Journey with me along with the Huawei P10 Plus

The Huawei P10 and P10 Plus were recently announced a few months back in March/April 2017. This was the smartphone that I was secretly looking forward to, after I saw the Huawei Mate 9 (with the new OS, cameras and build quality) that was launched before the Huawei P10 and P10 Plus announcement. One of the reasons why I was so secretly excited was because I am a Huawei P9 owner, owning it after I had the opportunity to review this smartphone packed with solid and amazing dual lens camera.

I was very impressed with the quality, colours and details of the Huawei P9 dual lens camera smartphone. After finishing my Huawei P9 review, I wrote two review articles (a tech enthusiast review and the other article is on the Huawei P9 dual lens camera review), along with two photographs collection on my Flickr (One album for monochrome photos shot with the Huawei P9 only and the album for all photos with the Huawei P9).

A few days back, I finally got a golden and wonderful opportunity to get hold of the Huawei P10 Plus and review it! Upon unboxing and switching it on, there was a very familiar feel to it, partly because I am used to the Huawei smartphone OS and its dual lens camera. At the back of my mind, I am able to quickly identify the key differences and improvements between my Huawei P9 and Huawei P10 Plus. The Leica Summilux-H 1:1.8/27 ASPH dual lens on the Huawei P10 Plus, makes it standout from the rest of the smartphone competitors, the sharpness, clarity and colours.

I also managed to get hold of another smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy S8+, for my own comparison with the Huawei P10 Plus, I might add in other smartphones inside too for comparison in my review article. While testing out the capabilities of the Huawei P10 Plus along with the Samsung Galaxy S8+, I had some initial and immediate views on them. I have also noted that the P10 Plus has dual lens versus Galaxy S8+ has single lens and I would be mindful of this point in my review article.

Take a look at some of the photos shot with Huawei P10 Plus and Samsung Galaxy S8+:

Both smartphones process their photographs differently, personally for me, I prefer the Huawei P10 Plus because of its colours, authenticity and accuracy to the the scenes/subjects that I shot. The photos shot with the Huawei P10 Plus are closer to my DSLR photography and I can closely relate to the set of photos taken.

Take a look at the photos shot in the night, in very dim lighting conditions:

With particular reference to the photos shot in the night, comparing the photos side by side, the Galaxy S8+ photo looks very nice, bright and colourful, while the P10 Plus doesn’t look as “nice”. Both photos are straight off from the smartphone cameras with no further editing anywhere else. The truth is that the Huawei P10 Plus camera processing and output is authentic and original, as close to the actual scene, as a photographer would say “WYSIWYG – What You See Is What You Get”. For the Galaxy S8+, the processing is a a little bit “strong” and “powerful” for my liking and how I conduct my photography.

There will be users in the market that prefers the output from the Galaxy S8+, there will also be users who prefer the authenticity and accuracy of the Huawei P10 Plus.

Personally, I prefer the the authenticity and accuracy of the Huawei P10 Plus, not just because I own a Huawei P9, it’s also how I approach my photography on a leisure and commercial basis. I am not a supporter of heavy editing in photography that goes against the truth and authenticity of the scenes and surroundings. I only do the necessary light touch editing (and sometimes suitable film filters) to my photographs that I shoot. That is also probably why I am not a hipster and fanciful Instagrammer.

Although I am reviewing the Huawei P10 Plus (and, yes, I own a Huawei P9) and doing my own comparisons with other smartphones, this does not mean that they are lousy smartphones, it’s just that based on my style, photography workflow and preferences, the Huawei P10 Plus is more suitable (and I really like it) for me.

In the coming weeks, I am going to share and upload my photographs on Instagram and Facebook Page shot with the Huawei P10 Plus, do keep a look out for my stories, photos, exploration and journeys with the Huawei P10 Plus.

Monochrome architecture photos shot with the Huawei P10 Plus, are something that I am looking forward to. I am also some planning some special themes to go along with this Huawei P10 Plus review – P10 Plus monochrome portraits, daily commute on public transport, abstract monochrome compositions. This is a prelude to my review articles and photographs that I would be sharing at the end of the Huawei P10 Plus review.

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For the next few weeks, walk with me, through my eyes, thoughts, views and journeys with the Huawei P10 Plus.

Canon launched Canon EOS 200D

Canon recently launched two DSLRs to their line up, one of them was the Canon EOS 6D Mark II that I shared in an earlier article. The other DSLR camera that Canon launched was the Canon EOS 200D. This is an entry level DSLR camera that is light, compact and trendy for beginners to learn hands on with the EOS 200D.

I reviewed the Canon EOS 100D (the predecessor of the Canon EOS 200D) previously, I had a fun time testing and reviewing the camera, my review article can be found here! While the EOS 200D is designed as an entry level DSLR camera, great for beginners to learn on-the-go photography, the lightweight, compact size and trendy looking DSLR camera makes it very nice and handy for travel photography.

With a number of advanced features found inside the other current Canon DSLR models, along with the vari-angle touch screen LCD monitor, it does make photography learning a lot more fun and easier for users that are starting to learn more about basic photography.

If you are starting basic photography and you would like a basic DSLR to learn while on-the-go, do check out the Canon EOS 200D.

Let me share with you some key information on the Canon EOS 200D from the press release information:

“The EOS 200D redefines the traditional notion of a DSLR with its stylish outlook and ease of use, while delivering superior imaging performance”, said Edwin Teoh, Head of Marketing, Singapore Operations, Canon Singapore. “With its user-friendly pictorial interface and seamless connectivity, users will find it a breeze to navigate through the functions and share the captivating images taken instantly.”

