Be Original

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Show And Tell 7: Shanghai By Day

Market Report
1) This was taken in December two weeks before Christmas. Chinese New Year isn't until February. Enough said.
2) So there we were at Something Something Tourist Trap Market. Thankfully, the tigers for sale weren't real.
3) Caught her quite by chance. She's not really sniffing the wood, mind.
4) Someone told me that a certain ethnic minority makes a living selling the grapes and raisins their province is famous for.
5) I love that their scaffolding is still pretty old school and that the bamboo is actually resilient enough to hold up. Notice the gaping hole on one of the floors. Chinese labourers are a pretty agile lot from what I can tell...

Actually, If There's Anyone Crazier Than Dennis Hopper...'s that dreadful D-lister, Heidi Montag.
You can tell Blogger is taking wayyyyyyy too long to upload my pictures when I start talking E!

Dennis Hopper Is Nuts

My photos are taking forever to upload.
In the meantime, here's actor, artist and photographer Dennis Hopper going absolutely bananas. My friend Martin helped coordinate his exhibition at the Tate. He seemed perfectly sane then.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Show And Tell 6: Shanghai By Night

1) The Park Hyatt where I stayed (79th floor). This picture was taken without a flash! My pancake lens is freaking rock star.
2) Was stuck in a massive jam from one bleeding end of the Bund (where the Park Hyatt is) to the other (where everything else is). I mean truly, madly, deeply stuck. An hour and half later stuck. Thank God for the Pen otherwise I really would be doing diddly squat listening to sad Mandarin ballads on the radio and watching the cab driver mentally unravel. This was taken just as the cab was making an excruciatingly slow turn.
3) The jam was so bad, the lorries would get right up to the cars in some futile attempt to get them to move. This whole family was literally in our faces.
4) Lord only knows what time the locals get home... if they ever manage to get home. I think by the time they reach their place of residence, it'll only be another four hours before they have to do it all over again. I bumped into housekeeping at one point during my stay and she looked exhausted -- no two guesses why.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Show And Tell 5: Zoo Shame

I feel so conflicted. I hate zoos and an animal in captivity, no matter how decked out the surroundings, is still an animal in captivity. But. I really want to share this picture of the lion that I took through glass with zero reflection. I know... I'm only going to encourage a whole bunch of parents with their shiny new SLRs. Maybe I'll delete this post after a while.

Now I Know How A Schizophrenic Feels

I've been going absolutely nuts with my blog templates. The first one was too darn basic. The second one's text font size was too small and I couldn't change it. The latest one has no colour options. Then there are all these frigging HTMLs to think about. Not to mention the designs are so naff. Excuse me while I obsess over this for a bit. More photos on the way...

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Show And Tell 4: Christmas lights

Shot these along Orchard Road 'round Christmas time. Pancake lens. No flash -- I don't have one and I seem to be getting by just fine! The first image was taken inside some makeshift Christmas tree that you could walk into. We got a free ride on an open top double decker bus and I got the second shot after a couple of touristy attempts.

Lens Wide Open: And What Of Haiti...

Televangelist Pat Robertson claimed Haiti had it coming because they once made a pact with the devil.

"Something happened a long time ago in Haiti... they were under the heel of the French, uh, you know, Napoleon the third and whatever..." Like, uh, totally.

The man is obviously suffering from dementia. Someone pass him a Tena diaper and his Metamucil. Please.

Friday, January 15, 2010

In God's Presence

What a week it's been. The first church attack in KL happened the night before the McCurry workshop which was incidentally held at the Islamic Arts Museum. Across the road from the National Mosque. On a Friday.

FRU were on super standby.

Rumours of people smashing car windows with crosses on them were rife but I refused to take my kid's old kindy car sticker (with the giant cross) down in spite of the frantic phone calls. Why should I? Anyway, my car was untouched even though it was left unattended for pretty much the whole afternoon so thank you [insert god's name here].

Had a quick chat with Steve McCurry ("If there's any religion I'd subscribe to, it would be Buddhism") during lunch. Really nice guy. He's got a way of putting you at ease and even after a couple of minutes talking to him, it's not hard to see why everyone--Afghan rebel, religious fanatic and Skidrow junkie alike--lets him take a shot.

By the way, he paid a special visit to the McCurry restaurant in Jalan Ipoh... for obvious reasons.

The workshop started with a powerpoint presso and Steve welcomed questions in-between. If there's anything more humbling, it's being shown picture after brilliant picture with the man who took them standing right in front of you telling you how he doesn't believe much in retouching and colour filters (most of his pictures are barely retouched if not at all) recalling the amount of patience and persistence it took for that one shot, never taking no for an answer.

Took some pretty rubbish pictures during the quick 20 minutes of photo taking we had. Didn't show Steve any of those after that whole PP presentation!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Meeting Steve McCurry!!!!!

Steve McCurry is coming to town!

