Saturday, December 28, 2013

Benjamin - Fourteen Months

Well a lot has happened in the last four months since the last blog post. Benjamin is now 14 months old and in daycare and started walking just shortly after he turned one year old. He's really a character now and keeps my wife and me smiling and laughing with his funny expressions and antics. His favourite word is Baba which is as close as you can get to the Chinese version of Daddy, it's especially cute to hear him say it when I pick him up from daycare. He's extremely energetic and curious about everything so now that he's walking and almost running it is really important to keep him busy but also to keep both eyes on him.

In the last few months I've also taken the leap into the fixed lens mirrorless world of cameras with a Fujifilm X100 and I have to say that this camera is perfect for me. I wanted a carry anywhere camera that performs well in low light and that when taking pictures of my son would not distract him or make him wonder what I was doing. I picked up a used model in great condition and couldn't be happier with it and it's now my go to camera for almost any occasion. The great thing about this camera is how light weight it is, I practically carry it in my jacket pocket whenever we go out now. Plus its shutter is silent and the size of it is very inconspicuous. Prior to this every time I took out my DSLR and snapped a photo my son would be distracted by either the shutter sound or the sight of this big lens, he would be crawling over to check it out and try to grab at it. Now with the X100 I snap away quietly and he doesn't even seem to notice so its much easier to catch those candid moments. All the images below were shot with the X100.






Friday, August 23, 2013

Benjamin - Ten Months

As any proud parent does I have been documenting the growth of my son Benjamin and have created these books made through Blurb Books. I made one of him for the first month and then the next one was up to six months.

Now that he's ten months old I'm starting to prepare photos for his one year old book. It's been an amazing time watching him grow and learn. From barely being able to roll over from his tummy to his back at the four to six month stage to now being able to crawl across an entire room and climb just about anything. The next stage of walking and then, (gulp) running is going to be fun and stressful but I'm really looking forward to it.

These photos are some that I'll be sure to include in the next book. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Benjamin - Six Months

Before Benjamin came along I remember other parents telling us to cherish the days with your baby because they change so fast. I took it for granted at the time but now I really understand that statement. Six months have literally passed by in the blink of an eye and almost every day there is something different about him. The joy of being a parent and a father to this little guy is indescribable in words. I wanted to be able to share photos of him with friends and family especially when they came to visit so for his first month I put together a book using the Adobe Lightroom book module that uses Blurb books. It turned out great and I've decided to make one for his six month now and then also for his one year. I'm still in the process of selecting the photos for the book that will highlight his 2 to 6 month time period and so far the toughest decision has been choosing the cover photo. Here are some definite pictures that will be included. MG 8268 Edit MG 8130 Edit MG 8113 MG 8201 MG 8227
He's started to learn how to flip over onto his tummy and flip back over so the next stage will probably be crawling. That's going to be interesting and a lot of fun to photograph in the next months. MG 8232

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Help Portrait Vancouver 2012

For the past four years being involved with Help Portrait Vancouver have been some of the most rewarding moments I have ever had. This year was no exception but it did come with a few more responsibilities. Organizing and raising funds to support an event of this size was a learning experience for me and in the end I am grateful and humbled by the kindness and caring of our volunteers and supporters. This years event happened on December 1st in the Vancouver downtown east side and it was the second year in a row that our gracious hosts at the Union Gospel Mission made it possible. It was really great to see so many enthusiastic first time volunteers as well as the ones who have stayed committed to this event year after year returning.
By the end of the day we had welcomed over 600 guests and provided over 1000 portraits. This was no small feat but with the help of over 100 volunteers we made this one day a great success. Their smiles and stories that we heard from them will fuel our hearts for another year before we are back again.
Below is the morning crew that started this year event. Some of us had arrived at 6am to begin setting up and making sure that by 9am when the doors opened we'd be ready to greet the first guest and we made that happen.

Part of making sure the event runs smoothly and that our guests are treated to some entertainment are the general volunteers, musicians and artists.

Probably one of the hardest working group of the day are the hair and makeup team. They transform our guests and really make them feel special by getting them ready for their big moment in front of the camera.

By the end of the day we are all just one big crazy bunch to close out the afternoon. We also thought virtual tagging on FB was so over rated that instead we tagged ourselves "for real".

