January 2012 Archives

The green, green grass of home

It was a bit of struggle to get this photo. There aren't many wide open spaces in my neighbourhood; except for this one patch of really tall grass, an empty bungalow lot. The only problem was that the lot was walled off by a really tall (8 or 9 feet) solid zinc fence. But i wasn't to be defeated, there was a small hold in the wall, i put my hand and camera through the hole and pressed the shutter release.

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Geartalk: Olympus E-PM1 Kit Lens, 14-42mm

Generally, kit lenses are temporary place holders for better quality glass; something to use while an upgrade is pending. This past week i've changed things up, and relied exclusively on the PEN Mini kit lens, shooting exclusively in the 28mm equivalent focal range. At f3.5 (though i used f4 mostly -- found the half stop making quite a difference in the IQ), it's a relatively slow lens, but very usable in most available daytime light conditions. I was very surprised at how sharp the lens is at f4.0 and at f5.6, this sharpness extends from corner to corner quite well. Not your average kit lens, this. Very pleased.

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Tired in the market

A lady takes a break from the weekly shopping. Having carried the bags myself today, they are a lot heavier than they look. Food for the table. Who said mankind has evolved from hunter gatherers?

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Cry baby

Why do babies cry? Because they want some attention. Hunger, pain, fear, loneliness.

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Geartalk: HDR, High Dynamic Range

HDR, or High Dynamic Range, photography is a technique that allows for the darkest and lightest portions of the photo to be far apart and still allow for acceptable contrast. HDR images can be obtained by either computer rendering, or via the merging of several different photos that represent the exposure range being captured. Many modern enthusiast digital cameras facilitate this via automatic exposure bracketing (AEB), ranging from 3 to 9 shots. A typical 3-shot bracket may have the same photo at -1EV 0EV +1EV. Then software such as Lightroom is used to merge the photos together. The results can look something like this, 3-shot bracket, -1.3EV 0EV +1.3EV, Olympus E-PM1.

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Cross-eyed

Stare at this photo long enough, and it'll give you a headache. Not sure if that's a good feature to have in a photograph. Unless of course, you're decorating for a dungeon.

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Light and frame

Sometimes, in life, i'm blessed because i get things just right. This is one of those times.

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Heron in the City

From Wikipedia - The herons are a widespread family with a cosmopolitan distribution. They exist on all continents except Antarctica, and are present in most habitats except the coldest extremes of the Arctic, extremely high mountains and the driest deserts. Almost all species are associated with water, they are essentially non-swimming waterbirds that feed on the margins of lakes, rivers, swamps, ponds and the sea.

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Silver raindrops

Mercurial, quicksilver. Like scales on a snake, bright and shiny.

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Batik textiles

There is a nice calming effect about batik patterns. Either printed, or hand painted, the curves, the flower motif, the soft silky touch under the fingers -- it's just so very pleasing.

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Cigar rings

A little perspective goes a long way. Cigar: Cohiba Behike 52, Model: Ming Thein.

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Geartalk: That Leica Pop, M9 + Summilux 35mm f1.4

During a Lunar New Year party recently thrown by a friend, i got some facetime with the Leica M9. The last time i had this marvelous piece of precision engineering in my hands, it was paired with the Noctilux 50mm f0.95. This time, it came with the Summilux 35mm f1.4. The results? Amazing. It might be a brand association, or just a placebic mind trick, but Leica photos have a unique "pop". See for yourself.

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Cooking meat

Petaling Street is a beehive of activity during the festive lunar new year season. Among those who are working in over-drive are the bak kwa (dried meat) grillers. They stand for hours in the face of the grill, perfectly making the meat that is a favourite for the season.

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Empty graffiti

One of the busiest walkways in downtown KL, suddenly empty. Even the obligatory Indonesian shoe repair man is missing. All that remains is his shoebox, and the graffiti.

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Energy, or qi

Some people have an energy exuding from within; it's very obvious in their presence. It pours out of them, and it's not difficult to capture it on film. Here is a fantastic example, an aunt, at our Cheong family reunion dinner.

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Dancing, flashmob

For the first time in my life last week, i experienced the infectious nature of a flashmob. An impromptu (or seemingly so) group of dancers coming together to perform for a few minutes in a random location. Beside myself, i couldn't help but to sway and hip and hop to the beat. I almost missed this lovely shot of another person, similarly infected.

