About Me

My photo
Event and Street Photographer who leads by the Spirit of God and loves to capture the moment in life either in door or on the street.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Malacca Trip 2012

The dust have settled but the soup is still warm and just nice to eat.

Robin Wong said "For blog updates, I always believe a good bowl of hot noodle soup is best served while it is still hot."

I agreed with him 100% on this as when time lapse we tend to forget the details and the refreshness of our experience during our journey.

In my case, I am abit lucky as I have written down all the main destinations which we have visited except the texture, the flavour and the richness of Nyonya foods may have diminished it's refreshness.

Let's jump in our car and have fun. Let the journey begin.

Before we press on the accelerator, our main purpose for this trip were Sightseeing and Food hunting. For me, it's a opportunity for photography exercise and practising my manual setting beside meeting new people and talk to more strangers on the street.

As Agnes is not driving and we have to wait for Chew Chee Long at the Bus Stop opposite our DKSH PJ office. Our sporty Timex watches which DKSH Malaysia once distributed shows the time as 7.05AM, Friday, 20th April.

All the faces in the car looks happy and excited for the journey.

 Agnes is our Finance Director for the trip, beaming with an internal smile in the bright golden morning sun.
 Chew Chee Long is our Guide and Transport Director.
Irene is our Hospitality Director in charge of accomodation is also beaming with smiles as can be seen in the side mirror.

Even our fellow road user on his motorbike next to my window also looks happy and fresh in the morning sun light.

Chew Long is setting the destination for our first stop which is Pasar Besar Seremban. According to the newspaper clip that he holds, there are a few good food stall at the Pasar Besar Seremban.

Specifically we were looking for TOW KEE HAKKA MEE and HIONG KEE MEE HOON SOTONG located at the first floor of the Pasar Besar Seremban. According to newspaper clips, these two stalls are a MUST VISIT for those who love good and tasty food when they visit Seremban.

 When we reached Pasar Besar Seremban, we parked our car on the road side.

 Chew Chee Long takes his Canon Camera Bag from the car booth and ready for the adventure.
 A good morning body stretch to start the day...at the ground floor of the Pasar Besar Seremban.
 A brother stuffs the sliced brinjal with minched meat. A friendly guy who is really good with his hands.
SURPRISE!!! One of our workmate's mother who happen to open a stall here, GERAI MAKANAN DAN MINUMAN SENG HING. A very friendly lady with lots of joy in her heart and very generous with her smile. Having a drink here with a bowl of Tow Kee Hakka Mee from next door is just perfect.

Now for our real target: TOW KEE HAKKA MEE

GPS Coordinates: 2.729633, 101.93679
 Tow Kee Hakka Mee is stalll number 810, just on the left of Gerai Makanan dan Minuman Seng Hing. You may sit at the Geri Makanan dan Minuman Seng Hing and order the hakka Mee here.
We ordered two bowl of Hakka Mee. It's noodles fried with minched meat. The texture is perfect, not too soft and not too oily. The taste is real good and mixed well with the flavour of the minched meat. I would say, it's worth the long journey.

 The owner of the Tow Kee Hakka Mee appearance is deceiving as his appearance looks unfriendly and fierce but once to get to him, he is more than willing to share his passion for his work and his Hakka Mee.

It's a perfect teamwork as his wife also has a very good hands in preparing Hakka Mee for the customers.

 Chew Chee Long takes his shots of the food served.
 HIONG KEE MEE HOON SOTONG is at Stall number 753 which is located a the far end corner on the first floor of Pasar Besar Seremban. If you can not find, then look for the man using his hand to fried the mee hoon.
He is frying the mee hoon with his bare hands in a big wok with the fire blazing beneath the wok. When it's abit dry, he adds some oil to the Mee Hoon.  He is busy frying when I talk to him and he said, "Why are you talking in Malay? You are not Chinese? I respond with, "I am from Sawarak."
And he chipes with "Ooo Sarawak, Sibu ke?"
Ah! He nailed me right there and I respond, "I am."
I ask him for some shots and he respond with, "Sure! "

According to him, he has been doing these for years and his hands can bear the great heat of the wok and the fire but he has to move his hands real fast. He is a real Kungfu master.
Hiong Kee Mee Hoon Sotong is served. Tasty and yummy.
After Pasar Besar Seremban, we head for Taman Senawang Jaya in search for RESTORAN ASIA at  341, Taman Senawang Jaya where a famous Curry Noodle is served.

