Monthly Archives: January 2009

Diversity In Black & White

Black & White Fest: A Celebration Of Diversity at The Annexe Gallery, Central Market, 19th September 2008.

Can I take your picture miss?

Left: A photography talk; right: Constitutional Amendments, a text installation.

Constitutional Amendments showed various amendments side-by-side. Visitors were given stickers to place on their preferred version.

Meanwhile, upstairs, KJ and I found this beam which, oddly, had hand marks. Who would’ve reached for this, and for what reason? (This was a bit beyond our reach, even!)

Alright, enough of the black-and-white.


Caught at Youth ’09.

Graphical text will get past the word filters, don’t worry. 🙂

Doof bags are crazy huge bean bags, which somehow mold to one’s shape quickly and hold it in place.

They are more fun in large amounts.

They are great fun to crash into.

I had a try. The 5 second pause at the end of the animation simulates that moment of calm and settling when you have molded with the Doof.

KJ was just flipping out!

They make the best seats, ever!

To answer the question – sell them for a very nice used price!

I got one. * 😀

Speaking of back seats…

Jangan pandang belakang.

Failed ad shot. See the logo is obscured by Gadiy’s head. But that kinda gels with their slogan on the banting, really.

So how do you bring them downstairs?

* Many have wondered when I will sell out and put advertisements on my blog. Well, the time is now! You are witnessing a historic moment. At least I’m being honest. But I’ll be honest also and say that these Doof bags are great fun! The fabric is pretty thick and feels like it can withstand a few beatings, somersaults, two-storey falls, topples and sharp bony a–es…

Oh, and how do you get one? From their site, Doof Industries.

Aku Ria

I finally visited Aquaria down in the KLCC Convention Centre.

Chocolate starfish…

…and the hotdog flavored water!

Unreal little frogs.

For the fun of it, a 2:1 ratio crop was imposed on all pictures.




This creature looks like the inspiration for an underwater comic book dweller.

Like whoa, toad-ally.

These were huge!

The texture reminded me of Stargate SG-1.

Ever get the feeling you were swimming in circles?

This Is Moonshine!

This is Moonshine: A Homemade Music Show, 8th January 2009, Laundry Bar!

This is Izzy.

This is her keyboardist.

This is her drummer.

These are her fans.

This, as well as all the other shots, were shot with my lovely new Carl Zeiss 135mm F1.8. It just gives a totally different glow and somehow gets more color tones; some other lenses would just blow out intense spotlights as one mess of color.

This is the classic bass slut Alda Tan.

This is Broken Scar! Welcome back and thanks for rocking Laundry!

This is Paul Chuah.

Alda is reliving his emo band daydreams in a very emo band pose.

This is Alex Ang, who is never short of expressions and looks like a Duracell drummer bunny here.

This is rock and roll!



Rock Band is the s–t, yo!

This shot, and the following pictures, were shot with my trusty ol’ Minolta 50mm F1.4 unless otherwise specified.

This is Kevin doing a Daniel Johns impression.

This is Az Samad, virtuoso fingerstyle guitarist.

This is how he gets scratches on his guitar body. By scratching his guitar body. (Shot with the Zeiss.)

This is his high action guitar. (Okay, so it’s not actually that high action, in order to tap, but his thick strings make it a challenge.)

This is his nylon-strung SoloEtte.

This is M, an otherwise mystery band featuring M for Melina…

…and M for Michelle. (Also shot with the Zeiss.)

I still maintain that they should’ve called themselves M&M, but Melina says the name was taken.

They played electronica! It seems almost like a natural progression for progressive, experimental musicians to get into electronica.

Filters And Flashes

Now, for some assorted geeking out!

Kaleidoscopic colors! It comes with a rotating ring with a stub to rotate the effect around.

There was also the classic soft spot filter.

However, the coolest was this one! You could rotate it to affect the angle of repetition.

I had never seen so many rare filters in one place!

Yes these great finds were in a shop called dSLR in Subang Parade.

What else did I find there?

The Sunpak PF20XD! I had been contemplating a tiny flash for my Sony Alpha 900. This was the smallest I’d seen with manual power (since it uses the old hotshoe mount, I need to use my adapter, but the flash must be able to dial down its power or else it will always fire at full power when using the adapter!)

And now, for finds elsewhere.

A ring light…

…and something more portable with a wow effect.

Yep, that’s the Sony HVL-F58AM on my former Sony Alpha 700, wirelessly commanding the Sony HVL-F42AM (on the F58’s stand) on the right. The lens is my former diminutive Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon 35mm F2.4, with a very nice normal angle.

Notice the orange gel on the F58? It’s not on the F42 (it was the shop’s unit). I made a custom cardboard holder for it to quickly attach and remove the gels.

