December 25, 2010

Kuala Kelawang 01

I was so forgetful to leave my flash and diffuser at Liew's place, only discovered it when we arrived to our macro spot.

So I can only shoot natural light subjects or borrowing other people's camera.

(Natural Light)

(Wolf Spider with offspring on her back - Natural Light)

(A closer look)

(Longhorn Beetle - Natural Light)

(Assassin Bug - Natural Light)

(Jumping Spider, using liew's camera: 5D Mark II, MP-E 65mm @ 4X, MT-24 EX + DIY Diffuser)

(Using Shunfa's camera: Treehopper with ticks on its body)

December 24, 2010

Night Macro 01

I got my first owlfly, too bad I couldn't get close enough before it flew. Before today, I thought owlfly does not exists in Malaysia.

(Too bad only got a record shot. didn't get a chance to snap a nice shot)

And we found many sleeping bees around the spot.

December 11, 2010

TEST: Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 DC

After acquiring my UWA lens for a week, I still haven't got a chance to really test it in the field. Its a shame to buy a lens and keep it inside my dry cabinet and not using it, so I decided to take some sample shots of the lens

1) Lens Flare Test

The lens shows some weird flares when a light source is positioned somewhat beside the lens, approximately 11 o'clock direction, out of the frame.

(53 seconds, f/16, ISO 100)

I will be pissing off if each image of mine contains flare. Luckily, this is not the case. My second image shows no flare (see below). Anyway, this lens produces beautiful star effect from the streetlight when aperture is narrowed down.

(54 seconds, f/4.5, ISO 100)

2) Sharpness

The sharpness of this lens is awesome. The below image was shot wide open (again, you can see the flare):

(50 seconds, f/4.5, ISO 100)

and its 100% crop near the edge:

No sharpening or noise reduction as it will affect the sharpness. Pretty neat eh?

December 03, 2010

New Gears in the House XXIII

My 1st Sigma Lens!

(Spherical front element and built in hood, make it unable to use filters)

Built quality is superb, feels very solid. I love the crinkle finishing on the lens body but I heard it will peel off/fade over time.

(The effect is exaggerating at 8mm as it will distort anything near to the lens and anything at the edge of the lens as well)

The only con I found in this lens is not being able to use any filter. But I have yet to try to hand-held a piece of square filter in front of it. It might just work.

Price: RM 2,200.00
Discount: -
Net: RM 2,200.00

Total spending to date: RM 15,450.03

November 21, 2010

Puchong Lake - Sunset II

Woke up from an evening nap today and realized the sky is so beautiful, so I rushed to Puchong again for another round of sunset.

Too bad I arrived quite late, I have no time to think and shoot right on.

(HDR - 7 exposures)

(The magic moment in HDR - 7 exposures)

Result? Bad composition. Lesson learned - always arrive earlier.

November 17, 2010

Puchong Lake - Sunset

This is the 1st time I do sunset with liewwk and gang. Can't see the sun though as the cloud is thick.

(HDR - 7 shots)

November 07, 2010

Tanjung Sepat Sunset

I went to Tanjung Sepat and hoped for a beautiful sunset, but the sky was disappointing. So I decided to do long exposure seascape in Black & White (B&W).

(The beach is kinda dirty)

To obtain long shutter speed, 3 pcs of Cokin ND filters was used, total of 6-stops reduction. However, it gives heavy magenta cast when stacked, so going B&W is wise choice.

October 23, 2010

Aaron & Shin Yee's Wedding

I never shoot weddings, and will not shoot weddings for commercial purpose due to personal preference. However, this is special case as the bride is my cousin. This is also the first time I add textures into my photo. I chose Black & White as my theme for the post-processing (PP) work-flow.

Note: I'm not the primary photographer thus all my shots are not up-closed and in the best position/angle.

There are some shots I missed as there are just too many photographers blocking me:
- The dress (hanged)
- Zipping the dress
- Make up
- Ring exchanging
- Kissing
- etc...

