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DANIEL CHEONG | The Sage of Cityscape

I am a self-confess 500px aficionado and have always drawn my inspiration from the magnificent photos of its contributors around the world. It is a must for me to visit the site every day and gaze upon the popular gallery wherein outstanding images are being voted and favorites having a high “Pulse” rating by the viewers.

Dubai, being the most popular city for the last decade had become a regular feature at 500px. I must say this city, wherein the impossible became possible and where dream became reality have been captured through the lens of Daniel Cheong. Having a Chinese descent, Daniel was born in Mauritius and is working with a world renowned telecom firm based in Dubai. This guy just has jaw dropping (literally AWESOME!) images manifesting the exquisite structures of Dubai. Again I would like to share with you my online interview with Daniel and let’s get to know him better.

Kindly tell us who is Daniel Cheong if your not doing photography?

I have a Master Degree in Computer Science, I started my career by doing software development and consulting for several mobile communications companies, I am now a Technical Manager for Nokia Middle East.

Daniel Cheong

When did photography became a part of your life?

I always had a camera since I was a kid (I started with film), but only became serious about it when I bought my first DSLR in 2006.
Photo by Daniel Cheong

What are the gears in your bag?

Nikon D800, Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8, Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII, Sigma 50mm f/1.4, Nikkor 16mm f/2.8 Fisheye, Nikon remote, Manfrotto tripod, Photo Clam Ballhead & L-bracket, SB900 speedlight, LucrOit filter holder, ND400 filter.

Photo by Daniel Cheong

Photo by Daniel Cheong

Did it ever cross your mind that you will be recognize because of your photos?

Absolutely not!

Photo by Daniel Cheong

Photo by Daniel Cheong

Your cityscape photos has been appreciated worldwide, How does it feel to be one of the notable person in 500px?

It feels very rewarding for sure, to have a great number of followers on 500px, and often reaching high scores in the popularity ranking.I am so thankful to all my followers on 500px, Flickr & Facebook. And because of that, I always try to post the best shots.
Photo by Daniel Cheong

Do you have any plans of switching into photography full-time as a career in the future?

Not for now, I truly enjoy it as a hobby, I can shoot whatever I want, no constraint or pressure. I do sell prints through one gallery in Dubai, it helps to buy new equipment and finance photo trips. I also provide workshops in Dubai, and SE Asia.

Photo by Daniel Cheong

Has there been any instances that a building authority forbids you to take photos?

Most of the time, I access the building in a legal way, either because I know someone who has an apartment/ofice in a high floor, or I got invited by someone who has the proper authorization. I was only caught once by a security guard.
Photo by Daniel Cheong

I have read several times that your photo was used without your consent, how do you manage image theft?

I don't mind people using my photos (for non commercial use) as long as they mention my name, and ideally link the photo back to one of my social networks. In case of Facebook, they have a very efficient way of reporting copyright infringement and the photo will be removed in 24 hours. As for other websites, this is more complicated and time consuming.
Photo by Daniel Cheong

Briefly could you explain to our readers what is digital blending technique?

When you shoot a landscape/cityscape in one single exposure, most of the time you will have areas which are under exposed, and areas which are over exposed. By taking 2 more exposures, one over exposed by 2 stops, and one under exposed by 2 stops, and using a simple technique of layer masking in Photoshop, you can easily correct the under exposed and over exposed areas, and create a well balanced exposed shot.
Photo by Daniel Cheong

And also, kindly please impart a message to my readers, to those who are into photography what can you advise them ?

Try to find your own style, be inspired by others but try not to copy them. Don't believe too much in EXIF data, just go out there, take hundreds of shots, experiment different settings. Also better focus on a specific type of photography which is in your comfort zone, and try to improve and perfect it. Only after, you can try to explore new genres of photography.
Photo by Daniel Cheong

Here is one of Daniel's latest night shots on 500px

You can also follow him through the following websites:

Facebook Page:
Facebook Profile:
Twitter: @danielkhc

He also told me that he will be having his Instagram account soon and for those people who might get interested on how he does his photographs, Daniel is conducting workshops  not only in Dubai but also in other country (I guess it depends on his availability).

Thanks again for your time...

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