Scrolling through Jeryl’s visually pleasing Instagram feed is an absolute delight. It's well-curated, with a mix and play of symmetry, patterns and scale.
We asked him to recall his journey so far.
"When I first started Instagram, I felt very motivated and encouraged because people took interest in my pictures—that really made me excited to share. When I first started Instagram, I was in the army (for National Service), so my time was really precious and my weekends are spent going out to shoot or just spend time with my family. So, it really motivated me to step out and shoot and explore new places."
Jeryl likes to use things he has around him or can find at home as makeshift tripods, props or additional support when he goes out to shoot. He prefers working with whatever he already have.
J: "This was a pretty memorable shot, taken inside the Future of Us exhibition on a really wet day. In fact, this was taken during the rain. The tricky part about this is that the puddle is not still—I had to use my cap to shield my phone, while I put my camera near the puddle. This is one of my favourites recently and it was shot with OOWA 15mm Wide Angle Lens."
J: "This was taken at iLight Marina Bay. I saw strobes of light moving around the floor, and I thought they would create a perfect light trail. The sky also seems to complement the picture. Sometimes without my tripod, I use a lot of weird stuff to support my phone, like my wallet for this one."
Most people are taken aback when they find out that most of Jeryl's photographs (like the above) were taken with the iPhone. He generously shared with us some tips to take breathtaking long exposure photographs.
Jeryl's quick tips for mobile long exposure photography:
Weather also plays an important role in his photo-taking process.
J: "I am heavily dependent on the weather. I would only wait until there is a dramatic cloud, or a beautiful sunrise or sunset for a shoot."
He also shared with us his thoughts and experience with our 15mm lens so far.
J: "I am a very greedy person, I like to fit everything into one picture—the wider the lens the better. I like to squeeze everything into one picture because I think only through wide angle lens, can I get the depth that I want in a picture. And it has really low distortion, so I really like the lens."
What's a good day for you?
J: "A good day is a good weather. I'll be out shooting around Marina Bay, which is my favourite area. I even have a planned route around that area that I normally take. That area is so densely populated with high rises, but every day gives you a different shot, because of the clouds, the light, and so on."
Jeryl shot all the images above with the OOWA 15 mm lenses.
We take familiarity and its comfort for granted, far too often. We go by our seemingly mundane routines and the occasional “Is this really all?” lurks at the back of our heads. It’s only when we scrutinize our surroundings like a tourist that we start to appreciate the little things; and realize all the beauty we’ve been missing out on.
Jerald (@jeraldsaw) and Cheryl (@syerowoo) both recently embarked on a journey to rediscover the little pleasures of their home, Singapore.
But lately the OOWA lens has put Singapore’s beauty in a fresh perspective for me. I never thought that I'd easily capture the rawness and grandeur of an image with an external smartphone camera lens. And the thing that blew me away the most — the insane field of view you can capture with the OOWA wide-angle lens, and with almost zero image distortion.
They have made daily photo-taking such a breeze. This allows me to capture moments when my camera is absent and pushed me to go out and explore this beautiful city of mine; bringing me to places I have never even been to or seen before.
Discovering Singapore's beauty with my new lenses is like an adventure. From regular hiking trails, to high rise buildings; everything seems to tell a new story. You know they say there is beauty in everything and I've realised that, indeed there is. The endless blue skies and clouds peeking through the forms and shapes of all these buildings; I'm still in awe.
I've been a tourist in my own city; unravelling beauty in the simple things. It has reminded me of the beauty within my reach and convenience of this place — Home, where I always come back to, after traveling to different parts of the world.
I would like to leave you guys with one of my favorite quotes:
"The best camera is the one you have with you."
Known to the world as a small red dot on a huge, geographical world map - this country houses 4 different ethnicities, diverse foods, iconic skyscrapers, and a land full of people.
A place I can proudly proclaim, my home.
Travellers from all around the world flock here for a unique Southeast Asian experience. Some choose to dine and drink at the luxury restaurants within the CBD at a height, as the mesmerizing cityscape unfolds before their eyes. They watch the fury of the vehicles in the city rush in, making their way downtown past the Esplanade. Right beside it, bumboats cruising through the waters; a view nicely juxtaposed.
