Monthly Archives: November 2007

Albert In Bed

Jen Han called one evening with a situation – he needed me to take party shots for PartyOut since he couldn’t go. And so, I went to Bed with my Sony Alpha 700 and put it to the test – ISO1600 with the Sigma 17-35mm F2.8-4 EX at (on average) 1/4s and Sony HVL-F56AM set on TTL mode. This was the 7th of October 2007 morning, technically, since I only got there at 1:30am.

Yes, chicks in Bed!

Deejays in Bed!

The club colors help to give an interesting pink tinge on their faces.

I have to thank my pimp in the bottom-right for gathering party people to camwhore.

Hmmm. That looks like a Motorola.

I have never felt so welcome, pointing to my camera, gesturing to take a picture. Yes this is a crop of an ISO1600 picture. The A700 is amazingly clean at ISO1600 with flash.

I like the various random expressions of the people here.

The slower shutter speeds bring out the club’s colored lighting.

Nice belt.

What you say? PartyOut?

The Sigma is amazingly sharp at 17mm F4 with properly directed lighting.

Bed is really, really small.

Check out my shadow in his protoplasmic glow!

Not a chick, but I love his expression.

It’s times like these I wish I wasn’t lugging around a camera bag…

Green red blue.

One Night Stand (with Jeremy and Andrew)

19th September 2007 – One Night Stand, live at No Black Tie. Here’s Jeremy, tuning up his custom Godin.

While waiting for the crowd to trickle in, a good timekiller is to shoot the place.

I like how the Peleng 8mm F3.5 circular fisheye gave the interior a church-like arch.

Jeremy played acoustic folk in the key of John Mayer.

Girls love that.

Most shots shot with the Minolta 50mm F1.4 with a Pro Tama 0.7x wide-angle converter to give it a film-like 50mm normal view.

One Night Stand is two people – the other being stand-up comedian (and ex-colleague) Andrew Netto.

Hahaha dude you’re funny!

He explains how to do a Bollywood dance.

One Night Stand, one night only. One full house.

Next up, they pulled up a member of the audience to sing her a song.

You want more?

Random chick. Oh hi blurred Olivia!

I could not help but stare at the stairs.


I don’t know if you can tell, but I’m on a roll. 5th September 2007, a private hannah t showcase.

Cyndi-wtf! (Note that the usage of wtf at the end of sentences first started at Compulsive WTF, and was further propagated over local blogs written by not-so-old people. I am proud to say this because my blood first cousin (or is it first blood cousin?) was one of these pioneers. I hope he gets paid for his trend via some keyword detection system, then he can buy me some Autobots and he can buy himself some Decepticons, because that’s what we collected as kids (and me now, to some extent.)

So wait, where is she? You know, hannah t, formerly known as Hannah Tan?

There, on the mike!

A bright lens is a must for performances in clubs – all shots used my Minolta 50mm F1.4.

Vince, who won Akademi Fantasia Season 1, joined her for a duet.

Alda the bass man, who got me on the list.

Crazy ass shredder. You gotta have a great band to go big, and she can’t go wrong with him, Alda the bass slut (everybody wants him in their band) and Alex the drum slut (who everybody wants, too!)

Hannah must not be feeding him well though, as he was so hungry he decided to have his guitar for breakfast.

Of course, I’d rather have her for breakfast.

She alternated between a healthy mix of cover songs and originals – doing Justin Timberlake, Madonna, Eurhythmics (or rather, Marilyn Manson’s cover of Sweet Dreams) among others.

Cyndi blows her a kiss.

What does Hannah Tan do with funky socks?

On a side note, some doubted her vocals. I could see her struggling because she could not hear herself sing (as seen by her signalling upwards to boost mike levels on the stage monitors) and so I gave her the benefit of the doubt. Yes, she could sing, and I heard it in the softer moments.

The backup vocalist on the right was amazing.

Sorry I don’t have very catchy captions this time. These pictures are distracting!

Geeks And Chicks

15th September 2007 – the KL Photo Fest in Berjaya Times Square, with a model shoot session where one would have to fight for space to shoot models.

