Thought of the day

I thank whatever gods may be / For my unconquerable soul. / I am the master of my fate / I am the captain of my soul. ~William Ernest Henley, Invictus

Government's promises are like the Ringgit, they depreciate with time.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Picture says a thousand words

Garlands with the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple in the background

Han Yang and I were so enthusiastic about the shooting trip in Little India. He recently bought his Fuji S3 Pro with a 15 - 200mm Nikon lens. Both of us arrived at the rendezvous at 7.30am in order to capture the so called "Golden Hour". Little did we knew, the weather decided to play a little joke on us. It drizzled. So we took shelter at a nearby market, ate our breakfast and waited for the mizzle to stop. Till 9am, finally we decided to call it a day and headed back to the MRT station. It was then, we spotted a construction site and Han Yang hoisted his camera to shoot anyway, "A little moisture won't do much damage lar."

While I shoot impulsively, pointing at almost anything appealing to me, Han Yang would be standing quietly aside, observing, figuring and then he positioned and snapped. Then he told me that it is better to get one or two pictures that tell a thousand words rather than going home with a full memory card loaded with just "photos".

We chanced upon a young Sri Lankan photographer while he was putting out the placard of his studio. Han Yang, being the usual extrovert stopped and chit-chatted with him. We learned that he sold off his studio in Sri Lanka and migrated to Singapore for a more stable life. Obviously, he is a supporter of the Tamil Tiger. Not taller than five foot three, Joy Alex was amazed at how Singapore is able to accomodate such diverse communities from different countries and ethnics and coexist in harmony and peace.

Eventually, the friendly Sri Lankan invited us to his studio, which is not very well-equipped (he doesn't have a diffuser, proper reflector...etc). But the smart guy is able to capitalized on his 10-year experience in the trade and make the most out of what he has. "You do not need to own the best gadgets in the world, it's the person behind the viewfinder that determines the quality of a picture." Joy brought out his Nikon D300 and shot some portraits of me and Han Yang. And I learnt one thing important: Don't use Auto mode if you really want to get better. Use Manual, now.

We stayed for more than an hour before we excused ourselves. Joy showed us the way down the stairs and it was then Han Yang decided to take a picture of Joy with his masterpieces pasted on the wall. And I got my first picture with a story.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Happy Deepavali

Something to share from an Indian restaurant CM and I patronized days before Deepavali:

I asked for Strength,
...and God gave me Difficulties to make me Strong.
I asked for Wisdom,
...and God gave me Problems to Solve.
I asked for Prosperity,
...and God gave me Brain and Brawn to Work.
I asked for Courage,
...and God gave me Danger to Overcome.
I asked for Love,
...and God gave me Troubled People to Help.
I asked for Favours,
...and God gave me Opportunities.

I received Nothing I Wanted...
I received Everything I Needed.

Happy Deepavali to All my Friends:)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Early bird catches the worm

Living in a common room, I am greeted by the scent of the burning incense each morning. And sometimes, when the wind blows in the right direction, it fetches the fume in as well and I will wake up a smoked salmon.

After breakfast with CM and seeing her off to work, I sneaked out with my camera to do some bird shooting. Where I failed to get a good shot the other day, here are some of the catches for the day:)

It got freak out by me, my bad.

More pictures on flikr.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I am learning

focus: 125mm, ss:1/500s, f/5.6, ISO:180 (out of focus)

Didn't know that we have to get a dry box for DSLR.

Unlike normal compact cameras, which we can simply keep it in the casing and place it anywhere, we actually need to store DSLRs in a cool, dry place to prevent fungi infestation on the lens. This is because shutterbugs tend to exchange lenses for different shooting settings and while doing so, dust and particles will inevitably be introduced to the inner part of the lens and camera body. Some dusts are also conveniently sucked into the lens barrel while we twist and turn the zoom ring. And the earthly powdery material sets a good ground for fungi to grow.

The good news is, early infestation will not affect picture quality. With this said, it is almost always too late when you discover the infestation which resulted in insufficient brightness in the shots taken. Worst still, the sharpness will be affected if the surface of the lens is etched by chemical excreted by the fungus.

One can prevent this problem by safekeeping the camera in a dry box. There are 2 ways: store it in an airtight box with silica gel or an electronic dehumidifier. The latter is more effective and low maintenance in commision as you do not need to replace or dry the silica gel. Furthermore, you are able to monitor and control the humidity with the electronic dehumidifier. (Recommended humidity: 45 -55% RH.)

To purchase, please visit digi-cabi.

Other means to prevent fungi growth:
  • Shoot more often (during daytime), the UV from the sun can kill fungi.
  • Zoom the lens back and forth several times in a dry room before putting them away, to replace some of the air inside.

And so, I got myself a 30L digi-cabin. Next on the must have list is a tripod for nightscape.

Have fun:)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The birth of a shutterbug

After years of holdup, finally, I made up my mind to go for my first DSLR:) After meeting some ex-colleagues at Secret Recipe QBM, CM and I drove all the way to Komtar and headed directly to the reputable Click n Snap. After some bargaining with the shopkeeper, I landed the Nikon D60 dual kit package. If the uncle was there, I might even get the same package with much cheaper price. But never mind la, since the assistant accidentally bring out the D300 camera bag instead of the normal, smaller, compact one.

The following are my first few test shots:

Fried egg by CM for breakfast.

Nikon cameras produce punchy images. Didn't perform any editing for this one.

The NUS campus at night. ISO 800 with VR turned on.

And with great enthusiasm, I brought my new toy back to Kluang last weekend for practice. Mana tau, when we were about to reach Kluang Town, the rain started to pour like durians and mangosteens....*&^%%^~!!! Nonetheless, I managed to conduct some constraint shots:

View opposite my home.

Jalan Perwira 1/6

Actually got a lot of birds on the branches, but the moment i snap...^&*$%#

See! Got bird bird one! This one taken with tele-lens far far away.

Hahaha, this one heavily doctored using picasa!

Enough about me, here are some masterpiece by CM. gosu.