Friday, December 30, 2011

Encounter Of The Nikon 1 Kind!

♬♫♪♬♫♪  On the third day of Christmas my friend Meng brought to me...

One Nikon 1 V1 mirrorless camera,

Two Nikon 1 zoom lenses;

And a toy size Nikon Speedlight...  ♬♫♪♬♫♪

After three long years of intense research, on September 2011 Nikon Inc.
announced a revolutionary new digital imaging system built from the ground up to empower users with new ways to tell stories through photography, driven by imaginative next-generation technology.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Nikon Fanboy's Confession !?

Fanboy is a term used to describe a male who is highly devoted and biased in opinion towards a single subject or hobby within a given field. Fanboy-ism is often prevalent in a field of products, brands or universe of characters where very few competitors (or enemies in fiction, such as comics) exist.  -Wikipedia -

So am I a Nikon fanboy? I will not call myself as such but I do like Nikon cameras a lot, in my long career with different newspapers; my camera of choice has always been Nikon.

I started photography in 1966 with a used Zeiss Super Ikonta 120 range-finder camera, through the years I have used many other medium format cameras.

The variety of 120 medium format cameras that I have used.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

NOSTALGIA - Picture Without Permission!!

nos·tal·gia, noun - a wistful desire to return in thought or in fact to a former time in one's life...

Going through some of my "junk" recently, found a box of old black and white post-card size prints taken during my schooling years in Melbourne; Australia.

Ahh... those were some of the best days of my life :) And like the famous Kodak Eastman slogan, "We (pictures) capture your memories forever!"

This photo for instant...

A single shot taken with a film camera hidden inside a plastic lunch box, while I was attending our biology class in Oakleigh High School in Victoria, Australia; FORTY FIVE YEARS ago!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Buying a SAFER House In New Zealand

Saturday 7.19pm, I was preparing dinner in the kitchen; my wife was at her PC in the lounge yelled, "EARTHQUAKE!" One second later our house was shaking violently, it was like 5 full second... my wife was screaming and I was marveling how powerful that quake was! GeoNet inform me later it was of magnitude 5.7, 30 km east of Picton and 60 km deep. It was the second strongest one we felt since we are in NZ.

Le General do not understand why with all the rock & roll, I remained "so calm"! I did not tell her it was because I know our house can take lots more pounding before I started screaming ;)

That is the main point of my story, how to buy a safer house in New Zealand! A question I have been asked many times by new immigrants and friends.

The advice I am giving in this story are my personal experience and my own research, so please take it with a pinch of salt ;)

The Ring Of Fire...

All of you who intended to migrate and to make New Zealand your home, ought to realise this beautiful Land Of The Long White Cloud is sitting right smack on top of "The Ring Of Fire". And it got nothing to do with Johnny Cash ;)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Vienna - Best Quality Living Standard In The World!

Vienna has the best living standard in the world, according to the Mercer 2011 Quality of Living survey.

According to MarketWatch...

"Living conditions are analyzed according to 39 factors, grouped in 10 categories, including politics and social environment, economic environment, health and sanitation, education, transportation, housing and recreation. Mercer’s Quality of Living index covers 221 cities, ranked against New York as the base city."

According to Mercer, Quality of Living Ranking; the Top 5 Cities are:

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Digital Zoom vs Optical Zoom

Most point & shoot cameras came with digital zoom feature, you might even been impressed by the "extra pull" that the digital zoom on your P&S can do; what exactly is digital zoom?

Wikipedia explained...

"Digital zoom is a method of decreasing (narrowing) the apparent angle of view of a digital photographic or video image. Digital zoom is accomplished by cropping an image down to a centered area with the same aspect ratio as the original, and usually also interpolating the result back up to the pixel dimensions of the original. It is accomplished electronically, with no adjustment of the camera's optics, and no optical resolution is gained in the process."

Huh?  A bit too much for you?  ;)

What it meant was digital zoom is actually taking your picture with the optical zoom at it's longest focal length, then electronically enlarged the centered area, in camera; to give an impression that your zoom lens is much longer!
The digital zoom of my Canon G9 made it look like I was right behind the photographer, I was actually so far away that these tourists don't even know I snapped this shot :)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

You Can Have Your Cake Lapis And Eat It Too!

