4 Cambodia workshops in May & June 2015 - featuring lighting and storytelling

We are pleased to announce that due to recent demand for more workshops in Cambodia, we are going to run 4 workshops almost back to back, two in Phnom Penh area, followed by two in the South around Kampot, Kep coastal region. We will alternate them so participants can have the opportunity to choose 2 workshops if they wish and combine their learning experience, doing 1 off camera lighting workshop and a visual storytelling workshop.

Further discounts will apply for participants who choose to do 2 workshops and there is an opportunity to take 2 days off in between the workshops to recover.

The dates for each workshop and links to their respective event pages are as follows:

Workshop 1 - Visual Storytelling (Phnom Penh) - 16 - 19 May 2015

Workshop 2 - '1 Light' Portrait Workshop (Phnom Penh) - 21 - 24 May 2015

Workshop 3 - Visual Storytelling (Southern Cambodia) - 28 - 31 May 2015

Workshop 4 - '1 Light' Portrait Workshop (Southern Cambodia) - 4 - 7 June 2015

Whether you want to learn how to use off camera lighting or develop your skills in visual storytelling, we are confident one or two of these workshops will be very useful for you.

Please check out the links and contact us if any of these dates work for you and you fancy exploring a wonderful corner of South East Asia with us and learning something new along the way.

These workshops are very limited in numbers and we expect them to sell out fast.

Look forward to seeing you there!

To contact us directly please email us at info@f8photography.com.hk

Salt Farmer, Cambodia


Rajasthan Photography Workshop November 2013 - Behind the Scenes

One month ago we led a small workshop (8 people) to Rajasthan in India and had an epic experience as a group of photographers. This blog post is just a short look at some behind the scenes images showing our little gang shooting around Pushkar, Jaipur and Delhi over the week, and most of all a reflection of how much FUN we all had together in such an amazing place.

We will be heading back to India in just a few months time in February 2014, this time deeper into Rajasthan to Jodhpur, details of that workshop can be seen here:


That aside, here is a look behind the scenes at our last Rajasthan workshop, which was held in November 2013.

DSC_0097 2Justine having a great time with the localsF8LM3593 Jon was thankful he had his rabies jabs after a dog attempted to lick him to death...lolF8LM3652-Edit Patrick (left) and myself doing some 'selfies' in Delhi

F8LM3754Myriam shares her image with a lovely lady in the streets of Delhi F8LM3865On route to Pushkar by train...the best way to travel in India F8LM3882 Katherine getting to grips with the awesome light inside the trainF8LM3915Our group waiting to board a train to Pushkar F8LM4170Katherine and Justine taking an elephant up the hill to the Amber Fort F8LM4275Chai Masala Tea Break....this picture was taken at tea break number 135 of 567 during the week...;-) GF2A5456Monica showing her subjects how great they look on camera GF2A6564Gary teaches a local guy how to shoot the Ricoh GR GF2A6612Gary getting some composition tips off the local dog (all dogs we met were super friendly!) img-5143Tasha taking a poignant moment during the train journey to Pushkar img-6254Tasha and Jon doing some strange 'pigeon-dash'! img-6450Tasha can even charm elephants into smiling img-6563Ruth and Katherine with their lovely smiles out enjoying the shooting img-6593Justine out doing some 'training' (excuse the pun). img-6858Gary failing to impress the locals with his cricket skills... L1003482Asking a local to shoot our group photo, he did very well for his first time on a rangefinder   Gary TysonJon posing in an alleyway of Old Delhi L1007576Tasha and Sakshi checking eachothers work L1007578A couple of our local guides in Delhi L1007643Gary checking the Rajasthan scenery on route to Pushkar L1007657Myriam scouting for subjects on the train L1007832Ruth and Patrick loving PushkarL1007864Jon and Patrick trying scarves as reflectors and diffusers...worked perfectly!  L1008169Ruth on the last day in Jaipur L1008209Justine at the mosque in Delhi early morning L1008355Becky at the riverside in Delhi on our last day in India L1008523-EditJon shooting portraits on his trusty Rolleiflex OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPatrick gets up close and personal with his subjects OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAJon and Monica taking a taxi

Thanks for taking the time to visit our blog, if you like our blog and website, please ‘like’ us on our public Facebook page and share this story with your friends with the Facebook and twitter links below.  You can also subscribe to our blog here.