Capturing Moments with Agility and Precision

Powered by advanced imaging technology and features, the EOS 200D will appeal to both non-camera users and aspiring photography enthusiasts. Equipped with a high-resolution 24.2-megapixel APS-C size CMOS sensor, users will be able to achieve crisp pictures with the flexibility of cropping images without compromising on image quality.

With the latest DIGIC 7 image processor, the standard ISO speed reaches 25600. This helps in reducing motion blur caused by slow shutter speeds, which is common especially under low light conditions. Some examples include capturing children at play in the evenings, or shooting an indoor sporting activity.

Users can achieve extremely fast focusing during Live View and movie shooting, with the Canon-developed Dual Pixel CMOS AF. The Live View Servo AF allows users to track the subject constantly and shoot at a continuous shooting speed of up to 3.5 frames per second (fps). A quieter and smoother video footage can also be achieved when paired with a lens with Stepping Motor (STM). Additionally, AF speed can be adjusted to suit more sophisticated shots such as slower focus shifts to create softer effects.

Equipped with a Vari-angle touch screen LCD monitor, the fully articulated screen allows users to experiment with creative image compositions from diverse angles. The combination of Vari-angle LCD monitor and Dual Pixel CMOS AF further enables the EOS 200D to deliver smooth and expressive movies in full HD quality at 60p.

Ergonomic Design and User-Friendly Interface for Intuitive Operation

With the pictorial user interface, beginners to DSLR photography will find it a breeze to navigate through the functions of the EOS 200D. Via the “how-to” tips for smart shooting guide on the graphic user interface, beginners can also easily pick up more skills and tap on the capabilities of the EOS 200D.

With just a single touch on the menu screen, stunning selfies can be achieved. In the Selfie Mode, settings such as background defocus, brightness and smooth skin effect are automatically adjusted to frame the best selfies. Coupled with the Vari-angle touch screen LCD monitor, users will have flexibility to compose their shots from different angles and find it easy to achieve good quality self-portraits.

The compact camera body is designed to provide an enhanced grip to ensure a secure grasp. Additionally, its body is overlaid with a grain-finish for a premium feel. To conform to the smooth outline of the camera body and reduce protrusions, the mode dial now fits seamlessly to the camera’s surface. Additionally, the internal structure of the EOS 200D is also remodeled to achieve the compact and nimble form for better design integration. For example, the circuit board for flash was downsized to keep the weight light.

The EOS 200D comes in two colour options – Trendy White and Sophisticated Silver.

Easy Connectivity and Sharing

With Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity, users can transfer images and videos from EOS 200D to smart devices and upload them onto the Canon Image Gateway, social media platforms and cloud storage. By using the Canon Camera Connect app, users have real-time control of camera settings such as shutter speed, focus selection and self-timer and more. Additionally, it comes with a dedicated Wi-Fi button for hassle-free connection at a single touch.

Additionally, the built-in Bluetooth low energy technology maintains constant connection to a compatible smart device at low power consumption. With this constant connection, users can view images and start remote capture from the camera even when it is in Auto Power Off mode. Smart devices with Bluetooth can wake the camera up, and switch to Wi-Fi for browsing and viewing images or performing remote capture (with Live View).

Users can also use Bluetooth to perform basic remote capture (no Live View), control image playback and slide show when the camera is connected to a TV or projector via smart devices.

Pricing and Availability

The pricing and availability of the Canon EOS 200D will be advised at a later date. 

Product Specifications

Canon EOS 200D

Image sensor: 24.2 Megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor

Imaging processor: DIGIC 7

ISO speed: 100-12800 (expandable to 25600)

Continuous shooting speed: Approx. 5 fps

Maximum video quality: Full HD 60p

Auto-focus: 9-point AF (Center point: cross-type, vertical line sensitive when supporting f/2.8)

Wi-Fi / NFC/ Bluetooth: Yes

LCD: 3.0-inch Vari-angle touch panel (approx. 1.04 million dots)

Dimensions: Approx. 122.4mm(W) x 92.6mm(H) x 69.8mm(D)

Weight: Approx. 406g (body only)

* Information and pictures courtesy of Canon Singapore and Ogilvy Public Relations *

 

Coming soon! Singapore Food Festival 2017!

Food and travel lovers in Singapore, and those travelers visiting Singapore in July 2017, you are in for a sumptuous and delightful food adventures time in Singapore! The Singapore Food Festival 2017, in its 24th edition is coming soon, starting on 14th July 2017 till 30th July 2017!

The theme for Singapore Food Festival 2017 is “Savour Singapore in Every Bite“. Locals and visitors alike can look forward to a sumptuous spread of both traditional and contemporary Singaporean food flavours, interpreted through the palates of our local home-grown culinary heroes. This is not just about celebrating our local Singapore food and culture, it’s also about celebrating our Singapore food heritage and flavours, and to honour the people behind the Singapore food heritage and culture, who work passionately to keep our local Singapore culinary traditions alive.

For Singapore Food Festival 2017, there are a wide range of interesting, delicious and fun dining events lined up for Singapore Food Festival 2017. There is not only eating that everyone of us is looking forward to, there are also food heritage tours, talks and dining experiences!

Let me share with you some key events taking place at Singapore Food Festival 2017:

STREAT – Singapore Food Festival 2017 Signature Event

STREAT is Singapore Tourism Board (STB) anchor event for Singapore Food Festival 2017. This year’s highly anticipated pop-up restaurant will be helmed by Peranakan Chef Malcolm Lee of Michelin-starred restaurant Candlenut, and Wild Rocket’s Chef Willin Low, who is widely recognised as the founder of Mod-Sin cuisine. Together, they will present contemporary interpretations of local classics, through a 3-course Mod-Sin and modern Peranakan Tok Panjang menu.