If you read my 2009 posting of "Nyonya Food At Its Best, In Auckland?!", you would know Charles and Janet. Charles and me go back a long way, he was the News Editor and I the Picture Editor of The Star in Penang, way back in the 1970s! We were the pioneers. We covered some serious news jobs together :)

Charles and Janet were the owner of the Sri Intan Malaysian & Vietnamese Cuisine in Mt Albert, Auckland.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Going Out Station In My Lancer VRX Sportback

In case you are wondering what "Going Out Station" mean, it is the Malaysian way of saying "going out of town"; or taking a longish drive to another town.  ;)

If you read my "Family Week End @ Napier", you knew that we drove more than 680 km to Napier and back in my Lancer VRX Sportback.

Mind you, I only drove half way there and May-N drove the rest and all the way back.

So how did the VRX performed on a long trip?

My VRX Sportback on top of Te Mata Peak, Napier.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

NOSTALGIA - BIKINIS Pictures NOT Allowed!!

nos·tal·gia, noun - a wistful desire to return in thought or in fact to a former time in one's life...

Malaysia's leading English diary newspaper The Star was born on 9 September 1971.

From day one; Mr K.S.Choong, the founder decided that a bikini clad "Beach Girl" will grace Page 3. "Page 3 girls always sell paper!" Choong reckoned ;)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Family Week End @ Napier

Family outing is very important to us, due to our busy schedules and May-N (our eldest daughter) working in London; do not make it any easier to have a short quality time together.

Last week end, since she is back in Wellington for a short break; we head for Napier to spend our week end together. The last time our family were holidaying together was in April last year, we had a great time in London, Rome and Paris :)

This time round our trip is much shorter and a lot nearer ;)

According to Wikipedia...

Napier (called Ahuriri in the Māori language) is a New Zealand city with a seaport, located in Hawke's Bay on the eastern coast of the North Island. The population of Napier is about 58,600 as of the June 2010 estimate.

 Napier is about 320 kilometres northeast of the capital city of Wellington.

 I estimated a leisure 5 hour drive (including lunch stop) over the Rimutaka Range will get us there.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

New Zealand rank 4th Most Prosperous Country?!

The 2011 Legatum Prosperity Index is out, New Zealand and Australia up one better than last year's rating to become 3rd and 4th!

What is this index all about?  It is NOT all about how "wealthy" $$$ your country is... or else China will be number one ;)

According to Wikipedia...

The Legatum Prosperity Index is an annual ranking developed by the Legatum Institute of 110 countries, according to a variety of factors including wealth, economic growth, personal well being, and quality of life. Norway topped the list of the 2010 (and 2011) report.

Queen Street, Auckland; New Zealand.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

My MacBook Pro Return From Death

Shortly after Steve Jobs died, my beloved Macbook Pro kicked the bucket too!

It happened when I was getting rid of OS-X Lion and just reinstalled Snow Leopard.

The MBP booted up with its startup chime, but there was nothing on the screen!

Like a good Apple user I reset the PRAM and the NVRAM, no go; I then connect the MBP to another screen, still nothing!

A search in Google confirmed the fault most likely was caused by the Nvidia fiasco!

According to Apple:

"In July 2008, NVIDIA publicly acknowledged a higher than normal failure rate for some of their graphics processors due to a packaging defect.

At that same time, NVIDIA assured Apple that Mac computers with these graphics processors were not affected.

However, after an Apple-led investigation, Apple has determined that some MacBook Pro computers with the NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT graphics processor may be affected.

If the NVIDIA graphics processor in your MacBook Pro has failed, or fails within four years of the original date of purchase, a repair will be done free of charge, even if your MacBook Pro is out of warranty."

Happier time... my MBP driving the Viewsonic VP2250wb 21"

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Color Fidelity Of E-P2 Kit Lens

It is Halloween again :)

We got home rather late at 7pm, get our sweets and lollies ready and watch group of fancy dressed children walk past our house!

Eh?  They came for trick or treat last year, why not this time?

We only learn why when a visiting neighbour told us the kids only knock on door of house when they see a balloon tied on the fence!

When was that rule implemented?  DUH!

Thank goodness some kids did come or we will have to eat all the lollies ourselves!

Waiting for the BIG HAND OUT ;)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Remembering Wakefield Market In Wellington

Migrants from Malaysia and Singapore are more "tum chiak" (greedy for food in Penang Hokkien) than migrants from other countries ;)

We belongs to that tum chiak group! We came from a small island (Penang) synonymous with good food. Penang is well known for its abundance of authentic hawkers’ delights which the locals claim, cannot be duplicated elsewhere!

