Category Archives: Musings

The state of my photography…

I miss taking portraits.

Over the last one year, my body of work has shrunk tremendously. As I try to understand why, I realize that the main reason was a lack of desire. I have come up with lots of excuses- too much work, not enough time, not inspired, no interesting subject. Sort of like the same excuses I would use to justify the lack of entries on my blog. Life in terms of work has been tremendously rewarding though so I actually have no excuses.

I miss the human connection that portraiture work gave me.
I miss the challenge of getting the subject at ease with me so that I can capture their essence of who they really are.
I miss the exhilaration when at look at the monitor and more so when I print the portraits.
I miss the look of amazement when somebody gets a chance to look at my work.

Because of this, I feel a stirring in me and am now itching to get back behind the lens and implication, this blog…..

2 swans and a tourist
Bukit Tinggi, 2010
Leica M8.2
50mm F/1.1 Nokton


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Man in Cambodia

Man in Cambodia

On my visit to Cambodia with the youth volunteers of Rakan Muda in 2006, I spent time in 2 villages, Kampung Kandal and Kampung Thom. During my stay in Thom, the volunteers were busy building a community center. There were kids running all over the place, hugely fascinated by these foreigners in their midst. Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on January 20, 2010 in Musings



You improve your photography not only by taking pictures but by studying what pictures you have taken…

Take all of the images you have taken and select the best 100. From the 100, select the best 20. From the 20 select the best 6. These 6 images becomes your all time greatest images you have taken so far. Ask yourself the question, ‘what do these 6 images tell the viewer about me’? I learnt more about my photography by doing this then I did taking thousands of pictures.

For me I always return to these 3 image I took in Cambodia,

Cambodia December 09, 2007-781-Edit-5

Cambodia December 08, 2007-261-Edit

Cambodia December 08, 2007-107-Edit

There are more ‘happier pictures’ that I took in Cambodia during that period but they are less memorable to me. What does it say about me?


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Just use any camera available

It’s almost impossible for us to be without a camera. Whilst some of us would insist on taking pictures with a dSLR and no trust anything else, we should remember that that it no longer required.

I recently write on my Facebook page about,

‘What’s the ideal camera for you? It’s the one you already have. Whether tacebook pait’s in a phone or a small digital compact or even the old film camera you left in a box somewhere. Master that one first before you start thinking of buying a new one. Cultivate your vision and imagination first then find the equipment to bring your vision to reality’….

If you enjoy photography, there is no need to go gear crazy. Just use whatever you have.

This picture was taken with the iPhone 3GS. Effects supplied by the Chase Jarvis’ iPhone apps Bestcamera which is a great little app…


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Reza Ali Photography Fan Page on Facebook

I have recently created a fan page on Facebook. Do join up. You can view the page at Reza Ali Photography on Facebook


New Leica M9

Well, its finally official. Leica had announced the new Leica M9 last night, 090909. It sure looks impressive and for USD 7k it better be a great camera. I had considered getting one when the rumours began to circulate a few weeks ago about the 090909 launch. The other alternative is to get a used M8 or M8.2 (used prices for these cameras will surely drop now). I don’t have any Leica lens to start off with so I have to start from scratch. Instead of spending USD 7k on a body I would rather spend as much as can of that amount on lenses rather than the body. An M8/.2 and a 24mm f/1.4 would do me nicely.

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Posted by on September 10, 2009 in Musings


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One of my most memorable photo assignments…

A page from the DFP MPO 2009/2010 Season Brochure

As far as photo assignments goes, this one is perhaps the most memorable I have ever done.

The Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO) was rehearsing what would be one of their most breathtaking performance in the 2008/2009 Season- Symphony No. 6 in A minor (“Tragic”) by Gustav Mahler. This is a breathtaking piece and I was commissioned to capture the moments from both the rehearsals as well as the actual performance. As I was quietly listening and taking pictures (from afar) to it I had the idea to ask the MPO Music Director and Conductor, Maestro Claus Peter Flor, for permission to sit within the Orchestra while they were rehearsing it. Permission was granted and I found myself sitting about 1 meter away from the Conductor’s podium wedged between a cello on my left, another cello behind me and a voila on my right. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on September 5, 2009 in Musings


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