Sunday, November 30, 2008

Counting Down To Being A Mac

The wait has been kinda long. Although it has been like just 2 days ago when I gave KC the nod that I am confirming the purchase of a new gadget... but the wait has been a very very long one. Or at least it felt long. Desmond is back in KL and he will be bringing my new baby back to Jinhua tomorrow or latest by Tuesday. Sigh... still so many hours to go.

And while I wait, I just can'l help but to browse YouTube for videoclips of "unboxing ceremony" by the many proud owners of the highly acclaimed Mac. To be honest, coming from using a PC for so many years; this sure feels like taking a step off the cliff without knowing what's beneath the abyss.

Consider the video clip I am attaching together with this posting, and I just have to list down the many features which I am definitely impressed with my new purchase.

1. Solid and rigid unibody machined from a single slab of aluminium. I've had enough of filmsy compaq notebooks which warps.
2. The awesome Mac screen. 15" of pure rich colors which I am sure will please my future clients who are gonna be seeing their photos on this baby.
3. 6MB L2 Cache with 1066MHz FSB, with matching 4GB 1066MHz DDR-III.
4. Dual graphics card which is gonna make life more flexible - I can then choose between power saving mode, or uummmpph mode. ;)
5. Gone will be the days when I have to feel around and stress my eyes to see the keyboard in the dark. Backlit keyboard baby - oh yeah!

I am sure there are many more pros which I will find out once I started using it. I am still kinda skeptical on the switch, and it kinda rekindles the time when I moved from Canon to Nikon. However, I believe this decision should be a right one. Only time will and can tell.

So... 1 more day of waiting...

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving Party @ World Trade Hotel

Pheww... we had a Thanksgiving Party which was held at Jinhua's World Trade Hotel last Wednesday. Most of my colleagues were present, minus those who were enroute back to KL. Anyway, it was certainly a fun filled night. World Trade Hotel had their main lobby and restaurant all decorated and also arranged some of their staffs all dressed up based on Chritsmas theme. Couldn't help it but to rush back to my place to grab my camera.

Anyway, here are some photos which I took (some were shot by colleagues and also Tan TS.) and edited to add some snazzy spazzy element of humor to it. :)


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Photoshoot : Qian Hong Yu

I went out for a quick photoshoot with Tan TS about 2 weekends ago. This time Tan arranged the shoot with a local lass who owns a hair saloon. She is a natural poser, and thanks to her tall and slender physique, she just flows in front of the camera.

It was a rather foggy and overcast morning, and Hong Yu brought along her daughter (yes, she is married with a daughter!) for the shoot. I guess the little girl did keep Tan busy for a while with her antics and also running up and down. So, while I was snapping away at Hong Yu; Tan was trying to be a nanny! LOL.

The shoot was pretty simple and it took place at this park called : Bing Hong Gong Yuen. I didn't pack heavily and was relying on shady areas for a more contrasty photo between lights and shadows. Also, seeing the overcast and foggy ambience kinda made it senseless to bring along a huge reflector. So, all I packed was my D700 and also 2 lenses - which was the Nikkor 24-70mm f2.8, as well as the faithful Nikkor 70-200mm f2.8VR.

Here's the funny part. While waiting for Hong Yu to arrive, I kinda had urgent nature's call. A quick hunt for toilet at the park and a bunch of "emergency" toilet paper from Tan; off I went. I have to say that this has gotta be the worst public toilet I've ever encountered thruout my stay in China. While I've heard of horrific and even worse toilet conditions, never did I thought I would encounter one myself.

Simply put it this way : the loo has got no doors, no lights, no flushing system, no water for cleansing, and definitely no toilet papers/rolls. It is a simple toilet bowl (yeah one gotta squat for the business) with 3 wooden (more like plywood) walls around it, with no doors. To make matters worse, ya gotta actually thread around carefully so that ya wont step on any residue or pee or shit-splat. Sounds eewww right? But when urgent matters calls and when ya gotta do for it - there's just no time for other options.

Now this is what I call - shite.... LOL. A definite "shitty" experience.

Anyway, here's some photos of Hong Yu which I took after relieving myself. Hahah...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

New Sound System : Edifier S530D

When I am under immense stress, I do get off some steam by pumping out some bassy tracks. I used to be able to do it with a set of old Altec Lansing, but that was ages ago - even it still works great. But, since nowdays I am on the move a lot, I ended up with a pair of Sennheiser headphones which to be honest does the job very well.

Now that I am in China, and my room is kinda... well... empty, so I decided to get a pair of "stress relieving machine". A couple of stroll down the local IT Mart kinda helped narrowed down the choices which I had. I was looking at Edifier, Altec Lansing, Creative Labs, and also some local Chinese branded speakers. They are relatively cheap since they are all mostly made in China (heck what IS NOT MADE IN CHINA thesedays? LOL).

Anyway after a few rounds and a couple of hours spent on thinking and testing the speakers, I ended up taking home a set of 2.1 speakers. I just decided to jumped on the Edifier S530D which features some massive and whalloping specs. *grin* The S530D is apparently a very much sought after set of multimedia speakers amongst avid gamers and audiophile back in KL (source: Low Yat Forum). Anyway, the Edifier S530D packs the following :

Power output
Satellite : RMS 35W x 2
Subwoofer : RMS 70W (THD=10%)
Signal to noise ratio :  85dBA
Input sensitivity : PC: L/R: 600mV +/- 30mV
SW: 200mV +/- 30mV
CD: L/R: 720mV +/- 30mV
SW: 330mV +/- 30mV
Frequency response : L/R: 158Hz ~ 20kHz SW: 20Hz ~ 130Hz

Okay, I know some of these figures doesnt even make any sense to myself. LOL. As far as I am concerned, the wattage of the speakers alone is enough to rock my room back to stoneage. Yeah it is that full filled with uummmpph! Just put it this way, the maximum volume I can crank this baby up is up to 50, and when plugged into my notebook with WAVE and MASTER set to about 50%... all I needed is just turn the volume on the speakers to about 23-24 to have some vibration feel pumped into my bed! The windows and walls start to rattle at around 28. I can imagine how many people and neighbors will hate me for the immense noise when I am pumping Linkin Park out! Haha...