Photo Credit: MUSE

Chef Malcolm Lee and Che Willin Low will also work together and curate a selection of nine stalls, each helmed by young “hawkerpreneurs” and chefs, some of the participating vendors include New Ubin Seafood, Peranakan Khek and Whampoa Prawn Noodle. There are also first time collaborations at STREAT, such as between popular zi-char stall, Keng Eng Kee, and Good Chance Popiah, as well as between contemporary eateries, Taste Affair and The Masses.

Foodie Profiles to enjoy island wide Singapore Food Festival 2017 events

There are four Foodie Profiles that are taking spotlight during the upcoming Singapore Food Festival 2017, which food events that would be suitable for the particular Foodie Profile to visit and enjoy themselves!

  • Gutsy Gourmand: who lives and breathes modern cuisine

    Visit STREAT, the festival’s marquee event, Hawker Wine Safari, 

    Launch of Singapore-inspired bottled cocktails, Chope Exclusives: Local eats edition, Open Stoves by Timbre+ and Singapore Tea Festival

  • Traditional Taster: who believes there’s nothing like old school fare

    Visit The 50 Cents Fest: Those Years 那些年, held at Chinatown Food Street, Singapore Restaurant Festival, Kueh Pairing Workshop Series,  Heritage Town Festival and Kueh Appreciation Day

  • Culture Craver: who embraces all things local

    Visit  Hawker Spotlight 2017, ION Orchard Culinary Creations 2017, Popular Local Fare and A New Taste

  • Art Addict: who appreciates creativity not just in food, but in art form as well

      Visit Project Plait: Inheritance, photo exhibition titled One Dish, One Chef, Generation of Stories presented by Alvin Foo, supported by Canon Singapore, Transforming Your Food Images workshop and Food for Thought panel series

Personally, I am looking forward to STREAT @ Singapore Food Festival 2017! I would try to cover a few of the food events taking place during Singapore Food Festival 2017, do keep a lookout for my updates on my Facebook Page and Instagram! I was at the Hawker Spotlight @ Singapore Food Festival 2016, had a great time eating all the various delicious local Singapore hawker food!

If you love food, the Singapore Food Festival 2017 is perfect for you, for both locals and visitors alike! Mark it down in your calendar and fill your stomach with sumptuous Singapore food!

For more information on Singapore Food Festival 2017, please visit www.singaporefoodfestival.com 

* Information and pictures courtesy of Singapore Tourism Board *

Canon launches EOS 6D Mark II

Canon today, on the 29th June 2017, launches a new DSLR to their line up, the Canon EOS 6D Mark II. Prior to the official announcement, there had been many news and rumours floating around the internet and social media on the Canon EOS 6D Mark II. When I picked up the news earlier, I was looking forward to its official announcement. Finally, it’s official today!

The EOS 6D Mark II succeeds her predecessor, the EOS 6D, with significant improvements and enhancements. At this point in time when I am writing this article, I do not have the opportunity yet to touch, feel and test the EOS 6D Mark II. The views and opinions here are based on my analysis of the EOS 6D Mark II technical specifications.

What are some of the significant improvements and enhancements that stood out for me?

Touch panel vari angle LCD monitor

This is something that can come in very handy and useful for the photographer, don’t underestimate the touch panel with vari angle LCD monitor. It’s more than just for taking selfies or wefies!

All Cross-type 45-point AF sensor

The increase in the number of AF points and all cross-type from 11 (in EOS 6D) to 45 in the EOS 6D Mark II, this is a pretty big improvement! With this improvement, the EOS 6D Mark II is a pretty versatile DSLR camera, capable of handling different photography fields and situations.

Panning function in SCN mode

A new function that caught my attention, I would love to explore this new feature inside the Canon EOS 6D Mark II when a review opportunity arises. From the Canon Singapore video on YouTube, this looks an in-built 5 axis stabilisation for fast action photography.

Personal thoughts and views (based on technical specifications comparisons and analysis)

The world of full frame DSLR cameras is slowly opening up to photography enthusiasts, not just for the photography professionals. The maximum video quality is Full HD 60p, if you are not into videography or a need for 4K video, the Full HD 60p is more than capable and suitable for your needs.

If you are looking to own a full frame entry level DSLR that is affordable and packed with good technical specifications and features, the Canon EOS 6D Mark II would be a good recommendation.

Here’s the press release information on the Canon EOS 6D Mark II:

Canon today announced the launch of the Canon EOS 6D Mark II, the lightest DSLR in the EOS full-frame DSLR line that offers photography enthusiasts the complete arsenal of full-frame DSLR functions, packed into a nimble and compact body.

The EOS 6D Mark II is equipped with a 26.2 Megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor that delivers exceptionally clear images even under low light conditions, and is capable of achieving an impressive background blur effect – a key characteristic of large sensors. Equipped with Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology for high-performance focus tracking in Live View mode as well as DIGIC 7 image processor for high image quality even in dimly lit situations, the EOS 6D Mark II boasts of significant feature enhancements as compared to its predecessor. A first in Canon’s full-frame DSLR range, the EOS 6D Mark II is designed with a versatile Vari-angle touch panel, giving users the flexibility of shooting from a high or low angle.

