29th August 2014: SOUNDSTRUCK : LIVE! (AUGUST EDITION) at The Bee, Jaya One. Here’s Amrita Soon!

But first, I bumped into Jonathan Yip outside…

…who I also photographed with my infrared-modded Sony Alpha NEX-5. This is without the infrared pass filter, so it is visible plus infrared light.

Yau Hui, without flash, for that infrared-eyed look.

Back inside, organizer and emcee Daniel Wong.

Playful Talitha Tan was next!

Super cool lap cajon. I don’t know what the proper name for it is.

Come sing along!

Through the infrared.

Farouque on guitar.

Guest vocalist Nicholas Ng.

Here’s a break of normal color, with the Sony Alpha 7S and Mitakon/ZhongYi Speedmaster 50mm F0.95.

All shots were without the infrared pass filter…

…mainly because I forgot to bring them. Here’s Jee!

His music is so fresh if his jokes were fishes they’d still be flopping on the table. Here he plays guitar and keyboard at the same time!

SelfIR time.

Amanda Love.

ISO4000 on the A7S is super clean. I just can’t get over this, remembering how it was with previous cameras. There’d be a pinch of noise and its color and tonality wouldn’t be as nice.

Bleached hair always turns out bright, reflecting plenty of infrared.

The only regrettable thing about not bringing the infrared pass filter is that infrared and visible light focus at different wavelengths, so when it is mixed either one will be slightly out of focus.

I took a toilet break and walked past Malone’s to discover another band!

I have seen some of these faces.

Wanted Symphony.

It was around this time that I discoved my beloved Mitakon/ZhongYi Speedmaster 50mm F0.95 had a bit of play in the focus ring, and my attempt to nudge and tighten it back made it worse, with it ending up being unable to focus anything further than 50cm or so.

I’ve since sent it to the dealer who sent it to the factory, and topped up for the Dark Knight Pro edition of this lens. The factory says they just tightened some screws and readjusted infinity.

And so, all my shots from here onwards are with the Sony E 16mm F2.8 pancake, because that’s the only other lens I brought.

Jamie Chen.

So yes, I’d have to make do with cropping pictures from a wide-angle lens! Fortunately, the NEX-5 was an APS-C camera and gave me more reach.

One acoustic guitar, please!

A Taylor! Sweet.

Nicholas Ng guests again.

Forever In Atlas.

Cool shirt yo.

This KissKillMary shirt, too, was cool, with letters that puzzled Joshua and I. Can you figure out what it means?

If a self-portrait is a selfie, is a group portrait a groupie?

Feedback Open Mic ft The Impatient Sisters & Chirin Chirin @ The Bee Publika / August 2014 Edition

26th August 2014: Feedback Open Mic ft The Impatient Sisters & Chirin Chirin @ The Bee Publika / August 2014 Edition. Here’s Jon Liddell!

The Sony A7S with its limitless ISO would let me bring my Tamron 200-400mm 5.6…

…with a shutter speed of 1/200th of a second…

…with no worries of noise or motion blur. I didn’t catch this band’s name so pardon the filler text!


Even though the A7S has no sensor stabilization, at 1/200s it was not an issue.

The vignetting is caused by my Sony LA-EA1 adapter, meant for APS-C sensors, that I adapted by removing the rear baffle.

Apparently, the vignetting only appears on longer focal lengths like this.

I brought the LA-EA1 instead of the LA-EA4 because the LA-EA4 had a translucent mirror, allowing for auto-focus with screw-driven lenses, at the expense of light.

Ariff AB.

First featured act, Chirin Chirin.

The unfortunate downside of a fast shutter speed is when shooting in flourescent lighting…

…it bands slightly.

Second featured act, The Impatient Sisters.

Most of these pictures were at 400mm F5.6…

…to see what an extreme closeup would do for composition.

The Tamron is not great with backlight.

The Bee notably doesn’t have the drummer way in the back of the stage, so they are equidistant.


Didn’t catch this guy’s name either.

Reza Salleh, emcee and organizer.

Friza, I think, from Indonesia.

I like her swag stance.

Sharon, in the back, crying away.

Ariff Danial, who has some interesting tunes.

Nope, didn’t catch his name.

Fikri Azam.

More unnamed open mikers.

I love Idzwan‘s rock guitar tone.

That sweet, sweet, classic Gibson tone.

