I was at a friend's place earlier today, having been invited to view his new camera, a Nikon D90, which cost him more than RM10,000 together with a few accessories like 2 lenses and 2 other gadgets which I hardly know they existed prior to this.
Manan, an old primary schoolmate, has retired from the hustle and bustle of city life. Formerly attached to a bank in KL, he went into construction after grabbing the first Voluntary Separation offer that came his way, and laboured for a decade or so before deciding to call it quits, and is now into photography. For someone whose kids are all grown-up and wife still in middle management somewhere, I guess he can take it easy now. In contrast to him, I have not even started! (The family part is). The funny thing is, while my love for photography began at 12 (abandoned at 14), his started only some 3 years back. Back then in primary school when several friends and I pestered a teacher, Mr Tang, who was also the school's official photographer, to start a photography club, Manan opted out, for then, he thought picture taking is a stupid thing altogether and is only meant for sissies. Guess now, he outgrew that thought.
Anyway, the D90 is his 2nd camera with a Canon EOS 1000D being the first. Seeing the latter seem to have fallen out of favour with him, I managed to get him to lend it to me for a couple of days, just to get a feel of it, and found out that there's a mighty big difference between when I was in primary school and now.
Back then, my friends and I had to learn to use the old Yashica (top-view), which had 2 lenses built into it. We also learnt to develop the negatives into film, a process which is now outdated as the camera mentioned itself. But we had fun, both in the darkroom, as well as the camera, and learnt to appreciate certain shots which the technique I scarcely remember now. And when we entered secondary school, everything we learnt during the few short months with Mr Tang, faded away from memory, and in its stead, new adventures and hobbies discovered....till lately, off course. (Now, I would be lying to say that I've not had a camera in between then and now, but they were nothing fancy and were always the auto-focus kind. Then, there was the cheap RM5 Diana camera which is good only for 50shots or so; once used, it becomes disposable, literally).
Back to the present, the camera I am supposed to return in a couple of days time, well, I had some fun with it just now, experimenting with several shots, and off course, dreaming that I can be a good at it. Below, are 2 of the shots.
In this picture, I tried to create an 'aura' of the subject which is actually a pink rose. Shot against the streetlamp at its back, I was hoping that the colour of the flower would come to life. I failed. Evidently, I needed to use a macro lens to focus on the subject, as well as another which would blur out the background. Both, off course, was not loaned to me as they each cost more than the camera itself. Well, perhaps, in the next life I'll get to use the necessary. Till then, I do think this picture - were the equipment available to me - would look equally great in black and white.
With the light at my back thowing shadows of the plant of the same pink rose above on to wall of the mailbox, this was considerably an easy shot (I think), which perhaps, can be better with more knowledge and experience. The picture however, was cropped to the desired view and enlarged, which makes it rather grainy, or noisy, as I think the term or lingo is.
InsyAllah, tomorrow and the day after, I ought to be able to get more fun from this camera. Only that, I'll feel sad to return it back to Manan.
Thursday, January 11
3 days ago