Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Drummer boy
Originally uploaded by Lye Hock.

Merry Christmas to everyone!

Looks like a really wet Christmas this year. Rinsing away to be cleaner and better for 2008 perhaps...

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Goodbye Lina

Goodbye girl
Originally uploaded by Lye Hock.

And finally, Lina who had spent more than 5 years in the financial industry decided to probably get more fulfilment in teaching. A patient and caring person, she would certainly make a great teacher. Some of us are already missing her.

And then Mustapha called it a day...

Put your feet up
Originally uploaded by Lye Hock.

Retirement for Mustapha, one of the most cool mannered managers I'd known, calling it a day after 34 years in the banking industry. It'll be a welcome change not having to follow 9-5 rat race. All the best to him and wishing him a long & happy life ahead.

More photos in my Picasa Gallery.

Season of farewells

Originally uploaded by Lye Hock.

First it was Tracy (middle) who left for greener pastures persumably in the same industry. Known for her eye-catching outfits, we shall surely miss her...

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Ah Yat Abalone

Abalone, mushroom & goose web
Originally uploaded by Lye Hock.

Had a nice meal at this chinese restaurant in Sec 13, PJ last week. Famous for its set abalone menu, the place is quite popular for wedding functions. Being a weekday, service was good. More photos of what we had in my Flickr gallery.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Schmap Budapest Guide

My shot of the Gerbeaud cafe in Budapest was featured in the 4th edition of the Schmap Budapest Guide.

Website here.

Sunday, November 18, 2007


White dreams
Originally uploaded by Lye Hock.

Another model shoot was done last weekend, organized by another photo buddy, Swee Ann

Had a great session on a somewhat glamour shoot complete with hot lights, reflectors etc.

Have a view in my Flickr gallery

Model shoot - Stephenie

Stephenie 06
Originally uploaded by Lye Hock.

Had a model shoot with photo buddy Hamzah at the Templer's Park with aspiring model Stephenie. Pretty good looking and actually in her final year at UM. She was quite experienced in posing and that makes our job so much easier.

More photos in my Flickr gallery

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Happy Deepavali !

Deepavali kolam
Originally uploaded by Lye Hock.

Happy Deepavali wishes to all my Hindu friends & colleagues!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Edwardians Class of 77

Originally uploaded by Lye Hock.

The Edwardians Class of 77 had a gathering at The Tavern, Guinness Anchor on 1 Nov 2007. Quite a good turnout with about 40 schoolmates present although it could have been better. It was great meeting all these people who were with me in school so long ago. Some of them I do not recognise and some have changed so much.

Lawrence Kong looked jetlagged from his 20+ hours flight from US. Others include Sivamoorthy who came back from Sydney and Long Tai Hian from UK. We were told Rudy just got on a plane from Melbourne. He will make it for the Taiping chapter of this gathering.

A couple of law enforcement guys were there. ASP Kut Choy the mostly unlikely chap to join the force! DSP Zolkifli from Bukit Aman. Dr Mazwar came back from JB. Another chap Kol Sainudin is in the military. And of course, Stanley Chang had to be famously late...He's not in the group photo. We have a great bunch here......

Many thanks to the committee who pulled this off with their unselfish contribution towards making this event possible. George, Chee Seong, David, Fauzi &'re great! And of course, not forgetting Chiam Eng Thiam, who hosted the event at The Tavern, where he's actually paid to enoy the free flow of beer there!

Hope to see all these guys again in 2010......

More photos here.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Olden Days Kopitiam

Olden Days Kopitiam
Originally uploaded by Lye Hock.

Spotted this modern day kopitiam during CNY this year and was wondering whether business will be sustained. Well, it's still around in October so I guess the support for this outlet is there. Coffee quality was decent, pricing more so.......better be coz they're competing with old school coffee shops. Free wi-fi available too. So if you're back in town with your laptop, this is where you download your emails with some kopi-o and butter toast.........

Monday, October 29, 2007

Bird chillies

Bird chillies
Originally uploaded by Lye Hock.

This Taiping variety is smallish in size but packs a punch and adds some oomph to those bland meals in need of some perking up....I make it a point to grab some each time I'm back home. Just found out that you can store them longer if you keep them wrapped up in the freezer.

Assam laksa

Assam laksa
Originally uploaded by Lye Hock.

Had this malay assam laksa at the rest stop in Kuala Kangsar along the North South Expressway on the way back to Taiping last weekend. One of the better tasting laska I've had in awhile. Sourish fishy soup on rice noodles.....makes a great tea time snack.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Selamat Hari Raya !

Hari Raya Puasa
Originally uploaded by Lye Hock.

Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Fitri to all my muslim friends!

