Photo & People

Behind the Craft with the EOS M5 - The Art of Shoemaking

Greeted by the warm scent of top-grain leather upon entrance into this combined storefront and workshop, we step into the home of master artisan and shoemaker Edwin Neo. Ed Et Al is a charming bespoke footwear outfit, hidden in the heart of the central business district. Tastefully decorated with an assortment of gentleman’s accessories upfront, Edwin and his assistant work intently in the room next door packed with racks of unfinished oxfords and loafers, waiting for the touch of the master’s hands.

EOS M5/ EF24mm f/1.4L II USM/ FL: 24mm/ Manual Mode (f/1.4, 1/200sec.)/ ISO 400/ WB: Custom

Packed with the functions and features previously only available in the semi-professional range of cameras, the new flagship mirrorless has brought infinite possibilities to the creative individuals among us. As the muse is to the artist, let the EOS M5 be the companion on our journey of exploration.


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EOS M5/ EF24mm f/1.4L II USM/ FL: 24mm/ Manual Mode (f/1.4, 1/200sec.)/ ISO 400/ WB: Custom

Would we rather have a thousand broken memories that don’t amount to anything meaningful or one key moment imprinted in the back our heads for life? A demand for better quality is what prompted the establishment of Ed Et Al. The small-batch shoemaking company provides men with the luxury of owning a pair of well-crafted shoes, whether they prefer a simple classic design or a customised piece, made to fit their taste and style

Tip:While we embrace fancy techniques, some shots are best left plain and simple. Use the familiarity of the eye level angle to draw the audience into the shot, to relate with the subject matter. To make things interesting, throw in little details like interesting flares or exposure patterns created from shooting directly into light sources.

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EOS M5/ EF24mm f/1.4L II USM/ FL: 24mm/ Manual Mode (f/1.4, 1/200sec.)/ ISO 400/ WB: Custom

Crafting shoes from scratch is no easy feat. With almost 250 steps involved, each step requires a different skill, from the more artistic talents of designing to the technical aspects of molding and stitching. There is something special about wearing a personal apparel pieced together by the hands of a dedicated craftsman.

Tip:Showcase the complexity of the space by shooting from a Bird’s Eye View angle. This tells a story from the subject’s point-of-view and helps to establish a sense of the location and space.

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EOS M5/ EF24mm f/1.4L II USM/ FL: 24mm/ Manual Mode (f/1.6, 1/160sec.)/ ISO 400/ WB: Custom

From the cobblestone streets of Budapest, Hungary to the parquet floors of his own store in Singapore, Edwin has worked his way up from a shoe repairer to Master Shoemaker. With every pair he put on the streets, each traversing the Earth in his stead, he gained a little more.

Tip:Take in the surroundings and use the environment to your advantage. Use leading lines like edges of tables, walls and walkways to lead the viewer into the frame. When shooting indoors or at night, consider the lighting variations. Invest in a quick lens with a wide maximum aperture in order to capture motion while maintaining noise control.

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EOS M5/ EF14mm f/2.8L II USM / FL: 14mm/ Manual Mode (f/2.8, 1/160sec.)/ ISO 400/ WB: Custom

Our roads are paved by the ones who walk before us. As the master passes on his knowledge to disciple, it is evident that the cycle of wisdom never ends. First learn the basics, and then break the rules.

Tip:First the basics – watch out for exposure and learn the effects of the settings. When shooting from bottom up, be careful of shadows that obscure the subject. Add more dynamism to the photo by playing with shutter speed and let sparks fly.

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EOS M5/ EF24mm f/1.4L II USM/ FL: 24mm/ Manual Mode (f/1.4, 1/200sec.)/ ISO 800/ WB: Custom

The end product – a Monk shoe. Without any laces like the classic oxford, this advanced design reflects the modernity of both wearer and maker. As an effortlessly stylish, casual dress shoe that can compliment a suit just as well, this versatile piece can easily slip into any gentleman’s wardrobe.

Tip:The shoot is not over until we leave the venue. Tell a compelling story with a beginning and an end, from the raw unrefined moments to the grand finale. A picture speaks a thousand words.

Shoemaking is complex and takes years of experience. While it may be hard to resist the temptation of buying into cheaper alternatives, you’re not just buying a product. You’re investing in the experience. Imagine walking down the hallway with confident steps, your name on the front door; or marching down the isle with your daughter in arm, ready to take the leap of faith. Step forward with the knowledge that diligence pays off; not just in the rigor of the creator in crafting that, which grounds your feet, but also of the commitment of the wearer in standing your ground. More importantly, for the moments that matter, know that you can capture each step forward with the trusty mirrorless camera – the EOS M5.

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