ummuadomnateaphotography

PERFECTING THE ART OF BEAUTY

THE BIRTH OF A MUSE

SHE WAS ONLY 21 WHEN I FIRST SHOT HER AND SINCE THE FIRST CLICK ON THAT 450D, SHE BECAME MY MUSE. AS I HAVE SAID BEFORE, I LOVE RAW TALENT AND HAVING THE ABILITY TO SHAPE IT MAKES A PHOTO SHOOT MUCH MORE MEMORABLE. I WON’T DENY, THERE ARE SOME YELLING AND SHOUTING DURING THE SHOOT BUT THAT’S WHAT MAKES A PHOTO SHOOT MUCH MORE FUN (NO, I DON’T ACT LIKE A DIVA ON THE SET).

THROUGH THE YEARS, I SEE HER GROW IN FRONT OF THE LENS AND TO SEE HER ROCK EACH PHOTO SHOOT EVERY SINGLE TIME MAKES MY HEART SKIPS A BEAT. I AM ALWAYS AT AWE AT HOW SHE INSPIRES ME, EVEN WHEN I ASK HER TO STAND IN FRONT OF THE CAMERA WITH NO THEME AT ALL FOR A SHOOT (TRUST ME, I HAVE, I DOLL HER UP, PUT HER IN NICE CLOTHES, AND SHE STANDS IN FRONT OF THE CAMERA LIKE A DEER IN HEADLIGHTS WITH ABSOLUTELY NO CLUE WHAT THE SHOOT IS ALL ABOUT), AND SHE TAKES DIRECTION SO WELL THAT SOMEHOW THE PHOTO SHOOT DOES GO THROUGH (DO NOT FORGET THE YELLING, OF COURSE).

HEADS UP. CHIN DOWN. SMIZE. JUMP. LAUGH. CRY. A MUSE IS BORN.

MUSE

INSPIRATION, WHERE ART THOU?

SOMEONE ONCE ASKED ME, WHERE DO I GET MY INSPIRATION FROM? FRANKLY SPEAKING, I HAVE NO IDEA WHERE THEY COME FROM. I CAN BE ON A 3 HOURS BUS RIDE FROM BINTULU TO MIRI AND ALL I THINK OF IS WHAT I AM GOING TO DO FOR MY NEXT PHOTO SHOOT.

I AM IN LOVE WITH MODELS WHO CAN ACT. I DONT NEED PRETTY MODELS (BUT BEING PRETTY DO HELP SOMETIMES, WHAT AM I SAYING? STOP ME). I AM LUCKY ENOUGH ALL MY MODELS ARE ACTUALLY MY VERY OWN CLOSE FRIENDS (AND RELATIVES TOO). I HAVE WORKED WITH SOME PROFESSIONAL MODELS AND THEY ARE GREAT TO WORK WITH, BUT THE BEST MODELS I HAVE WORKED WITH ARE THOSE WHO HAD NEVER HAD A PHOTO SHOOT IN THEIR LIFE.

RAW TALENT IS BEAUTIFUL AND YOU CAN SEE THAT WHEN HE OR SHE STANDS IN FRONT OF YOUR BIG GLASS, WALLS AFTER WALLS OF ‘SHYNESS’ BEING BROKEN DOWN, LIKE PEELING LAYERS AND LAYERS OF ‘AWKWARDNESS’ UNTIL IT FINALLY REVEALS A BEAUTY THAT JUST BLEW ME AWAY. I HAVE SEEN THEM. AND THEY ARE BEAUTIFUL. WHICH IN TURN MADE ME REALIZE – THEY ARE MY INSPIRATION.

THE BEAUTY OF LONELINESS

THE BEAUTY OF LONELINESS

I STILL REMEMBER HOW IT FELT LIKE WHEN I CAPTURED THIS PHOTO BACK WHEN I FIRST OWN MY 5D MARK II. I WAS SHORT OF MODELS, WELL, NO ONE WAS AVAILABLE AT THAT PARTICULAR TIME, AND THERE WAS ME, AND THERE WAS A REMOTE FOR THE CAMERA. AND AT THAT VERY MOMENT, THERE WAS AN AIR OF LONELINESS TAKING OVER THE SPACE THAT I WAS IN AND I WANTED TO CAPTURE THE TRUE BEAUTY OF THAT ‘LONELINESS’. I WAS SKEPTICAL AT FIRST, WORRIED IF IT WOULDN’T TRANSLATE WELL INTO PHOTOS, BUT IT WAS WORTH THE EXPERIMENT.

