Photo Challenges

Monochrome Challenge Day 1

Jamie Chan, Leica, Shanghai, rain, umbrella, walking, Black and white, monochrome
I was nominated by Pandora to post a Black and White Photo every day for 5 days.
So here goes Day 1 of 5.

This image is from an essay I did for Spring Airlines; I was exhausted at that period of time from work and taking on different projects both in and out of the country. To make matters worse, it was raining like crazy when I landed in Shanghai. What on earth am I supposed to shoot?

It was then I recalled one of my lecturers, Chow Chee Yong who told me “Don’t tell me there is nothing to shoot when it rains. You shoot the rain!
I am blessed to have had his advise in my head as I managed to pull together a story of Rain in Shanghai.

In fact, here is his response after he saw my post on shooting in the rain:

“Sir, I did not shoot anything yesterday. It was raining.

I find this to be one of the most common excuse from my students.
For years I lived with it and accepted it. I mean – it was really raining.
Somehow, deep inside me, I did not like that excuse and wanted to change things around. How do I make my students do their work, regardless?

Thus, since about 10 years ago, I mandated that I want my students to have a “Rain” shot in their portfolio. It is a must. Initially, all stared at me with eyes wide opened. It seemed like a ridiculous request. I basically told the class that I didn’t really care what topic they are working on, Fashion, Landscape, Journalism, or Art, I want to see a rain shot.

For the very first class that had to do this, it was extremely tough. The breakthrough came when one of the students was shooting Fashion at the then Sungei Road Thieves Market. The sky broke and it started to pour. Her planned idea of a rain shot kicked in and she did a brilliant shot with the model standing in the rain with all the “Ah Peks” (older men) looking at the model from under all the makeshift shelters of the stall holders.

After the students have gone through this, I am sure they will appreciate it after they graduate, just like Jamie Chan did while on a job in Shanghai! Take a look at her Facebook.

Rain or shine, all my students are required to do their shoots. No excuses.”

Wise words from The Photography Whisperer as some lessons you just never forget!

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