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CITI BUILDING, Kuala Lumpur, v.2, Edit C, AgfaPanAPX

CITI BUILDING, Kuala Lumpur, v.2, Edit C, AgfaPanAPX

Title: “citi BUILDING, Kuala Lumpur, v.2, Edit C, AgfaPanAPX” (style)
What is it? citi Bank Building.
Location: Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur.
Notes: A TEST for myself, to capture a beautiful photo during the WORST part of the day for photography (around 1pm with hot sun, glaring off a GLASS and METAL building), and come up with something aesthetically pleasing from a Color or B&W Photo-Perspective. I chose B&W.

I love the glare at the top: So I wanted it to shine as a star. I also wanted to make a dark and rich B&W Image, mostly low-key but concentrate the focus on the building surface facing the sunlight.

This was vision of this scene, on this day.

Uploaded by BEHIND the LENS with Nawfal Nur on 28 Dec 08,

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Paint the World…with Truth, Part II

In Part I, I discussed about how photographs are only a general representation of the one-and-only reality. In other words, photographs are objective representations of the world as we ‘Artists‘ design our photographs to be.

Double Talk? Yes, and a little ambiguous as well, thank you very much!

Did I mention that this is a good thing for Fine Art Photographers? Well, it is! Not the “double talk,” but the personal translating of reality in our work! That is good! That’s creativity.

Now, in this entry, Part II, I want to mention a totally different sort of “Truth”. This “Truth” is something that many Artists will no doubt experience. If you don’t experience this “Truth” at least once in your life as an Artist, then count your blessings; you are the luckiest person in the world; life is so good you must be living on Mars!

“What ‘Truth’ are you talking about ALREADY?” That’s a mighty fine question!

Well, it’s actually the UNtruth told to Artists when someone shows interest in their work. If you still have no clue what I’m talking about, then YES, you are the luckiest Martian in the Solar System!

Getting on with it now…

If when you show your artwork to someone (a gallery, a museum, a library, an interior designer, an art collector/buyer or artist’s representative), and they show interest in your work, then that’s a good thing…Smile!

If however, after the pleasantries are over, and the other party then makes any comments like this: “We would really like to work with you on this; we would really like to help you out; we could do you a favor and show your work for you, blah, blah, blah…“; If you hear this, then your internal red flags should be sounding the, “Alert, Danger Will Robinson!”

BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR THESE PHRASES in discussions with any of these people:

  1. “…do you a favor…”
  2. “…giving you free wall space to show your work…”

ARTIST’S DEFENSE FOR 1:

1. “Pardon me, but actually if I agree to work with you on this project, everything will be spelled out in the agreement and we will naturally be benefiting each other.” And then, you can continue with…”And by the way, I always keep a copy of my ‘Standard’ Artist & Gallery Consignment Agreement (if this is a consignment deal) in my camera bag (Organizer, etc.). If you wish to have a look, see my terms, which are quite typical, then we can discuss the project further, OKEY DOKEY!” Well, maybe leave out the “OKEY DOKEY” terminology.

  • If they baulk at the idea of an Agreement, or at most of your “Standard Clauses“, then you might as well save yourself some hassle and heartache and walk away. The idea is to protect yourself, your time & efforts, your investment, and your property.
  • You should always be open to negotiations, but don’t let yourself get completely pillaged by a bossy designer or gallery owner. You’re a business person too, and have your own interests to look out for, and that is what your Agreement is all about. It protects you and the other party by spelling out all the terms of the business relationship.
  • These are business people and they are NOT going to go out of their way to do you a favor for nothing! They will enter into business relationships with you if they see there is a benefit for them: This is common sense and part of business. As a business owner and Artist, you need to think this way as well.
  • Mentors will help you, do you favors and generally want you to succeed at your business and personal growth endeavors. That’s not to say that your Mentors are not also Business People, or maybe even business colleagues of yours – they could be. This would definitely be a plus for you, the Artist – you would have someone cheering you on to success!

