Monthly Archives: July 2011

Geek Complex

More than 2 years ago, I played with a Canon EOS 5D MkII with Canon 24mm F1.4L MkI. Here it is at F2.0.

Again, at F1.4 and ISO12800, at a shutter speed of 1/2000s! A downside of such a fast shutter speed in flourescent light, of course, is that there is no flourescent light in the picture, especially so on the right where ambient light is all that there is…

Then I tried the M-PE 65mm F2.8 1x-5x Macro lens – here it is at 5x, F11.

One thing that annoyed me about the Canon system was the lack of the classic flash shutter speeds e.g. 1/60s when using flash – instead, slow sync flash was the default so I was getting 1/4s until I changed it to manual exposure! Or at least the owner of the setup said was the case.

And here’s a video with auto-focus and auto-exposure with the 24mm F1.4L MkI. The Canon system isn’t quite up to automatic video handling!

The Canon 85mm F1.8 USM on the Canon 50D. Nice!

The Tamron 60mm F2.0 Macro at F4.0. Even at F2.0 it was a bit too sharp, much harsher than the Tamron 90mm F2.8 Macro I’d say.

I also met KJ’s Metz Hammerhead flash. Boom!

How it mounts: Via a flash bracket.

Metal-T-shirt-wearing Zizo.

Sweep Panorama and moving objects make for some interesting shots!

I’m not even sure what the light was.

The glorious Minolta 85mm F1.4G on my A900.

Left to right: Sony E 18-5mm F3.5-5.6 OSS, Minolta 50mm F1.4 Original on Sony LA-EA1 A-mount to E-mount adapter, Minolta 24-50mm F4.0 Original. All the same size!

Iqbal looking at 3D Sweep Panorama pictures using red-cyan 3D glasses and StereoPhotoMaker!

Overkill. The Sony Alpha SLT-A55 does all that, without add-ons – you get fast phase-detect autofocus, you get an electronic viewfinder (so no need for the loupe), and you can fold out the rear LCD. If you do want a bigger screen there is an option via the HDMI output.

And now, for a breather from all the geek – here’s KLPF for you!

Hello there!

Well I’m not sure what she is promoting. Not that it matters.

Shot with the Sony Alpha NEX-5 with the Voightlander 35mm F1.4 Nokton via a M-mount to E-mount adapter, I believe. It feels like a Minolta F1.4 lens wide open, with just a touch of portraity dreaminess.

I think this was with the Carl Zeiss Biogon 35mm F2.0 ZM replacing the earlier lens. The Zeiss wide open feels like a Zeiss – no softness, just straight out crispy, contrasty business.

The Voightlander Ultra-Wide Heliar 12mm F5.6 Aspherical II on the NEX-5 isn’t full-frame but it is still pretty darn wide!

And now, we shift to Android geeking.

At the office. Clockwise from top-left: Apple iPad 2, Acer Iconia Tab A500, Motorola Xoom WiFi, Samsung Galaxy Tab 7″ 3G.

The Acer Iconia Tab A500 is one of the very few Android 3.0 tablets to have a full-size USB Type-A port on the tablet itself. The only other one I know of, is the Toshiba Thrive. There is also the Asus Eee Pad Transformer, with 2 full-size USB Type-A slots, but those slots are only on the keyboard dock.

The Dell Streak 5″ dwarfs my HTC Desire (3.7″). I have to say, it has a much more comfortable pocketability than the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7″. Though there is a bit of wiggle room, so I’d tolerate at most a 6″ tablet in my pants pocket. Make it 1280×800 with an LED notification light, Tegra 2 and 4G and I’m sold!


17th April 2011: PIKOM PC Fair 2011, down at the KLCC Convention Center.

But first, we had a Teh Tarik session about Sony Alpha cameras where we noticed the table next to us was having a Teh Tarik session about the Nokia N8! Yes, they fell like dominoes a few times.

Loads of cool gadgets on sale!

There were also loads of cheap Android tablets running on modified Android 2.2, with virtual keys for Home, Menu and Back at the top row.

In comparison, Android 3.0 Honeycomb, the proper tablet OS, has the virtual keys on the bottom.

Garmin show booth girls.

Interestingly, a Garmin pedometer! They might as well make a bicycle mount and use the Garmin Asus A50 with its GPS software instead.

Y’know, because Albert is so cool they just mosey up to me.

