Pangkor prewedding with Fujifilm XT1

Discussion in 'The Gallery' started by dche5390, Jul 8, 2014.

  1. dche5390

    dche5390 Member

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    Three hours north of Kuala Lumpur (or 90km south of Ipoh), Pangkor is a cluster of islands found on the western peninsula of Malaysia. Pangkor consists of two main islands: Pangkor (where the local population resides and consists of primary fishing industry) and the privately owned resort island Pangkor Laut. Both are accessible by ferry service from Lumut.

    I accepted this pre-wedding assignment perhaps just under a year ago. The client was a acquaintance from my undergrad days. His partner was from Pangkor and they wanted something 'different'.

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    Life is simple here. There is no shopping complex. There is no cinema. The younger generation all work either in Singapore or a large city in Malaysia. All that remains are children and the oldies. The stalls run by the Malay open casually after midday and close by 6pm for evening prayer. There are cars but the majority of the population travel by motorcycle. Locals eat breakfast at 10am, have a light lunch at 2pm, dinner at 6pm, before supper at a kopitiam at 10pm.

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    Our coach arrived at Lumut at 6am. The first ferry service to Pangkor was not till 7am. The air was sticky and humid. There was only a slight hint of the sea breeze that morning.

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    The sunrise the next morning was very different to the day before. I was expecting to see a golden egg yolk to rise again but this morning, there were clouds along the horizon. What I had pictured mentally was very different to reality. Nevertheless, it was a beautiful sunrise.

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    Jade's grand uncle owned a workshop that was extended into the water. Built solely from timber, it was littered with fishing tools as well as family photographs. With the morning sun streaking in, I took this shot.

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    Being a very closed community, everyone knows everyone. Jade is referred to 'island flower' by those in Pangkor. So when the village found out that she had returned for her prewedding photos, they were more than willing to provide assistance. If I wanted to borrow a kopitiam or barge, all I had to do was say so and it was done.

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    "One of the villagers has a VW Beetle." I was told on Sunday. That evening, we found it parked at the spot where I had chosen. Sure, the reverse gear no longer worked and we manually pushed the car into position.

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    I rode on the back of a moped on Saturday evening. Down the main stretch I spied a corner kopitiam. There was something nostalgic about it so the next evening, we used it as a backdrop. In my head, I pictured Wong Kar Wai's 'In the mode for love' starring Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung.

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    The sunset as our ferry docked at Lumut, thus concluding our trip to Pangkor.

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    Back in Singapore, at a random staircase in Katong ...

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    [​IMG]pangkor-prewedding-with-fujifilm-xt1_0026 by danielkcheung, on Flickr
     
  2. itsanobscureid

    itsanobscureid Member

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    Absolutely LOVE 20!

    awesome work (as ever) :)
     
  3. FranchiseJuan

    FranchiseJuan Member

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    Nice work. Is it all available light? I sported a few that could be off camera flash but was not sure.
     
  4. 2SHY

    2SHY Member

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    Great set.
     
  5. humanrace

    humanrace Member

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    really like 20 and 24. and also wondering if its available or OCF? if flash, mind telling us the setup? they're so wide, it would be hard to position i would imagine
     
  6. OP
    OP
    dche5390

    dche5390 Member

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    The ones with OCF are:

    15, 16, 19, 20, 22, 23, 24, 26.

    Up until this trip, I had flat out refused international (and even interstate) work. Mainly because I feel as though there are too many variables beyond my control. One being equipment failure.

    I had with me a minimal set of equipment: two XT1 bodies, XF14, XF23, XF35, XF56, two YN560III, eight spare AA batteries, two sets of Phottix Strato II (for Canon) trigger/receivers, and a Holdfast MoneyMaker, all squished into the inside shoulder carry bag of a Lowepro Attache X50 (I did not use the roller bag). I also had with me a nano lightstand (Jinbei) and a Benro Travel Angel tripod.

    #15: A single strobe to the right of the frame, held up high by a helper attached to a lightstand (1:4 power).

    #16: Single strobe behind the couple, plonked on a tripod in the sand/seawater.

    #19: Single strobe for rim light.

    #20: Single strobe left of the couple (out of the frame) on a tripod extended at maximum (hardly tall enough TBH) pointed straight at them (1:1 power).

