Sunday, May 17, 2009

Padang Serai paddy field

When I’m required to wake up on Saturdays earlier then I hafta wake up for work on weekdays, it doesn’t exactly excite me. But heck, the meeting location was not in the office so it was worth a try. Arrived sleepy-eyed with a bunch of funny fellas and proceeded to the paddy field.

When we arrived, the weather was really quite superb at 7.30-ish in the morning, the so-called magic light. Wasn’t that hot either. Suddenly waking up before the chickens did sounded like a good idea. Nice. Start shooting!

The paddy itself was still quite young and short. So no fields of gold this time around.

Here’s an attempt at a panorama where three longkangs meet.

Looks like the footprint of some giant bird eh? I’d say it was around 190’ to 200’ view. The longkang actually looked quite crappy, but the reflection of the sky made it look like an idyllic stream.

Mr TNB had built a whole bunch of power pylons all around the paddy field. It does kinda spoil the scene a bit, but I think if shot properly, it does have an interesting look to it. Like the subject of the day with my cols with regards to boring photos…. “Nevermindla, as long as got story!”

There was some dude walking around spraying fertilisers or insecticides making a race-track pattern around one of the fields. I waited until he was near enough and facing the right direction before shooting him with a telephoto.

And then I spotted this. I guess my next bag of rice will taste like someone’s feet. “Beras Superior AAA Perisa Belacan”!

I also took this opportunity to give my macro lens a full workout.

Boy macro-ing is difficult. Had a bit of a sore back after that.

After the paddy field, we got conned big time by the organiser, who suggested we climb to the top of a hill to get a nice view. Nice view of the oil palm trees more like it! Came home, had lunch, then KO’d for 3 hours. Hahahah.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Some macro shots

Thats from my Minolta 100mm f/2.8 Macro. Bought this from The seller said the condition was excellent. Well excellent my ass!! The lens came with a lot of dust inside, which affected the image quality. I finally got it cleaned out last week in KL, which cost me RM100. Bugger… but anyway…

It’s sharp, being a prime macro. Focusing is slow as heck, being a prime macro. The DOF is extremely extremely thin… a lot thinner than a Tamron SP90, so its hard to get sufficient DOF.

Here are some sample shots I took over the weekend.

Someone told me it looks drunk…

Seeds from some sorta palm tree

Some sorta bug. My brother actually snapped this because he was taller, so he gets more magnification for overhead subjects. Bugger.

The famous overlapping ovals. Not a macro shot, but sharp as heck! We didn’t know the badge had those imperfections!

Monday, March 30, 2009


Last Saturday, I went on a photo outing with some colleagues at KOMTAR. Our intention was to learn about photographing architecture and looking lead-in lines. For those who don’t know what that is, its short for Kompleks Tunku Abdul Rahman. Just go to Penang and look for this gigantic cigarette sticking out of the ground, thats the one.


Quite easy to find right? Hahahah!

Before we start shooting, we need to warm up first. Luckily there were a load of birdies around to help us.


On a serious note, I did learn about hyperfocusing, which is really useful for situations such as this where there’s no time for auto-focus. Fun leh!

Here’s what it actually looks like lah..

There she is..

A few steps to climb to reach the base of the tower.

Climb the steps

All 65-storeys of it.


As we found out, there were a lot of hidden gems around the area. Nicely kept but devoid of people… I’m guessing most people dont even know about it. There were even a few enterprising businesses around.

Err... no thanks

Dun Wan lah… Hahahah.

A shot of the “Lima batang jalan”, an intersection of 5 roads in front of KOMTAR. The light was still good, not too harsh.

Lima batang jalan

While we were looking down at the traffic, I decided to teach some of the newer folks about panning. Hard to get right, but the results are very syiok. This is the best one that I managed to get.

Panning an ahpek

We also practised some longkang shooting. Hahahahh.

Another way to see the world

You can see the Trader’s Hotel from here. The big round bola is the KOMTAR Dome, which is an indoor hall for concerts and events.


There was a moat around the Dome to protect from invaders, but it hasn’t been used in a while.

When was it last opened?

Oklah… last tall shot. The sky was really blue that morning.

