take a walk around town with...

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

has anyone encountered the apparent odd yellowish cast on photos produced especially using nikon's digital slr's? it's not the fault of the camera in anyway - nikons are indeed one of the better camera brands out there with a large user base - there have been a few interesting shots i've seen before, but possibly ruined by a severe colour cast. watcher did mention to me it's possibly a scenario of some nikon dslr users blindly following the settings used up in the northern hemisphere by nikon users - setting their cameras to cloudly +3 (or was it, cloudy -3?) for their white balance.

this is apparently what happens - the cloudy white balance is meant to remove the slight blue/greyish cast in the scene and adding a little missing yellow in the frame, which is apparently great for temperate region users, because for some muggy climated regions (think: grey skies aplenty), it's always cloudy! but when this approach is adopted in singapore, due to the our excessive sunlight most of the time throughout the year, factoring the sun's own yellowish cast, plus the cloudy white balance's extra addition of yellow (accentuated with the +3 setting), skin tones are unrealistically jaundiced! in fact, everything looks skewed! so if one enjoys inflicting a bout of jaundice on their photographic subjects, don't say i didn't help to enlighten you! for the uninitiated, the white balance setting on your camera is one of the most important, the function it serves is to correct the entire scene to show its true colours under white light. if it's for what i call, bringing out the atmosphere or the mood/feel of a place, you can try to use some funny white balance mode. but most of the time, you would want to see the real colours of the scene, that's why you can select the mode. and that's also why there's daylight and tungsten white balanced film on the market.

in this image by vonvonz (with her permission to repost), the top picture was shot with cloudy white balance, while the bottom shot was fixed with auto levels. see the difference?

auto wb

daylight wb

shade wb

cloudy wb

tungsten wb

fluorescent wb

flash wb

for your information, auto white balance works best in this case, of a shot of my room. my room walls are white. see what cloudy white balance does to it? the big question is, do people buy into a camera system just so because they think it's the best? do people set their cameras to a fixed setting (such as a certain white balance setting) and don't think much further than that, why they should be using it? God help those who are like that, let them wake up from their dreams and learn to think for themselves. amen...

sure feels like i'm writing a tutorial for newbie dslr users tonight. interesting indeed!

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

met up with a lot of my fellow staff watching the boys play with hearts of lions on the pitch today. clinched the south zone champions, too!

one thing that was on the back of my mind recently - how come people on clubsnap don't have opinions about my sports shots? i don't matter if they find it atrocious or passable, but not posting a single remark? but look at the flurry of self-defense for the thread that i had to do a public apology for at the end. why aren't people posting comments about the photos?

our dear jeffgoh has done it this time - he just quoted me straight from my blog. didn't know he's a fan of my site. um, hi? curiously, did he know he was infringing on my copyright by quoting me as such? he should know better, his photos from last year's subaru race at the big downslope were practically all shot with flash into the faces of the riders who were descending a dry dirt path with a gradient of probably 50 degrees. flash? safety?

whatever will turn out from the sportsshooting thread mess i created, i don't know what will come out of it. whatever happens, i'm glad i've learnt about the unkind side of some persons through a well-intending friend who updated me on his own will from irc. one went as far as commenting that my being born, was a mistake in itself.

it's hard to say it, but i have to learn to forgive them anyway. i did say something bad, after all. and i'm not going to cower and try to dodge responsibilities that come along with it all. looking at my boys play rugby today, i can see and feel their fighting spirit, though the opponent was tough, they just let rip - and trounced them all.

fighting spirit, one of the seven core values in the army. and in life.

Monday, March 29, 2004

raised hell with all the issue of using flash, and possibly in the way of an athlete, while shooting sports. knighthunter and oeyvind didn't need to talk too much longer, their photos showed that they were using flash into the face of the biketrial riders they shot. safety?

met natalie while walking back from nie after missing class at um... 1830 hours. incredible timing for an one-hour lesson. we had dinner at hall 9's canteen and i showed her after that, the photos that got me quite some controversy on clubsnap. it takes a fellow sportsperson to understand the trials and tribulations we go through, much less the agony when people shoot us with flash, potentially blinding us.

met priscelia on the way back on the northeast line (seems funny to me still to type it as "nel"), and was surprised that she moved out of hostel.