    #22: Single strobe on a tripod. You can see it in the picture :tongue:

    #23: One strobe placed inside the VW to illuminate the inside. One strobe held by a helper to the left of the frame (zoomed at 35mm).

    #24: One strobe on a lightstand placed inside the kopitiam (hidden behind the drawer/tallboy thing). One strobe on a tripod just left of the frame. Didn't have a helper here although there were plenty of people around to have made the lighting better.

    #26: One strobe pointed down from the stairs.

    TBH, I'm not happy with the results. The mental picture I had were probably more grand and better executed. I haven't done this style of posed dramatic OCF for a very long time. All were edited in LR and I really should bring them into PS to blend in different exposures.

    All the wide compositions were done with the XF14. All are single exposures.

    The greatest issue I had was posing. The tropics is friggin humid and hot. It is almost impossible to do shots with movement as even standing still makes one sweat profusely. So I felt as though I was restricted to static poses.

    If I am to do more preweddings, I think I will use D800 instead. I find the AF on the XT1 to be ok for wedding days, but when it comes to high detail posed shots, for the intent purpose of enlargements, I see so many flaws when I go 100%. LR also does a poor job at interpreting the Fuji raw files. I know there are some converters that do a better job but I can't be stuff to change my workflow. For example, when I look at the foliage, I can clearly see muddiness. I can only assume the same occurs when printed large (anything smaller than 8x12 is good to the naked eye).

    Ask me anything. I'll try to answer if I know how.
     
  7. FranchiseJuan

    FranchiseJuan Member

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    Thanks for the info mate. A few I had not picked there!

    I had thought a few times about switching to an XT1, but I just could not do it.
     
  8. perz

    perz Member

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    These look amazing! :thumbup:
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2014
  9. Dropbear

    Dropbear Member

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    be interesting to see how these look without the flattened contrast and tonal adjustments.
     
  10. stenchlord

    stenchlord Member

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    Your work definitely has a unique look Dan, I really love the shots and I'm surprised you aren't happy with them.

    A couple of the shot before the couple are a little lacklustre to me and a few of the landscapes I think would have benefitted a hell of a lot being shot by a D800 just for the DR it's capable of capturing but the shots with the couple are really good.

    I would say they do need more work in PS to give them a little more "pop" but even as is I personally think they look great. #19, #21, #24 and #26 are definitely my favourites.
     
  11. ^catalyst

    ^catalyst Member

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    I think they are OK, but I think I understand why you aren't happy with them. I don't really think they're up to your standard man. Please take that as a compliment.
     
  12. allmightyvictor

    allmightyvictor Member

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    Been a while since I've seen pre-wedding shoots here. I quite like 12, 15, 16 and 23.

    22 feels oddly framed and lighting seems a little unnatural. Not a fan of the processing in 19!

    Just curious, when you deliver these to your clients is there generally a mix wide framing (like these) and more conventional tighter framed shots?
     
  13. OP
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    dche5390

    dche5390 Member

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    I will do close up shots if the sunlight is good (and when the location is not important). For Pangkor, a lot were wide angles mainly because we were all sweating profusely.
     
  14. MJS

    MJS Member

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    Love 19 and 24 - 19 being the standout for me, I'm a sucker for warm tones and I think the processing works in this one, especially considering you've mentioned how stinking hot it was over there ! 20 would be fantastic if the posing was better, 22 just looks odd to me, almost looks like the couple were shopped into the image though I know it's just the lighting perhaps the PP also..
     
  15. lionman

    lionman Member

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    Thought I would offer some CC, take it with a grain of salt as you're a lot better than myself.:thumbup:

    Individually some for the shots are really nice but some are a little underexposed (such as 16) and as a whole they don't work great as a set.

    The mixture of softer (6, 19) and more saturated (20,22) tones can work across a set but in this case it seems a bit disjointed. Also, some of the shots don't seem to have a place although they look to add context(7,8).

    Not sure what it is, maybe distracted during PP?

    Using a CPL can help when things get a bit sticky as they can hide the glistening light from sweat.

    Looks like an interesting place.
     
  16. MR CHILLED

    MR CHILLED D'oh!

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    Loved the food shots and some of the vistas towards the end of the set.
     
  17. OP
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    dche5390

    dche5390 Member

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