Flowers in Hokkaido (Summer)


This gallery contains 26 photos.

As you know, during my recent trip to Hokkaido for my honeymoon, I was amazed at the beautiful flowers that were available. Flowers were everywhere.  Every household had a small patch where they will grow Lavendar, Sunflowers, and other assortment … Continue reading

Black and White

It’s been a long time since my last post. Had been busy with work.  From user manuals to attending requirement meetings, to drafting requirement specifications, then attending more meetings, and doing more user manuals, and drafting more requirement specifications … You get the picture right ?  Arghhh I so needed this post.

ANYWAY, recently been trying out the Kodak 400 Tri X.  If you can’t afford a Leica M Monochrome, well….  that’s probably the next best thing…  to me personally that is.

Here are some images that I took from my Zorki 4.  Will possibly purchase Arista Premium 400 B&W soon.  I heard reviews from fellow mates that it is actually the Kodak 400 Tri X, only cheaper.

As usual, first subject, the youngest of them all, Cara Faith

Always keen in putting something in her mouth, that silly girl.

Next up, her brother and her, mucking about.

Personally, I really like the Zorki 4.  As compared with the Yashica GSN, which is a Aperture Priority, with the full manual control of the Zorki 4, I can control the exposure of the pictures.

Here’s one of Natty and Cara, busy with putting stuff into their mouths again.

Like this shot of Kyeron by himself.

Finally, the two eldest.  Natty and Kyeron, engrossed on their iPADs.

Look up both of you.

Overall, there’s something about Black and White that captivates me.  Perhaps it’s the lack of color that intriguies the eyes to scan through for more details.

By God’s grace

On a great Saturday, thought would like to share this photo I took from my Nokia Lumia 900 earlier this week.

As I seat here at home on my sofa, would like to just reflect on the grace and blessings given by God, to my family and myself.  We are really nothing without You.

Thank you God.  No words best express my gratitude of your grace and mercy given to us elected ones.

Its all about little Cara

My last roll from my Zorki of my little one before I hit the streets.  I now feel slightly more confident then a month ago and hopefully I get my exposures right.

Actually I was very surprise by the outcome as somehow, don’t know why this roll not as grainy as before. Perhaps its was the film, Fuji C200.

Don’t block me from watching telly.

Gimme a hug.

You have to admit… I’ve got style.

Really like the DOF of the Zorki 4 here at f2.  Really impressive.

Here are the last few shots.

And lastly, the ever famous blur Cara look.

Hope you guys like these series of Cara.  Here’s a parting shot from the 3 stoogers.  Don’t they look alike ?

The curious case of expensive films

Funny title, but really not that funny to me.. 😦 .. Sheesh …  Whenever I load in an ‘expensive’ film, it’ll fail on me.  The other time on my Yashica GSN was a Kodak BW400CN.  It snapped on me, and me being a noob open it, stared at it, and had my entire film spoilt due to my stupidity.

This time, for some reason, my Kodak Ektar 100 got stuck while shooting halfway on my Zorki 4.  Darn it …  You know these films cost like S$9 bucks per roll.  Arghhhhhh !!!!.. so again, being the noob, I roll back my film, tried to get it unstuck before I begin shooting again, knowing I would get multiple exposures, but I didn’t have much choice.  So what happened ?  The below happened.  Arghh !!!

But I carried on and got a few of these.

But again, being the super noob, I was afraid of wasting the entire film, as either my Zorki 4 film counter is spoilt or I don’t know how to use it, hence I couldn’t estimate at which number of shot I screwed up, so I didn’t want to have too many multiple exposures, hence I stopped.  But being the silly noob again, I wasted half my roll unexposed due to my fear. Arghhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!.. Nevermind.. Try again .. everytime something happens, we learn and get better right ?

So at the same time, I also finished my roll on my Yashica GSN.  Now my last time, I had it to the max before tried to unwind and my film snapped.  This time I kept it at about the 36 shot mark before I unwind my roll and guess what ?  The thing snapped again !!!!.. Arghhhhh !!!!….  Well, this time, I left it there, and brought it to Triple D Minilab Center to take it out for me.  Hey .. I learned right ?

Anyway, here are some from my Yashica GSN.

Apologies for the same content over my last few posts as recently really am busy with work, hence the only time I have left to shoot is during weekends, where the family demands my time.  Trying to squeeze some lunch hour this week to see if I can take some interesting happenings around my work area.

I did however manage to catch some home chinese tuition with the kids by the missus.  Here are some of the shots.  Can be quite blur still as I’m have yet to send my Yashica for CLA (Clean, Lubricate, Adjust) and have a hazy Viewfinder.

Once again, thanks for dropping by, and hope to hear your honest comments.

