Tag Archives: Mentoring

Dragon Scout Group Campfire 2014

This was homecoming for me and my fellow Old Boys and Girls, returning back home to our Alma Mater, the Gan Eng Seng Dragon Scout Group Family, on Saturday 12th April 2014 for the 92nd Anniversary Campfire. The Scouting memories, camaraderie, friendships and to stay connected with the current Dragon Scout Group family. It’s also a time to Pay-It-Forward and Pass-It-On, the knowledge, bonding and experiences to the Dragon Scout Group.

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The Old Boys and Girls came back to celebrate the 92nd Anniversary Campfire, going up to the stage and singing campfire songs, just like our good old Scouting days in the past. Those were beautiful and wonderful memories that the group of Old Boys and Girls from the Dragon Chapter put together and part of the bigger Dragon Scout Group family. Along with the fellow Old Boys and Girls, we were proud of our history, heritage, culture and Scouting family bonding that is keeping the Dragon Scouting fire and spirit, big and bright! Check out the photographs taken during DSG Campfire 2014!

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In the year 2013, I wasn’t really that active and didn’t manage to stay in touch with the activities and happenings. In 2014, I hope to be more active and help out in whatever way that I can. I hope to Pay It Forward and Pass It On, the Dragon Scouting fire and spirit to the younger generation. For the year 2014, I helped out in the Scout proficiency badge – Photographer,  running the badge requirements and being the examiner. During the Saturday afternoon on 12th April 2014, I officially signed off my first Scout proficiency badge certificate for Photographer, with Li Xuan, a secondary 4 scout from Cougar Patrol, becoming my first Scout to pass the Photographer badge!

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My Dragon Scouting journeys taught me many things, life skills, friendships and fun adventures! I hope that my sharing, helping out in whatever ways possible and mentoring will be what I can do to Pay-It-Forward and Pass-It-On to the Dragon Scout Group family! Along with that, I am hoping to add more memories to my Dragon Scouting adventures, check out the collection on Flickr!


Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

10 Steps to Photographic Fulfillment

A photographer’s journey is just like a life growing process and journey. We all start from the bottom, learning how to crawl, followed by walking and running. My photography journey has been part of me since about 25-30 years ago when I played with my first camera, a Pentax ME Super SLR camera that belongs to my Dad. While it wasn’t the smoothest and everything photography all the way from then, somehow or another, it had always been a part of me (although it left for a while and came back to me). Reflecting and looking back, I had learned and improved and I am still learning and hopefully improving!

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While I was reading Outdoor Photographer Magazine (one of my favourite photography magazines) recently, the July 2013 edition. I read an article by George D. Lepp, under Tech Tips “10 Steps to Photographic Fulfillment“. His words, wisdom and sharing struck me really deep in the heart and got me thinking hard and reflecting about my photography again. From George’s 10 Steps to Photographic Fulfillment, I decided to use his 10 Steps for my own sharing and reflection on my photography journey.

Step 1 – Photograph With A Purpose

There were times earlier in my photography days that I pretty much shoot anything that interests me and I got bored after some time, to the extent that I said there were nothing more interesting to shoot. This was also a turning point for me when I started to start looking more in-depth into my surroundings, my purpose and what I actually plan or/and want to photograph. Along with life changing incidents and growing older in age, I started to look at things differently and also looking back in time. One key area was the loss of things/culture/landmarks from my childhood and growing up years, that propelled me into Photographing With A Purpose – to document, photograph and share Old Places in Singapore. Photographing and documenting Old Places had been an on-going personal project for past few years and it allowed me to know many more new photographer friends with the same frequency. While my personal project is still on-going, for future photography adventures, I will make a point that I Photograph With A Purpose.

Step 2 – Do Your Research  

Doing research is an integral part of photography, from learning new photography techniques to understanding animals behaviour (for wildlife photography) or where/when to travel for landscape sceneries  shoot. There’s lots of planning and it only helps in your photography adventure and experiences. This would also allows you to enjoy your photography better and it can be a more fun time for you.

Step 3 – Invest Wisely In Equipment

There are always new toys and accessories in the market that is always enticing and attracting you to buy. It can be very tempting but we have to seriously ask ourselves, what kind of photography am I shooting and do I really need this new toy or accessories? Once we decided on a particular field of photography, we shouldn’t rush into buying all the new toys and accessories immediately. Personally, I encourage you all to explore and master your new toy (e.g. lens) and its capabilities and limitations before adding on the accessories to achieve the specialisation that you wanted in your photography. Sharing my own personal experiences, I started sports photography with my Canon EOS30D and EF 70-200mm f/4 L lens and I used this combination for about 3-4 years, shooting Rugby 7s and Singapore GP, before upgrading to a Canon EOS 1D Mark III and most recently adding the EF 300mm f/2.8 L lens. All this was done over a period of 5 years.

