07 September 2011

Film Film Film

Yay after many many many months of waiting for my films to be scanned, my finally Fuji Superia ISO 400 has been finally scanned and passed back to me. I have been most of my life shooting with digital but about 3 years back I bought a 300 bucks film SLR and been shooting it on and off. It still amazes me how sharp film is compared to digital. I have have my Canon 70-200 F4 for little over 2 years now and I always complained that at the 200mm range it is a bit soft and also the colors are always over exposed.

I was surprised at the results that I got shooting with my 70-200mm with my EOS50. It produced some seriously sharp result and the colors are not over blown as well. I think this is be contributed to the fact that film is much better at handling the dynamic ratio and details compared to my 5D.

As again when I head to Penang, my bro at I will go to our favourite lotus pond to do some photoshooting.

Brother was super ghairah and was all over the floor to get some shots of some tiny mushrooms. He had the benefit of a macro lens which I didn't bring. I did however managed to capture some pictures of mushrooms.

This couple of shots proved to me that the Canon 70-200 F4L is actually sharp even at 200mm. Both shots above were taken at 200mm I think. Looking at how the shot is framed. The second shot unfortunately is a bit front focused. It focused a bit on the front at the grass area instead of the mushroom itself. However it does looks pretty ok.

What is shooting at the Lotus Pond without a shot of the Lotus flower. We were lucky this time around as there were a few in full bloom.

The best thing about Lotus flower is the leafs as they are waterproof. We are able to capture some really cool "water droplets" and this again proves how sharp the 70-200 is at 200mm. I am still amazed at the sharpness of these photos.

Check out the little worm or mosquito larvae in the drop of water. The drop of water is super sharp and I am quite happy with the results. I didn't expect such a sharp picture and I only took 2 shots with different composition.

There was also a nice purple flower there right in the sun which made it easier to take.

I took this picture of the yellow flower that fell on the floor. It looks interesting because it was right above a wet patch on a concrete floor. The thing about this is that nothing in the picture is sharp at all but to me this shot still worked. It looked like it was taken using one of those old film camera. Somehow I like this shot and if it was too sharp, it would have given it a different feel.

The shot above is like because it is rotting leaf that fell into the lotus pond. It is just under the water and so happen the sun is shining just on it and nothing else. It emphasize it and majority of the background is black.

Last but not least is of course a picture of my brother's cat. However this wasn't taken in Penang, it was actually taken in Subang Jaya.

My bro and sis in law went overseas for a holiday and left their cat back at our Subang house. This cat a bit funny one, usually super afraid of me. One look at me and she run like she just saw a dog or a ghost. That happen the first 2 days she was at the Subang house. Then she realised that my bro and sis in law were not around, then she started to approach me to get her daily dose of manja-ness. I needed almost a week before she was comfortable enough to sleep while I was around. However in the end she still had this I AM ALWAYS WATCHING YOU look. Haha.

Love to shoot film, however it takes way too long to get it developed, scanned and finally published.

05 September 2011

Steph-deka 2011

Now we had this whole grand plan to have a Steph-deka 2011 on Merdeka day. It was supposed to start with some tennis then chilling at the pool with some beer and then proceed to having a BBQ by the side of the pool. That was the plan, however a few weeks later we (Steph and Me) got lazy and decided we should just catch a movie, go for dinner and then see what happens after.

So that is what we did, we all meet up for Cars 2 the movie at Tropicana city mall at around 3.30pm. In the morning Amy and I were at our new place cleaning the house again. The movie was ok ok only to me. The original cars was so much better and that is quite normal for sequel movies anyway. After the movie, Wen Way left the group because they had to attend Saw Wen's brother's birthday dinner. 

Since we were still early for our 7pm dinner appointment, we decided to chill out at Bad Ass Coffee. That is when the camera finally came out.

Gim relaxing on merdeka day
Steph and her sad face because her iphone is not jail broken

EV trying to figure out how to use my phone
I was actually whatsapp-ing with Juin Wei from Singapore and EV decided to talk to him as well. Being a Blackberry user, she is not used to the touch screen phones and took a while to type. I think she was more stressful typing on my phone then doing her lawyer business transaction. She burnt through 20% of my batteries talking to Juin Wei for about 45 minutes to an hour.

Finally it was time for dinner and we drove to place-that-shouldn't-be-named.

See how the name of the shop in the picture above has been "erased"? Well it is not me that wanted it, I took this picture of the shop's name and guess what? Gim and EV actually told me not to tell anyone about this place because it is already so popular and if more people know about it, it will be even more popular and crowded. I tell you I got some fish monger friend there. Here are the 2 culprits.

Gim talking passionately about the food at place-that-shouldn't-be-named
EV giving me a smile to not reveal place-that-shouldn't-be-named
Now if you are wondering why they are such fish mongers about the name and location about this place, well it is because the food is really good. This place was first introduced to Gim by his boss and his boss comes to this restaurant alot. So much so that usually when the cook has a new dish, he will invite Gim's boss to try.

Due to this, Gim has also visited this place alot and knows the people there as well. So he ordered some special dishes which are not on the menu. There are a few more dishes he wanted to order which is not on the menu but you need to order it in advanced. This is what Gim ordered.

This is the special Shark's fin soup with Sang Har. See the orange things floating in the soup, well that is the Sang Har or big prawns. Gim mentioned to us this is one of their speciality and you won't even need to put in any vinegar or anything because the soup is good enough. I had to agree and this is one of the first time in a long long long time that I actually went for 2 bowls of shark's fin soup. It was DELICIOUS!!!!

This is the special Mongolian pork chop. I cannot explain how it taste like but it was peppery and creamy at the same time. Amy suspects they put in peanut butter which I did get a small hint of it. The pork chop was very nice and tender and the sauce was really good as well.

This is their famous "Ham Yi Fa Lam Pou". Basically it is pork belly with dark sauce, dried chilis and salted fish cooked in a claypot. Gim said that best way to enjoy this dish was to mix the rice directly into the claypot and ask the cook to heat it up again. However since it was for sharing, we didn't try it out. This is really good, the pork and the salted fish was cooked just nicely and when the claypot was put infront of me, my mouth started watering almost instantly. One of the best I have had so far but it was on the oily side. Most likely made it taste better because it was oily.

The rest of the dishes were normal dishes but still taste fantastic.

4 angled beans

Ying yong Chicken

Thai Style Tofu
The 4 angle beans was pan fried but it was quite different. I was surprised it has a slight sour taste to it when normally it is cooked with sambal. The Ying Yong chicken was basically roasted chicken on one side and then "pak cham kai" cover with some spicy salad-ish sauce. Very good combo and the chicken was very nicely roasted. Very flavourful and it was actually a last minute addition to the menu. Finally it was the Thai Style tofu. This looks like a normal dish but what surprised me is the tofu. Normally this this the tofu is the harder type tofu but to my surprised it was actually the soft tofu. Really good dish.

It was a great dinner and yea the restaurant was PACKED to the brim, as we left the place I think there were at least 30-40 people outside waiting for tables. If you didn't book, you got to wait at least 45-60 min for a table. Even with out "special privileges" and we booked in advanced, we wait about 20 min for our table. The entire dinner even with the shark fin soup with Sang Har came up to only 160 bucks. I think that is pretty cheap for what we had for dinner that night.

With out tummies filled and the night was still young, we decided to head to 17 Saloon at Sunway Giza for some...

Lychee Beer
Interesting right? Well it was so so only I think. It was beer with the slight hint of lychee. It goes well for the ladies because it was a little sweeter. We drank and talk out hearts out and after 2 barrel and 4 pints later most of us were drunk except Gim. We had one more barrel to go and he finished that last barrel. 

It was a good day out and we had to thank Gim for introducing to use such a nice place for dinner. Too bad I can't reveal where the place it. :)

02 September 2011

Project KU KU(Partial Completion)

It has been quite sometime since I updated about the Project KU KU status. It has been busy times for both Amy and I as we sort out the stuff that we need to purchase and also works on the house before we could even think of shifting in. Majority of the renovation works were carried out by our ID/contractor and we only visited the house once a week which is on Friday most of the time.

After 3 months, lots of money spent, lots of time used and lots of coffee drunk, Project KU KU is at partial completeness. Although major renovations have been completed, keys handed back to us and the last payment made. However there are a couple more stuff that needs to be done before we can consider it fully completed. Things such as water filter and the grass for our lawn and all that which we are waiting till more funds comes in.

Before we started project KU KU, I had in mind to do a before and after shot of the house to see if the effort and money we put into this project is well worth it. So lets begin with the downstairs floor. The obvious place to start is of course the living room.

The first shot above is looking in from the front of the house and the second shot is from the dining area looking out towards the front of the house. Nothing much has changed other then a coat of paint and maybe the plaster ceiling. The best thing about this area is the red feature wall which we have purposely chosen to paint red so that it stands out.

