Originally uploaded by Lye Hock.
Wishing all my friends and loved ones a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
And so we were in Bangkok, Thailand for a short break last week. The Novotel Siam Square was smack in the heart of the city making getting around quite a breeze. Temperature was KL-like in the higher 30s....Four days of shopping, tomyams, massages and cool beers. You can never get enough of those. Taxi drivers were a mixed bunch some not preferring to use the meter but still you can find an honest cabbie if you're patient enough. The people are generally friendly but be careful of overly-friendly chaps who's out to milk the tourist dollar. Overall quite a satisfying trip. We could be back soon...
Fresh from the wedding reception later in the evening we attended an early Christmas concert by the Ann Perreau Music School in Petaling Jaya. One of the music teachers, Hoay Wen had extended us an invitation to the concert and also to take some photos for them. Lighting was pretty uneven & probably deemed extremely challenging to get some decent shots. Most of the stage shots went awry but I did manage some better ones using the Nikkor 85mm f/1.8 which proved handy in low-light situations.
Over the weekend attended colleague Abu Hassan's daughter's wedding reception which was held in Taman Tun Dr Ismail KL which is only some 10 minutes drive from my residence. It was a reunion of sorts for most of us especially for those who have left the company. Being the self-appointed busybody photographer, I tested the Nikon D200 with the 18-70mm so-called kit lens. I'm quite happy with the result, photos appear sharp & colour was pleasing.
More of the shots can be seen here in my Flickr gallery.
Claimed my belated birthday present from Lai Ping last week & got hold of the Nikon D200! A hefty chunk of metal compared to the D70s. I'll be developing stronger biceps soon! Initial test shots revealed better resolution & color rendering even with the trusty kit lens of the D70s. Some of the cool features that I like are the setting of WB in Kelvin measurements, CLS with control over 2 groups of flash, ISO lowered to 100. Will be discovering more features in the days to come...
This shot was taken hand-held at 1/5 sec (?!). Well, normal hand-heldable shutter speed is about 1/60 sec so probably this proves that the VR function really works in the Nikkor 18-200mm lens. But will this capability replaces a tripod? At 100% magnification, the image is soft & not pin-sharp. So, bottom line is that the VR will help to some extent when proper support is not readily available. You'll get a usable shot rather than a no shot scenario...
After having to wait 2 weeks I finally got my hands on the Nikkor 18-200VR lens! Regarded as a wonder do-it-all lens, I just had to get it although it's not in the "constant F/2.8" category of so called pro lens. Ken Rockwell had sung praises about this lens replacing some 4-5 lens in his bag & this had lightened his gear considerably, which incidentally, is crucial especially for travel. The VR function allows you up to 4 stops lower shutter speed and that would help in low-light situations. Minimum shooting distance is 0.5m at all focal lengths, so you can practically do some macro shots! This will definitely be a lens that stays on your camera all the time...
Congrats to Justin & Evelyn, the groom was a former colleague who ventured out a couple of years ago into a family business. The reception was held at the Palace of the Golden Horses. A grand affair it was, and tastefully done....
It's the season for weddings! Attended Lai Ping's cousin's wedding last Saturday evening at the Ah Yat Abalone Restaurant in Sec 13, PJ which is right next door to Unique Seafood. I thought the groom had a rather unique name! Aptly enough, the official photoman used a Canon. But Canon's pic here was shot with a Nikon.... Congratulations to the newly-weds !
Had a farewell lunch for Liew Kee Lin among a small group of colleagues at the Ozeki Bistro in Menara TA. Superb Japanese food! Liew will be retiring at the end of the month. He has been a great colleague to work with. A man of many interests, I think he will definitely treasure the freedom retirement brings to pursue those things put off due to work commitments. All our best wishes to him!
Happy Deepavali & Selamat Hari Raya to all my Hindu & Muslim friends. This year the almost back-to-back festivals meant a five-day break for most of us. But all that haze which showed no signs of receding kind of dampened the mood...
A boutique for larger frame ladies, this outlet at 1 Utama has also branched out into serving food. We had this grilled vegetable sandwich for brunch. Capsicum, eggplant, zucchini, asparagus & mushrooms were grilled & overflowed onto a piece of toast and topped with a dollop of pesto sauce. Great for vegetarians or just to have a less meaty toxin-laden meal....
Bougainvillea is a genus of flowering plants native to the tropical and subtropical regions of South America from Brazil west to Peru and south to southern Argentina (Chubut Province). Different authors accept between four and 18 species in the genus. The name comes from Louis Antoine de Bougainville, an admiral in the French Navy who discovered the plant in Brazil in 1768.
They are thorny, woody, vines growing to 1-12 m tall, scrambling over other plants with their hooked thorns. They are evergreen where rainfall occurs all year, or deciduous if there is a dry season. The leaves are alternate, simple ovate-acuminate, 4-13 cm long and 2-6 cm broad. The actual flower of the plant is small and generally white, but each cluster of three flowers is surrounded by three or six bracts with the bright colors associated with the plant, including pink, magenta, purple, red, orange, white, or yellow. Bougainvillea glabra is sometimes referred to as "paper flower" because the bracts are thin and papery. The fruit is a narrow five-lobed achene. (Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
Photo taken with a Nikkor 50mm/f1.8mm lens attached with a Hoya +4 Close-Up filter
Was back home over the weekend for my mum's anniversary prayers at the buddhist temple. Pretty hazy too but not as bad as in the Klang Valley. It was fifteen years ago she left us. I remember the last time I saw her was during the mooncake festival in 1991. These festivals are not the same anymore.
Fabian & Eddie
Azmi, Keat Swee & Ronnie
Suet Fun & Shekar
Power ranger, Spiderman & Power-puff girl (what happened to the old days when we had ships, airplanes...?)
Shall I blow them candles?
Portraits by candlelight
Careen & her color charts
Rei & friend