 When we arrived at Restoran Asia some of the locals have their share of the curry noodles.
 GPS coordinates: N 2°42'8", E 101°57'14"

 The curry noodles stall with it's owner who claimed to have been in this curry noodles business for 30 years. She is friendly and love to share information on her curry noodles.
We ordered two bowls of Curry Noodles and one Nasi Lemak.

 My verdict on this Curry Noodle: Perfectly cook, taste great with perfect curry mixer, not too spicy. Once you eat, you feel you want more.
Nasi Lemak: The rice is well cook with good mixer of cocunut taste. The paste is not too hot and great taste.

You may doubt but here is the face expression of those who taste the Restoran Asia Curry Noodles.

 Ask Chew Chee Long: Very nice. Don't ask me. I am busy.

 Ask Irene: SSSsssss...Nice!!! Stop take photo! Eat lo!!
 Ask Agnes: Very nice!! You don't eat, I eat yours.

The reaction of the Curry Noodles seller: Thank you! Thank you!! Come again!!

 Even the street fruit seller gives a big laugh when I commented on her bright red T shirt which shows her bright days ahead.
 Then off we go again but this time we head for our hotel, NAZA.TALYYA, a 3 Star hotel.
We will stay in this hotel for the night.
 Now our Timex watch shows 12.17PM and we will check in at 2.00PM as per the Hotel Front Office staff

Be right back with Walk in Malacca Street....Next

Sunday, April 15, 2012

A Photographer Journey-Part 3

My dear friends, I am back again as I felt bad to left you off in my previous post " A Photographer Journey-Part 2 with two unanswered questions:
What is coming my way? How I handle it?

 Before I tackle those question, let me share with you on how I hold the camera which was one of the most important thing that I learned in the beginning.

Why it is so important?

Once I was a Tae Kwon Do martial artist and instructor. One of the most important thing you need to learn is a proper stance to execute an effective punch or kick. A weak stance delivers no power and not effective.You lost part of the battle. With that mindset, I agree with most of the professional photographer that how you hold your camera play major role in your photography growth.

Benefit of proper camera holding:
1. Decrease Blur images.
2. Lower your camera shake threshold. Eg. 1/25s or lower. (try with non VR, VC or IS or OS) - very important when you do not have a tripod in low light.
3. Gives you confident even the surroundings are against you. (No tripod, moving vehicle, fast action, candid shots)
4. Makes you look like you know what you are doing as a photographer. Gives confident to the one who ask you or hire you to take their photos.
5. Gives you as a photographer a very good foundation as you are the second tripod.

I was so engrossed in this issue that I used to approach those in the street who do not hold their camera in a proper way. That's bad. I am too personal and it gets into me. Let the proper way of camera holding be one with you.

You may ask how is the proper way?

My advice is do some Google on "How to hold a camera? or Proper camera holding" Some may even guide you on how to breath when releasing the shutter. You may also check it out in YouTube for the video.

Now we tackle the questions: What is coming my way? How I handle it?

The first thing come my way was an invitation by my SIC Scripture Study' Facilitator, Brother Ken Cham who is also an Editor for St Ignatius Church Website to be part of his Pastoral Communication Ministry as one of their official photographer. At that time I just completed the Basic Photography Stage on my online e-course on About Photography with Liz Masoner. I do not reject him straight but I ask him for time to give him my answer.

In the meantime my wife and I were having our annual vacation to Krabi, Thailand on a 4 Days 3 Nights trip on September 24th to 27th. You may read more on this vacation in three of my previous post: Krabi-day-one, Krabi-day-two and Krabi-day-three
During the trip I used most of my time shooting practice and shooting practice and I almost screwed up my camera at one time.

Am I nervous? Very nervous and excited. I want to be the Church official photographer but I do not have what it takes to be one. I only know the basic: Shutter speed, Aperture, ISO, White Balance, how to hold a camera, stopping blurring images, red eye, color. But deep inside my soul, I REALLY WANT TO BE THE CHURCH OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPHER. That desire and want drive me on.

It's been a month of my training in photography and on October 1st, I made my decision of joining the Church Pastoral Communication Ministry. My heart was full of joy and I thanks God for this opportunity. Deep within me hoping that they will give me a few more months to practice or a least to complete the Intermediate Level in my Photography e-course.

