Team Retreat @ Bintan Lagoon Resort Day 3

Day 3

Time to go back to Singapore, feeling tired from the late night World Cup Semi-Final between Germany and Italy. Had a quick breakfast, wash up and pack up, before heading to the hotel lobby for check out.

After dropping off our luggages in the storage room, we started walking around to explore the resort. Walking towards the beach, it was a very beautiful afternoon, clear blue sky, white sandy beach and the awesome sea. I love the beach and resort lifestyle, influenced during my uni days in Queensland, Australia, whereby I visit Gold Coast, one of the best beaches in the world. Words can’t describe it easily, take a look at the pictures I took and I hope you all enjoy the sceneries too !

After exploring, we took the shuttle bus to the jetty and started shopping before boarding the ferry back to Singapore. I would be looking foward to visit the island resorts again, enjoying the peace, tranquility, sea and water sports.

Now, it’s back to work.

Team Retreat @ Bintan Lagoon Resort Day 2

Day 2 @ Bintan Lagoon Resort Villa

All of us pretty woke up late from our extended mahjong session. It was really late morning when we got up for our breakfast and we just got ourselves prepared for our team meeting and arrival of our 2 other team colleagues, Garry and Noelle.

Picking them up from the main resort lobby, we proceed back to our villa for our team meeting. It was a time for reflection, goal settings for the next 6 months and team sharing. Overall, it was good for the team to know about each other and create a stronger unity and friendship.

After the meeting, we travel to a location called Pasar Oleh Oleh using the bus shuttle service provided for the Bintan Resorts network, it is located near the jetty and they have food, tidbits, clothings, artwork etc etc…. Nothing much for me to buy, but interesting to look around the area.

We then boarded another bus shuttle service to tour the other resorts on the northern side of Bintan. Alighting at Mana Mana Beach Club, we walked around the beach resort, admiring the beautiful coastline and sandy beach. As we were keen to get into some fun and action at the sea, a group of us decided to go for the banana boat. It’s actually a double inflated dinghy tubes and pulled by a speed boat.

The ride was really really very fun, but with a fully stomach of fried kway teow and a can of beer. My tummy could not take it and I was suffering from a “washing machine” stomach. Therefore, during the fast ride, I was feeling very bad inside my tummy….. sometimes asking the girls in front of me to ask the speed boat to slow down ….. Lousy me ! Ann was laughing at me when she caught hold of why I kept on asking the banana boat to slow down ….. embarrassing I have to say ….. During the ride, the speed boat drove so fast and our banana boat flipped into the air ! We dropped into the sea and floated around for a while before climbing back on to return back to the shore. Reaching the shore was a relief, my tummy just doesn’t feel too good …..

Taking a quick rest at Mana Mana Beach Resort and enjoying the sunset, we waited for the shuttle bus to return to Pasar Oleh Oleh to buy dinner back to our villa. The rest of my team colleagues continued shopping while I waited for the food to arrive. Returning to our villa and we were quickly preparing the BBQ. I , the professional fire starter, with the help of Andrew, we created a red hot BBQ fire pit and cooking the remaining food was really quick. When the rest came back from touring around the resort in the buggy, we tucked in for our wonderful dinner…. very yummy ….

Going into the night, it was mahjong, television and moving around, visiting leisure centre playing the games. Juney and I also drove around the resort at night while waiting for World Cup Semi Final between Germany and Italy to start, I became a driving instructor and taught her the finer points of driving !

It was a long day but it was full of fun and laughter !

Team Retreat @ Bintan Lagoon Resort 3-5 July 2006

Bintan Island, 1 hr southwest of Singapore, a very beautiful and peaceful resorts with an awesome stretch of white sandy beaches.

Our team of colleagues went over to Bintan Lagoon Resort and had a good retreat plus bonding sessions during our 3 days 2 nights stay. It was organised by my senior colleague Ann and she did a wonderful job in the logistics, food, accommodation and transport. We took our ferry from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal, due to some unforseen circumstances, Andrew & I got stuck behind for 3 hrs while the main party went ahead first.

Arriving at Bintan was a brisk journey. It was in the evening when the 2 of us alighted, the sun was setting and somehow, I was captivated by the peace and tranquility of the island. Quickly moving pass immigration, we found our friendly resort guides waiting for us and we were ushered to a bus to take on our journey to Bintan Lagoon Resort, about 15 minutes away from the ferry terminal.