New adventures arise as one scales the heights in a cable car, from Mount Faber all the way to the depths of Sentosa. Uncommonly experienced by locals, visitors will leave fascinated with the landscapes and architectural structures that have carved the South. It was my first time taking this cable car ride in more than 10 years; and I found myself snapping away as if I was here on my first time.
Though iconic landmarks such as Marina Bay Sands and Sentosa have captured the hearts of many travellers and locals, let us not forget that these humble estates require as much love and pride from us, to grow and flourish.
If you’re reading this, and new to my island home, I highly recommend you to explore the different estates for a true local experience.
I started exploring photography in my pre-teens.
I used to borrow my mom’s Minolta Pocket Autopak 450E and would use it to photograph school and family events. I was always the designated photographer during family events. However, photography took a back seat when I was in high school and college.
Photography had a huge resurgence in my life in 2008 when I got my first DLSR. This was also when my wife and I discovered the joy of traveling, and with it we photographed our journeys.
At some point between 2010 and 2011, I felt that my photography plateaued and needed a “creative jolt”. Most of my photographs were in the category of travel photography – which I felt was too manicured, too clean and technical. Nothing wrong with that — but I was looking for something else.
Then for a while I explored macro photography, still photography and even fashion photography but none of these were giving me fulfilment. I wanted something different — something raw and edgy that somehow defies convention, that brings out my style. It was then that I started gaining interest with the works of Magnum Photographers. The photographs of Henri Cartier Bresson, Alex Webb, David Allan Harvey and Harry Gruyaert blew me away. In 2012, I started seeing the world through a different lens. Street photography became my genre of choice.
Street photography has always been a brief yet methodical process for me. I would first get a feel of the scene by looking around, orienting myself where the light is and how the people enter and exit the scene, and evaluating the exposure in that scene.
At this point I'll choose a specific location where I will be shooting and mentally frame the goings-on – how the people move in and out of my frame and the story I could possibly capture. If I sense that I can create interesting photographs in that location, I'll raise my camera or my mobile phone, get in a shooting position and start capturing the action. After several frames, I make a quick look at my outputs to check if the exposure that I wanted is achieved and if my subjects are placed in frame according to how I imagined it. If these are good, I continue shooting; usually exhausting the scene until I feel I have enough shots to select from.
Joy in street photography is — amongst the randomness and the multiple frames -- capturing a meaningful moment with a story to tell. That moment can never be replicated, and I feel fortunate to be there at the right place and time, to witness and record that magical moment.
I always carry a small compact camera and a mobile phone with me whenever I wander around streets. Both are easy to operate and don’t look intimidating when you’re in a crowd.
I've tried a few lens attachments for my mobile phone, hoping they can complement my street photographs and somehow enhance my mobile photography experience. The lens that I've tried were more like toys and they have not helped in improving image quality of my photos. Thereafter, I stopped using any external lenses on my smartphone.
Its uncompromising build and quality have given me superb results.
As a street photographer, what makes me want to hit the streets and shoot is the thought that there will always be a new opportunity to experience “magical moments”. I anticipate moments like these with great excitement.
Sometimes, you will go home with nothing – not even a single image worth keeping; but there will also be days when you have a lot of beautiful photographs that you are proud of sharing to your friends, and to the photography community.
Personally when it comes to getting that lucky shot, it has always been about location, opportunity and readiness. The location will provide you with the scene. Once you’ve chosen what you think and feel is the right scene, you wait for the opportunity for something interesting to occur or someone interesting to show up in your frame.
Luck kicks in when you are ready and alert enough, to see the resulting photograph in your mind and instinctively press the shutter button to capture that moment. If what you have imagined in your mind translates in your frame, you make one lucky street photographer.
The most important lesson that I’ve learned from shooting on the streets is that it will always be a reflection of yourself. It reveals who you are, your imagination, your hopes and even your fears. By presenting your work to the world, you are also opening a window for people to see who you really are.
Question is, are you ready to reveal yourself to your audience? That window will reveal to everyone if you are authentic with your vision or a mere copy cat just trying to get “likes“ from photography communities.
In street photography, our brand of storytelling will greatly depend on how clear our vision is and how we are able to translate that vision into an image.
We had the pleasure of chatting with David Leong (@d.leong), as he shares his inspiring photography journey with us.
OOWA: How do you engage your followers emotionally with your photos?