Sunday, March 28, 2004

covered a few events of late - nus' boulderactive 2004, prime gym's invitationals, and this weekend's saca-biu asia pacific biketrials championships. getting more exposure (sic!) to different sports really gives more ideas and challenges.

met the same straits times photographer, chin kai at the biketrials event today. pretty pleasant chap too. some of my selected shots are available online on the clubsnap forum right now.

world top ranked biketrials rider, dani comas landing from a 2.5 meter drop. amazing!

had the chance to talk to lynn after such a long time, and got to know her brother, leon, as well as many of the local biketrials guys. generally the event was a success, other than the fact that knighthunter and oeyvind blatantly using flash to freeze motion despite well knowing that flash in such an event can prove to be very dangerous.

had a funny dream about jiewen yesterday.

went over to sentosa for the biketrials shoot. only four riders for the day!

after the shoot, i headed for canon sg, since i didn't know what time the canon shoot was supposed to be anyway. in the end, i caught a big group all in action. met biscuit after the event, had a nice long talk at harbourfront.

left and went to kopitiam bras basah for dinner and met goondoo, waisj, kthan, and kng for uwcs seed v and dinner...

Saturday, March 27, 2004

visited uncle ben to deliver his photos. then desmond late last night/today's wee hours.

dr teo gave me a lift to joo chiat. read a couple of magazines while at mph parkway parade. national geographic, and some other diving magazines. was also reminded of seasons of the sea and adex 2004.

just met juraimi, yam, spyder, tangling, george wei and his wife all at borders. sharon lim spotted me - nice surprise!

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

the otah otah that mom tried her hands on yesterday, was fiery. i found out the painful way in the toilet. burning!

went out to meet peter at his office to deliver his photos. i learnt that he owns the only silver dogma in singapore - and it was custom made for him!

went to sea&sea and picked up 10 copies of the o-ring maintenance guide, and had a quick chat with andrew.

met stephen at bk peninsula plaza.

went to pop by seed, saw a couple of familiar faces - larry, afiend, vivientan, fooxx and xmen1977.

got over to prime gym, talked to fiona.

decided to walk my way to where joshua stays, just behind ngee ann poly.

dropped in on the nacc group at bukit timah food centre.

Monday, March 22, 2004

gave some thought over the issue, staying single is good.

not that i don't have dreams and ideals. i do. but then with the local climate being as such, i don't wish to have a spouse, then have a kid, and have the kid working through the corporate cesspool we have here. singapore is good, the ease of getting from point a to b, the close proximity to amenities, and a whole lot more stuff. probably like low prices of electronics compared to say, australia?

but... when looking at it all from a helicopter view, i would rather look after others' children instead of having one of my own. i don't want to split myself into infinite pieces just trying to make sure that i can handle schoolwork, family life as a son, husband, parent, mentor, teacher and more rolled into one. frankly, i don't exactly look forward to fulltime teaching for one good reason - inevitably teaching may manifest itself to burn away all the weekends. i sure hope this does not happen, but the chances are high.

i'll stay single.

made a big blooper of assumption - i thought the body worlds exhibition was ending 31st march, but it just ended yesterday! worse still... i've forfeited the free entry to the show... argh...

looking through my friends' blogs over the last few hours has reminded me of this stark reality - being attached gives multiple problems, sometimes so big that it consumes the individual despite having another person who is known as well, the other half, to show concern. why risk all the trouble to be attached, and having it backfiring in the face? it's true that without having failing anything, it means one has not tried, but what's the plus points for getting into a relationship, if the minus points are way too significant? want a few? here's some...