“In a time where there is increasingly keen interest and demand for top-notch image quality, the EOS 6D Mark II opens the gateway to full-frame photography for photography enthusiasts who are looking to up their game”, said Edwin Teoh, Head of Marketing, Singapore Operations, Canon Singapore. “Conscientious thought has been given to the EOS 6D Mark II to ensure a compact design and intuitive usability, so as to empower a new generation of full-frame photography enthusiasts with superior still and video innovations.”

Achieve Precise Shots with Fast Focus & Clarity

With a huge leap from 11-point in the EOS 6D to 45-point all cross-type AF system, the 45-point all cross-type AF system provides AF coverage over an expanded area during viewfinder shooting. Of the 45 points, 27 are f/8 compatible, resulting in excellent performance when using an extender.

Additionally, the EOS 6D Mark II possesses a continuous shooting speed of up to 6.5 fps, which promises sharp image capture of even fast-moving subjects. In Live View mode, continuous shooting speed is still impressive at up to 4 fps. Coupled with enhanced ISO speeds of up to 40,000 (expandable to 102,400), users are able to capture exceptionally low noise images. With the sensitivity of the center AF point rated at -3EV, the EOS 6D Mark II can consistently acquire focus in extremely low light levels (roughly equivalent to light cast by a full moon).

The EOS 6D Mark II is equipped with a 7560 pixel RGB+IR metering sensor and a colour detection AF that enables consistent and accurate exposure in various lighting conditions. It automatically detects skin tones and prioritises focus on human subjects within the frame. With the addition of the lens aberration correction settings, the EOS 6D Mark II automatically detects the lens paired, and corrects distortion and diffraction at the time of shooting.

To offer users unbridled flexibility and room for creative expression, several features are incorporated as a first in Canon’s full-frame EOS series. Sporting a Vari-angle touchscreen LCD monitor, users will be able shoot from high to low angles nimbly. This is complemented by the inclusion of the brand new Panning function. This Panning function helps in enhancing the background blur while keeping the main subject in focus by automatically selecting the optimal shutter speed by analysing the panning speed of the camera and the speed of the subject.

Through the Intelligent Viewfinder, users have quick and easy access to all shooting information without needing to look away from the viewfinder. The battery life of the EOS 6D Mark II can also be extended to accommodate longer shooting hours with the optional battery grip (BG-E21) which houses 2 pieces of LP-E6N batteries. Ergonomically designed, users will find that the EOS 6D Mark II paired with the BG-E21 battery grip allows for greater ease and comfort, especially when shooting in portrait mode.

Creating Moving Art with Advanced Technology

The affordable EOS 6D Mark II offers videographers the enjoyable experience of shooting professional movies in full HD at a seamless 60p. Powered by the high speed Dual Pixel CMOS AF, a proprietary Canon-developed technology, smooth and high performance focus tracking can be achieved when shooting in both Live View and movie mode. When recording movies, the EOS 6D Mark II is able to continuously track the movements of subjects seamlessly, and also enable users to switch focus from a foreground subject to a background subject quickly and simply via touch focus on the Vari-angle LCD.

In addition, tracking sensitivity and AF speed can be customised to allow movie-makers to create their desired effects. To combat shaky footages caused by movement, Movie digital IS provides the highly effective 5-axis image stabilization to support handheld shoots, even when paired with non-IS lenses.

With the 4K Time-lapse movie function, movie-makers can also capture moods and moments by combining still images shot at intervals over time. For example, users can produce a high quality Time-lapse movie of the sunrise, sunset, moving clouds or heavy traffic on a bustling street. 

Seamless Connectivity

With Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity, users can transfer images and videos from the camera to the smart devices and upload them onto the Canon Image Gateway, social media platforms and cloud storage. Also by using the Canon Camera Connect app, users have real-time control of camera settings such as shutter speed, focus selection and self-timer and more.

In addition, the EOS 6D Mark II features Bluetooth low energy technology which maintains constant connection to a compatible smart device at a low power consumption. With this constant connection, users can view images and start remote capture from the camera even when it is in Auto Power Off mode. Smart devices, when paired with Bluetooth, can wake the camera up, and then switch to Wi-Fi for browsing and viewing images or performing remote capture (with Live View).

Equipped with a GPS receiver, users can also log coordinates of every place that they have photographed, which can be stored as metadata accompanying each image. A GPS log can also be kept to create a map of places photographed as a record of the places the user has been to.

Pricing and Availability

The EOS 6D Mark II will be available at authorised Canon dealers on 27 July 2017 at the following recommended retail prices.

Customers who make a pre-order from 13 July 2017 to 26 July 2017 will be entitled to a free Canon professional camera bagpack worth $289.

Model Recommended Retail Price (Inclusive of GST)
EOS 6D Mark II Body (Body only) S$2,899
EOS 6D Mark II (w/24-70 L IS) S$3,949
EOS 6D Mark II (w/24-105 L IS II) S$4,299

** Updated 13th July 2017 **

Product Specifications

Canon EOS 6D Mark II

Image sensor: 26.2 Megapixel CMOS sensor

Imaging processor: DIGIC 7

ISO speed: 100-40000 (expendable to 102400)

Continuous shooting speed: Approx. 6.5 fps

Maximum video quality: Full HD 60p

Auto-focus: 45-point all cross-type AF / Dual Pixel CMOS AF

Wi-Fi / NFC/ Bluetooth/GPS: Yes

LCD: 3.0-inch Vari-angle touch panel (approx. 1.04 million dots)

Dimensions: Approx. 144.0mm(W) x 110.5mm(H) x 74.8mm(D)

Weight: Approx. 685g (body only)

* Information and pictures courtesy of Canon Singapore and Ogilvy Public Relations *

Just Another Day in Western Australia!

