Monthly Archives: February 2007

Muse, Bah!

26th January 2007, Muse Bar, The Weld, Kuala Lumpur. An upcoming place for live performances.


I tried to capture the flare and ghosting, inspired by Ahmad Saiful‘s Olympus E500 flare-ful shots. Open wide, F1.4!

I don’t usually like to capture performers looking at me as if I was doing street photography, but some people think it works, so I offer this version.

Dragon Red! With a twist…

Slyde was missing, and Adam had to rap…

Manshaan was still on drums for one of the most explosive acts in the scene.

Filler bassist!

No turntablist either. Everybody was busy. But it made for an interesting set, including covers of The Cure – Love Song.

Surprise, Amil raps and sings!

Guest screamer.

Another surprise – Adam plays bass (and looks like a cross between Melina of Tempered Mental and Aru of Koffin Kanser.)

Both Adam and Amil kept time, and didn’t miss notes or words. Awesome. The Dragon Red Trio looks like it could work.

Open mike – Raffique plays more.

Raffique and Aishah.

Where is she?

Aishah and hot drunken chick Diana (who has a deejay sister who tells laaame jokes on stage; anyone who has seen her emcee for Jamasia gigs will know.)

Alex Wong of Singletrackmind, owner of the place (left) singing his English version of Peterpan – Mungkin Nanti with Manbai, the soundman.

Yes, the guy who sang Ilhamku. He’s hilarious on stage. He also sang a powerful version of Search – Fantasia Bulan Madu.

I’d show you videos, but there are a few reasons why I don’t:

– my video recordings are not steady, especially since I try to shoot pictures with my other hand
– you can hear my camera clicking away
– okay, so really, when it’s a song I want to record, the uh… enthusiastic crowd sings along, spoiling the video.
– okay, so really, my voice is nearest. Not only do you hear my funky-orange-juice-influenced singing, you get to hear my wrong lyrics.

Click on image for larger view. I managed to snap this at 50mm F2.2 ISO100 and 1/2th of a second. Yes, a half of a second! That’s over 5 stops (and this was standing up without resting on anything, with the funky-orange-juice in effect!) Okay, so pointing up always increases stability.

Click on the image for the original 1.5MB file, uncompressed with EXIF data for all to see. The thumbnail is a 100% crop, this time at 50mm F1.4 ISO400 and 1/2th of a second. I usually don’t get such sharp pictures at F1.4 (though being at infinity there might be some exceptions.) Contrast was lowered in camera because I like it that way and makes for more fun post-processing.

Audio Visual Text

What: Moonshine KL
Who: Zach Tay Trio, Ash Nair (Malaysian Idol), Neomedicus, Reza Salleh
When: 9:30pm, Thursday, 8th February 2007
Where: Laundry Bar, The Curve
How Much: Free entry

More details here.

What: Indie-Licious
Who: Sky Juice Coffee, IG Collective, Telephony Delivery, Project Ei8ht, Crosstown Traffic, PG 165, Edward Gomez
When: 8pm, Saturday, 10th February 2007
Where: KL Jamasia, Desa Sri Hartamas
How Much: RM15 entry

For more information call: 012-7697749 or visit

What: Hearts N Lightbulbs Valentine Event
Who: Jerral Khor & Zalila Lee, Nick Davis, Diplomats Of Drums, Saer Ze, Wong Yu-Ri, Soft Touch, Estrella, Reza Salleh
When: 8pm, Sunday, 11th February 2007
Where: (venue changed) Laundry Bar, The Curve
How Much: Free admission (but this is a charity show, so please donate!)

The event is organized by Feathered Friends Network. Proceeds will go to St. Jerome Home, a home to 18 children aged 2-16 years, taken care by Brother Peter. They urgently need a washing machine and funds for the children’s school fees.

Yes yes I’m going for all three.