 Shortly after we arrived in Wellington, 1988; we found to our horror; there were no hawkers fair in this "Coolest Little Capital" of New Zealand!

All you can get is "take away" of adulterated "Chinese food" to suit local taste!

We were ecstatic when our friends took us to the only "hawkers centre" at 181, Wakefield Street!  The "centre", a small space on top of an office block has only four food stalls; beggars no choosers, we were happy!

Hawkers centre or Asian Food Court come and go in Wellington, the last one was situated at Wakefield Market. We loved this old, run down venue!

From the outside the market looks old and really run down. There was only a small sign on the wall, indicating  that they sell food in there. But once you enter the place, you can smell food, glorious food!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Hotshots - A Tribute To Photographers Of The Star

I step into our office at 9 am this morning and our receptionist told me there is a courier pack on my desk!

What can it be? I don't recall I ordered anything from the net.

My heart missed a beat when I remove the content from the pack!

A spanking new, hot off the press copy of Hotshots, a commemorative coffee table book of "40 years of great news images by The Star photographers"!

40 YEARS LATER, ITS ABOUT BLOODY TIME!! I can't help but muttering to myself  ;)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Soul Of Our Nation - Other Communities

ADDING onto the already multi-cultural, multi-ethnic
population of Malaysia are smaller communities scattered throughout the peninsula and in Sabah and Sarawak.

Officially, these groups are classified as Lain-lain or Others.

Although they are only a small minority on their own, the Lain-lain groups collectively form a sizeable portion of Malaysia's almost 21 million people.

In the peninsula, orang asli, Portuguese, Eurasians and Malaysian Thais are just a few of these small communities.

Orang asli are scattered throughout the peninsula, from the Malaysia/Thai border to Johor. Generally categorised as bumiputras, orang asli are divided into three groups - Negritos, Senois and Proto-Malays.

The present population of orang asli is 92,529, according to statistics compiled by the Department of Orang Asli Affairs (JHEOA). Of this, 2,972 are Negritos, 49,440 Senois and 40,117 Proto-Malays.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Is Nikon 1 Still What I Want?

What is this hype about being "THE ONE"?

Yesterday I received an invitation that said "TAKE 1 FOR A DRIVE!"! That was from BMW on their "ALL-New" BMW 1 Series.

What make them even think a poor photographer is THE ONE who can afford their 1?  Hee hee...

A couple of months ago Nikon try to get the eagle photography community excited with their bold black and yellow banner, screaming; "I AM COMING!"

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Soul Of Our Nation - Indian Community

INDIAN presence in this region can be divided into two distinct stages both of which involve the exchange of people, goods and philosophies albeit in varying proportions.

The Malay peninsula's initial association with Indian culture dates as far back as the fifth century. These ties were predominantly related with commerce. However, the last 160-odd years, and by far the most significant period of migration, was basically tied in with the export of labour.

While earlier Indian contacts with Malaya were motivated by individual needs,the consequent movement of Indians to this country during the 19th century was to serve the interests of their colonial masters.

The most significant wave that influenced the face of Malaysian Indians till this very day commenced with the influx of manpower in the 1830s, when Indian labour, rumoured to have started with convicts, were brought into the country to work firstly in the sugar and coffee plantations and, later, rubber, tea and, eventually, oil palm.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Wellington RWC Quarter Final Afternoon

By now all you ruby nuts knew, talk about, boast about how the Wallabies won their thrilling Rugby World Cup quarter final against South Africa in Wellington.

Me? Whatever! Do I care? No!

After a week of rain and groom, the sun finally shone on Wellington as if to welcome the thousands of visitors from all over the world! So I was in town this afternoon too, to take in the quarter final atmosphere :)

It only took me 10 minutes to drive from my house (in Karori) to the CBD, then in another 5 minutes I have park my VRX in Courtenay Central!

Did I tell you I love Wellington?

I had with me my 3 year old Nikon D300 with the 25 year old 80-200 f4 manual zoom, the Canon G12 came along as backup.

This is what I saw when I came out of Courtenay Central, the whole Courtenay Place has been blocked off from traffic since Friday night.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Soul Of Our Nation - Chinese Community

Majority of Malaysian Chinese are descendants of sojourners who risked the unknown to seek better fortunes in Malaya from the last decades of the 19th

Before this, there had already been a sizable community of
Chinese in Malaya in states like Malacca, Penang and Kelantan.

