Canon Imaging Academy | Fast Track Workshop

Media Invite

Last Saturday, I went for the much anticipated Fast Track Photography Workshop by Canon Imaging Academy. There was first a theory session to understand how things work and next a practical session (outdoors and indoors) to try our hands at using the new knowledge. The 3-hour session really made a difference.

Before I go on, let me show you photos I took at the workshop, all shot without reliance on the automatic settings of my camera.

Sunlight lit up each and every lotus flower exposed to it like a lantern. Only some petals in each flower were destined to receive light, others remain in the dark, even if they belonged to the same flower that was exposed to the sun.

I caught a glimpse of the lotus pond before I stepped into HY California Resturant at MBS and this is exactly the image that registered – a green pond with brightly colored pops of pink, lilac and buds that will one day bloom to join the rest.

The most decent panning shot I took. It’s a little blurred, but I liked to be empowered to stop moving things against it’s stationary background.

Jump shots are quite easy to attain and so much fun, all of us got a decent jump shot at first try.

With more than 1 person jumping, difficulty level in controlling the timing is higher. Good thing they were very synchronised, jumped at roughly the same time.

A bit hesitant to show this photo, because it might not make sense to many. The story is that I accidentally spotted the drop of water on one of the leaves and intentionally choose to camouflage my focus in this photo, to illustrate how we often overlook or fail to see something that is small, but perhaps important.

First food photo of the day. The photo itself is really quite fail, because it’s so blurred and I didnt have any idea how i’d like to shoot this dish. The sashimi was so fresh. I don’t normally like white sashimi varieties (at all) but I cannot forget the Tai sashimi – I don’t understand how raw fish can be this sweet?

Refreshing sushi roll platter. Just enough to wheat my appetite for the mains.

Seemingly un-photogenic dish is a chicken main, which Nugene said is fantastic. I didn’t choose to have it and too shy to ask to taste, but I imagined that texture in the taste would come from the chip-like things (whatever they were, they looked crispy), and freshness from the fresh herb.

Tender beef with just enough fats and some slightly charred bits sitting on a bed of ultra soft buttery mash. The mash is so unassuming but it melts in your mouth and leaves behind such a fragrant buttery taste, I cannot. This dish is like purposely made to touch all the right spots and stop before it gets overdone. My favourite dish of the meal.
If you can tell, one of the biggest lesson I learnt at the workshop is not to just take a picture of what you see but take a picture of the story behind it. I have been relying on automatic camera settings for as long as I can remember, but the way to really be empowered to take the stories behind a picture is to know how to control the camera.

The Fast Track Workshop is perfect for beginner to intermediate photographers in this aspect – we learnt what different levels of aperture, shutter speed and ISO can do to a photograph as well as how to adjust ISO and White Balance to achieve the desired photograph. We also received a lot of tips on how to shoot different things we may be interested to shoot, including things like how to capture light drawings on photographs.

Canon Imaging Academy Instructor, Nugene, uses photographs and pictorials to share about the theoretical aspect of photography.
Even with the simplified guidance from Nugene, as a beginner, it can still be hard for me to visualise and apply the theory on my own when I’m actually shooting hence, the practice shoot was most useful.  It helps to have someone to consult when I had questions. Any question. I really asked all the seemingly obvious questions in the world and was not made to feel bad about it.

Taking test shots at the same location to understand how different aperture settings affect the outcome of my photographs.

During the practice shoot, I also got into all kinds of positions, just to try and capture what I had in mind.
There was no pressure at the Fast Track Workshop to use a Canon camera and I didn’t. Throughout the workshop, it was tempting to just grab a Canon camera and shoot, so that I can easily know how to adjust the camera settings but I choose to stick to using my own camera. I took longer than the others to get started because I didn’t come knowing how to adjust my camera settings to begin with. In the course of learning to operate it, I learnt different things from Canon Imaging Academy Instructor, Alvin.

With Canon Imaging Academy Instructor, Alvin. We were at the Helix bridge for a long time and while others were shooting, I spent some time learning how to operate my non Canon camera with Alvin’s help. He showed me how to take panning shots with easy to follow directions and I tried it out repeatedly.
By the end of the workshop, I already know that the kind of camera that suits me most, is something that allows me to adjust the manual settings without fumbling through the camera too much. I dislike having to figure out where the settings are because then it costs me the photography opportunity. So now, I’m on the hunt for a camera that may suit me better, it could be a Canon camera or it could be not.

During lunch, the instructors recounted their photography experiences. It was very interesting to hear and it is these conversations that give you a deeper understanding of photography, sometimes in a profound get-you-thinking way, sometimes in a practical way. All good.

I really enjoyed the workshop. The company was great, the food was superb. Happy faces all around.

Group shot which the instructors took of us to end this post.

I’m happy to provide links to other participants of the workshop, so you can reference different accounts and thoughts on the workshop, updated as and when they are published.

Claudia of The Loving Mum
Soon Koon of Lemon Film
Phoebe of BPDG Travels
Michelle of Mummy Wee Blog
Serene of Xavvy-licious


If you’ll like to go on photography workshops and learning experiences with the awesome bunch of instructors from Canon Imaging Academy, here are some of the upcoming ones. I highly recommend the Fast Track Workshop of course and the Family Photo Walk at Singapore Zoo sounds like fun!

COMPACT CAMERA OUTING (More details here)
Date: 11 or 12 June 2015
Time: 2.00pm to 4.00pm
Venue: Around Vivocity
Fee: $20/pax
More details here.

Date: 18 June 2015, Thursday
Time: 2.00pm to 5.00pm
Venue: Singapore Zoo
Fee: $38/pax and one child below age of 15(excludes Zoo entrance fee)

FAST TRACK WORKSHOP (More details here)
Date: 27 June 2015, Saturday
Time: 10.00am to 1.00pm
Venue: HY California at Marina Bay Sands
Fee: $88/pax, include 4-course lunch


Disclosure: I was invited by Canon Singapore to attend the Fast Track Workshop. No other compensation received. All opinions my own. Credits to Canon Imaging Academy for photographs not otherwise watermarked, used with permission.


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