Can't wait for next year when I get to spend another awesome day with a great group of people and just do what can to give back.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Benjamin - My Son

Benjamin Lawrence Ng was born on October 22nd and few words can describe the incredible experience of watching your son being born right in front of your eyes. Every day since has been filled with moments of joy, wonderment and awe of such a tiny human being in your arms and how unbelievably cute and adorable he can be. Prior to that day however I remember going over in my head and thinking that the day your son is born is going to be one of the most important days of your life. How are you going to make sure you capture those first few moments and days? Are you going to shoot the actual birth? Shouldn't you just be there to live the moment and not have a big camera in your face? What's the lighting going to be like? Believe me at one point I was thinking about using a GoPro camera strapped to my head to make sure I wouldn't miss anything and to keep my hands free. My wife was not so keen about that idea, lol! In the end I brought three different cameras with me to the delivery. A digital SLR (Canon 7D), a 12.2mp point and shoot (Samsung WB550) and lastly my camera phone (Samsung Galaxy 3). I opted for the point and shoot to shoot the video of the birth and I am so glad that I did. It actually performed quite well for the low light conditions. I would have had a tough time holding a big DSLR with one hand outstretched and praying that I had proper focus for the video and probably would not have gotten the shot that I did. The camera phone was also great for emailing family and friends from the hospital with photos of the baby. Finally the DSLR did serve its purpose for the low light intimate shots. Well now that he's almost a month old I am still finding that I take shots of him with any camera that's handy. It's all about the right camera at the right time for the right job. So for now I'll be taking a bit of a break from my other photography as I enjoy capturing him growing up.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Raw Talent 12x12 2012 Exhibit

The month long wait was finally over. Last evening at the 12x12 Raw Talent Exhibit all the photographers along with the public got to see for the first time all the images that we shot back in August. As you entered the Salt Building you were greeted by a wall of the 60 participants. For me as a participant this was a great way to begin reliving the event again and recognizing the familiar faces that you had spent one long gruelling warm August day not so long ago on a common quest with.

I didn't make it into any of the winning categories but I was thrilled enough to know that all my shots actually turned out. The Salt Building was the perfect venue for the exhibit and many thanks to the organizers Morten Rand-Hendricksen, Angela Chih and all the other volunteers for putting on such a fantastic event year after year. I'm already looking forward to 2013.

There was some amazing work done by so many photographers. Above are the theme winners and also winner for best overall picture by Jackie Dive. It was really an honour and a privilege to have been a part of this.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

12x12 Vancouver Photo Marathon B&W Edition 2012

The Vancouver Photo Marathon is one of the photo events that I have been looking forward to all year but was extremely nervous about whether I could participate in again. From last years sellout of 60 tickets in just about 10 minutes its pretty clear that this is a popular event. When the tickets went on sale this year I was actually in the middle of my first prenatal class and wouldn't be anywhere near a computer so I relied on my brother to get me a ticket. I was extremely lucky because the tickets sold out in under four minutes but he did manage to secure me a ticket. I found out on the day of this years event that I was number 30 and last year I was number 29!

Once again the rules were the same, 12 hours, 12 themes and 12 exposures. Except this year it would be all on b&w film and the location would be Gastown and our headquarters would be the aptly named Coffeebar where many people kept their energy fuelled by caffeine. I on the other hand after a thought crossed my mind about the heat of the day chose coconut water and bananas as my formula of hydration.

So onto the themes this year and I won't divulge what I actually shot as you'll have to wait for the 12x12 Raw Talent Exhibit this year on September 22nd at The Salt Building in the Olympic Village to see all of the contestants photos. Hey even I have to wait a month to see my photos and see how badly I screwed up so I don't want to spoil it for you here. The event is being crowd funded so your support is greatly appreciated.

1. The first theme over the years has always been your entry number but this year the twist was your entry number + color. Wait, aren't we shooting with b&w film?

This first theme was just a taste of the creatively challenging themes we had ahead of us. Each theme after that was met with everything from collective groans and laughter to what do you mean by that? or even a few wtf? when they were announced. See below for what I mean.

2. Through the looking glass
3. Nude
4. In 20 years
5. Old school
6. Three times
7. Top
8. Hide
9. Clever
10. Float
11. Background story
12. (D)evolved

I think everyone despite a long day and very tired feet had a blast. I for one certainly did. Thank you to all the organizers for a wonderful event! See you all on September 22nd.