David: Instagram has been a platform for self-expression, and I’ve gone through many different emotional stages over the past few years. Instagram has been a place for me to get it out; a medium in the form of pictures and words, I think it’s powerful to be able to combine pictures and words. And even if what is going on in my life is not apparent, I know what I'm going through, and that I express that emotion through the field image as well as the words I use.
I think Instagram is a great platform to be yourself. I try not to do or post things that I know will get me "Likes" or do things just because they are trendy — I try to stay true to myself. I post content that I like in the style that I like. Of course, I could always change hopefully not because of peer pressure but because I am changing as a person, and therefore what I create changes with me.
OOWA: We notice that you enjoy shooting portraitures.
David: I really like taking portraitures; that’s my favorite type of photo to take. I think there is so much emotion conveyed within a person in a photo as opposed to the same photo but without the person. Especially with the people that I know and I am close to, I feel a stronger connection.
OOWA: Since you're a musician too, is there a crossover between music and photography for you, or is there something that you do in music that you also do in photography?
David: A lot of times I’d be really feeling a particular song and I’ll find a way to incorporate those lyrics into my photos. It’s great when a particular lyric resonates with what I’m thinking, or feeling that I’m going through and I am able to make that relate to my photos. When that all comes together it’s like the perfect thing for me.
Well sometimes I do have some lyrics that I really like but I don’t have a photo to go with it yet. So I’ll wait until something comes along. Or I scroll through my phone and try to think of words I could put. If I can’t, I would go through all my songs trying to find something that I can put. Sometimes it’s really last minute but other times it’s really well thought out. I’m always trying to discover new music, and have more ideas.
OOWA: Which part of this journey have you enjoyed the most?
David: It’s been fun because all of my photography skills are self-taught, and I can see how it grows, how it changes, how it improves, just from getting out there and shooting. It’s been a lot of trials and errors. Discovering what I like, and also the friendship aspect of it.
I’ve met a number of good friends through both Instagram and photography. Some other people that I am closest with now I met when taking photos, we get together and it is something that we all enjoy. So it’s fun to spend time with people that share your interest and have fun together that way.
In recent years, as our daily lifestyles and habits evolve, the smartphone has become an essential tool for photography. However a smartphone camera's has its restrictions, thus limiting creativity. Enter OOWA, best solution to this problem, offering a 15mm wide angle lens and a 75m (2.5x Optical Zoom) lens.
Through OOWA's interchangeable lens system, I am able shoot in any perspectives that I want. Be it the 15mm Wide Angle Lens, or 75mm Telephoto Lens, a complete experience.
When I first received OOWA, I decided to go journeying with just my iPhone.
I like to shoot with my iPhone because this little device makes my documenting process light and easy. Adding these OOWA attachment lenses made my iPhone photographs similar to that of a DSLR. I'm also able to quickly capture the beauty and shadow of every moment, regardless of the subject: landscapes, architecture, portraits etc., The lenses make it easy for me to capture these photogenic opportunities.
After using OOWA attachment lens, I'm pleasantly surprised by the superb image quality of the shots taken with OOWA lens. In comparison to with other brands, they are undoubtedly better. OOWA’s free-form technology compliments and improves the smartphone’s camera due to its unique lens structure. Even after adding the lens, the image quality retains its sharpness, with no vignetting, no colour aberration, and zero distortion--capturing in the highest definition.
The 15mm lens widens the iPhone camera's narrow field of view, creating a bigger, wider perspective. In a vast landscape, I am able to capture a more dramatic scene, with approximately 110 degrees of view.
There's a huge difference in terms of quality, when comparing the iPhone’s camera and an SLR camera's ability to capture further subjects. But OOWA’s 75mm lens solves this issue by improving the quality of shooting subjects that requires zoom. Say goodbye to blurry digitally zoomed in images, goodbye to heavy camera gears. With just a smartphone and I’m able to showcase my photographs without compromising on quality; letting everyone see the world as how I picture it.
The OOWA lenses provide a new perspective for new compositions. When paired with your smartphone, you can easily capture the beauty that is in front of you.
Follow Jacky for more @jw0927.
This Valentines, we shed some light to the unspoken and often unseen side of love. The heartbreak that follows an unreciprocated proclamation of love, the growing distance of a seemingly perfect love, or the sudden ending of a something more.
Here's to the ones who said:
"Just as you are."
