Monthly Archives: February 2007

Brunei’s National Day 2007

Had a rollercoaster weekend last week. I was so stoked about the National Day photo opportunities, I couldn’t even sleep proper. Slept so late, that at the last moment, thought about backing up my portable hard drive to DVD archives, just in case. Figured nothing would go wrong, and my eyes were heavy anyway, so I called it a night so I could wake up as early as possible for the drive to Bandar. Bad mistake.

After taking all these pictures, I went ahead and backed up my 2GB SD card to my Photomate, this handy device that has memory card slots and a hard drive built in so I can just backup my cards in action. It took 30 minutes for it to back up the whole card, and the device felt hot to the touch as well. Had my reservations about the heat, but thought nothing of it.

When I was heading home, I had the niggling feeling that I should check my hard drive as soon as possible, so when I got home, I did, and to my horror, all my backed up photos, totaling around 7000ish couldn’t be accessed. Oh the horror. I had some backups of earlier stuff I took before I got the 80-200mm, and had some DVDs I passed to other people, so I could recover some of them back, so that’s my agenda for the next few weeks.

My immediate concern was to recover some images from the 2GB, and thank god I still had the program Recover My Files to recover the areas on the card that I haven’t written to. So if you see images named Recovered_JPEG Digital Camera_XX, yes, those are recovered images. And they still have their EXIF data. Phew.

The next day, my friend’s wedding at KB, and that was the first time I drove my Civic outside State limits, but for all intents and purposes, the car performed admirably. Took some pictures, jostling with some guy with a D200 and some dudes with Canons.

After coming back to Brunei, went ahead to go to Gadong, and saw a little commotion going on at the mall. Immediately remembered that UcingItam is doing a shoot for the Kristal Kids Idol, so went ahead and got my Off Trail out. Had my Nintendo DS clamped onto the belt, so I figured it wont drop off so I merrily walked from EGM towards the mall. Upon reaching the mall, felt back and reached for my DS, and to my horror, again, I lost the damn thing. I felt numb. Seriously. Went around Gadong looking for it, praying no car would run the sweet thing over, but can’t even find it.

I feel so hollow right now.

Crawling in my skin~
These wounds, they will not heal~

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The set is at: http://flickr.com/photos/stupidlogic/sets/72157594559506042/

Yamaha Vino Classic & Vino 125

I’ve had a lengthy post on Bloggar, which I decided to delete, because there were some features missing. This was due to Blogger moving to the New Blogger service, and Bloggar not fully supporting it yet.

So the gist of my deleted post?

I want a Vespa.

Can’t find one.

Jealous because a mate found one.

I want one, but I still can’t find it.

Maybe Vino Classic will have to do?

Or a Vino 125?

My major concern? I can’t fit my camera bag anywhere.

So, what say you? Yay or Nay?

When the bug becomes a monster.

Have you ever driven around, merrily minding your own business, when suddenly you feel the urge to slam on the brakes, get out of the car, and take a photo of something beautiful? Have you ever felt like you need climb that hill, or scale that water tower to take the best angle of something that seems bland on street level, but would make an awesome shot from up top? Have you ever weighed the safety of life and limb versus the chance to catch the perfect moment in time?

Then you must be getting the photography monster. Not a bug, but a monster.

For me, moments like this comes beckoning not once in a while, but every waking moment of every waking day. You won’t get spectacular shots in the safe confines of a familiar environment. The spectacular shots comes from being able to be in the right place, at the right moment of time, and most importantly to us, the right amount of light falling onto our CCD sensors. To that effect, all three criteria can be directly attributed on where you, the photographer, are standing and where the camera is pointing.

I’ve slammed on my brakes and got out of my car to set up my camera just because the cascading sun light from the edges of the huge cloud formation looks almost like fingers descending from the heavens. I’ve camped out over-night in a rain soaked tent just to climb up a steep rocky hill at 4am to get photos of the sunrise pouring down from the Sarawak side to the Brunei capital, with cramped feet to boot. I’ve considered stopping at an elevated highway right here in Gadong just because I wanted to get a long exposure shot of the roadway below.

It’s apparent that the photography knowledge sharing conducted by Ahim Rani left a lasting impression on me. Angles, he said. Always get the angle that gets your message across. Even that e-mail forward that was posted online on a blog about the photographer jumping onto a rocky outcrop with just his camera and a plastic bag full of his equipment was an inspiration. That’s utter dedication to the art.

I’m not encouraging everyone to jump into traffic or go base diving with a dSLR, but we all know the limitation of the lens when it comes to capturing what we want to convey. If a different angle makes your picture stand out much more, why not. If a different tilt captures everything that you want in the photo, go ahead. If the message is easily absorbed by the audience, then all the more important.

Risking life and limb to get the ultimate shot is the sole reason most photojournalists can come out with timeless shots again and again. Some carry their SLRs into a battlefield. Some into tense riots. Others flying over the Serengeti with para gliders. Some onto aforementioned outcrops on top of hills hundreds of metres high. Some deep, deep under the sea. And every time we pick up a copy of National Geographic, we get a deep sense of emotion emanating from its pages. Not because of the words (initially), but because the pictures transports the reader to some place they have never thought to be in, the photographers lens becomes the window to other worlds far apart from ours.

And this is why the photography bug can sometimes become a monster. Sometimes we are too caught up that it may come back and bite you in the derriere. A stray step or an unlucky situation can, in fact, hurt you more beyond a broken lens. Remember, sometimes taking your eyes off of the viewfinder is a good thing. A story is no good if you can’t take out your memory card or your film at the end of the day.

Flag Raising Ceremony.

Along with Bruneian, and Ber, I met the others who make up the local photography blogosphere for a light rainy day’s shooting of the simple ceremony to raise the National Flag.

RezaFaizal has captured most of the guys that was in our little group yesterday, while KantaLensa brought his compadre along, Zul273, also met Puzian and UcingItam, and also Reeda at the after-shoot at Jing Chew. RezaFaizal also managed to capture Sufri and his lovely companion. Now that’s what I call one heart, one love.

Of course me and Bruneian brought out the monopods for the day. Even though we got stares from the other photographers, but it was awesome shooting with a stable platform. Even then, my right arm was tired 3/4ths in. Too much clicking methinks.

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The set is here: http://flickr.com/photos/stupidlogic/sets/72157594531182253/

Off Trail 2:

SlingShot 200AW:

Got to test out my new gear as well, my new Lowepro Off Trail 2. It was either this, or the SlingShot 200AW which I have been drooling over for so long. After careful perusing, I decided on the Off Trail 2 because all I needed was a top loader, and more importanly, a top loader that can fit my D80 + 80-200mm f/2.8 attached. The SlingShot can only manage to fit a medium zoom lens, if at all. My Mini Trekker would’ve gotten in the way yesterday, so in all honesty, the Off Trail performed wonderfully.