Property photography assignment from November 2013 for Armada Properties featured in February 2014 edition of Butra Home Concept magazine. It was a pleasure to have worked with MixMediaWorx to produce these images.
BHC Magazine February 2014 | “Conveniently located on Jalan Ong Sum Ping, Mahligai Apartments are just minutes away from Bandar Seri Begawan. These apartments have been designed to provide the ultimate in contemporary living. You will have easy access to the city and also a refuge from it.
Once you enter a Mahligai Apartment you are stepping into your very own private oasis, one that is spacious with sleek features and furnishings throughout. Modern artwork and light fixtures add a touch of elegance to the living areas. The layout and design of the kitchen work in harmony to create a fabulously functional space. The master bedroom can only be described as being superbly comfortable with an inviting ensuite – making this room perfect for relaxation. There are also many windows which allow a continual flow of light through the apartment making it bright and cheerful.
And because Mahligai Apartments are all about enjoying a luxurious lifestyle you have access to a fully equipped gymnasium; a cafeteria; pool and children’s playground – all at your doorstep and ideal for either single persons or families.”
Four months before my Mount Kinabalu climb on December 17, 2013 I trained almost exclusively at the hills of Bukit Shahbandar in the Brunei-Muara district, located a little over an hour’s drive from my residence. Coming from badminton, a sport that I’ve played since my secondary school days, hiking wasn’t an activity I was fond of in the beginning. We started with the popular ‘4 hills‘ route that took us 53 minutes to complete, and in just a few short weeks the group decided unanimously that it was time to venture farther — the ‘9 Hills‘ route that took our group 1 hour 46 mins to complete — this route I really liked and got hooked on. On days when other members of the group weren’t available to join me I hiked alone, logging my best times — as an indication of my fitness.
My first solo attempt began on October 22, 2013 when I logged 50 mins 54 secs
Second attempt on December 11, 2013 clocking best time of 44 mins 27 secs
Earlier this week I made my first attempt of 2014 and finished at 41 mins 21 secs.
Where do I go from here? I’m thinking 40 minutes would be a realistic target.
This wooden facade of a Starbucks outlet located at Resorts World Sentosa Singapore is both striking, alluring and inviting. So much so that I patronized the outlet five times during my short stay at nearby Hard Rock Hotel. It was also the first time our family had breakfast there one morning. Being an early riser meant I got to take pictures of the nice interior especially when lit by the morning sun. These pictures were taken using a Canon PowerShot G11.
This 15 Years Anniversary tumbler featuring traditional Sarawak music instrument Sape artwork is a gift from Starbucks Malaysia, the team that are setting up Brunei’s first Starbucks outlet. Click on image to visit Instagram.
Drone photography is all the rage these days and I can see the addition of a quadcopter to my inventory, when owning one becomes more affordable. Until then I’ll reminisce the aerial photographs I took on-board a Bell 212 helicopter during an assignment some years back. Instead of being strapped comfortably to the seats, I decided to make full use of my limited time in the air and took lots of terrain photographs. Looking through my archives a few days ago, I was extremely delighted to find one of Bukit Shahbandar where my wife and I go hiking. What began as a means to train for my Mount Kinabalu climb a month from today has escalated to what some friends describe as obsession with the hills.
Click on image to view larger version
Here’s a more recent photo and my current favourite (captured on Samsung Galaxy S3) that gives you an idea of the trail we’re dealing with on a good day. On a stormy day it’s a whole different story and we’ve hiked in both extremes. Oh man, just looking at these pictures is enough to work up an itch to head out there.
We’ve lost count the number of times we had hiked up to this Pondok 4 guide pole, started at it for a moment and succumbed to defeat by mere threat of the distance, time and effort it would take for us to complete. Yet on the morning of October 27th the morning when we were only going to hike the usual 9 Hills trail we started at this pole again, the three of us briefly looked at each other — we’ve done this many times except on this day, none of us was going to back down. So here I am, on the eve of my second 14 Hills hike tomorrow, writing about my epic first attempt. Tomorrow’s hike is going to be our largest group hike yet — a total of 13 members.
It took the three of us 4 hours to complete 7.39 kms burning 2000 calories along the way. It would have taken a slightly shorter time had Eric and I not stopped between Pondok 8 and 9 for a 15 minutes photography lesson using his Samsung Galaxy S4.
My morning fuel before the 14 hills hike — two eggs, 4 broccoli flowerets, smoked beef, smoked salmon and MrBaker’s delicious Muesli 80% wholemeal bread along with all the healthy grains. Not pictured is my usual shot of CBTL espresso
The trail between Pondok 4 and 5 poles normally takes no more than 5 minutes. The extended loop between them is a whole different story — distance itself measures longer than the usual 9 Hills.
Eric snapped this photo of my wife and I as we reached the first of a series of poles on the extended loop. 370M to head back to Pondok 4 and be on the way out or soldier on.
Once on the extended loop, a view from across the green landscape is the red soil vista from where we had taken numerous group photos, giving us a sense of scale and distance somewhat.
There are three wooden crossings like this on the extended loop unlike the bridges you’re accustomed to seeing on the 4 and 9 hills trail.
Eric had asked me many times since we first met more than a year, maybe 2, earlier to give him lessons to improve his photography. No better opportunity and timing to learn and have some fun right at Shahbandar. More on Facebook.
My lunch at MOD in Jerudong after 4 hours of intense hiking had left me with a significant increase in appetite — Thai cuisine (chicken basil rice and broccoli mixed vegetables).
Photographing bottled beverages is not in the same league and complexity as photographing food. Bottled beverages in all their shapes, sizes and curves attract highly undesirable bright spots and reflections. When Bahagia Distributors contacted me about their photography requirement — I accepted the assignment, fully aware of the lighting challenges I had gotten myself into. In order to minimize eye straining efforts during post-processing I arranged with the client to scrutinize the sample selections I was to bring back to my studio. We went through a few boxes and picked the bottles that had near-perfect text, brand logo and shrink sleeves alignment. Fast forward a few days of work and several editing revisions the finished files were handed to their design team for the graphics layout and finishing touches that you see here.
After weeks of planning to hike Canada Hill with buddies training for our December 17 Mount Kinabalu climb, the day finally came and kicking off our late morning hike is this landscape of our neighbour’s bustling city from the top of Miri’s hiking hot spot.