THE HIGHS AND LOWS

 

From High Def aerial shots of Brunei from Temburong to Kuala Belait in an air force chopper, I’m spending 3D/2N in Ulu Ulu National Park Resort in Temburong with an associate who will be shooting in HD using a state of the art Sony HD cam.

 
© Jan Shim Photography


© Jan Shim Photography

Despite thunderstorm being forecasted for the rest of the week, I’m heading out to get a first hand feel of what one of the world’s most diverse ecosystems is about. The number of equipment we’re bringing on this trip alone carries some inherent risks dealing with forces of nature. Exactly what these risks might be, I’ll update after I return.

We’ve captured some of the most breathtaking images of Brunei Darussalam but in the interest of national security, these images won’t be published here until I have the green light from relevant authorities.

UPDATE: Apr 24 2008. The SONY XDCAM EX fitted with a Canon EF 180mm Macro L lens via a 35mm adapter for a series of macro shoots at the resort.


© Jan Shim Photography

We’re going upstream of the Temburong River in the long and narrow river boat. These boats typically accommodate 4 to 5 passengers spread out evenly for load balance and legroom isn’t a problem even for an almost 6-footer like me. Seats are adequately cushioned with lumbar support that’s comfortable enough for the short 30-mins or so journey in the rainforest.

 
© Jan Shim Photography

There’s our guide, Zul, of Sunshine Borneo Tours showing us some of the resort’s little creatures.  A 180mm macro lens captured in High Def allows us to appreciate them on the big screen. The insect kingdom at the resort is a world on its own with their presence obvious only by the noises they make.

 
© Jan Shim Photography

More information and photos A RESORT IN THE MIST. BEYOND THE POSTCARD.

37 thoughts on “THE HIGHS AND LOWS

  1. I’m now back in Seria in the comfort of my home and family. The past 3 days and 2 nights had been quite an experience for a non-adventurous individual like me and certainly an eye opener in terms of the contrast between my usual habitat and that of the rainforest.

    Having said this, the Ulu Ulu Resort now managed by Sunshine Borneo Tours provides its own unique creature comforts in way of accommodation, food and an authentic sounds of nature.

    Give me some time to work on the images from the trip.

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  2. Hi, I’m new at this, and recently purchased a Canon Digital Rebel XTi EOS and it comes with a lens EF-s 18-55 and I’m looking for a lens that will let me zoom the image in closer. I’m looking at the EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM or EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Standard Zoom Lens because it’s got image stabilizer but I’m not sure if I’m looking at the wrong types of lens, for a beginner, I thought image stabilizer would be helpful to me. I don’t want one that is extremely long and hard to carry around. Thanks.

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  3. Hi Ginger,

    Lens choices are often a confusing one to make compounded by the sheer costs of owning them. I appreciate your concerns but I’m not sure I can give you a reliable answer. The 28-135 is an old film lens while the 24-105 was developed for and released together with the EOS 5D. Something you may not be aware, both these lenses were designed with one thing in common then and now—Full Frame sensors.

    The EF28-135mm was a popular choice with 35mm film bodies because you had a good focal length balance between 28mm wide and 135mm telephoto. The image stabilizer (IS) in this lens I think was one if not the first of its kind then so the technology is old school.

    The EF24-105mm is today a very popular choice for wedding and general walkabout when used on the 5D. The 5D is, again, a full frame 35mm equivalent of a film body but the 24mm gives you a wider coverage but a little less telephoto than the 28-135mm.

    Having said this, the EF24-105 is a professional lens while the 28-135mm isn’t. Professional lenses with the red stripe and L designation means you have more superior optics than one that isn’t. All this time I’ve not even touched on aperture numbers but I’ll just say this, the f/4 24-105mm being a constant aperture gives you exposure consistency than say the 28-135 with variable f/3.5-5.6. The Image Stabilizer in the 24-105 also represents Canon’s newest developments giving you ability to hand-hold at much lower shutter speed than the first generation design.

    Now, your camera body, the Rebel isn’t a full frame body. It has a 1.6X crop which essentially means its focal length is “magnified” 1.6 times. If you attach the 24-105mm to the Rebel you’d get 38.4-168mm equivalent. If you’re simply after the 168mm end of the focal length, this is the one to get since you “don’t want one that is extremely long and hard to carry around.”

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  4. Jan, thanks for your help, you are right that I want to be able to get a closer image, and I thought that 105 mm would only get me 105 mm, but getting 168mm end of the focal length is even better. I think I’ll be getting the 24-105mm, thanks again for explaining this to me, if I’ve known this earlier, I’d have bought the camera body and the lens separately.

