Monthly Archives: October 2006


If cockroaches can survive nuclear holocausts, urinals should not be a problem.

The lazy way to get a group picture.

Through a red filter with motion blur.

Objects that are brighter beyond the red filter will shine through as red.

Oh man, what am I going to do?

Escalator turned travelator with the help of slow shutter speeds.

Reflecting in a jam.

By the pool, alternate orientation.

What do you call an escalator that is not working? Stairs!

Rock To When?

One 8th of October 2006, I went for Octoven, a gig in Jamasia out of nothing-to-do-ness, and shot all these shots with my Fujifilm Digital Q1 manual-focus infrared-modded camera. I took only the green channel, being the least noisy (I shot without a filter that blocks normal light, so the infrared was mixed with the lights which were mostly reds and blues.)

Reza Salleh And The Fumakillas. Clockwise from top-left: Melina, from Tempered Mental; Stephanie, from Ground Xero; Hanafi, who rocked harder than I’ve ever seen than in Estranged, complete with wails and funky space effects; Reza Salleh the acoustic singer-songwriter turned alternative rocker (though was he was from there to begin with? I don’t know.)

Top-left: Vima of Qings & Kueens, also the funny emcee; bottom-left: Kevin Theseira on bass; right: Paul shreds at the speed of light to their brand of royal rock and roll. (Speaking of which, I prefer their older stuff, which they don’t seem to play anymore.)

The Great Spy Experiment from Singapore was next. The Strokes and Bloc Party would have been name-dropped by the audience, as they performed solid indie pop. The frontman/guitarist’s strap broke, but he continued rocking, knee bracing his guitar! (Until a strap was lent to him.)

Two Years Pass My Ears

A change is coming, and those of you who hop over to Laundry Bar for Moonshine will see it. What better way to show The Before than to take dramatic off-camera-light-type shots? (Strobist is an excellent blog about off-camera lighting techniques.)

October 11th, 2006 marks the second year anniversary of me not getting a haircut. (Okay, so I did get my sideburns evened out…)

Project Rock-it

Here’s to some oversaturated rock show pictures. Specifically that of Project Bazooka’s, at Laundry Bar, one 21st of September 2006.

Looong exposure, with someone walking past.

Seen a lash? SURE!

Check out the pickguard! Telebury and their jangly indie-pop. The sound does get repetitive after 3 songs featuring those cutesy single-note riffs.

Khai-Lee shows us how to enjoy a rock show; with ease… and slippers.

SingleTrackMind, doing quite a few rock ballad covers.

Solid band, but for some reason did not hit it with the audience.

One Buck Short, a punk rock band I saw the previous Thursday.

Count the frets!

I think I’ve finally honed the gamma levels to look nearly oversaturated, with (darker) dark mids on a CRT monitor at maximum brightness, while looking decently saturated with dark mids looking… dark on a minimum brightness LCD monitor. A compromise between both brightness levels, though technically, my CRT is calibrated properly, and I haven’t figured out how to calibrate correct gamma on the office’s Radeon X300 video cards connected to LCD monitors. Are these pictures too dark/bright for you? Leave a comment.

The Sky Was Blue

…now I am blue.

So these pictures will have to do.

I shall do this in the style of The Pink Frog, with some connectivity in the story.

Remember before the haze?

When you could spot Genting from near my house?

Where KL was clear? (This is Masjid Jamek.)

Colors were nicely saturated (okay so this doesn’t count because it’s indoors.)

Shooting with a polarizer through a car window gave the sky a cheery color!

Crossed polarizers gave Kingsley‘s yard a hint of purple.

But alas! A freakish square-shaped cloud was brewing!

We’re down, dude. No power, dude.

Birds were getting confused by this weather change. “Have you seen my flock?

Grab… my… branch… we… will… survive…

The next day, I found the skies amazingly blue upon coming up the KLCC PUTRA LRT station to take a bus to Bintang Walk. The haze hadn’t kicked in yet.

