Nee Sern is...

really really sleepy

Monday, August 27, 2007

Angkor Wat - entrance

f/8 :: 1/250s :: ISO-Auto :: 6mm

This picture of Angkor Wat was taken by elsf as we walked past one of the 4 gates and entered the compound for the first time. It was a sunny morning, the radiance of the morning light bathed the temple with its glorious rays. It was truly a magnificent sight.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Stone Wall in Angkor Wat compound

f/8.0 :: 1/200s :: ISO100 :: 40mm

As I mentioned, I made a trip to Siem Reap, Cambodia recently, and the main attraction was visiting the Angkor Wat ruins. This shot was taken after we descended from the steep staircase from the top of the main tower.

Angkor Wat is truly a magnificent place. If making a trip for photography, I really suggest getting at least the 3-day pass. Otherwise, if you're rushed like me, you won't be able to capture as many memorable shots as would be possible.

Take your time to admire the surroundings, the stone carvings, the sheer immenseness of this super structure built 1000 years ago. You will be amazed.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Begging for help...

An older man has to kneel down to a younger man to beg for action to be taken to resolve Rawang HTZ issues.

Is this what celebrating 50 years of nationhood is all about?

Trip - Cambodia - Siem Reap - Angkor Wat

I just came back from a 4 days holiday in Siem Reap, main purpose was to visit Angkor Wat and the surrounding temples, and also visit an orphanage and a shelter home for street kids. I treated this trip more as a photography trip, and came back with tons of pictures. Not only from my camera but also from elsf's and also jyon's cameras. Will post the pictures soon. But for now, let me just say that Angkor Wat is truly magnificent, and I am indeed thankful to live in a peaceful and "prosperous" country.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

More test shots using 50mm

We had our weekly gathering in McDonald's SS15 Drive Thru.

Sorry people! If you don't want your face here, just give me a buzz.

All photos are JPEG's straight out of camera. I normally set my camera's parameters as follows: Contrast +2, Sharpness 0, Saturation +2, Color Tone 0.

:: Jyon with a new haircut ::
f/2.5 :: 1/60s :: ISO400 :: 50mm
(Check out the el-cheapo pentagon-shaped bokeh :P)

:: Alex came to sell T-shirts ::
f/2.5 :: 1/50s :: ISO400 :: 50mm

:: Sue didn't want to be photographed ::
f/2.5 :: 1/125s :: ISO400 :: 50mm

:: Wendy was also quite shy ::
f/2.5 :: 1/100s :: ISO400 :: 50mm
(I believe this picture was taken by Alex)

:: MJ was... well... being MJ ::
f/2.5 :: 1/80s :: ISO400 :: 50mm

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Camera basics :: Aperture, Shutter Speed, ISO

Not everyone will need to know all these photographic terms. Point-n-shoot photographers will not bother because their cameras have scene presets or fully auto modes that give them adequate results. So who really wants to know this stuff?

Actually it's written for my own reference, just in case I do fumble with the terms in the near future. Here goes on my explanation of these photographic terms.

Aperture, Shutter Speed, and ISO can be considered as the building blocks of a camera's imaging system (be it the film or the digital sensor). Let's try to explain these terms with an analogy.

If we now imagine that there is a bucket which is filled with a fixed amount of sand, and a water tap that can be used to fill the bucket. Now, we can vary the opening of the water tap by controlling how much we turn the spigot. We can also control the duration of the water tap being open. Finally, we can also choose a smaller bucket to store the water (with the same amount of sand in it).

If we open the water tap larger, it will take less time to fill up the bucket. If we open the water tap smaller, it will take more time to fill up the bucket. If we choose a smaller bucket, it will also take less time to fill up the bucket but the water will be more murky. A combination of these 3 parameters will result in the same thing: a bucket full of water.

So what is what?

Opening size of the water tap is analogous to the Aperture, i.e. how big is the opening.

Duration of the water tap being open is analogous to the Shutter Speed, i.e. how long is the shutter kept open.

Bucket size is analogous to the ISO, i.e. how easy it is to fill the bucket (with the expense of getting murky water, or noisy pictures).