A short flight away from Singapore, a popular destination for holidays and fun, ideal for families and their children. Western Australia is home to many gorgeous and extraordinary attractions and experiences. The number of visitors from Singapore for the year ending 2016, an estimated 104,200 visitors visited Western Australia, staying for an estimated 1,509,200 nights and estimated visitor spend $246m. All these figures placed Singapore in third place for the Top 20 international markets to Western Australia year ending December 2016 (ranked by number of visitors).

Western Australia is a destination that I didn’t get to visit during my University undergraduate days (4 years) in Queensland, a holiday that I should have planned and done! Whenever I looked at Western Australia, there were many destinations in the state of Western Australia that I would really like to visit, enjoy, have fun and take many photographs. During a recent Tourism Western Australia event in Singapore, I had a better understanding and know more about the various areas and destinations of Western Australia.

At the evening with Tourism Western Australia event in Singapore, there was a special culinary ambassador appearance by Chef Tony Howell of Western Australia’s Fresh TV and Formerly Head Chef of Cape Lodge and Margaret River Hospitality Group. Chef Howell shared a lot with the guests on Western Australia food and wine, as well as sharing some delicious food from Western Australia with this cooking!

There had been great developments and growth in the tourism, hospitality and travel sectors of Western Australia. At the Tourism Western Australia event, they brought some local and authentic food, drinks and fun from Western Australia to Singapore! For a start, there were informative boards, brochures, guides and information travelers planning to visit Western Australia.

Perth and Surroundings

Let’s start with Australia sunniest capital, Perth, that is also the capital of Western Australia, consistently rated as one of the world’s most liveable cities.

Accommodation

Since 2012, accommodation in and around Perth has expanded with nearly 1,800 new rooms added to the local market, such as COMO at the Treasury, Crown Towers Perth, Peppers Kings Square, Tribe in West Perth, Alex Hotel in Northbridge, Aloft Hotel in Rivervale and Quest Fremantle. In the next four years, more hotels are coming on board with a further 16 new or redeveloped hotels entering the market, varying from boutique, big name and luxury brands, including Ritz-Carlton’s first Australian property in 10 years, The Westin in the eastern CBD and DoubleTree Group has three developments coming up.

Dining and Wining

Western Australia fresh produce and wines can be found in Perth’s new bars, cafes and restaurants in or near the city’s centre, such as the Shadow Bar and Dining Room, Ku De Ta, The Standard. Isle of Voyage and The Reveley. The recently renovated State Buildings precinct, with its high ceilings and grand halls, is home to some of the city’s best bars and restaurants including Petition Kitchen, Long Chim and Wildflower.

Short trips from Perth City

At the event, there were informative travel boards that gave the guests more information and details on the areas that they can visit outside of Perth City, that are a short 30mins to 90mins away from Perth City, ideal for day trips to destinations such as Fremantle, Rockingham, Sunset Coast, Swan Valley, Perth Hills, Armadale and Avon Valley.

Travelers can base themselves in Perth City, rent a car and drive out of Perth City to the various destinations nearby for day trips!

Beyond Perth and Surrounds

Having studied in Queensland for my undergraduate studies, I traveled out of the major city and discovered many different parts of Australia. In Western Australia, so vast and diverse, around the size of Western Europe and boasting 20,000km of mainland and island coastline, there are a number of destinations beyond Perth and surrounds. Some of the destinations are really gorgeous and I would love to visit them for my travel photography trips in the future!

There are a lot of destinations to visit beyond Perth and their surroundings, I would like to list some of them below:

Margaret River and the South West

  • Surfing, swimming and snorkelling
  • World-class wine and fresh local produce
  • Culture, arts and history (learn more about the customs and history of the Noongar people)
  • Tall timbers (in the Valley of the Giants, between Denmark and Walpole)
  • Adventure (the bushland Bibbulmun Track, or out to the Porongurup Range’s Granite Skywalk)

Exmouth and The Coral Coast

  • Snorkelling at Ningaloo Reef
  • Swimming with gentle giants (whale sharks)
  • Friendly dolphins at Monkey Mia
  • Wildflowers and pink waters
  • Extraordinary rock formations (at the Pinnacles near the coastal town of Cervantes)

Esperance and the Golden Outback

  • White beaches and pink lakes
  • World’s largest outdoor gallery (the striking salt flats of Lake Ballard)
  • Golden Quest Discovery Trail (965-kilometre journey from Coolgardie to Laverton)
  • Wildflowers and wave walking
  • The unexpected (Corrigin Dog Cemetery)

Broome and The North West Region

  • Camels on Cable Beach
  • Aboriginal experiences
  • Best kept secrets (Karijini National Park and Purnululu National Park)
  • Horizontal Falls (Talbot Bay)
  • Remote luxury resorts (Berkeley River Lodge, Kimberley Coast Camp, El Questro Homestead, Faraway Bay)

Western Australia is huge destination, packed with my beautiful destinations to visit, that’s something for everybody to have fun and enjoy during their travels to Western Australia. This destination is one that I had missed out during my undergraduate days in Queensland that I didn’t get to visit during my studies there, I should have just flew over and visit Western Australia during my semester breaks!

I would love to plan a visit to Western Australia in the future, from Perth, traveling around and out, towards Margaret River, Exmouth and the Coral Coast, as well as Broome and The North West Region.

When I do visit Western Australia, I would shout out, “G’day mate! Just Another Day in Western Australia!”

For more information on Western Australia, visit Tourism Western Australia website!

I would like to thank Tourism Western Australia for the invitation to their An Evening with Tourism Western Australia event in Singapore.