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  5. You’re most welcome! If you want to go longer, there’s the EF70-200 f/4 with IS too which will give you even longer focal length without the bulk and weight of its heavier brother, the EF70-200mm f/2.8 IS (my favourite lens). The f/4 version is very popular with travellers who want a balance of quality and light weight.

    if I’ve known this earlier, I’d have bought the camera body and the lens separately.

    Life is a journey of learning and discovery. If we could know everything without the experience, life would be very uninteresting and unfulfilling. Two days earlier, my partner and I ventured into one of the waterfalls in Temburong. The journey through the rapid waters took approximately 30 mins and along the way, we stopped every now and then to shoot the elements—water, rocks, trees and available light. By the time we eventually reached our destination, the waterfall, I was less excited than I was the anticipation and journey of getting there. On our way our, I slipped on one of the slippery rocks and fell into the river with my 20D taking a swim. The whole camera and lens got visibly wet but the images I had taken earlier were OK. From previous experience having a CF card gone into the machine machine I was not worried about the integrity of my images as much as I was concerned about the camera.

    Moral of this story is … as I would define life, the journey is often more interesting than the destination. Had I overlooked this and focused on the waterfall I would certainly not have a camera to shoot the elements that we came across on our way in. Seizing the opportunity when it’s staring right at you is what it’s all about, most of the time!

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  6. The photo of the 70-200 f/4 you linked isn’t an IS version. I don’t follow prices of items sold on the web but I’m sure you’re resourceful enough to find good deals that suit your budget. As for the lens being “kind of scary” do this—focus on photography not how you would look to others. Seriously, if you want the telephoto reach 320mm from the 70-200mm lens is mighty tempting, don’t you agree? Besides, go to your nearby Canon dealership and take a look at the piece and then base your final decision on having actually tried it.

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  7. I see the IS version now, thanks, I’ll visit the Canon store, and as for the looks, I read a comment made by a photographer once that “people looked at her with respect,” I’ll keep that in mind, but in reality, the clarity of the image is everything. You have been very kind and helpful, thank you for everything.

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  8. I read a comment made by a photographer once that “people looked at her with respect,” I’ll keep that in mind, but in reality, the clarity of the image is everything.

    There are varying degree of silliness when it comes to the element of human nature. Take things in stride and focus on what’s important to you and you’ll come out alright. Clarity among other things carry the same weight when it comes to what makes a photograph GREAT. Remember also, photography is art and appreciation is subjective. There are no good or bad photographs per se and each of us look at the same thing differently! For this, I do not critique photos although I’ve been asked to judge a photography contest.

    You have been very kind and helpful, thank you for everything.

    You’re most welcome. I wish you all the best.

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  9. Jan, who’s your partner with the sony camcorder? any websites or links?

    The SONY XDCAM EX belongs to David Cheok, a name synonymous to artistic, creative and professional photography. He has ventured into cinematography.

    oh, and im sorry about ur 20D

    It’s OK. Accidents happen when you least expect it. My first ever trip to Temburong’s Ulu Ulu Resort had been a fantastic journey of self-discovery as much as it had been a rare opportunity to see our rainforest and to meet the locals working at the resort.

    This is one of a series of water images that was captured on the 20D on our way to the waterfall.

    http://www.shimworld.com/images/temb-waterfall.jpg

    Here’s one of the swift flowing river captured on the EOS 5D, ISO 50 at 6 seconds shutter and f/22 aperture.

    http://www.shimworld.com/images/temb-river.jpg

    Were the water photos worth the trouble and risk? I think so. Getting up at 4-ish AM and leaving the resort on the resort long boat (river boat) with zero visibility but lit only by a couple of torch lights was quite an experience with heightened sense of adventure from the torrent water noises.

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  10. Hi!

    So I am planning on buying the Canon 40D ? But i keep hearing that I should first buy the 400D? And also, to instead buy something cheaper! So I’m a bit lost now.

    Do you recommend the 40D?

    Blonko

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  11. Blonko,

    The 40D is a much better first camera than the 400D! My first camera was the 300D from 5 years back and its successor the 400D and 450D still retain the same [lacking] design features I found to cripple photography. For instance, the absence of the large thumb wheel and the AF ‘joystick’ that are found on the 20/30/40D are notable differences when it comes to user friendliness between the two bodies. Other differences may be subtle or significant depending on personal preferences and tolerances. Canon categorises the xxxD bodies as entry level for a reason and the differences may not be obvious for the uninitiated.

