The past few months had been a roller coaster ride, from reaching a milestone, followed a pretty turbulent journey down into the bottom before getting out and back on track again. Here’s a quick and lengthy summary of my photography, travel and updates dated 17th August 2021. Do keep a lookout for my upcoming showcase of photography works, projects and publications! 

Photography by Ryan Cheng

From April 2021 to August 2021

A quick recap, I celebrated a milestone “Celebrating 15 years of TGH Photography and Travel Portal/Blog” in April 2021. Things was looking quite alright at that time but life doesn’t go as planned many times. 

Phase 2 Heightened Alert (P2HA) came into effect in May 2021, I got into some wrong end of some personal situations, I spiralled down, got stuck in a rut, depressed, I asked myself on the topics of “Fate and Time”. A few friends came forward and pulled me out from my rut.

During my recovery journey, there was an “Blessing or Omen?”, followed by me “Reflecting H1 2021 and New Themes for Photography and Travel in H2 2021”. Another round of P2HA was implemented again in July 2021, it definitely was very tough and challenging on us mentally, emotionally and financially. 

Most recently, I wrote a personal tribute to my former DSG Scoutmaster who recently passed on, this would give you insights into my humble beginnings decades back, that’s where I started my love for outdoors, travel and exploration. 

Photography business

Operating and running a small business (such as my own sole proprietorship photography business) during this global pandemic is one of the toughest life/society/economy lessons that you can ever have in running a small business of any kind.

This was a period of pivoting, adapting, adopting, changing, making strategic and directional changes. Beyond just photography services, I am in the midst of developing and expanding my TGH Digital Studio, into Digital Marketing, Content Creation, Social Media Marketing and Videography services. 

 

Photography by Isaac Ong

I am curating and updating my new portraiture photography portfolio for my TGH Photography website, adding pet photography and zen / therapy landscapes portfolio too!

On the topic of collaborations and partnerships, there are ongoing discussions, stay tuned!

Zines/Books Updates

Ever since I published my first official zine TGH Photography Zine Vol 1. – SG55 Special Edition in December 2020, I really wanted to publish more photography and travel related zines on a regular basis. This proved to be quite challenging, from my project and time management perspectives.

I have three ongoing work-in-progress zines/books

  • Meow Mixed Media
  • 15 years milestone zine/book
  • Photography therapy + playbook

There was an initial plan to publish a photo book based on one of my personal documentary projects that would be partially funded through my application for funding from organisations. Looking at my current situation and timeline, I am most likely going to postpone this to next year 2021, concentrating on my current work-in-progress zines/books.

Travel and Tourism

We haven’t been able to travel since the global pandemic hit the whole world in 2020. I reckon many of us are feeling the urge to travel out and away, we have been “stuck” in our home country for a period of time, wishing that we are back to the pre-COVID19 days when we can travel freely and easily.

I wrote an earlier article on, “When we restart tourism?”. Initially, I was a bit optimistic that we might be able to travel soon in Q3 or Q4 2021. However, during that time when I published my article, there were quite a fair bit of world developments in the global pandemic situation, the Delta variant is a lot more tricky to handle than the whole world initially thought it was able to do so. 

After following and reading news, updates and views from various industry sources, I am holding back my optimism, choosing to be more cautious and prudent. While countries are currently working towards opening up their tourism industries in selected areas/regions, I have to plan and consider carefully before making any travel decision, there might not be any travel for me in 2021, it might just be early 2022 instead.

I am also enlightened by fellow TTOT (Travel Talk on Twitter) co-host Sonja’s words and advice on traveling during this pandemic. Let’s see how the world travel and tourism situation develops in the next few months.

Meanwhile, I am establishing new networks, partnerships and collaborations in the travel and tourism sectors. When the suitable time arises, I would share more details and updates in this area. 

Digital Arts and NFT

I have been talking about this topic on digital arts and NFTs for a period of time. This is still a very new area for me to enter into, I haven’t fully embark into this arena yet. I am still researching on which NFT marketplace is more suitable for my photography works, how to go about minting my digital artworks. 

