Saturday, August 30, 2008

Putrajaya Fireworks Display

Side Note: All credits for the photographs in this entry goes to ChunChow (click).

It has been a week since that unfortunate incident, and it is time to move on. It was extremely shocking to see how much response I was getting from almost everyone around me, some even outside the country, from the phone calls, to mass-sms-es, emails, and even in person !! I am truly moved by the overwhelming reaction, but somehow it feels very wrong. I have never been contacted/sought after by this MANY people all together in such short period of time before, heck, not even on any of my birthdays !! I only have my beloved friends, colleagues and you beautiful blog readers out there to thank for. What would I be without you guys? Heh !!

There was this firework competition event thing happening over the past few weeks, and I made it to the finale which was last night. I went camera-less, as expected, but it does not mean I have no pictures to show you guys !! The reason why I went to this particular firework display which was performed by an Australian company: Howards and Sons, was because they absolutely rawk big time. I have watched their firework display twice at Perth Royal Show, and once earlier this year during the Australian National Day at Western Australia. They never failed to astonish me every single time I catch the public shows, and this is one of the closest thing I could get from Perth in KL.

I went with Chun Chow and Wendy, and Chun Chow was snapping away the pictures with his Olympus E300. Though the camera is considered rather old by today's standards, but you have got to admit it still has the ability to produce such awesome shots. There you go, the power of Olympus for those of you non-believers. Of course, a huge part of the credit also goes to the photographer, Chun Chow, who has been one of the main stage players in guiding me through photography over the years. if you do think the pictures are good, don't forget to leave some kind remarks for him !! Without him, you guys have nothing to see here ok??

The firework display was nothing short of breathtaking. It was not as grand as the one I witnessed in Perth earlier this year, but hey, seriously, the way they synchronize the timing of the shots and the arrangement of the amazingly wide varieties of fireworks were truly remarkable. If they are to come to Malaysia again anytime soon, I would definitely try to make it for their performance again.

That is all for now. Updates here will be one a slower pace from now on, but I will make every effort I could to keep it alive.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Ollie, No More

Everything fucking goes wrong this year, well at least for me.

My almost four months old Olympus E410 with the newly obtained Pancake Lens have just been stolen from me, along with my 4 years old Nokia 3200 handphone.

I was riding on a KTM train back from Mid Valley, squeezing into the crowd as I went into the train, and when I realised my bag has been emptied while everyone was squeezing and shoving left right front back, it was already too late, the door closed, and the train moved forward. I made a stop at the next station, and took the other train on the opposite direction back to Mid Valley. It was pointless, the people who snatched my camera and phone must have made a thousand steps ahead of me. I tried asking the security counter if anyone found any huge camera, as expected, nothing.

I was truly devastated.

I figured it must have been the work of at least three people. All shoving me inside the train, one grabbing my phone which was stored in my front jeans pocket, and one snatching my camera by unzipping the bag. I tried to blame myself for being careless, but the more I think about it, the more I realized the blame was not exactly valid. There was not much I could do, when I could barely move any of my legs and arms. I did not even know what happened until the door closed behind me.

How am I feeling now seriously?

I do not know how to describe my feeling now. But I know I am devastated.

I have never been so passionate in anything, or anyone before. I have put so much of my life into Ollie, and I seriously think it has become a huge part of my life, though I have only purchased it few months back. Oh it hurts, in more ways that you could ever possibly imagine, that I have to deal with the fact that the hard earned money that I have saved over working half dead, being thrown into that camera, was just gone like that. Angry, I am slightly, but I am so helplessly crushed to bits now.

I am not going to say anything about those to stole my Olympus from me, because in a way, I am really impressed by their work. I am not saying I am ok with what they did to me, but it was not easy pulling off such stunt. I was well aware of everything around me that moment, and I checked my belongings all the time. It must have happened in less than 5 seconds, and it just pains me that this had to happen to me, now. After all that hard work and effort I have put into learning photography, and pushing myself to improve. I just felt that everything happened at the wrong, wrong timing.

I am well aware of the fact that this is not the end of the world, and this seems very puny in comparison with other bigger worries in life. Still, I think when you are so crazy about something, and you spend so much time, and put so much love into it, when it was taken away from you, you will feel that the world is blardy unfair.