Step 4 – Embrace Education

Education, is and should be lifelong and ongoing, never-ending, regardless of whether it is about your work/professional career or hobby such as photography. For myself, photography was a lot about self-learning and exploration, coupled with some guide books, internet resources and one of the most important education that I ever received and I am still receiving was learning from photography seniors/masters/mentors. I am blessed by some bits and pieces of mentoring by different photographers and I am very grateful to them for passing down/sharing their photography tips, techniques, experiences and wisdom with me during my photography journey. While I am still learning the wonders of education in Photography, I am embracing sharing and mentoring through my own photography education and experiences, by teaching photography, I will be able to improve my level of photography knowledge and education.

Step 5 – Pursue Your Project

This is all about making and taking the First big step, in whatever you do. When you decided on your Photography Purpose, it’s now about execution and doing it! There will be ups and downs, it’s all part of your photography journey and do not give up! Just Do It and Keep It Going!

Step 6 – Adjust and Adapt 

While we are make plans to complete an assignment/project/goal, things are never smooth and there will be ups and downs along the way. Therefore, while we all make good plans, we must always be ready for changes and unforseen things happening. We need to be able and ready to adjust and adapt according to the situations, it can be adding/doing extra things into your existing project or taking away some of the things you are doing. Just like taking photographs, we always have to be ready to adjust and adapt to weather, lighting and situational conditions.

Step 7 – Follow Through At The Computer

Post processing initially was never part of my photography workflow. I confessed I was lazy,  I don’t have the expertise, knowledge and software. I was stubborn and  ignorant. After years, I slowly learned more about the scientific aspects behind those camera sensors and how different camera brands design/program them. There is a need for post processing and I began to adopt a simple post processing workflow into my photography recently using Aperture. In my photography adventure, I will ensure that the photographs that I take do not need too much post-processing by getting it close to “correct” based on the situation.

Step 8 – Invite Criticism

One of the human race worst flaw in my personal opinion is not able to take criticism in life. In life, criticisms (that are constructive) help us to improve in the things that we do, in work/career and our hobbies too. While criticisms can be painful at times (and your ego severely deflated), if the criticisms are unbiased, informed, constructive, meaningful and helpful, in the direction of  helping you improve your photography techniques, composition etc … All photographers can take back something constructive from it and move on to improve their photography skills and techniques.

Step 9 – Use Your Work

Share your works, with friends, photography enthusiasts, your local community and people around the world. Your works can be for sale or it can be part of a greater contribution to a social movement cause. Your photography works can make an impact and difference to the society around you and the world as well. I shared my photography works in various capacities and my photography experiences at alumni organisations and school. I have a Facebook Page for my Photography adventures and has a summary of my photography adventures to date. Some of  my personal photography projects are Old Places and The Green Corridor.

Step 10 – Share Your Knowledge

I believe in this personal philosophy Pay-It-Forward, this brings me back to ground level and start giving back to where I learned and started from. That is why I am active in my alumni mater activities and events, going back to my roots and giving it back something meaningful to them (as much as possible) , they are my Dragon Scout Group family and University of Queensland Alumni Association of Singapore. I also personally believe that sharing and passing on my photography knowledge as a mentor would help me in attaining higher levels of photography as I continued shooting and learning new things in photography. Start sharing your photography and Pay-It-Forward, to the wider local and international community out there!

After reading this article on Outdoor Photographer, it just impacted me a lot and reflect deeply. There are still many things for me to learn in photography and I am enjoying photography a lot more than the time when I said to myself “I have nothing interesting to shoot”. Today, I am not only photographing with a purpose, I am also embracing education to learn new photography skills and knowledge.

Moving ahead, I am planning to photograph more different areas and document more photographic stories to tell life stories and I like you to walk this photography journey with me!

“Your First 10,000 Photographs Are Your Worst” – Henri Cartier-Bresson

Chris Ling Photography Workshop by 24seven

When I was visiting IAC with 24seven folks, Kris told me about a photography organised by Chris Ling and my first reaction was WOW & I signed up for the workshop !

For those into wedding photography (for to be married couples or fellow photographers), Chris Ling is a very talented wedding photographer whose reputation speaks for himself. Personally, I see Chris Ling as one of the pioneers in wedding photography and highly respect his photography artwork. Therefore, with this workshop, it was great to hear from Chris himself on his experiences, journey, photography skills, mindset and perspective sharing.

I had the honour, opportunities and privilege to learn from different professional photographers in my photojournalistic journey, Chris Ling Photography Workshop did give me a better understanding of wedding photography and photography business management. With fellow photography enthusiasts, it was fun sharing and learning from Chris himself, we also had the chance to explore his studio and setup, all of us had fun shooting, especially his special room of retro/vintage treasures that wedding couples could use for a retro/vintage photography shoot !

Had a great night of fun, sharing, learning and shooting photography ! A big thanks to Chris Ling, Claudia, Kris and Diana from 24seven for making this workshop possible ! Check out my other photos here on Flickr !

Love, Motivating & Inspiring

In this period of uncertainties, worries and stress in the midst of economic crisis and natural disasters.

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Let the words and videos of Love, Motivation and Inspiration bring you through this tough time.

The Law of Attraction

The Secret to You – Believe in Yourself

Remember to PAY IT FORWARD, spread the love, motivation and inspiration to your friends and loved ones too !