Arriving at the Resort, Andy and Gregory picked us up with our own villa buggy. It was fun to ride on it and I did take the chance to drive the buggy too. Settling down into our spacious villa, we had our BBQ and dinner.

Cooking, eating, sharing and catching up over BBQ was a great bonding, sharing and talking cock session, followed by mahjong session (long time didn’t play!).

This is end of my Day 1 , I would be writing more on my holiday retreat soon.

Night Photoshoot @ Esplanade

After having a great time at Edwin’s Smile Arts Dental Studio Grand Opening Ceremony, we went out and had dinner and shopping at Marina Square.

During dinner, took some photos of Singapore CBD skyline from the Marina Food Loft. I felt it was really a great idea to eat along the balcony, facing the Esplanade and CBD, especially in the evening, whereby the landscape was really beautiful.

Walked over to the Esplanade and went up to the roof terrace. It was a really nice and beautiful view from there. I didn’t bring my tripod and I had to improvise on whatever I can work on. Took some landscape photos of the CBD, the bay area and Marina Square, Suntec areas. It was not easy to take night sceneries without a tripod, the photos would not be that sharp due to the longer shutter time which might result in camera shake (usually). Presently researching into a new and stronger tripod to suit my Canon 300D DSLR with battery grip, found a few suitable tripods @ The Camera Workshop (TCW), aiming for it.

It felt great to be taking photos again. Looking foward to be taking holiday photos in my upcoming trip to Bintan.

Smile Arts Dental Studio Grand Opening Ceremony 1st July 2006

Edwin with our flower arrangement

Smile Arts Dental Studio was opened by my very old friend Edwin (since our Boy Scout days with Gan Eng Seng Dragon Scouts) & his 2 other partners, Jeremy and Kenny.

1st July 2006, was the official Grand Opening Ceremony for Smile Arts Dental Studio. We (Mon, KK & myself) went down to his clinic and joined in the fun and gathering. Our other bunch of old mates send their regards with our flower arrangement and best wishes card (by Mon from Tink Cards).

Our own flower arrangement

Best Wishes Card – Prepared by Mon, Tink Cards !

It was a family carnival atmosphere equiped with a “flower boutique opening” (the number of flower arrangements were awesome, many different types and sizes). I prepared a photo album of their “models” (album selected was from Gloryworkz and recommended by Mon), tested and printed out postcards prototype that consists of their company icon and a picture collage of their “models”. It was from a moment of trial and error and printer testing that the postcards came about, probably we might see further changes to it and Smile Arts Dental Studio could be it to use in their business empire.

Happy Family!

On behalf of our elite group of old boys (all of us from the same batch of Dragon Scout Dragon Scouts), best wishes to Edwin in his business empire

Night Photoshoot @ Mt Faber and Kent Ridge Park

Today was a nightshoot with my friend Sam from QP Wedding Works (do check out his webpage too !) & Sam also brought another friend along. Coincidentally, all three of us are former Boy Scouts …. something in common after all.

Picked the 2 guys up from the Redhill MRT Station and we proceed to Mt Faber to start our night shoot, testing out our DSLRs to the ISO test and the resilence of our tripods. We began shooting pictures, and just relaxing and enjoying the sceneries as well. As for my photos, some were not too good. I would need to purchase a stronger tripod to hold my Canon 300D with battery grip. Nevertheless, we had fun taking photos.

After that, we proceed to Kent Ridge Park to shoot another night sceneries, it was really beautiful and the photos would tell people around the world (& in Singapore) that Singapore do have nice and beautiful night sceneries; for all to enjoy the nature, panoromic landscape, peacefulness and tranquility in a very busy city state.

Packing up, we went for a nice supper and call it a day. We would be planning to have night photoshoots down the road and we would be looking at shooting our city centre and bay landscape!

Till then, happy viewing !

Inspirations, Thoughts, Still Searching ….

During this period of time, I was searching for many things in my life, looking for aspirations, thoughts and what I really wanted to achieve in my career and how I want to approach my photojournalism.

It was a strong reflective time, something people can’t read and understand it from my words. However, by reading my writing, it could provide some answers to the puzzles I set (Da Vinci Code is my inspiration, intriguing, searching for the …..?).

As for photojournalism, I am making and refining my blog towards a leisure and travel lifestyle online log through the eyes and scriptures of my photojournalism trail. It would and might take a period of time. There is a magazine that gave me this inspiration.