Well, the world has never been fair anyway. Stop complaining, Robin.

Any encouraging words are most welcomed now. And I mean NOW. Seriously, I need you all, my beloved readers more than ever at this unanticipatedly tormenting time.

Hence, this is the beginning of my days without a DSLR. Or a camera.

I feel so naked, and incomplete, without Ollie.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Line of Speed

Side Note: There seems to be some problem loading the pictures in this entry. I shall fix it once I got home from work.

Update: Hmmm seems like the problem fixed itself.

I was on my way back from work, as I was crossing this overhead bridge. I slowed down my pace, and looked to the sky for a while, and I realised it was the in-between zone of time just before the sky gave way to total darkness, yet still a little bright from whatever left long after the sunset occurred. I have been wanting to do some long shutters lately, but since I was just too lazy to bring my tripod around, I figured I had to deal with the situation there and then.

So I took out my trusty Ollie, mounted with the standard lens, snd started shooting, bracing the camera body onto the guard rails. Not exactly a safe practice, since any crazy demented grandmother could walk by and screamed something out-worldly from my back and I could just fall off the bridge.


Free Image Hosting at

I realised that composing the picture vertically would have been better, but it was quite difficult for me to do so without a tripod, hence the horizontal picture will have to do for now. The sky could have been better, but I am not complaining since it just stopped raining, so nothing much to be expected there.


Free Image Hosting at

Most of the times I headed home from work, it would be either completely dark (extremely late) or, really bright when the sun is still happily shining up there.

Also, finally, after so many sessions with the pancakes, now I am utilizing my original kit lens.

On another note, a few people tried to convince me on getting a Canon. I gave it a serious thought.

Seriously I did.

And guess what happened after that...

The Four Thirds logo in my sidebar just got BIGGER.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Flowers for the Broken Soul

Side Note: I have just watched Kung Fu Panda downloaded one lah OMG it is freaking awesome !! And the best part of all, "there is no charge for awesomeness !!"...

A huge number of blogs these days are very much photo based in composition, with minimal texts and writings. Heck, at the rate I am going, I can see my humble blog hesitantly but gradually transforming into one itself. i have nothing against blogs with heavily loaded graphics, but there are some blogs out there that outrageously stretched the picture size to every far corner of the screen. Now imagine running the internet explorer (firefox sucks, tried really hard to love it but it still sucks) on a 1024x768 resolution monitor screen, or even lower resolutions, you will find yourself scrolling up down left right miserably just to locate the subject in the photo.


Blogs are blogs, they are NOT photo-blogs, which by acceptable definition having one entry being comprised of only typically giant sized photo plus a short yet lame description that follows immediately beneath the photo. I have noticed that Malaysian blogosphere is getting mercilessly assaulted by more and more mass giant sized photos squeezed into the tiny page per entry, cramping every single pixel as much as possible. Humongous sized pictures do convey the message differently, since higher and wider perception of space and light will shift the overall feeling the photo illustrates into something drastically more dramatic. On the other hand, large scaled photos are preferable since they are usually less susceptible to loss of sharpness due to heavy compression in the reduction of size. I have nothing against big pictures, really, I am just pointing my finger to a few blokes who just ridiculously over-did it.


If you are referring to the obvious drawback, the sharply declined download speed, having irritatingly much longer page loading time due to the heavy graphics, then the blame should not have gone to the blogger, instead it is more appropriately directed to our beloved internet service provider.

Nevertheless, more and more people LOVVEEEEEE to see those overblown pictures.

That is why, I am going to join in the fun too. If you cant beat 'em, join 'em, right?


To truly understand something, one must try to go through it, before making any judgment. So this entry, you will see those few gigantic photos.

Ok to be honest, those pictures are not even as huge as the few I described I have seen on the other ridiculous blogs out there. Somehow, these sizes are considered normal these days. Of course I never intended to blow up the frames of my page body !!!!!

