Sunday, April 26, 2009

Reflect: Please be more Down to Earth

Something to remind me a big mistake I always make.

Crouch down, down to earth, and take picture sometimes. The world will opens up in a different way.

The angle could be better, if I could stand at the same level as them.

Take last month's Chinese Garden for example.
Ailin's composition in the same set of photos are so very much differed from mine.

Remember, there is not an exact event that will repeat to let you do again.

Some reviews to last month's pictures. The Over-exposed Series...
Took a different approach to use high-key in these photos. I really love this walkway and the trees lining along it.

Overexposed




Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Grande Île de Strasbourg

Munich was sacrificed, despite the Oktoberfest, when we chose Strasbourg.

We took the German Die Bahn from Heidelberg to Strasbourg, France! Late at night. Flash back to that night when we took the train from Germany, just like other strangers who first come to a new land without common language, anxiety. The train stopped for a short while at the suburb of Strasbourg, not Kehl. Lost, I stepped outside of the train to find some signs and soon after this the door closed after me, and separated CK, Jason, Tim, Huimin and Joker from me.

We woke up to a delightful autumn morning the next day. Cloudless blue sky, with warm autumn sunlight.



Huimin was going to embark on her adventure to Munich, so we revisited the impressive Gare de Strasbourg with its modern sky dome and old building first in our itinerary.



Jason and the exterior of Gare de Strasbourg. Jason is going to finish his final year in HK soon! All the best and looking forward to meet you guys in HK!



Gare de Strasbourg is a remarkable French architecture that combines the modern and traditional beauty.

Armed with nothing but map, we continued on to Grande Île, the Grand Island of Strasbourg. Flowers and rivers greeted us. At this time of the year, every leaf was a flower, the trees lined along the rivers blossomed with melancholy.



Strolling along the river I took in the scenes here with my camera. I never had any impression of France but Strasbourg really served as the great introduction to France. In fact, I much prefer this city over Paris.



After crossing the bridge to Grande Île, my imaginary Europe presented herself without drumrolls but my 'wows'. I used to imagine Europe would be places like this, and this definitely fitted the bill.

Medieval bridge Ponts Couverts:


As we walked further, Petite France district, dreamy European architectures.



IMG_3972




Tim and CK. I believe Tim had had much more adventurous journey that this one.

Loom up against all the rest on the island... Cathédrale Notre Dame. Perhaps I really like Strasbourg more than Paris, and hate the overcrowded Paris's Notre Dame, The Notre Dame here was so much more gigantic and impressive. My lens' perspective could not convey how tall it was.



Holy light would shine on Him if you make a small donation. I didn't, ha ha but just nice someone did...



Then, another astronomical clock since the previous one I saw in Prague. Although I did not really know the significance of these clocks but couldn't help to admire the art work.



We saw landmarks of Strasbourg and while falling asleep inside the Batorama under the autumn sun. It was just too comfortable. I would want to lie on the grass bathing in the autumn sun. The boat trip that introduced us around Grande Île was a bit too long, hence the 3 or 4 EUR fare was really cheap.


Here comes Batorama.


Light and Shadow under a bridge.


Façade of European Parliament.


Another cathedral.

There are just too many things to write about this lovely French city. The french pastries, I would skip for now...



Just seconds ago before I clicked the shutter for this pic, a crazy guy was intimidating us while kicking a pigeon's dead body across the street.
Ignored him was what we all did.

Wikitravel: Strasbourg
Wikipedia: Strasbourg

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Pertunangan Shadrini



There is a saying, a woman looks the the best when she is dressed in her wedding gown.

I was invited, by MK(Singapore's) to join her in becoming one of the photographers for an engagement event. Well, both us are the only photographers. This would be my very first wedding-related event photoshoot!

To my surprise, a very positive surprise, it was a Malay's Pertunangan! I tried to search within my brain, no memories of Malay engagement, Perfect time to learn culture and photography!









About this adat pertunangan, the bride-to-be, which is Shadrini on this day, was not allowed to meet her fiancee and can only stay inside her own room until the ceremony ends. That was when we first went inside, anxiously, and found her sitting on a chair beside a big queen-size bed which took up 80% of the room's space. Shadrini was not allowed to see her fiancee according to adat resam Melayu on this day. The fiancee followed a traditional rule of Perminangan, where he had to ask family members and representative of him to come to Shadrini's house on behalf of him with a lot of beautifully decorated gifts. As for exchange, Shadrini's side would also have to prepare gifts to be brought back by the fiancee.


The gifts sitting on Shadrini's bed, waiting to be offered.

About 4pm, the atmosphere inside the house suddenly became merry and a lot of people came inside and sat on the carpet. Perminangan, this was the perminangan where the representative of the fiancee came offering their gifts to marry Shadrini.





In exchange, Shadrini's family would have to give the representatives gifts too if she agree to the representative's offer (if this is in the old days). Gifts offered by the fiance were so interesting and unique(at least I had never seen one of those before)! As usual, the gift was so well decorated by Malays' favourite green.



The most exciting moment, the ring was being put on to Shadrini, didn't manage a good one here.



And the moment of compassion and love... The gestures of love.



Everything happened too fast for me to have handshake-free pictures, even at ISO1600.

Time for feast, vegetable curry, chicken curry, mutton curry, rendang... and we were fully filled up and went back home, satisfied.

Condition of lighting: dim artificial pendafluor light plus window light diffused by the curtain.

Seriously, I did not do well... Portraits are hard. Perhaps I understand why they pay so much for wedding photographers.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Oriental Garden Lizard



Are them the new exotic pets, the new addition to my family?
No, they are just the common Oriental Garden Lizard. They really live up to their name as Garden Lizard, I guess they inhabit some corners of my house's backyard or my neighbours'.

