Something New, Something Old

Hello everyone, how has the first few days of 2014 been for you guys? We are currently experiencing a very frosty winter so don't be surprised if I suddenly disappear for a while: I'll be in hibernation hehe~ 

All jokes aside, I've been reflecting on some new years resolutions. The theme is something new something old. For 2014, I will try something new every single month, build new relationships and maintain old relationships. As we grow older and busier, time seems to be the most precious commodity anyone can give you. Time cannot be broken, taken away or forgotten therefore we ought to use it well. Last year, I believe that I used my time efficiently which in return gave me a lot of valuable experiences. I want to continue with this pattern. Therefore, something new and something old refers to trying new things while retaining lessons from the past :-)

The first new thing I tried out this year is being a photography "mentor". Last weekend, Julie contacted me for some help in photography. She wanted some advice because she is working on a design portfolio. I was very surprised that she seeked me because I am still learning the ropes myself. We decided to meet up so that I can give her tips while shooting and asked some mutual friends to be her model. Coincidentally, it was also the coldest day of the year BBBBrrr.    

One of the most vital aspects of my photo style is choosing a good location for shooting. The background of a shoot plays such a important role in the overall composition/concept so I brainstormed a bit and decided that we should shoot in Old Port. At first, I wanted to shoot outside but it was -35C (with windchill) so that was a no-no so instead we went to the Notre Dame basilica. The general entrance fee is 5$ and they have light shows at night that are pricier. I'd like to see it one day (you know me and my obsession with lights *_*).    

I'm not religious but you can't deny the beauty and devotion that seems to ooze out of every surface of this sanctuary. I heard that this church is modeled after the famous Notre Dame de Paris, maybe as a humble, laid-back western cousin of the Parisian church. 

Model Terence praying he could be as beautiful as the church so that people will come and worship him : }

A funny thing happened when we were shooting, Julie asked me if I had a spare memory card and I said nope. I thought it was weird that she managed to fill her memory card so quickly. I asked her how many photos she took and turns out she only took 8 photos LOL. Julie, if you're reading this: reformat your memory card or buy a new one!

My very first High Dynamic Range (HDR) photo! I'm so proud *tears up* lol. High dynamic range imaging is a popular technique for landscape photos because it balances out the exposure. Often times, the sky will be too bright and the ground will be underexposed. With this technique, you take 3 photos of varying exposure levels and with the help of Photoshop or Darkroom. Below are the photos that I used to build my HDR image. 

In all these pictures, some areas are more exposed than others because of the availability of light. 

It's a good technique because cameras don't have the same sensitivity as the human eye for differentiating different levels of luminosity so this technique is good for capturing a landscape more accurately (or according to the human eye). Depending on how you edit the photo in an image processing software, it can also look very unrealistic. 

The boys were hungry from posing too much so we decided to grab some poutine! Nothing better than some gravy drenched fries on a freezing day. C'mon metabolism, quickly transform those fries into fatty tissue for extra padding against the cold!

Don't they look like Kpop idols? And the best part is: they're all natural :-)

We waited for the sun to set so that we can take advantage of the sparkly lights in Old Port.

I'm glad that we managed to take good photos despite the weather, here are two of my favorite shots by Julie:

I was pretty nervous initially because I thought: what if Julie couldn't get the photos she wanted? What if I fail at giving guidance? I don't even know some of the functions of my camera DERP DERP! But I had a lot of fun in the end and we ended up with some pretty awesome shots. 

Shoutout to Lily for lending me your 50mm f1.4 lens! : - ) This shoot wouldn't have been possible without your generosity~