It will be a normal 3-day break for us. Turned out to be a wet Raya today all afternoon. KL will be quieter as usual this time of the year with the exodus of city folk back to their hometowns.

Looking forward to some smooth traffic next week.......

Thursday, October 04, 2007

VR Star Models

Originally uploaded by Lye Hock.

Attended a photoshoot organized by Shutter Asia last weekend at the Leisure Mall in Cheras. It was an opening ceremony for models wannabe apparently organized by our very own supermodel Amber Chia.

As expected, lighting was unpredictable and speedlights was essential. Took the Nikon 35mm & 85mm/f1.8 lenses and found them to be extremely inflexible for such event shoots. A medium zoom will be most ideal.

More shots in my Flickr gallery.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Mid-autumn festival

Yellow lantern
Originally uploaded by Lye Hock.

Mid-autumn festival or commonly called the Lantern Festival went by last week and we had a early observation of the event. Mooncakes now come in so many flavours, the traditional ones seem so old-fashioned but to me, the best ones are the red bean variety.......which brings back childhood memories of a festival much looked forward to.

Photos to capture the ambience did not turn out so well with too much noise at high ISO. Hopefully the new Nikon D300 & Nikon D3 will lick this sore issue as compared to Canon which has really great noiseless high ISO picture quality.

Monday, September 17, 2007


Salmon sashimi
Originally uploaded by Lye Hock.

That's Japanese for delicious! So said Wen Jia, my nephew but he seems to be squeamish about raw food. Umai-Ya is nicely tucked inside Damansara Perdana and serves excellent & fresh stuff.

We were there last Saturday night to celebrate yours truly's another year on this planet. Feeling really ancient now......

High tea

Originally uploaded by Lye Hock.

Plump strawberries and lovely cakes from the local deli....that's what was served at Cindy's new condo two weekends ago. Mont Kiara being mostly inhabited by an expatriate community had a nice ambience inside the vicinity. Cool and airy probably due to the vast greenery surrounding it. But lately it appears congested with highrises. Even so, values still hold and the address commands good rental returns.

The strawberries would have have been perfect with some fresh cream....

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Merdeka Party

Originally uploaded by
Lye Hock.

A Merdeka party was held in Armanee Terrace last saturday night to celebrate the country's 50th independence day. It was great to see a huge turnout considering there's a large expatriate community here. Local band Sandstones was in attendance belting out oldies...

More pictures in my Picasa Web Album

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Market Place

Roast beef
Originally uploaded by
Lye Hock.

Seems to be the trend to convert these old detached houses into eateries these days. Located quite near to my place of work, the Market Place is nicely tucked away in some corner along Jalan Yap Kwan Seng, KL. The set lunch which consists of a salad, main dish & dessert would not burn a hole in your pocket. Pretty quiet at lunch. I persume they probably have a late clubbing crowd in the evenings.

Website is here.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Nikon 35mm f/2.0

Nikon 35mm f/2.0
Originally uploaded by Lye Hock.

Got this gem of a lens in Hong Kong. Marginally cheaper than in KL. I had wanted a 24mm/f2.8 but that was not available. At 35mm with a crop factor of 1.5x for Nikon DSLRs, the actual coverage is about 52mm which is just a "normal" lens in full frame context. Well, this would make a general, all-purpose walkabout lens for the time being.

Pictures turned out sharp even at f2.0 but improves from f2.8 onwards. WIll be superb for low-light situations....

Monday, August 20, 2007

Explore in Flickr

3 photos in Explore
Originally uploaded by Lye Hock.

Found out that I have 3 photos in Explore. Everyday, 500 photos from Flickr are selected and listed in Explore. Some small consolation that your photos are being noticed...... :)


Originally uploaded by Lye Hock.

Last weekend we had a taste of Wanchai nightlife and downed a couple of Kilkenny's at Delaney's. There was a rugger game on between Scotland & Ireland. Despite the strong support at the Irish joint, the Scots won the game.

Slim's is a small pub near the Wesley Hotel. After the Viet dinner, Michael & I checked out the place. Pretty small & narrow......hence the name. But it was also spinning songs & tunes by artistes named Slim........such as Fat Boy Slim, Slim Harpo etc.......Downed a couple of Stellas here........

Beef noodles

Beef noodles
Originally uploaded by Lye Hock.

After more than a week of typical Hongkie food, last Thursday night, the team decided to go Vietnamese. Situated in Causeway Bay, it was a small joint but packed to the brim. We had the obligatory beef noodles and some spring rolls. Portions were generous and we couldn't match the Hongkie appetite for food......lotsa leftovers for us!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Habitu Cafe

Habitu Cafe
Originally uploaded by Lye Hock.