F8 Photography provides commercial photography and photography and video training workshops, more details can be found via the ‘courses and workshops’ link and upcoming events via the front page of our website.

Jodhpur Photography Workshop - February 2014

After our successful photography workshop in India last month we have decided to go back at the earliest opportunity. We were oversubscribed last time, so here's another chance for people to explore this amazing place with us.

This time we will have TWO professional photographers on location to assist and guide where necessary.

Gary from F8 and Ian Taylor, who's work resides at the following links:


and here:


Follow the link for details, sign up fast, places are very limited.



Rajasthan - India photography workshop, November 2013

In recent years we have been running many successful workshops in Cambodia and as much as we love the place, many of our clients and new enquiries are asking for us to lead a workshop in different parts of Asia so here is the first one, into the heart of Rajasthan in India from 5th - 10th November 2013. This workshop is limited to a maximum of 8 participants.

We will explore Delhi and 'the pink city' of Jaipur in Rajasthan, travelling between the two by train.

This promises to be an exciting workshop and good learning experience for all of us, so sign up quick, a few of the places have already been sold before it was advertised today.

For more information please follow the link to the workshop signup page below:



Ready....steady..... WORKSHOPS!

Here we are again in Cambodia about to start today with 2 back to back photography workshops, one here in the city of Phnom Penh, then a 2nd one next week down in the south around Sihanoukville, Kampot and Kep. Leica MM, VL 35mm 2.5

Myself and Steve have been in country 2 days and have checked out a few different locations to take the clients that should offer them some photo rich opportunities to hone their skills.

The heat is unforgiving so it will be early starts to get the best use of light and late afternoon shoots again for the same reasons, so long days ahead for the crew but the people of Cambodia always welcome us with open arms and I'm positive everyone will leave with a healthy portfolio and probably a healthy suntan also!

Leica M9P, 75mm summarit

One of the locations we will visit in Phnom Penh is a vibrant muslim village that is so full of life you can hardly move in the streets and alleyways.  The only difficult thing here is isolating a subject as there are so many around.  Here are a few images from spending just an hour or so walking around this district armed with the Leica M9P and M Monochrom.

Leica MM, 90mm summarit

Leica M9P, 90mm summarit

Leica MM, 28mm 2.8 ASPH

Leica M9P, 90mm summarit

Leica MM, 28mm 2.8 ASPH

The flight with our clients is delayed hence me writing this blog so soon....all the rest of the preparations are done and I am now heading out to meet them at the airport.  Very much looking forward to 10 days of photography with a keen bunch of likeminded individuals....as well as indulging in some of Kep's finest seafood along the way.....and who knows...maybe even a bit of volleyball with the locals!

Leica MM, Canon 50mm 1.4 LTM

Leica MM, VL 35mm 2.5

Leica MM, VL 35mm 2.5

Workshop review - Cambodia September 2012

BEHIND THE SCENES - Shooting in Cambodia

Our small group workshop was a resounding success, some of the images produced were simply outstanding, for some photographers who attended, having either never shot 'people photography' before, or having little experience in engaging their subjects, I was honestly amazed at the work they were able to produce over the course of 3 days.

(The Motley Crew - Andrew, Ian, Susan, Terese, Steve & Gary)

The training each day was long, sometimes 12-14 hours of constant photography, editing and review sessions, but being away from their home countries allowed the participants to focus on the tasks without any distractions and this I believe is a key element to fast track learning.  That coupled with a photographically rich environment allows for some great work to be produced.