Many Chinese Peranakan families in these states can trace their ancestors in Malaya back through eight generations. When Ming loyalists fled their country after the Manchu invasion of South China in the mid-17th century, many of them sought refuge in Malacca as there was already a Chinese settlement there.

The opening of Penang in 1786 by Francis Light further attracted large numbers of Chinese traders, many of whom eventually became permanent settlers. From then on, Chinese arriving in the Straits Settlements of Penang and Singapore grew steadily.

From this group, a discernible Chinese Peranakan community was formed as intermarriage or cohabitation between Chinese men and local women occurred.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Soul Of Our Nation - Malay Community

  -->WRITING in The Malays - A Cultural History, the British administrator Richard Winstedt observed: "A faculty that has always made for the Malay's progress has been his power to accept the new and adjust it to the old."

The culture of the Malays has been distinguished mainly by its experience of evolution. The various communities that comprise the Malay race have, through the ages, accommodated themselves to the separate historical and cultural influences that have come its way.

Yet, much of the culture of these communities was also defined by its experience of migration. 

This is especially prominent in the Malay peninsula where Malay communities settled in specific areas which beckoned the nature and characteristics of those particular communities. 

Examples would be the Minangkabau of Negeri Sembilan, the Javanese and Bugis in Johor and Selangor, the Achenese in the northern states of Kedah and Penang, and the indigenous Malay communities of the north-eastern states of Kelantan and Terengganu.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Soul Of Our Nation - The Book

In 1997 I became a Frequent Flyer (NZ-KL) and rejoined The Star, the third time; as their Picture Editor.

That year I was told that the bosses wanted to give something "meaningful" to the guests and VIPs at our annual birthday celebration, they have decided on a pictorial coffee table book depicting the unique multiculturalism of Malaysia.

A picture book that is like a culture melting pot, where each different uniqueness of different race share their cultures and customs; for the whole word to see.

You can't receive a more meaningful souvenir than that!

A project of this size & scope requires much planning and organization. I will have to work closely with scores of reporters and writers and we have to travel to different parts of Malaysia to capture the various events.

It is an honor to be selected for a coffee-table book celebrating the Malaysian heritage!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Nikkor 80-200 f4 on E-P2

I heard on the radio that the WHOLE New Zealand Navy are docked at Queens Wharf today! Dreaming of a spectacular aerial view from Mt Victoria, I packed my E-P2 and my old faithful; the 25 year old Nikkor 80-200 f4 zoom and head for the hill.

My 25 year old 80-200 zoom mount to the E-P2 with a Voigtlander F adapter.

Well, my dream turned into a nightmare; up at the look out I discovered the 7 fleet (I mean ship ;) ) are docked in different spot; no spectacular shot for me!

It was then I remember that I had never taken any shot with this "Good Old Glass" on the E-P2!
This is a good chance to see if it perform as well as on the Nikon D300 body!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Authentic Penang Food @ Little Penang!

If you are born in Penang like me and marooned (I mean immigrated) to a foreign land, the first thing you will be yearning for will be some semblance of Penang food to remind you of home.

Penang has one of the most diverse food fare in Malaysia and, the food is so mixed with influences from the Indian, Malay, Chinese and Thai cuisine that it becomes unique to the island itself.

When friends informed us last week that there is a new shop in town that serves Penang food, we know we must check it out!

Turn out that Little Penang is like a takeaway but there are two small bench tables to have your food.

Initially we were not impressed but after we tried their nasi lemak , WE WERE SOLD!!

Talking to the friendly proprietors, Keith and Tee; who are Penangites like us; I offered to "review" their Penang cuisines and that bring us to today when we are invited back to test our hungry Penang taste buds :)

A Family Affair... From right, Tee and Keith; Ee (Tee's sister) and Mary (Tee's sister-in-law).

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Is Nikon 1 V1 the one?

After a L-O-N-G wait, like Johnny Come Lately; Nikon finally waded into the mirrorless- lens-swapping game with their new Nikon 1 system.

According to Nikon...

Nikon Inc. today announced a revolutionary new digital imaging system built from the ground up to empower users with new ways to tell stories through photography, driven by imaginative next-generation technology.

The iconic new Nikon 1 system is designed to become one with the user and their lifestyle, providing a unique form of expression with amazing image quality, speed and portability.

Huh? That's a mouth full, but being a Nikon fan boy myself; I can't say I am not excited what Nikon have to offer :)

There are two model in the Nikon 1 range...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

3½ Months To Renew M'sian Passport In NZ!