October 08, 2010

Penang Trip 2010

This is perhaps the 3rd or 4th time I visit Penang. However, we decided to include Ipoh in our itinerary. Ipoh is famous for its Dim Sum & Chicken Rice. It takes 2 hours to reach Ipoh from KL if you are driving on an average speed of 120-130km/h.

Our first stop - Ming Court Dim Sum (明阁点心), 7:35am:

(Ming Court Dim Sum)
4 35 49.18 N
101 05 101.19 E


The taste was not bad, I would have rate it 4/5. The portion is smaller than what I found in KL, but hey, it is much more cheaper. My favourite dish would be the 虾卖 (which is a prawn variant of Siu Mai). But the Taro Dumpling (芋角) was so so. I will surely re-visit this place in future, and luckily, it is not weekend or else it will be packed with people.

It was still early after we finished our breakfast, so we decided to visit some temples in Ipoh. The first one is Sam Poh Tong (三宝洞). It was still early so not much visitors there.

(As you can see, the temple is built inside the cave)

The next temple is just next to Sam Poh Tong, which is called Nam Tian Tong (南天洞). This temple is also built inside the cave and it is much more larger than the previous one.

We head to our next destination - Penang around 9:30am.

We reached our hotel around 11:45am and we are only able to check in after 2pm. So we decided to visit Kek Lok Si Temple (极乐寺), which is a (another) famous temple in Penang Island.

(After years of construction, the pavilion is still unfinished)

(The Kuan Yin statue, made from bronze)

(one of the statue inside Kek Lok Si)

(Reminds me of Bali)

(View from Kek Lok Si)

We had our lunch in Air Itam Town, which is just below the Kek Lok Si. The famous food in this town is Asam Laksa. It costs RM2.50 now and it taste not as good as last time already. I will rate it 3/5.

(Air Itam Asam Laksa)
5º 24' 04.55" N
100º 16' 41" E

We head back to hotel to get check in after lunch. The hotel is quite new, but, scarce of parking space. Only 12 cars can be parked in the hotel although it has one of the few hydraulic car lift parking system in Malaysia.

(This is already the maximum depth I can park and the car is still 2 inches longer than the space, making it unable to go underground)

After some rest, we decided to get some cendol near KOMTAR. I did not save the exact location in GPS previously, I almost gave up looking for the stall. In my opinion, all cendol tasts almost the same. So I rate it 3/5 as it does not surprise me.

(Penang Road Cendol)
5º 25' 1.62" N
100º 19' 50.32" E

We noticed that the weather is good (very hot actually), and we decided to go for sunset in Batu Ferringhi. It was Friday and 6pm, the traffic in Penang is horrible. We almost missed the sunset by just minutes.

Too bad I couldn't get a shot where the sun disappears in the horizon. The West side of Penang Island is mostly mangroves area and unreachable by car.

Our dinner took place in Gurney Drive and we ordered vast varieties of food and we just shared them. The Fried Clam with Eggs & Tapioca (蛤煎) is nice.

We decided to spend our night with drinking game in our hotel room. It was a great night although not even half a bottle of Bacardi is consumed.

(KO #1)

(KO #2)

===== Day 2 =====

We only manage to wake up at 9:30am, due to the effect of hangover. We decided to try something special this morning. Penang is not only famous for its Chinese Cuisines, but the famous Nasi Kandar was actually originated in Penang.

It was very delicious, perhaps the best Nasi Kandar I have tried (I seldom eat Nasi Kandar though). However, it earned the rating of 4/5 from me.

(Line Clear Nasi Kandar)
5º 25' 10.9" N
100º 19' 57.27" E

Our next stop is Clan Jetty (姓氏桥), which is one of the shooting location of Ice Kacang Puppy Love (初恋红豆冰). The Clan Jetty is actually Stilt Houses built beside the jetty. It was one of the earliest Chinese Establishment in Penang. The largest settlement among the 6 Clans is Chew Jetty (姓桥). We only managed to visit Chew Jetty and Tan Jetty (姓桥). I should have done more research before I go there. We have missed out Lim Jetty (姓桥),Lee Jetty (姓桥), Yeoh Jetty (姓桥) & Mixed Clan Jetty (杂姓桥).

