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Archive for March, 2007

Sneak Out From Work For Sepang Formula1 Testing Day4 [30th Mar 2007]

March 30th, 2007 No comments

The Sepang F1 Official Testing was originally scheduled from 27-29th Mar, but is extended for another day on 30th Mar due to rain on 29th. I didn’t have plan to go as it is a working day (Friday) and there are loads of things need to get done in workplace. Hiu called me up in 10am and let me listen to the roars of the F1 cars – he was already there taking some shots. The temptation is too big and I don’t want to miss the chance to take some F1 photos, as this year there might not be any cheap Mall Area tickets for the main event [6-8th Apr]. And the testing is free entrance to the Mall Area!

After lunch I zoomed back home to pick up my gears, went to Puchong to fetch a friend and off we go the the Sepang F1 track. Reaching ~2:45pm, it starts to rain a little, and only William BMW is running. The rain soon ceased and more cars coming out on the tracks. Renault seems in bad condition as one of their cars needs to be craned back to the pit, and Ferrari finally sent one car out of their garage after 4pm for a few laps, but it went thru the pit lane each and every time and bypassing the Mall Area straights, damn!

More photos of the event: http://travelgaia.com/gallery/Lightroom/

Related F1 Links:
Official F1 Website: http://www.formula1.com/
Sepang International Circuit Website:
http://malaysiangp.com.my/

Short but Fun – A Diving Weekend at Perhentian Island [23~25th March 2007] – Part I

March 29th, 2007 No comments

It was a short 3D2N trip to Perhentian Island, and the journey was tough – we drove instead of taking flight, but the trip was fun and more importantly, quenched our thirst of diving. I’ve served my ‘surface time’ for over 4 months since last dive in Bali, I need some fix!

4 of us (Hiu, Bill, Kenny and myself) started off from Hiu’s house just over 10pm using this route:

KL -> Karak Highway -> Kuantan -> Dungun -> Kuala Terengganu -> Kuala Besut

This probably is not the closest road but the beach roads from Kuantan to Kuala Besut is straight and in good condition. We reached Dungun at 2:30am and stayed at Mayang Resort , which is just beside the beach road and situated about 5km from UITM Dungun.

The resort offers either rooms or one of the many houses (one house consists of 4 rooms, a living room and a bathroom). We rented 2 rooms in house#6 and cost us RM140 (including a simple Mee Goreng + coffee/tea breakfast). Rooms are equipped with air-con and 2 single beds. Some rooms having attached bathroom (master bedroom in the house), and some others will have to share another bathroom in the house. Overall the room is spacious and relatively clean, and we couldn’t complaint – it was already 2:30am and we desperately need a place to get some rest!

See More photos from the trip here: http://travelgaia.com/gallery/perhentian_html

One Wedding, and Some Thoughts

March 13th, 2007 No comments

Not my wedding, not yet. Attended a colik's wedding progression last Saturday (10th Mar 2007), which involved going to the bride's family house and have the 'take the bride' ceremony, and then all went to the groom's daddy's house (which is like 70km away), then drove another 25km to another bigger town for lunch, then went back to the daddy's house. I left my home 7:30am in the morning and after all these happenings, arriving back home at 7pm — it is a weekend that more like a hard day at work.

 

 

(I will upload some photos of the bride & groom only after getting their permission) 

 

  

I was the 'appointed' cameraman for the event, probably due to all the gears that I have. I am glad to have another opportunity to practise my skills anyway. I brought 2 lens, the Sigma 17-70mm and Canon 70-200mm L, along with 430EX flash. I knew that I am not going to use the 70-200mm much at these kind of event, and true enough, the white lens just sleeps in the Crumpler 7 Million Dolalr Home throughout.

 

I am still new to the external flash photography and most photos turn out having the harsh flash look on the objects' face, even though I have been using the bounce flash (mostly to the ceiling at different angles). Probably it is time to source a softener. I was using M mode (underexposed) with the external flash (to compensate) for indoor shoots, but forgot to change the Av/Tv settings when moving to outdoor initially and almost totally blown a few important shots Yell… Most photos taken were ISO400 or 800 but the noise level is still acceptable.

