Sunday, July 13, 2008

Some Street Shoot

I went out today around 11am with Gu (who just arrived) to the old city side of Jinhua. Apparently there was a fort like setup for the ancient Jinhua city. So, we went to the wall remnants which used to be a perimeter to keep the city secured from foreign intruders. To be honest I was kinda appalled by how long the history actually spanned back. The age of the building which I was in is about 1600 years old. Yerp... it spanned in the thousands of years old. Sure did joggle my mindset a while for comparing Malaysia's 50 year old history against this, not-so-famous city of China.

Anyway the perimeter wall surrounding the ancient city was long gone now. What is left is a structure which was once the main entrance to the city, and also a guard tower which has been turned into some kinda city owned museum. It cost 10Yuan to enter this small museum. There are some really old relics in there, but all descriptive notes and writings are all in Chinese, so its kinda like groping in the dark to know what's what. However, I must admit that the feeling of standing on a 1600 year old stone building is really something. You just have to stand in there and think of the amount of history the place has gone thru.

Apparently from the latest maps, a few blocks of newer shops (new in China means 50-100 years old) is now surrounding standing in place of what was once the perimeter walls. Some local traders swarm this place and turn it into some kinda flea market. However, most of the stuff they sell dont really attract me. Antiques, stones, paintings... that kinda stuff. It is worthy to note that one has to be careful with such items, as there are many many counterfeits floating around.

Street photography is something of real abundance here. The place is old. Its eccentric. And its got a character of its own. I'm looking forward to try to have a full day's outing around this local vicinity again soon. For today, I shall lay my camera to rest since its a hot and sunny day - and I do mean it!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Touchdown : Shanghai

I left KLIA last night, well, it was more like this morning; on a 1.40am flight bound for Shanghai Pudong Int. Airport (SPIA). The flight was an uneventful one and I get to take short naps throughout the whole 5 hour flight. The only occasion wake ups I get were from the cabin crew who would annoyingly give a light nudge asking if I would wanna get a juice to drink or not. Anyway, I touched down on SPIA and managed to get through immigration and secure the baggages by about 7.30am.

The driver, Mr. Zhang would be picking me up by 8.30am, thus giving me ample of time to grab something to bite. This is the first time I come to China. Its so foreign, and yet resembles something similar to me. The culture, the people and the system. It all seems to blend well to me, and yet there are things which turned out to be a shocker. Talk about the duress of culture shock :P

Anyway I had some breakfast at an Italian restaurant at SPIA. The WIFI sucks and I couldnt connect to it at all, and while it did allow a connection, there was no data transfer. Didnt wanna waste much time, I just gobbled up whatever was laid on the table and rush to meet Mr. Zhang. From there he drove me in a 12 seater van/mini bus from SPIA to Jinhua. The trip took about 4 hours on a long and straight highway. China's a left hand drive country. However, I was so wrong to assume that the fast lane would, well, safely can be assumed to be on the left hand side... but it appears that its a norm to actually speed past any vehicle in any lanes... and that includes the emergency lane as well. And I am not talking about slow-mo here... Driving here would put the local Malaysian Mat Rempits to shame. I had to endure such adrenalin rush for 4 hours plus... and this comes with a real big shock when we had a 10 wheeler trailer going on head to head with us! Bugger was coming out from the R&R and going against the traffic. Beats the hell out of me what the driver wanted to do.

Anyway, I reached Jinhua safely in 1 piece and tucked into the World Trade Hotel aka NARADA. Its pretty cosy in here except the occasionally malfunction air conditioning system. The above is one of the quickie shot I took which shows the view out of my room's window. Nothing fancy to be honest. One of the cool thing is the room comes with a 100mbps internet cable and its super fast (when its working!). I will be exploring he local areas soon and keep on posting in here. For now, I gotta log off to try go search some food. :)


Zhai Jian! *ok my mandarin sucks*

Monday, July 7, 2008

Off To Shanghai

Okay, I received a last minute directive to fly to Shanghai this Monday night. Orders came late Friday evening so... I'm amid packing and all that usual stuff. I've put all photoshoots on hold, and thankfully all bookings and enquiries for the month of July/August/September has been re-directed to my partners. I guess I would consider these following 3 months as a break for me away from wedding scenes. However, I am bringing my basic photography gear along to China. So, expect some traveling photos instead. I am also intrigue to how local china people's lifestyle is, and I might do a small project with a theme following local portraitures. :)

Of lately, I received somewhat comments and critiques which arent very professional, in fact, they sound very full of hate. I am aware that there are some business competitors out there who would go to every extend to cause harm rather than bucking themselves up for a healthy competition. Such, is the sad state of local amateur photographers. They just cant take the heat of competition - healthily that is. What seize to amaze me is how one could stoop so low to actually using mockery on my name, just to try cause harm to me via my blog chatbox.

