Most people would have turned tail and run for their lives when faced with a roaring lion. Jason Chia, however, held his camera steady and clicked the shutter to seize the captivating moment. “In 1998, I was part of a TV crew on a trip to South Africa and had the chance to photograph wildlife at a game reserve. I brought along a Canon EOS 500 film camera and a 28-200mm zoom lens.
EOS World Member Jason Chia
It was still dark when we set off on an early morning safari tour. We were filming a lone lion at close distance from an open-top jeep,” Jason recalls. He zoomed in really close, waiting for the lion to look his way. “Suddenly, it stood up, faced us and started roaring.” The lion took one step forward but was seized by a bout of sneezing. Jason did not hesitate but fired off a few shots. “It was nerve-wrecking but the trip was fulfilling in many ways,” he says.
EOS 50D | f/5.6 | ISO 100 | 1/60s
Jason’s appetite for excitement has yielded some of his best shots. Shooting a freestyle Moto X event provided similarly memorable images a few years ago. “It’s a thrill to capture athletes or racers in the middle of intense action. I may shoot hundreds of pictures but the adrenaline rush comes when I get the shot of the day.”
EOS 10D | f/2.8 | ISO 200 | 1/1000s
For Jason, these experiences encapsulate the essence of good photography – the importance of timing and composition. As a documentary and event photographer, he is always anticipating decisive moments in the midst of constant motion. “I love shooting subjects that have an element of drama and emotion. It makes the photo comes to life and become much more compelling.”
EOS 50D | f/5 | ISO 400 | 1/15s
Jason was first introduced to photography when he was given a point-and-shoot camera as a gift on his 15th birthday. He remembers not knowing much about photography but enjoyed taking pictures of friends and family nonetheless. It was only when he started working that his interest was piqued by photography magazines and books. Keen to learn more, Jason enrolled in photography courses to improve his techniques. He has since developed a passion for documentary and event photography and finds inspiration on websites such as Flickr, Getty Images and Fstoppers.
EOS 50D | f/2.8 | ISO 100 | 1/30s
Jason shoots with a Canon EOS 5D Mark III and EOS 50D and he pairs his cameras with the EFS 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM, EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L USM and EF 24-105mm f/4 L USM lenses for most of his shoots. His favourite is the EF 24-105mm f/4 L USM lens as it covers a good range. For those looking to get into action and sports photography, he recommends a camera with high ISO, fast auto-focusing and high frame rate, such as the Canon EOS 7D paired with a Tele-photo lens with fast aperture, like the EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L USM lens.
EOS 50D | f/8 | ISO 400 | 1/800s
Jason has covered a variety of weddings, corporate events, sports and even fashion shows in his photography career. Having been caught off-guard by unexpected shooting conditions and equipment failures before, Jason’s personal mantra is “Plan ahead, be prepared and be adaptable”. In addition to his camera body and lenses, he packs extra batteries and storage cards, water and rain gear in his camera bag. Before a shoot, he would scout for vantage points with good lighting and background, and always pays attention to what is happening around him so as not to miss potentially great photo opportunities.
Canon 50D | f5 | ISO 1000 | 1/60s
EOS 10D | f/4 | ISO 800 | 1/60s
Surprises abound in action and sports photography so photographers should maintain their focus and keep shooting. Sanguinely, Jason suggests to “Hope for the best but expect the worst. Anything can happen and ruin a seemingly perfect shot.”
To learn more about Jason’s works, check out his website: http://www.lensmanfoto.com
If you had an opportunity, which sporting event would you like to shoot? Do share with us and leave your comments below!