Obviously not a problem for this dude with a Canon 500mm F4L IS USM lens.

Suzanne Lee spotted!

The new Tamron 70-200mm F2.8 Macro, yet to be released. Its weight is well-balanced towards the back and it feels smaller than other 70-200mm F2.8 zooms.

Regardless, I walked around with the Minolta 70-210mm F4 beercan lens. It makes pretty liquid color bokeh like this (note the pleasant green tinge on out-of-focus borders.)

And yes, us camera geeks walked around with cameras slung around our necks, checking each other’s lenses out, identifying them in our head as we go. Kinda like how girls can tell where a girl’s top was bought from.

Sure you don’t want one of these? The Tamron 200-500mm F5-6.3, which looks like a rocket launcher when extended. Interestingly, it’s a push-pull from the front, but also has a zoom ring; either method will zoom the lens. Of course, it is way more expensive than the discontinued Tamron 200-400mm F5.6 I have. I do appreciate the tripod mount which extends out so you can put your hand in it and hold it as a video camera.

Okay, maybe I want one of these.

Digiscoping with a Ricoh. The uncle cleverly set it upon a rooftop pool somewhere in the city.


(Off sequence is this guy on an escalator. Noise intentional from oversharpening.)

So yes you get the pattern? Alternating chicks and geeking out.

And for another day, where Azrul Kevin Abdullah of 807 Studio shot Sony Alpha users who would have their pictures featured in the Sony Alpha 700 launch (myself included, heh!)

Blue Summer, Part 3

Apologies for the wait, so here’s Part 3 of the Sloggi Blue Summer Party! Click for Part 1 and Part 2. Now for the Sloggi Beach Babe contest! There was both a swimwear competition and talent competition, but I’ve ordered the pictures in contestant order.

I am not sure if this is Contestant 01 – Mellisa.

Synchronized dance!

Contestant 02 – Crystal.

Dancing is their common talent.

Contestant 03 – Sukkie.

The dancer probably wishes he didn’t put the chair there.

Contestant 04 – Alison.

That is one heck of a lucky chair.

She danced to Pussycat Dolls – Buttons. Really hot dancing!

Contestant 05 – Christie.

She magically teleports her bikini out from under her dress! That is a skill I’d like to learn.

Contestant 06 – Ru Yi.

Who does a Ruu – an a-boo-ken!

Contestant 07 – Aliana.

She does flower arranging.

One of the judges were Amber Chia.

Contestant 08 – Eve. She dances with balls.

I am not sure if this is Contestant 09 – Angie. The sequence was screwed and she didn’t wear a number, and was just before Contestant 02’s talent performance.

Contestant 10 – Sin Yee.

She does yoga!

Bystander 01 – “I can do better than that. C’mon!

Who was the winner?

Definitely this alluring dancer.

Blue Summer, Part 2

And now for Part 2 of the Sloggi Blue Summer Party! Part 1 here.

Performances on the big stage included dancing with fire.

Air-kicking cheerleaders!

Neck-cracking breakdancers!

And hot hot hot dancers. Yum yum. I have a soft spot for such faces.

It looks like he is grabbing something.

Caution: slippery floor.

And then, for the Sloggi beachwear show!

Which, strangely, had a few of the same bikini tops…

…but the more discerning might be able to tell the difference.

Yes, it was scorching hot.

We all got one of those blue shades.

At this point, I am out of captions…

…not that you mind, do you?

Wanna skip some rope?

No, she is not grabbing ass.

I had to fight space with photographers all over the beach.

Next, a very calming Rakan Muda dance. Uh, yeah.

Karen Kong!

Part 1 is here.

Blue Summer, Part 1

Oh the 25th of August 2007, I went down to Sunway Lagoon for the Sloggi Blue Summer Party. Thanks Templar for the ticket!

Down to business back then, I brought the Cosina 70-210mm F2.8-4 Macro and my Tamron 1.4x and Kenko 2x teleconverters for some 600mm stalking fun. This was at 600mm, F29, ISO400, 1/160s. Yes F29, that’s how scorchingly bright the place was. Plus I could afford to be shooting at 1/160s instead of the traditional 1/1000s at a 900mm equivalent length. Thank you, Sony Alpha 100, for Super SteadyShot!