And now, for camera geeking time. Fun reads:


This guy writes lushly in his reviews; you’ll never feel like skimming through because he goes into a historic review of things before getting to the product at hand. Truly an experience for the camera geeks. God knows how many did-you-knows I picked up, like:

USM was pooh-poohed until Nikon came out with their own version called AF-S and suddenly it became the best thing since sliced bread to be able to override the lens focusing without switching levers or buttons.” – Nikon AF-S VR 70-200mm f2.8 G IF-ED review

Yes, it all sounds too familiar.

As far as I know (but am likely wrong) the predecessor A1 was the first digicam to offer IS built into a digicam chassis. While the traditional IS/VR developed by Canon and Nikon is built into the lens, the A1/A2 went about it a different way and incorporated it into the body, a seemingly good idea for this class of camera and one that is going to be taken to the next step when KonicaMinolta produces their first D-SLR. Pop Photo magazine indicated that KonicaMinolta went this in-camera IS route to avoid the patents that Canon and Nikon have for in-lens IS/VR mechanisms.” – KonicaMinolta A2 review

Oh. I guess Panasonic found a loophole when implementing lens-based Mega Optical Image Stabilizer.

Still, CCD-shift works for me, and as they say YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary), and I’m getting a heck lot of mileage.

Petteri’s Pontifications also provides a historical ride down camera history.

The Minolta 7000 changed all that. Here was a camera that could undeniably focus and track faster and more consistently and precisely than even the most practiced manual-focus SLR shooter. It took the camera market by storm, and for a space Minolta looked set to take the top spot in the professional market as well. It was clear that Nikon, Canon, and Pentax had to do something — or go the way of Olympus and give up on the SLR market.” – Ugly Ducklings: The Early EF Primes

It’s also great fun reading his lens reviews; he nicknames all his lenses.

I think I’ll nickname my lenses too – the Nocturnal, the Beercan, the Kit Kid, the Loupe, the Orphan, the White Bride, the Sharpie, the Zoom Zoom and the Onanist.

…or maybe not.

More old-timer goodness can be found at The Online Photographer, (formerly known as 37th Frame) with a few contributors, all of different uh… allegiances.

Photography In Malaysia is always a fun read. The Minolta Maxxum/Dynax 7000 article is quite interesting. Initially, there were only twelve auto-focus lenses available, (of which I have the Beercan and 50mm F1.4) but none of them were lousy or dark, at most ending at F4.5!

Yeah so why am I quoting all these sites? It might be my inclination to think of my Sony A100 as being the descendant of what was then groundbreaking Minolta.

Random Thoughts:

If there is CCD-shift anti-dust, and CCD-shift image stabilizer, why not have CCD-shift autofocus ala the Contax auto-focus SLR, which moved the film plane? (Obvious weaknesses would be that shake could make an out-of-focus picture, and that the CCD cannot move enough to be sufficiently macro. However, if the lens was at closest focusing distance, moving the CCD back would provide significantly closer focusing distances!)

Another question would be of digital SLRs in film SLR bodies, e.g. the Fujifilm S3 Pro, based on the Nikon F80 full-frame film SLR body. Do they have full-sized mirrors? Does that mean you view a full frame, but with the digital crop? (Quite like a rangefinder, letting you spot action outside the frame. Coolness.)

Why didn’t Konica Minolta (and then Sony) reuse the Konica 58-400mm F4 Hexanon AR or 35-100mm f2.8 Hexanon Varifocal AR?

Return In Black And White

Wise man once said, “When you want to shoot in black-and-white, buy black-and-white film.

Okay, so the wise man was me.

Okay, so I didn’t buy the black-and-white film; Kingsley gave me an expired roll of 24-frame Kodak T-Max Pro ISO 400 for my birthday.

In any other case, I usually shoot in color, and then use the Hue/Saturation/Lightness tool in Photoshop if I want to change it to black-and-white, as it gives me 6 different channels of color to make black-and-white from. Picking black-and-white on your digicam or digital SLR is simply not the same.

Location: Jeff’s shop at Ampang Park, featuring me showing Jeff my Sony A100. I think this was the Vivitar 24mm F2.0 lens on my Olympus OM-2000. Asyraf shot this. This is the shop where I usually get my film processed and scanned straight to CD for RM10 a roll.

