EVERY PICTURE TELLS A STORY - a photography blog
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My voyage through the world of photography began with a Kodak Instamatic, a gift for my 12th birthday. A couple of years later, I was shooting some pics at a Buddhist temple in Brickfields, when I noticed another photographer with 3 cameras hanging from his neck. In addition, he had two assistants in tow and a ton of photographic equipment. He turned out to be the distinguished David Allan Harvey of National Geographic magazine, who was on assignment in Malaysia. Fascinated, I struck up a conversation with the humble gentleman and he gave me several pointers that would change the way I look at things (through the viewfinder) forever.

I would make unscheduled visits to the barber, to comb through the wrinkled collection of mags for past issues of National Geograhpic and Life. Later on, to the chagrin of family members, I built a darkroom under the staircase. The fun of 'doing-it-yourself' seemed to make the pungent smelling chemicals and hallucinating safelight more bearable. Till today, I think nothing can replace the thrill of seeing your own creation magically appearing on paper in a tray of swirling chemical, bathed in eerie red light.

A China-made Seagull twin lens reflex eventually replaced my simple Instamatic. Moonlighting as a photographer while in school, I managed to upgrade to a Fujica ST 801 SLR (and later a Canon T90) plus a couple of Tamron lenses. Happily, the enduring hobby lead to an adventure-filled related profession in video, motion picture making and broadcasting.

Two years ago, I went full circle in my photographic journey with the purchase of the compact 'point & shoot' Canon Powershot G1. I now rely on it as my favourite 'streetwalking cam'. Its unobtrusive size coupled with a 1 gig storage card made me even more trigger-happy. The limitations of the fixed-mount lens force me to think differently and to devise alternative techniques, constantly.

With the recent proliferation of digital cameras, I am surprised that many owners of such cams use it even less. Since digital cameras eliminate the major expense of film and processing, the situation is rather ironic. Many cited the lack of subjects as an excuse; unable to see the many interesting photographic opportunities surrounding them. Others lament about not having a camera good enough; not realising that it is merely a tool. The most basic models can produce just as interesting results with a little thought, knowledge and practice.

Don't use your 'point & shoot' camera as advertised. Compose and shoot instead. With this in mind, I have compiled a series of images mostly photographed with my trusty Canon G1 (and subsequently with the versatile Olympus C8080W). Every picture in this series tells a story of how it was conceived. Hopefully, with the familiar surroundings and subjects, it will serve as useful visual lessons and inspire you to look at things a little differently...

10th August 2003


All text, photographs, pictures, pics, graphics in this photoblog by & copyright © TV SMITH

© 2003-2004 TV SMITH

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