More cheapo Android 2.2 tablets! The right one has a iPad ripoff button. Ugh. The keyboard doesn’t even have the full set of Android keys! I’ve seen much better Bluetooth keyboards.

It seems now that antivirus vendors go all out on the girls.

But can any be as slim as the Sony Ericsson Arc?

She projects a wonderful smile.

And this is a cheapo tablet being plugged via HDMI. Any and every screen can be mirrored to a HD TV on Android! You just have to have the port.

This LG Optimus 2X, has the HDMI output in the form of a Micro HDMI Type-D port.


Eat that, Toshiba Thrive!

An alternative to having physical buttons on the front, would be to put them on the side. Though I think Home was the iPad-style button on the front.

Are you done with the geeking already?

Yes, I say.

Hello Monique!

Incubus: If Not Now, When?

23rd July 2011, was when Incubus came down to Malaysia for the third time to perform! The first being at Bukit Kiara Equestrian Resort for the A Crow Left Of The Murder album tour, the second being the first Sunburst music festival in 2008.

I brought my Sony Cybershot WX-1 – so please pardon that all I got is a backlit CMOS sensor instead of some decent APS-C footage from my NEX-5. 🙁

This tour comes fresh after their fresh new album, If Not Now, When? This was taken from the upper area of Stadium Negara, where the toilets are.

And so, Brandon Boyd burst onto stage, with Megalomaniac and Wish You Were Here!

Their stage setup was simple – carpets, and no extraneous decor. What, no Chuck?

Yeah, no Chuck. Here’s Ben Kenney on bass. They did Pardon Me, Have You Ever, Nowhere Fast and Consequence. Yeah, there was a fair bit more of Make Yourself played.

Then came the newer stuff – only one song from Light GrenadesAnna Molly.

And even newer, Promises, Promises, from If Not Now, When?. Yes that’s DJ Kilmore on keys!

Their new album feels like what By The Way was to the Red Hot Chili Peppers – laidback, missing a whole load of guitar, and very melodic. There’s so much piano and organ you’d think that they toured with Elton John! (That is a compliment.)

Thankfully, I had my chance to headbang again when Circles came on. Brandon then hinted at a real old song – Glass from S.C.I.E.N.C.E.. Unfortunately that was the only song from S.C.I.E.N.C.E. played.

Mike Einziger, also on keys!

Then back to the new stuff – In The Company Of Wolves. I was hoping they’d play this song – it turns rather epic halfway in the song… almost like it should’ve been named In The Company Of Wolves/Longest Night Of My Life.

Then came the fresh Thieves and the single that propelled them to worldwide stardom – Drive.

Brandon strapped on a guitar for Pistola. They broke it down with a rather bluesy rock outro.

A more relaxed moment during Talk Shows On Mute and Adolescents.

And finally, for the encore, we experienced The Warmth and Nice To Know You!

Breakdown of songs per album:

2004 setlist:
S.C.I.E.N.C.E. – 4, Make Yourself – 2, Morning View – 5, A Crow Left Of The Murder – 7 and Pantomime. They played just one more song compared to their third concert but it felt much fuller.

2008 Sunburst setlist:
S.C.I.E.N.C.E. – 2, Make Yourself – 3, Morning View – 5, A Crow Left Of The Murder – 4, Light Grenades – 3

2011 setlist:
S.C.I.E.N.C.E. – 1, Make Yourself – 5, Morning View – 4, A Crow Left Of The Murder – 3, Light Grenades – 1, If Not Now, When? – 4

You bet I preferred the 2004 setlist! Though I have to say the Light Grenades album really grows on you (though I didn’t like Make A Move from the Stealth Original Soundtrack.)

As for If Not Now, When? it grows on you pretty swiftly. There is a organ-ic sensibility, though it is unfortunate that Mike seems to have forgotten his distortion pedal.

More pictures from the A900 at Sunburst 2008 here:

Not My Cup Of Tea At M-A-P

On the 8th of January 2011 I went down to MAP KL, Solaris Dutamas, for a gig! It was the Not My Cup Of Tea – BeforeAfters/Beatburns EP Launch gig.

Zip Zeiller with the finest blues rock. These guys love their Hendrix, doing a slow Little Wing cover.

Bumped into Najlaa!

Rock out with your tongue out.

This was BeforeAfters, one of the bands launching their EP that day. She can rock!

Stonebay, purveyors of 90’s rock.

