Thursday, July 27, 2006

Blue-Steel Guitar Photograph

Good Morning Malaysia (and the rest of the world).

I recently shot photographs at a rock concert, and many of the images ended up in post production as "eXperimental" - one in particular, was a blue-steel toned image of the lead guitarist from the Malaysian rock band, PAKU (English = NAIL); it turned out especially interesting.

The band is really good, in my humble opinion…lots of heavy guitar riffs, fast, loud, and the vocalist style is reminiscent to the sound of Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington, not necessarily the tone or pitch, but a little bit of that style. After seeing PAKU, I would sum the band up as a mixture of something like the music style (genre) of Disturbed and the vocal and stage presence of Bennington. Nevertheless, PAKU has their own originality.

Please click on this link to see the image at my website...
Blue-Steel Guitar

I’m not surprised that I like PAKU; I listen to heavy rock music like Shadows Fall, Disturbed, Creed, Damage Plan, PANTERA, P.O.D., Drowning Pool, Slipknot and Staind; however, I fully appreciate classic arena rock bands, especially RUSH, BOSTON, Van Halen and Guns N' Roses.

Stage Photography is one of the more difficult types of photographic specialties to go into: this is not only from a business point of view, but also a skill point of view. Stage work can include concerts, dance performances, dramas, and plays - basically any performing art that takes place on stage, inside or outside, using available lighting without flash or any ultra-special equipment. It's similar to sports photography, meaning, you have to be ready for the action at all costs, at all times. However, with sports work, the equipment requirement is very heavy in weight and cost!

Performing Arts Photography is more modest, but no less demanding and difficult. At least now, with digital technology, you can get a fair indication when reviewing your shots ("chimping") that you captured the moment, or, you totally blew it! ARGH! Hate it when that happens!

More often than not, I get the shot I'm going for. Digital film just helps me verify the work quickly and gives me more breathing room. Nowadays, I don't have to worry while the film is developed and printed. More next time....

You can see more of my photography at

I'll tell ya', a photographer must have a lot of persistence to photograph cats, and I do, and I do photograph cats!

It's not easy because cats work on their own schedule. They are lazy, insensitive to my concerns and time restraints, they don't care about much else other than eating, sleeping and looking good - but I love cats and I have three such rascals: two Calicos (Tortie Whites) and one that I call a "Malaysian Hook-Tail".

There is a strange breed of cat here that has a hooked-tail. I'm not sure if it is a genetic defect, or, part of this genealogical family of Malaysian cats that has this end-of-the-tail hook. The bone at the end of the tail is like the hook of a clothes hanger, very strange. I never saw a cat like this in the United States, which is where I'm from.

Anyway, believe it or not, the 'hook-tail' is actually my best ‘cat-face’ model - she is very pretty, but has this skinny body. If you only see her face, she is the most beautiful of the three cats. If you see her body, you would probably ask me, "Don't you feed your cat!"

Yes, I do!

They get all the food they want, 24/7! She is just a stick with fur, but she has this very beautiful face with emerald green eyes.

The Torties are pretty too, but they are so lazy and don't cooperate much when it comes time to be cat models. This is where I have to be the good slave-to-cats, and they expect me just to wait, and wait, and wait some more. Eventually, after many frustrating moments and missed frames, I get some nice portraits of my cats. So, there is HOPE in having patience!

So, if you want to take Cat Photography, be long-suffering.

If you lack patience, find another subject to photograph because Cats move to a different beat altogether, and most of the time, it's slow, and then fast, and then sleep, and then eat, and then cat box and then sleep, and then "don't bother me" and then, when you're not ready, BLAMMO! She's ready for a photo.

Here's some things to consider:
1) You can't force a cat to have her portrait taken; you just have to catch them at the right time.

2) You also can't count on every cat to be good subjects, so to cut back on your time, locate a cat that seems to want to get your attention, and then focus on that one.

3) When taking close-ups, if you can, cut back the flash by -2 EV, or you will burn out part of the photo. I prefer the early morning natural lighting, or late afternoon warm lighting because they tend to be the best times of day for cat photography outside.

4) A little fill-flash will help with unwanted shadows, especially with the long shadows you may encounter with early morning or late afternoon sun. Bright overcast conditions are good as they cut back shadow problems.

5) Make sure your own shadow is NOT in the picture. You need to move if you notice this issue.