I am taking on photography assignments and would be participating in more photoshoots with different friends. I may not post much pictures on my assignments but I would be looking foward to posting new photos of my group outings with my friends, colleagues, fellow photographers.

Guiding Lights to our destination

As we walked through the path in life, facing many different obstacles and sometimes darkness, feeling lost and forgotten. If you are reading this and feeling this thought, DON”T GIVE UP ! Keep on fighting ! The lights would appear and leads you to the door that would open when you keep on moving ahead and fighting for what you believe in.

My first photoshoot assignment !

8th June 2006

On this day, I took my first step into the world of semi-professional photography. I was very honoured to be asked by my old friend, Edwin, to take protrait photos of the clinic’s patients (consisting of their family members, relatives, friends) that would be displayed in their lounge area.

First and foremost, let me introduce this dental clinic

Smile Arts Dental Studio
Block 81 #01-632
Marine Parade Central
Singapore 440081
Tel: 6348 0824 Fax: 6348 0139

Before going over on 8th June, I went and consulted my “teachers”; Jeff from The Photographers Gallery, Big Cousin Choo Eng and Daniel from The Camera Workshop. They were very helpful to guide me on photography techniques for this particular kind of assignments. A big thanks to Jeff for calibrating my laptop.

On the assignment itself, it was really fun shooting beautiful people with their lovely faces along with a big smile and great set of teeth ! It was a challenge to take the photos while trying to make them relax and give me a big smile. After a while, it was easier as the models and myself were more relaxed.

At the end, it was really fun and enjoyable. I would really like to thank the “models” for gracing the occasion and be part of Smile Arts Dental Studio and my first photography assignment so memorable !

Crossroads ?

I haven’t been updating and writing my travel blog as I promised myself and my readers when I first started venturing into the world of photojournalism. I apologise to my readers (if any) for not writing regularly.

There were many new happenings, work & career related. Am I at crossroads again ? How should I move on and continue ? Something intriguing that only I myself would know the answers….. (If you folks watched Band Of Brothers, there is one episode called Crossroads ……)

Some updates on my photography adventures ……. my studio protraiture class has to be postponed, would be waiting for the class to commence again. Got lots of tips on improving my photography techniques from Jeff (The Photographers Gallery) and technical help on lighting and monitor calibration. I got 2 assignments, would update when I completed the assignments. Looking foward to it, It’s TIME ! I need to move on to charging fees for my photography work (reasonable rates).

Looking for new accessories and another DSLR (moving into semi-professional level). Got a multi-function Canon MP530 Printer and Canon Selphy CP600, might print a few photos from home. If I need to do in bulk or professional printing, I would definitely go to KT Digital Imaging.

Their details are as follows:
K T Digital Imaging Pte Ltd
531 Upper Cross Street, #01-06, Singapore 050531
Tel/Fax: (65) 6425 0239 email:

Looking for inspirations, a niche area of photography that I would be able to stamp my name and trademark on ……. maybe a travel and leisure log ? Coffee table style photography …… in time , my work would come to light ……

Arrival @ Narita Airport – 23 May 2004

My backpacking trip to Tokyo, Japan, was a very fun and relaxing holiday for me. I flew there alone and stayed with my ex-colleague Evon @ her home in Araki, Chiba Prefecture.

Took Singapore Airlines, Flight SQ 998 from Changi Airport, depart 2340 hrs (Singapore time), reached Narita Airport (situated in Chiba Prefecture, 60km from Tokyo) in the morning, 0730hrs (Japan time). It was still very cooling (a bit cold) when I touched down. Narita Airport was a modern and hi-tech airport but they don’t have the lively nature of Changi Airport.

The real fun begins right here, I was supposed to find my way to the train station and board the Keisei line train and meet Evon @ Narita train station. So I went and walk around and found the timing on the ticketing machines, trying to figure out how to buy the tickets. I was so lost at that point in time that I did not take any photos around the area. Anyway, if I remembered correctly, photography was prohibited in certain areas.

Finally, I found my way and did not get lost on my first solo trip on the trains. Met Evon and placed my baggage in her place before travelling to Tokyo and that was the start of my holidays in Shibuya. It was an eye-opening experience to be away in a faraway country and assimilating the culture and atmosphere.

Had coffee in one of their cafes, thereafter, continued to be brought around by my tour guide Evon around Shibuya and walking towards Meiji Jingu Shrine.

Photojournalist in Travel, Events and Sports Photography