Auburn, which I’d put as progressive alternative rock, with their newly minted bassist Aidil.

Then came Beatburns!

(And their fans!)

Moe was bandslutting with both bands having their album launch that day. I finally got to see him perform, after bumping into him countless times as the ROTTW writer.

Celine in a tender crescendo.

She can also shout!

Out of nowhere a string quintet joined them on stage.

Yeah it’s been a while since I’ve seen one of these.

Take the Mickey out of your shoes.

Celine and Moe in the same frame, how sweet. 😀

Bassist for awesome pop rockers Couple!

Drummer for awesome big band Tilu!

Yeah they got their horn section.

My focus at most gigs is to take pictures that represent the personality of the band member on stage – here you see an uncharacteristic, unenergized, unsmiley Amira…

…and here she looks like how she is on stage, playful and smiley! Very happy band, this.

Shameless Covers Night 2

7th January 2011: Shameless Covers Night 2, at PJ Live Arts Center, Jaya One. Here’s Francissca Peter Reza Salleh rousing the crowd with his amazing rendition of Setia.

They also sang songs that were at the top of the charts on the day they were born. Interesting!

Zalila Lee trumpeting her stuff on the saxophone! (I had no idea she could be another saxophone band slut.) This was for their Ace Of Base medley!

Melina William picks the more alternative songs to cover, like Garbage – I Think I’m Paranoid and Alanis Morissette – Princes Familiar. But her cake-taking performance was Ella – Layar Impian!

Surprise, Reza on piano! They also performed many Malaysian classics like Alleycats – Jika Kau Bercinta Lagi (terima kaseyyy!) as well as 90’s classics like Gin Blossoms – Follow You Down, Fuel – Shimmer and Nirvana – On A Plain.

Zalila and Mia Palencia on piano. They all take turns and swap places to play various instruments and sing various parts of the song. Mia played more 90’s R&B, with a most memorable Destiny’s Child – Say My Name/Bills Bills Bills medley.

Melina’s been hiding a banjo! Man she plays everything…

…even the harmonica!

They ended with a fantastic boyband medley. However, we weren’t going to let them off, and wanted more, so for the encore, they blew our minds away with Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody! There was a really cute bit where they reveal Guitar Hero guitars to play the guitar solo (done with a whistle, nevertheless!)

You can find some videos from the show here:

And here’s the first instalment:
A Shameless Covers Night!

Unfortunately, Shameless Covers Night was one night only, but Shameless Covers Night 2 ran for 2 nights. Let’s hope that Shameless Covers Night 3 runs for 3 nights! You guys know the tickets will be sold out anyway, based on how fantastic this gig is!

Moonshine presents NBT Acoustic Countdown 2010

30th December 2010 – Moonshine presents NBT Acoustic Countdown 2010, at No Black Tie! Here’s Paolo Delfino on the left and Az Samad on the right.

Moonshine is organized by singing, songwriting, gig-organizing Reza Salleh.

No Black Tie is a cosy enclove in Jalan Mesui, in the back streets of Jalan Bukit Bintang. For such a place it has two floors and a sweet balcony!

Az is playing his emo chord. He also sold his most emo CD to date, Emo Attack Turtle. I can’t say I could get used to emo fingerstyle quickly…

Yin, who would otherwise look blue in color photography when lit by her phone.

Jerome Kugan, who brings soul to electronica. Except he wasn’t equipped with a keyboard or laptop this time, but just a guitar!

Azmyl Yunor, busker statesman, uses only his harp and guitar.

Otam, he got the blues.

The acoustic countdown was down in round-robin fashion – 3 singer-songwriters would come up to stage, and take turns to perform. So here’s Jerome bopping to either Azmyl or Otam, I think, or taking a soulful breather.

Rock The World 10: Part 3

More from Rock The World 10, at Bukit Jalil Stadium open car park, last 26th December 2010! Here is the amazing Rithan from Deja Voodoo Spells ripping a new one in his guitar. (Hmmm, where is his Steve Vai signature model?)

Ainol brings the beats for this tight three-piece shredder band.

Mie on bass.

Rithan can play his guitar upside down, with his teeth, behind his back…

Rosevelt rocks the stage. They will also be rocking the stage before Incubus does, on the 23rd of July 2011 at the National Stadium, Malaysia!

Love Me Butch – for some reason I always take a picture of Meng posing like this.