So lessons learnt:

  • get a softener for flash, bounce seems just not good enough
  • check M settings when moving from indoor to outdoor shots
  • convert blown shots to Sepia – I tried and was able to salvage a few badly overexposed shots

Last but not least, I am truly happy for the groom and bride. 祝你地白头偕老 永结同心!

 

 

Categories: Weddings Tags:

Canon 100mm F2.8 Butterfly Macros

March 9th, 2007 No comments

Have not been using the 100mm F2.8 Macro for quite a while since bought it last November, finally decided to bring it to the Butterfly Park at Lake Garde, Kuala Lumpur to justify my purchase decision Tongue out. It was an overcast day and it was surprisingly crowded in the Park, with mostly foreigners.

Tripod is not allowed into the Park so I was using all handheld. Have to bump the ISO up to 800 in order to be using F8 and above (for wider depth of field). Even with F8 or F11, the depth of field when doing macro is still so short, coupled with the fact that the branches/insects were moving slightly, that most of the photos taken were having the main object out of focus. But this lens is really fun to use, and when I was able to battle the focus issue for some shots, the photos turn up to be so sharp even when view in 1:1 mode without any post processing sharpening.

Tips: The listed entrance fee to the Park is RM15. Additional RM1 will be charged if bring alone camera. There is no mention of discounts for Malaysians, but locals will only need to pay RM5 when showing the MyKad to the reception. I wonder why this is not display clearly in the pricing board.

More photos here at http://travelgaia.com/gallery/ButterflyPark/

Destination Guide: The Butterfly Park is located in the Lake Garden, which is the Lung of Kuala Lumpur. The Lake Garden is only 10-15 minutes walk from the historical Merdeka Square.

Categories: Photography Tags: ,

Floral Parade @ Putrajaya, 27th Jan 2007

March 8th, 2007 3 comments

Arriving to Putrajaya just in time (8am) to catch the Floral Parade at the main boulevard. It was kind of rush as I was in Genting Highland previous night to attend the Boyz II Men's concert, and left Genting at 6am in order to arrive Putrajaya on time. The street was already packed with cars trying to turn in the the parking area next to the Mosque. I drove a bit further and parked at the Botanic Garden to skip the jam — of course, I will have to walk ~15 minutes back to the main boulevard for the Parade.

This is probably the most crowded day ever in Putrajaya. It was reported in the next day's newspaper that over 100 thousand throng of people attended the Parade. I have doubts about the figure — I don't know how do they come out with that count, but it was no doubt really crowded there. I stayed for over 2 hours taking photos inside the temporary fence, and was yelled at for a couple of times as all us photographers were blocking the view of the spectators. Well I am OK to be yelled at, this is not the first time anyway. And it certainly won't be the last Embarassed.

 

 

 

 I startd using the 400D kit lens (Canon 18-55mm II) but was quickly changed to the 'cheapest Canon L Lens': 70-200mm F4, as I would love to get more close-up and detail shots. The draw back, of course, was that I can't frame most of the parade's floral decorated vehicles fully in the photo.

There were about 18 parade vehicles and some of them are really nice. I particularly like the Penang State's and the Sabah ones. There are military band from different schools and bodies between the parade cars as well as groups of presenters wearing the traditional clothes of different ethnic groups.

 

 

 

 

All in all this is an event that I love to come take photographs every single time. I just wish the Tourism Department of Malaysia will organize this again in 2008!

 

Photo Album is here: http://travelgaia.com/gallery/Flora%20Parade (it is Flash thingy so it might take a while to load).

 

 

 

 

Categories: VMY2007 Events Tags:

Florathon 2007 [Merdeka Square, Kuala Lumpur 20th Jan 2007]

March 7th, 2007 No comments

Took quite a few photos from this late Jan'2007 event at Merdeka Square, Kuala Lumpur. Participants were to complete a course of ~3km from Merdeka Square to the nearby Lake Garden and back, and the best decorated individual/team with flowers will win the event. 

 

More photos here: http://travelgaia.com/gallery/Florathon2007/

Categories: VMY2007 Events Tags: