Sunday, October 26, 2008

AYA Dream Malaysia Awards 2008

This post is dedicated to my dear friend Michael Teoh, without whom life in IICP would be a lot less interesting. His entrepreneurial spirit has led to the successful organisation of many fun and memorable events, and many of them are firsts in the college's history. It remains one of the biggest highlights of my life, and is likely to remain so until I (ever) get married/win a Pulitzer/get arrested as a terrorist in NSW for real.

Today, his undying spirit and boldness in dreaming big as brought him to various competitions all over the world, and this time: AYA Dream Malaysia Awards 2008. I am writing to urge my readers, particularly those in Malaysia, to show your support.

Mike's profile and voting instructions (within Malaysia only) can be found here:

Moral support is good too, for those with issues with SMS voting.

Good luck mate! And I'll see you on the 9th :)

Thank you.

Friday, October 24, 2008

The point of the competition is?

I just really don't understand.

Quite often, businesses would sponsor or host competitions in order to get the finest ideas the public can offer. Best photo, best architecture, best business idea... ect. The 9/11 memorial is probably one of the more recent famous examples.

What I don't get, is when the "winning" entry does not get first prize. It gets even more confounding if the 1st prize entry simply gets discarded. I mean, if its good enough to use while others weren't, why didn't it get first prize? This can a most distasteful experience for a runner-up.

A couple of years back, during my primary school years, I build a cut-out model of a volcano for my science project, and won 2nd or 3rd prize for my effort. The 1st prize was a volcano build out of playdough, and it simply get discarded after the competition. My entry stayed in the science room as a teaching tool for years... I don't know if its still there, but apparently it is the most educational entry they ever had.

A couple of months ago, a friend of mine participated in a photography competition and won 2nd prize. Now, the 1st prize photo is nowhere to be seen. Her photo gets used for promotional purposes instead. A real pity because she really need a dSLR (although she seemed to prefer a Nikon, not the Canon offered), but get a compact instead although the organisers used her photo.

A couple of days ago another friend of mine went for a business case competition. Well... basically his idea gets rejected, so he lost... and then the CEO came back and said "hey, maybe you're right".

There are many ways to accept defeat graciously, but these guys aren't making things easier... I'd guess defeat tastes most bitter when you know you have been beaten by someone who is NOT a better person.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Kuala Lumpur Photography Festival 2008

While the Germans are wrapping up photokina, we Malaysians are kicking up our own photo trade show (ya lah, ya lah, we're kiasu lah).

It was two days of fun listening to talks, checking out the latest gear (including the beta version of the 5D MkII, which just touched down in Malaysia at 11am of Day 1, but I'm not too interested in :p), meeting up and chatting with photogs whom I would otherwise only know by their internet nicknames, and participating in photo contests.

I also brought along my portfolio. On Day One, I offered someone to comment on it. He said I'm good at getting whatever shot I want, the problem is getting out of the box.

And so I took the lesson to heart, and on the next day I participated in the Fujifilm Model Shoot contest. Here is the consolation prize photo:

lol, model shoot competition pic, minus the model...

Those folks with the big lenses, weird flash diffusers, and step ladders are going to be pissed if they find out how I took this shot. kekeke...


Yup... tagged again. Oh well, at least someone had me in mind, for whatever reason. Thanks Sandra.

Rules of the game are:

  1. Link to your tagger and post these rules in your blog.
  2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
  3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
  4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Right... let's begin!

  1. According to mom, I started running before I learnt to walk properly at 10 months old, resulting in some broken teeth.

  2. For the most of my childhood, I had to spell the word "chocolate" before eating the tasty stuff. Its the law... Makes sense: the word is long and the rewards substantial. What better way to learn spelling? Of course, me and my siblings quickly acquired the habit of add "s" at the end :p.

  3. My passion for photography started from an instruction manual of a compact camera, which I found to be an interesting read. The rest is history...

  4. I am incredibly tolerant of criticism. I think its like looking into the mirror, except that you'll see the inner beauty rather than outer beauty, or the lack of it. Unfortunately, I am often clueless about what to do with the criticism, just as I have no clue on how to style my hair even though I know it sucks.

  5. That being said, I used to have an incredibly short temper when I was much younger. Just ask that hole I made in my bedroom wall with my feet. :p

  6. Just as I am incredibly tolerant of criticism, I am also very blunt when it comes to dishing it myself. Although it is done with good intentions (I'm very hard to piss off anyway), I really really need to remind myself to be more tactful.

  7. For some reason which I have yet to understand, people think I'm a weirdo or something especially those who I've just gotten to know.. In any case, I hope to resolve this ASAP. Now... where do I start......

Now... the fun part. Tagging people and read their response. Hmm...

  1. the other Sandra
  2. her Siamese twin Mei Zhi
  3. evil Shuen.
  4. Pi-Jay-Squared
  5. Dr. Ng the Mad (or Med?)
  6. Buried in cockroaches Ju (don't worry, I've been there. Yeah, it sucks :( )
  7. And the artist studying computers for reasons I'll never understand.
7 already? Aww shucks...

Thursday, October 16, 2008


If some unthinkable event happens where I have to choose to spend money on laptops rather than... say... a 580EX II flash gun, it better be a 13.3" or smaller!

This thing is bloody bulky and heavy!!!

And slow!!!

PS: I need an internal DVD writer, so subnotebooks are out of the question. Battery life of most subnotebooks are unacceptable too. Maybe I'll wait for the technology to mature.

PPS: Wow, that t-shirt idea stirred quite a bit of interest within the local photographic community. Not enough to make me feel like making it happen though.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

T-shirt design

Just for fancy.

Font used is Hypatia Sans Pro. Let me know if you want to print it. I want one. Left half = Front.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Halloween Party Gone Wrong

You have no idea how much verbal abuse and threats I have taken in the process of making this photograph...

Photography is NOT a Crime!!!

Summary of public perception of photographers:

  1. If you photograph children other than your own, you're a paedophile.

  2. If you photograph a girl/woman whom you don't know, you're a pervert/sexual predator.

  3. If you photograph your meal at a restaurant before eating it, you're stealing recipes.

  4. If you photograph a creative work (sculptures, store-fronts, dances, ect), you're an art thief.

  5. If you photograph a workplace, you're an industrial spy.

  6. If you photograph a landmark or busy place (train stations, ect), you're a terrorist. (I fit into this category, and nearly got arrested).

  7. If you photograph a tragedy (fire, accident, ect)... don't care, scream at you first until you're deaf. Or just lynch you.

  8. If you photograph a not-so-legal activity, you're either a law enforcement officer, or photojournalist. Either way, you are to be lynched. Probably given cement shoes.

Note: Applies to SLR/dSLR users only. The bigger the camera+lens, the bigger the prejudice (its exponential).

If anyone designs a decent looking "Photography is not a crime!" t-shirt, I'll wear it everyday for a week.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Where da heck are the water crackers?

Last post was a flop. No one understood it. And here I am still trying to be a journalist. I wonder if I would accidentally start WWIII with my writings some day.

Next topic!

I'm in the market for water crackers. Why? To down it with a tasty slice of gourmet cheese!

A water cracker should be rather mild savoury taste, so not to snatch the limelight from the stronger tasting cheese (especially if the cheese is not-so-strong tasting, like brie). What I get instead of crackers too salty, too sweet, and.... what's with that vanilla flavouring?!

Imagine eating a super-salty Danish blue cheese, with super-salty crackers. I would be instantly mummified....

Where the heck do I find those crackers in Malaysia?

Oh well, not that many gourmet cheeses around anyway.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Worst fears...

I've been bugging the counsellor quite a lot these days, taking one test or another for the fun of it. Let's call it self-discovery eh?

About a week ago, she asked me (in more specific terms that I write here) how do I balance my lifestyle, especially personal relationships.

I have yet to give a reply, but the question made me shiver.

Then I watched a video on It was mentioned that "The richest and fullest lives attempts to reach an inner balance between three realms: work, love and play. And that to pursue one realm to the disregard of the others is to open oneself to ultimate sadness at older age."

I trembled in fear.

Doris Kearns Goodwin: Learning from past presidents in moments of crisis

Then I watched the video "Kiwi!" on YouTube.

I freaked out.


What have I done? Have I gone too far?

A portrait of me?

Now what?

Sunday, October 05, 2008

The (falling) Star

I has been quite some time since the last time I bought a copy of The Star, formerly my favourite newspaper. It doesn't make sense to pay for propaganda out of my own pocket.

Yesterday, I saw a copy on my sofa, probably belonging to one of my housemates. The headlines read "It's Hotting Up".

Right... they must have switched to some language other than English while I wasn't looking...

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