  • high cost of housing - i'm not gonna work 30 years to the grave just to get this paid up
  • not enough time for personal recreation - highly unlikely i can find someone who enjoys the same sports and photographic interests as i do
  • life in this country is too rushed - "deadlines" exist for almost anything you can conjure of. includes work, marriage, children, "retirement", and soon, death

ok, i think that's just the tip of the iceberg anyway. at anytime i feel lonely, all i need is just to remind myself that Jesus is always with me, God is always cuddling me without me knowing it, despite my absense from His house for over a year now. sorry to my general employmer - the singapore government, in other words known as the citizens of singapore - i'm highly unlikely to ever, ever get hitched, or rather, attached for the matter. the temptation of the heart is always there, but i have to live a life before i can live to become a spouse, then a parent to => 1 child (remember, the low childbirth thing now in the papers?).

Sunday, March 21, 2004

just republishing a mail i got from jimmy...

  1. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.
  2. Marry a man/woman you love to talk to. As you get older, their conversational skills will be as important as any other.
  3. Don't believe all you hear, spend all you have or sleep all you want.
  4. When you say, "I love you", mean it.
  5. When you say, "I'm sorry", look the person in the eye.
  6. Be engaged at least six months before you get married.
  7. Believe in love at first sight.
  8. Never laugh at anyone's dreams. People who don't have dreams don't have much.
  9. Love deeply and passionately. You might get hurt but it's the only way to live life completely.
  10. In disagreements, fight fairly. Please No name calling.
  11. Don't judge people by their relatives.
  12. Talk slowly but think quickly.
  13. When someone asks you a question you don't want to answer, smile and ask, "Why do you want to know?"
  14. Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
  15. Say "bless you" when you hear someone sneeze.
  16. When you lose, don't lose the lesson.
  17. Remember the three R's: Respect for self; Respect for others; Responsibility for all your actions.
  18. Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
  19. When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
  20. Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your voice.
  21. Spend some time alone.

Saturday, March 20, 2004

was out with peterlim, ah pao, dkw and trigger at the primegym competition today. the lighting was erm... bad, my shots were all like iso1600, f/2.8, 1/250s. had an early morning surprise to see michael craig there with his wife and his two daughters at the event - one of whom was competing in the level 1/2 w.a.g. category.

got a surprise when i realised ceqin's sister is the other girl coaching in the club! small world indeed - was eileen surprised or what too! derrick and beverly dropped by too to take a look as well...

after thursday's class at nie, i met jia and jess (as well as frankie, raphael amongst many others). had that lumpy sore throat feeling for the whole day. subsequently it was shopping time (more like, windowbrowsing time instead) at adelphi, peninsula s.c. and peninsula plaza. coincidentally, we met leonzhu, gadrian, afiend and clown all at cathay.

i walked over to stanley's because i just got wind of the free demo workshop at his store, so it was more like a time for me to socialize with fellow shutterbugs. watching the demonstration outside the shop was really funny at times, because of his sense of humour. like the mention about drinking the developer that would probably develop your stomach...

as for friday, first thing i did was to see dr koh for my lumpy-feeling throat. 15 bucks on consultation and the medication. argh. more $$$ going out... next was to deliver to cannoncal 18 reels of film. didn't know he still has an appetite for film though he's using a digital back now, hmmm... since i was in a rush, i took a cab and spent 12 bucks on cab-fare to meet yoong heng at his school to do the g&d assignment - then we had lunch in clementi, then off it was to nie for the day's class. more stuff regarding the skeletal system - good revision, i guess.

went off for a ride from home to yio chu kang/orchard/novena that was only 37km on the speedo - it sure feels hard to spin efficiently enough on the bike of mine - think it should be "easier" to do so with a 5kg backpack instead... anyway, i did feel better after the ride...

