How I landed up going medium format digital…

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Earlier in the year, many of you saw me post the image of the Hasselblad 501CM hanging off a tripod at 90 degrees near the surf line. Several asked why on earth would I need to turn a square format camera sideways; apart from the obvious answer of ‘to shoot vertically!’ there’s definitely more than meets the eye. Firstly, Hasselblad did actually produce an A16 645 format magazine for the V-series bodies; they’re relatively rare nowadays and must obviously be used with the correct focusing screen to ensure accurate composition. In addition to being better suited to the typical print rectangles, you also get 33% more images per roll of 120 (16 instead of 12, as the name suggests). I was using something a little more exotic; though like the A16, it isn’t rotatable and so requires you to turn the camera through 90 to shoot verticals. It’s not very convenient, to say the least.

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Photoessay: A study of wave action

Some experiments into how the same subject can be simultaneously not the same. A bit of contemplative photography while on vacation. Or perhaps I just like water and waves for the same reasons I like clouds. Sometimes, we don’t need to think too much about it – just shoot. I need to go on holiday more often; but then again, don’t we all? MT

This series shot with an Olympus E-PM1 Pen Mini at Tanjung Jara, on the east coast of peninsular Malaysia.

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Photoessay: Seascapes

Inspired by Hiroshi Sugimoto. The South China Sea, off the east coast of Malaysia at Tanjung Jara.

This series shot with an Olympus E-PM1 Pen Mini and the 14-42 kit lens.

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POTD: Surreal portraiture

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Floating head. Olympus E-PM1 Pen Mini and kit lens.

Sometimes, the atmospheric conditions – early morning haze resulting in a vanishing horizon – and perfectly calm seas make for interesting photography; the kind where you don’t mind risking a camera in chest-deep water. MT

POTD x3: The kind of sequence that kills cameras, and a quick reminder

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The kind of sequence that kills a camera: or, advancing waves at 14mm. Olympus E-PM1 Pen Mini, 14-42 kit lens.

Let’s just say there was a reason I was using this and not, say, an M9. Also, I was moving out of the way rather quickly!

I’ve been experimenting with sequences/ sets a bit lately; it’s something that I thought might be interesting to build off the contact sheet idea – any not make the contact sheet and thinking process part of the desired end output? But then I suppose it would require us to think about the individual frames in the context of their own contact sheet, which would be rather meta and confusing…or perhaps the right way to approach this would be thinking of the sequence in itself, much like a video clip – except we just capture key frames. I have a sneaky feeling that pursuing this path of development will eventually lead me back into experimenting with cinematography again (which will be the subject of a future article).

A quick reminder: My Singapore reader meet up will happen tonight, at 7pm, outside Ion Orchard near the red floor installation and the ‘bubble’ MRT entrance. You’ll find me because of the M9-P hanging around my neck, and I’ll be wearing a red t-shirt. (For some odd inexplicable reason, this is beginning to feel like a blind internet date. Oh well, at least we know we all have one thing in common!) We’ll wander around from there and find something to eat. Looking forward to meeting you all! MT

POTD: If you’re not getting wet, you’re probably not close enough.

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Wave action. Olympus E-PM1 Pen Mini, 14-42 kit lens…at 14mm.

Sometimes risks are necessary for experimentation. Just don’t do it with any gear that would be critical if dead, unless you absolutely have to get the shot. MT

POTD: Vacation time

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Tanjung Jara beach, Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia. Nikon D700 and 85/1.4 D

I’m off to the beach for a few days for a short vacation (the same beach in the image, coincidentally) and to practice my hommages a Daido Moriyama Hiroshi Sugimoto (I have no idea how I got that one mixed up). I’ll still have internet access though, so please keep commenting. There’s also a couple of very interesting posts completed and scheduled, including an On Assignment covering shooting watches with the Leica M9-P system – I wouldn’t leave you guys without something to read, would I? :) MT

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