Monday, December 28, 2009

Some Random Shots

..while awaiting for proper, written entries here.

I’m sorry dear readers who have been faithfully visiting this blog but have been disappointed more often than not.

Many happenings in my life, and the people around me, so much so that I hardly even have time for myself, what more for the blog.

So anyway, please look see look see the random shots I took in the past couple of months.  No meaning, no title, no objective.  Just click and snap what I see.  So technically, or artistically, the shots may not be at best.

DSC_2900

The Rail.  Dont Jump.  Life Is Precious.

DSC_2932

Ceiling and Christmas.

DSC_2944

Tropical Float.

DSC_2946

Ancient Glory, Forgotten Today. 

DSC_2955

On The Boulevard of Broken Dreams.

DSC_2956

The Day Will Come, When My Stump Shall Again Emerge and Glory Be Restored.

DSC_2961

On The White Line, The Leaf Stands.

 

On a separate note, I tried some CLS (creative lighting system) with 1 Nikon SB600 and my built-in flash as the commander.  Since I couldn’t find a model, my handphone pun boleh la.

DSC_2928

Cant remember the setting la.  I placed the SB600 as slave somewhere at the back of the handphone, around 10 feet away.  Front lighting by the built in flash, probably at 1/16. 

DSC_2930

Same model, different setting, different angle. 

CLS is fun!  I shall experiment more with human models when I can find one!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

They Took All The Trees and Put Them In The Tree Museum

..and charge the people a dollar and a half to see ‘em, no no no, Don't it always seem to go, that you don't know what you’ve got till its gone, They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.

That was part of the lyrics of ‘Big Yellow Taxi’, a song originally sang by I Dont Know Who but was popularised to suit present crowd by the Counting Crows.

Anyway, I’m not going to talk about the Counting Crows or the big yellow taxi or any tree museum.   Yes, the title is not related to this entry, just that the song popped into my head as I was posting this.

ANYWAY.  I took a short holiday back home and while I was left stranded outside for a good hour because mum was out and I didnt have the keys to my house,  I took a drive to the lake gardens, and made a detour to Maxwell Hill.  It was 11.30am, and as the sky was so blue, I couldn't resist taking pictures of the sky.  Hey, it’s not everyday that Taiping has blue skies, most of the time the sky is cloudy and overcast or rainy.

So here are pictures of some trees by the small river near Maxwell Hill.  Nothing great, just thought of sharing the beauty of Taiping trees on a sunny day.

 DSC_2658

DSC_2661 

DSC_2663

Please save the trees by not wasting paper.  Terima kasih. 

Friday, October 09, 2009

My First Wedding Assignment

Collage 1 resized

CK did not have a professional photographer for her wedding day, so I offered to be her official photographer for the ‘chee mui’ session and church ceremony.  Since I am no pro, and she’s a good friend, I did it for free.  I had fun, but I must say that it is not easy being a wedding photographer.  Everything has to be right at the crucial moment.  My experience can be summarised as below:

1.  Must shoo away the relatives who are blocking the OP, that is me.  Be brutal also never mind.  But I am, by nature a gentle and shy person (ahem!) so I failed in this part.

2.  OK, since I did not acheive Item (1), I did a more subtle way, that is slot in IN FRONT of them and buat tak tau they are there.  Alternatively, I changed to a zoom lens and put the lens through their shoulder. Hah.

3.  Dont try to gatal change lenses so many times if u r not a pro.  Really, I couldnt focus on the ring exchange ceremony because I was using a tele lens and it couldnt focus because I was too near!  Sad but never mind, lucky I smart, took photos of the both rings at the fingertips of the priests with some nice bokeh at the back.  Can tipu kut. ;p

4.  Must wear comfortable because the OP is required to climb pews, run fast from front to back and font again, stand for long hours, squat and macam-macam again.  Especially in front the crowd, cannot afford to have the underwear line peeping through the jeans. 

5.  Need lots of stamina for reasons stated above and also, sacrifice of fun times hanging out with my other friends who came because I have to be there for the couple to photograph the relatives and friends.

