SGJP after a long absence (our apologies), catches up with our photographer of the month in July. We got to know Stephen in one of the photo walks and needless to say, we were impressed by Stephen’s enthusiasm in making art through his favourite Sony camera and the passion to share what he knows. In the interview, we asked Stephen some questions and hopefully, you are as inspired as we are, about photography. You can contact Stephen here.
SGJP: What kind of gear do you use?
Stephen: I used a Sony NEX 6 as its a compact and light APS C sensor camera good for outdoor and events photography together with my prime lens like Zeiss Touit 12mm F2.8, Sony 35mm F1.8 and Lensbaby Composer Lens. As for Tripods, I prefer to use Vanguard as the built quality is good and steady. I don’t like to use filters as some lens brands like Zeiss have T- Planer coating which reduces lens flare. As for Flash, I use Sony HVL – F60M with a Godox flash soft box as it provides me with a horizontal tilt angle of 60o on both left and right angles which gives me more choices on how I want to lit up my subjects. My camera bags are mainly from the brand label Kata, for events photography I use DC 439 DPS Shoulder Bag attached with a Cotton Carrier Belt as it provides me the flexibility to change lens on the go and allows me to carry another camera body attached to its side holster. For portrait photography, I will switch to my Bumblebee Backpack as I need to bring a lot of gear and props to setup my shoot.
I occasionally used ROTOLight LED ring light to cast some highlights on my subjects to create a dramatic Mid Key light effect.
SGJP: Which is your favorite lens? Why?
Stephen: Zeiss Touit 12mm F2.8 is my favorite lens as it is a versatile lens for landscape, group photos, event candid and action shots.
SGJP: When you go in one of your travels, what all you take with you? Why?
Stephen: I will take my trusty Samsung K Zoom Handphone for my travel photography which I had brought it a year ago. It’s a 24.8 megapixel camera phone with a 24mm lens F3.9 – F9 with a 4.4mm to 44mm zoom range. It gives me a broad range of photography genres coverage such as Landscape, Group, Portrait And Street Photography.
The size and weight factor matters as I prefer to travel light, it reduces the risk of my camera gear being damaged by airport luggage handlers.
SGJP:Among the gadgets that you own, is there something that you wish you hadn’t bought? Why?
Stephen: Nope, as I am a very technical person when it comes to buying gadgets. I will go through the product brochures focusing on the technical specifications, read tons of reviews on the internet , renting the gadgets to test out if its available and lastly then I decide to buy or not.
SGJP: In the field, what are your settings?
Stephen: It depends on what type of photography am I shooting for the day, in general I normally use the following settings as a general guide.
Aperture – F2.0 – F9.0
Shutter Speed – 1/50 -1/160
ISO – 200 – 400
White Balance – Auto. Unless The Its Getting False Reading From Environment Light, I will use a white or gray card to calibrate my White Balance.
Focus – Auto
Image Format – RAW & JPEG
SGJP: Among your works, which one is your favorite? Why?
Stephen: Project Glam Punk was one of my favorite works as its inspired by Andy Warhol’s pop art culture style of photography. I used a vintage 80s electrical bass guitar to represent the 70s – 80s era while my model is dressed in Glam Punk style from the 90s era.
I used a red photo editing filter to separate the differences and the focal point which is the iconic electrical bass guitar in red while everything is B&W.
SGJP. Whose work has influenced you most?
Stephen: My photography works are inspired by Karl Taylor and Benjamin Von Wong both are professional photographers in their area of photography field with their unique signature style in every photo they take.
SGJP: What is the one thing you wish you knew when you started taking photos?
Stephen: Rule of Thirds as it helps me to compose well balanced shots with the point of focus and its surrounding nicely blended into the photo.
SGJP: Any advice you will give to young photographers?
Stephen: Photography is not about having the best photography equipment money can buy that matters. It’s the basic fundamentals such as knowledge, skill set and passion that matters.
Featuring some of Stephen’s favourite works.