Saturday, July 26, 2008

Beauty of Lightness

Floating

This time, the photos should do justice to MK, since the big failure last time? My sis threw a comment to me a day before, saying she should be not photogenic. So sorry, my last batch of her pictures are just too too discouraging.

Originally planned to shoot in her new village, about a theme, where she grows up in. However, seeing the lively Saturday morning new village, both Ailin and me were taken aback and decided to do it in other places. Oh, Seremban... and 8.00am in the morning. Fresh air in the morning.

Maybe it's already a common sense for us Serembanese, the place that popped into our mind when we were seeking a scenic place was Lake Garden. Well, being nostalgic here, going into the small recreational forest that we used to camp and play around.

To our surprise, there were so many people inside the park! Photographers shy to take pic pulak... We walked around in the park and decided to start shooting despite some boys that beamed at us with curiousity. Eventually, the shyness subsided and we were shooting without giving a damn of the others.

Our July cover girl:

Pentagons of Confusion

Sweetness of a Smile

I hope now she will be able to stand out and tell herself now, 'who said i'm not photogenic?'. At least both me and Ailin are confident in this batch of photos.

My July Cover Girl

Pentagons of Confusion 2

MK

Some after thoughts:
1. It's really important to have reflector when shooting portraits!!
2. Model should be sporting like MK, willing and know how to pose naturally.
3. Not much depths in the photoshoot, only portraits, portraits...

Behind the Scene Pictures:

Behind the Scene

Behind the Scene

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More coverage in Ailin's entry here.

and more MK's photos here: Kanki's MK Flickr Set

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Casually Pelly

Finally the photoshoot sessions are starting to materialize after much discussion and talks about it.

Drum roll to introduce our sacrifice of the day, Pelly Wong! (I used home-grown-rambutans to bribe her.)

Pelly

Pelly

We drove around Rasah Jaya, and around S3, it's hard to find a decent place for photoshoot really. Port Dickson? Oh it's too far but worth the journey if we really have a nice theme.

Pelly

Mistakes: No make-up, no proper planning of theme and places, still not good in reflectors + flash, composition not interesting enough.

And our props, the dried branches were also picked up from the ground. Really sorry Pelly, you will still need to be our experiment subject, ha ha ha.

Ai Lin

My shooting partner, Miss Ailin. We took turn in playing the role of photographer and assistant. Still a long way of learning, but 'jiayou' to each of us. Thanks for the flash and reflectors, future props and also some simple lesson on photoshop!

Next victim: Pelly or MK.
Next next victim: Olivia.

Hopefully all the preys will not run away.

Learning material:
Portraits Quick Tips
Flash Photography Techniques

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Oh, it's my sis's 19th birthday today! Happy birthday!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Parting with Borneo

Under the setting sun, embrace the sea

There's a saying, "No party that will not dismiss in this world". And beautiful is the sunset, the night will still come, and we can only hope for a better dawn tomorrow.

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2 great friends that sacrificed so much for us. Will not be able to see you guys until next year, but do keep in touch in MSN always!

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And so, I left Sabah, stealing the beautiful memories with me.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

A night away from the pollution of light

Daily Life in Longhouse

Addition from Kudat tour, which typically includes a night's stay in longhouse and sight-seeing in Simpang Mengayau.

After the Rungus Longhouse in village of Bavanggazo started their homestay program, the aboriginal family that operate this longhouse, which is of the KadazanDusun descend, have been weaving beads, waiting for tourists inside this longhouse.

Great experiencing life in the countryside where there is no television, limited electricity, literally no entertainment. Back to the basic?

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We were playing lame games here. Never know lame games could be so useful in bringing fun to people. Perhaps we were too bored.

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Nice and comfy bed. No mosquitoes in the night and cool breeze could be felt occasionally. Therefore, despite the hot weather, it was comfortable. We woke up the next morning to the cock's crow. Truly the lifestyle in kampung.