    My first really usable body was the 20D that I like so much till today and to complement it, I shoot with a 5D which apart from improved electronics share same form factor and critical features as the “semi pro” EOS 20D. I used both bodies professionally.

    So, do I recommend the 40D? Absolutely!

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  12. Hi Jan,

    As I thought, awesome photos! I’ll get the others to read this at work tomorrow, and all the other suggestions that both you and David made as well. I think Hsia will be contacting you shortly to try and wrangle some of the shots for free…. Haha.

    It was fun working with you guys, and I hope to see you up there again, and maybe the family as well, so that you can get your kayaking shots.

    Cheers!

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  13. Hi Jan,

    As I thought, awesome photos! I’ll get the others to read this at work tomorrow, and all the other suggestions that both you and David made as well.

    SHIMWORLD was created to make a difference through photography and from this vantage point give clients a more effective advertising medium for my clients compared to traditional approaches such as newspaper. A quality blog presence encourages interactivity among interested parties whether they are tourists or industry professionals.

    I think Hsia will be contacting you shortly to try and wrangle some of the shots for free….

    No wrangling needed here. There are shots from the trip that will be provided to Sunshine Borneo Tours for your new brochures to promote the resort.

    It was fun working with you guys, and I hope to see you up there again, and maybe the family as well, so that you can get your kayaking shots.

    As I’ve said in A RESORT IN THE MIST. BEYOND THE POSTCARD. the visit was far from complete. There are many more interesting images in the macro world of insect kingdom that I would love to pursue in my next trip and also the Canopy Walkway.

    How’s the 20D doing? Probably hasn’t had enough time in the drybox yet.

    When the 20D and the EFS10-22 lens were first put inside the dry cabinet, the Relative Humidity (RH) reading shot up to almost 80% which is about the ambient RH value in Seria (being next to the forest and not too far from the coast). With the dry cabinet set to max LOW it took close to 3 days before RH dropped to 30%. It was then I took it out and powered it up and after a number of test shots confirmed that camera and lens worked OK. I took this opportunity to clean the sensor as I had noticed numerous dust spots from the water shots at f/22. Thanks for asking!

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  14. A fren recommended your site and from then on I’ve been visiting quite frequently =)

    I just love your shots and perspective. Your pictures tell a story eventho it may look simple and the moments you’ve captured are just priceless.

    I wonder, how you do it?? =p

    Anyways, your visit to temburong has changed my mindset of our 4th district & coincidentally I will be going w a group of ppl for 3 nyts. (You’ve persuaded~ inspired?? me)

    Any tips and advise on lugging my camera gear arnd??

    Not really sure wat to expect. but I plan to travel light.

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  15. A fren recommended your site and from then on I’ve been visiting quite frequently =)

    You have a good friend, don’t ever let him/her slip away!🙂

    I just love your shots and perspective. Your pictures tell a story eventho it may look simple and the moments you’ve captured are just priceless.

    I have no secret formula but I’ll share this with you, vision comes from the human eye, capturing it however requires a camera. When you and the camera unite as one, you’ll produce works of art!

    I wonder, how you do it?? =p

    Good question! For one, not giving up in the face of adversity. Make mistakes, learn, improve …

    Anyways, your visit to temburong has changed my mindset of our 4th district & coincidentally I will be going w a group of ppl for 3 nyts. (You’ve persuaded~ inspired?? me)

    The way Temburong is promoted, it may be become the 1st district in the future since it’s become the country’s centre of attention now.

    Any tips and advise on lugging my camera gear arnd?? Not really sure wat to expect. but I plan to travel light.

    I cannot advise what you should or shouldn’t bring on the trip but for each of the items you do intend to bring, make sure you find the right Aloksak waterproof bag from GL EXTRA store (Kiulap). The bags are inexpensive and are certified waterproof to 200FT/60 meters. Wrap your lenses and bodies up before packing them in your camera bag. You may bring your charger if you dont have enough batteries to last the trip and bring along a sturdy tripod. Wear a good, comfortable pair of sandals as you’ll be in and out of water a bit.

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  16. Yea, he’s a good fren of mine and also a big fan of yours LOL

    Will keep your words in mind =)

    I’m still quite new to all this, so yea 3month holiday after exams shd be plenty of free time to improve 0;p

    I’ve only got 1 body, 1 flash, 2 kit lenses 18-70 & 75-300. Shdnt be much of a prob getting them waterproofed, jus d fact the quality wont be as good as a fast lense.. Xp

    Thank you for the advise & tips.

