A couple of weeks ago, a got a request from my colleague. He wanted a photoshoot with his wife and daughter at the Flower Dome, Gardens by The Bay. It was a way to celebrate the lunar new year and also just take good photos of them 3 as a family seeing their daughter growing up. I helped them with another photoshoot a couple of years ago when their daughter has just learned to walk. It was at Botanic Gardens.
Between that photoshoot session at the Botanic Gardens a couple of years ago and the recent one at the Flower Dome, I am pretty confident that I had not touched my Olympus camera and done any other photoshoot between those two period. I thought I was done with photography. The convenience and capability of cameras nowadays on people’s smartphones meant that carrying a rather bulky camera is more of a hassle. However my recent photoshoot with them at the Flower Dome and my efforts in touching up those photos using Lightroom CC on my iPad has seriously made me reconsider my stand on the it being more of a hassle.
When I looked back at the photos, I was quite surprised that I managed to retain some of the fundamentals of photography that I learned over the years. I was still able to get decent shots. Although looking back at most of the photos, there were some areas that I can improve on, some rookie mistakes when handling the camera and taking shots with it. I think it boiled down to me not being entirely familiar with the camera, especially its been more than a year or so since I actually touched it. I was fortunate enough to be able to remember the basic functionalities of the camera to operate competently on the day of the shoot, but like I said, rookie mistakes were noticeable.
As I edited my photos using Lightroom and seeing the touched up version, I can’t help but be amazed at the capabilities of my Olympus camera that simply cannot be recreated using just the smartphone camera. And that was when I realised that a semi-professional camera can really open up the possibilities of you being creative in how you shoot your subjects. Looking back, I actually felt more comfortable using the Olympus camera than I actually did using my smartphone. Sure, smartphone cameras are great. I like the portrait mode on my iPhone XS Max. It takes really good portrait shots in most conditions and its quick and easy. It’s connected to the internet and you can post your images with filters on on Instagram and Facebook and get instant gratification. But spending a little bit more time and effort of actually using my Olympus camera actually makes it so much better. It felt as if I had a much bigger canvas in aligning my shots just right to get a look and feel which sometimes cannot be created from a smartphone camera. And then you have to go through the whole process of editing them on Lightroom. But I realised also that editing them also brings me joy somewhat. I was quite surprised that I actually missed doing that; editing my photos.
Now looking back, it really does seem that my passion in photography is not completely gone yet. In fact, it has been rekindled by the recent photoshoot. Now, I am seriously reconsidering whether I should bring my camera to New York.