Thaipusam 2011: A Reflection

img 0550 Thaipusam 2011: A Reflection Jamie Chan

I am still recovering from last week’s string of never-ending events whereby I got little and close to no sleep at all.
So here is a post to make up for last week and probably this week:3
On a different note, check out my gallery for my Thaipusam images. The ones I am throwing up here are just the rest of the random stuff I took.
Oh and do take a look at Mathias’s images on Thaipusam as well! He is my teacher and is really brilliant:3

img 07512 Thaipusam 2011: A Reflection Jamie Chan

A Reflection

Thaipusam is a festival where the Hindus celebrate the occasion when Parvati gave Murugan a vel (spear) so he could vanquish the evil demon Soorapadman. To cut the long story short, google it.

It is one of my favourite shoots last year for a variety of reasons. Reason being that you do not get Thaipusam every day and I love the excitement and emotions that fill the air. The intensity of the devotees are really interesting and the best part is, they kind of welcome and make way for photographers as long as you do not push your luck too hard(:

img 0578 Thaipusam 2011: A Reflection Jamie Chan

I started shooting at 12 am and I was pretty surprised that there were not as many devotees as I thought there would be. Last year’s Thaipusam was utter chaos as there were so many many people packed in a small area. In fact, if it was not for M, I doubt I could have shot anything last year.

Things were a little different this year. There were more photographers than last year despite it being a weekday and most of them are shooting this festival for the first time. So it really opened my eyes as to how different photographers work. One being, there were a whole bunch who came in with their snazzy Hotshoe and off-camera flashes. I even spotted two using continuous lighting! That was really interesting and at the same time, annoying. Think about it. With flashes, unless you go on a shooting spree where your flash fires every 5 seconds, the thought of using flash while you stay with your subjects for let’s say a minimum of 20 minutes? Is kind of bearable when you really compose and shoot when necessary. As opposed to continuous lighting, the thing stays on for the entire 20 minutes irritating your subject and other photographers who want to photograph that same subject.

Flashes and continuous lighting aside, there was a photographer who actually directed the devotees as to where to look! I mean they are not your models for god’s sake! Another interesting photographer would be the one with an assistant! How wonderful it is to have someone carry your equipment for you! But the wonder ends when he had his assistant stretch the bloody cord from his off-camera flash, blocking everyone’s way.

img 0627 Thaipusam 2011: A Reflection Jamie Chan


img 0630 Thaipusam 2011: A Reflection Jamie Chan

Then we have the rangefinder dudes, M included who work their magic with their Leicas, getting in as close as their fixed lens would allow. I really love watching the way M gets his shots because he gets so close to a point where it can get pretty uncomfortable for your subjects but he just manages it and his images are almost always brilliant. Think, an oversized kid with a Leica.

I also found out that he shoots with his left eye! Which is really really rare. The only other photographer I know of who shoots with their left eye is Joe McNally. As much as I tried shooting with my left eye, I am practically blind as I rely on my right eye a lot. The way M manoeuvres and blends in to get his shot is really interesting as well. There was one image that he took where I just went ‘O.O EH??? I didn’t see that and I was standing next to you!’
The things he can do with a 35mm, I can’t even match up with a 24-70mm and I had a really flexible lens! Although my images with the 35mm were a lot better than the 25-70mm so I guess it must be the magic of a prime.

img 0539 Thaipusam 2011: A Reflection Jamie Chan


img 0541 Thaipusam 2011: A Reflection Jamie Chan


img 0567 Thaipusam 2011: A Reflection Jamie Chan


img 05771 Thaipusam 2011: A Reflection Jamie Chan


img 0581 Thaipusam 2011: A Reflection Jamie Chan

There was also an incredible amount of smoke in the air.

img 0484 Thaipusam 2011: A Reflection Jamie Chan
There were some hundreds of people in that really foggy area.

It was pretty ridiculous cause I was wearing contacts and I kept tearing but I saw images within the smoke. In other words, I had to suck it up and tear through my images.

img 0802 Thaipusam 2011: A Reflection Jamie Chan

So my Thaipusam journey ended around 8 am whereby I was already on autopilot around 5ish, it was a good shoot and I really enjoyed myself! Perhaps next year, I should travel to KL to the Batu caves to shoot! That would be really really fun!

img 0736 Thaipusam 2011: A Reflection Jamie Chan


img 0847 Thaipusam 2011: A Reflection Jamie Chan


I was the 2nd shooter for S and it was really fun! Ok. Maybe it was a little boring but the wine was good and that is all that matters no? Met D and C and it was really interesting to see how far the three of us came as we were from the same school and CCA for 10 years! Each of us are pursuing a different path but I’m sure we will do well(:

Next, I joined M for a little drive around Singapore before we headed to watch my first movie in a cinema since Batman Begins? That was already 12ish am so we just picked the first one that was screening. We watch Hereafter which had a really promising start as the opening sequence was brilliant! While it got pretty sloppy in the middle and end but it was pretty thought-provoking as what really happens after death? That is probably one question I ponder upon besides the ever mainstay question of ‘what the hell am I doing.’
So the story is basically about three people and the way they see life after death. It’s a pretty interesting midnight show so it’s probably a great movie to watch if you have trouble sleeping.

Random movie aside, I finally slept that day. Like a really good uninterrupted 6 hours sleep. I was still tired when I woke up but it was a good sleep. The first in months really. Thanks M!

Its been one year and counting… And I still have trouble sleeping. Which is not very healthy when you have lessons at 9 and still watching House at 4 am to try and sleep. Oh, and if anyone is wondering, I managed to finish all 6 seasons of House! I would love to chase Season 7 but that will not be happening for a while as the DVD is not out yet…

Think of the fond memories you have together.

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Fashion shoot day.
Steph was beautiful, Steph was brilliant. Enough said(:
Thanks, Kino and Alvin for helping.

No idea what I did but I remembered sleeping like a pig before I started editing my images till some ungodly hours of the morning.

img 0984 Thaipusam 2011: A Reflection Jamie Chan


img 1012 Thaipusam 2011: A Reflection Jamie Chan

This week is not a really eventful week unless you count the fact that I screwed fashion imaging so badly I actually have a chance of failing the module altogether.
I am an official member of the IFC so yayness(:

It’s a really long post but I just have so many things to share so I hoped I didn’t bore you. Shall post about the YOG wall opening ceremony and my appearance on the news soon!
Ta Ta everyone.

Tag replies:

JKT: I guess he is slimmer:3

Will: haha you know I love you(: How is Sweden?

Alvin: Thanks for helping out! Maybe we can shoot next year(:

Seres: Hey, I am good! Just really really busy(: Hows the family?

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