Street next.

Zorki 4

My Zorki 4 arrived in my mail last week.  Was packed quite securely.

This camera is an interesting one.  It has no light meter, fully manual and has interchangeable lens.  It’s an LTM screwed on mount.

Unlike my Yashica GSN, because it has no light meter, I had to guess my exposure setting.  Being a newbie, that resulted in a few washout over exposed shots.  Well…. not a few, but almost half of my first roll went that way.  I adopted the Sunny 16 rule during Kyeron’s recent swimming trip, but either I did something wrong, or what, but all my shots were over exposed.  Nevermind, I’ll try again.

Here’s a few pictures from my first and second roll with it.  Took it when Natty had her ballet lessons @ i12.

Here are some shots taken from home where the light was much better.

More to come, as I’m sending my other 2 rolls for processing today.  On recommendation from a fellow Clubsnap member, there’s another film developing shop at Burlington Square by the name of Triple D Minilab Centre, which is much cheaper than Konota.

Yashica GSN

So i went for our honeymoon to Hokkaido, and I was chatting with a fellow hobbyist, and he introduced me to cheap film Rangefinders.  Ever since being poisoned by the Leica M9, I was determine to get a cheap Rangefinder to try it out.  So the tour Kaki recommended me the Russian Zorki.

So when I came back, I googled and searched.  From Russian Rangefinders like Zorki, Fed and Kiev, to Japanese Rangefinders like Canon QL 17, Konica Auto S2/S3, and Yashica GSN.  Then I set a budget not exceeding a 200 bucks, and went on eBay to check it out.

Found a great Yashica GSN, and bought it for about S$120.  I just love the look of the Yashica.  I knew it would be slightly heavy, but hey, my 5DM3 ain’t a feather too.  I also bought a Zorki 4 for about S$80 bucks.  I wanted to try a full manual interchangeable lens camera hence the Zorki 4.

So, the Yashica GSN arrived last week and I couldn’t wait to run a few rolls in it, well, that is if I know how to.

Here’s a look at my Yashica GSN.  (By the way, you do know in the current Spiderman 2012 movie, Peter Parker was using the Yashica GSN as shown here)..  It came with the Sunpac Auto 101 flash kit.

So went over to Peninsula to recee and tried Konota.  Heard some good reviews from Clubsnap and the guy I spoke to was very friendly.  I was a super noob and he was patient in his explaination, on what is slide and negative, and what is Velvia slide.  He recommended me to try out ISO 400 films first as it was easier if I had under expose my shots.

So I bought a Kodak 200, 400 and a 400 B&W as I always love to shoot in B&W.  Hey, if I can’t get a Leica M Monochrome, at least I can get a roll of B&W to act like one yeah ?  Ok Ok, don’t start on the M Monochrome’s sensor not being sensitive to color, hence B&W is much sharper etc.  I know that stuff… well, sort off.

Because the camera supports the olden mercury battery, and no one else will sell it now for fear of poisoning oneself, I bought a battery adaptor from Yashica Guy, so that I can use a common current battery, but it does seem to take AGES for it to arrive hence I am force to shoot at 1/500 for now and it arrived finally.  Initially had some problems with it, but managed to get it to work perfectly.  With the adaptor, all I need is a 4LR44 battery together with the adaptor and it will work.  You can also use 4 small LR44 batteries too.  I reckon it’s the same.  How do I know ?  Erm .. well….  one is 4LR44, and the other is 4 x LR44….  so……..  hhm……

Anyway, so I tried to insert my first roll in (which was the 400). Can’t be that hard can it?  Make sure the holes get into the teeth, wind, and that’s it.  right ?  Anyway, tried for 20 mins, and just couldn’t get it to wind in.  Went over to P&G Photographic Centre and spoke to a Mr Andrew.  I told him i couldn’t get my film in and perhaps it was missing a part.  He opened it and told me I didn’t do it properly, and showed me how to.  I did everything right, but missed the most important step, which is to clip the film into the holder before you wind.  ARGHHH !!!!….  Anyway, so I did it finally, and here’s my virgin few shots, which must definetely be the ever gorgeous missus. (All photos are directly scanned by Konata, and I did not do any post processing.)

We had dinner at the awesome Orchard Yong Tau Fu.  Trust me, it’s one of the best Yong Tau Fu you can find in Singapore.

Here are some sample of lovely Cara, my youngest one.  Love the bokeh of the f1.7.

Then my second girl came along, and wanted to join in.  Here are some shots of Natasha and Cara.

Pity the last picture was not sharp.  Still struggling with the Rangefinder as it was quite hazy.  Would probably get it CLA with P&G.

Wasn’t too impress with the 4-Base scanning, hence bought a second hand Epson V330 so hopefuly, it can do better.

