Australian Alumni Singapore 56th Anniversary Dinner

The Australian Alumni Singapore (AAS), the alumni body that takes care of the graduates from the various Australian Universities, now in its 56th year. AAS organised their anniversary dinner and it was a great turn-out and participation from the various different Australian Universities, a chance for fellow friends to catch up, mix around and networking.

My alumni mata, The University of Queensland, was there too, participating at the AAS 56th Anniversary Dinner, held at Raffles Town Club, held on the 26th October 2011. Our local alumni body, University of Queensland Alumni Association of Singapore (UQAAS), were there and we had 2 tables, with a great of mix of recent graduates and those who had been working for a number of years to those senior alumni graduates from University of Queensland. This dinner was graced by the President of Singapore, His Excellency, Dr Tony Tan and Mrs Tan, along with the Australian High Commissioner, His Excellency, Mr Doug Chester and Mrs Chester.

Accompanied by the beautiful classical music and singing, it was good to catch up with fellow graduates and chat with the recent graduates, social networking and exchange. Besides, it’s also good to find other fellow friends from Australian Universities graduates and catch up too!

While I was going around taking photographs, I took the time to chat with my UQAAS friends and took many more photographs of them and getting the other photographers to help too (with me inside the group photos!). Do check out some of the selected photos taken here on Flickr ! If you are a University of Queensland graduate, do check out the activities by UQAAS and by AAS too ! Check out our past UQAAS activities and events photographs here on Flickr !

 

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

Stop Motion Workshop @ N.E.mation! 6

Animation – when this word comes into your mind, is it something that is very difficult to do, start and even complete in the first place? Which type of animation comes to your mind ? Walt Disney cartoons ? These were the thoughts that came to into my mind when I heard about the Stop Motion Workshop at N.E.mation! 6 at the invitation from the friendly folks at Dice Studio!

Taking you back into a bit of a short history and timeline, N.E.mation! 6 is currently in her 6th year/edition, starting off as a competition for youths to express their notions on Total Defence through animation, there were 5 Total Defence animation clips featured in the National Day Rally in 2006. This was the start, growth and expansion of the N.E.mation!, the growth is phenomenal!

Recalling N.E.mation! 5 animation clips produced by the students then, they were superb, very touching and heart warming, striking a chord in many of us here. Looking at their animation clips, I was wondering if somebody like me, without any prior animation making experience, how to go about doing one animation clip? At the Stop Motion Workshop, I was given a hands on lesson to produce my first Stop Motion Animation clip with fellow blogger Esther, taught by the friendly folks of Animagine, using simple art and craft tools, different coloured paper, scissors, marker and pencil, tripod, small webcam and the Animake software! We were given a history of animation before going hands on to follow the instructions and cut the paper sizes out into different shapes and designs for our animation production!

The whole process was very fun and it’s my maiden animation making experience, I have learned something new! The Stop Motion Workshop gave me an insight into the tremendous effort and time spent by the students of the N.E.mation! competition when they were producing their marvelous animation clips. Kudos to the students competing in N.E.mation! and I wish them all the best of luck for N.E.mation! 6

Do drop by N.E.mation! website, take a look at past years N.E.mation! animation clips, support them ! Here are some photos of us taken at the Stop Motion Workshop on Flickr taken by Dice Studio!

Here are some N.E.mation! related sites that you might find useful:

• http://nemation.sg
• http://facebook.com/nemation
• http://youtube.com/nemators

Stay connected with them, via the social media channels and networks, support them, follow them in their journey! N.E.mation! 6 theme is NS : From Fathers to Sons , something that many of us, especially the guys can relate to !

 

Entering the Monochrome / B&W Photography

Learning and self-improvement is a lifelong thing, it’s a journey that I will take, irregardless of where I am or what I have achieved, my mantra is constant learning and improvement in everything that I do and set upon. That applies to my photography too, even if I have been shooting photographs for many years (since my film era days), there is always something to learn, venture and try out.

I was reading the Outdoor Photographer magazine on my Zinio Reader, the August 2011 issue, has a segment on B&W Special. This special segment really got me kick started to continue my own self-learning and improvement, although there are other photography areas too that I would like to gain more knowledge and explore e.g. how to setup studio lightings for portrait photography and the tricks + tips to lighting, that’s another post to chat about!

Besides, I am also inspired by my fellow photographer friends B&W shots, on their street photography, Callan, Jingwen, just to mention a few of them, street photography on B&W is very powerful and that would be an area for me to explore! It was also my first time on 22nd October, switching to the Monochrome mode on my Canon EOS 1Dmk3 and started some shooting, probably not the recommended way, however, a first step for me into more active monochrome and Black & White Photography.

