Sunday, December 23, 2012

Sunday with my Brondong

It has been a while.

I took my Brondong out for breakfast today.






Fun - ALWAYS

Big Bad Wolf book sales


The biggest book sales n the world.

Despite still feeling a bit under the weather, I braved myself, and my nephews and harvest these titles from the Mines.

I thought books in Kathmandu were cheap. These are DIRT cheap.

I am very happy with my purchase.

NatGeo books and beautiful - and inspiring.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

My Most Loyal Travel Companion

I love this pair and now its very comfy to hike with. 

I will get them washed, disinfected and oil it. And then its gonna be back to its original beauty. 

Haven't washed them since my last hike in the Himalayas.





Tibetan Rug


I purchased this at a Tibetan Refugee Centre in Kathmandu. 



I do collect rugs from different part of the world. This one adds to my favorite collection.


An American lady from Boston happened to stay at the same hotel in Kathmandu. She also acquired some pieces from the same place. She had a degree in fabrics or something like that. She told me Tibetan rugs are one of the finest on the world. She was embarrassed to pay so cheap for such high quality work of art.






It looks damn good in my office.







Be warned. Its wool. Wash it only with cold water.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Framing Job


I have to say, framing is a totally different skill all together.


I don't have any intention to get into this. 


I draw a line, I only shoot and print. I don't do framing.



However, I think it is interesting to design the framing to match the interior of a hotel, a home. Its part of ID and furnishing.

Photography and Installation for BWP


Best Western Premier commissioned me to clad the walls of Best Western Hotel flagship in Malaysia.



Despite my busy schedule with my trips to Kuatan, I dedicated 2 solid weeks to deliver the job. Sleepless nights and sweaty days.



It took a lot of planning and designing and also communicating with many parties including large printer shop, the hotel and the framing shops. Major coordination job.

I gave my all.

I promised the owner the best I could give.



This was not really a photography job. Its more of an Interior Design job, which I really want to get into.





Large Format Printer Dreams...

A couple of months ago, I went to PWTC for the large format printer exhibition - or something like that.

I shot this with my i-phone while walking between the exhibition halls.



Now, these are VERY LARGE format printers!



I don't need that as I am not into billboards and medium format camera.

I only need one of these babies over here so that I can print large format in the comform of my office - at home ;-)

It shall be mine.



EBC



I remember, certain stretches while I was walking with Onchu Sherpa, all I could hear was the soft (but cold) wind against my ears, our foot-steps on the lonely sandy path of a barren land, water running deep down in the half frozen valley and my very own breathing. It was quite difficult to even stride, step by step by (endless) step. But the view was just magnificent! 

To think of it, it wasn't really the destination. It was the journey with my great friends I treasure most. I certainly don't mind doing it again.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Different bike, different feel




Dato’ S explain to me before. That triggered a number of bikes I have. I still do and I love them all.

Carbon frame is very light and stiff but the ride is very dull. 

Steel frames are more responsive. Not dull. U feel you work in tandem with the bike, especially in climber. However, it’s relatively heavier for climbing. It is best for touring where a little comfort over an eight hour a day ride is considered super luxury.

Friday, November 02, 2012

MotoGP 2012, SEPANG International Circuit



I was at Sepang a couple of weekends back. 

Not really my cup of tea. Not really sure what was going on. I think a major chunk of Perdana Suite guests also didn't know what was going on.

Oh well, they were all busy socializing, so it doesn't matter.



My friend was very kind to give me VIP passes. Perhaps I should give him a photo nicely framed for his office.

I had a great time shooting, nevertheless. However,  it rained quite a bit, wet and humid. 

It is quite tricky to shoot a speeding bullet in a low light. I have to compensate it with bigger ISO.

Turn out well, I think.



EBC


My attempt to apply for Nepalese visa yesterday did not materialize. They only accept submission before lunch. I sweated like a pig walking from Ampang Park to MCA building.

Today I went again. Before lunch. 

As usual, a bit noisy and..... smelly. (serious BO)

Yuck.

2 persons attempted to cut queue. I gave them my piece of mind, then they went to the back, in line.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

EBC


Some destinations are just meant to be visited ONCE only. Nothing special - been there, done that sort of deal.

Dubai, in my list is one of them. 

I was in Dubai earlier this year and that was it. Been there, done that. I will not go there again unless it is necessary. 

Dubai is dry. No spirit. Just shopping malls. You can hardly interact with the locals. Its not easy to immerse yourself into their culture.

Places like Paris and Cape Town are in my frequent list. I can go there many times. There are many things to do and see. Character, culture, landscape, hiking, cycling, museums, galleries, art.

Now, Nepal is added into my frequent list. It is a destination that offers a lot of things. Beautiful landscape of majestic mountains, people rich with culture, scenic villages, friendly local. 

I wish I could go to Nepal like - every year.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

EBC


Both physical and mental strengths required in a journey to EBC. 

It is not as straight forward as it might seem. Not as complex as organizing my France cycling trip but complex enough to make you carefully plan it.

Logistics is always a major issue. To get there and away, as Lonely Planet likes to put it in their guides.

One of the critical issues is the flight from Kathmandu to Lukla - the only gateway by plane to Mount Everest.

While doing my preliminary research, I googled Lukla airport. I bumped in a countdown of the most dangerous airport in the world on Youtube. From 10 to 1. 1 being the most dangerous.

Guess Lukla is what number?

Yes,

1


EBC


The closer to the date to fly off to Nepal, the more communication we have with our trusted  guide Binod who is always on the move throughout the Himalayas.