This is an area that I am currently working on, I hope to share more updates soon when it is appropriate to do so. 

Personal Documentary Photography Projects

Whenever I am not doing commercial photography, I have my own personal documentary photography projects, some I have already embarked on, so it’s a continuation in a way. There are also some new personal projects that I am going to embark on. 

Here’s a list of my ongoing personal documentary photography projects:

  • Photography therapy / Nature therapy / Shinrin-Yoku 
  • Old Jurong Line Nature Trail 
  • Clementi Nature Trail
  • Dover Forest 
  • Old Place/landmarks/neighbourhoods that are going to disappear 

Keep a lookout for them in my upcoming articles!

Printer Review + Printing photos as gifts

I am reviewing Canon’s PIXMA G670 photo printer, I would be taking this opportunity to print curated 4R and A4 photography prints for a small group of people who had helped me during the past few months, especially during the period when I was stuck in a rut, they were the ones who lent their helping hands and emotional support, they pulled me out from the bottom and walked with me in my recovery journey. 

Oh yes, do keep a lookout for my PIXMA G670 photo printer review!

Canon lenses rebalancing in progress

Canon L lenses are superb lenses, I have been using some lenses for a period of time. For those who have been following my Canon explorer stories since the start of my TGH Photography and Travel Portal/Blog, you would know how long I have been using some of my Canon L lenses.

I was contemplating some changes and upgrades since last year, I finally made a decision in the first quarter of 2021 to do a “rebalancing” my Canon lenses setup. It took me a while to get my lenses and accessories sold as well getting in my new lenses.

Out

  • EF 17-40mm f/4L USM
  • EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM Mk I
  • EF 300mm f/2.8L
  • Extender 1.4x TC
  • Extender 2.0x TC

In

  • EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM Mk II (used)
  • EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM (used)

Coming soon (Hopefully!)

  • Sigma 150-600mm (used) 

New (used) f-stop gear Satori-EXP camera backpack + wardrobe revamp 

Over the years, I learnt the world (and ropes) of buying and selling used goods especially in the photography market. I found a used f-stop gear Satori-EXP camera backpack at a very good price on Carousell, adding it to my photography bags setup (A rebalancing of my photography bags is coming soon too!). Even though it’s a very used camera backpack, I still like it a lot! I was inspired to make some changes to my wildlife/outdoors photographer/explorer setup with a wardrobe revamp, I do need to replace some of my older apparel due to wear and tear over time.

These are my new additions/changes in my wardrobe revamp

  • New trekking/wildlife exploration cargo pants (for my commercial photography wear as well)
  • New buff/bandana 
  • New Merrell hiking boots
  • A long sleeve outdoor/trekking black colour shirt from my wardrobe
  • Selecting another jungle hat from my collection 

Therefore, I am commissioning a new photographer profile shoot, new wildlife/outdoors photographer/explorer profile photographs are coming soon! 

Videography and Filmmaking Updates

In case you missed it, I do have a YouTube channel, please do support and follow! I haven’t been updating my videography and filmmaking channel. Maintaining photography and videography/filmmaking concurrently was much tougher than I expected. 

Videography/Filmmaking is an area that I have identified to be lacking in, a skill to learn, improve and as a form of creative production to complement my photography and content creation. I am working on some new video/short film projects:

  • Photography therapy / nature therapy / Shinrin-Yoku project with therapeutic music composed by a very talented musician, composer, photographer and technology writer Chester Tan. 
  • A new profile video with my revamped outdoors/wildlife photographer/explorer wardrobe. 

Last but not least

Last but not least, thank you for taking the time to read till the end of my photography, travel and updates 17th August 2021. This time round, it’s probably a lot more lengthy than my previous updates! Our reading and attention time span has drastically reduced in this modern social media driven environment. 

I really appreciate the support and encouragement that you have shown for my photography, content creation and writing works over the years, walking with me as I explored, sharing the different worlds and stories through my photographs and stories.

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