Sunday, August 29, 2010

Rear Flash Synching

Crazy week coming ahead. Finals is already here.

Uaghhh finals.. What a pain what a stress.. Hoping to shoot something when all this is over.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Tadika Sri Murni Sport's Day Photoshoot

Was invited by Keane to be his second shooter at his better half's parents tadika's sports day. Up to now this counts to my third "officially being invited to shoot at an event"  shoot. I never ask any payment from friends or people who ask me to shoot stuff for them, as the exposure is already enough for me.
Keane wielding his newly purchased 70-200mm f/2.8 VR 2 was seen to have the biggest bazooka at the event that day.

We were so excited of being invited to shoot that we actually planned everything, from where to stand and what lenses we were going to use the night before, heck we even brough along our "walkie talkies" (well actually it was our Iphones in which we would constantly call each other to switch positions.

Like any kindergarten sport's day the kids were divided into their individual houses.

The kiddies were divided into their own houses and they did a little warm up prior to the start of the games.

This little fellow seriously has to pee.

Since this was my first time shooting events like this, there were loads to learn and I had to learn it fast. As it was a morning shoot, the sun was constantly rising, this led me to constantly change the settings for my shooting

Oh ya this whole shoot was done using the Tammy 17-50mm f/2.8. Since i was holding the walk around lens, I was tasked with shooting group photos and the prize giving portraits.

The most fun part about this shoot was, when shooting kids, they tend to not be bother by the camera, so you are able to get really natural shots.You really need to have a keen eye to get candid shots of kids as they do move around alot.

The kids gave us a short procession before the beginning of the dance presentation by each age group of the kindergarten.

During the dance, the kids were really animated and we had some really good shots.

From a chubby boy doing the waka waka

To a group of pre-schoolers doing a hokkien dance with sticks

Since i was tasked with shooting the prize giving ceremony and Mr Keane decided to take the sports due to his long and new bazooka i had very little shots of the sports action.

But all in all it was a really productive shoot, learned loads and got bitten my mosquitoes loads. Very satisfied with the Tamron as it gave me superb results in this shoot

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 drive through

I had doubts first in buying this lens as it was way above my budget but i needed a walkabout lens as i recently sold off my d3000 with the lens and upgraded to a D90. Been using a 18-135 which if compared to this lens, it would be comparing Mc Donald's to a Michelin 3 star restaurant.

Well it was Mr Keane who pushed me off the fence to in the end get this lens, was considering an 18-70 as it was the fastest focusing lens in it's class. But I am glad to say now i have no regrets in spending twice the amount of money for this lens. Bought it second hand and the seller provided me with a free Hoya Pro1-D filter. How does this compare to the Nikon 17-55 f2.8? Well all i can say is : Almost incomparable. 

When shot wide open at f/2.8 it gives an ultra sharp image with a really creamy bokeh. For the price of 3x cheaper than the Nikon Original i would say this lens is a steal.

Like any Tamron lens (I have a 70-300mm and I compared it's tone quality and colours to the 17-50), it gives very vibrant and punchy colours. Of course the sharpness of the images by this lens is in a class of it's own. The auto-focus is really fast and accurate at about 98% of the time. The images do not have any chromatic abbreviation or vignette and is stable at all focal lengths. I bought the non-VC (Tamron's equivalent to Nikon's VR) version and to be honest i have not encountered serious handshake in images taken at 1/80 sec (With VC it allows 2-3 stops lower) well anything lower than that, just use tripod hor.

The only thing annoying about this lens is that it's motor tends to be a little noisy at times, but hey, image wise : almost incomparable to the Nikon 17-55. This image is shot wide open at f2.8 and as usual, the bokeh is really something to look at.

Taken at f/4 due to the serious bokehness, produces ultra sharp images eventhough cropped at 80%. A really good lens and I would recommend it to camera users who are looking to upgrade their lens. Just did a shoot assignment for Mr Keane's better half parent's kindergarden's sports day and i have like 645 pics to clear will do a separate post here as all of the pics were shot with the 17-50 so the next post would be a very good review on the lens.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

This Post is Dedicated to My Grandpa

My father received a call at 1:45 in the morning on the 5/8/10. He froze a second when he knocked on my room door to tell me the news. Mom was pouring with tears, to her this was someone who she got really close to in the last 7 weeks. My dad had no idea what face was he to put on when telling me about the news.

Rushed back to Johor at 2 in the morning and reached the hospital's mortuary at 7 to identify his body. Once his body was identified, the undertakers took him to my grandma's house to be embalmed and put into the coffin. 

Reached my grandma's house after that and found that most of uncles were already there with my cousins burning hell notes and preparing the house for the funeral

Elder family members could be seen having small meetings to discuss about the funeral order.

My younger cousin would come up to me and ask "ah kong not going to wake up?" to kids this seems all to new and deep to them. Death is not something that they have understood well.

I guess if Ah Kong was around he would tell us that he is happy to be beside the Father now.

Since my grandma requested Taoist rites to be carried out for my grandfather's funeral, we had to adhere. Let me tell you this, Taoist rites can be very taxing at times. the whole "process" starts at 530pm each day and there is a different ritual which had to be carried out every hour until 12pm.

On the final night, hell notes,paper houses and cars were burnt as a gift to my late grandmother, the taoists believed that by doing so this items burnt would end up in hell for my grandfather to use

To be honest the Taoist monks are not the holiest of men i have seen. They could be seen in between breaks smoking and cussing. A great example eh?

Burning of the hell properties and money was the last rites carried out on the last day before my grandfather's funeral procession.

On the day of the procession, the mood in the house was sombre. 

Grown up man could be seen holding back their tears and some could hold it back just cried. Their children would ask them "Daddy why you cry?", but to the children, death does not seems as complex as it would be to an adult.

The weather was gloomy too on that day. 

After the coffin had been sealed. The sons, daughters, grandsons and the immediate family took one last walk around the coffin and a last prayer.

The procession was next, after the coffin was loaded into the hearse, the whole family than had to take the perilous bare footed walk from the home to the cemetery behind the hearse. Well we cheated a little bit, as the burial ground was 40km away we walked for about 600 meters before we hopped on to a bus to complete the journey

Goodbye Ah Kong, Your going home to the Lord.

One night a man had a dream. He dreamed
he was walking along the beach with the LORD.

Across the sky flashed scenes from his life.
For each scene he noticed two sets of
footprints in the sand: one belonging
to him, and the other to the LORD.

When the last scene of his life flashed before him,
he looked back at the footprints in the sand.

He noticed that many times along the path of
his life there was only 
one set of footprints.

He also noticed that it happened at the very
lowest and saddest times in his life.

This really bothered him and he
questioned the LORD about it:

"LORD, you said that once I decided to follow
you, you'd walk with me all the way.
But I have noticed that during the most
troublesome times in my life,
there is only one set of footprints.
I don't understand why when
I needed you most you would leave me."

The LORD replied:

"My son, my precious child,
I love you and I would never leave you.
During your times of trial and suffering,
when you see only one set of footprints,
it was then that I carried you."

Lee Chan Nam a.ka Ah Kong
Called home to be with the Lord on the 5/8/2010