Tuesday, September 29, 2009

In search of Gods...

I realised that I didn't finished my Bali posts ! My bad, I should finished it pretty quickly, but I think I was lazy. :p Lesson learned, never leave the job un-done. LOL

Where was I... Oh, the 2nd day of the assignment :"In Search of Gods"

The 2nd day of the assignment was what I call "In search of Gods". Bali is a land of Gods, where the Balinese worship the Hindu gods, but with a strong element of local culture and tradition. I kept reminding myself that I was in a land of Hindu Gods, but I couldn't find a typical Hindu temple in Bali. You know, the Kuil as I usually see here in Malaysia. What I see was the temples of its kind. Balinese could worship the Gods in any form: water, stone, trees etc etc...

We started our search in the Titra Empul temple, which is a very historical temple that build by an ancient Balinese king. I was told that this temple has been there for 800 years. It houses a secret pool where the devotees would come to purify themselves by bathing through the never stop flow of holy spring water. It would bring luck and good will once bath in these spring water.

To complete the whole "praying process", one should start bathing from the first spring all the way to the last one....

I see happiness when a family really enjoying themselves bathing through the chilling spring water....

It's a holy place. The locals would come early in the morning to do their prayers since not much people is around, the devotees would spend time "meditating" under the water.

Very serene, very nice, right ? Nice weather, nice environment, chilling natural spring water, beautiful people etc etc. Did I mention that it was a fashion trend for young Balinese girl wearing a see through Kebaya? Imagine that, a young girl with wet look see through Kebaya praying in the pool........


The serene atmosphere didn't last long, when tourist and school children started to swamp the pool. The school children basically changed the pool from a holy place to a playing ground !!!

We better called it a day before the condition was out of control. LOL

This is the offering. It basically representing the Gods. They have a special way of praying the Gods where they swing the hand in the way of sending the offering to the heaven. Imagine a curvy young Balinese girl doing the hand swinging... sexy, right ? *ahem* :P

How can people hate such a nice place ??

To be continue....

My other Bali posts.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

He just left us like that.....

It was a nice Wednesday morning. It was the first working day after my long Raya holidays. On that day, I received a call from a friend of mine informing me about a shocking news: a friend of ours had just passed away without any sign of illness.

It was a shocking news! He was such a young guy! Worse, he was expecting his first born in 2 months time !!

He had gone without leaving any words to us. Although I don't really get to know him in person, but we do chat quite closely on a forum we hang out. He always called me sifu, where I always share my opinion about his photographic work. He was a few net friend I met that really could take harsh criticism without hard feelings.

I knew him through his nickname in the forum. He nicked himself as Ryzan76. I regretted never meet him in person when he was in KL couple of times. He was a Sabahan.

Rest in peace, my friend. May you find peace by His side. We will sure remember you. Condolences to his family.

His works : http://www.flickr.com/photos/ryzan76

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

During Hari Raya.....

I basically do nothing. LOL

Of course I spend most of my time with my wife and my son, enjoying the cool nice rainy weather. Some how I manage to squeeze a small little time for me to do some car shots. Not hot car for sure, but my trusty Sentra which has been serving me well for about 4 years.

I always wanted to do a proper car shot of my trusty Sentra. Although I've done once, which was about 4 years ago, when it just came out from the show room, and we went all the way to Putrajaya to take some car portrait. I wanted to do another round of it since it's big possibility this car wouldn't be under my care in the near future. Well, something big is going to happen to my life starting next year. Something that change my life in total complete......

Rainy days during the Raya holidays is a curse for a car shooting. I would like to do a outdoor shots ! Or even a night shots with some light painting design. Rain had stopped me from getting out of my apartment. I have no choice, but to do it in the car park of the apartment I am staying lor.

It's a 4 days Raya holidays. And most of the Muslims take a 1-week long holiday. Hence, the car park was almost empty. Empty car-park is what I wanted, so no in-coming car would kacau me from doing my shots. Just to secure that no one would knock down my flash stand, I had my wife and my son doing the guarding thing. LOL. What they need to do is just wondering around the car park and hint me if there is any in-coming car. Oh, btw, the car park is kinda windy though. Very nice for a small walk.

After setting up my lightings, I faced one problem: the radio trigger isn't that good as I expected. If there is a huge obstruction in between, the flash wouldn't trigger as well. Worst to the optical trigger one !! The flash just won't fire ! This has limit me to only using one flash to work with then.

My idea is about to appreciate the car as an transportation mean for a normal man like me: family man, with a job living in a city with bad public transportation. Car park is my choice of venue because it's the place where the car would "rest" after a "whole day ride". :p

Hence, I frame my car like this lar :

Simple. My caption was:"It may not be the hottest car in town, but it's the car that moves me around. It had moved me from north to south, from east to west, and making sure that I'd come back home safe and sound, in one piece."