* Information courtesy of Tourism Western Australia and cohn&wolfe *

Vintage Flea Market by The Retro Factory

On the second weekend of the month, there is a flea market that I would like to share with everyone of you here. They specialise in vintage, retro, historical and nostalgia items that have quite a long history behind them. From vinyl discs, watches, books, jewellery, hats etc etc. It is usually held at Katong Square, in the the past few months, they have received more visitors to their vintage flea market and they have also expanded to other events/locations such as Singapore Heritage Festival 2017 at Caldecott Hill and most recently at Turf City.

I had been visiting and covering the vintage flea market by The Retro Factory at Katong Square for the past few months. There’s always something different being displayed at the flea market, I would take the opportunity to take a look around the various stalls and try to spot a treasure/retro item that I really like. There are a few items in mind, that I am planning to get it, sometime down the road!

The vintage flea market by The Retro Factory reminded me of my uni days in Australia (from studying in Brisbane, to visiting Sydney and Melbourne) when I would regularly visit and discover various flea markets in the cities and outskirts/nearby smaller cities. Some of the flea markets are vintage markets, some are artwork and modern living. There is something for everybody to explore and enjoy when they are visiting the flea markets.

I found and bought something!

Most of my readers/followers here would know of my history and connection with the Scouting movement, I still have a lot of Scouting items and memorabilia when I was with the Gan Eng Seng Dragon Scout Group. One of the items that I still kept was my whistle that I owned and used during my Scouting days. This was an item that I treasured, during a visit to one of the vintage flea markets, I found a whistle from the 1940s and I was mesmerised by the vintage whistle. After some consideration, I decided that I wanted to own this whistle and replace it on my lanyard that accompanied me during my Scouting days!

There are many different types of retro vintage items that you can discover at the Vintage Flea Market by The Retro Factory. For history, heritage, conservation, preservation and culture supporters in Singapore, do check out and follow their Facebook Page for updates and details of their Vintage Flea Market!

Facebook Page: Vintage Flea Market by the Retro Factory

Facebook Group: The Retro Factory

Instagram: The Retro Factory SG

During my visits to the Vintage Flea Market, I got to know friends who are fellow history and heritage enthusiasts! I had great chats and discussions with them, I also learned a lot from them because they are more senior than me, had seen the changes and they enlightened me on the topics of history, heritage, conservation and preservation discussion!

In my personal humble opinion, I feel that Singapore has the market and potential to grow its own flea market. While it might take a bit of time, with increasing awareness on the topics of history, heritage, conservation and preservation, the vintage flea market in Singapore can grow and expand in the very near future.

Do visit the Vintage Flea Market by The Retro Factory, you never know what kind/types of retro stuff/treasures that you can find there!

Whiskey Appreciation Masterclass at The Whiskey House

Whisky or Whiskey? Depends on your geographic location and the English language that you are taught in, both word refer to the same alcoholic beverage around the world that we love and appreciate. My early whisky journeys evolve around Scotch whisky, bourbon whiskey before moving into Japanese whisky.

The world of whisky is pretty big out there, yet there is this duplex in the world today, that has a wide selection of whiskey from all over the world inside the duplex. Where can you find this wide whiskey selection? Inside Changi Airport Terminal 2, it is known as The Whiskey House! With a diverse range of 179 single malts, 68 blended Scotch whiskies, 30 American whiskies inside The Whiskey House, for the Whisky or Whiskey lover in you, this is a must visit place when you visit Singapore! As a whisky fan and avid traveler, I am wondering to myself, how did I manage to miss out this awesome whisky place inside Changi Airport during my previous trips?

On the upper level of the duplex, there is an amazing, must visit destination for all whisky lovers, an intuitive and experiential whiskey shopping experience whereby you can enjoy complimentary tastings of 100 different whiskies from around the world. This is where you taste and enjoy the whisky before choosing your favourite whiskey to bring home.

This was also the location whereby I attended their Whiskey Appreciation Masterclass, part of the Whiskey Festival, taking place from May 25 to July 1 at Changi Airport. For that weekend on June 16 and 17, the regional brand ambassador for The Balvenie whisky house played host for whiskey appreciation masterclass. That was where we met Neil Strachan from Scotland, who hosted us for the whisky appreciation masterclass. His sharing was very interesting and interactive, teaching us how to appreciate and learn more about whisky, the fragrance, aroma and taste. Having an expert to share about whisky tasting makes drinking whisky even more special and fun! If you are a Scotch whisky fan, do follow Neil on his Instagram account! Neil is an awesome ambassador, I hope to have future opportunities to learn more about Scotch whisky from him!

I am probably the “worst student” among the group of us at the Whiskey Appreciation Masterclass because I was busy tasting/drinking the Balvenie single malt vintage whiskies (I don’t wish to declare the number of whisky glasses that I had during the masterclass!) and taking photos of them for this article! While this is not specifically a whisky review article, I would just share some of my thoughts, all of them are pure vintage class and each has its own distinct fragrance, aroma and strength. What were the types of Balvenie whiskies that we tasted during the Whiskey Appreciation Masterclass? There were the 12 years, 16 years, 21 years and 25 years! Do you have a favourite from these four bottles of Balvenie whiskies? From these four bottles of Balvenie vintage whiskies, my preference is the 25 years vintage!

While drinking and enjoying Balvenie whisky, it brought back my recent travel memories to Nikka distillery in Yoichi, Hokkaido, during October 2016. I had a memorable and fun whisky tasting/distillery tour on my own! I would love to visit the whisky distilleries in Scotland in the future! Nothing beats visiting a whisky house/distillery, soaking in the atmosphere and surroundings! It’s like a pilgrimage for whisky lovers!