Hope I can do better with the B&W currently loaded in the GSN.  Still waiting for my Zorki 4.  Hopefully I can get it by this week.

I too hope I can get more Hokkaido images up by the coming week too.

Back from my honeymoon

Finally .. woohoo.. back from my honeymoon in Hokkaido.  It was fun, but I’m glad to be back too.

Had a wonderful time with Steph, and together, we took many great keepers.  While I’m post processing them, here are 2 beautiful ones first.  Minimal post processing were done; just tweaking the contrast slightly.

The shot below was taken at Shikisai-no-oka flower gardens.  I really like this place.  Prefer here than Farm Tomita as although smaller, we get to drive buggies around, and stop whenever and wherever we want to take pictures of beautiful flowers.  Thought it would be fun to play around with a long exposure to see how the effect of Sunflowers breezing through the sun.  Was using the 17-40mm lens @ f22, 30 secs, ISO 100 with the B&W ND110 10 Stopper filter screwed on.

As we were moving from Furano to Abishiri, we stopped by Ginga Ryusei Falls.  In all honesty, I wasn’t too keen on the 2 waterfalls as there were little to aim at, and they didn’t look that nice too.

What interested me was the stream below them.  I went down to take a better look, and this was what I got.  Shot wide open @ 17mm, f11, 25 secs @ ISO 400, with the ND110.  Cheated with a higher ISO to ensure my shots are kept @ below 30 secs, so that the entire tour doesn’t wait for me.

Hope you like these two.  I’ll be adding more soon, so do come back.

Comments please…

How to overcome your fears in Street Photography

Hey, it’s nothing to be ashamed of.  right ?  Google the above topic and you will see that fear is still prevalent as a street photographer.  It’s human nature to resist taking a photo without permission of someone else.  Will I get punched ? or abused ? or be shown the finger ? or whatever.  Hey, I have a young family with me, so I have to be accountable to them right ?

Well, you’ve heard it from me first in here.  I’ve never ever been abused, punched or shown the finger yet.  Not once, uh hmm.  Well, it’s also good to note that, that’s because I’ve only actually been out taking street photographs fewer then 5 times with my x100.

But hey, don’t take it from me.  Check out Eric Kim’s tips on how to get overcome your fears.  He’s given 31 tips (or days to try each out), ranging from pretending that your camera was spoilt when shot taken, or closing your eyes just before you take that shot, or shooting from the hip …

I’ve tried out his techniques while shooting and they do work.  So while I’m honeymooning in Hokkaido these 2 weeks, here’s something to help you along your way.

Oh yes, one final tip.  Just smile after you’ve taken the shot.

Here are a few hip shots I took during one of my trips to Orchard.


Heck, I’ll try anything to get exposure.

When I first received an invitation from Oriental Hotel Singapore to participate in a contest, I was pensive.  First, let me declare that this invitation was sent as an Electronic mailer, i.e. was for everyone whom is in their mailing list, and not because I’m some celebrity photographer.  I wished.

Anyway, so I wasn’t too keen, because I had to submit 3 photographs on food.  Although I do take a few here and there, it’s only for fun, unlike Street and Landscape photography, which I really like.  However, if they do like my initial submission and call me up, I will be with a group of 9 fellow photographers invited by the hotel to shoot their mooncakes.  I’m dying for some form of exposure.  So since I’m having a company retreat today, and was going to Carousel for lunch, hence I thought why not, let’s try.

Being a buffet, I had to decide on the arrangement of each ‘dish’.  So played around with different colors and theme.

So here they are below.  My first attempt at food photography with my x100.

I love my sushi, and I do take almost any kind of raw fish sushi, but I never did like Tamago (Egg Sushi) and the seaweed sushi (The Green one), and I almost never take ginger, but for the sake of the photo, I took the most colorful ones and played around with the arrangement.

I love any kind of sashimi.  The above shows the sashimi available for lunch, i.e. Salmon (Orangy), Tuna (Reddish) and Yellow Tail (slighly transparent).  The carrots and the small piece of green leave was to add additional color.

So we arrived at 1pm, and we were informed we only had 1 hour before they close the buffet.  No choice, had to be selective with the food I choose, so I opted for the Drunken Prawn next.  Not my favourite though.

My colleague took 3 huge slices of the roasted beef, and I thought I should too.  But having a bigger belly then him, I opted for one slice, with 2 lamb saussies.

Lastly, dessert with coffee.  The chocolate ice cream was heavenly.

So there you have it.  My first attempt at food photography.  Should not be my last as I have another sumptious dinner tomorrow at Dozo, so hope to bring you more of that if I can.

As usual, do give me your comments if you can yah.