Ah, that was wedding photography for me.  A little about the couple:

The story of how CK and her hubby Kenny got together is something that I would say ‘drop from the sky’.  CK has been good friends with Ken’s sister for 3 years, and they never knew each other existed.  Until the sister invited CK over for her convocation dinner and that was where they met.  Slowly they got to know each other better, got connected and finally, after 2 or 3 years of courtship, they tied the knot on 18 July 2009.  Such a wonderful couple, and I am really blessed to see CK, being provided with all her needs, including a good life partner, simply because she is faithful to God in every aspect.  She’s an inspiring woman to me.

Yes, do drop me some comments la on the photography aspect.  More pictures to come, but these are my favourites so far. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

28.7% Body Fat???

P1070791

Dei, how come la??  I have ideal weight, ideal BMI but high fat percentage.  At least, if its at border line, its not so bad la.  This is beyond the range.  Want to get markah kesian also cannot.  Sigh.

I shall work out all the fats and we shall see the results again, in 2 months time.  In the meantime, if you guys want to check out your body BMI, blood pressure and fat index, do head down to 1Utama Old Wing (near Jusco); there is a vending machine that does all this for a minimal cost of RM2.  Yes, we now have that in Malaysia.  Canggih, kan? Hehe.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Searching For That Elusive Curry Puff

I have heard, for a very long time, that the Genting Casino has more than just the roulette tables, poker, the pre-programmed jackpots and old uncles and aunties gambling by the thousands.

Kononnya, the curry puff there, is damn nice.  And so I went there, in search of that curry puff, to bust/confirm the myth of the legendary Casino Curry Puff, let’s call it CCP, OK?

The first casino that I went, was the one at First World.  That was the smaller of the two casinos at Genting.  I headed to the cafe.  Tarak curry puff pun.  Never mind, I thought, there must be more makan places in the casino.  Yes, there were two other refreshments corner, but none serve curry puff.

The curry puff is being elusive.  Hmm. 

So I left that first world casino to the bigger one at Genting Hotel (I think so).  Damn it was quite far.  It’s bigger, meaner and has a proper name to it, called Casino de Genting.  Walau, like in The Godfather pulak, got Italian name.  Kekeke.

After a long walk and having to endure the crowd and ciggies smoke, I found a small refreshment corner.  As I approached the counter, I had the feeling that the CCP is there.  It has to be.  I could sense its aura.

And true enough, I was right.  It was there, waiting for me!  

P1070678

I took a bite.

It tasted…. biasa only.  Not bad, but nothing great either.

So the legendary CCP is just a hoax to get non-gambler-foodies to come over to the casino.  Geez.  But at RM 1.50+ only, it is a good buy and is considered one of the cheapest food item one could find in Genting. 

My heart is now at peace knowing that I have tasted the famous CCP.  Hahahahaha. 

Monday, August 31, 2009

Merdeka and 1Malaysia

In a week’s time, we will be celebrating another yet another year of freedom from the British rule.  In many ways, I wouldnt say that having being ruled by the British was a bad thing, of course there were a few bad eggs here and there, but generally, I think we must not forget that it was them who brought trade, education and public facilities to the country and in peace, we asked and they gave us our independence.  So it is wrong to hate the British masters for what they did to us, but rather we should look back and recognize that it was part of our nation’s history and heritage, for better or worst.  And we should also appreciate the works of our dear Tunku for negotiating independence from the Brits.  God’s timing is always good, and He has carved the path for our nation into where it is now.  Yes, despite the few rumours of murder and scandals.  It is not our calling to judge, only to vote and pray for the nation.

Anyway, our new Prime Minister, who has been in office for a few months already, has coined a new theme for the country, called 1Malaysia, or Satu Malaysia.  If this 1Malaysia is the idea that I have about being one nation, then I think I will like this new theme very much.  As for the implementation, it is a different question altogether but let’s give our PM the benefit of doubt and let him run the course before judging on the effectiveness of this 1Malaysia thing.