ARTIST’S DEFENSE FOR 2:

2. “Ah, excuse me, but this project will cost me X-Amount in Time, Y-Amount in Printing Costs, and Z-Amount in Matting and Framing Costs” (don’t give exact figures, you don’t want them to know your absolute costs – ballpark figures are good enough). Then you can continue with: “So please don’t tell me it is ‘free wall space’ because I’m investing a lot of time and money into this project!” And then you could follow up with, “I’m a business person too, and I’m expecting you to promote my work so I get a good return on my investment. By the way, what is your Marketing Plan for promoting my Artwork?Throw it back in their face! This is just rough dialog of course. You don’t have to ever use it if you don’t want to; but who knows, it may work!

If the other party fails to realize your investment in this venture, then don’t continue doing business with this party. They will always believe they are providing you with “free wall space,” and “doing you a favor.”

Artists vs. The World…

Is this the case? Is everyone out there waiting to rob us blind; or, stab us in the backs with deceit, treachery and lies (the UNtruth)?

Well, that may be a wild overstatement – but the treacherous are out there waiting to take advantage of the “Starving & Struggling Artist” – So beware!

Perhaps you don’t consider the quest to be a “Working Artist” a “Conflict in Motion“, and that is certainly fine. I only wish I had that sort of, well, for lack of a better term, a Pollyanna viewpoint.

“When look for the bad in mankind expecting to find it, you surely will.”
—Abraham Lincoln —Inscription on Pollyanna’s broach, a gift from her father.

I’m not suggesting that you become a totally Paranoid Freakazoid Artist or something, suspecting everyone you run into, to stab you in the back. That’s no way to live. And, not everyone will, that would be a vast exaggeration.

Nevertheless, being that I’ve been “burned” before in a couple of Artist and Rep. dealings, I now approach most artistic opportunities with “Guarded Optimism and Suspicion!” [LMAOBT! ;^) ]

I like the general idea of Sun Tzu on this issue:

“The general who loses a battle makes but few calculations
beforehand. Thus do many calculations lead to victory, and few
calculations to defeat: how much more no calculation at all! It
is by attention to this point that I can foresee who is likely to
win or lose.”

In other words, Prepare Yourself, and prepare thoroughly!

Maybe some people do not think the “Art World” ‘doings‘ (i.e., business dealings, etc.) is a “battle”. Well, I have my own opinions on this, and also my battle scars….that being the case, I would suggest to “Prepare Yourself with MANY Calculations!

End of Part II: “Paint the World…with Truth”.

Paint the World….with Truth?

Pigeon on Ledge-IMG 2418, Edit B-np

Yes, wouldn’t the “truth” be nice…

I’m a firm believer in the standard “X-Files” tagline: “The Truth is Out There!” But believe me, fellow brothers and sisters in Art, it is up to you to find it!

Well, as you may already have guessed, this is turning out to be absolutely different from what you thought it would be, at least, according to the “title” of the journal entry.

First, however, let me tell you about this image: It is a pigeon, of course, standing on the ledge of a very old, British Colonial, row house in Penang, more specifically, Georgetown.

These colorful shots of old houses is a new series I’m working on: I’m thinking of calling the series, “Distinctive Georgetown,” or something like that. My file of images is building in this filing cabinet of a photo-series – I better name the Series soon.

This is a macro detail of an old house on the corner of Jalan Irving and Jalan Krian.

As surreal as it sounds to me now, I was interviewed tonight on a local Radio show, and I think what I responded with to this questions, “What is it about a scene that makes you want to take a photograph?” – was pretty spot-on (my ‘approximate’ answer is below).

“For me,” I said, “I think very macroscopically, even when working on this Historic Preservation self-assignment. I look at the details and compose the details, the composition, the context of the image in my heart and mind first. If it seems like a worthwhile scene to work on, then I get my camera out, and I work on the shot I had developed in my mind.”

That’s a pretty close word-for-word, at least as far as I remember. My wife would probably say, “NONSENSE!” Oh…Not “nonsense” to my interview answer, but to my skills of listening and remembering. I think I have remarkable listening skills. She’s perhaps blinded by her own bias: She says I choose not to listen to her sometimes, and I tell her that it is a skill I’ve developed over the years, called “Selective Listening!” She’s not amused! I think it’s a hell’of’a skill and I’m considering offering it as a Short-Course for husbands of all time zones!