Does this look like a...

Doesn’t that shot remind of a certain male appendage….? Hahahahah.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

In support of Earth Hour

Earth Hour is this Eco initiative that asks people to turn off their lights for one hour on 28th March 2009 from 8.30pm to 9.30pm. Supposedly to save energy and reduce the carbon footprint of electricity generation. It doesn’t really make sense if people only support Earth Hour for the heck of it and then continue to turn on the combined 4000W air-conditioning systems and 1000W entertainment systems after that…

But thats besides the point. CEO and myself decided to support also la by turning off all our lights for that one hour. Here’s a picture we took to commemorate the event:


Here’s another shot from a different angle:


HAHAHAHAH! Actually we just switched all the lights off and went to Queensbay Mall la…

Monday, March 23, 2009

Speed test!

Was supposed to go for a photo outing last Saturday but it rained in the morning! So I slept a while longer then woke up with nothing to do. Suddenly I remembered, I bought this Kingston Elite Pro CF 8GB a few months ago, thinking of replacing my Sony MSPD-thru-converter for my camera. The Sony MSPD ain't exactly the fastest bit of kit around, so I thought at RM78, the Kingston Elite Pro should be a worthwhile replacement. Spec'd at 133x or 20 Mbps some more! 

But then hor... it doesn't seem fast la... almost the same as my MSPD only! Even my colleague who shot my wedding for me told me it was slow. And once it reached 200+ pictures, it began moving even slower still.


So I decided to do a very unscientific speed test between the two. I randomly chose 6 RAW and 20 JPGs totally to 112MB and did a copy-to and read-from to my PC, to see if it was really faster or not. 

And the result? On average...

Sony MSPD write: 11 Mbps read 20 Mbps
Kingston Elite Pro 133x write: 11 Mbps read 22 Mbps

What the heck?! Writing speed almost the same! Rugilah my RM78... didn't achieve my objective also! Further reading on the internet showed that the 8GB version used MLC flash technology which is slower than the 4GB SLC flash technology. At the time, the 4GB version was selling for RM50. I thought 8GB more worth it mar..

Oh well. Spare memory card I guess. Elite Pro 133X my arse...

Monday, March 16, 2009

Goodbye old friend...

My Minolta 50mm f/3.5 Macro is going off a new home. Very sharp lens with trademark Minolta bokeh. It's "only" f/3.5 but personally, it doesn't really matter because the DOF at f/2.8 is so thin that its hard to use. Makes a reasonably good portrait lens too, but again DOF is hard to manage. 

When I got it second hand from a forummer, my first impression wasn't that good. The box was quite weathered! I thought habislah... sure item condition no good..


But the lens itself was flawless! I suspect it lived in a dry box most its life.


Two things that let it down is 1. Its 50mm focal distance means you gotta get in real close and 2. It's only 1:2 magnification. Coupled with the short focal distance, it means the bugs will see me before I shoot them! Anyway, hope the new owner puts it to good use. 

Here are some of the best shots I've taken. 

Trippy with bambi eyes



Dew drops

Now Mr Seller... please send me my Minolta 100mm f/2.8 Macro quickly!! Bwahahahah! 

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Roll 1D20 to strike for 3D6x10 MD

If you didn't understand the title, it probably means you're under 25 years old. Back in the old days, before computer games had VGA graphics and TV was limited to 3 channels, we used to play pen-and-paper RPGs! Robotech was definitely the favourite in my group. Back then, we didn't have money to buy original copies of the books, so we photocopied each others' photocopied books. 

Check it out!
All for under RM200 shipped from eBay. Not in the best of condition, but I can't complain. They're all there!! Except the Macross II stuff.

I foresee myself with the same bunch of great friends, sitting in a kopitiam when we're 80 years old, rolling dice to pass away time. Here's a classic line I remember:

Gamemaster : Invid fires 2 mini-missiles at you
Me: Hmm... my Veritech's speed is higher than the missiles' speed, so I fly full afterburner
Gamemaster : Where can like that one??
Me : Nehh.... see the stats
Gamemaster : Ok, but you're now running low on protoculture... cannot do it anymore
Me : WTF?!