Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Iris-Nawfal - Eye Close-up

Originally uploaded by Nawfal Nur.
Small Details - What most people do not spend time to look for in everyday subjects.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010



Looking down on the access road to Gurney Plaza, from the car park.

This is the first day of Fasting in the month of Ramadhan. Early morning, started fasting at around 5:45am, and will break fast at 7:34pm. And, being addicted to coffee adds an extra challenge, when you are use to filling up whenever. Well, I have to wait until after breaking fast.

Experiencing hunger and thirst, if only for a short time, opens up your eyes and heart to what it is like, to have that feeling. God Willing, I hope to gain more understanding, more kindness and more patience. Not just during this month, but each day.

Uploaded by Nawfal Nur on 11 Aug 10, 4.00PM MYT.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010



Title: "SMOKE DeMENTIA, #2, Edit D"
Collection: SMOKE DeMENTIA
Creation Date: 31 July 2010

Uploaded by Nawfal Nur on 1 Aug 10, 12.00AM MYT.

Friday, July 02, 2010

On the Right Hand, v.1, Edit C

On the Right Hand, v.1, Edit C
Originally uploaded by Nawfal Nur.
On the Right Hand, v.1, Edit C

"On the Right Hand, v.1, Edit C"
Creation Year: 2010.

Uploaded by Nawfal Nur on 2 Jul 10, 1.06PM MYT.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

EGG in White Bowls Study, No1, Edit B

A photographic study of raw eggs in white bowls. Just something I wanted to do for awhile and finally took some time to do it.

Uploaded by Metal Rain on 22 May 10, 8.38PM MYT.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Paul Bader Photography Interview

Audio Podcast.
23 April 2010

Here's the Link to the Interview (there's a song first sung by Paul and my cousin Rhonda).

The Interview with my Great Uncle, Paul Bader is about his Photography Career.

After starting the podcast player, you can go HERE to see the story behind this project and photographs of Paul, and those taken by him during his Professional Career as a Photographer. 

Thank you!

Sunday, March 28, 2010


Originally uploaded by Metal Rain.

A Black & White rendition of a miniature abstract, clay model I made.

"Distortions, No-4" is a my interpretation of distorted and twisted thumbs, as least that is what I see.

The key to this look was using strong directional lighting, which created deep and burning black shadows.

The finger prints that are apparent on the clay forms a cohesive unison with the distorted thumbs idea that I 'attempted' to portray in this work.

The miniature clay 'sculpture' no longer exists. It existed only for about 30-minutes, the length of time it took to take the photographs.

The goal of this project was to create a photograph that captures the contrasting shadows and light void spaces, using very specific studio lighting.

I guess I was kind of influenced to do this piece, having seen some HUGE metal sculptures (constructions) by Tony Smith (September 23, 1912 - December 26, 1980), who was an American sculptor.

Uploaded by Metal Rain on 28 Mar 10, 2.31PM MYT.

Friday, March 19, 2010

DROP, NL4174, v1-NNP

DROP, NL4174, v1-NNP
Originally uploaded by Metal Rain.
DROP, NL4174, v1-NNP

High Shutter Speed, Natural Lighting, Splash Photography.
Image Details:
Shutter Speed=1/800sec.
Exposure Setting=Manual.

Usually, I use fast flash to capture splash photography. However, I decided to use the most powerful light source in our solar system, the HOT SUN! No better way to get fast shutter speeds than to use the Sun as your light source.

It was REALLY HOT however, and I burned my hands in very little time: The one body location I didn't cover with something. Dang! I'll know better next time to wear gloves too.

Uploaded by Metal Rain (Nawfal Nur) on 19 Mar 10, 1.35PM MYT.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

L.B.C., 11 March 2010

L.B.C., 11 March 2010
Originally uploaded by Metal Rain.
You know that tag...that stereotypical tag on pillows that says: "Do not remove this tag"? Not really sure if it really exists, maybe it is a legend. However, if there is a tag on the pillow, it often gets removed anyway, the violator risking whatever penalty that may befall them for removing the "legendary tag."

Well, the same ideal exists in the legend, "Do not use a Canon Flash on a Nikon Body, or....." Or what? Your camera will explode; the camera will short circuit; the camera will melt; and, so many other threats the manufacturers tell you IF you EVER try this trick.

Well, I finally, after many, many years, I tried this exact and horrifying thing. I attached my Canon Speedlite to a Nikon DSLR body, and it worked. This is a photo I took with this combo.

Of course, some of the options may not function because of the different pin-structure in the hot-shoe compared to the pin-structure on the flash unit, but I put the camera on M-MODE, and I took some shots. I adjusted the shutter speed a little and a great cat headshot was the result.

This is a vertical shot and I tilted the head of the flash at the ceiling and I got a cool highlight in the eyes.

Fear Not! Try it and you may be surprised too. I will probably do it again.

HOWEVER, if your camera does explode, melt, crumble, self-destruct, deteriorate, perform less well, discombobulate, or turn colors and start on fire, don't blame me, I take no responsibility for irresponsible acts of experimentation with photography equipment. You are doing any irresponsible testing on your own will...and it can be quite fulfilling.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Here's something to Think About

“A doubtful friend is worse than a certain enemy. Let a man be one thing or the other, and we then know how to meet him.”

Friday, March 12, 2010

New Publication - SHELLS & SANDSTONE


A new eBook/e-Folio I published at LuLu.Com today for Sale.  Hope you can check it out.  It is a collection of 20-Black & White art photographs of shells and sandstone pieces I found on beaches around Penang Island, Malaysia. Go here to check it out:  http://www.lulu.com/content/e-book/shells-sandstone/8484460

Sunday, March 07, 2010


It is stinking HOT today:  Sunburn type of weather.

91° F
Feels Like: 104° F
Wind: From W at 12mph 
I thought it felt more like 105 F!!! 
Well, I'll stay inside and do some studio photography today, no need to go out and get more burned than I already am after doing some weed digging work in the yard.  
Be thankful, I guess, if you live in a cooler location.  Yeah, I know, we always want to be in the opposite place, isn't it:  If we live in the heat, we want cool.  If we live in the cold, we want to be someplace hot.
Just thank God for ICE CUBES!
Take care and stay cool. 

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Kindle for Photo Portfolios - An Idea

Just a thought came to me.  But, the Kindle can read PDF's and PDF's are a great way to show your photography portfolios.  Using Open Office Writer, you can create your portfolios, quickly export as PDF files and then, I'm guessing it is easy to upload to the Kindle.

The Kindle is easy to transport.  PDF Photo Portfolios on the move.  Why NOT!?!  Could be cool!

Update: 2nd Mar 2010.
Been a bit busy lately and only getting to this update.  The Kindle may not work too well after all.  After looking closer at the specs, it only offers a 16-gray scale screen.  HOWEVER, the much joked about iPad has color and is very portable.  Maybe that would be more useful for portable portfolio usage.  If you can get past the name, then there may be some portable usage for photographers in this item.  Another thought on this topic of portable ways to show your portfolio.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Quote by Berenice Abbott

The challenge for me has first been to see things as they are, whether a portrait, a city street, or a bouncing ball. In a word, I have tried to be objective. What I mean by objectivity is not the objectivity of a machine, but of a sensible human being with the mystery of personal selection at the heart of it. The second challenge has been to impose order onto the things seen and to supply the visual context and the intellectual framework - that to me is the art of photography.

- Berenice Abbott

A Guide to Better PhotographyBerenice Abbott American Photographer

Berenice Abbott, what an amazing photographer, and during what we, today might say were simpler times.  They were in fact more difficult times, comparing our technology to what she had to work with.  And that makes her accomplishments that much more spectacular.
According to Abbott, her methodology of the "art" of photography was first, to see the subject as they are perceived by the artist, in the context of the location, time of day, weather, and all the other elements that go into the visual scene.  Second, she attempted to "make order" of the scene so she could capture the photograph. 
The second part of that is what I would have difficulty with out in the "open air" type of photography.  In the studio, yes, of course, no doubt I like and insist upon making order of the subjects I'm photographing.  But, to do that out in the environment, especially a city setting, that would seem near impossible.  Maybe it didn't seem that way to Abbott, but to me, I find it unrealistic. 
Hey, I'm not one to argue with greatness; with masters of the craft, but I would say this:  "I prefer to take natural urbanscapes as they unfold, controlling nothing but my position, the camera lens, my angle-of-view, my shutter and aperture, my filters, my camera mode, the height of the camera from the ground, my ISO setting, and the time of day I go out shooting.
Those are the aspects (and could be more mentioned) that I can control, but I cannot prefer not to control the movement of the people, the direction of traffic, the flight of birds, and things like that.
I would have to study Abbott much more to figure out exactly what she meant, what her philosophy was on this.
Nevertheless, her results were spectacular.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Being Trapped

I'm reprinting / republishing a blog post from one of my other photo journals, http://nawfalnur.wordpress.com/ because it is an important post for photographers who are concerned about unauthorized usages of their online photos.