(The Chew Jetty overseen from Tan Jetty)

(The roadsigns - HDR)

(A burnt house - HDR)

Our next destination is War Museum. It is one of the few outdoor museum in Malaysia (the only one, perhaps?).

The museum was re-bulit based on a fortress set up by the British in 1930 to defend coastal as well as inland enemies. It fell to the hands of Japanese during World War II and became a place of horror where POWs are kept, torture and killed. It was abandoned in 1945 after the end of World War II and left deserted for years, until it was rebuilt into a museum 3 decades later.

The concept of this museum has drew my attention and curiosity. overall, it worth a visit. The ticket costs RM15 and I found it not cheap but still quite reasonable. They are charging me RM2 extra for taking photos and this is what I felt unhappy about it. People like me are actually promoting their museum via Blog and yet they charge me extra money?

(British and Sikh soldiers)

(The entrance of the bunker)

(Escape Tunnel, about 150cm [4.9ft] in height and 60 cm [2ft] in width)

(The remains of the equipment used in the bunker)

(Ammunition supply line)

(This is even narrower, I have to craw in order to get through it, and at the end of it, its a approx. 10m [30ft] tall ladder, I wonder who designed this)

(Top view, it is deeper than what you seen)

(This is where we get out)

(The remains of a gun turret)


(This is how the Japanese invade Malaya - via bicycle)

(Remains of the barracks)

We finish exploring the museum around 3:30pm and yet we are not hungry, this is due to the Nasi Kandar was a heavy meal. We head back to hotel and take a bath as well as getting some rest. It was a tedious day.

I suggested to have our dinner at JF Fettes Park Western Food Restaurant and they all agreed. This is one of my favourite western food restaurant in Malaysia. I will rate my dish a 4/5 as the meat was tender and nicely fried, not too dry.

(JF Fettes Park Western Food)
5º 27' 9.83" N
100º 18' 8.48" E

Immediately after the meal, we head to a cafe to have some drinks and hangout. This place was recommended by my Penang friend and it is one of the most famous spot for hanging out. In case if you don't know, it is a local culture that people gather in a place, order some drinks and sit there whole night chit-chatting.

Due to the caffeine in the coffee, we are not sleepy at all. We decided to go for some supper nearby our hotel. I tried some Hokkien Mee at Burma Road. It was still as tasty as the first time I tried it few years back, but less hot. Rating 4/5.

(Old Green House Hokkien Mee)
5º 25' 24.71" N
100º 19' 15.81" E

We went back to hotel and get some sleep. Totally exhausted.

===== Day 3 =====

We had Char Kuey Teow (CKT) for our breakfast and this plate of CKT costs me RM6.50. Expensive. But quite tasty. 3/5.

(Ah Leng Char Kuey Teow)
5º 24' 46.52" N
100º 19' 10.2" E

Immediately after our breakfast, we head to Air Item to buy some pickled fruits. That place is famous for its Nutmeg. Another point of interests is a street which sells shirts and souvenirs.

(Nostalgic right?)

(A pond full of tortoises)

The check out time is 12pm, we went back to the hotel and get some bath and packed out stuffs and load it into the car. After buying some famous Mung Bean Biscuit (豆沙饼), we head to Fort Cornwallis since it is still early. We did not pay for the entrance to go in though.

We finally decided to go Ipoh for our lunch. I have heard that chicken rice in Ipoh was great but I never really tried one in Ipoh before.

This chicken rice is superb as expected. I like the tenderness of the chicken as well as the sauce used The pork meatball is also nice. 4/5 rating.

Add Image(Onn Kee Ipoh Chicken Rice)
4º 53' 38.26" N
101º 5' 3.42" E

Our craziness dosen't end here. It was decided immediately after our lunch that we should have our dinner in Kajang. Kajang's Satay to be precise.

The satay was not too dry, tastes quite good but the skill of the cook needs to be improved. Some of the meat are not even cooked! Yuck. I would rate it 3/5.

(HJ. Samuri Kajang Satay)
2º 59' 36.64" N
101º 47' 13.35" E

There goes our eating-trip. Departed with empty stomach and returned with extra weight. Tired but satisfied.
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