I made my second trip to the Orchid Garden, and this time, I put my pancake lens into all out macro shooting. the lens could go as close as 19.5cm (or more in actuality around slightly less than 17cm) to the subject, with magnification factor of 0.38x, which is surprisingly more flexible and versatile in usage in comparison to most other prime lenses provided by other manufacturers. You have got say the pictures the lens captured were quite decent too, and there was not much editing applied to those pictures, so what you see here is very close to what you get from the original shots.


Oh and Fishtan must be loving me for finally shooting some flowers and displaying them here.

So guys, do tell me, should I increase the sizes of my usual pictures, or just stay the way it was? Do let me know your opinions. If you were to ask me, truthfully, I would say NO to giant pictures, save for a few rare and special occasions.

Monday, August 18, 2008

What I do with Water

I was just walking by one fine afternoon, under the extreme Malaysian harsh sun, and I chanced upon quite an ugly looking fountain.


I gave it a second look.

And my hands started to get itchy again, hence I took out my ever-ready Ollie with the pancake lens mounted on it, and started snapping away.



This was one of my very few times using Shutter Priority shooting mode, and for obvious reasons, to maximize the fastest shutter speed the camera could possibly accomplish. For my Olympus E410, it was only 1/4000 second, which was just sufficient to freeze the rapid motion of the running water in very fluid movements.


I wanted to go closer but I refrained from doing so, since the water was splattering everywhere, and my Ollie is no waterproof. But if I had the tele lens with me, I could have taken more dramatic shots. Always try to get as close as possible to your subjects, and fill the frame.


There you go, super-fast shutter pictures. Seems like I have been pushing and stretching my Ollie to every limits it can possibly produce. Hmmm, this sounds familiar. Is this a good or bad thing?

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Fashion Fusion @ Times Square

It was a long Friday working day, and right after getting off work, I decided to take the LRT to the opposite direction, away from the place I stay, towards the city for the night scene of KL life. Nothing fancy really, all I intended originally was just to have a decent walk around, maybe get a few stuff if the bargain is really good, and just to clear off some things from my mind. I made a stop at Times Square, since it has been a while I last visited that place. Not exactly the best place for shopping or window shopping, but it is just convenient to walk from the LRT stop, so I figured, why not?


So I was walking into the main entrance of Times Square, and suddenly I saw a flock of humans gathering at the center stage at the lower ground floor, and the loudspeakers blasting music with very lively and up-to-tempo beats. And there was the stage being set-up in the famous T-shape, typical for only one event, a fashion show !! Being curious like a cat like usual, I meow-ed out loud walked closer, and noticed that the entire ground for the fashion event has been barricaded, and entry from the people walking by was strictly restricted by securities personals, mostly middle aged aunties carrying too much weight around their bellies, and sulked like they have been drinking vinegar the whole day.


So I went right into the registration counter, and asked the two giggling girls a few questions...

Robin: Is this fashion show open to the public?
Giggling girl: *giggles giggles* Ermm.. no.. it is a private function.. *giggles...
Robin: Owhh.. then if it is a private WTFFFFF why is it held in such an open public space????
Giggling girl: Ermmm.. dunno? *giggles
Robin: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So I was denied an entry into the "private" event, which everyone else could freaking view outside their barricades anyway, or from top levels looking down onto the stage. So I decided to grab a quick dinner and rushed back to the stage, at just minutes before the show would begin. I chose a spot right at the extreme side of the stage, not the most auspicious position, since I was veiwing the parade motion from the far side.

The front edge of the posing stops portion of the stage was located within the boundaries of the "private" event, which I could not have any access to. Nevertheless, there was nothing to complain about, I just happened to be there and discovered this fashion show at such last minute, so it was all about quick thinking and being spontaneous.


I only carried my pancake lens with me, since I did not anticipate there would be any intensive shooting required for my originally planned jalan jalan session. Since I did not have any other lens, I was stuck with my pancakes. In a way, it was an obvious disadvantage, because you will need a long zoom lens to bring you closer to the models, especially shooting from where I was standing. On the other hand, the spot I was standing not the was not really the best one to begin with, hence it would not matter even if I have better lenses or other equipments because I could not make the best possible compositions. Nevertheless, if I did not even have a pancake lens, I would not have brought out my Ollie with me (imagine dragging such heavy and huge bag to work), in turn, a harsher reality, I would not even be able to shoot any pictures at all.