My Photography is not necessarily the “truth” – it is more closely linked to my Painted Version of the Truth! After all, there is only one reality, but for Photographic Artists, we provide the context for which that “truth“, that “reality“, is presented in the frame of a single shot at a particular time.

In my “Distinctive Georgetown” photographs, it is a close representation of “reality” but with my twist on each scene. That is what artists do, right, reveal their own personal vision to the canvas, the rock, the film, the print, or whatever.

In my next journal entry, I may discuss another type of “truth” that ALL Artists need to be on the lookout for and protect themselves against, and that “truth” is the sugar-coated kind, where the people you come across could be your savior, or the devil that stabs you in the back! And sometimes, if you’re not careful, they appear as your savior, then reveal themselves to you as the devil, their real identity.

Like I said, MAYBE, I’ll cover that topic next time. If I can perhaps, save one (or more) artists/photographers, from making mistakes that I’ve made, by telling a simple, if not, hard-learned tale of misery and the agony of deceit and treachery, then, it may be a tale worth telling…or at least I may highlight the finer points of the lesson….Mysterious? Yes… That’s OK…

More later.

The 50th Merdeka, Vespa Scooter Convoy from Terengganu: A Photo-Essay of their Stop in Penang.

“The 50th Merdeka, Vespa Scooter Convoy from Terengganu: A Photo-Essay of their Stop in Penang.”

 

Story & Photos by Nawfal Nur

Copyright 2007

All Rights Reserved

 

———————————–

KSK, Vespa Club, Frame 94-BTL

Photo One: Yellow Scooter – Close-up of “vespa”, chrome trim and red light. The yellow paint was fairly dirty, so I took a tissue and wiped it down, and no one seemed to mind.  After all, the group had already traveled several hundred kilometers and a little dirt on the scooters would be natural.

KSK, Vespa Club, Frame 79-BTL

Photo Two: Orange Vespa with stormy sky in the background, Malaysian flag hanging down into the frame of this shot.

KSK, Vespa Club, Frame 83-BTL

Photo Three: KSK Member sitting on his Vespa and an array of other scooters around him.

KSK, Vespa Club, Frame 87-BTL

Photo Four: An elaborate eagle decoration on the front bumper of a Vespa scooter.

KSK, Vespa Club, Frame 112-BTL

Photo Five: A decorative hand-stamped chrome visor: The design is of a Vespa scooter.

KSK, Vespa Club, Frame 97-BTL

Photo Six: An Abstract shot of a pink Vespa’s front bumper and chrome horn covering.

KSK, Vespa Club, Frame 109-BTL

Photo Seven: An intimidating fixture of a Viking Warrior – Maybe it’s Thor!

KSK, Vespa Club, Frame 96-BTL

Photo Eight: This is the oldest Vespa in the group: It is a circa., 1964 Vespa scooter, in almost perfect condition.

KSK, Vespa Club, Frame 101-BTL

Photo Nine: Just me adding a little “bling” to the shot, by using a ‘lens’ effect to highlight the Malaysian flag. The light falloff was expected; and this shot I took from standing in the first lane of traffic between short pauses in the zooming by of vehicles.

————————————

© 2007 Nawfal Nur, All Rights Reserved

————————————

Little did I know that my wife would be coming home with an interesting photography challenge for me. However, proved to be a much needed break from the monotony of the day, and an educational-cultural experience that I had not expected.

KSK (Kelab Skuter Klasik), from Kuala Terengganu, is a branch of the Classic Vespa Scooter Club, here in Malaysia. This group was on a Vespa Scooter Convoy, in honor of the 50th year of Malaysian Independence (Merdeka).

Their ride started on the 22nd of August and would finish up on the 31st of August. They traveled from Kuala Terengganu to various stops, and ended up in Penang on the 27th of August, I had the opportunity to take some photographs of their classic, Italian Vespas. Their next destination was somewhere in Kedah.

Now, take into consideration that my Penang dialect of the Malay language is kind of atrocious, so I was trying to communicate badly with my Penang dialect, with dudes who were speaking perfectly great Terengganu-Malay dialect – what a fantastic interaction we had!