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

i found out who was the person digging out all the trash in the trashcan at the bus-stop near my block, when i saw the resident tramp (who seems to be out of his mind) throwing everything out of the bin that people threw in. he also took a bottle from the trash and drank from it, as well as yelling "tian tian!" in some screechy pitch. it was scary to see how he was walking on the road (it's 2 lane traffic at my place per direction), about 1 to 2 meters out from the kerb, waving at taxis, and when the cabbies slowed down presuming he was wanting a ride, he just swings his arms to tell them to "flicken"...

just one of the many vehicles that missed running him down

went to pay cannoncal a visit at the studio shoot in the early afternoon - then i left and went over to meet margaret at the commonwealth mrt station, since she was proposing for me to change something regarding my policy. we had a short chat, and i learnt more about her photographic profession in the past. then off i went to the city to buy film on behalf of cannoncal... incredibly, i managed to meet five clubsnappers just by being present around peninsula plaza. not in order were knighthunter, garion, afiend, zeuss, lorbert and xmen1977.

dad just bought again a new camera to replace the e1 that he sold - he bought a panasonic lc1. i'd thought it was probably over 1000 bucks, but i now highly doubt so, since dpreview.com listed it as us$1500... just reminded him that he should figure out the difference between manual focus and manual exposure, and stay off the latter until he's ready, then he started to say that i'm arrogant etc... little does he know that i've been surviving on program modes (aperture/shutter priority are essentially programs anyway) all the while. at this very moment as i type this, he's testing out the new camera by sitting in the living room, shooting at don't-know-what, without the lights turned on, and his flash periodically illuminating the darkness... is that supposed to be his version of a functionality test, or "review" of a camera? how can one learn photography, if one isn't willing to find a source, like a book or a reliable website to learn from?

just a testimonial of how screwed up some companies have become, ask success resources how they end up calling me "koh chun kiong" in an anthony robbins promo mailer they mailed correctly to my address.

summary for yesterday:

first thing after collecting the print from the photoshop around home, i headed out for the city to meet jan, who i learnt is a dutchman. that explains why he had a rabobank bottle at his office, and was wearing a giro pneumo of the same team colours during the first saca road race. he was very friendly and i could sense that he made time for me, despite being still busy at work during lunchtime. i bade him farewell since he had to get things done...

since it was all in the same building, i visited all three dive shops in the concourse. waikiki, richmond and oceanic. once done with the quick drop-by, i walked over to oub centre, where i met calum and hand-delivered his photo. the view from his office is astounding! wish i had a wide angle lens to shoot from there...

i had a short conversation with hope at larrikin, where i inquired about the military-spec oakley items. too bad they're only available to uh... military usage with endorsement. oops. nice to see the laser lens though. greenish tint, and looks somewhat thicker than my m frame's lenses. met this indian computing worker dinesh who was looking for his way to the minstry of manpower, so i walked with him to the place. though he had plenty of accreditation (albeit from a university in india), he was rejected in his application for a work permit. golly. one man, paid about 5k sgd to his agent, and not being able to get work. can empathize with his worry - first thing that i'm worried for him is how he is going to wait another 2 weeks to see how another application for his work permit turns out. what's he gonna survive on? accomodation and food aren't free, you know.

after parting ways, i paid a visit to grace at her office nearby, and had a super long chat. she also showed me photos of felicia in other countries where they stopped by. man, i have yet to see actual snow for myself! hope to travel somewhere and see snow one day... sorry ah, swakoo here...

went back to ngee ann poly, where i headed for the pool to see what i could shoot for the canoepolo training. in the end, i got to shoot candids from underwater when elaine, dowell, eliza, and mark capsized their kayaks for me to shoot...

after we got out of the pool area after it was closed, i showed an unaware xiwen one of the underwater photos i shot - only then did she learn that i wasn't in ngee ann anymore... i thought it was obvious enough?

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

last night i was over at ntu src pool where i met chewy to pass her the photos she ordered from me. as i was doing so, i also had the pleasure of meeting andy, who i mistook for cheechee when i saw his avatar on friendster. the world is just that small i guess - he was the one who introduced bev to bouldering...

met dianjuan and serene in the src hall playing badminton - took some shots, then i proceeded to hall 1 shooting for nicholas a photo for his poster. now i'm just waiting for the final output...