This Fashion Show was organized, and hosted by VOIR fashion line, a newly opened branch somewhere in the Times Square shopping mall itself, thus the whole event is something like an official launch for the company. They have quite a lot of models, some even not Malaysian. The fashion being displayed ranged from casual looking outfits to career themed apparels. It was unfortunate though, no swimwear or bikini shows, like the ones I have been so used to watching in Perth. Oh Malaysia why do you have to be soooooo restrictive when it comes to showing even just a little bit of that extra skin?

Since I was using the pancake lens, I could not zoom, being stuck with a fixed focal distance. It was not the ideal focal length, at 25mm (50mm equivalent) since I was standing very far from the center. But there were times the models would walk to my side of the stage, and that was when I could snap closer shots of them. Also worth noting that, since I could not zoom in closer, it means that whatever you see on the picture, is almost relatively similar with the frame that I was seeing through my naked eye.


This time around, the fashion show lacks the oomph that I was usually getting on previos shows. The rush that would make your heartbeat pound harder as the models parade along the walkway, but I guess that was mainly due to the fact that the cloths were all very ordinary looking, and the setup of the entire event did not portray any grand or larger than life kind of image.

I noticed that the audience who were inside the "private" event, were served food, and drinks. They can opt for wine if I am not mistaken, since the staff were pouring red liquid out of bottles into the wine glasses, so I assumed it was wine. Something I could not blardy understand though, in the span of 20 minutes, three glasses fell onto the floor and the shattering sound cut through the air causing dramatic gasps from the people everywhere. I mean, come on man, how difficult can it be holding a glass of wine without dropping and breaking it in public? One time, excusable, but it happened three separate times !!!! Glass and clumsy aunties with hands resembling their feet are never a match I guess.


This was the first time I encountered some random unanticipated event happening right in front of me, and having my convenient Ollie with Pancakes lens made it easy to be carried with me, thus I was able to record it, and share them with you guys.

Cheers for the pancakes !!

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Reason

One of the many reasons why I bring my Ollie with me anywhere I go to...

Is so that, I could snap pictures like this.

Free Image Hosting at

Is it not discriminating how those stereo-typical hired sales girls would prioritize and pose for DSLR users, shoving the normal camera users aside? I knew exactly how it felt being a compact camera user, I used one previously for freaking three years. I am Robin Wong and I will not be ignored damn it.

Now if I could remember where I stuffed her number somewhere.....

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Frederick's Convocation

A dear friend from hometown Kuching who has been studying in MMU Malacca, just had his convocation ceremony last Sunday at MMU Cyberjaya. Phhewww.. did you noticed I have just connected three places in one sentence? Lame I know, but never mind, it was one great celebration for Frederick with his family and friends who travelled from Kuching and Malacca just to be there for his graduation. I was really glad to be there, and share the joy of obtaining that one piece of scroll, no matter how much unspeakable misery and torture we all had to endure during our university days.


It was my first visit to MMU Cyberjaya, and it does seem like a really nice place to study in. I especially love the modern feel the buildings are portraying, in contrast to the very ancient traditional ambiance my previous university was offerring. Not that I was complaining about my university, but being in such a place that seems historical to some extent, gets you really depressed and emotional at times of extreme stress, particularly when final exams were coming close.


How sweet !! Both Fred and Renee graduated on the same day !!


The dear friends who travelled all the way from Malacca for Fred !!


Finally some familiar faces that you guys have seen countless times in this blog !!

I guess the reason why I went to so many convocation ceremonies back in the days of my uni, not of my own of course, but for my friends, was simply because there was good food served. Being a typical Australian university, we get unlimited supply of good finger food, juice and wine. I mean, we would just pop up and say our "Hey !! Congratulations man !! Finally you are a graduate now !!", and after the abrupt and probably less than a minute exchange of words, we would parade on to the food tables and attack full on. Yes, I admit I am truly Asian, and proud to be one. Oh did I mention the free flow of wine?



See how tiny the Ollie is, with the pancake lens?