Even if you don't know who he is, you'd surely be familiar with the haunting image called Afghan Girl he took for the National Geographic that has become one of the most iconic photographs of the century.

He is legend.

There will be a masterclass this Friday at the Islamic Arts Museum (opposite the National Mosque) and it's open to both media and the public. If you'd like to go, let me know fast -- you don't need me to tell you that seats are being snapped up faster than a shutter in heat.

See you there!

The Louis Vuitton Reporter Melville

Thanks Jasmine for providing the pic!

Here's my dream camera bag. Super roomy. Two side pockets. You can put the camera, an extra lens, your iPod, IPhone and a flash and everything will still be A-okay.

When you unbuckle and open the flap, your Pen looks up at you and says, "Hi".

J'adore tres forte (wrong grammar, right emotion) this!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Desperately Seeking Equally Sexy Bag

The bag I'm currently using is a tiny bucket Vanguard. Problem is, it's really cumbersome and does backflips when I'm not careful. The Pen is just too sexy for it (not to mention petite). The good people at Louis Vuitton have seen me walking around with it. Not cool. Solution: Get someone to chuck the bag behind some counter for you at any event and all will be well again -- nobody can resist the Pen.

A camera bag's necessary. Mine just doesn't go with my outfits.

I won a Pen Carryall as the first prize winner for the camera workshop that day and even that has flaws. Just a top flap, no zipper. Granted, it's full leather and smells wonderful. I just have an uneasy feeling the camera will pop out at any second.

Spotted an absolutely gorgeous one at the LV store. No pic, sorry. It seems to be the only one left in the world (not even the website has an image). Daz was the one who spotted it first, at the very top shelf (Daz's trained eye for fashion has the razor-sharp precision of a hawk's). Damier print, canvas. The shape is very retro -- PERFECT.

Only thing is,
the bag costs more than the camera.

Positive affirmations, positive affirmations, positive affirmations...

Show And Tell 3: After The Workshop

That whole Royal Selangor experience really got me on a rampage. These pictures were shot on the way back home. Don't knock Setapak for atmosphere, y'all!

As you can see... I've become pretty obsessed with the grainy B&W filter. It works like magic. Everything is suddenly frameable and all your flaws are hidden. I'm on to you now, Anton!

Pity about this Blogger thing... their themes are very basic and anything taken on a Pen seems to merit a better border. I may move this blog to a space with a better layout. Anyhoo:

Ooh... I like this one. Anyone who gets the number for the car in front should run to the nearest 4D shop. Guaranteed win.

This was taken under the bridge (well, almost under). If my car wasn't stuck in a traffic jam, I would never have spotted this solid piece of graffiti. How clever! How socially conscious! I couldn't adjust the camera fast enough (car at the back was honking something awful) so you have to squint a little to see the screen print of the panhandler. Will the artist of this work please stand up? (Or reply this blog). Love to say hello. May your work never be used in the form of a scam ad.

Show And Tell 2: At The Workshop

I love the grainy black and white art filter that the Pen has. Made full use of it at that workshop I went to (see Show And Tell 1: Monster).

Step aside, Anton Corbijn. Now, to get hold of Bono...

Footsteps: Caught the feet by accident but could make for a nice album cover, I reckon.

This was amazingly done by accident. Sometimes, I just surprise myself.

Put this pastelly art filter on. I like that the lady pops up at the far corner. A bit Where's Wally, this.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

I Don't Want To Be That Girl

Before I begin...

I'm not being paid by Olympus to do this (although, if they threw me heaps of money, they would be most welcome to). I'm not a professional photographer. I've just fallen in love.

I'm not into sharing personal pictures online but ever since I got my Pen, things have changed. My pictures have taken on an Anton Corbijn effect on some, an early Cindy Shermanesque quality on others. This blog was conceived because of something an instructor said at a camera workshop I recently attended: "If you don't share your pictures, you might as well not have taken them." Which kinda got me thinking.

I'm sharing my pictures online now because my new camera makes me look like a pro.

It's also a camera I can actually show off and BOTH the pros and regular folk stop to stare. It makes me feel like I'm Marilyn Monroe and my white skirt just billowed up... and I liked it.

Mine has a steel body. Very retro. Very, very cool. I was hankering for the white one (beautiful!) but for some strange reason, it doesn't come with a two-lens kit option. Apparently, it works the same way fashion does -- couture comes at a price.

The Pen is like what Apple is to regular PCs. It has single-handedly sexed up the old SLR camera... and how! Kevin Spacey is fronting the series of ads. The award-winning Duncan Jones directs. Great copy. Spacey delivers it with so much sleekness, it makes you feel lousy for being the "camera" man -- "Mr. Super Zipper, 8-Pocket Camera Bag, 15 lenses, 3 tripods..." That, and a point-and-shooter. Or a tourist. Keyser Söze doesn't want to be that guy.

I don't want to be that girl.