Brunei Darussalam


 On Jan 26th, there were two events happening on the same evening which if they were right next door to each other I would have had the pleasure to attend both. One being the inaugural KB Blogger’s Night and the other being the Brunei LNG 2007 Emblem Night which was held at Rizqun International Hotel in the Brunei capital. It’s as organizer Princess Nashwa said, “unable to attend cuz of other commitments …” but also [earlier] commitments.

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Themed 70’s Night, the dim venue was lit by the warm glow from the lanterns on each table, accented by a subtle reminder of the evening’s theme. The colourful checkers (or plaid for the fashion conscious) goodie bag complemented the evening’s theme and mood and contains a 24k gold plated Celapas, a Malay traditional ornamental container popularly used in traditional wedding ceremony.


Department heads and Emblem recipients getting ready for their group photo only to be briefly interrupted by late arrivals that eventually filled the group to the brim from wall to wall. And I thought we had this problem with Brunei Shell Petroleum Emblems where the holding room at BSRC just wasn’t big enough.

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The official photographer signals for the last shot while guests outside the reception were meeting and greeting one another in great anticipation for an evening of entertainment, fun and lucky draws!

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I caught a glimpse of the food warmer’s highly reflective surfaces throwing off the glow from an adjacent light with bokehs from overhead lighting. Picture of a dancer from Fusion Dancer opening the evening before the welcoming speech, Emblem presentations, Functional performances and Lucky draws.


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Guest performers include songs by popular local artists Fairuz (left) and Maria with their captivating vocal performances.


A moment back in time with a Functional Performance dancing to Village People’s timeless hit Y.M.C.A. Nothing represents the 70’s more than this iconic anthem of the decade when it reached no. 2 in the US charts and no. 1 in the UK in early 1979.

Celapas—A cool BLiNG from BLNG 🙂  | All images © Jan Shim Photography

Other BSP/BLNG Emblems featured here

22 thoughts on “THAT 70s SHOW. THE BLNG EMBLEM.

  1. Hi there

    Not food warmer, I don’t think.

    Looks more like a gift box rather than a food warmer.

    Can’t take that away with all the fantastic (artistic) angles


  2. From the messages I’ve received on IM, it seems many liked it the 3rd pic too which is probably not something commonly shot from this perspective. A full frame 5D with the 70-20 mm f2.8 helped capture that moment (short distance to the wall)—a moment when the official photog left his camera briefly unattended to sort out the crowd—is what defines my work these days and I enjoy being kept on the toes at all times and the risk of missing it completely.

    I too liked that shot and it’s one I’ve always wanted but not possible if I were the official photog. There would be way too many things to worry about that could go wrong so all eyes focused on work instead of play.


  3. Life’s like that, isn’t it?

    Individual moments pass us by and our paths may or may not cross! I do know one thing though that the chance of a meeting on SHIMworld is much more guaranteed than fate!


  4. Hello Husini (Kantalensa),

    For a while that night, I was getting adjusted to who’s who as people were in afro wigs, retro hats, mop hair and if I recall, you were one of the few normal looking ones :). It was a good night and I thought even though all the errors made by the MC weren’t part of the entertainment, I think most people thought it was hilarious. As I recall, at last year’s Emblem at ICC, the MC got the names wrong too. Twice in a row and it becomes a tradition.

    At the Emblem last Sat, I had just about lost my voice from my body finally and eventually giving in to the punishing two weeks I’ve had with work, long hours and commutes. For almost five days I thought I could fight this off but as it turned out, I’ve lost and have succumbed to fatigue that needed a course of antibiotics. Thankfully though this week, leading up to Chinese New Year is somewhat slow and allowed me to catch up on blog posts and what not.

    I shot the entire event on the 5D and 70-200mm f/2.8 at max ISO 1600 with some images in 800 where permissible. The stage lights were ok although I noticed several hot spots where dancer’s faces were too “hot” resulting in washes out highlights. Elsewhere, an f/1.2 lens would have been very useful at ISO 1600!


  5. Jan,
    Great pictures. Love the third picture too.

    Anyway, I have a blog of my own and wrote a few bits and pieces about the emblem. Mind if I link this post to my post on the emblem?