This was however, my first time witnessing an aftermath of the convocation ceremony, when friends and family would gather at the open area around the graduation hall. This is one time when countless faces radiate the blinding light of happiness all over the places, and I was somehow anticipating a few people with tears of joy, but unfortunately being so boringly Malaysian as we were, I saw none of such drama. I used to see people jumping up and down, screaming of great joy, and hugging their friends in tears back in my university days. People are more expressive elsewhere, but I guess smile and gentle laughters should suffice in our society.

Frederick has always been a great friend to me, and he has been there for me too many times to count when I was in need of his help. He is probably one of the few persons in my life that has truly impacted me in certain ways, for the better.


Therefore, to you Frederick, with a sincere heart, congratulations man !!! You have performed very impressively well, not only in your studies, but in almost everything else, and I do believe, and look forward to the person that you will become one day.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Looking Upwards

Things have been unexpectedly twisted and I have no choice, but to reshuffle my priorities these days. Certain things are not as certain as they used to be, and from now on, I shall place my own self first before anything else.

Everyone, everything changes, ultimately, so shall I.

Free Image Hosting at

At least, I am still looking to the sky.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Iced Lime Juice

Hello beautiful people who do come to this blog often and check out my humble entries, I shall be attending to a few urgent random matters these few days, so not much update will be expected here.

But worry not, I shall come back really soon with plenty of stuff to share. Yes, I have been making good use of my pancake lens. More entries on that to come.

What I can truly say now is that, the pancake lens is fucking awesome. I am seriously loving it.


Free Image Hosting at

For now, I have debts of sleep and rests to catch up to.

Oh yes Yiaw Wei (aka Fishtan) I agree that if you do not own a CX300 you can go kill yourself. Period.

Cheers guys !!

Friday, August 08, 2008

Pancake for Supper

A friend of mine, Frederick came out from Malacca for his graduation this coming weekend at KL, thus we had a little meet up, and supper session. My hands have been abnormally itchy as of late, since I have not really put the pancake I have bought recently to much use with my Ollie. So I brought along the little Ollie together with the pancake lens for some quick snaps.



Thats my camera bag!!


Hah, finally a picture of me. Happy now Marcus? And SleepyHao?

Under such low light condition out in the open at night, I still managed to capture these shots with decent shutter speeds, which alleviates blurring due to shakes. Something to thank for in the pancake for having wider aperture. The image is as sharp as that is expected from the Olympus Zuiko Lenses, even from the cheapest ranges. The details captured, for such a low grade lens, were impressive.



This pancake does GREAT job in capturing food pictures !!!!

It was great to reunite with my friends again. I am anticipating plenty more of good catching up and fun sessions this weekend. And of course, by then I shall put my pancake to more use to record those precious moments.

Oh it is FRIDAY already, thank God.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

The Real Pancake

Side Note:

Thanks Fishtan for the compliments on your entry. I truly appreciate it.

The photos of the pancake and my ollie are taken with Kodak C875, which is half dead already, but still has enough life to work these few shots for me.

This entry is composed based on a special request by a lovely Kuching blogger, Rose Wong. I think quite a few of you must have gotten a little confused by the vagueness of my last entry, hence here, the truth about the pancake shall be revealed. No holding back, I promise.

I have recently purchased an Olympus Zuiko 25mm F2.8 lens, or more prominently known as, the pancake lens. Why the name pancake? Take a look at the pictures below, and you will understand.


OMG look it is round, slim and flat, just like a PANCAKE !!!

I know I must have contradicted myself, since I have been saying lately that i do not intend to push myself that hard in photography, not going to try too hard and of course, that also means not going to fork out my hard earned cash for adding on into my very limited collection of camera and equipments. Nevertheless, being there at the Olympus Stall at the PC Fair, I tried out the pancake on my Ollie... and I instantly fell truly, madly and deep;y in love with it.

If I am going to be serious about photography, there was no way I would have decided on this particular lens. Based on the professional reviews available from several online sources, most noticeably from DPreview (click), it is very clearly stated that the picture quality produced by this pancake lens may be quite decent, but it is no better than what the standard kit lens 14-42mm had to offer, which I already have. So the question still remains, why did I go for it?