Finally, somebody appreciates me and doesn’t treat me like a Siamese twin!

Dude, I am your half-brother.

Yes, I was here a while, since the bus drivers were breaking fast and would only resume at 7:30pm.

Coca Cabana!

The Maxis Tower, with the eyelet, reminds me of Quake 1’s grenade launcher for some reason.

And this looks like the Thunderbolt/Lightning Gun, also from Quake 1.

For some reason this looks like it was shot on film.

Fujifilm should pay me. Maybe in ISO400 chrome film. Or a Fujifilm S3 UVIR, which can shoot infrared without modifications.

…or at least in mooncakes. I love mooncakes. This was shot on mooncake festival evening.

Niii Can’t

Little knew that I bought William‘s old Nikon Coolpix 2200 camera to modify, into an auto-focus infrared-enabled camera!

From left to right, top to bottom:

  • The Nikon Coolpix 2200, with 3x zoom and a variety of scene modes e.g. Landscape which would be the closest thing to focus at infinity and a dark aperture.
  • It is also the same size as my Canon Powershot A520. Minus the manual controls, sadly, or even an adjustable ISO sensitivity! I detest Nikon for discarding manual controls on entry-level cameras, when it used to have it.
  • I opened it up, and touched the flash capacitor at least three times, getting a nice numbing zap each time.
  • Spot the SD card slot!
  • The auto-focus gears.
  • The cursed item – the infrared-blocking filter!
  • Upon reassembling, I found it very challenging to reinsert the circuit combs.
  • The optical viewfinder is dusty.
  • The infrared-blocking filter, removed.
  • The tripod mount, plastic, but at least it is not part of the camera. Fazri would appreciate this!

So what happened to it? Why don’t you see me carrying it around?

I killed it. I popped in batteries and a SD card, and it didn’t turn on.

Upon reassembling it, I found two extra pieces that I could not figure where it belonged to/dropped out from. I also had three extra screws!

For some reason, Nikon and I just don’t get along well. I’ve held a Nikon D70s which randomly refused to focus despite having a bright f1.8 lens, and not too dark conditions. I’ve also touched Paul‘s new D80, which had some weird inability to autofocus until he reset something. Not to mention that I am not a fan of the D50’s noise levels, or Nikon’s mellower colors, or the fact that Nikon is not playing catch up or bothering to include newer features the same way Canon did when they came out with the 400D.

At the moment, I guess my manual focus infrared-modded Fujifilm Digital Q1 will have to do.

Man You’ll Focus

This is yet another delayed geek post; a major one at that. Remember the webcam that Syefri donated to me last year which I modified to become an infrared webcam?

I combined it with the Fujifilm Digital Q1 that Bernard donated to form a Frankenstein monster! Previously, I modified it to become an infrared digicam. However, it had a fixed-focus lens, and by removing the infrared-blocking filter, it became permanently near-focused.

I tried to cut and insert a similiarly-sized piece of glass to make it focus back on infinity, but it didn’t work.

Then it hit me! Why not put the manual focus lens of the webcam on the digicam instead?

And so, I took it apart again, to:

Left to right, top to bottom:

  • I unscrewed the lens to get this.
  • From the front.
  • Left: The lens from the webcam, which was a manual focus lens; right: the fixed focus lens that originally came with the camera.
  • The webcam lens on its lens mount.
  • From left: camera, original infrared-blocking-filter-holder with three holes for screws, webcam lens mount with two holes for screws.
  • The webcam lens mount on the camera, but with only one screw screwed in; the other side was filed away to fit in!

I had to file off the top surface of the webcam lens mount also to allow the components on the circuit board to fit on top of it.

Left to right, top to bottom:

  • The webcam lens was blocked by the camera’s front plate, so I had to cut a hole to let the lens poke through.
  • Swiss Army Knifes can be pretty handy.
  • Camera with front plate surgery.
  • This also allowed me to manually focus by turning the lens clockwise to bring it closer to the sensor, thus making the focus further, and turning the lens anti-clockwise would bring it further from the sensor, making it focus nearer.
  • Left to right: Front plate bit, simple switch to adjust distance of fixed-focus lens to enable macro, the original F3.5 lens.
  • The webcam, now without an eye, hangs itself. (How macabre of me.)

