Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Originally uploaded by Lye Hock.

Wishing all my friends and loved ones a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 23, 2006


Originally uploaded by Lye Hock.

Ayutthaya was the former capital city of Thailand until the 18th century when it was completely destroyed by the Burmese. These are the temple ruins which remained. Listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

Bang Pa-In Palace

Summer palace
Originally uploaded by Lye Hock.

A couple of buildings in the summer palace in Ayutthaya. Restored for ceremonial use nowadays, it used to be a summer retreat for the royal family of Thailand.

Sunday, December 17, 2006


Royal Palace
Originally uploaded by Lye Hock.

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...

Monday, December 11, 2006

A Christmas concert

Originally uploaded by Lye Hock.

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.

Shah & Fatin's Wedding

Shah & Fatin
Originally uploaded by Lye Hock.

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.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Nikon D200

New toy
Originally uploaded by
Lye Hock.

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...

Sunday, December 03, 2006

VR replaces tripod?

Blue sky
Originally uploaded by Lye Hock.

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...

Big zoom lens

Nikon 18-200 VR
Originally uploaded by
Lye Hock.

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...