We concentrated on exposing the group to a variety of different locations and subjects, encouraging them to shoot 'people' and use their different lenses, all the while being there to assist with any technical or composition questions and guide where necessary.  We spent a small amount of time each day focussing on developing/editing using Adobe Lightroom 4 back at the hotel and then a good hour and a half session every night reviewing/critiquing eachothers best images of the day as a group.  This was a really useful part of the training for everyone and we all learnt a lot during these feedback sessions.  The group also learnt other features in Lightroom 4 including how to correcty export images for various formats (email/web/print) and to utilise the slideshow feature in Lightroom to produce a finished portfolio of images set to music at the end of the workshop.

Here are a few images from 'behind the scenes' at the workshop, showing the photographers going about their daily shooting rituals in a variety of locations in and around Phnom Penh.

(Rain or shine, we were up and out, smiling, with cameras in hand, shooting all day long)

(1-1 therapy from Gary....(we thought he was the one who needs therapy?!)

(The locals love the OMD as much as us....and Sam (right) setting up to take the group shot on the Contax G2)

(Just interacting with the locals was half the fun of the workshop)

(Showing Terese some XPro1 tips (left) and Susan (right) gets me to pose with her new found friend - a newborn kitten!)

 (During some downtime, Ian buys some Cambodia scarfs, as modelled by Gary (right), an essential purchase in Cambodia)

(The girls pose, closely followed by Andrew and Gary striking a pose in the Tuk Tuk)

(Learning to use a diffuser and reflectors is essential for portraits in the harsh light)

(Sam (Tuk Tuk Driver) and Terese (right).  Thats what we like to see, smiley happy people)

(We await our transport across the Mekong river whilst Andrew cleverly waits in the shade, it was a long day that one...)

Some of the participants from the workshop have kindly found time to produce some guest blog posts on our site, they can be seen by clicking below, well worth a look, some outstanding imagery they produced over the 3 days:




As I spent much of the time in country either teaching, watching or assisting our clients with their shooting, I didn't get much time to shoot myself during the workshop.  Here are a few of the images that I managed to capture in between events whilst we were out and about.

All the below images shot with Olympus OMD, processed using VSCO film presets in Adobe Lightroom 4.

Thanks for taking the time to visit our blog, if you like our blog and website, please ‘like’ us on our public Facebook page or on the ‘LIKE’ box to the right side of this blog.  You can share this story with your friends with the Facebook and twitter links below or on the left side of this blog.  You can also subscribe to our blog via the RSS link below or on the right of this post.

F8 Photography provides commercial photography and photography and video training workshops, more details can be found via the ‘courses and workshops’ link and upcoming events via the front page of our website.



Guest post: Down under in Phnom Penh (Dave)

Note:  This post is written and all photos by Dave Grady who came from Australia for one of our Hong Kong workshops then travelled to Cambodia with us.  Dave shoots with a combination of Leica M9P, Sony NEX 7, Nikon V1 and Canon 5D Mk III rigs.  This is his story.

(Boat boy crossing the Mekong)

In July 2012 I was fortunate enough to attend F8 Photography's documentary photography workshop in Hong Kong.  Just prior to attending the workshop I was also invited to go along with Gary, Giles & Steve to Cambodia directly after the workshop to practice some new found skills, an offer I couldn't refuse.

After attending the documentary workshop which broadened my mind and the way one can approach photography (picking a theme and shooting a series of shots rather than just looking for  one shot), and then spending my last day in Hong Kong with Gary while he shot editorial work on a 1 million dollar yacht, I barely had time to pack and we made our way to Phnom Penh on the early morning flight direct from Hong Kong equipped with an Leica M9, Sony Nex 7 and  Nikon V1.

Having just been to remote areas of mainland China, some of the scenes I'm seeing are familiar but in general it's very different to what I'm used to seeing in Sydney.  The traffic is chaotic yet flowing at the same time, People walking all over the place carrying who knows what, families cramping up on one scooter (up to 6 people on 1 small scooter) and the little shops on the side of the road and the mobile street vendors all made for a very interesting drive to our hotel. It was evident very early in Phnom Penh that Cambodia is not a wealthy country but was amazed at how friendly and happy people were.