Meanwhile, here’s a face to the name – my name – Albert, the photographer who is sometimes unrecognized. I recognize the photographer of this picture, Wai Fon, though. Not with the Tamron, but the Mitakon/ZhongYi Speedmaster 50mm F0.95.


Can you imagine Yvonne’s voice at this point? I can.

Faz hides.

Yvonne in full diva mode.

Faz the rock star, with videographers all documenting her going full… rock star.

It was one of their most entertaining shows, ever.

Mostly, because it was Faz’s birthday!

David Ling’s farewell, as well, as he’d further his studies in the prestigious Berklee College Of Music.

And so, this was Tabloid.

Selamba Adriane.

More pictures here:


26th August 2014: Feedback Open Mic ft The Impatient Sisters & Chirin Chirin @ The Bee Publika / August 2014 Edition.

Well no, not really. Here are pictures, instead, from the people who attended, on my infrared-modded Sony Alpha NEX-5!

Yvonne Chong and her luscious bleached hair. Even if you dye your hair black it will show as bleached on infrared, which is quite cool.

Troller Ann Na.

Jia Wen trying to be sepet.

Jia Wen trying not to be sepet.

Yes, with flash! All shot through the Hoya R72 infrared pass filter on the Sony E 16mm F2.8 pancake lens, for pure infrared with a little bit of red.

Darren Ashley, dashing as ever.

With flash.

It was also Faz’s birthday, but I have no pictures of her through this camera.

I like what it does for pupils.

Julian the purple.

The infrared is abundant in the tungsten lightbulbs in the back, shining on the plants.

Straw Lim (right) and Ling.

Nope, not sleepy.

Credits to Wai Fon for this picture. So you have seen my lens after all! I’m getting too old to remember these details correctly.

Rock is Dead?

21st August 2014: Rock is Dead?, at Laundry Bar, The Curve.

But first, some self-promotion…

Nightshift commissioned me to make a collage of their band and for licensing to use on a poster (I charge if pictures make it to prints or posters.) Always nice to see my work up somewhere!

First act of the night: Flying Pan.

A Malaysian J-Rock band!

This shot was taken with my Sony A7S with the Mitakon/ZhongYi Speedmaster 50mm F0.95 lens.

Same lens, but on my infrared-modded Sony Alpha NEX-5. I did not put the infrared pass filter on the lens, so it is both visible light and infrared mixed in.

Given that the NEX-5 is APS-C a minor telephoto portrait effect is achieved.

This time, with the infrared pass filter.

Guest vocalist from Japan! Mixed visible and infrared light.

Another mixed one.

Then came the band I hadn’t seen in a long time…

Dragon Red!

Some personnel changes – Brandon moved from guitar to drums.

Slyde and Camero still on rap and bass respectively.

Adam on full freak vocals. Oh, and infrared (with the infrared pass filter, allowing only infrared.) This, with flash, on the Sony E 16mm F2.8 pancake.

Since I only brought two lenses it should be obvious which is which…

…plus the wider view, but not a wide-angle view, is probably that of the full-frame A7S.

Infrared gives a very interesting look to the eyes, when flashed.

Awesome screamer!

…not so screamer!

Another screamer!

Then came these boys…

…hard-rocking Blister!

They go from blues rock to heavy metal.

AC/DC, Led Zeppelin…

…and a whole lotta Gibson love.

Awesome glass slide!

Meanwhile, outside, Jyorin through pure infrared.

Then came progressive rock band Black Lightbulb.

I’d call them instrumental, but singing with them that night was Hameer Zawawi.

Simmy the Celtic Waver!

I’m sure she likes this picture.

Ashwin on drums, as always.

Zaim always gets a glamorous light.

Meanwhile, Amil of Dragon Red is watching the musical geniuses in admiration, his head slightly… paining.

Hameer, then, on guitar.

Raja Farouque, on a big speaker.

Here’s Black Lightbulb with one of their songs!

The awesome 50mm F0.95.

Last act of the night…


These guys were actually from Japan…

…and they knew how to get the crowd pumping.

The automatic white balance usually gives a more purplish tinge, but I pulled the green/magenta slider all the way to the green side when processing the RAWs.



But first, an actual alley cat in the alleys of Sri Hartamas!

Nazaruddin Abdullah on guitar.

Prawing Aroonratana blocked by a wall of keys!

Jimie Loh with a mischievious 25-year-old’s smile, on bass.