Last week, after waiting for THREE AND HALF MONTHS we FINALLY got our "renew" Malaysian passports!

My Kiwi colleague was amused and asked if Malaysia belongs to a THIRD WORLD country!

I remember FIVE years ago, we went through the same angst!

Five years ago I complained to Jeff Ooi and he blogged my pain in his Screen Shot's "Wisma Putra Blues" entry.

"Citizen CY Leow, who has been residing in Kiwiland as a Permanent Resident in order to school his two daughters, never realised renewing his Malaysian passport at the Wellington Malaysian High Commission in the New Zealand capital can be so 'third world'.

He shares his bitter experience.

About time someone brought this up!"  said Jeff and that was five years ago!

Objects of angst!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Tribute - Pioneers of The Star, Malaysia

September 9, The Star (largest in terms of circulation) an English-language, tabloid-format newspaper in Malaysia turned 40.

On that day the paper reprint the first copy of The Star (09-09-1971) and gave to those who attended the anniversary celebration.

You are able to download this historical first issue in PDF format, here.

Within that first issue, The Star also reprint in full; the January 3, 1976; National Launch Supplement which show case the pioneers on that historical event!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

My Memories Of WTC

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Ten years on from the day the 9/11 terrorist attacks changed so much for so many people, the world's leaders and millions of citizens are pausing to reflect...

On this day I pause and go through my photos and memories of our visit to The World Trade Center.

It was SEVENTEEN YEARS ago when we visited the WTC, as can be seen from this shot taken by our eldest daughter May-N with a 35 mm Nikon AF compact.

It was shot from Ellis Island, which was a good place to capture the New York skyline with the two imposing twin towers.

1994 was a good year for us, I was working in Singapore and we were having a time of our life; a two weeks holiday in The Big Apple!

Photographs are like a time capsule, looking at them brought back the happy time when we were posing with the Twin Towers :)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Perfect Video Frame Grab With JVC GC-PX10

Last February I wrote about the Power Of Video Frame Grab, I showed you how it was done and you have seen some delightful video stills of beautiful Zhang Lei performing a Guzheng recital.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Stolen Camera Finder Redux

In April this year I wrote about this interesting site.

This programmer by the name of Matt Burns has written a search engine that lets people find their stolen camera by submitting an unedited photo taken by the lost camera!  It's magic ;)

After giving it a go, I was impressed by what Matt is trying to do! But I did have a few concerns.

Well, I received a response from Matt himself yesterday!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

eCosway Come To Wellington!

Saturday, September 3 - Wellington

The direct selling phenomena eCosway spread it's tentacles to our Coolest Little Capital today!

According to their "About" link:
"You're in business for yourself, but not by yourself, because you're backed by a giant proven company with an incredible track record.
eCosway (launched in 2002) is a rapidly growing international company with headquarters in the prestigious golden triangle of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It has thousands of sales centres located throughout the world.
It is a subsidiary of Cosway Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. which is wholly owned by Cosway Corporation Limited, a company listed in Hong Kong (stock code 0288), a member of the Berjaya Group - a top conglomerate in Asia.
eCosway has been awarded the coveted "MSC Status" by the Malaysian government for its outstanding contribution to the growth and development of information technology."

First Wellington shop...
The first eCosway shop at the Johnsonville Mall, Johnsonville.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

JPEGmini - photos on diet?

As long as I can remember, we have been trying to make digital photos smaller for faster on line uploading or when emailing them to friends.

For a long long time, JPEG is the default format that everyone use.

According to Wikipedia:

In computing, JPEG (play /ˈpɛɡ/ jay-peg) is a commonly used method of lossy compression for digital photography (image). The degree of compression can be adjusted, allowing a selectable tradeoff between storage size and image quality. JPEG typically achieves 10:1 compression with little perceptible loss in image quality.

I remember fondly, in the early days of internet; the fastest way to break a friendship was to email them a 2 to 3 MB picture ;) A sure way to stuff up their email "in box" too!

Now a day you can easily re-size your photos by compressing them on line, the last time I Google "resize photos"; I got SIX MILLION hits!

There are literally hundreds of FREE sites that you can upload your pictures and get back a resized copy within seconds!

Monday, August 22, 2011

F2 Short Tele On E-P2

There are 3 short tele among my collection of manual focus prime lenses, all of them are from the F2.0 family of short tele; in the good old film-era, they were the perfect portraiture optics!