Here’s how this whole photo-shoot came about: My wife was coming home from work and noticed a group of about 20 guys, milling around a colorful array of vintage Vespa motor scooters. She naturally knew that I would want to photograph their bikes, and get a story out of it – that’s just the way I am!

The group of riders were resting near our home, about a 10-minute walk away. They had all gathered in an empty parking lot, out front of an unscrupulous night club: It gets shut down about every year for violations of various laws – that scummy place is a true ‘Menace To Society!’ However, where there’s scum, there is filth, and the two seem to exist in a symbiosis that benefits both sides, and leaves the neighborhood in disgust, but that’s another story.

My wife arrived home and told me the story of the scooter riders from Terengganu. After hearing her ‘CLIFFS NOTES’ version, I knew I needed to drop what I was doing, grab a camera and race over to the gathering.

It was 7:00PM when I left the house and the light outside was transforming into a light tobacco color. I knew I had little time to take some shots with available light, which is naturally my preference for this type of work. Artificial light coming from the camera, when shooting objects that range in distance from near to far, it tends to wash out the nearby objects and leaves the distant subjects in a fog of darkness. With limited time and no way to gather additional lighting equipment, I had to make due with my camera with a built in flash.

When I approached the riders, they seemed a bit perplexed: I can imagine some were thinking, “Why is this Mat Salleh (White Guy), coming up to us and checking out our rides?

I noticed that there were more scooters than riders, so some people were missing from their group of some 20 bikes. Maybe some had already gone for a bite to eat. Nevertheless, about 12 members had stayed behind with their rides.

I started by giving the group, the traditional Muslim “Salaam”, and no matter where you go, no matter what your ethnicity, or color of skin, a Muslim can break the ice with another Muslim by giving a heart-felt “Assalaam’mualaikum!” (Meaning: “Peace Be Upon You!”)

After that, I began the conversation with “Apa Khabar?” (How are you?), and then things went from there. I ran into some bumps and hills along the conversational journey, but I was generally making “heads & tails” of what was being said.

I asked them if I could take some photographs, and they were obliging. It didn’t appear that they had made any announcements to the Press, or had any Public Relations Plan for their trip. I assumed their long trip from Kuala Terengganu to Penang, and then Kedah, was simply out of patriotism for Malaysia’s special 50th birthday celebration, and for comradery with other Vespa club members.

The club members comprised of a mixture of seasoned, older riders, and very enthusiastic younger men; I would estimate their ages from 25 to 60 years old. Not that “fine lines” or “deep crevices” in the facial skin is a major concern of most men, you can still get a general estimate of a man’s age by their degree of “face linage.”

The younger club members were riding their father’s motor scooters. And, I imagine, the fathers had made similar trips for previous Merdeka Day celebrations. The scooters they were riding, were from the years 1964 to 1979. I’m sure that some of the club members were considerably younger than the older Vespas in their convoy.

Each bike had some elaborate decoration on it, along with one or more Malaysian flags (Jalur Gemilang), and were fastened somewhere on the handlebars or the back ends of the scooters. Each scooter, I noticed, was equipped with a spare tire, a few tools, bottles of water and odds & ends that may be necessary for a long trip.

By the time the chit-chat was over, and I had received their permission to take the shots, the sun was dropping behind the hills and it was already 7:10PM. I knew I was dangerously close to running out of usable ambient light, and I had to quickly pick a theme for this photo-essay, and then shoot as many shots as possible to cover the theme. If that wasn’t enough, to do it all in less than 30-minutes was a chore, but a pleasant one.

I chose to concentrate on the details of the antique Vespa scooters. And, coming from a Fine Art background and preferring that style, I decided to shoot this story in that way. Daylight was burning away fast and I didn’t want to depend too much on the flash in my camera, a very trusty and dependable Canon A620, that works fantastically in the studio for my Fine Art work, but not ideal for photojournalism. Nevertheless, it was the camera I had in my hands, and I was adjusting and adapting as I lost light.

