Monthly Archives: March 2011

Comida – I Like It!

29th October 2010 – the launch of Comida (The Way We Like It), a new restaurant at D2-G3-1 Solaris Dutamas, 1 Jalan Dutamas 1, 50480, Kuala Lumpur. Which is really, down from my office!

All shots with the Sigma 12-24mm F4.5-5.6 EX DG on the A900, hence the ultra-wide rectilinear goodness.

Smack in front of a Ferrari.


Sufiz, Master Chef/Director.

Mooky (left), emcee, and Basil Joseph (middle), Owner/Director. Met a load of familiar faces that night!

Long time no see DJ Nas-T!

Luna Skye and her half-winged friend!

Giant pizza eating competition!

Three teams with two people each.

Almost done!

Joe Flizzow, yo.

Allison and me!

I don’t remember his name but I know he be playing guitar for…

Russell Curtis!

Allison again I must thank you, and apologies for the late post!

Anda masih hip hop?

Prema Yin the rockstar has rockstar-colored hair!

Didn’t have to back up much for this shot!

Liyana carries her hat in style.

So how was the food?

Well, I do come by for lunch sometimes, and their burgers are HUGE! For the affordable price you pay you get stuffed and fall into a food coma an hour later. I’d only go if I was needing an insane amount of beef patty. Which reminds me – I should take a picture of that burger next time.

Convention-AL-pha Part 4

And now, for a more processional narration of the events at the Sony Alpha Convention 2011 in Kuala Lumpur Convention Center!

Darren Chang, head honcho of Alphanatics on stage for the launch event.

John Shum, head of the training division, who makes sure all you Sony Alpha users get your free education, a crash course into using your camera!

The legendary Gary Friedman, writer of many books on Sony Alpha and long time guard of the Minolta keep. Very cool guy, who was a rocket scientist. For real!

He gave a talk titled Exploit Flash and Wireless Flash, which was a more mainstream, straightforward topic.

Bazuki Muhammad spoke on Art Of Seeing, Photo Journalism. Unfortunately he admitted he wasn’t a talk-giver – he played half an hour of slides before answering questions. Each speaker’s style would wildly differ after that!

Nikt Wong‘s excellent Street Photography with NEX – that turned out to be far more enriching and enlightening. I now know how to make a street photo appear immersive!

Azrul‘s The Art Of Portraiture showed us the history and evolution of portrait photography. Undoubtedly this was one of the more popular topics, though I did enjoy the left-field talks immensely.

Bernice Chauly gave a talk on Understanding Documentary Photography. It is interesting to see how different photographers prefer to work – either they control every element in their studio, or they get out on the streets and get the picture.

Eiffel Chong, whose talk title alone (and maybe, reputation) made me sign up for his talk – Intrinsic Institutional Photography.

As it was, you could only sign up for 6 talks per person.

If you were keeping track, that was 6 talks above, so I figured I should crash the next workshop just like everyone else was doing (since some people didn’t show up, and some people didn’t think to look at their watches and realize a talk was on.)

And so, this is Mun Keat, with The Art of Wedding Photography. Again, an obvious mainstream topic that many would sign up for. Though I’d say I intentionally picked the left-field, less conventional topics to catch.

In between, they’d have shaolin monks demonstrate their art.


There would also be prizes to be given out, for people who would collect the most participation stickers (for asking questions during talks.)

Syukur strikes a pose!

More winners, including the venerable ardent winner Dr. Chan from Ipoh.

I caught the mimes talking.

A night view of a Petronas Twin Tower, with the Sony Alpha 55 and Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 135mm F1.8 ZA!

Oh, and all pictures in this blog entry were shot with that lens.

The highest-resolving Sony Alpha sensor (16.2 megapixels in the Alpha 55) gets matched with the 135mm…

…to get this 100% crop.

Alvan, superstar.

Leong in a distant portrait.

Joseph meets the 135mm F1.8, at F1.8.

More here:
Convention-AL-pha Part 3
Convention-AL-pha Part 2
Convention-AL-pha Part 1

Convention-AL-pha Part 3

And now, for more, from the Sony Alpha Convention 2011!

You may realize that the past two posts have been full of pictures of guys with cameras.

So here’s a breather.

Oh hey it’s Red FM, and my first ever encounter with their on-ground presence!

Here’s Linora, who I have not bumped into for a fair bit! Funny how I didn’t know that there were quite a few familiar faces in Red FM.

Here are three models holding three Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 135mm F1.8 ZA lenses! Quite rare to see, really.

Random girl who stands around and appears helpful.

Random girl who stands around and greets people.

I have to look at this picture again to wonder how the heck the 135mm did that – the statues in the background look flat. It looks like a printed wallpaper!

It almost looks like the guy behind is part of the wallpaper!

These dancers would come out at certain times. I wonder if they felt dejavu.

More here:
Convention-AL-pha Part 2
Convention-AL-pha Part 1

Convention-AL-pha Part 2

Now, for more from the Sony Alpha Convention 2011! Here’s George Wong, the new Head Of Department for the new Sony Alpha Business Department.