I would like to see our countrymen living as one, no Malay, no Chinese, no Indian, no dan lain-lain.  When we tell others who we are, we don’t refer to ourselves as Chinese, or Malay, but rather, we are  Malaysian.  I want to see the day that Malays no longer feel intimidated of the Chinese for their growing wealth, the Chinese no longer feel suspicious that the Malays are going to Islamize their children and their culture will be lost, and the Indian no longer feel marginalised and left out in the social and economic world.  I want my future children to play field football and climb trees with Ali, Ah Chong, Arul and Alan, and not only stick to their own race. 

Also, I would want our people to be matured enough to decide for themselves on sensitive issues and not be swayed blindly and easily by the flaming words of the Government, or the Opposition.  Politics can be dirty, but we should not get entranced in supporting one side so much that we trash the good of the other side.  Focus should be on the deed, not the doer.  I would want to see both parties stop their petty arguments on ‘look what I found in your dirty closet’, ‘it was them who did it’,’come jump over to my party’ etc etc, and start to work together for the benefit of the people.   Mat Rempits are still ruling the streets.  Snatch thefts and daylight robbers are still roaming housing estates, still not enough street lights and there are still, many people living in poverty.  So much to do, yet nobody is doing it.  What is justice, fighting on the streets for so-called ‘freedom’, or freeing your fellow neighbors from the fears of criminals?   

Lastly, I want to see Malaysia being a fair country where everybody wants to live here and feel safe raising their kids in this land.  I have too many friends who have migrated overseas because other countries are more ‘condusive’ to live and have better prospects for their children.  While I am tempted to follow suit, I felt that my heart is not ready to leave the country.  This is home.  And I want fellow Malaysians to feel like home too.  I hope with 1Malaysia, things will change for the better.

Selamat Hari Kemerdekaan.  Hidup Malaysia and God bless our country!

Thinking Things Over

For the longest time ever, I took 2.5 days off to unwind and recalibrate my mind and soul.  Things that came to light recently, which I shall maintain shush about it, and some other stuff need some shaking off from weight of my brain.  I am tired.  So I went home, back to the mountains, the rain and the cozy weather of Taiping.  Oh, and the local food too.

And I had time to write and rethink of what I want in life and to prepare myself mentally, for the things that are to come in the near future.  I need to flush the unforgiveness in my heart so I can open up to accept the wrongdoings as a past and not harbor any hatred towards another person.  It is important to me, to be at peace with people, even though I may be the person who was wronged.

Misty Maxwell

The clouds must go.  If it stays, you’ll never know how high you can go, what lies behind the mountain.  The rain has passed, the clouds are clearing, and so, I must move on.

God, give me the strength and wisdom to carry on.  And yes, walk with me. 

The New Hotel In Town

There’s a spanking new hotel at the lake gardens which is setting the sleepy town abuzz.  It’s called Flemington Hotel, and I’d say, though it is yet another 3 star hotel in Taiping, the decor and concept is way better than any other hotels in town and even, Ipoh *ahem*. 

Oh, and they have a skybar too, which is beside the pool.  The  idea of having an open air rooftop bar is plausible, but unfortunately, the lake gardens are not lighted at night, so nothing can be seen from there.  But still, I like the open concept.  And the flat screen TVs too.  Good for football nights with beer.  =)

Flemington Lobby Lounge 01_filtered

The lobby lounge. 

Flemington Lobby Lounge 02_filtered

The lobby lounge from another perspective.

Flemington Skybar 01_filtered

The skybar.  OK, I confess, I forgot to set the ISO to the minimum, and went straight on shooting with slow shutter at ISO 640 and the image suffered some severe noise problem.  But thank goodness NeatImage came to the rescue, albeit a faint effort and some loss of sharpness in some areas. 

Flemington Swimming Pool 01_filtered

The pool.

Flemington Swimming Pool 02_filtered

The pool view from the skybar.

Flemington Swimming Pool 03_filtered

The poolside.