Rithan joins them on stage.

I can’t remember who these were, some drum band.

Mellow singalong not-quite-post-rock band Seven Collar T-Shirt.

Ham is ever the guitar pedal sound effects whiz. I bet it is glowing on him.


As always they bring us the best of 90’s rock.

Joined by the uh… dustbin percussionists!

Sua Sue Good Morning! The classic veteran The Pilgrims!

Kombat who chugs the meanest metal riffs from a pink Explorer guitar!

Skip back to the Squier Stratocaster you’d win if you won Guitar Hero on stage. She is not in a band, obviously, unless she intends to play like Jimi Hendrix.

David of Disagree.

They bring us a more melodic 90’s rock!

Bittersweet pops off the British scene.

One Buck Short has got some real punk cred now with their more politically-charged songs – such that their song was even used in one of the Youtube videos promoting Bersih 2.0!

Izal always loves crowd surfing.

OAG made a return, just for Rock The World!

Radhi was in top form, doing jumping splits and spinning around, kicking the air!

Yo Emir if you’re reading, this blog entry is for you since you asked me for it. 😀

Finishing the show was none other than Jason Lo, whose record company Fat Boys Records organizes Rock The World every year.

There was also a nostalgic video flashback through the 9 Rock The Worlds before that – that was awesome!

More pictures here:
Rock The World 10: Part 2
Rock The World 10: Crowd

Rock The World 10: Part 2

Rock The World 10, at Bukit Jalil Stadium open car park, last 26th December 2010! Here is Deserters with a flash of catchy rock, at the smaller Indie stage.

Azlan & The Typewriter, at the big stage (you can tell by the large screen behind them.)

Prema Yin, lady rocker with powerful vocals.

Ryan on percussions, and Moe on drums.

I brought my Peleng 8mm F3.5 circular fisheye, but I prefer cropping with it.

Bass chords from Zaim, bass extraordinaire!

Then came emo band An Honest Mistake

With Darren Teh, frontman getting up and close with the headbanging crowd in the last song!

Long red hair, well suited for the expression of heavy guitar riffs.

Spot the Spiderman.

Ah, times like these I am glad I bring 2 cameras – one with a wide, the other with a telephoto.

Unfortunately, the stage manager was hassling him to come down as it was unsafe.

In case you’re wondering, that shot looks familiar because I shot a similiar shot of Emir of Throne Away jumping off a stage at Rock The World 7.

Bleeding Mascara!


Then it was Alda’s emo band…

Car Crash Hearts!

Republic Of Brickfields, reggae representatives of Malaysia, always recognizable by their frontman Aru. Unless of course you hear metal vocals, in which case it is Koffin Kanser instead.

Restraint, a hard band who drew considerable heavy fretpower when performing at the same time as moshpit favorites Dragon Red.

Pop Shuvit has been around the world, but they love Malaysia!

Dragon Red gets the main stage, so I get to do loads of performer-with-performer-in-background shots! Slyde gets all screamo and rapport (it rhymes!)

Adam takes on the tender singing bits since he is not a rapper.

Gotta dig the dragon mane.

Lab Rat, a family band who plays happier music compared to Syahrul’s other band, Love Me Butch. His wife (in picture) is one heck of a vocalist too!

Who will kill us all?

They Will Kill Us All! Gotta love their vintage guitars.

Cassandra, more hardcore!

They are sponsored by Crooz Cloth. I can proudly call my buddy Ahmad Saiful, the founder of Crooz Cloth!)

Bunkface, young new punk rockers.

Gerhana Ska Cinta, big ska band.

C’mon everybody dance!

If you want pictures of your band (I take pictures of everyone in the band, but I don’t post all of them), email me and we’ll work something out.

Worry not if you don’t see your band – there is one more set of pictures coming up after this entry. 😀

More pictures here:
Rock The World 10: Crowd

Rock The World 10: Crowd

26th December 2010, Boxing Day, the day after Christmas, one week after my birthday, the AFF Cup Final match between Malaysia and Indonesia, and of course, the highlight of the Malaysian rock scene – Rock The World 10!

This time round, it was at the Bukit Jalil Stadium open car park.

This yearly festival brings in a mix of familiar and unfamiliar bands in the local scene. However, this post is about the people who attended…

…and the people who emcee-ed. Here’s RockeRina Omar, who is no short of a drummer herself!

