Not Photography? Badum-tschh. (Post 4 of 5 in 5 or 8 days)

NOTE: Argh! i didn’t finish my 5 in 5 days. I got sidetracked on Thursday and then went on a retreat this weekend. I’ll finish it off tonight and tomorrow. Here’s the post I wanted to make on Thursday night:

I guess I’m too lazy to talk about apertures, shutter speeds, etc.

I enjoy doing many different things, so even though my blog/website will focus mostly on photography, I plan to post other snippets of my life as well!

One my favorite hobbies is playing drums. It’s music, it’s exciting, and I get to HIT STUFF with STICKS 🙂

…Actually I can definitely still include camera talk in this. I’ve been trying to learn how to record musical covers and performances recently. It takes many takes and patience to have it sound good.

I covered “Wake” by Hillsong Young & Free last week. It was the theme song of an annual retreat members of my church attend called “Quest for Life.” Does anyone else think Taya Smith’s voice is simply amazing?

Recorded on my… you got it: Sony a57. Attached is my Samyang 14mm wide angle lens. I used iMovie to edit this.

Anyways, I hope you enjoy it, even though it’s not photography.

Mom’s Home Gardening (Post 3 of 5 in 5 days)

My mom has started to work more on our home garden the last year. It might be in congruency with me go to college, haha! We live in a very deer-populated area, so it can be pretty difficult sometimes to avoid chomped petals.

My mom’s garden was the perfect opportunity for me try macro and flower photography.

I used around with my trusty Sony a57 DSLR, and I used my 75-300mm zoom lens for the first two flower picture below, and then my 35mm f/1.8 prime lens for the third picture. If anyone knows the names of these flowers these are let me know! They’re both about like 1-2 inches in diameter.210mm  f/5.6  0.5 sec  ISO 400

280 mm  f/5.6  0.5  ISO 400

35mm  f/1.8  1/500 sec  ISO 200

Photography Jargon: This last picture shows a really good example of “shallow depth of field” that comes with a low aperture of f/1.8, which explains the blurry background.

I hope the deer will stay away from my mom’s garden so I might have more things to take pictures of!

Prom? (Post 2 of 5 in 5 days)

School’s about to start, and the there’s a whole new of freshmen getting ready for the college life. One of them is my best friends and also my godbrother (godbrother = son of my godfather/godmother)  Josh. He’s getting ready to move in to Rutgers this weekend.

In May, Josh went to prom with his friend Verity. I had an opportunity to take pictures for their “pre-prom” at Spring Lake Park, South Plainfield, NJ. It was super cute 🙂 They cleaned up nice, no?

I ran around with my Sony a57 with a Sony 35mm f/1.8 prime lens that day. Here are four of my favorite shots from that afternoon, all the way back on May 8, 2015:

VerityJossssshhh (1 of 5)

VerityJossssshhh (2 of 5)

I really like this shot! It was like capturing the act of a selfie. Also, the lighting was perfect in the top left corner. Featuring Josh and Verity’s friends Caroline and Brittany (their prom crew).

dVerityJossssshhh (3 of 5)

So cute 🙂

TVerityJossssshhh (4 of 5)

I really enjoyed shooting for these two. The sunlight was perfect that day for shooting and the park was a pretty nice location. Barely making the cut for Day 2 at 11:58 PM… stay tuned, three more to go!

I love dolphins. (1 of 5 posts in 5 days)

If you should know one thing about me, you should know that i love dolphins. When I was born, i was showered with stuffed dolphins instead of teddy bears. When I was around four to five years old, I decided to become a Miami Dolphins instead of a New York Giants fan like I should be because I thought the Dolphins logo was cute. Still a Dolphins fan today, haha!

I still love dolphins because of how cute and majestic they are.

On Friday, July 31, my family took a trip out to Atlantic City and went on a dolphin watching cruise! The cruise takes us out to the Atlantic City shore and we got to see dolphins in the wild. I was so excited because the only live dolphin I’ve seen were the ones living in aquariums a long time ago (probably running back 10 years).

Check the cruise out at this site! It was worth it 🙂 http://www.atlanticcitycruises.com/

I ran sat around that day with my Sony A57 APS-C DSLR, and a 75-300mm Sony zoom lens. These were my three best dolphin shots of that morning:

Dolphins (1 of 3)135mm  f/5.6  1/1250 sec  ISO 200Dolphins (2 of 3)135mm   f/5.6  1/2000 sec  ISO 200

Quit showing off!