I STATIONED A MEDIUM SIZED SOFT BOX ON MY LEFT, AS CLOSE AS POSSIBLE BEFORE PEEPING INTO THE VIEW OF THE CAMERA. I KEPT THE FLASH FIRING AT 1/8, AND POSITION IT AWAY FROM ME TO FEATHER THE LIGHTS. AS YOU CAN SEE IN THE MAIN PICTURE ABOVE, MY LEFT SHOULDER IS WELL LITTED AS THE SOFT BOX IS ACTUALLY ALMOST TOUCHING IT.

USING MY BELOVED 85MM PRIME LENS, AT AN APERTURE OF F10 AND SHUTTER OF 1/8S WITH AN ISO OF 100, THE PHOTO CAME OUT JUST AS I PREDICTED IT – A PURE ART OF LONELINESS.

I NEVER THOUGHT LONELINESS LOOKS SO GOOD. SO GOOD.

THE BEAUTY OF LONELINESS THE BEAUTY OF LONELINESS THE BEAUTY OF LONELINESS

COCOON

THE COCOON STORY

A WEEK AGO, MY BODY WAS ITCHING TO DO A PHOTO SHOOT WITH A REALLY CLOSE FRIEND AND A GREAT ASPIRING MODEL WHO LOVES TO TAKE PORTRAIT PHOTOS. SHE INSPIRES ME. FRANKLY SPEAKING, I WAS THINKING OF TAKING A NICE PORTRAIT PHOTO WITH THE HELP OF A WHITE CLOTH WRAPPED AROUND HER LIKE A COCOON, BUT SHE TOOK IT TO ANOTHER LEVEL BY ‘BLOSSOMING’ OUT OF THE COCOON INTO THIS AMAZING LOOKING MODEL WITH A SULTRY PIERCING EYES AT THE CAMERA.

IT WAS INDEED A SIMPLE SETUP. ALL IT TOOK WAS A BEAUTY DISH, WITHOUT THE SOCKS ON EM, AND A FLASH FIRING AT 1/8, STATIONED JUST TO HER RIGHT WITH THE BEAUTY DISH FOCUSING A LITTLE AWAY FROM HER. MY CAMERA WAS SET AT AN APERTURE OF F10 AND A SPEED OF 1/100. THE LENS I WAS USING, THE MOTHER AND FATHER AND GRANDFATHER OF ALL MY LENSES, MY HUMBLE SWEET LITTLE PIE, 85MM PRIME LENS, WHICH I ADORE AND LOVE TO DEATH. THIS LITTLE LENS OF MINE TAKES SERIOUSLY DEAD SHARP PORTRAIT. MIND THE WORD – DEAD. I HAVE BEEN USING AND ABUSING IT FOR MOST OF MY PHOTO SHOOTS AND THEY WORK WONDERS EVERY TIME. THERE ARE SOME DRAWBACKS WITH THIS LENS THOUGH, YOU CAN’T DO MUCH WHEN IT COMES TO BIG FAMILY PHOTO SHOOTS AS YOU HAVE TO STAND ALL THE WAY AT THE END OF THE 12 SEATER DINING TABLE, AND ANOTHER 2 STEPS BACK, TO GET EVERYONE IN THE SHOT.

FOR THE PROCESSING PART, I AM IN LOVE WITH BLACK AND WHITE PHOTOS. THEY SPEAK TO ME, IN LANGUAGES ONLY I COULD UNDERSTAND. THEY ARE BEAUTIFUL, AND IN MY QUEST FOR BEAUTY, I OPTED THAT THE MAIN PHOTO WAS IN B&W. STUNNING. ABSOLUTELY, STUNNING.

THE COCOON STORY

LOVE OF BEAUTY IS TASTE. THE CREATION OF BEAUTY IS ART. – RALPH WALDO EMERSON

I LOVE BEAUTIFUL THINGS. AND BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE. I BELIEVE THAT EVERYONE ON EARTH, OR NOT, IS BEAUTIFUL, INSIDE AND OUT. AND THIS LOVE FOR BEAUTIFUL THINGS SPREADS AND ROOTS DEEPLY IN MY WORKS AS A PHOTOGRAPHER AND THE CREATIVE DIRECTOR OF UMMUA DOMNATEA. I HAVE TO ADMIT, I LOVE ALL MY WORKS, BAD OR GOOD. SOMETIMES, I WOULD GO BACK TO THE SETS OF PHOTOS THAT WAS AMAZING BACK THEN, SETS OF PHOTOS THAT DID NOT MAKE IT, SETS OF PHOTOS WHICH INSPIRES ME AND TO THE SETS OF PHOTOS THAT MADE ME WHO I AM TODAY, AN AVID BELIEVER THAT EVERYTHING THAT MY CAMERA CAPTURE, IS A CAPITAL B – FOR BEAUTIFUL.