Liz Ashley

Posted in Equipment, Lighting, Post-Processing with tags , , , , , , on January 4, 2014 by projectxo

Liz Ashley

I had some time over the holidays to clean up some old pictures of Liz from about two years ago.   I am making it my new year’s resolution to create something epic with Liz this year.

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Super Moon – June 2013.

Posted in Landscape, Personal with tags , , , , on June 28, 2013 by projectxo

Last July, I made an attempt to photograph the super moon.  And this is how it came out…

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Shooting Wat Arun, Bangkok

Posted in Cityscape, Landscape, Travel with tags , , , , , on December 16, 2012 by projectxo

Shooting Wat ArunI had a chance to make a brief stop in Bangkok during my year-end trip.  I only had one night to shoot; so I scouted the internet for locations which I feel best represent beauty of Bangkok at dusk.  Most importantly, it must be easily accessible since again, I had a dinner deadline.  Turned out most of the images I found of Bangkok were citiscapes, buildings, night lights, etc.  Wat Arun stood out because it is a well-lit ancient temple, and it is right next to Bangkok’s famous river.  Thanks to the tips from Prachanart Viriyaraks and my buddy Panu; I was able to find the right location, plan the shoot with enough margin after sunset, and still make it on time to dinner despite Bangkok’s infamous traffic.

I thought I needed HDR to properly expose the image.  It turned out, single exposure from one of my bracketed frames was nearly perfect.  What a majestic site, don’t you think?

Wat Arun by Sheng Huang (projectxo)) on

Sunset over Shinjuku – 2012

Posted in Cityscape, Landscape, Travel with tags , , , , , , on December 16, 2012 by projectxo

Shooting Shinjuku

This is my 2nd attempt at capturing sunset over the city of Shinjuku.  The weather was virtually perfect, sky was clear and glowing orange, mount Fuji was clearly visible and gigantic as the result of compression from my teleconverter.  However, I ran out of time – I had a dinner appointment that night; I had to leave by 4:50PM.  15 more minutes the lights would have been perfectly balanced.  May be next year, may be.
Sunset Over Shinjuku by Sheng Huang (projectxo)) on

Francesca for Eye Sparkles

Posted in Equipment, Lighting, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on October 27, 2012 by projectxo

I am so thrilled; it’s been a while since I’ve had this much fun.  I have been in contact with Ann off-and-on over the past year.  I am actually embarrassed to even contact her because I’ve canceled on her too many times.  This time, I am determined to see the project through.  Ann agreed to collaborate with me to shoot some accessories for Eye Sparkles fashion outlet.  To sweeten the pot, I recruited the amazingly captivating Francesca.  She is simply wonderful; I could shoot with her all day.  So many looks, so little time.

We decided to start with a clean natural look with Francesca’s hair tied up.  This way we can showcase the accessories without too much distraction.  But seriously, how could you not be distracted by Francesca?  Ann and her assistant Trang Le quickly went to work.  Watching Ann work is like watching a maestro perform.  Every move is crisp and confident; it must be such a pleasure to be doll’d up by Ann.

Meanwhile, I started to prep the set.   A white seamless paper is used for background.  For lighting, I started with the following:

  • PCB Einstein with white beauty dish.  Center, above eye-level.
  • PCB Einstein with softbox.  Behind Francesca, pointing down for hair and rim light.

Francesca by Sheng Huang (projectxo) on 500px.comA quick test shot.  Not bad, but rather boring;  too catalog-ish.   Continue reading

Taipei – Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall

Posted in Cityscape, Post-Processing, Travel with tags , , , , , on September 21, 2012 by projectxo

I had the chance to spend the weekend in Taipei last month; so I made sure that I packed my Benro tripod with me.  I chose CKS memorial since it was relatively close to my hotel, and easily accessible from the MRT. Continue reading


Posted in Equipment, Lighting, Post-Processing with tags , , on September 17, 2012 by projectxo

Hannah by Sheng Huang (projectxo) on 500px.comShooting Hannah (and Wen) was quite a learning experience for me.  I had limited gear (speedlights, umbrellas, eBay softbox, and reflector) and tight space (my hotel room).  To be fair, I knew my challenges before I set out on my trip; but I didn’t realize how little I knew about lighting in small spaces. Continue reading

Singapore Sands Casino – In the Rain

Posted in Equipment, Landscape, Travel with tags , , on September 15, 2012 by projectxo

It was my last night (of two) in Singapore.  I sat there at the Fullerton Bay Hotel, drinking my Asahi, contemplating how I was going to capture the casino without tripod.  Then it occurred to me that I had my light stand, which had a 1/4″ thread.  I could run it through an adapter and secure my camera on the light stand!  Yes!  Nothing could stop me from finally getting some decent pictures now; right?  Well, not quite.  Just as the sun start to set, it started to rain.  I stood there under a porch in front of the Oyster Bar; taking a snap shot every minute to check for light balance.  Mean while, the rain got heavier and heavier.  The wind got stronger and stronger… you get the idea.  Finally when the sky and the casino light reached the balance I liked, I dashed out to the edge of the quay, took some quick shots, then ran back to the Fullerton Bay to finish my dinner.  All soaked.  May be next time…

Shanghai through the Window

Posted in Equipment, Landscape, Travel with tags , , , on September 15, 2012 by projectxo

It was my first trip to Shanghai.  I packed my best lenses, lighting gears, trigger cables… Dragged the heavy luggage across three different countries.  But guess what?  Forgot to pack my tripod.  Argh!

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Sea to Summit Workshop – Santa Cruz

Posted in Equipment, Landscape, Post-Processing, Travel with tags , , , , , , on September 14, 2012 by projectxo

Santa Cruz - Hole in the Wall Beach by Sheng Huang (projectxo) on 500px.comI finally got around to join the Sea to Summit Workshops in Santa Cruz ran by Jim Patterson and Josh Cripps.  They hold landscape workshops up and down California coast; and every once in a while, they venture out to the sierras.  Boy, did I learn a lot. Continue reading