I did not take other parts of the hotel due to time and other constraints.  Perhaps another time.  Maybe I can saja-saja book a night there and have a feel of the room and service of the hotel.  Keke.

Why I Love My New Handbag

P1070667

The D80 attached with the 50mm fits beautifully into it!  And not to mention, I can still fit my purse, my keys, handphone, compact powder, lipbalm, nasal decongestant, comb, sunnies, tissues, and whole lot of other ladies’ stuff.  Stealth is my new name =)

With the new discovery, I am seriously thinking of getting a used D40 to replace my Panasonic Lumix, which is aging, ailing and starting to show signs of flares and focus inaccuracy.  Next bonus, maybe?  Hehe.

Friday, August 21, 2009

I Miss The Good Old Days

P1070586

Suddenly, I feel emo and sentimental after listening to too much of ‘Better’ by Boyzone and ‘Over You’ by Daughtry.  And a little uninspired to write. 

And I remembered during one of the boring and dreggy staff meetings, I drew a picture of my late grandparents house at Kampung Sultan, Kampar.  Beautiful wooden link houses with zink roof and cast iron grilles at the window.  Back then, balik kampung would mean going over to their place, which I really looked forward to as a kid.  The place has since been taken back by the Government and redeveloped, and kong kong and popo also had left us.  Though things have change, the fond memories I had at the house at Kampung Sultan, including the noisy Indian neighbour who blasts Tamil songs during Chinese New Year, the little tadpoles that I used to play with in the water tank (JBA water source was slow, so kong kong and neighbours would harness the water from the mountain for cleaning purposes), the open air kitchen, the faraway toilet with no lights at night, and of course, my late popo’s stir fry prawns, will never leave my memory.   If only I took up photography from young, I would have been able to preserve some images to show my children’s children how a kampung looks like. 

Do you have a kampung to remember?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

G.I Joe – No Spoilers (I Hope!!)

Only few words to describe how the movie was:

1.  Boring.  Damn, what was it about again?  The main actor wasnt good looking, so are the chics.  The only guys I remember now are the Imhotep guy whose name failed to register in my mind after so many installations of The Mummy, and a Wayan brother, whose first name also, did not stick to my memory at all.  Yes, the lineup was boring, the storyline was nothing great and the ending to it…also nothing of substance. 

2.  Nonsensical.  The weapons are way too futuristic to the point that it defies every aspect of logic.  I didnt get what the whole war was all about, and I cant even figure what era was this whole thing supposed to set in.  Also, what has the 1600 introduction got to do with the movie?  Sure it explains the ancestry of this James McCullen (you’ll know who he is when you watch, he’s the villain) but I really dont see the relevance of showing this part at all. 

3.  Overboard.  Having some salt in our food is good, but adding too much of it makes the food awful.  That was exactly how I felt about this movie.  The weapons were ugly, which is still an understatement btw.  Fugly was more like it, big, heavy, overly powerful and same colour.  The space ship-cum-plane looks like a bastard son of a father cicak and mother dugong, the underwater base camp reminds me of Futurama and the super suit looks like something from ‘Hancock’ (movie by Will Smith).  The fighting scenes were just pure kicking, punching and shooting, until I also dont know what was going on and why the fights went on for eternity.  Blah.

 

So overall, this is my review on the movie.  Please, I am not complaining, just writing what I feel about it.  You may disagree with me but this is what I feel.  My verdict is a one and a half star out of five; though I did not enjoy the movie, but at least, it is better than watching one of those sucky Korean/Singapore horror flicks, or Hong Kong slapstick movies.

Bwt, just in case you are wondering what G.I Joe stands for, well, it is Government Issue Joe (yeah, sounds lame, I know).  And yes, they have ancestries from Hasbro and Marvel comics as well (like Transformers).  Go watch it, if you have nothing else to watch now.  Otherwise, just save that hard earned RM11 and get yourself a good meal instead.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Beam Launching 21 June 2009

For the benefits of those who do not have any inkling of what ‘beam launching’ is all about, I shall take the liberty to explain, in my own words, what is it and what’s so great about it.