Oh, and the damage done to the pockets - RMB1520. I guess the headache now would be how the heck am I gonna ship this baby back to KL when I am done here! LOL.

Friday, November 21, 2008

To Mac Or Not To Mac

There is an urge for me to go and grab that beautifully done Macbook Pro 15" and switch to using it for all and whatever tasks I need to do. My aging Compaq 15" is really taking a beating from the crunches I put it thru. Even with that extra 1GB memory, its still pretty slow. Here's to what I would do with a new Mac if I were to get it:

1. Post processing photographs
2. Making DVD slideshows for clients during their wedding day
3. Plan to run Windows XP just for the sake of using CATIA V5R17 - so I can use it to do 3D models of engineering parts and systems.
4. Play some simple games such as DOTA.

The new 15" all aluminium Macbook Pro will cost about RM9,000/= and it sure is a bang. I already have a PC which runs on an Intel Quadcore but mobility is something I require thesedays especially when I am on the move so much.

So, what do ya'll think?
I've posted a simple poll on the sidebar for this purpose - help me decide.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Graceful Art of Tai Chi

I come across all sorts of people from time to time, and from places to places. However, tai-chi practitioners are not a common sight back in Malaysia, or maybe I should say - due to my lifestyle back in KL, it's kinda hard to actually come across people who practice tai-chi in open public. I know for certain that there are people who practice it as a form of exercise... but here in China, its very much different.

I've met people of various age groups who actively practice the art of tai-chi, and they do so either in a group or on solo basis. The best part is, most of them normally go on their tai-chi routine in full costumes which made them even more like a kung-fu master. How cool is that?!

Last weekend when I was out shooting random people and also various street themed shoots, I came across this slightly aged man who was gracefully tai-chi-ing his way around. The whole setup was just made for photography, so I cant help it but to snap away. Here's what and how the whole scene was :

1. Sun was down casting on a very nice angle due to the fall season. Warm and shades from nearby trees adds drama to the whole background scene.
2. Tai chi man didnt mind his photos taken even I was just about 10 meters away from him.
3. He's aged. He wore the costume. And he gracefully moved.

To be very honest, I am amazed at how this man could move himself with the slow-mo movements. Its graceful, and at times ends a certain punch or spear hand jab with such inner strength which made his whole body jutters. I can certainly hear that breath of "hmmphh!" whenever the swift and slow punch ends with a suddent force. If the punch is really filled with inner strength forces... I dare not think what it could potentially do to a human body.

Either way, it was certainly interesting, and here are his photos which I am sharing with ya'll.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Trishaw Man

One of the many distinctive features of transportation services in Jinhua City lies in the trishaw services. Well of course this comes after the daily suicide-mode taxi drivers who fetches me to and from workplace. There are plenty of trishaws peddlers who will fetch you to not-so-far areas for a small fee. The interesting part is, none of them will ever cross the bridge - meaning to say, trishaws from North will not service to South of Jinhua City and vice versa.

Anyway, I was strolling around with Tan TS and we decided to hunt for a trishaw peddler to shoot. It is rather uncommon for local Chinese men to sport moustache and also beard. I dont know why this is so, but lets just say that I was looking for a male trishaw peddler with a character - and this must come with some form of facial hair!

So there we were, 2 funky dudes with DSLRs walking from streets to streets, and eyeing on trishaw peddlers. Finally we came across one, and decided to ask him to fetch us to a nearby park. The journey took about 10 minutes, with some sloped roads which sure made him peddled even harder. And mind you, for such a journey, all he was asking for was just RMB5 (for comparison sake, a can of coke cost RMB3).

While taking the ride, we asked the man for a 10 minute photoshoot, and he declined. Understanding that time means money, and more so for this trishaw peddler I decided to offer him some monetary compensation for his time. He obliged at RMB20. When we reached the park, Tan paid him RMB30 instead and he was very very happy. And nothing beats a happy man from posing for our cameras! :)

So here they are some of the photos of this great man, who works hard everyday... regardless of rain or shine, hot or cold, winter or summer. He's out there ferrying people from places to places.

ps. I saw him the next morning while I was walking to a taxi stand. He recognized me and waved at me and gave me a friendly smile. It made my day knowing that I once made him a happy man. :)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Congratulations Amin!

A fellow buddy of mine here in China just decided to quit smoking. It happened kinda out of a sudden, and he just did it. Its been almost 2 weeks now since he touched his last stick, and a lot of us friends are giving him plenty of encouragements. Apart from that, he has been hitting the gym and also pumping a lot of iron. He said that while it definitely improved him awareness instead of always feeling lethargic, most importantly he also feels very healthy now. I somehow do noticed that he's kinda energetic these days and decided to give him a little encouragement too. Here's how I did it.

I gave him a photoshoot. :)

I hope that these shots will remind him of how he would look better without having to smoke his lungs out. :)