Dolphins (3 of 3)135mm   f/5.6  1/2000 sec  ISO 200

Because it was so bright out that day, I could keep the ISO low for less noise and use a ridiculously quick shutter speed (reaching 1/2000 of a second) to snap a dolphin jumping out of the water. I would totally go again, so if anyone is interested in taking a trip out to AC to see dolphins, let me know 🙂

Matthew Lau Photography

Hi everyone!

I’m a thinker, so I always have ideas. I also stink and lack the patience for the art of writing That’s why I’ve started or re-started countless journals and blogs in the past, failing to update it after a couple weeks.

However, in the half-year, Ive discovered a new passion of photography at the age of 19 years. Simply put it, I love the art of a still image. To capture a moment that doesn’t move and can be observed over time is a challenge that I get excited about.  My mother told me that growing up, I always tried to do things and gave up quickly (e.g. my previous blogs), but she said recently, observing moments when I’m messing around with my camera, that she has barely ever seen so much patience in me before. I’ve gotten a great chance to travel (Minnesota, Vermont) and explore the outdoors during this summer, so it’s been very exciting.

Being able to take a picture is something pretty new in the history of civilization. However, now, pretty much everyone can take a picture of whatever they want with their smartphone. I decided I wanted to take it to the next level, so I hope to continue learning more about photography and improve in this form of art. I hope you enjoy it!

Thanks to my parents for support, my brother Tim (@timclau) for encouraging me to start this blog, Natalie for creating the calligraphy in my logo Jon for convincing me to learn how to use Adobe Lightroom, Ariel and Sam for giving me tips, Jasmine and Harry for letting me take pictures of them, and anyone who’s encouraged me!

I will show you a small snippet of the types of photos I’ve been learning to take. These are already posted on my instagram (follow me @mattlau95!). Feel free to e-mail me at mattlau95@gmail.com with critiques, questions, ideas, comments, etc. 🙂

Landscape Photography

One of my favorite things to do since college started is hiking. And after hiking more often, I’ve discovered a love for the beauty of nature. I think nature is the perfect representation of God’s power. Here are two examples of my landscape photography:

Waterfall of Duke Brook – Duke Farms, Hillsborough, New Jersey – 6/18/2015

This is the first photo where the result got me really excited about photography. It’s a simple waterfall, I took up to thirty shots of the same scene and blended them together to give the water a silky look. This can easily be done with a neutral density filter and a long exposure, but I didn’t have a ND filter at the time!

First Blog Post (4 of 6)

Sunrise Over Parley Lake – St Bonifacius, Minnesota – 7/11/2015

I’m using this as the background for my avatar at the top of the page right now! This sunrise culminated an all-nighter at the annual Internationals Bible Quizzing tournament at Crown College this year.

Macro Photography

In the same way how it’s easy to get excited about how large the universe is, it’s also easy to get excited about how detailed the smallest objects or creatures in the world can be. Not quite the same as microscopes in a science lab, but my macro photography focuses on capturing a lot of detail in an image of small things. Below is an example of a small bumblebee on a flower.

First Blog Post (5 of 6)

Bumblebee Nomming – Princeton Gardens – 7/23/2015

Animal and Action Photography 

Animals can be tough to take pictures of because they run away from you (I guess animals hate me 😥 ). It takes very fast shutter speeds, zoom, and patience. Here’s a butterfly I shot at Princeton Gardens.

First Blog Post (6 of 6)

Butterfly – Princeton Gardens, NJ – 7/23/2015

Portrait Photography

This is the hardest one for me, because it takes interacting with people (introvert here). It’s also not really my thing because I don’t know much about modeling or telling people how to pose. Luckily, I have friends that are willing volunteer to help me learn and be a part of my photos!

First Blog Post (2 of 6)

Portrait at the Livingston Courtyard – Livingston Campus of Rutgers, Piscataway, New Jersey – 6/26/2015

Jasmine is a close friend of mine who loves fashion. Check her out on Instagram! @thetrendscender

Astrophotography

Lastly is Astrophotography, my favorite. I love stars. They’re so big, but so far away. Light and darkness motif. Enough said! 🙂

Astrophotography is definitely the hardest one to do well, because it takes lots of patience (long exposure) and it’s dependent on time, weather, moonlight, clouds, a lots of other factors. But it’s so beautiful to me.

First Blog Post (1 of 1)

Meteor from NJ – Colonial Park, Somerset, NJ – 8/12/15

This was taken during the peak of the Perseids Meteor sighting that is still technically going on as August comes to a close. I took a 5 second photo on non-stop (I had a loop function on my remote) until a meteor dashed right in the middle of the scene. Again, there’s a lot of patience that comes with this.

I hope if you’re still reading at this point, you somewhat enjoy my pictures. I definitely enjoy taking them. To kick off this blog, I’m going to try to do a daily post for the next five days. Keep a lookout!