The stay plus a dinner and breakfast only cost us RM 35 per pax. Bargain with them. Oh, and performance too. Dance to the rhythm of bamboo sticks and the children's humming, dance with the elders with the gongs, nosepipe(?).



The night sky is never that beautiful in the city.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Sulu and South China Sea rushed to meet us here

Posers by the Sea

Here at the very tip of Sabah, the divine wind was blowing, and we were happy to pose a little bit for pictures. Perfect for a band picture here, too bad we wore sloppy clothes.

How can I forget to mention Marcus here? Who was the driver, driving us all the way 180km to the north from Kota Kinabalu, sacrificing the chance to look at the scenery that we passed by. We did not know the way to Kudat, but thanks to Munyung that gave us very clear instruction how to reach this place.

Marcus

This was actually a typical trip offered by the Sabah Tourism Agency, which included a night of home stay in Long House. The difference is, we rented our own car and went without guide, and of course, the price is much much cheaper.

More group photos, don't you think that Tip of Borneo or Simpang Mengayau is so beautiful? This place left a really deep impression. A must-go, I would say, although it is not very accessible by public transport.

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The sky underwent a dramatic change in colour, when the sun was setting into horizon. As if the scenery in front of me was a painting popped out from pictures of the age of Renaissance(I thought those sky only appear in paintings). It was the painters, that had skillfully recreate the sky using their brushes and colours.

colours of sunset

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A broken Malaysian flag was spotted. An omen, time for a new change?

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And a rather abstract picture of the rock we used to climbed down from the sign that said "Danger, do not proceed any further" but we turned our deaf ears to it.

Corrosion

Here's a short introduction of the Tip of Borneo, or Simpang Mengayau. It's about 180km to the north from Kota Kinabalu. It's where the Sulu Sea and the South China Sea meet. According to Wikipedia, this place was where the ancient leaders held meeting, and perhaps that was why this area was heavily infested with pirates in the older days. Eventually as time pass and civilization advances, it was rediscovered again and became a tourist's spot.

*Side step a bit, 陳綺貞 or Cheer's new single, 失敗者的飛翔 is here! Can't wait to put my hand on her single but will only have to wait and listen to MP3.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Animal farm, and the bridge view

Coming down from Mount Kinabalu, and let our mind and body rest for a day in which we spent touring around University of Sabah, a "Hancock" movie and dinner in One Borneo Hypermall. Not really nursing ourselves from the muscle aches by this way, i guess. Still can remember archer86's reaction when we wanted to take a stroll here and there. (You guys go lah, i stay here wait for you all)

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Oh, Marcus and ML was coming back from Seremban on this day. WJS could put down a big burden as the caretaker. Been cracking his head, oh where to bring them to.

It was Saturday, and cars for rent were not available as all were booked. This leaded WJS to beg for a junior to lend us the car. Until today, both WJS and Marcus have to treat that junior to Sushi King... Really sorry and I will try to repay my debt to you guys when you come to Singapore or Seremban next time.

And so, we followed the great tour guide Mun Yung to the Crocodile farm somewhere near the outskirt of Kota Kinabalu. Nothing special about the farm. Crocodiles, fishes, birds.

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Everyone was enjoying the feeding of ostriches. Put the grains on your palm, and let the beak of the ostriches entertain you! See the happy face of the ostrich?

Head of an Ostrich

Moving on, the a bridge where we can view the beautiful river and Mount Kinabalu in the distance. Just found out that this place is called Mengkabong Water Village, in Tuaran, about half an hour from Kota Kinabalu.

Reflection of Dusk Light

After viewing the dusk scenes, we had local meal in local restaurant, along with Coconut Pudding we bought on our way to the restaurant. Didn't get to taste the Roast Coconut and Shells which Marcus had been mentioning when he was in KK.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Blue Skies in Kota Kinabalu

Can't wait to blog about Kota Kinabalu first, not following chronological order. I think photos taken on this day are one of the most colourful and interesting photos throughout the trip. Just look at the BLUE sky of Sabah, why I can't see such sky in Western Malaysia?


