The Missing Link – the print that scored 90 at the Master Photography Awards 2011

This print finally received the recognition that it deserves, 8 months after it was created – the Master Photography Awards 2011 gave this print an impressive score of 90, the highest I’ve ever achieved.  Oh yes, to top it off, it received also an Award of Excellence.

The Missing Link

Entitled “The Missing Link”, this is an example of poetic expression in our works – how two person bridge the gap (literall!).   And no, this is not the DLC for Deus Ex – Human Revolution, which by the way is one of the better games made this year.

We must have spent at least 50 minutes to get this image, so many thanks to my couple who believed in my work and vision; not forgetting my trusty assistants Joseph and Vee, who were both working tirelessly with me to create one of my best works this year!

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Printing for Competitions

It’s the time of the year when competitions start to pile up one after another.  We have the Master Photography Awards,  which I’ve been a part of since 2007, Canon Creativeasia, WPPI and AIPP, spread out over the year.

IMO, photography competition should be a print competition, especially for wedding photography section.  My approach to photography is always about the print and print quality is such a neglected concept amongst wedding photographers, especially when most just want to deliver images on a CD.  Also, what looks good on screen, doesn’t necessary means it can be printed out nicely. Yesterday, I attended a workshop by

To be honest, print quality has never been in my vocabulary until I joined the Master Photographer Association (MPA) from UK.  And trust me, I learnt it the hard, hard way.  First lesson I learnt, you need time to do a good print; knowing how to prepare an image for printing requires discipline.  Before anything gets printed to 8″x10″ or 10″x12″ for the competition, the lab needs to print out a set of proofs on 4″x6″ on the paper of choice.  Choosing the right kind of paper is another hairy part of the print making process that even my own printers have problems grappling with.  Some of the prints are obvious candidates for Kodak Endura Metallic paper or Fuji Pearl paper, some are slightly more artsy that looks great printed on fine-art matt or textured paper, some are safer on lustre paper because of the high dynamic range compared to the former. Oh wait, don’t even bother about metallic or glossy paper for competitions like WPPI, having your prints viewed in a room lit by just 2 strong light source at 45 degrees to the print means you’re probably better off with matt paper…. these are power tips that are shared by veterans as well as judges from WPPI.

For example, this is one print that I did on metallic paper for MPA because of the shimmer in the image itself and the grass textures is brought out really nicely on it.  Matt or lustre paper somehow looked a little too safe for this.

The Missing Link

As well as this piece, Tangled



The next one that I photographed in Morocco, entitled Hand-some, was printed on lustre paper.


Also, all these works were shot on my Hasselblad H4D-40, a digital medium format setup which gives incredible details and tonality when we print it.  It’s really about how effortless and how smooth the details are being drawn, and this is something that make me wish that all competitions are at least 16″x20″ in print size! 🙂

We have consolidated over 100 prints from 6 photographers to share out the freight cost.  Trust me, a 5.4kg parcel ain’t cheap, but sharing it among 6 photographers makes it really affordable at USD$17 per pax.  Good luck Team Singapore!



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Featured at Focus on Imaging 2011

I’m very honoured to have one of my images selected by the Master Photographer Association (UK) to be featured at Focus on Imaging 2011, which is arguably the biggest photographic convention for professionals only.  The image, which received an accolade from UK last year, was printed to a whopping size of 2m x 1m, wish I was there to see the actual print! 🙂

Photo’s from a series of my couple Kelly & Joe, and I really like the details on Kelly’s Cheong Sum, which by the way is a creation by Vaughn Tan.

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To London?

MPA and WPPI, these are the two organisers of the toughest photography competitions for wedding and portrait photographers, and looking at the previous winners from the different category, photographers like myself will probably spend days hammering out the prints, send them to USA or UK, and hope for the best.

Just received a congratulatory email from Master Photographer Association in London (MPA) that one of my images has made it to the finals for the Overseas Wedding Photographer of the Year Award!

That came together with an invitation to the awards ceremony in London come Oct 2009.

However, much as I would love to attend the awards ceremony, as well as see the other finalists and winner’s print next to mine, plus the chance to mingle with some of the veterans in this biz, I happened to have an assignment overseas.  The biggest irony is, both the clients happened to be based in London, but their wedding will be held in their hometown back in Asia.

Good news and bad news come in a pair, usually.

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One of the entries for the MPA Master Photographer Award

After working on the images for the annual MPA Master Photographer Award, life is slightly more normal now. Preparing for print competition is tedious, and doesn’t help that I procrastinate a lot when it comes to selection of images (entry fee is one, the printing cost is another thing altogether), and spending hours with the print guru to get the right print, and reprinting thanks the perfectionist nature of such competitions.

One of the FAQs when I discuss photoshoot venues with the couples is “Which is your favourite place in Singapore?” . Actually, there are no favourites, and as mentioned in my previous post, all venues are determined by my couples.  Just that some venues tend to be the choice for many of my couples.

I must have visited this site more than ten times within the first half of 2009, and I make it a point never to repeat any shots or produce similar looking photos.  After all, no one will pay big money for photographs that are easily replicated 😉

This is one that I really like, a lot.


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