Exploring Kampung Lorong Buangkok with fellow Photoblogger

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The topic of Kampung Lorong Buangkok had been ringing in our local news/blogsphere for a period of time, with international news Reuters, reporting “Rush for land to sweep away last Singapore Village” on 21st December 2007. Recently, during NDP 2009, there was a video recording of residents from Kampung Lorong Buangkok inside the Singapore Flyer giving interviews and thoughts about the 44th year birthday and growth of Singapore, and how their nice and cosy Kampung Lorong Buangkok place would be in modern Singapore.

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Finally, after procrastinating for months and months, I saw fellow LG Photoblogger Tetanus on his recent photography trip to Kampung Lorong Buangkok via twitter and after some discussion, another fellow LG Photoblogger Chester, decided to meet and visit Kampung Lorong Buangkok together. I met Chester at Ang Mo Kio MRT station, hitch a ride with him and drove to Gerald Drive, the rain came pouring and our planned start time to explore was pushed back due to the heavy rain, Chester and myself went up to Jalan Kayu for roti prata breakfast and teh tarik, discussing everything photography under the sun 🙂

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Soon, the rain got less heavy and we headed back to Gerald Drive, started exploring Kampung Lorong Buangkok, it was still drizzling and we decided to go ahead exploring in the midst of the drizzle. We hiked inside and discovered a very peaceful and beautiful kampung, probably due to the rain too ! After an initial exploration, we hiked along the monsoon canal that lead to Sungei Punggol, it was forested on the Kampung Lorong Buangkok side and modern landed property on the other side of the canal, a contrast of the modern and old Singapore. The rain gave us another interesting and exciting challenge, the water droplets forming on the leaves and flowers gave different photography opportunities and Chester showed the power of the Tamron 90mm Macro !

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Hiking back into the heart of Kampung Lorong Buangkok, we photographed the wooden houses, nicely repainted yet retaining her history and aura, a blend of modern and traditional, coming together in this wonderful kampung. Beautiful gardens and flowers, peaceful and tranquil, just metres away from the modern and fast paced life of Singapore. The rain came pouring back and it really became a bit more difficult, nevertheless, we continued our photography walkabout inside Kampung Lorong Buangkok. For more photos of our photojournalistic adventure, do drop by my Flickr !

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As we came to an end of our photography walkabout, how much longer would Kampung Lorong Buangkok has to make way for the growth and expansion of modern Singapore ?

Kite Festival Singapore 2009

Kite flying is a popular cultural and recreational event in Asia, when I was a young school kid, I remembered making my own kite as part of my art and craft lesson ! Well, kite flying today has advanced as well and the designs were getting better, trendier and more colourful ! Kite flying is suitable for all ages and everybody, making it a fun and enjoyable event for all to enjoy !

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The NTUC Income Kite Festival Singapore 2009 was presented by Act 3 International and it was held at West Coast Park on the 29th August and 30th August 2009. More details about the NTUC Income Kite Festival Singapore 2009 can be viewed HERE ! This event attracted a great turnout and the car parks were packed and fully occupied, it attracted people of all ages and nationalities, coming down together for 2 days of fun, kite flying and entertainment.

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I went today to West Coast Park, 29th August 2009, and the beautiful clear blue sky were filled with many different types of kites and designs flying high up in the beautiful clear blue sky! The crowds and kites set the mood to be fun and enjoyable, along with performances and activities, for everybody. Regardless of kite size and design, it was the fun and atmosphere that made the NTUC Income Kite Festival 2009 a great event.

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Moving around taking photos of different kites flying in the clear blue sky, nice weather for outdoor events, switching between my telephoto lense (70-200mm f4 L) and wide angle lense (17-40mm f4 L), it gave me a happy and relaxing feeling, back to my youngster days of fun and play ! Walking around happily snapping away beautiful memories, many participants there enjoying themselves too. Soon the kites filled up the sky and it was an awesome view !! Check out my Flickr set for more photos of NTUC Income Kite Festival Singapore 2009 !

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After a few rounds of walking around, I went to sit down along the West Coast Park esplanade, enjoying the sun sets down on me while enjoying the kite flying in the sky, a tranquility of peace, fun and relaxation.

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Hope you folks enjoy kite flying just  as I did today !

Review of LG Viewty Smart GC900 & Why U Want to Own It !

Life is Viewty-ful, there are many different photography opportunities daily in our life, our work and our travels. Sometimes, even though you may just be a casual photographer, don’t you wish for a camera phone that you can take out from your bags or pockets and capture a beautiful photo, when you are the right place and right time ?

Look no further, presenting to you, a review of the LG Viewty Smart GC 900 camera phone, one of the latest and smartest camera phone to enter LG’s diverse range of mobile phones. Let me bring you through the journey when I was involved in the LG “Life is Viewty-ful” campaign and after a period of testing, I am very happy that I owned a camera phone.