  6. Jan, you’re right, that’s me. One of the spoil sport who decided not to dress up in the 70s. I hope you’re feeling better after the antibiotics coz I see you’re now back on the job. Hope we run into each other again in the near future. Keep up the good work. Inspirational!


  7. You’re not alone. I went to the event and brought along my white lens hoping people considered it an equivalent for John Travolta’s icononic white suit in Saturday Night Fever! Besides, I moved around too much for anyone to notice what’s on me. 🙂

    I’m too stubborn to let my condition keep me down. I’m still on antibiotics and while my voice has steadily recocovered, it has not compromised my vision and determination to go out and shoot. In the remaining week running up to Chinese New Year, I’ve been out shooting more of Seria in the context of ‘oil and gas’.

    A recent example where dozens of egrets perched on a nodding donkey


  8. Hi Jan,

    Nice meeting u that nite. I like the 3rd pic too haha no wonder u stay at the back.. for a second I thought u wanna capture individual recipients portrait or something..

    Well, most of my shots that nite blurry…except those with the flash on.. 55-200mm f4-5.6 VR wasn’t fast enough… i think..

    anyway, I like ur work.keep it up bro..cya.


  9. Impressive pictures.

    Where do you reckon the edge is; the fancier camera, the actual skills (understanding the lighting conditions and adjusting accordingly) or the Eye?

    I believe the Eye ranks top. That one extra perspective that most people don’t see, even if they are there standing next to you.

    I believe you have the Eye.

    I would like to see your shots on the Functional performances; or was it all just stage dancing?


  10. @ azryamin

    Hey, it was good to have shared carpet space with you that evening. Thanks for visiting this post. I shoot on the full frame 5D so had I wanted individual recipient faces I’d have to really move forward by at least half the distance between the people and the official camera! Moving backwards to the partition is the path less travelled and sometimes like in the case of “the 3rd pic” it turned out well. Glad you liked it.

    The Nikon 55-200mm VR is very popular all rounder walk about lens but at f/4-5.6 the venue is too dim to be usable without flash and with flash the mood disappears. In most cases, the scenes needed ISO 1600 and f2.8 (would be better with f1.8-1.2) to get decent shutter speed. The stage lighting had hot spots at various places that would cause blown highlights even at f/4-5.6 and under exposure elsewhere.


  11. @ KariLasso


    Much like the human body, each part can function well on its own but in order to move and get something done, there has to be coherence between the relevant parts. The Eye, Equipment and Light are perhaps the most fundamental elements to getting the picture. There’s also a fourth element called Opportunity that has to exist to complete the relationship! Relevance in this case becomes a matter of the Eye seeing the Opportunity and the Equipment capturing the subject in the available Light working in coherence.

    I focus with my left eye if that means anything but I attribute the ability to get the pictures I want to the equipment I use. Up until Nikon released the D3/D300 series, Canon remained the king of super clean High ISO images and combining this with good L optics make all the difference. As previous poster azryamin remarked, slower lens and grainy sensor technology can be prohibitive factors. Arguably, people concern themselves with bodies too much and often ignore the importance of good lenses. There is a reason why a Canon 50mm f/1.2 and 85mm f/1.2 cost more than a semi-pro body and twice as much as entry-level body. All in all, photography is an expensive hobby and equally expensive professional tool and when all else is par, the Eye becomes the “one extra perspective that most people don’t see” as you said.

    Having been in the business for just 4 plus years and being thrown on the steep learning curve many times over, I can say the “one extra perspective” is a learnt attribute. If you take a look at my track record (PDF 414kb) linked from my article The Accidental Artist, there are countless opportunities to screw up, make mistakes and most importantly learn from those mistakes. One simply cannot appreciate success without having tasted failure.

    I have received a number of requests to see more of the Functional performances, I’m afraid you’d have to be really close to the performers to capture the details such as the ones you may have seen from the other Emblems where I worked. I differentiate the functional performances vs the hired ones like this—if I were handling the shoot, I would pay close attention to the individuals within the functional teams instead of shooting the stage-wide pics like the FUSION ladies or the YMCA men. Those dancers are professional dancers to bring the audience choreographed performances. While functional performances are all about team work, I’d like to focus on the individuals instead but that’s just me.

    That said, I agreed and was originally supposed to accompany my wife and she ended up with a cold seat next to hers most of the evening. 🙂


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