Thursday, December 25, 2008

Watson Bay on Christmas Day

At the eastern part of Sydney is Watson Bay which sits on the end of the South Head peninsula. It takes its name from the sheltered bay and anchorage on its western side, in Port Jackson (Sydney Harbour).

It provides spectacular views across the harbour to the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Another popular beach is Camp Cove. Like many popular beaches in Sydney, some people celebrate Christmas day at the beach relaxing and swimming.



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Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas around the world

The season of Christmas festivity is upon us again. The holiday is celebrated by many people around the world and has become an important holiday in the calendar. Traditionally Christmas day is a religious and family event. These days non-christians around the world are also taking to the year-end holidays, to enjoy the celebration and Christmas has become a major event for retailers.

Do you ever wonder how Christmas is celebrated around the world? Some countries at the northern hemisphere may enjoy a white Christmas with snow fall while others will have a hot summer Christmas.

Over the years I had the opportunity to spend Christmas season in many countries around the world. In Nagano, Japan I celebrated a white christmas with my friends up in the ski mountain. Christmas day was wonderful with snow falling outside our beautiful and warm cottage house. Other cities I had the pleasure to spend Christmas was with my lovely aunty Yansee Wong at her home at Loma Linda in California. Other time it was in London and Toronto. Of course most Christmas day was spent with my family in Singapore and in recent years in Sydney.

Wherever you are celebrating Christmas, christians or non-christians, I like to wish you a very Merry Christmas. I hope you could spend the holidays with your loved ones and family, reflect on your achievements for 2008 with better hope and prosperity for the new year. Have a safe and happy holidays.

Best,
Stan

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Model shoot

I had a casting call for models on ModelMayhem website which is a fantastic models, photographers and makeup artists networking portal. My recent shoot in Singapore was organised through there. This time it is calling for models in Sydney that I could collaborate with.

I have met up with a few potential models that I could work with. The first model was David Lee who has numerous years of modeling and acting experience. He was very professional, photogenic and friendly to work with. In fact he was telling me he would rather model and act than go with his professional career path. He might be the next face for Singapore or Asia. So any casting agents in Asia needing a new talent, please get in touch with me.

For the photos shown here, I chose a clean fresh style that suited his face like those cataloges we see from Espirit. As he is also an actor I thought I shoot him with a series of expression which really turned out well.

David's TV commercial on youtube - click

See all blogs on - model shoots

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Model Makeover

Good makeup is essential in producing high fashion photography. One recent shoot I had, I had two models. While one of the model has her makeup done, the other model happens to be around when I was testing the lighting. Models usually go to a shoot without makeup. So I shot the above picture (inset) of the model without her makeup. The makeover picture has been airbrushed to enhance the look.

Good makeup can really transforms a person into someone totally different, be it the glamourous or the pretty look. Of course a person without makeup can be beautiful in its natural form.

It has occurred to me to ask myself whether some people can be too consumed with makeup that they cannot live without it? Can it be like a mask they carry around to give them confident? Why I say this is I recalled my experience with a Japanese girlfriend of mine a long time ago. When I got to know her and visited her home; on occasions at night I was puzzled why she never ever removed her makeup. After I explained to her that it doesn't matter to me that she finally opened up to the notion about letting me see her natural beautiful self.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Blast from the past - Christmas 1999

It was December 1999 and I was spending my holidays in Singapore with my family to enjoy Christmas and the festive season. The family with mum and dad; new born Yi Run spent a lovely afternoon having tea at a restaurant in the city. Our new to be brother in law Ken-Lin has now become a regular in our family get-together. High tea is a popular Singapore afternoon social gathering which is buffet like with a large spread of various kind of food that are delicious and all you can eat.

Some popular venues to experience high tea in Singapore that serves local Singapore favourites or western:
Goodwood Park Hotel - click
Raffles Hotel - click

Swissotel The Stamford - click

Monday, December 8, 2008

Quote by Ted Grant

When you photograph people in colour you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in B&W, you photograph their souls! ~Ted Grant

Friday, December 5, 2008

High Fashion photoshoot

I had the wonderful opportunity to shoot two professional models Sarah and Rachel on Friday. Our make up artist was Shirley who created some stunning work just the look I was after for our shoot.

Two locations were chosen for the shoot. The first was the new second visitor centre at Botanical Garden and the second is the old army camp at Tanglin. Like any other shoot, preparing the models sometimes can be a challenging depending what the models look like during the day. The make-up process can usually take some time. After agreeing on the look and style we like to achieve, we found out that we are missing the nail polish to match the dark cherry lipstick colour on the model to complete the transformation. After much searching and working out a few sweat running around, I found the nail polish at a nearby pharmacy.

For the first location, I wanted a glamorous look for the models wearing dark cocktail dresses with high fashion poses. I initially shot one model at a time whilst the other is having her makeup done. When the two models were ready rather than the typical glamour shot to shoot we opted for something different which is about girlfriends having a fight. It worked wonderfully well and the expression on their faces explained it. We thought about posing as mannequin but it didn’t quite work out.

In the second location, I chose a deserted formal army offices to shoot the elegant models in colourful print dresses against rustic backdrop. There were many buildings that I saw on the drive in but this particular building was large, abundant and wasn’t locked. It has many rooms, the paint peeling off from the wall, the ceiling falling apart and some of its windows were broken. It was just perfect for the shoot.