Here it is:

"Trapped" (© 2010)
A Collaborative Work

Nawfal Nur (Original Eye Photo)
Brittney Hamilton (Dark Artwork on this Photo)

" Being Trapped "
© Nawfal Nur (12 Feb 2010)

"The sound of a heartbeat bounces off four walls,
and silently falls to the ground.
An ear hears no words,
but the torturous ringing of empty-blackness.
The eye sees nothing but a faint distant light, taunting,
but there's no way out.
A mind void of senses goes slowly mad,
and thoughts bleed from the body and disappear into the growing-blackness.
Being Trapped
. "

Well, not the cheeriest of poems I've ever written, but fitting...it must fit the subject of the photograph.

Is my poetry any good? What a question to ask yourself. I don't know if these lines fit any formula of poetry, and I don't really want to occupy my mind with formulas.

When I 'visualize' what "Trapped " is, these are the thoughts, the visual words I see in my mind's eye.

I want to thank Brittney for finding my Iritis Eyeball photograph at my blog. She contacted me and asked if she could do one of her "Dark Art" pieces using my eyeball photograph. After some emailing, it was agreed upon and she applied her skills, her genre (Dark Art) to my photograph, and the "Trapped" photograph (above) is the result.

I do appreciate that Brittney wrote to me to ask permission to do this collaborative work. I commend her on that. The results of this ended up well.

It is a sad note that both of us have had people use our images/artwork without asking permission. It is difficult to tell if these 'violators of copyright images' know that they are not supposed to use images made by other people. However, if you see a © symbol, then the work is clearly unusable to anyone but the artist/photographer/author of the work.

IF an image is in the public domain, or an image has an 'open' copyright that allows its use for specific purposes without asking permission, then that's a different story. This sort of usage freedom is what the Creative Commons copyright notice is for - to allow some freedom of usage of intellectual works. BUT, THESE WORKS ARE ALSO CLEARLY MARKED WITH SPECIFIC COPYRIGHT SYMBOLS:
  • Attribution (CC-BY)
  • Attribution Share Alike (CC-BY-SA)
  • Attribution No Derivatives (CC-BY-ND)
  • Attribution Non-Commercial (CC-BY-NC)
  • Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike (CC-BY-NC-SA)
  • Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives (CC-BY-NC-ND)
Go Here to find out more about the CC!

Often times, we artists/we photographers find our work being used without our permission, even though it is copy written, and has the usual © symbol attached to it: That is not right - it is a violation of our intellectual property and our copyright.
  • So, what can you do, what should you do, what realistically can be done?
Pursuing such violations under whatever means available is often fruitless. I don't want to sound negative about this, but you must look at the economics of your work and its true market value.

If your original work isn't valued beyond belief (i.e., Thousands of Dollars), then the legal costs of pursuing copyright violations would be enormous to the point of business breaking for most photographers.

This is not to say don't pursue violations of your copyright, but in this day-and-age of royalty-free images going for a few cents per download, and a worldwide economy that has taken a major hit, a photographer would have to weigh the common sense and economics of pursuing copyright violations against them. The easy to get MULTITUDES of digital images off the Internet has devalued the work of everyone out there who depends on sales for their living.

If it makes economic sense in your world, then have at it - go for the legal course of action.

If it is not feasible for you to take legal action, then try to reason with violators. Perhaps they will remove illegal work if you send them an email notice. If that doesn't work, then perhaps a lawyer's letter will have more bite to it.

To me, this is another form of "Being Trapped" - when there isn't much you can do about something, even though you wish you could, and you know you are in the right!

You may be trapped between wanting to take some action to correct a wrong and set it right; and, not being able to take action because it would not be economically feasible.

After all, where will you end up if you choose poorly. You could end up spending (or owing) several 10's of thousand's of dollars in legal fees (and how much time wasted) to save your photograph that may only have a shelf life worth $100.00 (maybe more, but probably less if the work was meant for a royalty-free micro-stock site)?

Enough joy about photography copyright violations.



Please have a look at Brittney's other work - she is talented. Just click on her link under her name (above).

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Best Camera with Me

"Colors in the Grass, v.1"
2010, Penang, Malaysia
Here's a photograph I took with the camera built into my Samsung Phone:  This camera is the one I label, "The Best Camera with Me", Camera.  I've been preaching the benefits of always taking ANY camera with you, ANYWHERE, since 2007.  I practice what I preach.  