Remember how we used to talk about romance being overrated? Many Valentines and anniversaries were spent on the couch, binging on TV dinners and beers, instead of the traditional candlelit dining experience. I never fancied flowers, and you always hated surprises. We were the antithesis of a romantic couple, but in retrospect, I think we were actually pretty damn good at our own unconventional version of romance. At being completely ourselves. At being us.
“Wish you were here."
I remember hiking up, captivated by this magnificent view; the entire world right in front of me. The vastness of it all made all my worries and doubts about the future seem minuscule. In that moment, all that I felt was tranquility, and a deep sense of calm. All I wanted was for you to be there with me, to experience that same peace. I don’t know where you are, or how you’re doing now. But I still wish the same for you.
“Anywhere with you."
Scotland was our magical place. You know, I still dream about it sometimes. I dream about you and me. Exploring the museums, the hallowed castles, the cobbled streets, our midday whiskey sessions – all of it. It’s probably nothing out of the ordinary for most – but with you, it felt special. I got to know more, and love more of you.
“You are everything."
You took me to your favorite place. Said it was a sanctuary for you, a place you go to for headspace and inspiration. You asked me where mine was, I pointed at you. I burst out in laughter because it's so incredibly cheesy, but I do mean it I think. My art, my writings, my thoughts – they all revolved around you. You were my muse, my confidant, my all.
Here's to you.
Children scramble over each other, while teenagers feast over Instagram photos, and adults chatter away at all corners of the room. I stepped into the noise, and found my grandmother seated unceremoniously on the couch. Her eyes lit up as we walked in, as it always had the past 20 years. I embraced her with a hug, and cushioned her with the limited range of Chinese proverbs I knew. Laughing wholeheartedly, her eyes twinkled bright. It was a warm welcome, and I felt right at home again.
We chattered happily, exchanging our mandarin oranges and ang baos. Limping over to grab some plates and utensils, my grandmother pushed me towards her many hand-cooked dishes. “Eat more Qin, you’ll need it to study well!” she exclaimed in Hokkien. I absorbed the disarray around me, and indeed… it was time for the most chaotic reunion of the year – the Chinese New Year!
This festival is symbolic for the gathering of family members, collecting ang paos, engulfing a diverse range of food and of course, the crazy gambling frenzies! Most Singaporeans would visit their grandparents and family members, and go house hopping with friends over a period of two weeks. It is one of the most heartwarming times of the year, and many Chinese would look forward this holiday.
As I slowly piled my plate up with food, my cousins flanked my sides and ambushed me with a series of questions.
“Go uni already, got boyfriend a not?”
“I heard about your leg ah! How are you!”
“How come you not playing Frisbee anymore?”
“Ehh Jia Qin ah, why are you still so dark”
I laughed, struggling to answer all their queries. Different year, same old routine. Amidst the clacking of mahjong tiles, and sudden shrieks of laughter, I thought about how much has changed over the past few years. Losing two grandparents, and yet having the addition of newborns and newly-weds, it feels like a strange new kind of warmth; as if we’ve become unknowingly closer through these events.
Despite the age gap, and differences in backgrounds, my cousins and I bonded naturally over beer, pineapple tarts and love letters. We sneaked into the rooms and shared our deepest concerns, our proudest days and our past celebrations. We gambled all night long, watched Goblin (a Korean drama) under the covers and giggled at the $100 ang baos our grandparents had accidently given to us. It was a sacred and precious time, and I’d love to pin this moment forever.
I’ve heard of many friends and family who dread the CNY holidays due to the bombardment of questions by distant aunties and cousins.
“Relatives always ask the stupidest questions”
“I don’t really want to spend time with people I don’t often see.”
At times, the presence of our loved ones can worsen our day, or leave us gnawing with exasperation. Other times, our relatives may touch on insensitive topics and add salt to our wounds. Sounds familiar? Well, you’re not alone in this battle…
Too often, we’d focus on the one bad thing and leave out all the happy moments. We’d focus on what we lack, instead of what we already have. We don’t have that BMW, that condominium, or that amazing 4.0 GPA someone else does. We also don’t have that 10-year relationship, or that stable high-paying job.
However, sometimes, the most insignificant things are the ones most worth celebrating each day. Waking up in the morning to pelting rain and cool air, playing our favorite song on repeat, having your closest friends with you at all times... If we focus on how every small thing can ignite the brightest spark within us, wouldn’t life would be a lot brighter?
Happiness is a choice, and it is solely defined by us.