Sabah flag is one of the most interesting flags I have ever seen. Sabahans are so proud of Mount Kinabalu!

It was the sixth day, and Marcus and ML already back from Seremban to Kota Kinabalu. This day we (Marcus, ML, Marcus Tan and Ah Yen) set out to the early market, which they call Pasar Tani at the center of Kota Kinabalu town. We took bus out, and interesting buses they have! Air-con-less, metal seats(that vibrate really hard and "hypnotizing"), brought me back to the good old days of 10+ years old, where our only mean of transport was by bus.



After having Brunch(LAKSA!), Marcus (FOO) went to buy present and left us with the rest of the UMS students. The sea beckoned me to go near when we were wandering around KK city. So many shutter chances popped out!


Filipino market without Filipinos. The huts looked so beautiful and colourful under the Blue sky. Can buy a lot souvenirs inside but I bought nothing. Ha ha.





Can't stop admiring the blue sky of Sabah.

Coconut juice here are cheap as well. Under such sun, isn't having a good cup of cool coconut juice, hiding under the shade, beats everything?

The trip ends when Marcus joined us at the Filipino Market and we took bus back to Kingfisher Phase 2.

I was above the clouds, above everything of Borneo, and South East Asia

Day 2, Day 3 of the 9 days in Sabah. She welcomed me with deep blue sky.

Here on Earth
Spectacular view of Sabah from 4000 meters above sea levels. It really took my breath (thin layer of oxygen) away!

Not many people have the chance of going up here. And not many people are willing to dump their money and let themselves into a situation where you might get killed by cold, or the altitude of mountains. As quoted from our travel partner miss Archer, "it's really a waste of money to get myself into troubles of body aches and exhaustion!!". As for me, it's worth every cent of money! The achievement of being up there, cannot be described.

Dawn Break
Standing at, almost the top of the world, observing the world that I will descend into.


Familiar? Take out your RM1 note and compare! The South Peak!

I think the mountain was pulling my leg. Whenever the mist is clear, and it was the shutter chance, just as i pulled out my bulky camera from backpack, the Mountain guided the wind and pull the curtain of mist to prevent me from shooting nice crisp scenes...



All of us made it to the summit. No pleasing sunrise, and occasionally St. John's peak popped out from the mist.


St. John's peak which greeted us when we were disappointed from the absence of beautiful golden sunrise.

Flash back to the first day, which was disastrous, all 3 of us, the guys had stomachache on our way up. We were like clutching our stomach and bags, and rushed upward from one shelter to another shelter, just to let go of the 'wrong' stuffs we ate the previous day. A piece of advise: watch what you eat the day before you hike Mount KK...

After having our dinner, we forced ourselves to sleep at 7.30pm, so that we can have more energy for the next day. The lack of preparation for torch light got me worried before starting out to conquer the summit. In fact, my torch light died after about one hour walk from Laban Rata and I needed to depend on lights from other people to keep me going! Another 2 cents, prepare extra batteries and if possible use headlights than the hand carried torch light.

Let's have a breakdown of our expenses for just this Mount Kinabalu. Prices have hiked up by don't know how much %%%% since last year... Very early advance booking from Sutera Lodges for the accommodation is needed in order to secure a place to let you spend your night for the next morning (2am morning!) climb up the summit.

Accomodation is RM188, includes 4 meals (we missed the last meal at the Kinabalu park entrance though...). Thanks Marcus, Junseng and Munyung for helping us here. The power of NETWORK! wa ha ha.

Climbing permit + guide + transport to Timpohon Gate = RM 60++ (Pay on the spot at the park HQ)

Certificate = RM 10 (why do they even charge!?)

Transport = RM 6-70 per pax by taxi from Kota Kinabalu (I found out from a guy who came from Selangor about a mini bus from KK which costs only RM 15 one way... but luckily the difference in price for us is not much as we were traveling in group)

Siewhong has something to add, in his comment here.