Okok, I admit, I submitted the pic for the Strobist Boot Camp Assignment. :P

Anyway, chances of my pic getting strobist attention is super low, after browsing through the submissions from all over the world ! LOL.

Well, if I never submit, I am definitely NOT been notice, right ? At least, I guest, strobist would glance through my pic for at least one time, right ? LOL

Sunday, September 20, 2009

I camwhore again !!

This time, my teeth-ache gives me the inspiration. LOL

"You doctor ! You know how painful is this ?!?!"

I had a terrible teeth-ache for the pass few nights. I couldn't have a good sleep. Though 2 tablets of panadol would temporary ease my pain, but in long run that's not the solution. I need to get it done once for all. I have to reject the photoshooting invitation from Darren the Car "Diterre", but the reject worth lar because the dentist is kinda hot. :p

So, is it done ? Well, so far, so good. It's a 2 months treatment thingy, and what she had done to my teeth are in temporary measures. I need to return to her clinic for planting a new teeth.

Ok, a little bit about the lighting of I used for my camwhore: a F58 on board as commander with DIY ring flash as fill, main light is a F42 from camera left snooted with a regular coke cup size from MacDonald's. Ratio setting on F58: 16:1, and a 10s self timer, some runnings, a tap on floor to mark where should I stand, pose, and snap. Piece of cake. ;)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Hey you ! No photo!

Inspired by the un-happy incident few months back, I did this one just to fill in some small extra time I got after me and my wife "successfully" put our little rascal to sleep. LOL.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

So, it has started.....

Time is running.
The count down has begun.

Till the end....

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Car Shooting !

Before lighting...

My original plan on last Saturday was cancelled pretty much on last minute one. Not long after I received the plan cancel message, I received a call from the a professional car washer cum photo shoot mate of mine. He asked:"Wanna join me for a car shooting ?" I said, why not ? He said, must wake up early early one wor ! I said, what the heck, I got baby sleeping with me, can I sleep through the whole night ? Then he said, ok, on ! And WTF he asked me to be there at the point of meet at 5.30am on a cooling Saturday morning ! LOL

Oh, by the way, my friend who is a professional car washer cum photo shoot mate of mine has a blog one. Here. Btw, he ain't those fella who wash and vacuum your car for RM 10, ok ? LOL

So, early in the morning, we went into the winding road of Batu Dam, and we came to a special spot that should remain secret which has a nice vie of the dam. It was still pitch dark and we quickly set up our lightings before the sun comes out from the east. Our original plan was to capture the sun rising up from the horizon with our hot car in the foreground, lit by Darren's newest toy, the 180cm diameter Enlinchrom soft box. Want to see how big is this softbox ?

The huge Enlinchrom softbox vs the smaller LumiQuest Softbox.
See the HUGE contrast ?!

That big ! And inside the softbox is an 1,100 Watt Swiss strobe that could easily overpower the sun for sure ! And the sweetest part is this strobe is powered by a portable battery pack ! And the whole package cost our friend a 5 figure amount of money. *fainted*

It was indeed an eye opener to me !

Anyway, I was there to be like an assistant to him. You know, those assistant that helps to carry bags, lights, setting up, cleaning the scene etc. Yeah, the venue was dirty. And sometime couple as a VAL to the main photographer lar.

The sky was cloudy that day. The ambient light raise so fast that we had no much time to design the lightings. A quick couple of test shots, and some twisting on the light location, we are good to go. The huge main softbox will be the main light lighting up the car, but not to nuke it of course, and some small portable flashes as key lights to shape out the car outline.

Yes, the portable flashes, cheap and small like this one, the Sunpak 383. Small, powerful and cheap. It has a PC-syn port that could connect to the Skyport receiver. Why lar our good Sony flashes doesn't has this pc port one ???

When we are out of flash stand, we use what ever prop we had. The bag in the picture contain one "camera" that yet to be launched in the market. Cool one, and I kinda like it. :D

Have a look at the behind-scene shot I did for Darren:

Ambient drop at about 1 stop. The car is entirely lit by the flashes and strobe as shown in the pic.

The good A900 camera. Thanks to our special flash hot-shoe mount, we need an adaptor to mount the radio trigger. And it doesn't look cool at all....

We wrapped up our shooting by helping Wei Chek shoot his beloved Silvia. See how the master demonstrate to us how a VAL work and how to become a light tripod. LOL

I always wanted to be someone's assistant so I could witness how they work and produce a picture like that. Being an assistant also got me have my hand dirty so I got the hands on working on producing a photo. This early morning shooting was indeed a very good eye opener to me. Now I know lot of tricks how to shoot a hot car already ! :D

Thanks mate !