The three short tele lenses of F2 vintage, from top; the Nikon 135/2. On the left, the compact Nikon 85/2 and right, the Leica Summicron 90/2.

Diagram of decreasing apertures, that is, increasing f-numbers, in one-stop increments; each aperture has half the light gathering area of the previous one.

From the diagram I hope you realise an F2 (f/2) lens is a very bright, "large aperture" lens ;)

I had wanted to test these three primes on my E-P2 for portraits ages ago, but I cannot find a photogenic model who will pose for this cheap skate photographer F.O.C.! Ha ha ha...

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Chef Wan Craze In Wellington!

Media Release way back on 20 June 2011...

Malaysian night market comes to Wellington
There’s good news in store for Kiwis who know and love the bright lights, smells and excitement of the night markets so familiar throughout Asia.

Malaysia Kitchen is bringing New Zealand’s capital city its very own Malaysian night market
as part of this year’s Visa Wellington On a Plate festivities.

The special Malaysia Kitchen Night Market is taking place on Sunday 21 August in Opera
House Lane.

With free entry and dishes priced from $5, visitors can experience the best of authentic
Malaysian street food produced by some of Wellington’s best-loved Malaysian restaurants.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Why Snow White, Not?

I remember fondly those younger days when I was the Manager for "Focus", which was at 3, Penang Road; Penang.

Focus was founded by the famous Penang lawyer, Lim Kean Siew.

Apart from our roaring duty free sales, Focus also operate the largest colour developing and printing (D&P) lab in North Malaysia. In the early 70s the lab monopolised nearly 80% of the colour prints business in Penang!

A very large percentage of our customers were Aussies from the RAAF base in Butterworth.

The shop was also a stone throw from E&O Hotel where we get plenty of urgent D&P work from the tourists.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

We Got Snowed In!!

Karori, Tuesday August 16

I took half a day off yesterday because it started snowing! Just as well too, by the time we got home; the falling snow got heavier and heavier. By 6 pm we knew we will not be able going to work tomorrow!

Why can't we go to work?

If you live in Wellington, you will know why; Wellington is hilly and thousands of Wellingtonian's live on hilly terrain, driving down the hill on a snow covered road is not exactly safe ;)

This is what greet me when I open our French sliding door this morning. Notice the partially snow cover road?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Let It Snow, Let It Snow!

This is what it look like outside our house in Karori at 5.15 pm!

We settle down in Karori in 1988 and this is the first time it snow like this :)

This is our sloppy garden on the side of our house... Christmas come early ;)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

World Press Photo in town again!

WPP 2011 winning picture. You can see all the winning pictures here.

The World Press Photo 11 exhibition is in Wellington again.

Last year we did not go to the opening but decided to attend this year.

The invitation card say the opening is from 5.30 pm to 7 pm, not wanting to be late; I left work early and pick up Le General at 5 pm and we were at the entrance of the Academy of Fine Arts by 5.10 pm.

Imagine our surprise that we just walk straight into the gallery hall without being stop or welcome!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Rollei 35 - father of Point & Shoot

Going through my pile of photographic accessories in the week end, at the corner of my old Zero Halliburton aluminum case lie a inconspicuous, tiny black pouch.

Unzipping the pouch open the floodgate of my memory...

Inside the pouch is a super compact 35 mm FULL FRAME point and shoot camera I bought in 1975! A little gem I just about forgotten!

The tiny "Father of Point & Shoot", my Rollie 35S was hibernating since 1988 but accompanying our stuff from Penang to Wellington; then to Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and back again to Wellington!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Pictures of Devotion

Winter is truly here! It is so bleeding COLD! As a matter of fact, they told us it is the coldest in 25 years!

I was going through my collection of images, trying to get some organisation out of all these megabytes ; here is a folder filed under "devotion"... may be you would like to take a look :)

Sia Boi Offering

Down memory lane... this was taken in the late 70s at Sia Boi Market in Penang during a "Hungry Ghost Festival".

I remember fondly, during those days; the rather dirty market was a very popular place to eat "economy rice". The market was operated 24 hours a day too!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Photo Printed More Than A Million Time!

The highest circulated Malaysian English daily, The Star; is rushing to complete their 40th anniversary book on what us pioneers contributed to "The People's Paper".

This time round, photographers are being honored; about bloody time too!

The book, hopefully; will feature some of the BEST pictures that made The Star famous.