We arrived at our hotel that Gary had organised for us which was really nice, we dropped off our gear and jumped on a tuk tuk (my first tuk tuk experience) and made our way to the riverside bistro which became our regular watering hole for the rest of the trip, after a brief nap and swim at the hotel pool (which was great for mid/late afternoons after shooting all day) we made our way out for a walk along the riverside were we came across what i'm guessing is a daily ritual where people go to a small temple to pray with people around selling flowers, candles and birds which I believe are offerings to the Gods. This event made for good photography with lots of people around to shoot and lot's of stuff happening everywhere.   This was my first real chance to shoot in Cambodia and was really surprised and taken back by peoples willingness to have there photo's taken especially with kids which is a big no no in many western countries.

(Nikon V1, 10mm)

The next morning we met up with Gary's translator and our tour guide/tuk tuk driver Sammy (Samedy) and off we went to Mekong Island, after a short ferry ride across the Mekong river we arrived and stopped at a small shop to get supplies for the day and pick up a few Krama's (traditional Cambodian scarves).

(Dave modelling his new Camodian scarf on route to Mekong Island)

Mekong Island is a small remote area across the river from Phnom Penh, it's not an area tourists would normally visit and the same goes for Phnom Penh locals many hadn't even heard of the place let alone been there.  What I saw of Mekong Island consisted of 1 small dirt road with houses on 1 side and the Mekong river on the other, It was however full of photo opportunities.

(Leica M9P)

We met lot's of nice people alongside the road who were more than willing to have there picture taken, A little girl who waved at us even motioned for us to go into her families yard where we spoke to her mother and took photo's of them both. The one person who will stay with me for a long time was a blind man in a small shack who allowed us to take pictures of him, after which Steve got out a $20 note (usually we would give a $1 or $2) and gave it to him, after finding out the value through Sammy who translated for us just seeing his reaction was truly priceless he was so gracious and had many nice things to say.

(Blind villager)

(At the female monastery)

(Dave (right) and others from the team offering rice to the Nuns on our arrival)

Moving on we then arrived at a Women's monastery which was in the middle of nowhere and you would never know it was there unless you were with someone who knew about it. This place was very peaceful and had some amazing statues all throughout the monastery. We spent around an hour just wondering around just taking everything in and taking photos of the many statues and Monks who were more than happy to have there photo's taken. After we had all finished walking around it was mid afternoon and we were all hot and hungry so back we went to the hotel for a swim and lunch.

The next day we had a few different options but we decided on going to a temple complex about 45 minutes from Phnom Penh, It was quite a long ride on the tuk tuk and when we finally arrived.  As we walked around and looked at the temple you could easily be mistaken and think you were in Angkor Wat.

(Temple complex outside Phnom Penh)

This place made for some great landscape, texture and portrait shots, 1 old lady we found between the 4 of us we must have shot 3-4 rolls of film and a couple hundred digital shots, she just had this amazing face to shoot close up portraits, it had so much detail from all the wrinkles & damage from the sun over many years.

(102 year old Temple Minder)

This place was also very peaceful and was very nice just walking around taking a photo here and there.  While it was a long way out and back it was well worth it, everybody who I mentioned that I'm going to Cambodia all asked if I was going to Angkor Wat and everyone was shocked when I replied 'no', but at Angkor we would have been competing with thousands of other tourists to walk around and take photos whereas here it was just us and a few locals. It may not have been as grand as the temples at Angkor but it gave us a taste of what they are like and we were able to get shots we'd never get at Angkor.

On our final day we decided to visit a slum on the railway a place Gary has been before and suggested as a place to check out to get a real view of some of the poverty that exists here. When laying eyes on this place it hits you pretty quick how poor this place is, It's an old abandoned train yard with many old carriages just sitting there rotting and being used to dump trash and all sorts in.  Making matters worse this huge state of the art Cambodian government building can be seen right behind within 1km from this train yard. I was a little worried how people will react to us showing up there and taking photos, but everyone seemed really nice and friendly and it turned out to be a very interesting and humbling experience.