But first, a disclaimer: Guys and girls were all checking each other out, so it’s not like I was any more a voyeur.

Sometimes, they spot you and pose!

Sometimes, they walk past. Yum.

420mm F10 ISO400 1/500s.

Yes yes wet fun!

…some people had dry fun.

And some, they just camwhored for the massive hoard of male photographers wandering around.

600mm F14 ISO400 1/160s. This was the top of a giant, wide, water slide.

Insert Mandy Moore lyric here about the boys checking you out.

Chicks love photographers.

Chicks also love balloons.

Chicks love hiding in the shade while waiting for their turn to dance.

More to come!

Happy (belated) Birthday, Allison!

(Yes, recycled picture from Solve The Softie blog post.)

I think you know where this is heading. Yet another blog post with lots of pictures of one birthday girl. Here she is at our ex-colleague’s wedding, waiting for her prince to come.

…anyway, despite how much you bully us and make us want to slap you…

…you still throw nice parties, albeit all the way in Klang…

…With nice food and…

…salted butter. Salted butter! Yum!

Plus, your house rocks because it has an OSIM chair. The iMedic IV has one of my favorite programs and was the predecessor to the OSIM iDesire, which had my favorite neck-slapping sequence at the end.

Yes, I’m one of those shameless people who sit in OSIM chairs without buying them. Call me a connoisseur of massage chairs.

I spy.

I have to say what a photographic pleasure it is to have such white surfaces resulting in high-key-like photos.

And finally, for more geeking; I tap the AEL button on my Sony Alpha 700 to Spot Meter on the pillar behind Allison, before shooting. Shot in Aperture Priority at 17mm F4.5 ISO1600. The spot-metered pillar was 1/40s.

Yes, you can shoot with flash in Aperture Priority provided you lock exposure, to override the default flash sync speed and get nice ambient-light mix photos. Manual Exposure works too, but hey, if you understand what automation the camera gives you, you can work faster!

A Gripping Tale

And now, for Part Two of my gripping tale of how I hold my Sony Alpha 700. Part One is here.

This is the standard, intuitive grip. The thumb lands on the AF/MF button, but the Drive, WB and ISO buttons are notably out of reach, on the top surface. A few friends who had the A700 also wondered if we had the common affliction of having Asian-sized hands.

wkcheang also reports discomfort, that the bottom-right corner of the camera leaves uncomfortable pressure upon his palm. I never faced such a problem; I always felt it to be soft and rounded.

Those of you who have had a smaller SLR would probably tuck their last finger under the grip. I used to do that with my ol’ Sony Alpha 100.

However, when I do that with the A700, something else happens – my thumb can now reach the top three buttons with ease, and the first joint of my thumb presses the AF/MF button and operates the rear dial!

The aforementioned pressure to the palm is also gone.

And this is the leftie grip which I learnt from Asyraf and Ted. With some amount of dexterity, you could even operate everything with your left hand alone!

Mega, Dude!

26th October 2007 was when I saw Dave Mustaine in flesh in Fort Canning Park, Singapore. Yes, the original guitarist for Metallica, since sacked for drug and alcohol problems, who then formed his own thrash metal band, Megadeth! A few albums later, he discovered neo-classical shredder Marty Friedman, and they made the sweetest, crunchiest, progressive blend of thrash and speed metal. Those times did not last, but Megadeth is still playing thrash metal and keeping it true. I can’t say the same for Metallica.

(Apologies for the low-quality pictures, I was using my Nokia N70 because cameras were not allowed in.)

And so, YK, Tarquin and I waited. A sound engineer would come up on stage and test a guitar, to which we’d shout in the dopiest Californian drawl, “Hey wait a minute! You’re not Dave!

A slow guitar intro started the set, with the familiar chugs of Sleepwalker coming in. This was what I thought was the most intense of the songs from the new album, United Abominations, and they picked a good starting song! The crowd shifted about with human bodies moving like ocean waves.

