I think I’m genetically predisposed to high cholesterol. No matter how much much effort I put into working out and eating right (friends and family know my dedication to eating right) and I have a very active lifestyle — when I’m not smashing my opponents at badminton, I’m out hiking at Bukit Shahbandar or running in the Sungai Liang forest. As a result of this ‘curse’, seafood indulgence is far and few in between. So last night, after umm I can’t even recall how long ago that I last had seafood, my cousin and I rekindled our seafood night at New Tanjung Seafood across the border.
Our collective leftovers restyled on a white plate for this art shot, wiping the plate clean to minimize post processing effort. Photographic rules don’t change just because you’re using a smartphone — light is the single most important ingredient to image quality.
On trips like this, photography is usually the very last thing on my mind but last night was an exception. We ordered 2 kilos of salted egg crab and the original idea was that we would ‘tapao’ what we couldn’t finish, have it chilled to eat the next day. One bite after another, this is all that remained. And instead of leaving a mess like we usually do, i decided to turn our collective crab rubble into an art piece. Long story short, we had 4 Samsung galaxy smartphones, 3 S3 and 1 S4 to be exact except only 3 were used — two to provide even lighting and one to capture the picture as you see above, an example adequately illustrated below back in 2011 when cousin Daniel and his wife were still iPhone users.
This 2011 photo was how we lit 2 kilos of crab except we used lights from two Samsung Galaxy smartphones to make sure lighting was even all round.
I had made plans with Eric and Thanis to have a quick lunch at Thien Thien before my Funshabu-Shi menu shoot in the afternoon. Last minute change of plans had us eating at Thanis’ regular haunt, Golden Coffee, so Eric and I agreed to meet there instead, breaking away from our rendezvous point for the first time in my history of lunching at Thien Thien in recent memory.
Golden Coffee’s extremely popular homemade spring roll. You’ll see this on many patron’s table until they run out.
Long story short, I’ve been back there twice, second time for a dish that Thanis ordered just a week earlier which I really wanted — beef kolomee with one half-boiled egg (I’ll have two eggs the next time I stop by for a meal). The general parking problem that plagues Bandar Seri Begawan can largely be avoided if I eat earlier than most people especially places with free but limited parking spaces.
Delicious beef noodles mixed with optional order ofone soft boiled egg. I ordered an hour before heading off to Bukit Shahbandar for a 9 Hills hike. More about the hike here …
It wasn’t until I signed up to climb Mount Kinabalu end of the year (December 17 to be exact) that I began going to one of Brunei’s most popular hiking hotspot — the Bukit Shahbandar trails — to train. There’s simply no better platform to prepare than the natural outdoors faced with rocky, sometimes muddy terrains, including a number of challenging slopes to overcome, not forgetting the scorching heat and occasionally the surprising rain.
I Googled and noticed there are plenty of images of the Shahbandar trails shared by people who have hiked here previously but not technical data of the hikes such as distance and altitude which some may be also interested in. Using MapMyRun Android app at first I gathered data when I brought Thanis and Eric there on September 4, 2013 for the initial ‘4 Hills‘ hike (2.06 Kms) followed by the ‘9 Hills‘ (3.58 Kms) hike a week later (second image below). Click on the images to find an interactive map with distance and altitude details.
Click on image to see distance and altitude details. On our more recent hike on Sept 22, 2013 App logged a longer distance of 3.8 Km that took 1:57 to complete. See MapMyHike and Facebook check-in for details
The reward for completing our hikes … cold, refreshing coconut water
Pure coconut water is rich in vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, enzymes, amino acids and cytokine, making it the best natural energy drink. [See Facebook]
Recently a group of friends got together to hike the scenic Shahbandar hills as part of our training to ready ourselves for the big climb — Mount Kinabalu. After an exhausting 1 hour 46 minutes hike not to mention also a rather intense one, we stopped by a nearby drinks hut for chilled coconut water like we always do so deservingly. Some of us began taking pictures on their smartphones — we’re creatures of often useful but annoying habits. In the pictures below, my good friend Cyril took a shot of me taking a shot of my subjects Wendy and Thanis taking a shot of themselves on her Samsung Galaxy S2
The kicker: The main scene was captured using my Samsung Galaxy S3 while Cyril got us all us all using his Canon EOS 5D Mark III and an ultra-wide lens. There’s no denying that smartphone cameras are indeed king considering its convenience and camera technology that’s getting progressively better, rivaling that of digital compact’s image quality.
