you.

Photography Andy Post-Process Andy Words Andy

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With this ring… Forever I do.

Today is Elwyn & Serene’s wedding day and this image is officially the last shot I took for the first half of the day before a break till the dinner banquet.

And I just want to quickly post this up to keep me going before heading back to the hotel for another round for shutter clicking action. So far it has been pretty good.

Photography Andy Post-Process Andy Words Andy

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Today’s the wedding day of Elwyn and Serene. Why PERFECT? That’s because to their family and friends, they are the perfect couple. Let this memorable day be blessed. :)

Photography Andy Post-Process Andy Words Andy

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Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

The saying goes, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

Who is she in the picture? I’m not going to say but I like what I saw so I took this shot. You may not share the same opinion with me about beauty and that is perfectly fine because we all see things through different eyes.

But even if your perception of beauty is different from mine, do you first know where to find the beauty of your eye? That’s what photography can teach you, to find and refine what makes things beautiful.

Know where to look. See through your eyes. Feel the beauty in your heart.

Photography Andy Post-Process Andy Words Andy

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July 10 2010 7:46am

Today, I’m going to share with you an image shot by Michel Tay. Michel is my associate photographer who has years of experience in the fashion photography industry. It is very fortunate of me to be able to meet him as I start the imagery wing of Andessen DC this year to provide photography services for “Capturing the things we love.”

Andessen Imagery is not your conventional photography studio. We do not subscribe to the point and shoot technique which is so prevalent in the digital photography age. We also do not content ourselves with technically correct images because these images may look good but are actually soulless.

Photography to us is an art and we believe that photography can make a difference. With that in mind, our approach is to offer photography as a way to capture the meaningful things in your life so that they can be with you as a form of valuable memento. We know how we as human beings tend to forget the happy things as we go through our lives, therefore, A.i creates images that are authentic to reflect these captured moments to serve as reminders to ourselves. We want you to connect with your soul.

In this image, we see Shan, and it was 7:46am on her wedding day. She was getting her hair done and the sun greets her through the windows with its rays. Michel captured this shot. I think it is stunning. The lights combined with Shan’s expression give this image a lovely gentle softness that is captivating as it is comforting.

I wish I could be present when Michel capture this shot but I wasn’t. Instead, I was over at the groom’s place to capture his preparation. That made me just a little bit envious. But that was the plan by the wedding couple and as photographers we make the best of what is available. To be authentic, we do not intervene. We let things happen at their own time and when the moment is right, we click the shutter.

And here we got one at 7:46am on July 10, 2010, by Michel Tay.

Photography Michel Tay Post-Process Andy Words Andy

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What do cats think about?

Cats are mysterious creatures. They are independent, quiet and often wear a poise expressionless look. And because of that, it’s hard to guess what are on their minds.

Just the other day, a friend asked, “What do cats think about? You look at them and they either just lie here or sit there staring into blank space.”

Cats do that don’t they? So I speculate that they might be thinking about where to sleep later, what to eat later, or how to catch the attention of another sexy cat. These apply to the strays around us I reckon.

This image here, however, is not about a stray, but he could have been, if his owners had not adopted him. Lucky he is, and he is Lucky. Yes, that’s his name.

Lucky have really big eyes. That is the first thing I noticed when I first met him. And he would use them to scan me from top to bottom, much like questioning me about what business have I at his home. Only after making sure that I’m not a threat in his habitat would he go about his own business, and he’ll let me be as I’ll let him be. He has got such character and is a pleasure to photograph.

In this shot, I spot him out from his room and just sat outside the studies looking in. There was no one inside. The light would lead from the windows, filtered through the door and cast a nice contrast of lights and shadows on the corridor. Lucky would sit behind the wall with his face illuminated. The reflection of him off the floor was a bonus, giving this image an added dimension.

But back to the question, “What do cats think about?” Can you think up an answer here?

Photography Andy Post-Process Andy Words Andy

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Wesley, Denise and Baby Lucius.

Here is an image of Wesley, Denise and a 3-days-old Baby Lucius before they set off from TMC to bring Lucius home for the first time. It was about three months ago.

Honestly speaking, I struggled with this image, revisiting it countless times in post-production. And even as I was writing this, I stopped and went back to re-edit it, correcting the colours, once more. Initially, I had thought that Black & White would be nice here but after going through a few versions, I find that it could be overly dramatizing and went back to colours instead for a much more natural look.

While it took ten months for a baby to be born, this image took three, much like a cheetah. The reference came to mind only because of a recent documentary on cheetahs that I’ve watched.

The planning and capturing of this shot took much less time. Before this was taken, I had it in my mind that I wanted dad, mum and baby to be intimately close in the picture sharing a moment together. I thought about using natural light from the window but it was raining that day. The next option is to use the yellow/orange ceiling light, and this spot at the corner of the room is perfect to frame the shot with.

A few minor adjustments were made to ensure the curtain and cushions were proper and I made Wesley and Denise sit really close to each other. They were really in a “tight spot”, literally speaking. Other than that I just ask of them to relax and talk to each other. This image was one of many shots. Some had them laughing and looking at each other while sharing a joyful moment, and some are of them smiling and interacting with Baby Lucius.

This shot, however, was what I was really looking for. It has a sense of unspoken serenity and telling quality to it. It’s a little difficult to describe. I’ll try my best here. I like the way Wesley was smiling proudly while looking at Lucius. And I especially like Denise’s motherly expression as she cradles Lucius. What happened in this moment just felt very right.

Do you share my sentiments?

Photography Andy Post-Process Andy Words Andy

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Kandahar Street

Kandahar street is a place within Kampong Glam, Singapore. Kampong meaning Settlement, and Glam referring to a variety of eucalyptus which grew in the area, it is a heritage site in Singapore. The land was allocated to the Malays and Muslim immigrants when Singapore was under the British colony back in the nineteenth century.

Kandahar street lies at the back of Sultan Mosque, which is a major landmark for the Singapore Muslim community.

I was there on one of the evenings during the Muslim Fasting Month as there was a food bazaar along the road for Muslims to buy their food for breakfast. It was already late so the stores have mostly closed and the crowd dissipated as the lights dimmed.

What caught my eye as my friend and I rested our feet by the side of the road was the corner provision shop. I like the contrast of the white light coming from the shop within the ambient incandescent lit environment. There were vehicles to frame the subject and two men by the side so the picture doesn’t look lonely. And as I was adjusting the camera for exposure, another man cycled by and that was the perfect moment to capture the shot.

Photography Andy Post-Process Andy Words Andy

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