Vocalist Glenville Charles Salay…

…and of course, the iconic David Arumugam!

Here’s another shot of Prawing, using my infrared NEX-5. This is the mixed color look – where it’s infrared and visible light together, because I didn’t think of bringing my infrared pass filters.

Backyard Pub’s tungsten lights are rich in infrared, giving an interesting look!

David John on drums, also shot on infrared, with the red and blue channels swapped.

The Sony A7S, meanwhile, conquered the dark.

Happy Beer-day!

No really, it was their birthdays.

To hear David say “terima kasihhh” in the flesh, is an awesome Malaysian experience.

He’d also play percussion sometimes.

They would weave in and out of rock classics like Creedence Clearwater Revival – Have You Ever Seen The Rain (video above) and Cream – Cocaine, as well as their own classics, Layang-layang Terputus Talinya and Jika Kau Bercinta Lagi. I’m sure there were more, but I only stayed for one set – when Backyard Pub gets very crowded (as when a legendary band like Alleycats performs) my eyes feel a little teargassed by the end of the night.

The A7S with the Sony E 16mm F2.8 pancake! F2.8 barely makes it for the dance floor. EXIF is included in all pictures.

All obviously non-wide shots were shot with the Mitakon/ZhongYi Speedmaster 50mm F0.95. So you get an idea what it looks like on the full-frame A7S as well as the infrared + visible light APS-C sensor NEX-5.


18th August 2014: BALLSY! An Open Mic Show #11, at Page 2, Publika. Here’s host and emcee Shaneil Devaser setting up the mike…

…for the first act, Az Samad & Kirsten Long!

She sang something about cats and misbehaving and valentines.

Benjamin took this picture.

This is new!

All pictures taken with my new Sony Alpha 7S and Mitakon/ZhongYi Speedmaster 50mm F0.95 without flash, and usually wide open. EXIF is also included so you can inspect the high ISO performance!


He hails from Tajikistan!

Ian Tai fills in for Sufiz who was missing. Interesting how his face and the character on his shirt are equally round.

Jes Ebrahim.

Bullet Murugan!

Alex Subryn (also featuring Bullet!)

Meanwhile, in the back, I spotted red, green and blue.

Bullet Murugan.

Ian Tai in his proper slot, Rick Roll-ing us.

Kim Lim, double-tapper. She covered Az Samad – Latah Setinggan with her own inflections!

Maha Jeffery.

A little blues and a cover of Jimi Hendrix – Red House. Yeah!

Shaneil Devaser ends the night.

Kelly Siew, UNO

14th August 2014: I wandered into Bricks & Barrels, Desa Sri Hartamas…

…where Kelly Siew was playing!

I like how each of these pictures has a different color, all from the UNO card set.

Unfortunately though, as I had a story to tell a good friend, I had to run off early.

From Seremban To Subang

On the 18th of August 2014, I took the KTM Komuter to Seremban, crossed the road, walked past Seremban Parade (now known as Seremban Prima), and found myself this old gem…

…an A&W Drive-Thru!

An old sign, and Seremban Prima in the background.

I came here on the tip-off of Nicholas Chin, who remembers an epic playground like the one at the PJ Drive-In in Taman Jaya. Sadly, there wasn’t one anymore. (From this angle, it should match this picture.)

Nothing on this green patch, either.

I don’t know whether to go in or go out.

The drive-thru road. I have to say I really like the design of the roof.

The outdoor area.

The indoor area, next to the counter.

The ice-cream corner. Note the untouched pictures. I like it. It’s not even retro; it’s authentic.

The party room. Unlike McDonald’s, they’ve not killed the party rooms.

Sofas and not-so-aged chairs.

For the record, he is Rooty the Great Root Bear!

I used to take the KTM to Seremban years ago. She’s married with a kid now. I also looked young. People also appreciated infrared portraiture.

Back to the story, 10 days later, 28th August 2014.

It was Leg Day, so I walked from the Subang KTM Komuter station. The roundabout near this was the craziest part of it all!

A&W, Kompleks 3K, Subang.

Classic benches! I will always have a thing for these.

Classic spelling of Root Beer, not the Malaysian-ized RB.

Was this a playground? This was my first time here, so I had no idea.

This would also be my last time, because I came here to say hello… and goodbye. After the false alarm of the closure of the PJ Drive-In, is a real closing down.