Here’s the Sigma 12-24mm F4.5-5.6 EX DG on my Sony Alpha 900, giving the record widest rectilinear angle of view.

On the opposite end of the spectrum is the Sony 70-400mm F4-5.6G SSM on display.

We went for talks. Here’s “Nat Geo” Shaiful documenting his attendance.

There were mimes and a caricature artist. Cool! I didn’t get round to getting my caricature done, though I did get the silent treatment from those dudes.

Every now and then, the dancers would pop up and perform.

A live studio shoot, where the resulting picture would become the front cover of a local photography magazine of whose title I do not remember.

Eddie being Gary Friedman’s Voice Activated Lightstand. The effect was that of a softbox.

Din absorbed in the performance. Three layers deep!

The statues cast shadows.

We learnt about perspective to give depth to a picture from Nikt Wong‘s talk about Street Photography With NEX. Gotta have the foreground, subject, and background. Three layers deep!

Leading lines give a sense of location.

Ladies and gents escalator.

The dancers from a flash mob. It was announced in the itinerary itself!

Hold it right there… if people know about it beforehand, it isn’t a flash mob anymore!

I don’t know who shot this but it is a damn cool shot.

On Sunday, before reaching the KLCC Convention Center, I took some street photos with keeping the 3 layers and perspective in mind.

Okay, maybe nothing much here.

The heart of KL is filled with foreigners.

More here:
Convention-AL-pha Part 1

Convention-AL-pha Part 1

The Sony Alpha Convention 2011! 3 days, from the 11th to 13th of March 2011, at the KLCC Convention Center.

I start this entry with an inaugural shot of Sham K.Y. holding the most expensive Sony Alpha A-mount lens in production – the Sony 300mm F2.8G SSM, weighing at a very light 2.3KG (compared to other 300mm F2.8 lenses!) It is actually pretty small once the hood is removed.

We got 15% vouchers which would bring this chunk of glass down from RM24

The Dead Crow, And Politics

The dead crow.

Bang! Goes the DBKL crow shooter.

My deceased maternal grandfather was an ex-serviceman, and he fought communists in the jungle.

No, that is not my grandfather in the picture. 😀

He retired, and would go on these crow-shooting sessions, and get paid for each crow shot.

And yes, I have seen his shotgun. You don’t see one in the average Malaysian home!

Which brings me to an interesting pontification, a reflection if you will.

Recently, I do not remember how, I came about to read about Che Guevara, who I quote Wikipedia, was an “Argentine Marxist revolutionary, physician, author, intellectual, guerrilla leader, diplomat and military theorist”. He travelled Latin America, seeing the condition it was in, and formed his ideas then, and it shaped his mission in life.

Some simplify him to being a violent communist.

I’d say my political stance is that I prefer everything to be done for the benefit of living beings (is that wide enough a blanket statement?)

Capitalism is great, yeah – you work more, you earn more, but it does come at the expense of some due to greed.

Egalitarianism is great – equal oppurtunity for all, everyone has the same rights.

I don’t think socialism is all that bad, either. The idea that we all work for the benefit of all is good, though it arguably causes no innovation, and that people not aligned with the idea will not work. I fancy the idea of decentralized power, and less power tiers… but there will always be leaders because followers can’t figure stuff out themselves. (Unless education advances until everyone figures it out… or we become The Borg*).

And isn’t communism ironic, being that there is no higher class, that there is a State that controls everything?

The world’s most famous photo is Guerrillero Heroico, a portrait of Che Guevara when he was at a funeral, looking brave in the face of adversity. The photographer, Alberto Korda, did not claim any royalties or payment for the picture, because he believed that the picture should be shared for the benefit of all, to spread the revolution.

Which brings me to another tangent.

Open source and free for all, versus closed source that you’d have to buy. Or patents, to lock your ideas as money.

So Microsoft and Apple are obviously capitalists.

Google, on the other hand, what are they? Some kind of egalitarian pseudo-socialist entity? They give their services away for free, for the benefit of all, and break borders. Their idea is that information is free and will eventually float in the air.

Of course, they are incentive-driven also – they sell ads in these services. And who pays for these ads? The capitalists!

So I am grateful for the Google model (or the free TV/newspaper model). Though they still need the capitalists until we can figure something out.

While I am not going to install Linux anytime soon (unless you count Android as a Linux system) I do really like the idea of open source. One programmer decides to make a cool program or library, because there isn’t one, and knows his/her efforts will help programmers all around the world. Then somebody else improves on it, and puts the improvements in! This utopian idea allows for collaborative innovation.

Of course, programmers still have to pay for food in a capitalist non-utopian society, so they still have a day job.

I recently helped out by doing unpaid work for a NGO, and have become a bit more charitable than before. Though I’d have to say I could only do so after earning a bit more.

I wonder if Bill Gates just wanted to write some cool programs and ended up being the richest man on Earth. Fortunately with the excess, he has given a load to charity. Unfortunately, Bill isn’t like the coolest dude you’d want to look up to.