Moving forward, I need to re-start my engine again, on my personal projects, Old Places and Old Playgrounds, maybe it’s the time to go more active into Black & White / Monochrome.

It’s also a reminder to myself to keep on learning and improving, through self-exploration, books, guides, peer sharing and mentored by senior photographers.

 

Ben & Jerry Chunk Fest 2011

This is my 4th time attending, attending an ice cream festival here in Singapore, known as the Ben & Jerry Chunk Fest 2011, a time to taste different ice cream varieties from USA that are not available for the Singapore market. Looking back at the past 3 years, I remember Ben & Jerry Chunk Fest being held at various locations.

2008 – Fort Canning

2009 – Marina Barrage

2010 – Marina Promontory 

This year 2011, it’s held at the Marina Promontory, a good location overlooking the Marina Bay and it’s not too far away from Raffles Place MRT station. Ben & Jerry Chunk Fest is another great event for social media networking, asking the bloggers/social media/tweeples to gather, eat ice cream, relax and chit chat.

Ben & Jerry Chunk Fest 2011 is not just about eating Ben & Jerry ice cream flavours that are not available in Singapore, that’s many other booths set up to support local social causes and local businesses. Local rock bands were playing on the stage, providing live music entertainment, there were games for the crowds to play with and against each other, that’s also the booth for the mini-Vermonster, the cousin to the annual giant ice cream eating event at Ben & Jerry Chunk Fest whereby teams of 4 people form together to ferociously gobble down many scoops of Ben & Jerry Ice Cream in a big tub at the fastest time. This competition is always fun to watch and enjoy for the rest of the spectators while we are eating our Ben & Jerry ice cream.

A good time to catch up with friends from the social media/blog community, Philip, Serene, Daphne, Sue and Noel, met Catherine for the first time. I got myself 3 different scoops of Ben & Jerry Ice Cream, chit chat and relaxing time there in the late afternoon. Till then, I shall once a while pop into Ben & Jerry outlets in Singapore to satisfy my craving for the exotic/unavailable Ben & Jerry Ice Cream!

Welcoming the Canon EOS-1D X

Today on the 18th October, at 1300hours local (Singapore) time, I was very privileged and honoured to be invited by Canon Singapore and Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide to a media event, amont the first few in Singapore, to view and witness the arrival of a new generation of professional DSLR by Canon.

Ladies and Gentlemen, let’s give a warm welcome to the Canon EOS-1D X !

Before I proceed to extract some key facts and specifications for your perusal, let me give you my first hands on experience with Canon EOS-1D X, in simple English language (pardon the tone), it’s a monster ! Armed with the latest 18 Megapixels Digic 5+ censor and it’s full frame! A marriage of the legendary Canon EOS 1Ds and 1D series, the sweet letter “X” marks the spot, the sweet spot, in a new era of Canon EOS DSLR !

12fps at ISO 25,600 and high speed continuous shooting at 14fps, that’s the dream combination for a Formula One Night Race shooting (in Singapore of course!), along with other high end performance sports that are played in the night too! That’s not all, with the latest and unprecedented high performance technology, sporting next-generation Auto Focus (AF) system, sporting a 61 point high-density reticular AF (41 cross-type points) that offers wide, auto focus coverage at high precision as well as enhanced subject tracking capability. Source : Canon Singapore 

Inside the monster powerful Canon EOS-1D X, it lies 2 more new systems, namely –  EOS iSA (Intelligent Subject Analysis) System that employs a 100,000-pixel RGB Metering Sensor and AE-dedicated DIGIC 4 image processor. This innovation recognizes a subject’s color and face, in addition to movement, to make Intelligent Tracking and Recognition (iTR) possible, offering reliable and continuous tracking of the subject. These two technologies work in tandem to deliver better focusing capability in lower light.  – Source : Canon Singapore

Personally speaking, the 2 new systems inside the Canon EOS-1D X is going to be very helpful to sports photographers (like myself) especially in sports with very fast paced action and capturing the first few crucial action photographs are important. I believe it would make the focusing faster and allowing us to capture more live sporting action!

Have you ever wonder how the new AF Focus looks like inside the Canon EOS-1D X, here’s my bird’s eye view of the 61 points through the viewfinder –

Being a Canon EOS-1D MK 3 user myself, I am a big fan and supporter of the new 1D series and I really welcome the arrival of the Canon EOS-1D X, when I held on to it, it was like a dream made in heaven, pressing the shutter down using its 12fps and 14fps in action, the sound is very smooth and not noisy at all ! For more detailed information, please visit the press release site for the Canon EOS-1D X by Canon Singapore here!