Whisky and Whiskey lovers in the world, I know you have a bias towards particular whisky houses around the world, you have your favourite whiskies. When you visit Singapore, don’t miss this golden opportunity to visit the Whiskey House inside Changi Airport Terminal 2!

I hope to share more about my whisky tasting experiences in the future, along with cuisines that would be suitable for each type of whisky. Whisky and cuisines pairing sounds like a great food and beverage adventure for me!

I would like to thank Changi Airport Social for the invitation to the whiskey appreciation masterclass!

Mellower Coffee Tasting

“Just For A Cup of Good Coffee” that’s the slogan when you visit Mellower Coffee in Singapore, at their Robinson Road or Middle Road cafes. A leading boutique coffee brand from China, they have shown great professionalism and passion in their coffee culture, in a minimalist chic, classy, cosy and comfortable café boutique environment.

I heard about Mellower Coffee and visited their outlet at Robinson Road previously. They had a range of coffee that attracted my attention and I didn’t really get to know more about them during my visit with my friends. At a recent Mellower Coffee tasting event invitation, I got the opportunity to know more about Mellower Coffee, their history and origins, their range of Mellower coffee and their Mellower Coffee Signature beverages.

Established since 2011, a coffee brand from China, adopting a from-plantation-to-cup industry model. They aim to deliver quality speciality coffee through their professionalism, platform and passion for coffee. They strive to be the leading brand in the coffee industry. Mellower Coffee expanded overseas to locations Singapore and Korea, eyeing further expansion into Vietnam and United Kingdom.

After their short presentation, we started with the Mellower coffee tasting and appreciation. Being a coffee lover myself, I was most excited with the tasting and appreciation. Observing how the barista prepares the various coffee beans for tasting, he was meticulous and precise, in ensuring the prescribed amount of coffee powder and water mixing well together to deliver the best coffee tasting appreciation experience for everyone of us there.

Mellower Single Origin Series

Colombia: Nut x Green Grapes

Ethiopia Yirgacheffe: Floral x Bergamot x Lemon

Kenya: Tomato x Brown Sugar x Berry

Sumatra Mandheling: Cocoa x Butter

Each of their Mellower Single Origin Series has its own unique quality, taste and fragrance. I encourage the coffee lover in you to taste each of them before deciding which is your favourite, since we all have different taste buds and preferences.

Mellower Classic

Mellower Coffee has a range of coffee products that can be purchased for your own consumption at home or as gifts for your family and friends. They are the Drop Coffee, Coffee Beans and Bag Coffee (do check out their website for more details on their coffee products).

I am going to share on their Drip Coffee, one of the coffee products that I tried during the coffee tasting event. The barista from Mellower Coffee demonstrated how to prepare and setup the Drip Coffee when we want to drink them at home. We also got the opportunity to taste it during the session and it’s pretty good.

Mellower Coffee Signature – Sakura Fubuki

Mellower Coffee has a few signature coffee beverages (check out their website for more information)

  • Sweet Little Rain
  • Ice Lemon Sparkling Yirgacheffe
  • Ice Rose Fresh Cream Lungo
  • Sakura Fubuki

In the near future, I hope to try out their different signature coffee by Mellowe Coffee and share about my photos and experiences on my Instagram and Facebook Page.

During the coffee tasting event, we tried this Mellower Coffee signature drink, the Sakura Fubuki. This is a special coffee beverage and for those who love the cherry blossom, you would be to relate with this unique coffee beverage. Fubuki means snow storm. Therefore, Sakura Fubuki means the wind blowing the sakura petals off from the trees as though it is like a snow storm.

This is a romantic drink, the cherry blossom is only for a short period of time and when the petal falls, it’s the end of the season, just like the first love that we all had, so wonderful yet so short lived, beautiful yet there is a sense of bitterness.

The Sakura Fubuki is presented in two separate segments, the glass contains the Sakura blossom preserve while the test tubes contain two shots of espresso. Before we started to mix them together by pouring the espresso into the glass, everyone of us were busy taking photos of this drink and the pouring process. Once you mixed them together, we would get a taste of bitterness from the espresso, saltiness of the sakura petal preserves and sweetness of the syrup. All these coming together gives a unique and special taste to the Sakura Fubuki.

There is something special about Mellower Coffee, from the quality of their coffee beans selection from different parts of the world, their minimalist chic, cosy and comfortable café boutique environment, their signature and unique coffee beverages.

I am impressed with their boutique café environment, I love the ambience, minimalist design and interiors, along with their various types of coffee under their branding. Starting from their own global procurement of coffee beans, followed by their own independent roasting in Shanghai, into their classy, minimalist boutique café outlets, delivering quality coffee experience and culture to us coffee lovers. Personally, I feel that they have live up to their slogan “Just for a Cup of Good Coffee” , in Chinese “只为一杯好咖啡”.

I would like to thank Mellower Coffee for the invitation to the coffee tasting and appreciation event.

The Lomo’Instant Panama by Lomography

Lomography recently launched a new camera to their Lomo’Instant family, the Lomo’Instant Panama. The latest Lomo’Instant is dedicated to the beautiful country of Panama, the sun, the sand and the sea!

  • Introducing a Special Summer Design: Inspired by a modern metropolis, incredible rainforests and beautiful coastlines, this fresh little instant is the perfect summer sidekick.
  • Create and Share Instantly: Experiment with unlimited multiple exposures, Color Gel flash filters, Bulb Mode for unlimited long exposures and so much more!
  • Perfect for Valentine’s Day: Flowers are pretty and chocolates are sweet, but a Lomo’Instant lets you share the love all year ’round.