Beam launching is, as the name suggests, is the launching of a section of a beam, or a whole beam, depending on the size and requirement.  In my case, it was the whole beam, weighing a massive 9.8tonnes (slightly lighter than Optimus Prime, hehe), and being hoisted all the way up to where it should sit permanently at Level 24, using two tower cranes.  The coordination of the cranes were crucial, and many a times, one crane moved faster than the other, causing the beam to tilt dangerously.  But thank God, there was no untoward incident.  This beam was made of structural steel, and is part of the structure for our skybridge. 

OK, back to the event.  So I was quickly assumed as the official photographer simply because I have a DSLR, with a long lens that looks damn pro (actually it was only the Nikon 55-200 which I bought for RM600? hehe), and with the SB600 and the Bagman bag.  Pressure, you know, but the good thing about being the ‘most professional looking photog with style’ is, people actually make way for me to shoot! Haha.

DSC_1513

One of our Bangladeshi signalman.  Signalmen are the ‘eyes and ears’ of the tower crane operators.  The communicate with each other with walkie talkie.

DSC_1526a

DSC_1531a

DSC_1538a

Workers fixing the slings to the beams.

DSC_1581a

The arrival….at Level 24.  The background is Jalan Ampang.

DSC_1594a

Pulling into position.  The beam is still suspended, just in case any of you are wondering.

DSC_1612a 

DSC_1633a

Watching…and waiting.

DSC_1643a

Bolt to place..

DSC_1652a

Techies discussing tech side of the beam.

DSC_1661

Screw it with care. Ha.

 DSC_1645a

Another angle of the bolt.

DSC_1720

After bolt, lagi must weld.  I took approximately 20 numbers of welding pictures, but only few turned out well.   Some were a little too dramatic to most people’s liking.  Hence, I will edit them another time.

DSC_1766a

Maskman.

DSC_1778a

Working on the suspended beam.  Takutnyer! 

DSC_1787a

  Sitting, waiting.  On the beam, that is.  At Level 24 with NOTHING below.  But these guys are experts, they are used to work at height.

Yup, these are my selected few images on that day.  I have another album, and lots more still in RAW, but due to time constraint, I will leave them at where they are.

 

So kesimpulannya, there is no kesimpulan to this series, but a record of what occured on that day.  Working in the construction line may be tiring and stressful, but the site is a goldmine for photography, and I am still learning how to make eye-catching images at my workplace.  In the meantime, please do comment, and drop by my fotopic gallery at http://titaniumpictures.fotopic.net.  Goodnight. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Ian Wright Taught Me Something On TV Today

A quote from Ian Wright about modelling

“ You must feel confident that you are good looking and that your looks is worth taking pictures of’

Something like that.  I couldnt agree more.  Perhaps that’s why I am always behind the viewfinder rather than the view to be found.  Because deep down, I dont think I am that good looking, and I dont think that my looks would worth a keeper’s shot.  No, this is not a depressing moment entry, so no need to pujuk me and all that.  Of course I am good looking, but just not thaaaat good looking to be posing like a model lar.

So why am I writing this?  Because, in case I fall in love with ‘shoot leng lui over the weekend’ type of photography, or the higher end ‘fashion shoot that makes money’, I will remember a tip that would bring out the best in the model – to drill in her that her looks is worth every of my shutter count.   

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Packing For Tomorrow

1.  Camera – Checked

2. Main lens – 18-70mm, clean, attached properly to camera – Checked

3. Secondary lens – 55-200mm, clean – Checked

4.  Memory cards available – 4G main and all the rest as spares – Checked

6.  Battery charged –Checked.  Spare battery also charged – Checked

7.  Battery grip attached to camera – Checked.

8.  SB600 – batteries and spares charged – Checked

9.  Diffusers – Phottix omnibounce and DIY bouncecard – Checked

10.  Cleaning kit – Checked

11.  Spare cameras – Panasonic Lumix and Olympus – Checked.

12.  Road direction to CK’s house – Checked

That’s all?  I hope.  Now, I need to pray that the photos will turn out fine tomorrow for CK’s wedding.  And yes, I’m the unofficial official photographer for the day.  I’m no pro, just doing a favor for a friend.  Cross fingers and hope for the best!