Other blogs - Model shoot at Traditional shophouses

See all blogs on - model shoots

Location: Singapore Botanic Gardens website

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Singapore Flyer night photography

I have driven past the city's new iconic landmark numerous times and each time I would stare out of the window and marvel at the big structure that stands tall by the sea.

Singapore's version of the ferris wheel is called the Singapore Flyer and in recent years we have seen big wheels been built around the world. One famous wheel is kind of started all this craze is the London Eye.
The Singapore Fly is built on the reclaimed land at Marina Centre. The wheel is 150 m (492 ft) in diameter and 42 stories high built on top of a three-story building giving a total height of 165 m (541 ft). The London Eye in comparison is 135 metres (443 ft).

Each of the 28 air-conditioned capsules is capable of holding 28 passengers, and a complete rotation of the wheel takes approximately 30 minutes. Initially rotating in an counter-clockwise direction when viewed from Marina Centre, its direction was changed on 4 August 2008 under the advice of Feng shui masters.

More info:
Singapore Flyer official site - click
History of Ferris wheel - click
Singapore flyer - click
Google map - click

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Making a splash!

Spending time with loved ones especially my family is important to me. It has been a while since I last celebrated my birthday with everyone in my family presence.

It gave me great joy that my lovely sister Melissa threw me a nice BBQ with the family. During the day I took the opportunity to bring my lovely niece and nephew down to the pool to create a splash. Here are some photos where the kids certainly had great fun playing in the water.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Christmas Lights Up

Singapore's famous Christmas lights up at Orchard road is at its 25th year. This year the theme is "A Sweet Christmas" and I can see why by the many light decorations resembling sweets and candies.

See Singapore Tourism - Christmas in the Tropics Lights up

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Circus and Toast Box

Visiting Singapore in the weeks leading to Christmas is usually greeted with a city dressed with many Christmas decorations in shopping malls and streets. Many shopping malls would hold shows with Christmas themes to entice shoppers to spend more during the traditional high sales month. One such mall I was at was the Raffles City Shopping Centre.

For tea, I headed to the very large basement mall of restaurants and cafes where I chose to eat at the "Toast Box" which is designed after the old Singapore coffee shops of the turn of the century with wooden stools. Here they serve traditional Singapore kaya toast with street style coffee. Kaya is a Singapore/Malaysia coconut egg jam which is my favourite jam that I find irresistible.

Wikipedia - Kaya toast

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Raining in Singapore

It's the 23rd day of November 2008 and just slightly over a month before Christmas. Here I was spending my first full day in Singapore visiting my family and friends. The weather was fine up until the later afternoon when it started to pour. I had just finished shopping at Raffles City when I was caught in the heavy downpour while crossing the road towards Chijimes.

I had my camera with me so while waiting for the rain to stop, I walked around the compound of the beautifully restored Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus which has been transformed into restaurants, bars and shops.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Trio Cocktail Party

I was at Frasers Property's Trio apartments early during the week to shoot their cocktail party for their specially invited guests. There were two apartments that were fully furnished and exquisite in every way. Both are located inside the formal Alexandra Children's Hospital at Camperdown. The starting price for these two bedroom fully furnished apartments start from $1.3 million. The rest of the apartments are in the construction stage to be completed mid-2009.

Reference websites - Trio apartments, Frasers Property Sydney

Friday, November 21, 2008

Quote by David Bailey

It takes a lot of imagination to be a good photographer. You need less imagination to be a painter, because you can invent things. But in photography everything is so ordinary; it takes a lot of looking before you learn to see the ordinary - David Bailey

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Edinburgh, capital of Scotland

Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland has rugged setting and vast collection of Medieval and Georgian architecture. There were many stone houses making the city very pictureques.

It has been capital of Scotland since 1437. The city is one of Europe's major tourist destinations and second most visited tourist destination in the United Kingdom, after London.

At the centre of this medieval city is the famous Edinburgh Castle which is built on top the Castle Rock and dated back to the 9th century BC.

Refer to wikipedia - Edinburgh

Monday, November 17, 2008

Website for Lumiere Festival de Saison photos

At the recent event at Lumiere I shot close to a thousand photos for the full day activities. It was a mixture of photos from the activities to the sit in portrait shoot. I thought the best way to show the photos is to create a personal photo gallery for Lumiere.

A news article of the event is published at Lumiere's website with link back to my website. Have a read here. A piece of the news is also publish at one Oz Chinese website.

Gallery - http://lumierefestival.dragonshutter.com/

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Lumiere Festival de Saison

Recently I was at the Lumiere residental apartment to shoot it's first anniversary celebration which consisted of a day of activities for its residents.

Festival de Saison was an opportunity for its residents and guests to come together to sample a variety of classes, events and activities. There were swimwear fashion shows from 2eros and Jets, Napoleon and MOHS offering mini makeovers and hair styling, Oak Barrel providing the perfect accompaniment, champagne and wine tasting. There was also Stan Toohey providing caricature portraits.

As for myself besiding covering the events, I have setup my first photography stall to promote my photography. It was a mini studio that provided free portrait shoot which was very popular with 65 people posing for the camera. It was exhauting having to cover the activities over two floors throughout the day and going back to the stall at intervals to shoot the portraits. But it was rewarding as there were many great shots coming out of the shoot. All this would not have been possible without the help of my very hardworking friends. Thanks Karen, Sharon and Gerald for running the stall so flawlessly.

Visit the full gallery at - http://lumierefestival.dragonshutter.com