If Bobby knows about their presence, another endless barking and crying will be thrown to us. Bobby always like to chase after those house geckos. Those small creatures can already make him so agitated, imagine these two 15cm lizards?



"The Oriental Garden Lizard (Calotes versicolor) is an agamid lizard found widely distributed in Asia. It has also been introduced in many parts other parts of the world. It is an insectivore and the male gets a bright red throat in the breeding season leading to a common incorrect name of Bloodsucker."
- Quoted from Wikipedia.org



Recall about my encouter with them, I was holding my camera standing outside in the backyard trying to find some nice angle for my dad's Passion Fruit vines. Out of sudden I noticed this lizard was crawling out of the vines to greet me. I thought this was a very good chance so I point my dSLR's big eye towards it(even took my mum's metal mould for baking to reflect some light onto its face) and snapped a new photo of it. Another surprise next to my left ear, and this guy loomed up in pride and opened its mouth, to threaten me? Of course, I shot them both happily before they ran away into the bush.

Haha, this little cute guy sparked my interest in lizards! I thought it is an iguana, perhaps a smaller one but it is not. Iguana is so cool and cute!

Monday, April 13, 2009

奶油明蝦 Buttermilk Prawn

A recipe from my mum. A Chinese delicacy that so many of us love, but hate at the same time because of the price if you order it outside.

Whenever before I leave home to catch a bus bound to Singapore, mum will just cook the best meal in the world for me. Best meal. Now that I do not really crave for delicacies of Seremban or anywhere, because mum's cooking is the best! Although I wanted to help out with the cooking but rarely I get the chance to show off, well the usual nagging and mum will ask me go out and wait instead of getting dirty in the kitchen.



What do you need? 需要的材料是?
- Fresh Prawns 新鮮的蝦
- Butter 牛油
- Milk 牛奶
- Curry Leaf 咖哩葉
- Chili Paddy 指天椒

Usually, I prefer to estimate than to put in the exact ingredient(irritated at having to get the exact amount everytime!)!

Before anything else, before the main steps...
Deep fry the prawns, with lots of lots of oil...
先把明蝦們放進去油讓他們游泳晒紅紅,然後撈上來讓他們休息。



Let's start with the main ingredients.

1. Melt the butter with sauce pan.
鍋子熱了後把牛油塊丟進去溶成液體狀。
2. Pour the milk into the melted butter.
把牛奶倒進去溶了的牛油。
3. Stir the mixture while heating until it's reduced.
一直攪拌, 直至干,油開始變得明顯
4. Throw in the curry leaves, sliced chili paddy and prawns and stir fry.
把咖哩葉,指天椒,還有明蝦都丟下去鍋裡炒香。

Then, that's all! 上桌!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

當我決定擁抱自己, 世界就開始擁抱我

*Photos credit to nailbell.



深深體會, 樂極生悲的感受...

Yesterday's concert was really awesome, we enjoyed it so much so much. We didn't notice that Seng's camera was no longer in SL's bag after the concert.

Counted the songs that she sang yesterday, omg, 33 songs! 11 of them were from the ENCOREs.

Opening with beautiful background, as if an angel rising toward the Sun... The visuals of the screen behind sync so perfectly with the mood and sound of hers.




Perhaps it is difficult to imagine how her concert could be so high, but I experienced it, yes... every fan just stand up and sing along!

Most memorable moments being her coming down from the stage, singing 1234567, and the fans knew it was time for shutter! Soon, the flashes and screaming, and also when she sang Guitarist with all of us together.






Messages about 太陽 being displayed on the background. 父母是我心中的太陽, 綺貞是大太陽, 太陽就是希望與愛.


During the encore, when she wore her classic helmet when she sang her 旅行的意義.

This time, I got no photos taken by myself...

A video recorded by some other fan from YouTube. It still feels so good to watch these videos. Just will not get tired of recalling the scenes back yesterday night.



I am proud of myself that I am one of the long time fan of hers, despite this is the first live concert and 2 weeks ago was my first time seeing her in real life. Despite I had headache and I vomitted 4 times on my way to the stadium, despite partly responsible for the lost of my friend's camera.

I was quite surprised that I appeared in a few of the videos of interview, but they wrote wrongly, the birthday was not last year's present!!! It was already 8 years ago!!! Read here.

就算和別人享有你精彩的假動作



歌單 of the night

開場VCR + 手的預言
太陽
腐朽
躺在你的衣櫃-Guitar
天使
Self
尚未命名(孤獨)
嫉妒
華麗的冒險
下個星期去英國
倔強愛情的勝利
失敗者的飛翔
一首歌,讓你帶回去
煙火
Sentimental Kills
我親愛的偏執狂
等待
1234567
吉他手
讓我想一想
還是會寂寞
靈感

ENCORE1

孤島

ENCORE2
旅行的意義
告訴我
距離

ENCORE3
小步舞曲
After 17

ENCORE4
九份的咖啡店
太聰明

ENCORE5
會不會

ENCORE6
每天都是一種練習

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在去到演唱會場地的巴士還有 MRT 的途中, 在每一個找到廁所的地方都嘔了一次,一共四次.
但是, 老師一出現, 心情真的好了很多...
而且最棒的是, 演唱會高潮我都不覺得想嘔了, 頭痛阻止不了我和老師一起隨著音樂跳動扭擺身子!

這是我第一次看老師的演唱會. 相信以後你在來, 我一定不顧一切都要再一次融入你

如果老師你會再來東南亞, 我希望至少到馬來西亞開一次演唱會. 讓那里的歌迷比較有機會看你. 畢竟我還未來新加坡上大學之前也經歷了類似的心情.
這次有滿多馬來西亞的朋友專程從馬來西亞來新加坡. (很幸運的, 我現在是長期在新加坡的)

晚安!

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