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  17. I’ve only got 1 body, 1 flash, 2 kit lenses 18-70 & 75-300. Shdnt be much of a prob getting them waterproofed, jus d fact the quality wont be as good as a fast lense..

    I think you can and should leave your flash at home. When you’re going to Temburong, you don’t want your pictures there ruined by flash. Instead make sure you have a good tripod so you get good low light, long exposure pics that bring our the lights of the place. Chances are you have a on-board flash that is good enough to use to fill the shadow areas if necessary.

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  18. I’ll be needing the external flash for indoors =p

    & Yeap, will be bringing a tripod along.

    I think I’m quite ready for the trip (I hope)

    Thnk you so much for your time and advise.

    I’ll see you around =)

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  19. Camera brands and lenses have for a while now been a bane of many people’s curiousity and lopsided opinions. For that reason you don’t find many discussions on my part to indulge. There are really better way to spend the time! However, since brought it up, this list has existed since July 5 2007 but in a visual form and you might have discovered it by accident if you had followed the wet 20D story …

    https://shimworld.wordpress.com/2007/06/26/wonderfully-dry/

    The body you see in the picture is the 20D and the only difference between then and now is the addition of the EOS 5D! I’ve also since sold one of the Speedlite 550EX to a wedding photog in BSB and I have another 550EX for sale (these are by far the most robust Speedlite flashes Canon ever made).

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  20. “I have another 550EX for sale (these are by far the most robust Speedlite flashes Canon ever made)”

    How much ? :>

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  21. Selling price is B$300 (Brunei delivery only). I sold the other unit at the same price and I have the original pouch, manual and box practically untouched. The plastic infra-red cover on the front of the flash unit has a chip and can easily be replaced but unnecessary as it doesn’t hinder flash performance!

    Because the 550EX is an old school design, its recycling time isn’t as quick as the 580EX models. I suggest getting an external power pack such as the Canon CP-E2 battery pack that uses 6 AA’s. I happen to have one for sale too as I am using CP-E3 and have two units of Quantum Turbo 2×2. For $500 you can have the 550EX and CP-E2. The Quantums are not for sale. Let me know!

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  22. Where did you get all your stuff? I’m always asking Interhouse for the things I want, but they always have no stock. And it’s hard for me to buy from them as they didn’t display all the things for customers.

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  23. Where did you get all your stuff? I’m always asking Interhouse for the things I want, but they always have no stock. And it’s hard for me to buy from them as they didn’t display all the things for customers.

    I built my collection of Canon equipment over time and all of the items (body, lens, filters, flash including Sandisk CF cards and also IXUS digital) were supplied and supported by Interhouse. I find many consumers in Brunei rate low or bargain prices higher than aftersales support which is fine if you’re buying items that have no potential to break down. Interhouse Co. is the official Canon distributor for a reason. No other camera brands have official representation in Brunei, not Nikon, not Olympus and certainly not Sony!

    Don’t let shops that carry a variety of equipment confuse or mislead you. It’s your right to ask if they are authorised resellers of Interhouse. Authorised means support entitlement.

    AS for stuff you wanted but not available, place an order. Nothing is that urgent you cannot wait but make sure you’ve researched the items you’re buying to avoid disappointment. I’ll also add this—if you let costs dictate what you buy instead of buying what’s needed, more often than not, the decision may be wrong one.

    Can i book it? Maybe end of May I’ll buy it.

    Sure! You looking to get the flash or both items?

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  24. Always good to read about swimming, my ex was an olympic swimmer..

    Can I ask though – how did you get this picked up and into google news?

    Very impressive, is it something that is just up to Google or you actively created?

    Obviously this is a popular blog with great data so well done on your seo success..

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  25. Looks like Google has brought the best to my home and I’m honoured.🙂

    I haven’t a clue how SHIMWORLD blog appeared in Google News but I suspect it has to do with Google Analytics being the stats engine used by WordPress.com. It might also have something to do with the fact that I have setup Google Alerts to notify me of sites that mention or link to ‘Shimworld’

    I think a more relevant post about swimming would be END OF SCHOOL HOWLIDAYS. That was the first time I had braved the elements and taken my non-weather sealed and business critical EOS 5D neck-deep for some fun. I was clearly out of my mind.

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