Do you think the Pastoral Communication Ministry wait for me? NO!
The next day, I was informed that I will be on duty as the Church Official Photographer on October 23th for the Children First Holy Communion.
You may read this in my post My-first-church-event-photograpghy. I was so nervous that my first few shots were useless and blur until I tell myself that I am chosen as an official photographer. I am chosen amongst many photographers in the Church and I have to give my very best with my limited knowledge in photography, zero skill and zero technique.

If I can do it with MS Excel, I believe I can do it with photography. During my early days of my work, I knew a bit of Ms Excel but I used that little knowledge to simplify my work to be more efficient until my boss consider that I am a MS Excel Expert.

When the event completed, my work were real bad but some of the Church member said it's good. I tell myself that I CAN DO BETTER and I WILL.

Later on November 4th 2011, I did an event photography for the company that I am working with as in my post DKSH-Deepa-Raya-2011. I was using my new lens AF-S Nikkor 50mm 1:1.8G which cost me MYR800 with filter. Here I do not have any pressure as I am doing it by my own. I consider this as part of my training and no one ask me to do it. No obligation, no responsibility.
The problem is, I like sharing and I shared those photos with our company management. Our management like my photos and I am marked as a photographer.

Something is coming from the company this time.

On November 25th, 2011 the management want me to take a very important event, the DKSH Fantree President Award 2010. This photos will be viewed by the whole group throughout the whole.
Now I am really screwed. I am on a cross road but my mouth is too fast to say, "YES, I WILL DO IT". And I added, "It's good for my training." These words are not acceptable by some looking at the important of the event and I am regret to say those words. I am really sorry. The truth is, I am giving my best with my limit knowledge of photography. The truth is, I am always love to learn, practice and practice until I make it right.
Here are some of those photos which I never post anywhere. They look horrible but that is history and I need those photos to grow.
Irene Chan receives the Award from Mr. Leonard Tan, our Leader. The photos is out of focus and wrong White Balance.
 Irene Chan's team that won the Award.
The Group photos for the Management team and the award recipients. The wall is reflective and I should have known that it will reflect my flash. Wrong white balance and bad group arrangement.

After this I did take photos for company event as in DKSH-25-years-service-award and DKSH-annual-dinner-dance-2011 and it's getting better.

Practice is very important in photography beside reading. Read and practice.

What else are important things that I learn during this time? 
1. Learn how to see
2. Learn how to compose and frame without camera.
I will tackle this question in my next post.

Final Advice:
1. Be focus and fixed on what you want. This will be your driving force.
2. Be your best with limited knowledge.
3. Grab any opportunity arise to help your growth. This can also be your driving force for growth.
4. Push yourself to the limit with reading and practice. If you can not do it by your own, go for photography workshop. 
5. Love and joy of what you are doing. Bring it to your heart. Have passion for the art.

Hope to see you again in my next posting. Good night.
Happy Shooting.....Read and Practice and Practice...let it be part of you.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

A Photographer Journey - Part 2

I am back again continue from my previous post "A Photographer Journey Part 1" which ended with a statement "Now I want a Canon 60D instead of A Nikon D5100".

Ego and Self Evaluation
That statement shows not so good thing about me at that time. It show my stupid ego is sky high and self evaluation on my photography experience was too high which is far above my real self. I do not even know how to crawl, how can I walk. I know nothing of driving and yet I want a Honda. I know nothing of photography and yet I want to jump to the intermediate level camera in Canon 60D. That's real suck.
I believe most beginner did the same mistake.
My friends, realistic self-evaluation is very important in photography especially if you are a slow learner or lazy to read or learn new things fast. Please note that this is an expensive hobby.

Search, Read and Learn
Eventhough my dream camera is still not in my hand, I am keeping myself busy searching, reading and learning about camera and photography. I roamed the internet daily searching for good articles like a hungry dog looking for food. I am really hungry for information which I read, digest and evaluate.
These are some of the site that help me for information.
1. Ken Rockwell - A very good site for information on tools (Camera and lens) review and photography as an art.
 Please keep an open mind, let your mind be as a sponge.
2. dpreview.com - A very good site for information on tools (camera and lens) review
3. Camera Labs - A very good site for information on tools review, photography tips and etc
4. National Geographic-Jim-Richardson-Photography - A good place to great photos and good articles

In the meantime, I also enrolled in Scripture Study at St Ignatius Church, Petaling Jaya. Actually I have posted most of my earlier blog using my Olympus uTough 8010 which include the Maranatha Retreat with Fr Ignatius Huan.