Analogue and Lomography fans, do check out this new Lomo’Instant Panama camera! Let your creative and colourful photography juices flow! For more information on the Lomo’Instant Panama, check out the details below!

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

  • Film Format: Fujifilm Instax Mini Film
  • Exposure Area: 42mm x 64mm
  • Shutter Speed: 1/125s / Bulb
  • Exposure Compensation: +2/-2 Exposure Values
  • Ejection Mechanism: Motorized
  • Multiple Exposures: Yes
  • Built-in Flash Guide Number: 9(m)
  • Automatic Flash Output: Yes
  • Battery Supply: 6V (4x AAA batteries)
  • Tripod mount: Yes
  • Cable Release Mount: Yes
  • Aperture: f/8, f/11, f/16, f/22, f/32

Pricing

  • Lomo’Instant Panama Single Package: SGD 148
  • Lomo’Instant Panama Lens Combo Package: SGD 188

Where to buy Lomo’Instant Panama

For more information, visit Lomo’Instant Panama Microsite: https://microsites.lomography.com/lomo-instant-camera/

* Information and pictures courtesy of Lomography Online Services *

An Infinity Rainbow World of Artworks with Yayoi Kusama

I entered the National Gallery Singapore and I was greeted by big yellow balls with black dots hanging from the courtyard ceiling of the City Hall. These unique and special artworks welcome us visitors into a very special, different, unique and abstract world, of one of the world’s most influential artists, Yayoi Kusama.

This marked the start of a rainbow journey, from a very colourful start with the brightest and most colourful artworks into the other end of the rainbow, into a black and white world. Located in three galleries (Gallery A, B and C) and the City Hall Chamber, visitors have over 120 works across media to view, explore, interact and connect with Yayoi Kusama, starting with her paintings from the 1950s to her modern artworks of today.

Entering into the world of artist Yayoi Kusama at the National Gallery Singapore, it’s more than just having the best Instagram worthy locations, it’s more than taking selfies and wefies with her mirrors artworks. Yayoi Kusama iconic and abstract artworks are more than just for photography opportunities, her artworks engage us in many ways of our life, space and fashion.

Upon entering into the world of Yayoi Kusama, I spotted and discovered, trends, patterns, colours, from polka dots and nets, pumpkins, infinity mirrors. I also started exploring space, colour and form from her amazing artworks across different media, from paintings to sculptures, collages and videos.

Yayoi Kusama works are bold, captivating, abstract, intriguing, mind blowing. With over 120 of her works on display, I just want to share these few key works below, that you have to visit:

The Spirits of the Pumpkins descended into the Heavens @ Gallery A

Infinity Mirrored Room – Gleaming Lights of the Souls @ Gallery B 

With all my Love for the Tulips, I pray forever @ Gallery C 

Life is the Heart of a Rainbow @ Gallery C

 Are we able to view and connect with her artworks in our daily life today? That’s the rainbow question for you, seeking the golden pot at the end of the rainbow, by visiting and discovering YAYOI KUSAMA: Life is the Heart of a Rainbow exhibition at the National Gallery Singapore.

When you enter into the world of Yayoi Kusama, do not rush, engage yourself and be involved with her artworks, the interaction and connection, feel them and capture them down in your memories, through your eyes, heart, soul and cameras. Remember to hashtag #SGLovesKusama, share your photos along with your inner most thoughts and feelings about/with Yayoi Kusama.

Personally, as a commercial/events/travel photographer, while I seldom enter into the foray of artistic/abstract photography, there is something very magical that feeds our creative soul, to learn from the creative artists of another discipline, through their eyes, heart, soul, ideas and ultimately their artworks. Through my Instagram, I shared some photos that I took at the exhibition with my thoughts and feelings. More photographs of YAYOI KUSAMA: Life is the Heart of a Rainbow Exhibition can be viewed in my Flickr collection.

I may not know where this will bring me or help me in my current photography adventures. There is one thing that comes up into my mind, that is to explore cross disciplinary artwork creations with artists from other fields with my photography. Maybe one day in the near future.

Flying into an infinity rainbow world of artworks with Yayoi Kusama and beyond, what goes beyond there? Now, it’s up to me to explore and discover what is waiting for me at the end of this infinity rainbow world.

I think I need to make another visit to YAYOI KUSAMA: Life is the Heart of a Rainbow Exhibition, maybe a few more visits.

YAYOI KUSAMA: Life is the Heart of a Rainbow Exhibition details

Dates: 9th June – 3rd September 2017

Venue: City Hall Wing, Level 3, Singtel Special Exhibition Gallery

Ticket details

Singaporeans / PR

All-Access Pass

  • Adult $15
  • Concession $10

Includes complimentary general admission + YAYOI KUSAMA: Life is the Heart of a Rainbow

Non-Singaporeans

All-Access Pass

  • Adult $30
  • Concession $25

Includes general admission + YAYOI KUSAMA: Life is the Heart of a Rainbow

Special Exhibition

  • Adult $25
  • Concession $20

YAYOI KUSAMA: Life is Heart of a Rainbow

Book Tickets

The YAYOI KUSAMA: Life is the Heart of a Rainbow exhibition is by timed-entry, stipulated on your ticket. Visitors can book their tickets online here: https://www.nationalgallery.sg/visit/admissions

For more information, check out the links below


Created with flickr slideshow.

Photojournalist in Travel, Events and Sports Photography