Honestly, I didn’t find the dynamic range of black-and-white negatives that amazing. The grain was also so much stronger than equivalent color negatives (but immediately removeable with Photoshop’s Despeckle filter, which is so much more effective on film grain than digital noise.)

And so, I used a 52mm UV filter superglued to a 55mm UV filter to attach my Hoya 25A red filter to my Vivitar 24mm F2.0 lens. There was awesome vignetting because it was a wide angle lens, which less allowance for smaller filters. The red filter reduces light coming through, around 1-2 stops. In this case it also increased the exposure for the trees, in an almost infrared-like way.

However, putting the red filter was so much better than without! Red filters increase contrast and darken blue skies. Also, with a red filter, you really feel like you’re seeing in black-and-white.

Bukit Jalil stadium, from the LRT station.

That is all. Black-and-white, used in the correct situations, will look great. Also, it is much more possible to do your own black-and-white film processing than with color. More on that later.

In other news, Syaz won 2007’s first Guess That Trashcan instalment, guessing Subang Parade’s new carpeted floor as the location of the trashcan. I can’t pimp him/her because I don’t know him/her and don’t have a URL to work with. 😛

Don’t Know All 69

Big Blogger Meets are where bloggers meet up to sit and discuss worldly topics, and ways to solve problems that plague humankind.

However, when the conversation dulls, we take pictures!

Amanda and I. Spot the commotion in the background!

(Insert conversation between Rames, Joshua Foong, Su Ann/Pinkpau and Asyraf Lee.)

The other Jen, a green snake.

Introduction session involved people throwing the duck at other people. The victim would then come up and introduce him/herself.

Claire Khoo presenting the prize to Erin. I must thank my cheapo UV filter for providing the ghostly effect.

A blur (but adorable) Su Ann/MiszMilk about to enter Wizard Cafe‘s haunted house.

We had to wear 3D goggles of the red/green variety, which made the painted glow-in-the-dark marks on the walls appear to float. As the Daring Dude In Front it was my task to point out curtains where ghosts could possibly jump out and attack you.

A benefit of being that dude was that most ghosts did not attack me. 🙁

The end of the haunted house was awesome, dizzying shit. Ingenious.

I stole this picture from Boss Stewie. I stole this Pentax K100D with 100-300mm lens from Dylan. And yes, Pentax’s CCD-shift Shake Reduction works like a charm, getting a sharp image at 1/30th of a second at 300mm. 4 stops!

Random shot of the crowd at such low resolution to hide whichever aged blogger wants to conceal his or her identity (Christine will you please own up?)

…and another.

It’s also said that Frostier and Wingz were there. For all we know one of them was in an ape suit next to organizers Tan Yee Hou and Jolene Lai.

Penny Chow and I. So pretty. Wow my right chest was so lucky to be graced more by this hot chick’s presence!

Su Ann/pinkpau and Albert Ng doing a Johnny Depp doing a pirate impression (okay I wasn’t feeling piratey because I just shaved).

Pat and Mikel from the East Side, yo. For some reason I think both of them look like Nickelodeon characters.

Su Ann/pinkpau and duck. So cute, sooo pinchable (though probably not in public.) Just turned legal yay!

Wai Fon, Nazrul and Su Ann/pinkpau.

Wai Fon: You know what? I need to get laid.
Nazrul: Oh sorry, I wasn’t talking to you, I was talking to your boobs.
Su Ann/pinkpau: Anybody likes paus? Pink paus?

I like paus, but I don’t like pink. That is a problem.

Penny Wong says it’s emoticon time! Spot the Josh Lim.

Another low-resolution crowd shot.

Cheryl and I. I look like I’m molesting a wax statue.

Stone versus wax.

Eve and I. Cute!

From left to right, back row: Calvin Tay, Rames, Cherrie, Jenifur, smashpOp, Eugene (I’m sorry, I don’t remember your memorable URL. Sins deeds something argh.)
From left to right, front row: Kel Li, Natalie, Slinky, Bryan Chin, not-such-a-wax-statue-eh Cheryl.

