Saturday, April 11, 2009

Thank you flickr ;)

ps : I wrote this for more flickr friends 10 days before the exhibition. Thought I'll put it up here as well ;)

aPRIL 6 - 19, 2009 oooooo

The exhibition has been on for a few days now and the reaction has been tremendously welcoming. It reminds me of my journey in this photogrphy world. I’ve been on Flickr since Janury 2005. I’ve always been drawn by photography but due to the expensive nature of film photography, it was always explored only during our travels.

My first upload on Flickr was a shot taken by my dad. It’s a very symbolic image as dad and I were always behind the camera but the thing about that shot was he never saw the end result. The photo was only developed after his demise.

Anyway my photography journey on Flickr began with a phone camera and scanned shots of our film photos. The quality of the hp image is questionable (since back then the technology had just begun growing) but there was potential and it definitely fuelled the passion.

January 2006 I purchased my first digital camera – the canon powershot a620 and never looked back. I learnt everything I know about photography with that little monster. I shot everything under the sun, read every single online site and magazine on photography terms and techniques and shot only with a manual setting. I would go through tonnes of images, learn and study what made an image.

I didn’t take any shortcuts. People assume they can take better photos by just copying others or buying a better camera or being a plain parasite learning from others without taking the time to brush up on their knowledge or acknowledging them. My advice to anyone who’s reading this if you really want to learn something brush up your basics, take the time to read the theory itself.

Only then did I start enhancing my photos with image tools like photoshop and picnik. Believe me I have done all the things you shouldn’t do like over contrasting images. But it definitely helped with the learning process. I joined groups on Flickr that criticize your flaws and tell you what you need to do. It’s a very painful process but it helped.

Then there were the friends I made.

I was looking through my contact list and realized Jimreeves was my first contact. I once told him if I needed to be happy I’d visit his stream, as there’s always such joy and love in his photos.

One of my earliest contact, guide and friend on Flickr would be Ezee. I think we’ve known each other for nearly 3 years now?

Ezee used to take the time to point out my errors and my one phase of over processing.

“actually thanks for telling me - n no way am i cross - i do want to learn more so unless someone points it out i won’t know” … from an old mail

Piscesdreamer has been another delightful friend who, I’ve known since way back in 2006 (I had to check).

Then there's Devilmangod probably one of my first Malaysian flickr friends. I still remember the first shot of his that got me hooked – a portrait of a violinist.

December 2006 I joined the local flickr group and met some wonderful friends. 3 of us instantly clicked, Kenmin, Kervin and Syiqin.

That’s also where I met Johan. Johan has been a very important essence of my photography journey. You could call him my mentor, I learnt a lot from him.

He is always willing to teach and guide anyone. I learnt most of everything I know about off camera flash from him. Till today he is the one I would go to in regards to learning about a camera or purchasing one. I hadn’t wanted to get a kit lens when I was shopping for a dslr.

Johan gave me the best advice ever, listen to me you only need 2 at this point – the kit and the 50mm. and he was absolutely right.

So I never visit camera shops or doubt Johan, instead I bug him ;p When my camera got songkranified in Thailand he’s the one I ran to while limping (I had a nasty fall at that point);p

There’s another thing I love about Johan he takes the best portraits of me! If I ever decide to get married he’s shooting my wedding ;p

Flickr was also where I met Kaz, the friend I’m exhibiting with. Kaz frightened me at the beginning, it’s a pretty usual reaction because she is one strong personality of a woman.

We clicked on a 2 day trip to Malacca when she famously saved me from being deserted on a highway. Of course right before her car scared the daylights out of me. Since then we’ve been through loads and now people think we’re sisters! I’m told the resemblance is amazing! ;p

Though truthfully our mothers are the ones who look like 2 peas out of a pod though they don’t think so!

Kervin and I clicked instantly. Our photography journey has been pretty similar. We both swear by our tiny little p&s cameras and our photography is strikingly similar. We would have shot the same spot at different timings and yet we would be astonished with how similar it looked. We even purchased our dslr’s at the same time. He’s the kind of friend you always want by your side.

My other muhibah (harmonious – different race) siblings would be Syiqin and Kenmin. We’ve had some good times and here’s to wishing more in the future.

I also met my long lost twin on Flickr – Sonja – we look so similar it’s pretty amazing. There’s also a bond that has formed there that’s been wonderful.

Of course not all my time on Flickr has been memorable, there were the politics, the stealing and the weird emails. But I’ve learnt to move on and remain on Flickr despite all that. There are definetly more pros than cons.

Most of you who visit my stream would know one thing – I nearly always don’t reply to emails, comments and take forever to add contacts. The volume of mails I receive usually goes unread, even now I have about 1100 plus unread emails. I’m nearly useless when it comes to replying emails, I blame it on lack of time and lazyness. But mostly to the fact that before I add someone to my contacts, I check their stream for potential (are you really serious in photography?), groups they’re in and their passion for photography. Most of the unread emails are of contacts I am yet to explore coz I don’t believe in adding people for courtesy sake only.

One person would know that very well, Ashok used to send me numerous emails which I think I finally responded, 6 or 10 months or a year later. Ashok is another photographer here on Flickr that aspiring photographers can learn from, he threw himself into his passion for photography and in a short time has become an amazing photographer. Though he credits me for inspiration, I humbly say I don’t deserve any credit. My images may have inspired you, but the talent was all yours.

The other names that I’ve met through Flickr that come to mind, some of whom are no longer active here are addicted eyes,mardala, mode, guilio bassi, magicinlife, umacer, nidhing, tom sketching, joe cashin, inglian, petra, srini06, din nazir, abetam, Trixinc, suresh C, Robert lio, anna rina, blackfin, marshmallow, hangingpixels, stuck in customs, meghna, rescuedog, tjflex, varungm, stockie, hippopapa-mama, creative eye, Samuel barr, emuishere, 4-6, tjunkie,kabir, adipek, yaancheela, sherrieberrie, amkay, ekster, waa, abro, altamash, syahrin, ted, jimreeves, magnus, hakim, selinz, suren, October blue, enricken, khairul, rob surreal, joan batistia, dr faisal, shukjai, gabra, mizie, awi, lombap, belanda, absolute xman, sanzen, eric lafourge, orangecrazy, nika fadul, febinjoy, ace clicker, eatzycath, swarnendu, love to be fuzzy, Jennifer esperanza, murali, kuuan, che esco,razik, tony George, panache, nagen, cairo2world, harirockford, well2k26, cantfindit, akash, grom, kuntal, srijith, sanky s, munkey kon, paren, rajendran, ang, dani.co, guochai, bharathiclick, rajesh burman, szeke, fir, joefotos, peeve, garryloke, , malik, the taleteller, sakthivel, which main what cross, dizzei hellboi, paran gupta, bigguy1611, stewart james, lorenzodom, vinay, vinod, binoy, dr vivek, rGz, rkmenon, superkarmen, Sachin, and more from my 563 contacts (I definitely missed out a lot of people).

Thank you everyone for constantly encouraging me with your comments, for adding me as your contact (1343), for ignoring the fact that I probably haven’t added you as a contact or rarely drop by your stream, for the constructive criticsm and for the inspirations.

Thank you all for the 430,000 over visits to my 3200 over photos in the last 4 years.

Ps : this tribute is specially for people I’ve met through Flickr ;)

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