Monday, December 31, 2012

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Déjà vu - Two Old Stars of The Star!

Charles Chan and Janet are in Wellington, we had a dinner catch up; we reminisced the good old days when we were with The Star tabloid in Malaysia. Isn't that what "Two old  stars of The Star" (quote and unquote from Chong Cheng Hai) talk about? Chong is a "younger star of The Star".  ;)

Charles and I go back a long way, he was the News Editor and me the Photo Editor at the 1974 Star Publications in Penang, Malaysia.

When I joint, The Star was hardly 2 years old. We were competing with the all powerful The New Straits Times, the national broadsheet and a 70+ year old local, The Straits Echo; another broadsheet.

Charles was a no nonsense News Editor during those "lean and mean" days, I remember fondly that he ordered the photographer to reshoot the job because the shots were not up to his high standard. In 1974, News Editor has MORE power and say than a young Photo Editor ;)

Charles got along with me so well that he SOLD me his precious SOLID SILVER Dunhill cigarette lighter for RM 60.00! He even let me pay the amount by 3 monthly installments of RM 20.00 :) He reckoned that was a sure way of quitting his smoking habit! Hee hee... 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A Very Hot Wellington Christmas!

Once a year, Christmas is the time we catch up with close friends and traditionally we always try to roast a turkey :)

There was one year I even broke my own record by roasting TWO birds!

This year due to different circumstances, I decided not to spend hours preparing the bird. But... but... what is Xmas without turkey? Hee hee... My Plan 2...

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Restore and Recolor My World!

Rewind to 1993, I was working for the Singapore newspaper group; it was the year I discovered the Macintosh computer and Photoshop! I managed to convince my boss to buy an Macintosh Quadra 950 for me to set up the first Electronic Picture Desk, the 33Mhz Apple cost a whopping S$30,000-00!  The 256 MB RAM upgrade alone cost S$10,000-00!

Like an addict I was hooked to the Mac and Photoshop! To enable me to use Mac after work, I even Took out a company loan and bought my own Quadra 840AV; at a sizzling S$8,000-00 a pop, my wife think I am freaking mad ;)

The Quadra 840AV was the first 68040 Mac to break the 33 MHz barrier. Based on the 40 MHz 68040 processor, and housed in a Quadra 800-style case, the 840AV included AV features similar to its younger sibling, the 660AV. However, it's AT&T 3210 DSP ran at a faster 66 MHz. It also included one Geoport, and sold for US$3,550, which was inexpensive for what was, at the time, the fastest Mac ever.

I started with Photoshop 2.5 then quickly upgraded to version 3.0 when it came out in 1994.

It was around this time that I discovered I was able to restore color of badly faded prints and transparencies!

My first attempt was a faded trans of my young self taken at the Melbourne Essendon Airport 1965, I was on my way to higher education in Victoria, Australia.

As you can see the Kodak Ektachrome transparency of 1965 has deteriorated to just cyan and magenta hues!

After scanning the faded slide with a Kodak RFS 2035 electronic film scanner I proceed to restor the colour.

I remember it took me quite a few hours in Photoshop 3.0, take a look!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

WC-P7700 - Ultra Wide Nikon Coolpix

Turn out to be a very pleasant cool but sunny Wellington Saturday, I had two hours to kill before picking up Le General at her line dancing. I decided to test out my new WC-P7700, an ultra-wide Nikon Coolpix point and shoot.

Don't bother searching for this Nikon model because Nikon DO NOT have such a model... bear with me ;)

If you own a Nikon Coolpix P7700 AND a Nikon WC-E75 Wide angle converter lens, you already own a WC-P7700 ultra-wide point and shoot!

I bought my WC-E75 with my Nikon Coolpix 8400 in 2005.

The optional WC-E75 wide-angle converter lens took the build in 24 mm_e zoom lens of the 8400 even wider to an unmatched 18 mm_e of ultra-wide coverage!

The same WC-E75 was used on my favorite Canon G-12, converting the 28 mm_e to a very wide  21 mm_e!

Of all the wide angle conversion lens ever made, Nikon's WC-E75 is; as far as I know; optically, the best!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Is Nikon P7700 Sharp Enough For You?

MOST PHOTOGRAPHERS are obsessed with sharpness their cameras and lenses able to produce.  Not that it is a bad thing, most photos look better when it is sharp; especially when it is enlarged.

In my younger days as a newspaper photographer in the 70 and 80s, I was super obsess with sharpness of my shots; for a reason.

Ink on news prints was NOT a effective way to display your masterpiece in all its sharpness and glory, to get a "nice" rendition of your work on Page One; your shot better be damn sharp to begin with!

Photoshop? What Photoshop?