Monday, March 15, 2004

shooting yesterday and saturday fulltime for boulderactive was fun - got to climb up the walls and shoot off from up there - producing shots that no one else did during the 3 day event (i'm only guessing no one else tried doing so on friday night).

a pity that i couldn't get the focus to be in the eyes of the climber
i was doing manual focus and guessing where his eyes would be at 50mm f/2.5

not surprisingly, met esther and one other of my schoolboys who called out loudly, "mr ngoh!" at hdb hub from a second level walkway overlooking the climbing walls...

also met audrey and cherie together, didn't know that cherie was also from vjc! derrick was there again, but bev was nowhere to be seen.

Saturday, March 13, 2004

it was simply fun shooting off a 4 meter climbing wall, straight into the faces of the climbers - it is about the best angle to cover the event, since all the emotions of the climbers would be expressed explicitly right from their faces. of course, great photos can be taken at any moment from any angle, just that most of the time, the climbers are going to look upwards, since they're climbing up a wall and not sideways along a wall...

bought this book titled the photographer's guide to marketing & self-promotion by maria piscopo from borders last night.

met aidil in the store while i was at the magazine section.

time to sleep. got nus boulderactive to shoot at in the morning. sunday morning i've got another saca race to busy myself with.

Friday, March 12, 2004

this talkingcock article is really damned funny!

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

something's really wrong with this father of mine, in some thing he does.

couple of months ago (or was it january?) he asked me to post up on clubsnap's buy & sell, his puny olympus fl20 flash. stk and a couple of other guys were interested, and i had to act as a middleman to their enquiries, especially whether he wants to sell at a particular price they bidded or not. in the end? dad told me that he could so choose not to sell, regardless of price. and that was involving me needlessly to get my hands dirty and trying to arrange things for him, only to be told he was half-hearted about selling his item?

that isolated incident, i'll put aside.

the ever since his two prized luohans died (imagine squeezing two 25 cm specimens of that fish each in a 1-foot partition of a 2-feet tank) died, he started rearing marine fish. before he flew back off to tasmania, i'd ask melvyn to give his advice as a marine aquaculturist what could be done to prevent mysterious dying of the marine fish, because i couldn't bear to see marine fish just dying. heck, i'm a diver! so mel told me, that a substrate filter has to be added into the filtrage system of the tank, since the bacteria and algae in the tank must have a kind of abode in it to prevent them from being freely present in the water, and consequently screwing the fishes. so i told dad over several occasions, but nothing was heeded. he told me, he wouldn't heed advice from a person who has no background in rearing fishes. hey, it wasn't me telling him what to do, i'm respecting mel with his background in marine aquaculture! until somewhere about a week back, mom told me that he heard when he visited some aquarium with her, the shopkeeper told him that one can't keep the filters too clean for the good of the fish. up till now, still nothing's done.

then tonight. he told me his clam and tubeworm just died. so i checked with mel over msn, and he told me that it's never too late to add in the substrate filter (or biofilter, as he calls it) to the tank. so i relayed the information to dad, who just coolly said, that once all the marine fishes all die, he can start to rear tropical fishes, with a mention of arowana. he said, tropical fish aren't the same as marine fish, and can do without any biofilter. melvyn confirmed it for me - without a biofilter, any damned fish will just die. what a stubborn dork!

i'm not concerned about his silly luohans dying - i don't care if any of his fish die - but i'm damned disturbed by the fact that he's supporting a movement to pull marine life out of the sea, put them into a tank on land and in the process upset the marine biodiversity - since all these marine fish couldn't have been from anywhere except the sea - and worst of all, he doesn't care if the fish really die or not. what kind of a human is he? in fact, i was thinking of telling him one of the reasons why i went diving last weekend was to see all the "nemo" (as he foolishly calls them, well-knowing they're clownfish by common name) and all the other marine life he is not qualified to see with his own eyes.

now when i come to think of it, i'm not surprised why when i was ten years old, he gave me a freakin' hard kick on my femur for some silly child mistake i did then. what a father i have. but i'm not agitated, i'm not disappointed. i have merely learnt what kind of man i shouldn't be.

and his latest silly sale of the olympus e1 system that i already cautioned him not to buy? heck, i'm washing my hands clean of it. he can donate it for all i care - it's a crap system to me, doesn't meet my needs at all. doesn't matter if bullshit (the clubsnap mod) tells me or not, or whether the rider who's so proud of riding a wheeler says anything. they're both poop to me - after all, they don't shoot what i shoot.