The bikes were parked haphazardly in the parking lot, so I weaved in and out of the bikes looking for outstanding examples of Vespa craftsmanship, and handmade scooter accessories. There was a decorative eagle gracing the front bumper of one bike. A metal viking decoration on the front plate of another, and a hand stamped chrome visor with an outline of a scooter gracing the headlamp of another bike. It was a treasure trove of photographic goodies.

It wasn’t the most organized photo shoot I’ve been involved in, I have to admit that. All that I knew was that I had about 20 minutes to photograph. Plus, these guys weren’t paid models, so I didn’t want to take too much of their time; they were tired after a long, hot day’s ride and were still looking for a hotel where they could rest for the night.

Before it was time to “call the game due to darkness,” (See Note 1, below), I thought it may be nice to get a group shot of a few of the members with their scooters. The only suitable spot to line them up was on the sidewalk. That also meant that the only suitable spot to take photographs was from the middle of a very busy metropolitan roadway! It wasn’t the safest spot to plant myself for taking photographs, but I’m a bit crazy, and thought…”Why Not!

By this time, my wife had come back to observe the shoot: So, I put her to work!

She became the translator for me, to explain what I wanted from the members, and where to place the bikes. She also helped with the art direction: She’s multi-talented!

Yeah, OK! Technically, at this point, I should have been setting up some extra lighting: I’m a disgrace to “Strobists” everywhere! (See Note 2, below).

I knew that I should have a couple remote speedlights to get a decent group shot. But Hey! I was just trying to time traffic properly, to “safely” jump into the middle of the speedway for a few seconds; grab a shot, and then leap out of the way before getting run over by lunatic drivers. Attempting to set up strobes in the middle of the road seemed like lunacy to me, so I ditched that idea and just took a few shots with the tiny internal flash, and hoping for the best.

By 7:40PM, the sun had dropped out of sight behind the hills and the shooting was over.

We said our goodbyes to the members and wished them luck and safe journey for the rest of their convoy around North Malaysia. At that point, my wife and I were about to head home. It was sort of funny, as we were about to leave, one of the guys asked my wife, who I am in relationship to her. She explained that I was her husband. I guess, I just assumed they knew she was married to the crazy white-dude!

I spent the remainder of the evening getting the shots reviewed, edited, and then re-edited. I drafted a letter to a local newspaper, believing that this story would be a good Merdeka, local interest item. Links to the images were provided in the email to the Editor, so it would be easy for them to view the shots online, and at their leisure. I made it clear that if they did not reply to my correspondence, then I would be publishing the story and photographs to my Photography Journals (“Behind the Lens“). Sad to say….I didn’t hear anything from the Newspaper.

Well, their loss, I guess. I suppose if another newspaper or magazine wants to pick up this story, then that would be great – just contact me with details.

Otherwise, I’m just happy to know that I fulfilled what I felt was a “mission” to get this dedicated group of Vespa Club Members, some exposure about their historic, 50th Merdeka celebration, scooter convoy.

Note 1: An old Baseball ruling [started around 1930’s], where during doubleheaders, a daylight game could be stopped by the Umpire due to darkness, because the stadium lights weren’t allowed to be turned on during the daylight game. In the 1950’s, this ruling was relaxed.

Note 2: “Strobist” is a photography blog on professional lighting with Speedlites and other small flash units.

Photography Details:
Camera
: Canon A620
Place: Penang
Time: I only had about an half hour with them, from 7:10PM to 7:40PM. It started getting quite dark, so shooting conditions were NOT ideal. I had to use higher ISO settings and weak flash caused some problems (ARGH! ) However, under the circumstances, I did my best!
Software: Some retouching (reduce digital noise ) with Noiseware, and Lighting/Contrast adjustments with PhotoImpact 10.

The Heavy Machines Portfolio

My best work is often almost unconscious and occurs ahead of my ability to understand it.” -Sam Abell, “Stay This Moment : The Photographs of Sam Abell” by Sam Abell (Photographer), Robert E. Gilka

Heavy Crane with Rainbow, v1-HDR, Edit B, Photography by Nawfal Nur

“Heavy Crane with Rainbow, v.1”
© 2007 Nawfal Nur
All Rights Reserved

These are images from my “Heavy Machines” Portfolio: I guess, in a short Artist’s Statement, I would say ‘The Heavy Machines images comprise thoughtful, visual statements about typically ugly, cold steel machines, and transformed into beautiful, warm-toned, soft compositions.’ Often, I will take the images first, and then the transformation occurs, step-by-step, without really knowing what the final image will look like: I just work on it until I believe it is complete, and thus, transformed.