Canon 60D or Nikon D7000
I know the time will come when my Financial Controller will approve my purchase of new upgraded camera. But my camera target change again as I have gained more information on camera and their level in photography tools. How could I compare a Canon 60D with Nikon D5100? It's not apple to apple comparison. Thus I bring in Nikon D7000 into my selections. The down side is I have to do a new marketing proposal to my Financial Controller (wife).
She looks at me in the eyes and said, "Ok, how much?"
I am almost there but I have to roam the street for the best price for both of these camera, from Petaling Jaya to Low Yat. I got the good price in Digital Mall, Petaling Jaya but I keep it to myself until the right time.
By now you should know it's not cheap to invest in photography and the camera that I want is not cheap either. I remind myself to let my wife makes the first more and I use that 'move' to make the kill.
I wait and wait and wait...be patience.

A day before Malaysia Merdeka Day (National Day) 2011
It's a holiday and my Financial Controller is in a joyful mood. As we walk at One Utama, she popped up the question which I am longing to hear, the 'move' that I have being waiting with patience.
She turn to me and ask, "Do you want to buy your camera or not?"
My heart pump like crazy but I control my joy with a fun smile and said, "Sure! Can! Can!"
I answer as if I am afraid she changes her mind in that split second.
But which camera brand.....
My mind works fast and Jim Richardson, the National Geographic's phographer comes to my mind. He is using a Nikon camera and I want to be like him wearing the same hat. But my wife rejected the hat idea.
I told my wife, I want a Nikon D7000 with Tamron 18-200mm.
When we arrived at Digital Mall, section 14, Petaling Jaya, we were put fort with both cameras but my mind had been fixed with Nikon.
As for the lens, once again I change the lens to Sigma DC 18-200mm instead of Tamron. I still wonder why I changed.
Now this lens is safely kept in my camera box with two packet of silica gel until further notice.
My wife said, "Don't sell, just keep it."

First shooting with Nikon D7000
What do you expect from my first shoot? And When?
I forgot to tell you that I always carry one of my camera around in my pouch or my trousers pocket daily wherever I go.
Earlier on my trusted Olympus UTough 8010 was always in my front trousers pocket but now my pouch will be filled with my Nikon D7000. Heavy but worth carrying daily.

That same evening on August 30th 2011, we headed for I-City, Shah Alam.
I have to learn real fast and as we drive to Shah Alam,
my wife ask, "You know how to use the camera or not?
My confident kicked in and I said, "Sure! I will try my best."
The truth, I knew only the theory of the camera by reading on the website.
No hand on instruction.
I flip the pages of the camera manual as Superman did and expect to know something on the operation of this new tools.
Here are some of those photos. (Battery not yet charge but can operate with limited time)

My First shot at Digital Mall, Sect 14, Petaling Jaya. She is my FC and my wife. This shot is to test the camera and it's lens.

My first shot at I-City, during this time i do not know how to change setting to lighten the foreground image  and everything is on Auto. (I just bought this camera a few hours ago.)
As my mind is looking for answers, I think why not try the build-in flash.

Read and Shoot
Early morning on August 31st, 2011, my photography adventure start with Read the Camera Manual and go out Shoot as many shots as I can. I just can not wait for the day to come and wake up and shoot.

This is one of my bonsai after the rain.
I always ask myself, "If I change this what will happen?"

This is one of my Water Jasmine blooming after the rain.

I normally shoot around 300 to 400 shots per day to to get myself familiar with the camera setting and most of the important camera function.

It took me a week to digest the manual and be familiar with the camera buttons and function.

Beside this on the spiritual side, I have made a promise with God to use this camera D7000 for his glory. During the first week nothing happen yet but I know something is coming because once I promise with God things will definitely happen. I ask and it will happen that is how my relationship with God. But certain favours, I ask but never happen. Maybe I ask the things not conform to His will. Be patience!!

Taking that promise in account, I have to learn photography and the camera operation real fast because I do not know when He calls me for His service.

What is coming my way? How I handle it?

That is another story and time to share.

