Thursday, November 20, 2014

Siew Giok & Wei Tat engagement

Fate has its own way of planning things. It can surprise you when you are least expecting it. It can let  two lives intersect and traverse each other in circles before the paths collide again.

Wei Tat, a young doctor born and raised in the busy town of Johor Bahru. Siew Giok, an attractive dentist born to a family of five children. They met each other briefly at the hospital where Wei Tat was practicing, when Siew Giok was spending time with her dad in the hospital. They then went on their separate ways. It was not until 2009 when their paths met again. Siew Giok was finishing her dental attachment in a small town called Mersing. When it was time for a short two weeks rural posting, Mersing called Wei Tat's name. Sent to a somewhat sedated town of mere 20,000 population, Wei Tat was actively looking for company and assistance with accommodation.  Through a mutual contact, he found Siew Giok. That was the beginning of a blossoming friendship.

Siew Giok said Wei Tat's warm and easy going personality made her very comfortable in his presence.   They spent most of their time basking in the warmth of each other's company, enjoying the laid-back lifestyle and the fresh seafood of the little fishing town of Mersing. Wei Tat's posting ended shortly after two weeks, forcing him to return to the big smoke of Johor Bahru. Of course, this would be a badly written love story if that was the end. Wei Tat knew he had to return to Mersing. He found the best excuse he could come up with at that time. He told Siew Giok he needed a dentist to look at his teeth. Siew Giok knew that was a lame excuse but with a warm and fuzzy feeling in her heart, she accepted the consultation. A consultation that led to dinners and a few more dates. A consultation that changed the course of her life. Wei Tat later revealed that an elderly fortune teller told him he would meet a girl who is destined to "the one".

Well, the fortune teller's prediction has become the prophecy.  They both found jobs in Johor Bahru and have been together, holding each others hand ever since. One day, a surprise bouquet of 100 roses  was delivered to Siew Giok's work.  Returning home, she found a beautifully set up candle light dinner awaiting her with Wei Tat charmingly waiting across the table of course, with a ring.  That was the day they have given their hearts to each other once again, embarking on a whole new chapter in life together.  They will wed on 14th December 2014.

Congratulations Wei Tat and Siew Giok. You guys are a lovely couple. Thank you for the opportunity to capture these memorable moments.








Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Whatipu beach Auckland

I love Auckland because it is located at the narrow isthmus of the north island, with lots of beautiful spots for short day trips.  The west coast is blessed with many different black sand beaches.  The sand is black because it is volcanic sand.  All these beaches have rugged coastline, ideal for landscape photography.  Piha, Muriwai, Bethells beach, Karekare and Whatipu, make your pick.

These photos were shot at Whatipu, an hour drive from Auckland central, mostly tarmac road with perhaps the last 20% of the journey on windy unsealed gravel.Whatipu looks out towards Manukau harbour.  On the other side of the harbour is Awhitu peninsula.

In-camera HDR Sony NEX-6

In-camera HDR Sony NEX-6

Long Exposure landscape: Lady Bay Auckland

I often marvel at landscape photos from the National Geographic. The waves and clouds in those photos are all so "Dreamy".  I soon learned about the long exposure with Neutral density filters.  I bought one recently, a Cokin ND2-ND400 variable filter.  These photos were from my first attempt at long exposure with a ND filter.  These were shot at just under the maximum filtering capacity of the filter, i reckon i was doing about -7 or -8 stops. Around 10-13 sec exposures.  Ideally i would like a much longer exposure but for that i will need much darker filter.  Anyway, i am quite happy for what i have got considering this is my very first attempt.

San Francisco and surrounds

After Vegas i stopped by San Francisco to visit family.  You have never been to San Frans until you have seen the mighty Golden gate bridge up close.  I have.  It is really a clever engineering and architecture masterpiece.

Meet the local (the sea lions) at the pier 39.  They are cute, but they stink.

Long exposure hand held - NEX6

Short trip to neighbouring town Sacramento: Capitol building

I went on a day tour to Yosemite national park.  It was worth every penny i spent on it.  The scenery was absolutely breathtaking.  I live in one of the most beautiful country in the world, New Zealand.  We have beautiful rugged shoreline, lakes and mountain ranges but the mountain you get at Yosemite is something else at a much bigger scale.

Inspiration point. You can see why it has got that name.

Inspired by Ansel :)
Long exposure hand held - NEX6

Grand Canyon: West rim from Vegas

If you are in Vegas, it is worth doing a day trip to see the grand canyon.  Most of the day tour packages cover the western rim of the canyon.  The landscape at the western rim is a bit different from the eastern side. I highly recommend the helicopter tour. You get to see so much more without wasting time on the tiring bus ride.  The chopper flies over colorado river, Hoover dam, the beautiful lake mead before finally entering the majestic canyon.  Some packages (like the one i went on) even stop at a local ranch for lunch.  You will get to see cowboys and cowgirls at work there.  All the photos below were taken with my small Sony NEX-6 mirrorless camera.  The aerials shots were taken through the helicopter tinted window, which is why you can see a blue hue in some of the photos.

Colorado river
Hoover dam
Lake Mead - in camera HDR Sony NEX6

I have included the photo above to show what you can do with a pocketable (almost pocketable) camera these days.  The only camera i brought along for the trip was my Sony NEX-6 with a kit lens (16-50mm oss).  This photo was shot in an extremely dark old hut at the ranch with minimal ambient light in the dwelling. I shot this at ISO 1600 1/8sec hand held.  The optical stabiliser really works! And very well controlled noise at ISO 1600. Well done Sony.