Sunday, August 28, 2005

Il Divo

A quartet of male vocalists formally trained in classical music trying to bridge the gap between pop and classical music. Discovered by Simon Cowell of the American Idol reality show, we first saw them performing on Oprah Winfrey's show. After their performance Oprah remarked that although she couldn't understand a single word sung, they were nonetheless breathtakingly refreshing. Such is their international appeal cutting across language & cultural barriers through their songs. The international group consists of David Miller (American), Sebastien Izambard (French), Urs Buhler (Swiss) and Carlos Marin (Spanish). Il Divo is an Italian term for divine performer or a male diva. Their debut album consists of 12 songs in Spanish & English, the notable number being a remake of Toni Braxton's "Unbreak My Heart". A very listenable album not unlike the style of Josh Groban, another young singer breaking out through a new genre of classical pop music.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Nikon AF 50mm f/1.8D Lens

Bought this 50mm lens shortly after getting the Nikon D70s which comes with the Nikon 18-70mm F3.5-4.5ED AFS DX a.k.a "kit lens". At a price of less than RM400-00 it was a steal! Light & sharp and with a wide aperture of 1.8, the lens is useful for portraits, low-light situations & for travel. The new D-type lens design provides distance information for flash and ambient light exposure. In fact, my first SLR was the Nikon EM which I bought way back after getting my first paycheck. The EM was an entry level SLR and came with an E series 50mm lens. In those days the EM already had light metering options. However, manual controls were limited & it came with aperture priority shooting mode. Flash speed at 1/90 & there was the bulb option for longer exposures. The EM had served well in the film days & I had the opportunity to cover a couple of wedding assignments for my colleagues.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Gathering - PhotoMalaysia friends

DPNikon's a fellow PhotoMalaysia forummer who had kindly agreed to give some tutorial on the workings of the Nikon D70/D70s. So there was a small gathering in 1U last Friday evening. Very knowledgeable, DP shared with us "newbies" his tips in handling a DSLR. Typical of a good sifu, he brought along visual aids in the form of prints of recent shots taken. All were tack sharp! Some of the stuff learnt, at least for me were :

  • Various focusing & metering options
  • Color mode
  • Working with multiple flashes
  • Recommendation on lenses
  • Printing & storage options
  • And much more !

Shooting practice was limited and confined to random subjects that happened to pass by. All in all, a good meeting of liked minded people with a shared passion in photography.

L-R (Standing) DPNikon, Terryykf, Chuahlh, Shooter & MdShah76
L-R (Seated) Mrs DPNikon & Mrs MdShah76

Jungle Galore!

We were invited to the KL region branches' annual dinner in conjunction with the bank's seminar held on Saturday 20 August 2005. Themed Jungle Galore, enthusiatic people came suitably undressed...Tarzan & Jane were not there though. This time the D70s was left at home, photo duties entrusted to the Nikon Coolpix 5200. Mostly casual shots as the P&S was certainly not up to the challenging lighting conditions.

Tribal dance

Grace - Jane's cousin ?

Ivy & Sharon....Wow (!)

Sunday brunch

Kurt's Grape & Pine Nuts Salad

Nyonya Laksa

Tired of 1 Utama so we decided on Bangsar Shopping Complex. Brunch was at House & Co which is actually a household item shop specialising in cool decorative stuff. Prices appear inflated to cater to the stronger expatriate currency perhaps? At the inner end of the shop is a very comfy cafe section. Molly my sis who had been there before recommended the Nyonya Laksa. So we ordered that & the Kurt's Grape & Pine Nut Salad. The laksa was so-so. Passable quality. Too much coconut milk & not enough curry spices. But the salad was good! Nice sweet grapes & crunchy pine nuts in a bed of fresh vegetables bathed in some creamy dressing.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Homemade foccacia bread

Homemade foccacia bread for dinner at our place with Lai Ping's colleagues, Sharon & Hiew Ming.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Seed Cafe

Durian ice-cream, anyone?

This cafe is located in the old wing of 1 Utama & is one of our favourite lunch venue during the weekends. Lai Ping's favourite is the green curry with flatbread (roti canai la !) while I normally go for the nasi lemak or prawn noodles. Basically hawker fare in comfortable conditions. (read : pay premium prices..) And of course, the main reason for coming here is the great iced-coffee, creamy, rich & "kau". Just the other day, we noticed them preparing the coffee using the cloth sieve used mainly in those hainanese coffee shops. No fancy coffee machines here....

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Penang folks are in town

Corina, Lai Ping, Beng Choo, Yu Hoe, Yen Li, Sheng, Molly & Ricky

Lamb chops & roast potatoes

Lindeman's Semillon-Chardonnay

It has been a traumatic week for people in the Klang Valley. The haze hit such hazardous levels that 2 areas were declared emergency status. Luckily, the winds came to the rescue by Friday night & the API was down to pre-haze levels.

On the family front, my sis Beng Choo & family was down here to see her daughter Yen Li who has recently enrolled in Taylor's College in Subang Jaya. As they have not been to our place for quite awhile, we decided to have dinner at my place.


  • Prawns in white wine
  • Butter cheese crabs
  • Baked eggplant
  • Seafood paella
  • Lamb chops & roast potatoes
  • Salad with dijon honey dressing
  • Tiramisu & capucinno

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Dinner at Rawang

Sauteed prawns in marmite sauce

Dinner at Yau Kee Restaurant in Rawang on the occasion of Lai Ping's aunty's birthday. Seems karaoke is the in thing here. Serenades while you eat. Mostly old Mandarin numbers. Charity Shield between Chelsea & Arsenal at 2200. Welcome back EPL!

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Magica Asia 2005

Jiggling with feathers...

Our very own lady of jazz..

IDC dancers teasing away...

That was the theme for the bank's annual dinner. A truly colourful & entertaining night. Turned part-time photog for the event, shooting the stage performances at close range. But had to keep out of the way of the pros. ISO kept high at mostly 1600 and full zoom was only 105mm. Not close enough but adequate. Next acquisition, a longer zoom lens & a decent flash. The Nikon SB800 perhaps ?

Monday, August 01, 2005

Night scene from my balcony

Testing the new Manfrotto 718B tripod & using the 50mm/f1.8 lens. Purchased from Engtong in SS2, PJ for RM250-00.


  • Finish Black
  • Material Anodized Aluminum
  • Column Type 3-Faceted
  • Leg Sections 4
  • Max. Height (col. ext.) 65.5 in.
  • Max. Height (col. retr.) 54.9 in.
  • Min. Height 18.7 in.
  • Closed Length 19.3 in.
  • Max. Load 5.5 lbs.
  • Weight 3.1 lbs.
  • Foot Type Rubber
  • Head Mount Integrated Pan Head with QR Plate