Before going further, the specifications of the LG Viewty Smart GC 900 are below

Network . Dimension
UMTS: 900/2100, GSM 850/900/1800/1900 108.9 x 56.1 x 12.4mm
. Message . Screen Display
SMS / MMS / Email (IMAP4, SMTP, POP3), Predictive Text Input(T9) External LCD (pixel) 480 x 800, 3.0″ WVGA
. # of colour . FM Radio
16M, TFT Touch Screen Yes
. Internal Memory . Memory Slot
1.5GB user memory Micro SD up to 8GB
. Weight(g) . Battery Capacity(mAh)
102g with standard battery 1000mAh, Li-ion
. Standby time(h) . Java version
350 hrs (2G), 400 hrs (3G) 2.0
. Camera . Digital Zoom
CMOS, 8 Megapixel Digital Zoom x 4
. WiFi . PIM
Yes Schedule / Alarm / Phonebook(# of names): 1000
. Data Connectivity . Personalization
USB / PC Sync Wallpaper, Picture and ring tone downloading
. Speaker phone . Touch Screen
Yes Yes
. MIDI . Dolby Mobile
Yes (64) For video and audio playback
. Video Telephony
Yes

Source : LG Mobile Singapore

What makes this LG Viewty Smart GC 900 so impressive ? For a hardcore DSLR user like me, I was very impressed with the camera phone given its limitations (a DSLR can’t be compared to a camera phone).

Key Outstanding Functions and Features of LG Viewty Smart GC 900

Intelligent Shot Mode

A Camera Phone 1st, highly intelligent phone, analyse and capture beautiful photographs in any condition. Absolutely wonderful !

8 Megapixel Camera with ISO 1600

When it comes to printing, you don’t have to worry about picture quality !

Multiple Shot Modes

Beauty, Panorama, Art, Continuous and Smile shots – intelligent and multiple shot modes, makes photography easy, friendly and fun for everyday use and just as good for serious photography too.

Multi-Face Detection

3 faces can be detected at once, excellent portrait photography !

Lense and Aperture

Schneider-Kreuznach Lense , maximum aperture f/2.8 with Image Stabiliser

3.o inch WVGA LCD

Crystal clear and wide viewing experience.

–  Photo Editing

Bringing photo editing into LG Viewty Smart, giving u a Viewty-ful lifestyle with editing features such as (1) Fog Drawing (2) Raindrop Effect (3) ID Photo (4) Morphing & Freestyle Warping (5) Geo-Tagging

3D S-Class User Interface

A wonderful design and invention, smarter and friendlier, making it easily accessible for the camera phone, thus camera friendly.

~ Cube Layout, Floating Image Gallery, Reel Scrolling

~ Camera User Interface with Quick Keys with a virtual setting dial on the viewfinder

SmartPhone and Multimedia Phone Capabilities

~ Dolby Mobile

~ DivX / Xvid playback

~ Movie maker

Sample portfolio photographs taken using the LG Viewty Smart GC 900 can be viewed from my Flickr folder of CommunicAsia 2009 and the following my following blog posts on My Mystery New Toy.

Nothing in life is perfect, that goes the same for electronic gadgets. Some of the issues are

– Difficulty in taking night sceneries

– Grainy image quality for night shots

– Slow focusing

Taking into account the above considerations and it is a camera phone, I am still very impressed and if you are a hardcore DSLR photographer like me, you will be amazed by its multi-function and intelligent features and I believe it will give traditional digital cameras a run for their money with its light and intelligent features along with its smartphone and multimedia phone qualities and features. The price for the LG GC 900 at SingtelShop is currently $398 with 2 year contract (Do check out the  SingtelShop website for the latest price).

If you are looking for an intelligent camera phone, look no further than LG VIewty Smart GC 900 !

Strike While the Iron is HOT ! NATAS Early Release Specials !

It’s the time of the year, whereby people would flock down to NATAS, research, enquire and purchase travel packages for the upcoming school holiday season or for their own holidays. NATAS travel fair would be held from 28th August to 30th August 2009 at the Singapore Expo Halls 4 and 5 from 10:00am to 9:30pm.

For those who wished to look for NATAS Early Release Specials …….. STRIKE WHILE THE IRON IS HOT !!!

Airlines Early Release NATAS Specials!

Cheap Airfares on Jetstar!

Fly Japan Airlines!

Look no further !! Check out those exciting NATAS Early Release Specials !