As webmaster, I have the option of deleting the posting done. However, I decided against it and also have spent some time replying the comments. I wish to inform those who have ill intention and being a mad hater to what I do, to just buck up. Such childish attacks wont weaken me a single bit - but will seize to make me stronger. Maybe for that alone, I should thank them! :)

So, for those out there who have the same issue with me - be strong and believe in what you do. Continue on what you do best. Healthy critiques are good. Harmful remarks can be taken with a stride as they seize to soon fizzles away. And with time, you shall emerge stronger than you think you can.

Well off to Shanghai in a couple of hours time!! C


Thursday, July 3, 2008

NIKON Announced First Mid Range Full Frame DSLR : D700

Last couple of days has been an exciting period of time especially for photography enthusiasts who use NIKON DSLR system. Ever since the launch of DSLR camera, it has been in my opinion that NIKON DSLR are somewhat a slight lag behind that of CANON's. And to add salt to the wound, CANON has got the first mid range full frame DSLR in its lineup - the CANON EOS 5D (To those who dont know what full frame means; its actually refering to the sensor size used in the camera. Full frame sensors are physically as large as the size of the conventional 35mm film).

July 1st was the day NIKON came out with their first mid range full frame DSLR - the D700. This would add many smiles on NIKON DSLR users. Personally, I've seen this coming along and thought it would be just a matter of time NIKON make this move. This is especially true when they launched the very successful D3 which sports a very very effective full frame sensor, which is capable of producing very low noise image at high ISO - and all these juice packed into a professional body. The D700 comes with the same sensor as the one found in its elder brother D3.

D700 is built around the similar chasis of D300 (the one which I am using). Its rigid magnesium alloy body would be solid and robust and would be able to withstand the work photoshooters put them thru. Anyway, the D700 specs which really impressed me is its speed. At stock, it can shoot up to 5fps, which to be honest isnt really a very high speed rating (the D300 could do 6fps at stock). However, NIKON came up with a very neat idea. Plug its battery grip, MB D-10 with some specific higher rating batts, and the D700 can be cranked up to 8fps! Thats right... 8 photographs taken in 1 second!

Full frames has always been favorite format to use for shooting bridal photos. The reason why they are being opted over cropped sensor is because of the amount of details it can retain, and also the creamier bokeh (background blur) generation which makes the photos to appear to have a softer touch to it; thus casting a very nice romantic feel to the whole scene. The details preserved are good to Since I am gonna venture into shooting bridal (on a more serious full time basis) pretty soon, D700 is surely within my radar scope.

At the moment, the D700 is being priced at a pre-order booking or RM10,300.00. I guess I'll just have to wait a little while and see the real thing before I can decide on further investment into this sweet baby :)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Back With An Oriental Shoot

Well well well... little did I realize it has been a month since I last updated in here. Okay, its in fact about 5 weeks - so thats more than a month. Lets see... what had went past. I was balancing a very tight schedule, juggling between my engineering job and also the photography part of my life.

I was scheduled to leave for China by July 1st. The date came and went, and I am still here. Talk about flip flop company policies and also weird, out-of-this-world method of managing an engineering consultancy. That's LOTUS to the unfamiliar ones out there. Our company motto is : "Change The Rules", and they have done that in many glorious ways back then in the past, when the LOTUS founder, Collin Chapman was still around. Nowdays, they do change and bend the rules... but in a very weird way which normally end up putting local engineers at very unpredicted state. Okay, enough ranting on my company.

I've done numerous photoshoot in the last couple of weeks. Some were wedding, a bridal, and also a few model shoots. I did one Melacca photoshoot for Soo Mei and Desmond, and its definitely a worth mentioning outing. Both Soo Mei and Desmond are very chirpy people and they will be tying the knot soon. So the outing was to shoot them in a very lovey-dovey way; but I imposed some rather stylistic touch to it :) The outcome was great, and since I did some strobist style shoot to it too... its gonna take a little while of time to post process the photos which she has selected.

Then I shot Stephenie Gregory in a sudden, out of the blue moon invite by Mike aka Zique. And the most recent photoshoot would be of Sofea at Then Hou Temple. I shall be posting Sofea's photos for this update.

I guess with the uncertain prospect of me going to China for a project, I will be updating here a lot more frequent.