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

went to the zoo with the boys today.

golly. i feel a little sick in the stomach today...

Monday, March 08, 2004

wow. look at kit leong's msn messenger photo, it was dead obvious it was taken by the folks from orion3df. it is absolutely a hilarious situation when you see the orion3df photoset from saca road race 1 with riders named, "banesto", "eagle", "flames", "italia", and to top it off... jeanette is now known as "hello tee". wow.

nice try to gatecrash a public sport and trying to make a buck off it. at least go and get the riders' namelist and try to match them. if not, you're making a fool of yourself, as well as all photographers' face.

time is really an oddball thing. given time, i've started to change. today is the 28th wedding anniversary for my parents, and we had met up with sis and fab for dinner at crystal jade's at parkway parade. i'm getting a little bit more skeptical about marriage, or getting hitched/attached for the matter. singlehood is good. there is plenty of time to do whatever the heart desires. there isn't a need to send a person home when it's really late. there's no restriction in saying what you say, knowing that a close one may be more sensitive since he/she's closer to you than anyone else. 28 years married together? i haven't even lived up to that basic amount for my age yet, and i found several things that are integral to my existence - photography, wandering and diving.

long live singlehood.

meeting anna kournikova, mig37 and lisa ang at the omega bijoux event at millenia walk was fun. except that it was a crushing experience! it was an eye opener to see douglas who was there with his eos-1ds, 85mm f/1.2 lens and his billingham camera bag. incredible!

the tioman dive was fun. but the amount of cigarette smoke on board the dive boat after a dive, was really getting on my nerves. argh. at least i managed to get more decent shots than last time, thanks to lanxx, nightshades, and waisj. the services of some of the dive company folks could be much improved on, though.

Thursday, March 04, 2004

quite interesting - as i was on the bus ride to meet siva g at millenia walk, i actually noticed travelshooter waiting for a bus outside shaw centre. initially he didn't see me, then after gaining his attention through the effectively silenced glass of the air-conditioned bus, i sign-languaged to him that i had just collected some photos that i had just sent for development today.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

started out on a massive round trip around town, starting from sim lim tower at about 1pm in the afternoon, hopped over to joyce's storefront, walked to bugis, then to adelphi/funan, to olympus singapore. bad news was... dawn mentioned that pressure testing for the olympus underwater casings can only be done for the pt-014 and up... argh...

this isn't exactly called nitpicking, but this is one of the few hits garnered by altavista when i searched for "ho swee haw". this is one of the hits i got -> http://www.orion3df.com/sportsphotox/ahm2003/00800025.htm. when you take a look at the photo, you may not have the slightest idea who the photographer was shooting. nevertheless, something bad is better than nothing at all.

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

today i got into this somewhat heated discussion with a lady driver who drives a bmw. needless to say, one can guess how she drove that um... drove me to discuss the topic of driving to her.

Monday, March 01, 2004

morning was a meeting that i got the briefing of this freelance non-paying photography assignment that i'd be functioning more as shooting to hopefully get some published works for a company. since it's non-paying, i'm in the clear. and the best part of it is that i may have a chance to have some work of mine published in a corporate publication, which will be handy as a portfolio works.

in the afternoon, i found a site that belongs to the ntu runners' club that was using my photos from the stanchart singapore marathon 2003 without my permission. well, that wasn't so bad, except that the photos were all changed to single-tone colour, had my url cropped off, didn't give a credit anywhere on my site, and most important all - no email was sent to ask for permission to publish the photos on the site. you can read it all here regarding nturc's copyright infringement of my photos.

question of the week: would you buy a bikini for a female friend who asked you to do so for her, considering it's a ripcurl bikini that we're talking about here?