meeting mr. hendra

Posted by Au Lim On Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Friday evening last week, i went to my first PCP (Photographers' Club Philippines) meeting at the OWG Workshop in Makati. when i arrived, i was a bit late, way past 7pm, but was in time to catch the talk being given by Mr. Hendra Lauw, an Indonesian-Singaporean photographer who is currently in the Philippines. i listened intently but my eyes can't help but be drawn to the beautiful portraits and landscape shots on the wall which were actually part of the ongoing exhibit of photos by Mr. Hendra at the OWG Gallery.

he gave wonderful tips on capturing portraits. it was right on the money for me because i am a fan of portraiture. as a matter of fact, the latest book i just purchased was Beyond Portraiture by Bryan Peterson (another of my favorite authors) because i was hoping to learn more on doing people shots. as the talk progressed, he touched on the subject of post processing. of course, i grabbed the opportunity to ask some Q's. as per my memory, these are some of the questions i managed to ask him. the answers may not be verbatim, but i put the gist as much as i can translate from my memory.

1. do you think doing digital post processing (photoshop) is okay?
his answer: if Ansel Adams is okay with darkroom processing, such a dodging and burning, i don't see why photoshop will not be okay. it's just the same as the darkroom in film, only in digital. (see! my thoughts exactly :-D)

2. do you do this on your photos?
his answer: yes i do some burning and dodging... actually more of burning than dodging. i like it because it helps emphasize some details in the photo. he then proceeds to give us some tips on adjusting levels, saturation and sharpening. he even shows us where some adjustments were done on his own photos that were displayed at the gallery.

3. how much photoshop do you consider ok?
his answer: yes post processing is ok for as long as it is not over done. sometimes it is even needed because different cameras have different makes and settings. he then gave an example of how most digital cameras have an anti-alias filter and photos will come out softer than you would expect from one brand to another. "it's not your fault" he says. but even with photoshop, the photos should still look like how you would see it in reality. maybe within 80%-100% of reality is good. it's also another matter when you remove or add elements to a photo already because you have altered how it would be in reality.

Sir Ross interjects that photoshop should not be too much such that it may still be called Photography. otherwise, a lot of post processing done to a photo (if done well, methinks) perhaps even to the point of distorting reality, should not be called photography anymore. Rather, it is Digital Art already. (i think digital art is cool, too!) as a matter of fact Sir Ross, being an artist/painter as well as photographer, does a lot of these digital art also. see here. i guess the fine line then is drawn on whether a picture should be classified Photography or Digital Art. so i say, i'd love to do both! art is art. no matter how you classify it.

here are some quotations i think i shall post by my desk:

" There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs." ---Ansel Adams

"Dodging and burning are steps to take care of mistakes God made in establishing tonal relationships." ---Ansel Adams

"The only things in my life that compatibly exists with this grand universe are the creative works of the human spirit." ---Ansel Adams

i'd give ole Ansel a high five for saying those, if i could. but he's probably busy telling God where the tonal mistakes are now.

and oh yeah, i also think Mr. Hendra Lauw had got himself a new fan. see his fab gallery here.

here are other photos from the PCP meeting last Friday. i was so engrossed with Mr. Lauw's talk, i forgot to take a photo of him :-D:

pizza and wine after the talk

members choosing the photo of the month

and the winner is...!

shuffling for a group shot, mr. hendra is fourth from the left

2 Response to 'meeting mr. hendra'

  1. Hendra Said,'> July 17, 2008 at 10:23 PM

    Hi Au,
    It was my pleasure meeting you and the rest during the talk at OWG. Thank you for having me. Keep shooting :).

    God bless.


  2. Au Lim Said,'> July 24, 2008 at 11:27 PM

    i'm honored that you visited my little blog. glad to have met you and thanks very much for the little gems you taught us :-D


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