It doesn't matter if your camera isn't your 20-pound DSLR with 500mm lens - As long as you have something, anything with you to capture photographs when you see them in your mind's eye, that is what is important.  It is a lot easier (AND BETTER) to have ANY camera with you at ALL TIMES, then you having to sketch the shot you could have taken, because you didn't have a camera with you.

Just something to keep in mind.

This is my 100th Post here, Yeah!  Yippie!  OK, enough excitement.

I'm also celebrating my 100th Post with a perforated and bleeding eardrum - JOY!  

So, this is a shorty blog today.

Just keep the "Best Camera with You" idea in mind.  You may thank me later.



Monday, February 01, 2010

A Pretty Cool B&W Photograph - For All Time

Ansel Adams' "Spires of St. Peter and Paul Church, San Francisco" is perhaps one of the coolest B&W photographs of 'all times'.  Of course, I have LOTS of favorite B&W photographs in mind, but I'll discuss this one for today, and just call it 'coolest...all times'.  It makes things sound more 'dramatic' ;^ ) 

For me, it is not the subject matter that is incredible.  It is not the topic of the photograph that is amazing.  It is the skill and technique of Ansel Adams that makes this such a great photograph.  The crosses are ablaze and the sky is dramatically dark, and cloudless.  In Ansel Adams' words, he describes the shot:

"The gilt crosses were blazing with the glare of sunlight.  The stone of the church was fairly light, but if rendered 'literally' it would have competed with the crosses.  Hence I exposed to keep the stone a middle value, and the foliage is thus quite dark.  The sky was a deep blue and adequately separated in value from the stone.  I made a second negative at one-half the exposure, but lost qualities in the shadows and in the foliage while gaining nothing with the values of the stone and cross.  (The sky was deeper, but the effect was excessively theatrical.)  With both negatives, the below-normal exposure had no effect on the glare from the crosses since that was far beyond the normal exposure scale of the film." 
Just think about it:  How many photographers nowadays with all the do-it-yourself digital brainpower, actually think about all the aspects of the scene before taking a snap-shot or photograph (and there is a big difference between the two)?  

For all the searching I've done using Google and Yahoo, I can't find an example of this photograph, on the WEB to include.  Nevertheless, if you go to your public library or bookstore, on page 38 of Adams' THE NEGATIVE, you'll see this photograph.

And of course, anyone can argue about "the best" B&W photograph of all time.  Like I said, this is one of my all time favorites.


Sunday, January 31, 2010

Photography & Arthritis

Photography & Arthritis:  There's got to be a link.  No, no, not a medical link...Don't think I'm that totally crazy to suggest that sort of thing, LOLOL! ;^} )

I'm talking about a link (the CHALLENGE of) between HAVING Arthritis, and, DOING Photography.  

It's quite difficult sometimes to even think about doing photography when I'm feeling pain from my arthritis.  Nevertheless, the overwhelming drive to be creative...and to be a CREATIVE in the face-of-pain, is what makes even the "Arthritic Photographer" sally forth in the quest to pursue and to capture a tremendous capture.

Nevertheless, I kid you not, when the arthritis pain sets in, and it is usually most HORRIBLE in the waking hours of the morning, SOMETIMES most of the times, I just don't feel like doing anything, not even photography.  I'll get back to this in a moment.

This may be a side-note, but I thought I would mention it.  I never before thought that arthritis could be seen from the outside on the skin.  I'm not talking about the deformations of joints that one normally envisions when placing Arthritis and Deformations, side-by-side.  No, this is something different. 

Of course, there are skin-versions of arthritis, such as scleroderma, a disease of the connective tissue (skin), which causes hardening and thickening.  But that is not it, either.  I'm talking about a skin rash, or perhaps, a skin reaction in the form of a temporary rash.

I wake up every morning with a tightened rib-cage due to Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS).  This morning, however, is one of the first times I had a rash on the skin of my chest (in the pain area).  That seemed new.  It appeared odd to me.  I have no idea if AS pain can cause skin rash:  I've had AS for 26-years, and the incidents of skin rash on my chest are rare, so rare that I don't remember the last time it happened.  

I'm just wondering if skin rashes could be associated with the AS.  More specifically, when AS is MOST ACTIVE, can it trigger a skin reaction in the form of an allergic type rash?  