(The entrance to the railroad slum)

(The modern government buildings just a few hundred meters behind the slum...)

(Railroad families)

Hearing stories from the locals like the lady who was sewing making shirts and how she gets 2 cents for every shirt she makes and seeing the conditions that they lived in were really eye opening especially for myself who hasn't seen this sort of thing before, yet they all seemed happy and the kids were over the moon when Steve bought them all Ice blocks.

(Our team at Mekong Island (L to R: Steve, Gary (F8), Giles and myself) 

In conclusion I had an amazing time and it was a great experience. I was able to get some great photos which I'm very happy with. Phnom Penh was very much a culture shock for me, a lot of it I have touched on but the things that will really stick with me is how chaotic yet organised it is,  I was blown away by how friendly everyone is and there willingness to have there photo taken especially kids. Also just seeing people living in dire conditions yet seemed to be happy and got on with life. This especially hit me hard and really made me think about the way I live and work on certain ways to improve certain aspects of it.


(Me relaxing at our watering hole on the riverside)

 Lastly I'd like to thank Gary for organising the trip he got us a great hotel and took us to some great places, Steve & Giles it was a pleasure hanging out and shooting with you guys & Sammy and Kanja for taking us around and translating for us.

Final note from F8:

Gary, the Director of F8 has also written a blog post about his experience, that can be seen by clicking here.

Guest blog posts written by Steve who also came along can be seen here:

Thanks for taking the time to visit our blog, if you like our blog and website, please ‘like’ us on our public Facebook page and share this story with your friends with the Facebook and twitter links below.  You can also subscribe to our blog via the RSS link below.

F8 Photography provides commercial photography and training across Asia, with workshops on Street Photography and other photography and video training courses, more details can be found via the ‘courses and workshops’ link and upcoming events via the front page of our website.

Olympus OMD goes to Cambodia

(Gary in the railroad village with the locals outside Phnom Penh with OMD and Mamiya 7ii)

So here we are again, back to the glorious backdrop of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, this time bringing a different camera system - The Olympus OMD for a 4 day field test.

This blog post is not an all out review of the camera system, I'm not a techno-phobe, this is a real world usage review and highlights of my thoughts on the camera system in a fast changing environment and for close up street and travel photography...you won't find any MTF charts or detailed lens analysis....just images that I shot and my thoughts on them :-)

The last time I visited Cambodia I shot only the Leica M9, as I had shot here several times with full Canon DSLR systems and wanted a smaller rig to shoot travel photography with, and the Leica was a perfect fit...albeit the seriously expensive option.

The Leica system is hard to beat (some say impossible), so the bar was set very high, I have achieved some fantastic results with my Leica M9, therefore I already had an unfair comparison level in my mind...but I thought if a camera is going to succeed in 2012 and beyond, it needs to raise the bar and match some of the already outstanding options available to us.

With this in mind, I wanted to test some other rigs out to replace my Leica rigs for street photography and lightweight travel photography.  I had tried the Fuji XPro-1 a few months ago, and have written some positive thoughts on that camera system, but after extended use I must admit I found the autofocus to be a little slow and inaccurate at times for my liking, even though the image quality was great.  Therefore that camera was moved on and I was back to using Leica again.

Anyway, the only remaining system that attracted me was the new Olympus OMD, with a selection of the already proven prime lenses available from Olympus and Panasonic.  So the day before we flew to Cambodia I picked up a kit, camera, grip, 12mm f2, 20mm 1.7 and 45mm 1.8.  I figured this should cover most of what I need, and I tend to shoot a lot very close up, so I assumed the 12mm lens (24mm equivalent) would be spending most of its time on the camera.

One of the features that I was initially unsure of with the Olympus OMD was the touchscreen for shooting....At first I thought this was a bit of a gimmick, as I'm a traditional style photographer who likes to look through a viewfinder (I don't care much for EVF either....), so I didn't think I would like the touchscreen feature, especially for shooting.

