The Canon Photomarathon has been ongoing for the past years and i have always wanted to take part in it. However, was never able to due to work and stuff like that (shift sucks!). Finally got a chance to take part in it this year.
The Photomarathon take place over 12 hours. Participants are given themes to shoot during a fixed time frame and to submit 1 picture for the contest. After the pictures for the first theme are submitted, the following theme will be released and off you go, taking pictures. Previously, there were only three themes and participants were given 4 hours to submit their pictures. This year, however, the organisors decided to up the challenge by having 4 themes which means that participants are only given 3 hours to shoot. BTW, the pictures are not supposed to be edited. All straight out from the camera.
The 4 themes were:
2. Power: Simply Red
3. A Slice of History
Having taken part in a judging of a photo competition previously with Steven Yee (one of the first Singaporean who become a member of the reowned Royal Photographic Society), in order to get your picture in the running for a winner, you need the picture to fit the theme, creativity, a good concept and great execution to make sure that your picture stands out. Otherwise, if you only have a so-so concept that everyone else will have and submit the same type of pictures, then you need to make sure that it is well excuted, fantastic composition, so that when it is compared to the rest of the simliar looking pictures, it'd beat the competition hands down.
Having said that, of cos it is not easy. Everything's a learning process and i'm learning too.
So for the first theme... i couldn't do portraits... i mean.. you'd need a face that speaks volumes! (See here for great portraits) How to do it? Some random person on the street is not going to work.. so i have the great idea of going to the temple where my granddad's ashes were kept to take the pictures of faces on the urns. However, it didn't work out... and the winner of that theme had the same idea too.. and his picture was fantastic. He took a picture of the rows of tablets with the people's faces in the temple.
Second theme.. i had wanted to take a monchrome picture of the red stop sign.. after all.. even without that colour... people know what it is right and can tell the colour. Guess wat? I couldn't find the monochrome button on my camera. So in the end, i drove home.. took my red football.. and got my dog to play with the red ball. But the picture didn't turn out nice.
Third theme... i was brain dead then.. couldn't think of anything.. we did visit some old houses and such.. and i got a picture of a run-down wall with the light slicing through it. My idea was old bricks.. piece of history.. wat ever happened to it.. har har har.. maybe that picture REALLY didn't tell any story.
Fourth Theme... once it was announced.. we took 5 minutes to mull over it.. and we had a great idea. See.. i took pictures of my friend's cats previously and she has the blackest cat i have ever seen.. and i just thought that black cat with black background with only the eyes showing would make a great picture. So called up my friend. Bad news... she just left her house.. and no one was home. So either i wait for her MIL to come home or collect her keys from her cleaner. So, i planned to do that.. however, before i left Suntec, she called and we discovered that she was on her way to Suntec too. So, i waited for her to pass me her keys, drove all the way down to Pasir Ris... got into the house.. and played with her cat and took pictures. I took like over 80 pictures over 1 hour and had to rush back to Suntec to submit the picture.
Now.. if anyone tell you that cats are easy to photograph.. they are lying. Cats are skittish, move darn fast.. and doesn't do wat you tell them and the best part is they don't know wat is "SIT". You have to get in all sorts of position to take their pictures. Lying down on stomach.. bending down low.. standing.. etc etc.
Guess that you can say that at the end of the day.. it was really really tiring.. however, the best was yet to come. My picture was one of the 10 pictures shortlisted for the last theme. During the slideshow... i could hear people's grasp when it was shown.. ( i took it as a positive sign) and was sosososoos thrilled that it selected as one of the top ten out of over 600 participants. Guess it does help that there were no other pictures of cats and such.. and it fits the theme! i hope that it will be out on the photomarthon website and in digital life.. kekekeke (keeping my fingers crossed).
So presenting "Darkness"
Special thanks to my friend who made it possible. Without Conga.. this picture wouldn't exists.
BTW.. i feel it helps to drive if you have a clear concept/idea of the picture you want to take... else it'd may be a good idea to do it on foot and maybe you might get luckily and get a suitable shot.