As I sit around the dining table this Chinese New year, I am grateful – for my new world of perspective and endless stream of joy. Regardless of how bad my days get, I know I will be able to see life through a brighter, and more colorful lens.
Leong Jia Qin
Follow Jia Qin for more @stardustandbullets
This week, OOWA is getting an education at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU). Apart from being one of the fastest rising young universities in the world, NTU is fondly known by its students as Pulau NTU, an “island” cut off from the rest of civilisation, and home to snakes, boars, and striped geckos (just to name a few). While the occasional animal appearance sets students squealing, the campus is a far cry from what you’d expect from the above description (no, it’s not made up of treehouses). Now, imagine sitting inside a structure that looks like something that came out of a sci-fi film. Unbelievable? Have a scroll and let us know what you think!
Simply named The Hive, this wacky building houses several classrooms and a library. It also offers multiple interior vantage points so you can take a break from the boring trees and watch even more boring people (we’re joking; it’s actually pretty fun).
Take a breather by the lake if you are sick of those lunch crowds.
Welcome to the art school which is in itself a work of art.
Wild, futuristic, cultural... Seems like everyone can find their place here. Just watch out for cobras if you ever decide to visit.
I am a photographer, an optimist, an explorer and a modern woman looking to take on the world one challenge at a time
The short answer:
If you have an iPhone 6, 6S, 6+ and 6S+, then most definitely! Just purchase a lens kit at Shop.
If you have an iPhone 7, yes! But for now, you'll have to make your own case.
If you have an iPhone 7 Plus, yes for using it over the 1X camera! But for now, you'll have to make your own case. Note that your other camera is a 2X camera with slightly lower performance than the 1X camera (f 2.8 vs f1.8, no optical image stablization). Our telephoto camera is 2.5X, and goes over a better camera, so provides slight different capabilities than your 2X camera.
Here is a list of popular Android phones it is compatible with:
Note that you'll have to 3D print / make your own case to fit these phones! Watch for more news on this topic soon.
The long, techie answer:
Generally speaking - our lenses are designed and made in such a way that it can optically work with any phone. We used the iPhone 6S camera as a reference, so the closer the specifications of your camera to that phone camera, the better the fit (75 degree field-of-view, f/# 2.2, 12MP resolution).
So, if there is a:
1. field-of-view mismatch - there can be some dark corners.
2. F-number mismatch - the image can be brighter or darker in general. Our lenses are actually designed to f1.75.
3. Resolution mismatch - some blurring can be introduced.
All lenses are designed this way! They might not admit it, but it's true :)
If you have any questions, ping us at email@example.com and we'll do our best to help you determine if our lenses are compatible with your phone!
The end of the year is always a time of connection, reflection, and yes, lots of food. Since we launched OOWA products into the world, I find myself taking more time to capture both the special and mundane moments of my life, and then sharing them.
The point of creating OOWA and free-form lenses wasn't just to have a really cool technological breakthrough. This whole journey of creating a company, for me, has been about living out and experimenting with answers to a fundamental life question -- what makes a life well-lived? I brought my whole heart to the game, often worn on my sleeve, and I’ve played hard.
I have grown a tremendous amount these four years as CEO. I've gotten to know a ton of people, many of whom I've come to love and admire. I've come to fully appreciate my community of family, friends and colleagues who hold me when the going gets tough. I've learnt the pain of coming up against the laws of physics (literally), and what it takes to overcome conventional thinking. I’ve felt the elation of giving birth to something truly unique and world-changing. I have discovered a little more about who I am and what I am made of. Some parts are tough as nails, other parts feel more like fluffy cotton and puppy dog love. Still others, resemble a disciplined and dedicated student of human nature, and an adventurer in life.
This was taken on Christmas day in my home in Oakland. We prepared a nine-course meal of roast lamb (and vegetarian options ☺) for our lovely friends. I love cooking and hosting dinner parties because I get to show people how much I love them. I missed Thanksgiving in the US, so we went around the table and shared about what we were grateful for in 2016. I am so grateful for this life I have. Thank you everyone for your love and support — I wouldn’t be the person I am today without you.
Along with my colleagues at OOWA, I thank you for joining us on this journey and we can’t wait to see what you create with our products. Here’s to each of us discerning our well-lived life ☺ We wish you much joy, peace of spirit and good health in 2017.