Found this cool cafe near the hotel in Wanchai. Offers free wi-fi which is such a rarity in Hong Kong. They serve great coffee and mostly Italian cuisine....

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Snake soup

Snake soup
Originally uploaded by Lye Hock.

Seems to be quite a favourite in Hong Kong. Tasted like chicken and with all the herbs mixed inside, it was actually quite tasty. As it seems to make the body "heaty", I decided to have only a couple of spoonfuls. This was somewhere in a smallish shop near Central.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Hong Kong

HK Junk
Originally uploaded by Lye Hock.

Arrived in Hong Kong early this week for some work assignment. It is summer but there has been some frequent thunderstorms most days, and on Friday a Level 8 typhoon warning was raised. This means everyone had to go home within 2 hours as the transport system will be shut down. But it came to nothing as the wind decided to do a u-turn.

Transportation system is quite efficient and I love the Octopus card. You can use it for all forms of transport and pay for various other stuff in 7-11 shops, cafes, cinemas etc. And uploading value is also a breeze. Our Touch N Go card can learn something from them.........

Monday, August 06, 2007

Chinatown Kopitiam

Originally uploaded by Lye Hock.

Located in Dataran Sunway in Kota Damansara, this coffee shop serves up some very decent kaya butter toast. The butter is a nice generous slice. Not too sweet and the bread is fresh and crispy on the outside. Coffee is of the local variety and tasted burnt but still pleasant. Dataran Sunway is fast becoming the new SS2 PJ in terms of the sheer number of foodie joints.....minus the congestion, for now.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Annual Dinner

IDC Dancers
Originally uploaded by Lye Hock.

It was our company's 41st annual dinner last Saturday night. Themed "The Magical World of Cartoons", it was a riot of colourful performances. I see more people using DSLRs this time. At least a dozen of them were shooting away throughout the night. A healthy trend ever since DSLRs became more affordable.

Photo shot with Nikon D200 and the Nikkor 18-200VR. Noise control not spectacular in Nikons hence never shot higher than ISO800.

More photos in my Flickr gallery.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Anniversary prayers

Originally uploaded by Lye Hock.

Back in Taiping on the weekend of 8 July for father's 4th anniversary prayers. The temple was not crowded as is the case during Cheng Beng season. A quick toss of coins to confirm his presence after laying down the offerings. And another toss later before burning the prayer items....

Strong backlit orchid taken with the Tamron 17-50mm.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Alex & Boey

Alex & Boey
Originally uploaded by Lye Hock.

Congratulations to Alex & Boey on their wedding. Alex is Lai Ping's cousin and we were given the opportunity to shoot their big day. It started early with a photoshoot of the bridal make-up session, then the tea ceremonies on both sides of the families and finally the wedding dinner.

It was a good experience but we were really all worn out at the end! Not easy being a wedding pixman. Now we know why they charge so much!

More photos at Lai Ping's Picasa gallery here.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

I Do!

Popping the bubbly!
Originally uploaded by Lye Hock.

Congratulations to the happy couple, Jonathan & Vivien, who got hitched over the weekend. Photo taken at the wedding reception in Federal Hotel, Kuala Lumpur on 30 June 2007.

More photos here.

Saturday, June 30, 2007


Originally uploaded by Lye Hock.

It had been ages since we set foot on this historical town and last weekend, we made a day trip. Lunch was good at a Nyonya restaurant called Makko at the Melaka Raya area. A photostop at the most touristy area, refreshments in Heeren House and we quickly left for PJ. Temperature closing on 40C just wasn't conducive for walking around much......

Sunday, June 24, 2007

See you again !

Originally uploaded by Lye Hock.

Last night in Munich. End of tour. Had a great time in one of the biggest beer house called the Hofbrauhaus. Our small group of "orientals" decided to end the tour with downing 1 litre mugs of German beer. Until the next adventure.....Cheers!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Bavarian landscape

Bavarian landscape
Originally uploaded by Lye Hock.

The view looking out from Eagle's Nest. A CPL filter would have improved this shot quite a bit by taming the bright sky.

Journey back in time

Journey back in time
Originally uploaded by Lye Hock.

A brass clock & a telephone inside a lift that took us up to Eagle's Nest. This was a mountain top hideout used by Adolf Hitler during WW2 to plan & strategise his war plans. It was journey back in time. I have read so much about the man that it was eerie to be actually inside a lift that was used by him. Most of the fittings in Eagle's Nest were original stuff from that era. It is now a restaurant. The lift shaft goes through 400ft of solid rock to reach the top. German engineering at its best....and that was built in the 1940s......

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

French cafe

Originally uploaded by Lye Hock.