I always wondered if they’d play their older stuff, or keep strictly to the new album, since it was a United Abominations Tour Of Duty anyway.

Thankfully, Take No Prisoners came on! Once the main riff hit at 0:36 (well, on the album, anyway), we all jumped, dancing in circles with elbows out. Undoubtedly, the crowd energy was more intense with the stronger hits. We all chanted along, “Don’t ask what you can do for your country! Asssk! What your country! Can dooo! For you!” This song was off Rust In Peace, their first album with Marty, of many to come of my favorite Megadeth lineup.

Wake Up Dead was next, from an older, more plainly thrash metal album – Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying. They fast-forwarded to Skin O’ My Teeth from Countdown To Extinction, followed by a speech.

YK and I were like, “Whoa dude! He looks just like in pictures, with the blond curly hair and I’m-forever-second-place snarl!

What’s next? Washington Is Next! From this point on it could be made clear that Megadeth was playing a healthy mix of the old and new, evenly spaced out! Then, there was one of their slowest songs, A Tout Le Monde (which is the only song from Youthanasia.) The brooding In My Darkest Hour, from So Far, So Good… So What! then came on.

The ascending chromatic chord progression that would also be heard in Metallica – The Call Of The Ktulu were heard in chord form. Hangar 18! Eight or more solos of bliss! Alternating between the bluesy licks of Dave and the melodic neoclassical of Marty, while mucking around with rhythm changes, the whole lot of us were singing the solos aloud. We were not alone!

Interestingly, Megadeth performed the songs exactly as you’d hear them on the album, 32nd note by note. Dave’s voice followed the original recordings, not the voice on the remastered album. I found that amazing because you’d feel like you were teleported into that era when the album was produced!

James Hetfield however, uses his newer voice on older songs. Of course, James sounded worse in Metallica’s first album, heh.

I don’t know why Megadeth played note-by-note though; after all, guitarist Glen Drover was from King Diamond and you’d expect some amazing degree of technical prowess from Dave and him. Then again, it might be the case of the classical piano player who can’t make up a solo jam to save his life.

James Lorenzo on bass was from White Lion. Who’s the drummer? Shawn Drover is Glen’s brother.

Next up: Gears Of War, from their United Abominations album, and She-Wolf from Cryptic Writings. Apparently, this was a Singapore exclusive. Then, there was The System Has Failed from the album of the same name.

I am positive, however, that crowd participation was greater with songs from the Rust In Peace album, as Tornado Of Souls showed. Ashes In Your Mouth, from Countdown To Extinction, and Never Walk Alone… A Call To Arms returns to the new.

They took a break, and returned when an orchestra could be heard. Jeng-jeng JENG! Or however it was pronounced, we all mouthed the riff to Symphony Of Destruction (off CTE)! They played the extended version. This began a flurry of crowd favorites, like Trust (off CW) and Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying? (off an album the same name).

Thank you and goodnight, they said, but we all knew what to do. Call for an encore! “Holy Wars!“, chanted the crowd.

They returned obligingly, with one of their most technical, progressive metal songs. “Brother will kill brother, spreading blood across the laaand, killing for religion, something I don’t understand“, we sang along. For once, they mucked with the song, and slowed down the classical riff before the second half of the song.

Except, of course, that they played Mechanix instead, which can be heard as a slower Metallica – The Four Horsemen elsewhere. Oddly, I liked Metallica’s Kill ‘Em All album because a lot of it was contributed by Dave. Again, this was a Singapore exclusive!

Thank the devil then, for they returned to the second half of Holy Wars, The Punishment Due. I was finally satisfied.

Oh, and I won’t be uploading videos due to my inability to hold the phone completely still, or shut up during the riffs or sing the wrong lyrics. So here are some videos from Mark/Halcyon, a Korean guitarist who plays excellent covers!

Megadeth – Holy Wars… The Punishment Due Cover
Megadeth – Peace Sells Dual Cover
Metallica – Battery Cover
Eric Johnson – Manhattan Cover