Olympus' smallest ever produced lens + the world's smallest and lightest DSLR body = Ultimate Portability


You almost can't see the lens at the front !!

The answer stems all the way back during my old photo-taking dsys. I have always loved the convenience and ease of using a compact camera, being able to carry it to almost everywhere, and anytime. I do miss terribly those times, when taking pictures can happen at any moment, as long as I had my compact camera with me. Whenever I go out without my camera with me, I would feel as if I am somehow naked.. and incomplete. Unfortunately the ultimate sacrifice had to be made when I decided to plunge into the complicated world of DSLR, at the expense of leaving the portability of the compact camera behind, in the gain of more power and control a DSLR could offer.

Yes, a DSLR is waaay more capable in comparison to any compact cameras out there. A DSLR can outperform the compact camera in almost every aspects of photography, shooting performance, picture output and flexibility of controls, but seriously, let me ask you this, what is the point of having all the capabilities in a camera, if you could not even bring it with you? I believe great photo opportunities happen at times and places that are so random that you are least expecting them to be there in front of you. And I seriously need my Ollie to be there ready for me when I need to click away the shutter.


See the huge difference in sizes !!!


With the flat design of the pancake, it is possible to fit the camera + lens into a bag designed for semi-pro (or prosumer?) cameras.

That was the main reason I got myself the pancake lens. The tiny size, coupled with my world's smallest DSLR, Ollie (Olympus E410), prove to be an interesting combination. They are compact enough to fit into a camera bag designed for a semi-pro compact camera. This undoubtedly would provide me with plenty of freedom to move around, with such compact size and lighter weight.

I am not exactly considering myself to be in the serious photography category, or maybe not just yet. Of course there are times when photo-sessions must be planned and they require the functionabilities and capabilities or other lenses, and those times I shall chuck all my equipments into the larger bag which I used to drag around previously. On the other hand, if I were to just hang out with a group of friends in the middle of the night to have a few sticks of satays while sipping away teh tarik, you would not expect me to drag the huge heavy bag out would you? At normal days, I really wish my Ollie could be a carry-around camera, and with the pancake lens, this can actually happen.

So what else is there about the pancake?

1) Versatile focal length of 25mm (50mm equivalent in 35mm format).

Though this lens is a fixed focus lens, meaning it has no zoom option, but the focus distance is designed just perfect to suit general, everyday multi-purpose photography needs. It is wide enough for tight framed landscape shots and even decent enough to get close for portrait shots. 50mm lenses used to be the primary lenses used by the old days in photography, and it was claimed to be the best lens in function-ability range, until the craze of the zoom swept over.

2) A little bit of macro work.

the minimal focusing distance from the lens to subject is reported to be 20cm, but in actuality, just as reported by some online sources, it goes considerably closer, perhaps 17cm. The magnification factor is 0.38x, which is decent enough for a bit of macro photography in comparison to my standard kit lens.

3) Wider aperture

At wide open, the aperture is F2.8 for the 25mm focal length, which is approximately two stops lower than what what the standard kit lens had to offer in the equivalent 25mm at F4.7. This consequently means higher shutter speed can be achieved, shake can be minimized, which would be crucial for a non image stabilized camera body like mine. Of course it will not outperform what the ordinary prime lenses by other manufacturers have to offer, but hey, other prime lenses are waaaaaaayyy bulkier and heavier to start with.

4) Extreme mobility and Sheer portability.

Oh, have I not mentioned this already? Now, it is possible to bring my Ollie everywhere once again, due to the ultra slim and light-weight pancake lens.

5) Come on, you just gotta admit it, it is damned cute !!!

Here comes the sample shots. I have yet to really try it out, so better photos will come in future entries.




Looking at my archives in this blog, I must say that a huge chunk of my photography work presented in my entries over the years revolve mainly on three things: landscape, people, and food. I strongly believe that the pancake lens is more than capable in handling all these categories !!

With this pancakes, it is time to rediscover the joy of taking pictures with the compactness of a compact camera once again. No more excuses of me not having my camera with me because I am simply lazy to carry something so bulky and heavy.

Now who says DSLR is huge and heavy?