Gerbeaud cafe is one of the oldest French cafes in Budapest. Probably built in the 19th century, fittings from that period in the cafe are painstakingly maintained. The underground metro runs below the cafe and at regular intervals, your espresso cup will rattle along...


Budapest skyline
Originally uploaded by Lye Hock.

Found out from our guide Arpad that Hungarians originated from Asia when nomadic tribes settled in central Europe. Budapest (pronounced "pesh") is a culmination of two parts of the city, Buda & Pest. Buda is on the hilly side of the city & reputedly more affluent while Pest is the more commercial or traders' side. Dubbed the Bangkok of Europe, but from what we've seen, a far cry from Bangkok. Even Barcelona would have a more vibrant nightlife......then again maybe our guide took us on the more polite route.....

Picture of Budapest skyline taken from a vantage point on the Buda side with the help of a monopod.

Saturday, May 26, 2007


Originally uploaded by Lye Hock.

A lunch stop on the way from Prague to Budapest. Bratislava is the capital city of Slovakia, the other half of the former Czechoslovakia.

Czech food

Originally uploaded by Lye Hock.

Typical Czech dinner of roast pork, sauerkraut & dumplings. The dumplings are the actually sliced doughy stuff and not the chinese "dumplings" I was accustomed to. Their food is mostly meaty & not much imagination. After a while, we had to go for some Italian stuff and finally some Chinese in Vienna. More shots of food during the tour are found here.

Prague Castle

Change of guard
Originally uploaded by Lye Hock.

Changing of the guard in Prague Castle. Quite an easy capture even with the Tamron 17-50mm lens.

Thursday, May 17, 2007


Flower bud
Originally uploaded by Lye Hock.

Flower buds like these were aplenty all around the streets of Munich signifying the arrival of spring. A fresh renewal of a cold season with brighter days ahead...

Bicycle power

Bicycle power
Originally uploaded by Lye Hock.

A much encouraged mode of transportation in Munich and most of Europe, I'd think. There are dedicated bicycle lanes alongside the pedestrians. Green power to lessen the energy needs perhaps.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Achtung baby!

Originally uploaded by Lye Hock.

And here we are....touchdown Munich! Start of a 10-day tour of eastern Europe which will cover Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria & back to Germany.

Our taxi was rolling on to the hotel at 120kmh but on the slower lane. Seconds later, an Audi whizzed past at 180kmh. The Ethiopian taxi driver welcomed us to the autobahn.....where the speed is limited to the power of your car.....

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

A nice break...

Tea break
Originally uploaded by Lye Hock.

Took a deserved break from the fashion photoshoot and chilled out at Delicious Cafe which also retails clothes from Ms Read. On a hot day, the frosty lemon tea sure tastes good! The cafe has a really good turnout throughout the day especially on weekends.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Women's Secret

Originally uploaded by Lye Hock.

Models from Andrews' Models showing off great looking innerwear from Women's Secret. Looks like the secret's out from the bedroom! And that concludes two weekends of fashion shoot which was real hectic with photographers jostling about for a good spot in a small dedicated section of the so-called runway...

More photos on Women's Secret here.

Sunday, April 22, 2007


Originally uploaded by Lye Hock.

From the Warehouse label modelled by girls from Andrews Models. Shot with the Nikon D200, Tamron 17-50mm/f28 & the Nikon speedlite SB400.

Esprit de Corps

Originally uploaded by Lye Hock.

More shooting at the Fashion On 1 event. This is from the Esprit de Corps label. Shot entirely with the Nikon D200, Tamron 17-50mm/f2.8 & the tiny SB400 speedlite.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Fashion On 1 at 1 Utama

Miss Selfridge(1)
Miss Selfridge(1)
Originally uploaded by Lye Hock.

This fashion event is becoming an annual event at the 1Utama shopping mall. Showcasing the various fashion labels in the mall, there is also a photography competition involved. Lighting as usual was not ideal and having a flash is essential to avoid shadows in the face. All were shot with only the Nikkor 85mm/F1.8 and the SB600.

More photos in my Flickr gallery.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Tamron SP AF 17 - 50mm F/2.8

Tamron SP AF 17 - 50mm F/2.8 XR Di II LD
Originally uploaded by Lye Hock.

Just got this lens today as a replacement for the Nikon 18-70mm kits lens. This lens won the EISA Photo Award - European Consumer Lens of the Year 2006-2007. Reviews have been good & also referrals from photo buddies who own the lens. Being a fast lens at F2.8 constant, this will come in useful in low light conditions. At this focal range, the ultimate lens is probably the Nikkor 17-55mm DX which is more than 3x the price of the Tamron. Let's see how long this lens remains with me...