Has anyone else with AS ever noticed rashes during their worst times of pain?  It would be interesting to find out if there is a link, some sort of connection.

So...WHAT can you do?  What can you do when you want (or need) to take photographs, but the arthritis pain seems overbearing?  My suggestions, mind you, are not proven medical therapy:  These are the things that I normally do in these instances when Photography meets Frankenstein's Arthritic Monster.  And believe me, sometimes I feel like "The Monster" with parts and pieces not quite put together right, with appendages just kind of hang'en there in the joints, bones seeming to rub together.  And I can swear, I can hear the squeakiness of the ball and socket joints (kind of kidding!).  Forget the drugs (if you can) - maybe some Pennsylvania 40-Weight Oil would be a better solution! 

Nevertheless, here are some things you can try when the arthritis pain is at its worst:
  1. Don't over-sleep!  I find that the longer I sleep, being more than 5-hours at one interrupted time, the stiffer my joints get.  Inaction seems to lead to stiffness.
  2. Think thoughts of GRATITUDE!  It is very easy to let the pain of arthritis immediately affect your thoughts and mood in the morning and this is deadly to your wellbeing.  Arthritis is like a HUGE SLAP in the face as soon as you become awake.  Don't let it get to you (so much).  To change your thinking start running through the reasons you are grateful for being alive.  Run through the list of blessings you have and forget about thinking of the troubles and heartaches you face - these negative thoughts will lead to your downfall!  Attempt with all your heart, to focus on the positives that you have in your life, and this will help you muffle the heartaches, "limitations" (e.g., maybe you can't make a fist all the way because your fingers are stiff and painful; maybe you can't run any more or walk normally; maybe you can only sit for a couple hours until it becomes unbearable; and the list could go on and on), and pains you suffer because of arthritis pain.  I have my own list of negatives that run through my head - BUT I KNOW I HAVE TO SQUASH THEM!
  3. DO some sort of light warmup EXERCISE in the Morning!  You do not need to go full force RAMBO-adrenaline-rush exercising in the morning.  Start out light.  
Copyright Nawfal Nur 2010
"Just Relax!" 
  • For painful and stiff fingers, get one of those squishy exercise balls (see my photo above).  
  • Stretch and also do some deep breathing to loosen up the ribcage.  
  • Walk around a bit to stretch and loosen up leg muscles and get the joints moving.  
  • Drink some water and hydrate yourself.  
  • If you need some pills, then you know what you need, but attempt to do non-med attempts at feeling better, first.  I know this doesn't always work, and I know the Voltaren people love me.  However, my liver probably hate me by now considering all the meds I've taken over the years.  Just use some intuition and judgment.
These little exercises do help (to some degree) for people with stiff joint types of arthritis: They help me.  Seek medical attention and advice for specific exercises and routines that will be best for what you have - what's good for me, may not be good for you.  It is BEST to be informed about your own situation and then go from there.

What about the Photography!   

Well, if you still have the energy, and if the pain has subsided, and the rusty joints have loosened up, then your photography endeavors WILL BE so, so, so much more enjoyable.  

I know firsthand how pain can zap the fun out of things that are normally fun and exciting.  Attempt to not allow pain and stiffness to stop you from enjoying photography.  Because photography sometimes requires a lot of walking, standing, bending, lying down on the ground, carrying around heavy equipment bags, twisting, turning, and getting into a lot of irregular positions just to get that "perfect" shot, that Arthritis can sure make your passion-hobby-career (photography) a BIG PAIN!  Attempt not to let it.

It is up to you to reduce the pain as much as possible, and enjoy photography, and life!

Good Luck!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Quote of THIS Day!

[1890 – 1976] Real name: Emmanuel Rudnitzky - American painter, sculptor and photographer: 
We asked him whether we could quote him. "Quote me as much as you like; as a matter of fact I don’t even mind if you misquote me !" - Man Ray -[January 1967]

An amazing quote.  I think so because I wish to strive to the point where someone wants to quote me.  And then, I hope that at the point, at that moment in time, I don't care so much if they even misquote me.  It won't matter.  What matters will be that I still love doing photography.  Because I can tell you that prior to this day, this entry...I had reached a pretty dark place with photography and myself.

Nevertheless, after reading this humorous quotation from Man Ray, my spirits have risen.  My soul cleansed slightly.  My purpose less unfocused. 

Momentum is the key to overcoming stagnation and procrastination.  "A rolling stone..." 

I need to be a rolling stone.