The bucket refers to the film or digital sensor.

And of course, water in this case is analogous to light, which is what the camera is trying to capture anyway.

OK, let's see what happens now.

Aperture is represented with F numbers. The larger the F number, the smaller the Aperture, and vice versa. Normally they are written as f/2, f/4, f/5.6, f/16, f/22, etc.

Shutter Speed is represented with numbers or fractions, with units in seconds. Typically it's written as 1/30, 1/250, 0.3, etc.

ISO is represented in whole numbers. The larger the ISO, the more sensitive the digital sensor or film (or the smaller the bucket size). Whole ISO units are 100, 200, 400, 800, etc.

So we can vary the combinations of these 3 parameters to get the perfect exposure: that's it, really. Of course, different apertures/shutter speeds will give different creative results (e.g. background blur, smoothened waterfalls).

Let's say the camera meters the following exposure: f/4.0, 1/200s, ISO200

Suppose that we want to make the background blur even more outstanding, so we need a larger aperture, say f/2.8. Remember our analogy: the water tap opening is now very big. This means we either need to increase the shutter speed (shorten the duration that the water tap is open) or reduce the ISO (get a larger bucket) to maintain the same exposure (the bucket is properly filled to the brim). So we can either do:

f/2.8, 1/400s, ISO200
f/2.8, 1/200s, ISO100

Then let's say we want to stop action (maybe in sports photography) and the shutter speed is too low. So we need to increase the shutter speed to say 1/800s (shorten the duration that the water tap is open). Thus we either need a larger aperture (larger water tap opening) or a higher ISO (smaller bucket), or a combination of both:

f/2.0, 1/800s, ISO200
f/4.0, 1/800s, ISO800
f/2.8, 1/800s, ISO400

Or maybe we want to have everything in focus from foreground to background (small aperture, e.g. f/8.0):

f/8.0, 1/50s, ISO200
f/8.0, 1/200s, ISO800
f/8.0, 1/100s, ISO400

With today's camera's through-the-lens metering and auto-program modes, the perfect exposure is calculated automatically. What we need to do is to be aware of the metering characteristics, creative exposure and adjust the compensation accordingly.

Anyway, all the above is fine for ambient light photography; but in Flash photography, choosing a higher ISO will give different results than choosing a lower shutter speed or larger aperture. But that's for another day.

P/S I hope I got all that right!

What is a 50mm good for?

Yesterday Alex asked me what is a 50mm lens good for?

Here are my feeble attempts to answer him:
1) 50mm x 1.6fov = 80mm ~ short telephoto ~ half body portraits
2) f/1.8 ~ large aperture ~ low light no flash photography
3) f/1.8 ~ large aperture ~ blur background

Any more justifications?

4) It's dirt cheap! Go get one now!

Vote for No More Monkeys!

Political pundits are predicting an early snap general elections this year. Have you registered to be a voter?

Monday, August 06, 2007

I not stupid

Hooray! Thanks to Zam, I now know that I'm not a stupid blogger!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Sunset @ Bali (Jimbaran Bay)

f/5.6 :: 1/30s :: ISO400 :: 55mm

This photo was taken at Jimbaran Bay in Bali, Indonesia. We arrived for a seafood BBQ dinner quite late, so I only had around 10 minutes of golden hour before the colours finally faded to black. I did some cropping on this picture so that the silhouette is on one side instead of the middle. Probably not such an interesting shot if not for that silhouette of a passerby.

Friday, August 03, 2007


Yesterday I was walking in SS2 near the McDonald's and there is a video rental shop. Prominently displayed on the window was a poster of The Drive Of Life series and another notice written in Chinese. Well, I can't read Chinese, but I sort of caught the gist of it. Basically, you can rent the series from that shop for only RM50. And the notice also states that it's for the entire 60 episodes, which comes to about 83 sen only. Obviously this is in direct competition with Astro On Demand!

It will be a great boon to those who do not have Astro, or do not subscribe to Dynasty package, or do not wish to contribute to Astro's ever increasing bottom line.

Kudos to the video rental store!