Heavy Crane & Rainbow, v55, Edit B, Photography by Nawfal Nur

“Heavy Crane with Rainbow, v.5”
© 2007 Nawfal Nur
All Rights Reserved

 

Heavy Crane with Rainbow, v3, Edit D, Photography by Nawfal Nur

“Heavy Crane with Rainbow, v.3”
© 2007 Nawfal Nur
All Rights Reserved

 

Gloriosa – My Favorite Flower (At this Time…)

GLORIOSA LILY-Orig01-Edit B-WPz

I don’t actually have much to say regarding this photo-journal entry, but I wanted to show you some of my studio flower work.

This is definitely one of those times where I’ll just let my pictures say a few words.

I do, however, want to tell you how lucky I feel that this beautiful species grows wild on the other side of my fence, among weeds, and piles of bricks long forgotten by some building contractor, some time, long ago.

The Gloriosa Lily is a remarkable flower that is very well suited to tropical life, in the wild, and it doesn’t need anyone to take care of it. The “technical books” say it likes rich soil and the roots need shade. But I’ll tell ya, it grows just wonderfully without help, and where it’s growing must be its perfect spot.

So, with that little bit said, here is my Studio Collection of the Gloriosa Lily, my favorite flower…at this time. Hope you enjoy seeing my interpretations of this wonderful flower.

GLORIOSA LILY-Orig15, Edit B-wpz

GLORIOSA LILY-Orig17, Edit B-wpz

GLORIOSA LILY-Orig19, Edit B-wpz

GLORIOSA LILY-Orig25, Edit B-wpz

GLORIOSA LILY-Orig213, Edit B-wpz

GLORIOSA LILY-Orig285, Edit B-wpz

GLORIOSA LILY-Orig271, Edit C-wpz

GLORIOSA LILY-Orig249, Edit B-wpz

GLORIOSA LILY-Orig237, Edit B-wpz

GLORIOSA LILY-Orig233, Edit D-wpz

GLORIOSA LILY-Orig229, Edit B-wpz

GLORIOSA LILY-Orig221, Edit B-wpz

*** Thanks for taking a look! ***

 

Double Decker Bike Rider in Penang

 

Double Decker Bike Rider in Penang, by Nawfal Nur

Today proved that the “best camera” you have is the one that you remembered to bring with you!

I had just picked up my kids from school and was on my way back to Tg. Tokong, looking for Nasi Kandar – not the best thing to do around 3pm (the food is not as hot or fresh at that time – IMHO), but we looked around anyway. Then, out of nowhere came two people riding these double decker bikes with all sorts of odds-and-ends strapped in the front, the rear and the sides.

They passed me by once and I thought, “Man, I got my camera…I need to get a shot of one of them,” but traffic was bad and they were headed in the opposite direction.

We didn’t find any nasi kandar open near Hillside at that time of day, but we did see a Malay food stall in operation near the reclamation project. So, we turned the car around and headed back.

Low and behold, there were the two bikers and they were headed in the same direction I was going. I sped up a little observing all traffic safety rules and regulations, of course, and overtook the two bikers, and pulled off to the side of the road about 50 meters ahead of them.

As I was getting my camera out of my Crumpler, one of the bikers blew right by me, but the girl biker was a little behind, so I had one chance, at least, to get a photo.

I quickly set my camera on Aperture Priority (I wanted good depth-of-field) and checked the shutter speed. It was a nice bright, yet overcast afternoon; nevertheless, I was able to manage a 1/250 second shutter speed – enough for this situation.

BLAMO!” Well, my camera doesn’t actually speak, but I pushed the shutter button and got one shot.

I think she was totally oblivious to me taking her picture as she rode by: She was listening to music as she peddled head & shoulders above everyone on that very high bike.

