Cynthia Lau decided to take pre-wedding photos while anticipating the wedding day. She got her hands on the Petzval 85 Art Lens and captured the bliss of preparing for that one big day.
Please introduce yourself to the Lomography community and the readers of the Online Magazine.
Hello! I’m Cynthia, a 25-year-old budding photographer from the sunny island of Singapore! I’m known to many as “the one who takes her own pre-wedding photographs”, as I take “selfies” of myself for my wedding album.
How did you get started with photography?
I was inspired to pick up photography because I wanted to capture the special moments of my life with my now fiancé. With just a tripod and sometimes with the help of friends to press the shutter, we began our journey to write our journey in pictures. We took our graduation pictures and (currently) our wedding pictures by ourselves!
I started with the Canon 5D classic and the 5D Mark II.
What would you count as your greatest achievements or favorite projects?
My greatest achievement, as well as my current favourite project, is to be able to collate an entire wedding album of pictures that are taken all over the world, all by myself. Because photography is so special to me, it’s very meaningful and definitely different to have your own wedding pictures taken yourself. The process of going to a special location – just two of us - setting up the tripod, getting your other half to pose whilst you do your test shots, as well as running over while the timer beeps down … these little things make the memory all the more unique and memorable.
Can you tell us a little more about your Petzval 85 experience? Any interesting things you encountered or challenges?
The Petzval 85 is a beautiful lens. It’s prime, therefore you will need to move up or backward to frame your pictures to get the perfect shot, just like shooting with other primes.
Because it’s a little difficult to see the swirly bokeh from the viewfinder, it’s always a joy to view the picture you have taken from playback. It’s a surprise factor and you'll be wondering if the shot was even taken by yourself in the first place.
I rarely change the aperture of this lens because this lens is best known to produce the unique swirly bokeh. This bokeh will show up the best if you capture your subjects wide open.
I’ve tried this lens in low light situations as well, and it’s beautiful. With an f-stop of only F2.2, it is fast enough to handle low light situations beautifully.
For what kind of projects would you recommend the Petzval 85?
The Petzval 85 is a great portrait lens, and with the beautiful bokeh that only the Petzval can achieve, it’s great for expressions of art and it has a special ability to bring out the subject as the main focus of the picture even more.
Any tips for first-time shooters?
I guess the word would be to DARE. Dare to shoot, dare to dress up, dare to be different although it would attract stares (people did stare at us when we take our pictures ourselves). As a budding photographer with loads to learn myself, I would suggest to bring our camera out with you everyday, to school, to work - even if it might be heavy - because you’ll never know when you’ll find that perfect shot.
The Petzval 85 is a solely manual lens. The best way to take the perfect photo would be to use your camera’s live view and zoom it to the subject first before focusing using the focusing knob. This will ensure your pictures come out sharp. Using a tripod definitely helps as well!
Do you have ongoing or upcoming projects that you would like to tell the community about?
My wedding is going to be held in October this year, and the first project in mind is to continue and complete my (selfie) wedding portfolio before it becomes too late (the deadline is of course, the wedding date itself). We’re heading to Hokkaido next week to snap some scenic shots of ourselves!
Also, while I’m on it, I’m also currently on a project to set up my portfolio as a photographer under the name of Your Love Covers, and I’m open to snap engagement shoots, pre-wedding and weddings of others as well to share the joy and happiness, especially if you happen to be around this small island of Singapore. Please do talk to me if you’d like to have collaborations as well!