From the outside. I like the spine on the roof in front of the counter.

Giant root beer and ice-cream area.

More classic pictures!

The waffle machines.

No way, a stairway!

This was the first A&W I’d been to with an actual stairway that wasn’t part of a playground or a restricted area.

A large party room!

RB bottles for recycling!


Pictures of Rooty.

Oh dear goodness. Rooty!

I did not have an accomplice nor an escape vehicle so Rooty stayed untouched.

I sadly can’t find any pictures of the A&W that used to be in KLCC, despite going there very often in my college days and for a while after that, until it closed down. It’s sad though how A&W outlets would open at choice locations, with large interiors, and the always awesome Bearland (that’s what they call their playgrounds) and yet not sustain business.

So I continued Leg Day (or rather, Leg Night) and walked on to Sunway Pyramid, where I found the largest Johnny Rockets in the world, in Sunway Pyramid! I sure hope they sustain that diner magic that I’m sure A&W cast on us and older generations!

More reading and pictures:
Amburgers & Wootbeer

Alpha Sevenesque

So I took my Sony Alpha 7S for a spin, street shooting on Bintang Walk. The train took forever.

1/60s ISO3200 F4.5 16mm, with the handy Sony E 16mm F2.8 pancake. This, before discovering 1/160s was possible.

Street graffiti.

A quick grab.

Projek Rojak Buskers!

Acoustic shredder.

They played a cover of Santana – Black Magic Woman, and many other Malaysian classics.

Further down the road (given that Number 1 is nearer to Jalan Pudu), the massage parlors that were closed down by the DBKL, were now occupied by new outlets.

Some had banners informing of their relocation…

…and some, like this infamous hotel, were boarded up and got no renters.

The road to Low Yat Plaza and a side entrance to Bukit Bintang Plaza. There used to be an awesome band playing here.

ISO25600 1/60s. Still not fast enough to freeze motion. Could’ve pushed it further!

This was not a path, but a sidewalk restaurant.

Sungei Wang Plaza.

Outside Yayasan Selangor.

At this point I discovered 1/160s and stuck there, shooting out the monorail. Auto ISO chose ISO64000.

Moonshine: Spotlight ft The Impatient Sisters, The Venopian Solitude, Stonebay & Cassandra Mary / August 2014

7th August 2014: Moonshine: Spotlight ft The Impatient Sisters, The Venopian Solitude, Stonebay & Cassandra Mary / August 2014 at Laundry Bar, The Curve.

Here’s emcee and organizer, Reza Salleh, filling in for Stonebay, who could not make it.

On djembe, badass Zalila Lee.

This would be the first gig I’d bring my new Sony Alpha 7S to! Here, I learned that using Silent Shutter would result in flourescent light artifacts such as in the background when using a faster shutter speed than the alternating current refresh rate. Sure, I could use 1/50s, but it would not freeze action as well.

Reza borrows a pick.

Cassandra Mary is another boss.

Her boys, Wei-Ming…


…and Herman.

I’d discover when shooting in portrait orientation, how unbalanced and unergonomic the Sony Alpha 7S with LA-EA4 adapter and Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 135mm F1.8 could be. I’m not sure how much the VG-C1EM vertical control grip would help, as it doesn’t have a lowered shutter button and lacks the meticulous replication of buttons that previous C-series (for Control) vertical grips have.

And so, shooting in landscape orientation was a relief.

Next up…

…the return of The Impatient Sisters!

But first, a non-sibling bassist…


…and drummer.

Irena/Kina Taib on guitar, who is a scholarship student of Berklee College Of Music!

Soraya Taib on vocals.

Nazeera Taib on vocals.

They do their unique blend of indie folk vocal harmony.

Meanwhile, outside, Hameer Zawawi spotted with an outgrown buzzcut, prompting me to quip – “Hipster Layu!

It could mean three things:
- Hipster (Me)layu – Malay hipster
- Hipster Lah You – You’re a hipster
- Hipster Layu – Faded/outgrown hipster

Oh yes, I am brilliant.

Then came the otherworldly The Venopian Solitude.

Backed by some…



Yeah, that’s a lot of keys.

However, they didn’t just play keys!

All sorts of percussion.


A colorful highlight was this tambourine, that would light up when hit!

Oh, and an electric ukulele.

Reza closes the night.

Joni lives the thug life.

Jessica and the merchandise booth.