What this pair appeared to have done was to weld another bike frame to one with wheels. They peddle using the peddle from the top bike so the chain goes vertical down to the bottom frame. The steering mechanism is attached from the top frame to the bottom frame.

I’m just wondering how they started out their ride. I would suspect, they have to use a chair or ladder to get on and then never stop until they get to where they want to go and make sure they time the traffic lights; or that is, blaze on right through the red lights like so many of the Penang motorbike riders do, ignoring most traffic laws…but that’s another issue.

Yes, indeed, the best camera in your stable of cameras is the one that you have with you!

I have a new calendar for 2007!

Hello Everyone!

I have a new calendar published and it is ready for the Holiday Season. So, if you are looking for a calendar with cool flower photographs, please visit the link http://www.lulu.com/content/551105 , that is where you can take a look at the preview and buy my calendar!

My new blog for this calendar project is here: “Bursting with Color.”

This is the cover design for my new calendar. I think it’s pretty d&%$ hot! If you happen to drop by here, please take an extra couple of minutes to look at my 2007 calendar by clicking on the first link.

Thanks bunches!

Nawfal

You Can Now Purchase Prints of My Collection, "The Heavy Machines."

This Post Updated on 3 July 2008:

I am no longer selling at ART.com!!!

HOWEVER, if you like these photographs, you can contact me personally to order prints, or, I will give you a location (on the web) where you can place a convenient order.  I can also make personal prints (up to A4 size) and sign them for you (if you wish), and send them directly to you.  Just send me a note with your request.

THANK YOU!!!

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As you can see, there are many framing and matting options, or, you can just purchase the prints. Also, because of the array of colors in the images, my photographs really stand out and blend well with many wall colors. So, if you are shopping for new wall-art, please have a look at my new photography collection. Thank you!


In Front of the Lens…

Well, I guess it was time again to put the “Maniac” in front of the lens…

The last time I did self-portraits was in 2003; considering that, I believed it was high-time to do it again. I’m not the type who enjoys being the target of a photo-session. Nevertheless, when I have a choice, I prefer to be the one taking portraits of myself. I think I capture who I am better than anyone, at least, thus far. That is probably because I know myself better than anyone else…right!

I went into this photo session with the following goal: To capture my expressionistic qualities. And what do I mean by that? I didn’t want to end up with a snapshot: I wanted to capture a glimpse of who I am, at least, who I am, part of the time.

I guess what I don’t like about a lot of the ‘corporate‘ portrait studios is that they are quite impersonal; they don’t even get to know who you are before taking your photograph. Has anyone else had that experience?

In my opinion, and coming from the perspective of a photographer, you should get to know your subject, at least a little. You need to know a little about your subject’s likes, dislikes, mannerisms, attitudes, etc. All of this knowledge helps (the photographer) communicate to the subject what sort of poses, settings and props will be best for the shoot.

I mean, you don’t have to spend all day on this, but for God’s sake, take some time to figure out what makes your subject ‘special‘ or unique and target those qualities when taking portrait/character shots.

With any luck, if there is a strong sense of trust between photographer and subject, the shoot should work fairly smoothly and automatic within a suitable environment, and with props targeted for each particular subject.

Alright, so ‘corporate‘ studios don’t have that sort of time to figure out the Psyche of their clients and what makes them tick, their likes and dislikes, and that is why people have a choice to go for the ‘quickie‘ or to go to a ‘shop’ that will spend more personal time finding out who they are as a person and what they really want out of a portrait photograph.

In my opinion, I want it to be personal…and I want the results to express who I am.

Taking a self-portrait is not an easy task, especially if you want to take a photo of yourself doing more than just sitting there. I want expression and animation in my photographs and that is a difficult task. I used a single, 600-Watt studio light with soft box. I set the white balance on the camera to make the images warm-toned. I chose my Canon G2 specifically because of its good remote control system…forget that it is a bit of an older camera, the remote works very nicely in this circumstance. The camera was set on Aperture Priority at f/5.0 and the shutter speed was roughly.6 of a second, meaning that if I moved, the image would be blurred. Sometimes I wanted to show motion, other times, I kept positively still.

Good luck and Happy Shooting!