However, I am a changed man, the touchscreen shooting feature - the ability to compose, focus and shoot almost instantly using only the screen has completely revolutionised the way i shoot with this type of camera.

(using the touchscreen to shoot...image shot below)

I learned the cameras menu systems, and setup it all up how I wanted on the 2 hour flight from Hong Kong to Phnom Penh, without the manual (I never read manuals), so that was easy to do, this helped me warm to the camera once I had it all set up how I wanted, disabling a few features, and programming others to the function buttons to suit my needs.

(First image I took on the OMD, 12mm)

This first shot above was the first time I had tested the touchscreen, which allows you to literally just press wherever in your composition you wish the camera to focus and then shoots....this happens almost instantly, so its a great way to capture a scene or a portrait without having to raise the camera to your eye...its kind of like shooting using zone focussing from the hip...except you take away all the problems that method has (misfocus, composition issues, etc), so in reality this could be the perfect street camera for me.

Because there are very few cameras with this technology currently, I believe that nobody at any stage during my trip there actually had any idea what I was doing when I was shooting in this way....even if I approached them and requested to take a picture, once I was done they would still stand there waiting for me to start....I like that, as then I can capture a more natural image with no barriers.

(local villagers on Silk Island, 45mm) (elderly lady on Silk Island, 45mm)

Using the longer lens (45mm - equivalent to 90mm) was also great fun, as I had the same control as with the wide lenses to capture tight portraits without having to raise the camera.  Another thing that has amazed me, having only used this system for 2 weeks now is how sharp the lenses are.  I am used to Canon gear for work, which is great...and Leica gear for travel/street which can be phenomenal if you get the right lenses....however...in all honesty for the price of these lenses (some as low as only a few hundred US dollars) their performance is amazing...I couldn't ask for sharper images, and that coupled with super fast and super accurate autofocus...i just love this camera more every time I pick it up.

(school kid hiding under a desk, 45mm)

(local school in Phnom Penh, with super friendly staff and kids, 45mm)

However, as mentioned earlier, I am happiest shooting close up with a wide lens (normally a 24 or 25mm lens, so the Olympus 12mm (equivalent to 24mm) was always going to my new best friend on this camera, and to be honest, this lens was the reason I bought the system in the first place...).

Below are a further selection of images I shot there over a 4 day period with the various lenses.  I think as this was the first week I had used the camera, I was more than happy with how it performed and the quality it produced.  The main thing is that I haven't missed using the Leica, despite it being my workhorse camera for the last several months....this tells me something....I'm not saying one is better than the other, as I still think the Leica M can produce amazing photographs, however if you want a system that can give you a lot of the portability and loads more technical gucci features than any Leica....and you don't want to remortgage your house to afford the system....then maybe the OMD is worth a very serious look.

(using touchscreen again and getting nice and close with the 12mm lens)

(on boat roof on way across the Mekong River, 12mm)

(children on Sisowath Quay, Phnom Penh, 12mm ISO 6400) (sleeping child, railroad slum, 12mm)

(railroad slum, Phnom Penh, 12mm)

(monks at the riverside, 12mm)

(Pagoda Boy, 12mm)

(Rush hour, early morning, 45mm)

(villagers on Silk Island, 20mm)

(102 year old female temple minder, 20mm)

(railroad slum kids, 20mm)

(railroad slum kids, 12mm)

(railroad slum kids, 12mm)

(railroad slum kids, 12mm)

(Our little gang of photographers, L to R: Giles, Steve, myself and Dave, 12mm)

Guest blog posts on this trip from Steve who accompanied us can be read here:

Guest blog posts written by Dave who also came along can be seen here:

Thanks for taking the time to visit our blog, if you like our blog and website, please ‘like’ us on our public Facebook page and share this story with your friends with the Facebook and twitter links below.  You can also subscribe to our blog via the RSS link below.

F8 Photography provides commercial photography and training across Asia, with workshops on Street Photography and other photography and video training courses, more details can be found via the ‘courses and workshops’ link and upcoming events via the front page of our website.