6) When the cat moves, you move, but don't get them irritated, or they will become fussy little models and not cooperate any more.I think you get the general 'picture': Cats can make wonderful photo-models, but this is entirely on their own terms.

Go here to see a photo of my "hook-tail's" Cat Portrait.Cat Portraiture You can see more of my photography at


This is a photo of the inside of my antique wooden, box camera, the No. 3 Bulls-Eye.

The date on this camera is c.1908, so, almost 100 years old.

The only problem I'm having with it is that the outside leather covering is powdering off...some sort of leather rust.

Otherwise, if I could still find film for this camera, I'm sure it would take decent, vintage style photographs.

Happy Shooting! Posted by Picasa

Thursday, July 20, 2006

� 2006 Nawfal Nur
I was out taking photographs yesterday with my old G2, and as usual, my cat, Jamilah Bee was a willing model. Sometimes, however, she gets in the shot in the weirdest, and funniest ways: And I believe, this shot has got to be the funniest one yet. It almost appears that she is trying very hard to get in this photo even though she wasn't supposed to be in it, so she just stretches far enough up and gets the top of her head and eyes in the shot - very funny stuff!
(c) 2006 Nawfal Nur ~ All Rights Reserved

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Title: "Cracked Paint, v.0772" by Nawfal Nur. Again, this is a test to see what is going on with the uploading of images. Each of the Cracked Paint images are in focus and sharp in my photo editing programs, such as Paint Shop Pro and PhotoPlus; however, when loaded up to this blog and others, some images seem very soft, as if they are being optimized on entry to the site. Well, optimizing images to such a degree will certainly mess up the effect of a sharp image. For a Photographer, such as myself, that sort of auto-optimizing can portray images in a poor light and is quite unsettling to me. I put up my images to share with others who like my photography and who want to learn. If my images are "fixed-smaller" on the way during the upload, it does me nor my viewers any good. I just wanted my visitors to realize that if they see a blurry image on my blog, it's not my doing! Thanks for your visit and please come again.
(c) 2006 Nawfal Nur ~ All Rights Reserved

This is a Test!

I have decided to run a test here.

I posted an image entitled "Cracked Paint" at another of my photo-blogs, and using that service, the image uploaded blurry. Although, I know that it looked fine in Paint Shop Pro. I was starting to get irritated!

I thus, uploaded Hello and thought I would try that program and upload the image directly to my photo-blog, here. Guess what? It still looked blurry, not as bad, but still blurry.

So, I'm thinking, "What the hell is going on here!"

Now, I'm attempting to load up the same image right inside this text box and see what happens. You see too. I'll let you know what the results are as soon as I see it.

"Cracked Paint"
(c) 2006 Nawfal Nur ~ All Rights Reserved

Somtimes, it's about the Format

"The color format of this scene is softer, much calmer, and the focus is on the strongest color, the color of the boats. Even though the cropping of the color photo is a little tighter, these two images were photographed minutes apart on the same day. You can see the impact of the B&W image right away!" - Nawfal Nur -
Sometimes it’s about the Format

There is an easy way to decide if a photograph may look better in Color or B&W. Of course, the nature of color photographs makes the color prominent and when you look at color photos your mind immediately focuses on the rich hues of the scene. However, with B&W photography, the focus zooms in on the emotions, textures, key sections of interest (eye leading), and the over all impact of the photograph.

Consider the follow aspects of a photograph: EMOTION, TEXTURE, EYE LEADING and IMPACT.

What EMOTIONS do you want to get across in the scene?

What TEXTURES do you want the viewer to virtually feel in your photograph?

What is the first thing you focus on when looking at the photograph; this is what I term ‘EYE LEADING’.

What over all IMPACT did you intend your image to communicate?

In this example, I photographed the scene to show the anger in the clouds…the turmoil that the clouds possess before a major storm.

The fluffy, rain-filled mass of dark clouds jumps out at you when you look at the photograph in B&W format.

My eye immediately focuses in on the stormy clouds in the B&W version and that is what I intended when creating this photograph. In color, I see the pretty fishing boats first.

In B&W, the impact is exciting and you get the feeling that there is going to be an environmental confrontation about to happen. In color, that energy seen in the B&W version, just isn’t quite there, it is only a pretty seascape.

So, when deciding on the format of your photographs, you can put them to this photographic litmus test: compare the color and B&W formats, consider what you wanted to achieve when taking the photograph and then see which format adheres best to the intended EMOTIONS, TEXTURES, EYE LEADING, and IMPACT. Posted by Picasa