Now this is why the Nikon SB-900 costs RM400 more than the F58 – it comes with a flash gel clip-on holder! Of course, the guy who was using this n00bishly did not know what it was for but clipped it on anyway. This isn’t quite the same as the diffuser that is given!

Though, I would maintain that my design is faster to remove and put on.

Note that putting the gel clip without putting a gel is going to waste a wee bit of flash power for no reason.

The SB-900 comes with a very cool feature which detects which flash gel is on, and sends the correct color temperature to a compatible Nikon (D300/D3 onwards.) How does it know? I only found out yesterday – there are square markings which lie on an infrared sensor on the SB-900. Different combinations of squares will transmit different data – I noticed a full and half tungsten-to-daylight filter, and a full and half flourescent-to-daylight filter.

Anyway, back to the wonderful swivelling F58, seen here on a Type-A light stand mount adapter.

Flashes also have them AF assist lights, which honestly look very pretty. Tron, anyone?

Wireless flash. Flash head zoomed to 85mm and placed from the left and another flash head had its diffuser on so it becomes 17mm and gives a soft look.

Finally, KJ jumps! Flashes were on Strobe mode and shot the closest thing to closeup with this.

Tengah Meredang

Thank you company (again)!

…and now, for more shots from the company trip in Redang (anywhere from the 27th February 2008 to 1st March 2008.)

Yes, it was obvious whose territory we were now in!

The ferry.

The island. No, wait, not this one.

Anyway one thing that really made the islands and greens and skies pop out was the use of my Sony Alpha 700’s Dynamic Range Optimizer set to Level 5, the maximum available. You know what it’s like if you were to shoot the same scene without such a fantastic feature – the island would be dark and the sky would be a bright white.

Ah, here at last!

Laguna Redang Beach Resort. This is the one with the More More Tea Inn (I bought the T-shirt! I thought Summer Holiday was a really nice movie even though they played it on repeat on TV, making sure I could catch both the ending and beginning…)

My colleagues ran right into the waves!

Wet benches. We came at the wrong (or right) time – the waves were coming in, and so the sea was not safe for swimming on subsequent days.

Oh well, what a waste.

And when the sign is red, NO SWIMMING!

Another sign tells you not to feed the monkey. Yes, there is one solitary monkey on this island. Poor, poor lonely monkey.

That’s why they call it Monkey Island.


Seafood green is in fashion.

It’s quite something to watch waves crash, while the rocks resist.

Tired with the view, we crossed over to the other resort.

On the way back, we made a pit stop. Interesting prices the other states in Malaysia have!

More here:
Mula Meredang
Habis Meredang

Hey Girl Where You At?

Me: Hey I’m here already! Where you at?
She: Hi! I’m at Spade!
Me: What?
She: Spade!
Me: Er, where is that?
She: Oh, it’s opposite PrimaVera…
Me: Er…
She: Near Skin Food?
Me: What floor is it on?
She: Oh, first floor!

It would help greatly if landmarks were not boutiques – I am, after all, an unfashionable straight man and we unfashionable straight men are completely oblivious to such shops.

Wanting Thing One

On the 29th of November 2008, 2 things happened to me that never happened before.

Thing One – I stepped into Bangkok Jazz for the very first time.

Somehow, the place looked less jazzy and uppity than I thought. A real jazz bar with less apparent pretense than Alexis, I’d say.

I was there for Thing One (the band) with Zalina Lee. Yes that’s not a typo – she’s Zalila Lee‘s sister!

Zalina was simply a powerful soul singer with lots of range. She even did a cover of Alicia Keys & Jack White – Another Way To Die… doing both Alicia’s and Jack’s part!

Faz and Fook reflecting on the grand piano.

I asked Faz if they were going to play Edgar Winter Group – Frankenstein, since the last time I bumped into her, she said Giant Timeline (another band she is in) would play tonight, and that they’d play Frankenstein.

And so, she granted my request!

That was Thing Two. I have never seen Frankenstein covered. Now the only song I still want to hear a cover of is Lynyrd Skynyrd – Freebird.

Nisha on the keys. The expression knob on the far left made the psychedelic sounds of Edgar Winter’s crazy Keytar sound!

Someday, I’ll be old enough to enter, and I’m going to sing!

Besides alternating between instrumental funk jazz pieces and songs with Zalina Lee, they also called up Najwa (who was to play with Giant Timeline the next week).

And there, she is, posing for her brother, who is taking pictures of her.

All shots with the Sony A900 and Minolta 50mm F1.4 except the last, shot with my Vivitar 24mm F2.0 DIY Tilt-Shift lens. As you can see it’s still difficult to focus a tilt-shift in low light.