Sunday, December 30, 2007

Tostada chips and some new insights

Where was I about a year ago?


I stumbled upon an old draft a few minutes ago. It was written on 2 January 2007 and contained only a few lines (here corrected for punctuation), among which were:

Sivin's favourite quote of the day, spoken over tostada chips: "When all else fails, there's still chips."

and

I am a delayed person. Dr Chin once gave me a jab and said 'oi?' because I didn't cry. Only later did I cry. Delayed response.


I spent New Year's Day 2007 with Yen, Tien, Shern Ren, Li-Shia, Fang Hai and Sivin at Chili's Mid Valley. You don't get a more unusual combination!

Looking back, I should've shot the entire basket of tostada chips instead of leaving it only half in the frame. I suppose I've made the most leaps this year in framing, and perhaps most of all because of the 50mm lens. Prime lenses really make you think about what you're putting in and what you're leaving out. They make the photographer a lot more discerning.

Not that zooms are bad, but in the wrong hands they are more often than not an excuse for lazy composition resulting in crappy pictures. I use my 18-55mm now more than ever (since getting the 50mm), but the sort of pictures I'm taking post 50mm are markedly different from those before. For one, I'm now more inclined to use my legs instead of my fingers to adjust distance.

Didn't quite expect such a lengthy reflection on tostada chips. :-P


Speaking of reflections on photography, I've noticed that people who've never used an SLR almost always hold the camera shutter-side down when composing vertical shots, i.e. they twist their right wrist 90 degrees back. It happened both in Malacca and Camerons.

At first I wondered if it was a left-hander thing, as one of my friends is left-handed. But the others aren't, so it couldn't be. I think it's because most people are used to holding digital compact cameras that way; there's no need to support a lens, and as the camera is light it makes sense to just flick the wrist back for a vertical frame.

I never actually noticed all of this. I think it's because I always hold the camera with my right hand on top; any other way would exert a good deal of strain on the arm (except where space constraint is a factor).

(If there are any SLR users reading this and you disagree, please comment below. This is only a theory, after all, and I'm not even sure if anything I'm saying is true; it just seems to make good sense of the data so far.)


All is quiet on New Year's Day.
A world in white gets underway.
I want to be with you, be with you night and day.
Nothing changes on New Year's Day.

--U2, 'New Year's Day'

3 comments:

Rev. Sivin said...

that was a pretty good day with a pretty good few plates of chips! :-)

Christine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christine said...

SLR user checking in to leave a vote for shooting shutter side down.
Hehe. I've never held it any other way! :P
And I'm a right hander, just in case you wondered :)