Posted on: Thu August 8nd, 2012
Kenneth is from Singapore. He has lived in Dubai since 2006 and currently works hard as the head of the Customer Experience Programme Management Function in Du.
Tried with the mundane, run of the mill snap shots he used bring home from his globetrotting, Ken picked up his first DSLR camera in 2010 with the aim to change his ways. Roll on 2012 and he is now a fully-fledged equipment junkie with a love for Street Photography, Hasselblad’s and Think Tank bags.
My passion for photography stemmed from the fact that I was tired of looking at awesome images from some friends, and I decided that I wanted to be able to create engaging images of my own. The fact that a very good friend of mine was a GPP instructor also helped tremendously - having looked at his portfolio, I was pretty much inspired into picking up photography.
I started in late November 2010, when I was preparing for a vacation to Prague with my wife. I was really tired of the usual holiday snaps looking flat and lacking. So while I was in Singapore, I picked up a D3100 and a kit lens from an electronics retailer, and decided there and then to learn the basics of photography - Exposure. So with whatever I learned about exposure, aperture and shutter priority and composition, I headed off for my vacation and probably took the best pictures of my life till then. Along the way, being the gearhead that I am, a Nikon 14-24 and a 35/1.8G somehow made it into my bag for the shoot.
I shoot as often as I can. That's really not much of an answer, is it? I've never really been passionate about shooting in Dubai, for some reason, and most of my work has been done overseas - I do food photography in Singapore, along with some portrait work. I really love travel photography, and I'm never without fewer than 2 camera systems when I travel. I've had some success in Abu Dhabi, where one of my shots was featured in February's Hasselblad Bulletin.
There's so much happening around me that I sometimes fail to stop and appreciate the beauty that surrounds me and the moments that go by. Photography allows me to create art out of moments, to bring the soul out of a person for the world to see and appreciate. All my life, I've never been a creator. I couldn't compose or play music to save my life, much less sing. I can't draw or paint, but photography has given me a chance to present the world that I see to the world I know.
I'm a Hasselblad shooter, on both film and digital.My primary shooter is a Hasselblad H4D-40, and I pretty much have every prime and accessory out there - 7 lenses (the 28/4, 35/3.5, 50/3.5, 80/2.8, 100/2.2, 120/4 Macro, 150/3.2N), HTS1.5 tilt-shift adapter that turns all 7 lenses into tilt-shift lenses, HVM waist level viewfinder (great for landscapes and low shooting angles), the GPS tagging module, and the 13mm and 26mm extension tubes. I also shoot film and digital with the Hasselblad V-series cameras - I have the 500CM, 501CM and recently acquired a 503CXi with the automatic winder and remote trigger, which I shoot with 3 lenses: the standard 80/2.8 CFI, the 120/4 Makro-Planar, and a 180/4 CF that I love for portraits. I also own a Leaf Aptus 54S medium format digital back that attached to any of these 3 cameras, turning it into a 22MP digital shooter. A Mamiya RZ67 Pro with a 110/2.8 standard lens shares the Leaf Aptus 54S back when I want to get that classic look in black and white portraits.To mix things up a little, I also shoot with a Hasselblad Xpan panoramic camera, which I picked up recently. The Xpan has been with me to France, and will be accompanying me to an upcoming travel shoot in Sri Lanka. I have all 3 prime Xpan lenses (30/5.6, 45/4 and 90/4) with the center filter for the Xpan to correct the vignetting due the wide angle nature of the lenses, but it really makes for an excellent travel compact. I recently sold off all my Nikon gear (a D3s and D700 with over 10 lenses, including the trinity zoom and the portrait trinity) as I no longer shoot concerts and sports, and picked up a Leica M9P, which will be used largely for my travel photography. Being the gearhead that I am, I've also acquired the legendary 35mm Summicron version IV (aka the Bokeh King), a 50mm f2 Summicron Pre-ASPH, and a 135mm f2.8 Elmarit with goggles. And I have a Fujifilm X100 that I'm insanely fond of. Yes, I am a gearhead, but I do appreciate these magnificent cameras, not just in the image quality they can produce, but they way they change the way I shoot and see the world. Every camera has a personality.
My iPhone. It never leaves my side - as the one device that keeps me in touch with the world (I'm a social network junkie) and is the one camera I have with me at all times.
Gregory Heisler, Steve Mccurry, Khaled Termanini, Zack Arias, August Bradley, Chris Hurtt, David Nightingale, and Bobbi Lane.
Shoot with an iPhone. Master composition first. Use the variety of post processing tools on the iPhone to bring out the image that your soul has captured. Share, listen to feedback, adapt. Then evolve. Most people out there don't need a DSLR, and frankly, don't just buy into something blindly. Shoot RAW, never JPG. I don't buy into the adage that 'digital is cheap - just shoot first and ask questions later' -- don't get into the habit of machine gunning images because you'll never learn anything that way. Take your time, watch the light, wait for the moment, then make the shot count. In this sense, I love the gear I have because it slows me down. Practice, practice, practice - this way, when the light is right, and you've got a chance at that one shot, you don't make rookie mistakes like fumbling over exposure. Practice also imp
roves your familiarity with your gear - I can shoot any of my gear without needing to figure out where the buttons or menus are - this way, I'm ready even before the moment, and I can adapt quickly when things change.
Most of my work is hosted on 500px.com/ghoonk though I don't share my commercial work in the public domain without permission from my clients.