What about Steve Jobs? Sure, he could’ve been donating anonymously, but with his cult of personality, could he at least donate some money and make that act known publicly? His followers would follow, inspired by their leader, and that would benefit more people (instead of just having another Starbucks coffee while playing games on their iPads.)

* Footnote – I quite like the idea of The Borg – a fictional society in Star Trek, where the members are humanoids with cybernetic links to a shared network. Which is really quite like Twitter except you see the tweets of everyone on the network!

So imagine you wanted to know where the bus B79 was because you wanted to get to a restaurant. A thought stream could go like this:
You: Where is this B79 bus? I’m craving for an awesome cheeseburger.
Borg on the road: Hey I see it in front of me, at latitude 3 11 2.3 longitude 101 23 6.9.
Borg who travels a lot: Oh, that would take about 15 minutes to get there.
Borg friend: Hey can I join you for a cheeseburger? Oh wait I read your mind already, yes I can.
Borg friend 2: Yes me too!

It’s Twitter in your brain – I see smashpOp lining up to be assimilated already!

I don’t buy the idea of a violent Borg (except unless its shared ideals was to assimilate everyone because they believe it is a good state to be in… “hey why aren’t you on Twitter?” sound familiar?) So a violent Borg would then, after assimilating everyone, become a peaceful Borg, and having shared collective thought, cured cancer and all illnesses so they could live forever. They might just decide to kill themselves, like how the Q (a race in Star Trek which can be anywhere, any time, knows everything) felt that such a life was pointless.

Ah, but how did I get so far from this, the dead crow?


One 12th December 2010 I went down to KLCC Convention Centre, for the PIKOM PC Fair Digital Lifestyle Expo 2010.

So they tweaked it a bit – it’s not purely a PC Fair, and you can see TVs and fridges. I believe she was standing near the fridges keeping cool.

Man versus Kinect!

The diminutive Olympus 14-150mm F4.0-5.6 Micro Four-Thirds lens!

We take a break to the earlier Teh Tarik session where four Zeiss primes showed up. All 3 Sony Carl Zeiss ZA auto-focusing primes are here!

Left to right: Sony Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 24mm F2.0 ZA SSM, Carl Zeiss Biogon T* 35mm F2.0 ZM (Leica M mount with Kipon adapter to Sony NEX E-mount), Sony Carl Zeiss Planar T* 85mm F1.4 ZA, Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 135mm F1.8 ZA.

And here’s one from the Sigma 28mm F1.8 EX DG.

This is a 100% crop from the highest-resolving sensor on the Sony Alpha range – the Sony Alpha SLT-A55, pushing 16.2 megapixels, with the Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 135mm F1.8 ZA.

The Zeiss 24mm F2.0 is great for street photography – especially so on a full-frame body like the Sony Alpha A900.

From the 24mm, at F10.

Me, with the CSL Droidpad. Yes it can be legitimately used as a mobile phone, albeit in handsfree mode if you don’t plug anything in. 7 inches isn’t too big.

The Nikon Coolpix S8100, with a backlit CMOS sensor.

Why play online games when the real thing is better?

Navigator, can you guide me? I am lost in your eyes.

So what are they promoting again? The fallacy is that a sizeable traffic for the expo consists of guys with cameras instead of proper customers.

Yes I will join your role-playing game. 😉

Ever seen a Santarina that was not hot? Nope.


I went down to Autodetailer‘s new garage launch, sometime 2nd October 2010.

This was shot in his car studio, a giant room with a huge, humming light bank summoning enough power to propel the DeLorean to 88 miles per hour, probably.

Darren initially told me he washed cars for a living.

To showroom perfection, of course!

Fast forward to 4th December 2010, for the Kuala Lumpur International Motor Show 2010. Electric cars and hybrids were present from most manufacturers.

And this, a solar-powered car!

An EV Quick Charger station.

If I was ever to get a car (since I believe personal transport is terribly space-inefficient and selfish) it would be an electric, or hybrid.

Or we could all ride bikes, which take up less space per passenger.

No, not this dolly-wheeled clunker.

A lot of guys go to these motorshows just to take pictures of girls.

Beware, photo-stalkers – Bumble Bee is watching you!

Cowgirl. Yeehaw!

I enjoyed the myriad of artificial lights in different colors. She was standing in a Perodua concept car.

Girl from Proton.

Girl from, uh… uh…

More shots, using the Sony Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 24mm F2.0 ZA SSM:

When I Turned 26

December 19th, 2009, sometime back, indeed!

Shaz the man who celebrates 31 birthdays in a month loves to celebrate birthdays. Here, however, he is just celebrating the night.

William the introspective, unconventional conversationalist who brings in conversation at a pace that I deeply enjoy.

Kimberley is partying her socks off in some foreign land. But I’ve never seen her wear socks.

But this, this is my second favorite Ampangite (first favorite Ampangite, I haven’t gotten Model Release approval.)

I even got to give him a Birthday kick!

Pictures of the others present, were either omitted due to uh, well, unflattering angles (my fault) and/or their publicly known preference not to be in pictures.