Looking to the side of the living room space, there is the staircase area. Again nothing much has changed other then a coat of paint on the walls. Looking on the opposite side, there is also not much changes other then a coat of paint and some new switches

 The major area that has changed is the dry kitchen and wet kitchen area.

We have installed the dry kitchen cabinets and keeping to the bold stance, we also have chosen red for the cabinets. We decided that it would stand out from the black top that we have. On the right side of the current dry kitchen, we also decided to create a peninsular to separate the dining room from the dry kitchen. This will also serve as an excellent bar for drinks.We also moved the left wall back about 2 feet and you can see the if you look at the after picture there is a bit of a corner on the left hand side of the picture which was not there before.

Next we go into the wet kitchen which basically cost the bulk of the money as the entire area has been changed around.

If you look at the picture on the left, the door and the box like room used to be the downstairs toilet. However it was kinda in the way of the wet kitchen. So we decided which till today we think it is still the best decision we have made which is to demolish the entire toilet and shift it away. What was left is our wet kitchen. If you see on the picture on the right you will see there is a "pillar" on the far end wall, that is where the old toilet started.

The shot above is a shot from the other side of the new wet kitchen. As you can see the window which used to be there is no more there as the wall was brought back 2 feet behind. Our ID/Contractor also suggested we should move the toilet wall back 2 feet as the room was too big for a toilet and it would be great to put a washing machine. So we did it and it was again a good decision. 

This is what became of the spare room at the back. It was too small to be a room and way too big to be a store room. So we decided to change it into the bathroom. Right beside the bathroom is also the guest room. We changed it to a study room but it ain't got any furniture to make it look like a study as yet.

Nothing special other then the windows has shrunk dramatically and we made a mistake there. Since we didn't have much money, we decided to reuse one of the exterior windows which we were not using anymore. However because of that that window you see in the above picture opens up to the dry kitchen and can be dangerous to people walking by. Unfortunately it cost way too much to replace and so we have to live with what we got. We did however paint the entire room yellow.

Now heading upstairs we got first of course the staircase.

We had grand ideas for this staircase as we wanted our house to look really modern with aluminium hand rails and glass. However, in the end the budget didn't allow for it and we had to settle with the original handrails and grills. It did get a new coat of paint and also the floor was re-polished. We did however change the light too....

This light was actually sold as an exterior light. However I thought it would be cool to be put at our staircase because it not only shines downwards but it also shines upwards. Amy was against this initially and after we bought it, I was kinda nervous about it as well. However after it went in and it was turned on, it look pretty cool.

Just as you reach the top of the staircase, you will see the family hall. We didn't do much to the upstairs floor except for the master bed room area. Majority of the rooms were just repainted and the floor re-polished. However we picked some bold colors for the rooms. Again after picking the colors, we were pretty nervous that the colors will be too crazy. However, I think it turned out pretty ok.

Family Hall

Blue Room

Green Room

The colors are actually starting to grown on us. We loved the green room once we saw it. However the blue room needed a bit getting used to since it was such a bold and bright color. The master bedroom didn't have much changes as well other then a coat of paint.

We did however put in a new wardrobe...

It was the most affordable one we could find without breaking the budget. The people who came to install the wardrobe was pretty good as well. They didn't scratch anything or dent anything at all. They were very meticulous about the doors on top and ensured both close properly and were aligned. We were pretty impressed by the installers I have to say.

Now another major part that was renovated was our master bedroom toilet. It cost a bomb as well because of all the fixtures and tiles.

We got a good deal on the solid top that you see there as it didn't cost any more then a normal solid top. The wide mirror you see was also a bonus as we got a taller one for absolutely no added cost. It even comes with lights...

Again this entire bathroom was designed by my ID/Contractor and the only thing we were involved in was the washing bowl which we bought and the shower fixtures. I think he has done a great and fantastic job and if you need a highly reliable and design oriented contractor, please let me know. Oh yea ignore the idiot taking the picture. He kinds spoilt the picture but no choice, no tripod. Haha.

From the inside of the house we go to the outside of the house. Majority of the outside of the house hasn't changed other then a re-coat of paint.

The only major change you can see in the pictures above is we change the tiles on the apron from white to black and that is about it. There was one other change again courtesy if our ID/contractor.

We are loving that new window by the way. If you want to see how it looks like from the inside, head back up to the picture of the dry kitchen.

It has been a long, painful and cash draining experience. However, we have done it and I would have never been able to do it without the help and support from Amy. She sometimes was the counter balance to my heavy handed purchasing brain. Hehe. I am glad that it is over and I am very happy with what we got. We still have a few things to do but at least it won't cost a bomb. Hehe.