I’m the happiest guy alive, so I should be being the proud recipient of a very powerful Yonex Voltric Z-Force badminton racquet. Following this earlier post I received the highly anticipated package from SunriseClick on August 31, 2013. For a very long time the Yonex Ti 7 has been my primary and faithful racquet at my weekly singles and doubles game — with plenty of battle scars to show for it too. Having spent the last two weeks acclimatizing to the Z-Force, and getting fantastic results from it enough to relegate the Ti 7 to backup duties. When I am not taking pictures for a living, I’m working out my camera arm with one of the most potent badminton racquets on the planet. #DominateTheGame
“The perks of dominating the game. We’re glad you’re loving the Voltric Z-Force, Jan! ” ~ SunriseClick
The Sunrise holographic sticker indicates a product is genuine.
The Voltric Z-Force unboxed. Racket arrived pre-strung with BG65 strings. I had it replaced with high repulsion 0.65mm BG66 Ultimax strung to 22/23 lbs.
“Combining incredible power and fast racquet handling for the first time, VOLTRIC is the perfect racquet for players seeking exceptional ‘all-round’ performance. VOLTRIC’s exclusive TRI-VOLTAGE SYSTEM achieves the combination of heavy smashes and speedy racquet handling.”
“Stiffer frame with head-heavy balance for an exceptionally powerful swing.”
“NANOPREME™ is a new level in ‘Nano-technology’, operating on a scale of less than one billionth of a metre by using an epoxy resin to bind graphite fibres together. NANOPREME™ overcomes the limited qualities of carbon technology to provide stiffness, high resilience and high repulsion from a single racquet material for the very first time.”
I was offered a choice of racquet weights and grip sizes to choose from and I chose the lightest one (4U) with the smallest grip (G5) — perfect combination for my style of play.
Racquet getting strung with high repulsion 0.65mm Yonex BG66 Ultimax strings
While photographing Excapade Sushi’s new Japanese cuisine menu, I saw an opportunity to get creative with something as mundane as squeezing lemon juice onto a serving of salmon sashimi. I have done a number of similar shots successfully before but this one raised the bar with the highest number of droplets in one squeeze. Other than a Levels adjustment to brighten the image and a dose of sharpening, the image is untouched — I love food photography.
Equipment used: Canon EOS 5D Mark II, EF 100mm f/2.8 L IS Macro lens, Speedlite 580EX strobes
The same picture up close and sensational — a bit of timely luck let me freeze these droplets in the most elegant way I can imagine.
Update(24-08-2013): Delighted to announce that SunriseClick liked my photo submission so much they’re sending me Yonex’s most incredible weapon — the Voltric Z-Force, a racket current BWF world number one (22-08-13) singles player Dato Lee Chong Wei uses to dominate his game! I find it interestingly coincident that the black/lime green colour scheme matches my black/lime green Yonex top very well — the folks at Sunrise has great taste :)
As a professional photographer I’m completely at ease behind the camera, as do most of my peers as far as I know. On occasions when the roles reverse I can get pretty uncomfortable posing to have pictures taken. That’s probably why you don’t see great many ‘selfies’ from me or even pictures with my wife (the irony of my chosen profession). This recent couple photo is quite rare, taken at the spur of the moment just before my wife left for an overseas trip.
On the day my associate and I got together over a long festive holiday weekend, we dragged bags of camera gear which included some light stands, half a dozen Canon Speedlites along with off-camera triggers and so forth. I brought my share of equipment but they ended up staying in the bag since my colleagues Cyril and Gavin were doing a fine job of making me model for one jump shot after another … had a really good workout. This is one time I actually didn’t mind performing in front of the camera — doing what I love most —badminton. This photo is featured on SunriseClick Facebook Page.
About the only time I’m completely at ease in front of the camera modeling for this jump shot.