Among the thousands of pictures taken is a Decisive Moment shot that has been printed more than a MILLION times ;)

I am proud that yours truly took that picture!

1986, Pulau Tikus; Penang...

After a two year stint with The New Straits Times, I rejoined The Star; the second time.

I was covering the Malaysian general election in Penang, at the Pulau Tikus polling center I spotted this boy waiting for his mother to cast her vote.

There were two issues here, you spotted the boy; you realised it is a decisive moment; the next FIVE seconds will decide how FAST and how well PREPARED you are with your camera!

Within seconds the boy left, the moment was; decisive after all!

When Is It My Turn?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Great Old Glass - Nikkor 35-70 f3.5 zoom

I told you about my Nikkor 80-200 f4 zoom lens that I used to capture the famous Dr Mahathir and his three little words, this "great old glass" have a little brother which I used in "Paparazzi Tale" and captured a decisive shot that was used all over the world!

The lens I am talking about is the Nikkor 35-70 f3.5 AI-s zoom.

I have this lens since 1988, prior to this I had the none "s" version which look similar but had a totally optical and mechanical system.

This twenty two year old lens is still working faultlessly, for an early zoom lens it is SHARP! The picture of the G12 and E-P2 in my last post was shot with this lens on my Nikon D300 and a bounced flash.

Take a look at the detail of that picture!
Goodness, you can even see all the dust on the G12! It is that sharp!

But how good is it on the D300, shooting in the real world; not just bounced flash table top shots ;)

Sunday, July 17, 2011.

I decided to take the 35-70 to our Sunday open market for a spin.
The Nikon D300 with my 22 year old 35-70 zoom, this full of detail; back lit picture was shot with my Canon G12! Mind boggles!

On Sunday there are three "open vege market" around Wellington area. The one we go to is at Victoria Street, right smack in the CBD.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

WC-E75 G12 V 7-14 E-P2

In my post on my G12 with the Nikon WC-E75 I raved how good this set up is! As good as it is; can it ever come near to the quality of my favorite ultra-wide zoom, the incredible Lumix 7-14?

Time for a face-off!

Saturday, 9 July 2011; Wellington...

Weeks of cold, damp and depressing weather disappeared overnight! A cool and sunny weather beckon!

I packed the two cameras with their test lenses and head for our Civic Square in town.

Left, the Olympus E-P2 with the Panasonic LUMIX
G VARIO 7-14 mm F4.0 ASPH and the Canon G12
with the add-on lens, the Nikon WC-E75.

It is a real pain trying to find a week end parking lot in town! The free two hours week end parking allowance seems ineffective!

Took me twenty minutes of city strolling in my VRX Sportback to find a park near our Central Library. Yippee :)

A quick glance at my GMT-Master tell me that I have an hour of free time before picking up Le General, not a lot of time for a lens test but I came prepared ;)

Since I have preset both of my test cameras in their aperture priority (A) mode, I am able to shoot both lens at f5.6 and because I was prepared; I was able to start shooting immediately after I parked!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Déjà vu, Anti Racism Rally 2004

Why the Déjà vu? How did this came about?

At the moment, Malaysia's talk of the country is about the "Bersih 2.0 Rally". I read today that their Prime Minister said the government would not object if the organiser would assemble in a stadium from morning to night and later leave peacefully.

After viewing my post on Kiwis taking part in "SlutWalk", a Malaysian reader comment...

Fair play

Yo Leow, can you send this to our Home Minister and show him that not all Rally will end up in chaos. July 3, 2011 5:07 AM

Yo "Fair play", I am a photojournalist; an observer of history in the making. I try and record them if I can. I do not make judgement :)

My Malaysian friends asked me if I have been to a rally in Wellington, I remember the last one I went to was in 2004!

I recall what I wrote...

23 October 2004, Wellington.

Racism in "Godzone"? You better believe it! So much so that the huge ethics groups said "Enough Is Enough!" and they held an anti racism march through the streets of Wellington today.

To understand how all this came about, go and read March against racism in Scoop.

I thought to myself that this will be a good chance to practice my documentary photography, after all; the last time I attended a news event was YEARS ago!

My wife and me reached the "Beehive" (our parliamentary building) ground at noon.

The National Front members are already there.

Surprisingly they are orderly and quite, there is another group who the police called "radical, anarchist, punk-rocker type group" are there trying their best to stir up the National Front members ;)

The National Front members on the Parliament steps.