Combined Scout Groups Pulau Ubin Hike on 22nd Aug 2009

It had been quite some time since I went hiking, a few days ago, Dave Koh called me and asked if I would be keen to join in with his 23  Eagles Scout Group combined hike at Pulau Ubin on Saturday 22nd August, along with Henry Park Primary School cub scouts and help to capture scouting moments. After checking my schedule, I was able to join Dave Koh for this combined scout group hike !

The schools involved in the hike were

(1) Bukit Merah Secondary School

(2) New Town Secondary School

(3) NUS High School

(4) Henry Park Primary School

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I woke up early in the morning, around 0600 hrs, washed up and made my way to Bukit Merah Secondary to meet Dave and a group of scouts around 0715hrs, took the bus and joined up with the rest of the other schools at Changi Village Ferry Terminal to catch the bumboat across to Pulau Ubin. For my readers who haven’t heard of Pulau Ubin before, Pulau Ubin is an island situated off the Northeastern coast of Singapore, a laid back area, like Singapore in the 1960s, more information can be obtained from National Parks website and Wild Singapore website and it’s quite a popular destination with tourists and locals too !

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Once the entire contingent were across, they would began their hike before stopping for outdoor cooking lunch at Kampung Noordin, the Henry Park Cub Scouts were split into their patrols, led by Ventures of 23 Eagles Scout Group attached to each patrol and strongly supported by volunteer adult leaders from Henry Park Primary School. The fun began and we hiked from the Southern area to the Northern area of Pulau Ubin. Along the way, there were checkpoints for the patrols and fun activities, along with history and science lessons from their adult volunteer leaders especially on the old wooden houses and wild fruit trees.

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At Kampung Noordin, the contingent rest and relax, preparing to try out outdoor cooking, with their mess tins, solid fuel, instant noodles and can of hot dogs. Looking at them, the young primary school children, trying out their hands on outdoor cooking, it brought back a lot of wonderful memories when I was a young Boy Scout in Dragon Scout Group, learning how to do Outdoor Cooking ! The feelings were great, happy and it was always a family feeling whenever I am back and involved in Scouting, especially with my alumni mata, Gan Eng Seng Dragon Scout Group, and being involved today with other fellow Scout Groups and friends, we belonged to a worldwide movement – A Brotherhood of Scouting around the world. More photos of today’s combined hike can be found in my Flickr !

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Soon, it was time to call it a day and returned back to mainland Singapore. Weather was great except it was quite hot and arms were slightly burned. On the bumboat mainland bound, stood on the back and watching Pulau Ubin behind us, the waves and ripples of the sea.

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Happy Scouting folks !

Scene City Singapore by Channel News Asia

For the next 7 weeks in Singapore, on 830pm every Wednesday night, photography fans would be able to watch, learn and enjoyed a short series of Singapore photography in action. What is this all about ? Before going further, check out the video ..

Tom Ang, a famous photographer, would be bringing 2 local photographers in each episode to different locations in Singapore, to capture Singapore from different perspectives and photographic challenges. After watching the 1st episode on Channel News Asia, I was impressed by the short yet meaningful and interesting photography documentary. I went surfing for more information and found Eulee’s post on Scene City Singapore, who was also one of the photographers involved in this 8 part series.

The following locations would be where Tom Ang and 2 different photographers every week would be heading

19th August – Resorts World & School of the Arts
26th August – Singapore Dance Theatre & Timbre
2nd September – Semakau Landfill & Pulau Ubin
9th September – Kim Keat Lane Bakery & Changi Fishery
16th September – PSA & Print Dynamics
23rd September – Pearl Bank Apartments & Margaret Drive
30th September – Southern Ridges & Sungei Buloh
7th October – Star Cruises

Source : Eulee’s Blog Post

My fellow Photography fans, do keep your Wednesday 830pm free for the next 7 weeks !

If you a tourist researching on locations in Singapore that is off the “normal tourist” track, this would great information for you too !

YOG 2010 – 365 Days Countdown Fireworks

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The world FIRST Youth Olympic Games in 2010 is officially 365 days away from its Opening Ceremony in Singapore, the 1st Host Country for the Youth Olympics Games ! This event was marked by a great day of fun, party, games, sports and fireworks to welcome this event held at the Padang.

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The event was attended by mostly students, there were adults too inside the event, enjoying the youthful atmosphere and fun. With different sports showcasing their gear and stuff, introducing them to the students and allowing them to try it out. There were sports booths such as cycling, fencing, rowing, sailing, archery, and many students were seen trying the various sports out.

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There was a party and concert, along with Ministers and VIPs, at the steps of the City Hall before the Countdown Clock by Omega the Official Timekeeper for YOG 2010 was officially launched and beautiful fireworks fired up into the Singapore sky from the roof top of the City Hall, lighting up the sky and mesmerising the crowds in front and at the Padang.

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For more photos, drop by my Flickr !

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