Nite.  I need to sleep.  Gonna be a long day tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

So Much Happened

..but so little to say.

Been a little pensive lately, and in a great dilemma too.  While I really, really do appreciate the open door, and to a certain degree, would love to jump into the bandwagon, I find that I almost can’t leave behind all I have here.  The comfort zone.  Maybe I don’t trust God enough, which I shouldn’t because He had given me more signs than enough to tell me that the clouds have moved and it is time to pack the tent.  And in retrospect, I cannot find a time when God left me to wade through the rain all by myself.  Thank you, dear Lord, for taking care of me.  To leave or not, its Your will, not mine. 

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Another Day At Sekinchan

During the first trip to Sekinchan with Pet, I mentioned that the weather was overcast and it was drizzling.  Also, the paddy fields were still green, and not many farmers were around.  This time around, I went to Sekinchan, again, but this time with KLguy and DrWho, and it was harvesting time on certain parts.  So green fields have turned yellowish and machines were seen everywhere.  Gone were the days when humans manually harvested the fields for rice.

Btw, what is paddy known in English?  Is paddy the right word?  So the Chinese and Viets refer to paddy as paddy?  Sounds kinds funny because its so Malay.  Padi.  Paddy.  Hmm.

Anyway, since I already took so many field and paddy plant shots, I thought I might as well concentrate on other subjects. 

DSC_1289

This is one random shot taken with the camera placed on the ground, without me looking through the viewfinder.  I love the colours.  Pink jambu air and red earth.  Green trees surrounding it.

DSC_1285a

Lagi-lagi pokok padi.  This one has dew on it.

DSC_1293

Pakcik and son fishing at the small stream.  Pakcik was a very friendly man, told us about himself.  He grew up at the paddy fields and now owns a few plots at Sekinchan.  And he loves fishing. 

After spending some time shooting at the Malay fields (Disclaimer:  I’m no racist, this is merely for referral of the location only), we went to the nearby fishing village for a meal of seafood.  KLguy did some homework on what and were to eat prior to our trip and we ended up eating Shark Meat.  It tastes sometime between fish and chicken.  So here’s the picture.

DSC_1323

Other dishes were pretty standard and we were very hungry, so no pictures.

After lunch, we ventured into the fisherman’s wharf. 

DSC_1326

Old wooden buildings.   I love wood.

DSC_1336

Fishing net.

DSC_1338

Mudskipper aplenty.  They always look sad, somehow. 

DSC_1341

Pulley on the boat.

DSC_1364

Bigger pulley on the boat.

DSC_1365

A fisherman resting in the boat on a hot afternoon. 

DSC_1366

Steel chains.  I like metals too.

After the visit to the wharf, we went to another paddy fields, the Chinese fields.  It was harvesting already and we could see machines and man on scattered locations on the field.

DSC_1372

The bicycle.

DSC_1376

Rotting wood plank.

DSC_1299

The abandoned helmet.

DSC_1409

Hayball.  Yes, Malaysia pun ada.

DSC_1410

Kosovo.  No la, harvested and burnt field.  Open burning was rampant here, but what choice do they have?  The fields are massive.  And burnt plants make the soil fertile for the next season.

DSC_1423

Harvesting in the evening.

DSC_1434

Closeup on the er, chopper?  Dont know what that’s called la.

On the way back to PJ, we saw many fruit stalls and I was attracted to the myriad of fruits neatly displayed on the makeshift shelf.  So I took a few shots.

DSC_1447

Red and Yellow.

DSC_1449

Green jagung

DSC_1450

Yam. 

So that sums up the day trip to Sekinchan.  I’d say it was a fun and fruitful day!