While the pricing and availability of the Canon EOS-1D X is yet to be announced, I am dreaming of the day whereby I would be shooting with Canon EOS-1D X with the EF-300mm f2.8 II IS L lens at the Singapore F1 GP !

Delicious Food from Trikora Kelong & Tanjung Pinang

A photojournalist with a taste bud for photographing the local food and cuisine of the countries that I visited, I would make it a feature for my future travel food photography collection, capturing as many local food photographs, for memories, sharing and review! For this Elly Kelong fishing trip, our main food dishes were from Trikora (Elly) Kelong and Tanjung Pinang.

One particular dish that caught my attention was their Bak Kut Teh that we tasted at Tanjung Pinang, take a look at the photograph below and observe the meat ingredients first ~

What do you see ? Their bak kut teh is cooked very differently from our Singapore’s Teochew or Hokkien style. This is herbal and similar to the ones you would taste in Kuala Lumpur and what makes it different is the meat parts! There is only 1 pork rib and the rest are different parts of the pig, liver, tendon, kidney, meat slices and some other parts that I wasn’t able to identify and name it! Even though it looks more like a mixed pork meat parts soup with bak kut teh soup base flavour, it rocks!

Another dish is the deep fried calamari that was served to us at Elly Kelong, it’s crispy, not too oily, crunchy, chewy, tasty and delicious! It was very nice and became addictive!

Hope you enjoyed looking at the different food that we tasted in Bintan!!

 

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

Trikora (Elly) Kelong Adventure – Fishing & Getaway Trip

Fishing, a hobby that was influenced by my dad when I was a young boy, recently revived again after a long period of absence away from fishing. Since my return to fishing with my first kelong trip to Hot Boys Kelong in Johor recently, I was kind of looking forward to more fishing trips again and I was very keen to explore other kelongs nearby Singapore. One kelong that was recommended and quite widely discussed was Elly Kelong in Bintan.

During my recent Thailand trip with Sue, Amanda and Sue’s family, chatting with Sue’s dad, whose an avid fisherman, I got more excited to visit Elly Kelong and discussions went ahead to plan another short getaway trip to Elly Kelong! Finally, on the weekend of 8th and 9th October, the 4 of us, Clayton, Sue and Amanda, along with Sue’s parents and their friends, we began our adventure with a ferry ride from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal to Tanjung Pinang in Bintan. After reaching Tanjung Pinang, we had our lunch first nearby the town centre, tasted great local ba ku teh (more like many mixed pig meat parts herbal soup) that is yummy and delicious. Next up was a trip to the supermarket to stock up tidbits and drinks (mineral water & beer) before our 1 hour land transfer across to the other side of Bintan Island, from the west to the east. Where is Elly Kelong located, with reference to the map below, look for Trikora Beach and look up towards Teluk Bakau, it’s somewhere there!

Map Source : Welcome to Bintan.com 

Upon reaching, it was a quiet, peaceful and tranquil location, away from the bustling and hassle city life, tucked away facing the beautiful sea, clear water. The weather was very beautiful when it’s bright and sunny with clear blue sky along with white fluffy clouds formation. Clayton and I shared a room with air-con, simple yet comfortable and nice, with its own shower and toilet facilities. Kicking into action, I prepared my fishing equipment and was caught in no-man’s land because I replaced my fishing line in the wrong direction, Sue’s dad saved me by releasing the whole reel line and recoiling back in the correct direction, on top of that, my fishing weights and hooks were too big and heavy for the shallower kelong fishing here! Last but not least, I had terrible luck and couldn’t catch any fish for 2D1N ! Of course, I did try to fish as much as could over the 2 days!

Even though I didn’t caught any fishes, it was also a relaxing and fun getaway for me with Clayton, Sue and Amanda, from eating, chatting, walking around exploring the neighbourhood, playing with the lovely friendly cute cats of Elly Kelong, taking lots of photographs (glamorous and un-glamourous), swimming, sun-tanning, camping out at night with tidbits & beer, chatting under the moon. The getaway was awesome, relaxing and fun, with lots of making/poking fun at people (most of the time was directed at me since I am the “biggest target board”). Playing with fireworks at night, I love playing with fireworks since I was a kid playing with fireworks in Malaysia, at my grandma’s home!

The photographs will bring many memories for us, I am looking forward to go back again, more and better prepared for fishing, to buy more fireworks to play there, doing a 3D2N stay instead in order for us to visit the island across whereby we can do a day trip to enjoy the sun, beautiful sand and sea. Take a look at the photographs that I took of our Elly Kelong adventure!

Great short getaway, great companionship, peaceful, tranquil and a break away from the city life. It’s something that I would strive to have, hopefully every quarter in the future, a short 2D1N  or 3D2N getaway nearby …

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.