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...
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.
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.
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.
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
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 & Hilal.......you'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......
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.........
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.
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.
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.......
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.
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.
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......
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....
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
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.
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....
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........
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!
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.
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.........
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.
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.
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.
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.
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......
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!
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......
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...
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.
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.
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.....
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.
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.
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.
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...