Su Ann/MiszMilk, the other Jen and big-headed me.

Slinky the lounge singer.

I wonder how much he got paid to have his lower body ripped off in addition to having to wave at people all day.

As Xian Jin and I took the stairs down, we discovered that the hidden cafeteria in Sungei Wang was still alive! I thought it was taken over and demolished once the 6th floor was built. That, and the open car park were still there!

And now, for some camera geeking.

Yee Hou finally brought his Seagull SA84 Twin Lens Reflex medium format camera. He loaded the 75mm F3.5 China-made beauty with 60x45mm 120 film. The shutter release was at the bottom-left side of the front plate, with aperture and shutter speed dials on the sides of the film lens. (The film lens is the lower one; the upper one is just for focusing, which means no mirror blackout or mirror slap.)

With eyepiece magnifier popped up.

The film advance crank was on the right side. The focus crank was on the left side (not pictured) which drives both lenses nearer/further from the film plane. I used to think that focusing was by turning one lens (where the other lens would turn the opposite direction.)

This is what you see. An almost holographic 3D-like projection!

More pictures and blog entries are at Tan Yee Hou‘s blog.

Pimp Edge

What: Big Bloggers’ Meet
Where: Wizard Cafe, Sungei Wang Plaza
When: 11:30am, 3rd February 2007
How Much: Free entry, open to everyone

I am not responsible for any stalkees getting shot like papparazzi from stalkers.

And now, for some teaser shots. There are two ways to get a pimping post on my blog; the first is to identify all 8 objects and/or the effects used to make them.

The easier way is to Guess That Trashcan! Where is this trashcan at?

Three And Then Some

More rock shows: Project Bazooka, Laundry Bar, 18th January 2007.

Adlin of Lied, angry rock music perpetuators, on the 210mm end of my Minolta 70-210mm F4 beercan lens.

Matthew, affectionately known to the band as Jessica.

Guitar and bass.

Citizens Of Ice-cream. Post-rock bands must have a keyboard.

They should also have am electrocoustic guitar for jangly, yet piting post-rock sounds.

Post-rock pictures require post-processing.

Guitar licks or licking the guitar?

Ronnie Khoo of Furniture. Slow-sync flash.

0.8 seconds, F13, ISO 1600, 18mm.

I noted that he wasn’t wearing his shoes; his shoes were in front of him! That’s not shoe-gazing anymore now is it?


And then, for a gig at Nu Skool, Melia Hotel, 20th January 2007.

I remember when I first watched High School Musical and thought, “HEYYY I know a chick who looks Vanessa Anne Hudgens!” Okay, so she’s got bigger eyes.

Izuan of Auburn, alternative rock with interesting riffs.

Shot with my Olympus OM-2000 film SLR with my Vivitar 24mm F2.0 lens.

Citizens Of Ice-cream again! 2 second exposure at ISO 400, with full-power bounce flash from Nikon SB-28 flash.

Yep, I got a clue.

The Rhaman. Shot at 1/125th of a second, at my Olympus OM-2000’s flash sync speed, with bounce flash from the Nikon SB-28.

They played ska-ish indie rock. For some reason the female vocalists always sound like Gwen Stefani (before she went solo and contributing to annoying radio.)

From the side, artsily out of focus, is Stonebay, grunge rockers.

With the Olympus OM-2000 with Vivitar 2x teleconverter and Olympus Zuiko 70-210mm F4.5-5.6 lens at full zoom, making a 420mm F11 lens. I could point the Nikon SB-28 directly at full power and get correct exposure!

My friend dropped me off at Jamasia, where I’d find Alda. I let him play with my Minolta 70-210mm F4 beercan lens and this is what he got.

He shot this, too. He’s got an eye!

I think it’s too expensive to have Gadget Acquisition Syndrome for two different hobbies, so Alda, you should just stick to collecting basses for your own wealth. 😛

Spotted in Cineleisure Damansara. Now I know where to pick up chicks! (Ikano has a pick-up lane.)