Final advice:
1. Be honest with your self regarding your photography experience.
2. Ask around for more information on the camera you want.
3. Determine the usage of your camera. This factor will decide the lens you need.
4. Be a well informed buyer. Do not waste money on the things you do not need. In my case, Sigma DC 18-200mm.
5. Be the best you can in photography and set yourself a target. My target is 5 years to be good in photography.
6. Determine what is your inclination or your desire in photography. You can not be everything. It's very expensive hobby. If you want to be a event photographer, buy an event lens. If you want to shot bird, buy a telephoto lens. If you want to shoot macro, buy a macro lens. But a prime lens is a must buy lens.

I am an event photo taker and I am using Tamron SP AF 17-50mm f/2.8 VC (I choose this because Nikkor lens cost MYR 4900-5K while Tamron cost me MYR 1770 with filter. If you have extra money, get a Nikkor lens.) with a Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G. My zoom is my legs. That's all, I need. Save money and have fun.

Last but not the least, I have made the stupid mistake and I hope you will be more informed.

Have a great weekend, my friend.

(To be continue)

Friday, April 13, 2012

A Photographer Journey - Part 1

I am back with this a question, "Why photography"?

Most of my friends knew that I am not in photography but I am more in video recording. During those days, I am always with my JVC Camcoder wherever I went to capture the moment.

I really love to record but I do not have a good computer to process those recorded video. Some of my recorded tapes are not even process. I only have a humble old Pentium PC and later a netbook which not helping at all. Now my old Pentium PC are gone kaput. The worst part, I know nothing of video recording but I learn with trial and error method. If I get the good video then I will repeat it, if not I will change the method again until I get it right.

In 1997, I slowly move to photography when my wife bought a Nokia N73 for me. I shoot anything and record anything but I know nothing of photography as an art. Even when travel abroad, i still shoot with my Nokia N73 like our trip to Chengmai, Thailand and Cambodia.

No desire to learn photography as an art yet.

In mean time, few of my workmate were very excited about photography and most of them are on Canon 450. They are Chan Wai Leong who later owned a Canon 5D Mk II, Chew Chee Long with his 450 and Michelle with another Canon. Even our GM also bought a Canon 450.

I tell myself, one day I also want a Canon. Then came out Canon 550D, I tell my wife that I want that camera but I end up with an Olympus uTough 8010 in 2010.

Now I have a real camera, a point and shot camera which cost us MYR 1,299 and the normal price was MYR 1,499. I am very excited of this new toy and my shooting spree start again. I shoot anything and record anything but I am incline to do candid shots.
My camera setting is always 'P' because I want to train myself for my future DSLR.

I learn about photo taking from  Olympus Website especially How to take good picture and Underwater Photography Lesson.

I also start to have an interest to learn photography and I start to read National Geographic on their website especially their photography section. There I came across a particular photographer by the name of Jim Richardson. I read all his articles on photography on Natgeo.

Then in July 2011, I signed in with About.com Photography Lesson with Liz-Masoner as my teacher. Now I am really into the photography as an art. I want more and my Olympus camera is over used as I shoot everyday. I need to upgrade my tools.

By now I want a Canon 60D as I prefer it over Nikon D5100.

Nikon D7000 is not on my mind yet.

(Time for dinner...Happy weekend.)
To be continued

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Easter & Baptism 2012

Santuary with AlleluiaRCIA FacilitatorsRCIA010GodparentsSharon Joan with her GodparentGrace with her Godparent
GodparentsEric with his GodparentGodparentsFather and SonRichard Lai & Say ChuanReady for Baptism
Alyas Francis and GodparentCheryl and GodparentAlex Blaze and his GodparentCandidate012Fire to light the Easter CandleFr Lucas leads the prayer
Prayer continuesMark the Easter CandleReady a light to light the Easter CandleLight the Easter CandleSharing the Light of Easter CandleLights of Easter
Easter & Baptism 2012, a set on Flickr.
This a collection of photos during Easter Virgil, Lighting of Easter Candle, Baptism, Prayer Over during Confirmation, Annointing for confirmations, First Holy Communion for new Baptized, Group photos.
Camera: Nikon D7000
Lens: Tamron SP AF 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II VC LD Aspherical (IF)
Others: Good eyes
Camera Setting:
Exposure Program: Manual
Metering Mode: Matrix
Shutter Speed: 1/60s or 1/30s
Aperture: f/2.8 or 4
ISO: 800
Focal Length: Variables
Flash: None (Need $$ for Flash)