Merry Christmas and a happy new year

Merry Christmas to all and Happy 2012.



TBF Gathering

Its always nice to sit down and catch up with your old mates from college. The reunion was small but no less interesting. So much has changed over the years but one thing still remains, our friendship still remains as strong as the good old days.

Also had a chance to take Anthony's 60D out for a spin. The camera was definitely an upgrade from my current body and is similar to the D7000 I tested earlier although I must say that the swivel screen came in pretty handy at times.



BBQ Nite

Had an amazing BBQ at Vincent's place last week. Rang up the usual suspects as well as some friends whom we haven't seen in a while. Everyone was very polite and mild manner during the evening but all hell broke out as the night progressed. Throw some beer into the fray and watch the party come to life. :)

Usually the bane of BBQ's are the lack of food but not this one. Food was aplenty with no less than 100 chicken wings in a bucket and ready to be grilled by our sous chef; Richard. I myself had a good time by getting into everyone's faces and taking their mugshots. :D

The main course.

Our sous chef.

David getting 'high'.

Our 'Bersih 2.0' couple.

Candid shot.

Billy and Jojo's ROM @ 26/6/11

A tiring day out and my first photoshoot outdoors.
Its funny how we like to plan how the day's events would turn out only for it to completely go absolutely haywire later on.

In the midst of all the chaos, I was preoccupied with getting the settings right and missed out on the little details such as the exchanging of rings. At one point, I totally forgot about the flash sync speed which left me scratching my head on why only one quarter of the picture was lit. Fortunately I figured it out but the strong sun wasn't helping my cause. Thankfully, the clouds rolled in and gave me some wiggle room. Next time around though, I'm going to work with the sun and get myself a reflector instead of trying to overpower it with a strobe.

The D7000 was a joy to use especially its autofocus mode which was very advanced compared to the prehistoric dinosaur which is employed by my Canon. The large viewfinder was a joy to use too. Switching from the Nikon to my Canon was like trying to compose a picture through a blinkers. Unfortunately I didn't manage to use the 70-300mm much which was regrettable as the bokeh was pretty nice although at 300mm, I was so far away from the couple that I had to resort to using hand signals to communicate.

In any case, congrats to both Billy and Jojo and thanks for putting up with my test shots throughout the session which was probably took up about 20% of the shots taken. :D

Some of the better pictures that day:






Poor man's stabiliser

Did some testing the other day to see if the DIY stabiliser worked.
What's the best part about the stabiliser?
Its totally free!
Check out the video to see how it fared.

Portraits @ work

Did some impromptu shots around my workplace as my colleague wanted a new FB profile picture. The lighting was tough as I could only work with one on-shoe flash which meant getting creative in finding ways to soften the light. Of course having an umbrella available would have been nice but I left it at home. Plus this short photo shoot wasn't planned so I had to make do with the available equipment.

Despite the lack of equipment, I'm pretty pleased with the results. :)

Reaching in.


The best portrait of the lot.

Xbox 360

It was a toss-up between the PS3 and Xbox but I ended up with the Xbox because the PS Move was pretty expensive in the long run.

The Xbox package came with the Kinect and a free kinect game; Kinect Adventures which was good but not brilliant. Thankfully I bought the Kinect Sport which was more engaging than the Kinect Adventures. However, it has to be said that a motion sensor can only be so accurate. Certain moves like smashing the ball does not really translate well into your avatar's actions. Nevertheless, it was still great fun as you don't need the controller to play.

All you have to do is to jump around and wave you arms like a mad man. :)





Another year, another wedding and another chance to practice. Besides, the 17-55mm f/2.8 needed breaking in so it was the perfect opportunity.

Needless to say, my keeper rates were pretty low but at least I managed to get some pretty decent shots from the wedding.





D7 @ Sentul East

D7 @ Sentul East is indeed a work of art especially when its bathed with a soft purple spotlight at night. However, for security purposes I never really went and photographed it. But since I had my cousin tagging along this time, I decided to take a stab at it. At least when I'm busy shooting, I'll have someone to cover my behind in case some mat rempit decided to pull a fast one on us.

The shooting went without a hitch. Even the guard who came over out of curiosity didn't stop up so we carried on for a few more minutes before calling it an night.




Family Gathering

A few days back we were having a family gathering at my place and as usual, I was the un-official family photographer. Not that that minded though because I could finally test out my new gears (an umbrella and light stand) on my family members. (Cue the evil laughter).

Teenagers are pretty easy to work with as they don't really mind having their pictures taken. Some of them even relish having their pictures taken. The older generation were adamant of not having their photos as they were worried about their wrinkles and crow eyes showing up in the photo. The only consolation they had was that the pictures were digital so if they didn't like it, they had to liberty to delete it.

Working with off camera lighting was rather challenging especially when you are using two strobes. Gravity nearly killed my 430EXII as the silly umbrella was too busy being seduced by the light breeze to care about the poor speedlite. Thankfully, my cousin managed to grab the light stand in the nick of time. Otherwise, I'd be looking at a pretty hefty repair bill.

Since I only had one light stand, grabbed another cousin to hold the other strobe while pointing in the general direction of the subject. So with one cousin taking care of the light stand while the other was holding the strobe, I set about increasing my shutter count.

On hindsight I should have bought the lens hood as flare was appearing everywhere in my photos. But then again, the lens flare was the least of my problems as the camera was an absolute pig at focusing in near darkness. In fairness, I wasn't terribly great at manual focus but having the lens hunting for focus was driving me up the wall. So I had to shift the subject to somewhere brighter.

A new body might solve the problem but then again, I'll probably get a Canon ST-E2 to solve the issue. The other alternative would be to pack an portable light source to light the subject so that the camera can focus accurately.





Random Portrait

It was a run of the mill department lunch and as usual I lugged my gears along. Got several shots of my colleague and then I tried to mimic Dave Hill's post processing which didn't go too well since I only had one flash to do the heavy lifting rather than a gazillion lights going off at once. After all, imitation is the highest form of flattery no?



Double the power

So the inevitable happened when my battery decided to die on me after 19 shots.
Popped by my local photography store to buy some third party batteries but ended up with two original Canon batteries. :S