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The split second

For me, there is a split second of anticipation, that moment just before the service to start the point, a pinprick of breathtaking beauty and silence. Freezing that moment, before the burst of power, speed and expression overwhelms.

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The Victory

The Danish women's doubles pair made it into the Finals of the Maybank Malaysia Open 2012 after a tremendous effort. The whole match they were sombre and serious, even when they were on the verge of victory. And when the final ball went in, winning them the match, the release of emotions was palpable.

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I believe I can fly

The grace of the human body in all it's capacities is accentuated during sporting events. The best, most nimble, fastest, strongest and dextrous among us are on show, to wow us, amaze us, and take our breath away with moves that our minds refuse to believe possible, but our eyes tells us is true. 

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The Malaysian Way

Feet up, Kentucky Chicken, soft drinks, kacang putih and a world class sporting event. That's the Malaysian way.

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Fixtures

Someone once told me that you will find what you're looking for when you look up. Besides the obvious metaphorical connotations, i find his advice to hold a lot of truth in photography as well. 

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Good times, cigars included

Last Friday night, i met up with friends to share a new cigar, the H Upmann Half Corona. You can read the full review here. Besides the wonderful cigar and food, the camaraderie was outstanding. Catching it all on film is a bonus.

Generations

I've always been interested in photographs that tell a tale of time. Long exposure photos, high-speed sport photography, photographs that show the "before and after". In this shot, a grandmother and her granddaughter, separated by 2 generations, yet frozen in perfect juxtaposition. 

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Zamzuri, a blast from the past

Old friends are like old shoes. You may have them in your closet for years, never wear them, forgotten and dusty. But they can be rediscovered, taken for a shine, and when you wear them again, they feel like they never left your feet. 

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Ecstatic

The human emotion is a funny thing. When we feel sad we cry, we frown, we sigh. When the opposite happens, when happiness happens, we laugh, we smile. Pay close attention, the face does not lie, it will reveal all.

Kassandra Kassim

Selling niche

You see these small little niches carved into the sides of building everywhere in old parts of Kuala Lumpur. Small, really small stores, packed with everything from newspapers to drinks to aphrodisiacs to Chinese medicines to mobile phone accessories. Tiny caves of wonder.

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Geartalk: Sharpness of Olympus 45mm f/1.8

M4/3 mount, the Olympus 45mm f/1.8 is capable of stunning sharpness. Notice the crisp lines, very little fringing, and the level of captured detail.

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Rubber sadness

The human face, unlike any other, is able to convey the most telling emotions seemingly at will, often without conscious effort. A twist of an eyebrow, a frown, a wrinkled brow. You don't even need to be sad to look sad. Powerful stuff, even when it's not true.

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Maelstrom

On the drive home from work, was fortunate enough to see a fantastic natural light show in the clouds. Bright orange, the last rays of that magic hour, silhouetting the clouds, thousands of feet in the air. A maelstrom of colours, an explosion of Nature's expression.

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Hello, Kitty

There are certain symbols that are instantly recognizable. The swastika is known as a Nazi symbol. The Nike swoosh is unmistakable. If you see a stick figure without a skirt on a door in a mall, odds are good you know you're looking at the entrance to the gents. Here's another, a pop culture icon. Even in a sea of thousands, in low-light, one look and you just know.

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Graffiti, KL style

Saw this on the wall near to Dataran Merdeka on New Year's Eve. Good graffiti comes with a message. I wonder whether there is a message in these scribblings, or are they just random jottings on the wall.

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A play of light

If there was ever a reason to own camera, it would be to catch moments such as this. Here and gone in just a split moment, only a photo will ensure it is never forgotten.

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Happy New Year 2012

At the New Year's Eve party last night at Dataran Merdeka, KL, it felt as though half the city had turned out to see the festivities. Packed to the brim, there was hardly enough space to turn. When the fireworks lit up the night sky, "Ooohs and ahhhs" resonated through the crowd. The booming blasts of lights ushered in a new year, the 2012th edition of the modern calendar. 

May your year be full of OOOH, AHHHS and BOOMS. Happy New Year 2012.

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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from January 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

December 2011 is the previous archive.

February 2012 is the next archive.

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