Haniff‘s old day job was to give out freebies from a parked vehicle. He now does so on a giant stage, besides pimping out local music on XFM. Well, used to, anyway.

The crowd. They love my fisheye!

If you needed a shade, you could always hang out at the air-conditioned Elevate booths. She looked like she needed some sun.

Why yes, I will do exactly that!

Jin was a rock star vocalist with Vespertine so many years ago.


Alat skodeng!

Rock is best experienced with limbs extended.

A popular dance is the mosh. It gets violently fun.

Or you could hang out far away from the mosh pit…

Abang Rom, boss of ROTTW, a local magazine promoting local acts in our National Language. The magazine is fond of using fisheye shots from a distance, not exactly the best distance to be using a fisheye at…

Avril Chan, she sells T-shirts. Okay, really, she manages a few bands…

…like An Honest Mistake, which has funky purple T-shirt merchandise, which is what emcee Fadhil is decked in.

Strangely missing was emcee Harooooon, the classic Rock The World emcee we all came to love and rock out with!

Later in the night, there were Guitar Hero challenges, with the winner winning an autographed Squier Stratocaster. I could’ve won that if I went up!

Meanwhile, on the side, at Bukit Jalil Stadium, Malaysia was winning 3-0.

Even the security guards were tuned in via portable TVs! The concert video feed even pointed at the TV, so it could show the audience our victory.

More pictures to come!

The Secret Garden Next To Merdeka Stadium

This is a rewind, as all my posts are, to one of the most memorable Rock The World concerts. Rock The World 8.

It was the first Rock The World where I had a digital SLR, and it wasn’t as hectic as Rock The World 7 with 3 stages!

Rock The World 8 was the last one to be held in central KL – RTW9 and RTW10 were in Bukit Jalil. RTW7 was in Merdeka Stadium as depicted here (note that these pictures were taken on a street shoot, not before Rock The World!)

RTW8 was an interesting spin – instead, they had it in the Secret Garden parking lot, next to Merdeka Stadium.

In chronology:
Rock The World 1 – 1 Utama old wing parking lot
Rock The World 2 – Midvalley outdoor parking lot (now Gardens Mall)
Rock The World 3 – a parking lot near Lorong Perak and Crown Regency Serviced Suites
Rock The World 4 – KLCC outdoor parking lot (still cordoned off)
Rock The World 5 – Merdeka Stadium
Rock The World 6 – Merdeka Stadium
Rock The World 7 – Merdeka Stadium
Rock The World 8 – Secret Garden, next to Merdeka Stadium
Rock The World 9 – Bukit Jalil Stadium outdoor parking lot
Rock The World 10 – Bukit Jalil Stadium outdoor parking lot

I was there for every one except the first. 🙁

Coincidentally, Merdeka Stadium should be seeing a lot of visitors today, in the form of the Bersih Rally – good luck to all of you, and don’t let people declare what is actually legal, to be illegal (which is a shame, since some of them were lawyers making such claims!)

I took some pictures of the peaceful Bersih (1.0) procession from above:
Vote For Cleanliness!

This was the main entrance/exit. All pictures below were taken through such holes.

The entrance.

Flashback to what the entrance looked like, from the inside, after the concert was over.

The upper end of the hill, or the back of the stage.

Across the road was a forest, a green lung in the middle of the city!

I can only wonder how long such greenery will last. The surrounding area had a few schools and stadiums. When was the last time you went to Stadium Negara or Stadium Chinwoo?

Meanwhile, the weather was slightly gloomy.

So this is the famous “lookout” tower from Victoria Institute Boys School! I had heard of people watching concerts by climbing on this water tank to see concerts for free.

And then I walked to Bintang Walk. Construction is ever in progress, and I find it sad that Jalan Pudu used to be the happening place of earlier generations, but is now the retirement home of earlier generations.

Many old men can be seen wandering around, sitting and doing nothing.

Of course, right now, it is the hotbed of tear gas.

Power boxes, rusted and unlocked. Who is to prevent people from stealing and tampering? Power thieves cause us to pay a lot more.

Pudu Jail.

And yes, I am halfway processing Rock The World 10’s pictures! Sadly I am heaps busy and I’ll be in Singapore from the 11th to 14th of July 2011, so I won’t update then.

More pictures here:
Rock The World 8: Part 4
Rock The World 8: Part 3
Rock The World 8: Part 2
Rock The Crowd 8