Left to right, top to bottom:

  • The first shot I made once the manual focus lens was assembled; this was a macro picture of the front plate.
  • The wonderful thing about this lens is that it has no aperture blades, thus keeping it fully circular, for beautiful bokeh! *
  • Close up on guitar strings.
  • I then tried my door-peephole-turned-fisheye on it.

* Of course, it also means that depth of field is always small. Since the webcam’s sensor was slightly smaller, I guess the lens was smaller too, thus giving an even smaller depth of field when moving to the Q1’s bigger sensor. I don’t know what aperture the manual focus lens is at, though my guess is that it’s at F3.5 as well, since the exposure seems to be the same.

Left to right, top to bottom:

  • Artifacts from such a cheap webcam lens are obvious, like lens flare, like from this auto-focus beam from another camera.
  • I always catch Broken Scar pointing at things; flare can be exploited in certain angles.
  • The sun is black on the Q1’s CMOS sensor.
  • Very bright lights cause scanlines to appear.

Another thing about its sensor is that it does not seem to expose everything at once, scanning downwards instead. That is why the camera seems to have captured the motion of the car! (This also accounts for camera phones, when you snap a picture when someone else’s camera flash goes off, you might see half your picture with flash and half without. It might explain Sherve’s freaky half-blur picture.)

If the skies are blue enough, you’ll still see blue.

Another thing about this lens is the horrible amount of vignetting and soft edges. However, it can be looked at as a tasteful thing.

From infinity focus…

…I manually focus nearer… (couldn’t resist changing the hue.)

…and this is as close as I can get. Yep, those are the tips of those leaves.

When precisely focused, images have a beautiful pop.

Vignetting and soft edges make for a portrait lens!

Shutter speeds are a lot faster, because there is a lot of infrared light in tungsten lighting. Shutter speeds are the same as a normal camera at night under flourescent lighting though, since that has no infrared.

The lens is softer to the left of the picture (when turned clockwise it blurs the top.)

Despite all these flaws, I love it. It’s like a digital lomo camera!

It is also;

– an infrared-enabled digital camera
– a manual focus digital camera (eat that, SLR owners!)
– a removable lens digital camera (though I haven’t looked around for lenses that fit.)

All pictures taken after July 19th 2006 were with the wonder of this. I don’t know if the flash capacitor is weaker, or there is something about the lens characteristics that makes infrared flash not as bright as before.

Rain Pours, Moon Shines

The rain dampened the spirits of many on the relatively low-turnout September 14th 2006 edition of Moonshine.

Kohl started slow and mellow acoustic stuff.

However, this pro bassist brought up the funk, and they were excellent at it.

Melina of Tempered Mental looking hotter than ever.

Jack goes wild, for the first time seen without his red Stratocaster; this time, an aggressive Ibanez. He was making full use of the humbuckers, doing shrieking harmonics. Kinda like Dimebag Darrell (R.I.P.) without the pointy-shaped guitars. Tempered Mental had never been that thrash metal-ish. I lapped up Jack’s every palm-muted chug and distorted solo.

Kluk Kluk Adventure.

Spot the Duan of Seven Collar T-Shirt in the background!

Pete Teo, in his first time performing at Laundry Bar. He played his earlier songs because the mood wasn’t tender enough. I tend to think of Laundry Bar as a younger version of Alexis Bistro, Great Eastern Mall though.

One Buck Short started with a very interesting, new, proper anarchistic punk rock song. In Malay.

Open mike.

And now, to somewhat unrelated business:

The Curve has plenty of trashcans just like this one.

I can’t pimp her because, while she did identify the exact location of the kiddie ride here, she did not identify the blogger it looked like.

Shaz, however, got it right, guessing Midvalley and Bryan Chin.