Thursday, April 23, 2009

Curi Ayam (Stealing Chicken)

Taking a short breather from work, now that the office is empty.  Yup, I’m all by myself now, which is a luxury I hardly get.  I still have a lot of work, reports to be done, subcontractors to feed, and problems to solve, but once in a while, we all need short breaks from work, do we?  Even a 10 mins net surfing session is suffice. 

Am listening to Simply Red’s ‘Stars’ on my mp3 player.  I think its a wonderful song – gives me the warm feeling in my heart, even at work.

Cheers, break is over.  Thanks for reading my small 2 min rant.  Have a nice day (or what’s left of the day) at work!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Degenerated Discs

I’ve not been writing much personal stuff here of late and I am sure some of you are wondering what have I been up to.  Thank you, my friends for keep coming back to read this blog.  And to those who are new, welcome and I hope you will return back for the second time, third and so on.

Well, as per the title of this entry,  I have been diagnosed with degenerated disc at my lower back (cant remember which lumbar) which explains the severe backache I have been suffering for the past couple of months.  There isnt anything I could do to recover because whatever hydraulics in that particular disc have all leaked out and I am left with a hollow disc.  I wouldnt have borthered much if it wasnt the lower back which pricks my nerves like crazy whenever I sit for a long stretch, bend myself forward or backward, and getting up from the bed or anywhere low.  According to the orthopedic, this condition is actually quite common, and the doctor had adviced me to go swimming to strengthen my back to at least, alleviate the pain and prevent further degeneration on other discs.

Anyway, all’s not grim.  I have been meaning to learn swimming but never had the opportunity, commitment and a proper instructor to teach me.  So now that I have such medical condition, my instructor must teach me no matter how teruk a swimmer I am.  And I have a stronger will to learn now. 

OK lah, I wish I could write more but my back is really getting me and I got to stand up.  Perhaps, I need a new chair.  Please pray for me (for the back problem, not the chair ;p)

Monday, April 20, 2009

A Little Photoshop Could Do Some Wonders

Photoshop is one of the most useful software man has ever created after Microsoft.  It makes women thinner, takes years off an old man, and turns sweaty models into porcelain.   Of course it has other uses like changing George Bush from ‘saggy old man’ into ‘Ms Jolie’s body’ and bring together Osama and Bush in Paris Hilton’s party.  But the latter two are examples of extreme photo-manipulation, which does not interest me at all because my love is on photography, not graphics, and Photoshop is a tool to enhance a shot and to bring the right kind of feel to the image.

Anyway, dont want to loh soh so much about Photoshop.

I was supposed to be doing my office homework (yes, I brought back work for the weekend, sad right? Ish.) but I ended up experimenting with my friend’s picture which I curi-curi plucked from her blog, the Makeup Island (sorry, Bev, didnt ask u first; if you are reading this, I hope you dont mind).  She is a makeup artist by profession and had done some makeup on herself beautifully. The self taken portraits on the blog just didnt do her any justice, IMO.  So I got itchy and decided to photoshop one of the pictures to enhance her look.  Please note that I did not manipulate the image, just adjusted the curves and saturation, spot heal some moles, clear some stray hair on the face, smoothen her face a little and a little dodge and burn here and there.  It may not be perfect, but I think its better than the original, no?clip_image001

On your left is the original, and the right is the photoshopped.  Which one do you like better?  I’d like to know.  Bang me if you dont like it.  Pat me if you do.  Tell me what you think =)

**Coming right next under the Photography category:-

- Photos taken at my latest strobist session.  Still at RAW, yet to edit.   

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Bukit Bintang and Some CLS (Creative Lighting System)

Last weekend, the three of us, KLguy, Dr Who and I went around Bukit Bintang for a night street shoot cum strobist session.  For the ignorant, strobist is photography with off-camera flash, usually connected to the DSLR hotshoe via wires, and can be fired at any desired intensity and timing, depending on how the strobes (flashguns in our case) are set.  In Nikon, we call it CLS or Creative Lighting System.

Here are some of my selected shots:-

1.  Kelab De Vegas.  Taken with 3 exposures, bracketed.  And combined in Photoshop to create some kind of HDR (High Dynamic Range) image.  Click here to learn more about HDR.

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2.  Light Trails at Jalan in front Times Square.  Suddenly I realised that I dont know the name of the road!  But the trails could have been better had I had more skills in taking them.  Sigh.  Or maybe the background colours are too distracting? Light trails are ‘lines’ created by moving lights (in this case, the red lines created by the cars that pass by).

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3.  Reflections on the puddle.  This was taken at the lorong behind Sungai Wang Plaza.  There were some stalls selling keropok lekor, jagung, satay and some drinks. 

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4.  Punksters Inc.  These kids were sporting enough to pose for us!  And since they all have this grunge-punk-rockster style, I decided to give the photo a touch of Lomo-ish green tint and vignetting (darkened black corners) to enhance the image.  Jadi or not?  Hehe…

Actually I still have a lot more to learn in Photoshop.

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5.  The effects of using two strobes.  This is one of our (not mine alone, KLguy set the strobes, DrWho posed and I merely snapped because the flashguns were Nikons) shots taken with two flashguns set at manual, one located on DrWho’s right and another, behind him.

*Due to no model release, the eyes of the model (Dr Who) has to be pixelated*

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So that’s it for now.  I have more than a hundred shots actually, but only 5 is worthy to be posted.  My QAQC is strict OK, hehe.

And yes, I kinda like flash photography now!  =)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Shot Rant

Need to b*tch a bit about the new dude in my office. 

I noticed he’s got this weird habit of suddenly smiling by himself when he works.  Like, when studying drawings, or even when he hears our general conversations with other people which does not concern him.  I find that irritating OK.  Dont know what’s in his head that makes him smile tak tentu pasal.

The most annoying thing for me is, whenever I use Eye-Mo, he will smile on his own.  EVERY time without fail.  I am not perasan or coincidental, being a scientific person, I TESTED his responses several times by dropping Eye-Mo when he is not smiling.  The end result is, by the time I finish wetting both eyes, he would be smiling already. I dont understand.  What’s so funny about dripping Eye-Mo?  It’s normal ok.  This smiling tak tentu pasal is getting super annoying I might just burst out and ask him why he’s like that.  Ish.

Ah, after ranting, I feel more relieved.  Thank you berry berry muchi for reading this.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Where I Was, At Tanjung Tuan

I was asked to help out as a photographer for the Raptor Watch Lighthouse Race and I purposely chose to be stationed at the lighthouse so that while waiting for the runner to arrive, I could curi-curi take pictures of the breathtaking view of the clear blue skies with beautiful white clouds and the calm emerald sea. 

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Entrance to the lighthouse was actually by permit only.  Many, many avid birders with their super super super telephoto lenses that looks and feels expensive were in the compound of the lighthouse, because they have the permit.

For me, I dont need permit.  I sembang-sembang dengan Pak Guard kat lighhouse tu, told him kita tiga orang saja, AJK utk lighthouse race, boleh lah, bang…. and he allowed me in =)

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It was worthwhile as I dont get to go upclose to a lighthouse often and also, I met some very friendly photographers and we sembang-sembang about our gears.

And the aerial view of the seaside was magnificent on that day.

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More to come, only these pictures are ready because I submitted these to the company portal. 

I so crave for another landscape photography outing now.