Quite a polished gentlemen, very soft spoken and polite, yet very capable. Quite an intelligent man I would say.

I spoke to him along the trails, during break at the tea houses and after dinner chatting session. He is quite a thinker. I think he loves the mountain, the Himalayas. He is very passionate about it.

He enjoys philosophy, I think.

Who wouldn't be if one is surrounded 360 degree view of the several majestic peaks of the world?

The first time I experienced 180 degree view of the Himalayas, I literally teared - it was a very humbling experience. GOD is indeed VERY GREAT.

EBC

My friends and I have decided to trek the Himalayas again. The five of us are flying off on 10 Nov 2012.



I have been slowly packing and make sure i don't miss any important gear and clothing. I still cannot find my damn gloves. They are a very good pair of gloves for extreme weather. Combed my place several times but still cant find it.

Bloody annoying. 

I guess I have to buy a new pair in Kathmandu.

Monday, October 15, 2012

"Don't only practice your art,
but force your way into its secrets
for it and knowledge can raise men to the divine" 

- Ludwig van Beethoven

Saturday, September 08, 2012

My New Friend form Japan




I received the email from you.

My wife is very pleased to see the photos.

I decorate framed print it out immediately.

I'm looking forward to see you again in the Maldives.

Thank you very much

Yoshiyuki Asai

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Just a note to myself


"besides physical attributes and mental capacity, I think individuals with artistic talents are sexy"

Maldivian Adventure



I had 8 wonderful days in the Maldives. 

The photos I have seen before were real. The atolls are like a bunch of paradise over the horizons, one after another as I crossed the Equator - zero degrees latitude - by Maldivian, the national airlines.

My typical day was

wake up in the morning before sunrise

take the bicycle with my camera in the basket

ride to the beach watch the sunrise 

take photos of fishermen, people, boats, island, beaches

ride back to hotel

eat breakfast like a pig

set up underwater camera gear and diving equipment at the dive centre

dive, shoot photos 

surface interval - read book, tea, nap

dive again, shoot photos again

back to the hotel and ate lunch like a pig

read a book by the pool / beach

nap

wake up

tea

take the bike to the village, with my camera

watch sunset

back to hotel

ate dinner like a pig

have drinks with new friends, talk, update my journal

sleep

x 5 days



I was hardly online and it was a very very peaceful 8 days.

I am very blessed.

Thank you God



A set went to Perth

"First of all my wife and I thank you very much for the lovely artwork. 
We did hang them on the wall yesterday and they have come out very beautiful. 
Fortunately I could avoid fumigation at the Perth airport; 
however I had to open whole of the packaging in front of the quarantine inspector at the airport. 
Anyway it was worth the effort."

A set of the Batik Series has found a home of a happy owner in Perth, Australia. I think my frame shop did a good job. No problem at the airport and the frames arrived in Perth in perfect condition. I am very pleased.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Raya, but not quite Raya




Some of my siblings will not be in Terengganu for Raya. Then I feel macam tak best nak balik kampung. I love Terengganu but if there are not many of my siblings are going to be there, tak best.

Since business is going to be closed for about a week, I decided to go else where during hari raya break.

I am going there alone, with my cameras. Yes, I will also be doing underwater photography. Just pray the weather will be on my side.

To me, the image of luxury resorts with water villas on stilts above crystal clear water and corals has become quite monotonous. 

I, instead, am more interested in the people, their culture, their everyday life. The challenge is, how can it be uniquely Maldives? How physically distinctive are they from their Sri Lankan and Indian neighbors. I am very curious about this and I haven't  got a clue so far. But I really need to untangle that and turn it into a very nice piece of photography.


photo: shots at Urgench, Ozbekiston while waiting for a delayed train.

chorat choret


What is your opinion about being casual like wearing round neck t shirts during weekdays, or even weekend,

Some people think its selekeh. Not presentable just incase you bump into friends or some business people that you know.

I guess it makes a lot of sense to conform. But, is it not cool if I don't conform? I think I have passed the corporate days, even then I detest to wear neck tie. I don’t mind suits though because I have been told that I look good in it.



Nowadays I hardly go to corporate meetings - unless the Aussies are around. I am very casual most of the time. I hate to dress up. Who is there to impress? And why?

This is just me I guess. I even once went to see the State Secretary with my torn jeans when I balik kampung. Of course they will look at you “one kind”. I even went to see the District Forestry Officer in my shorts - con I forgot to pack my trousers during one of the monotonous trip to Kuantan.

Okay lah. I think those are very inappropriate. Kita ada adab. We shouldn’t be biadap. We should be presentable when we go to other peoples house / office.

It’s gonna be hard but I will do it.

photo: street of Buxoro, Ozbekiston.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Lemon is good for you

Try slicing some lemon and throw into a jug of cold water and serve it to your guests over dinner. Its delicious and nutritious too - I was told. 

I did just that when I hosted buka puasa at my place recently.

My friends love it.


Rediscovered

I have gone through the RAW files of photos shot during Morocco trip years ago countless times. I recently revisited thousands of RAW photos of Morocco and I pleasantly discovered this photo.

I didn't even notice how beautiful this photo is until years later.

I remember woking up very early in cold Moroccan winter to capture the sunrise over Hassan II mosque.  It was cold, I was hungry and it even drizzled. I determined, waited until the subuh azzan broke the silence of Casablanca early morning before the crack of dawn and the sunrise.

The lighting, I just realized, was perfect. And the subject is just exotic.

ENJOY!

Pura in memories



One of the most wonderful things about being a photographer is the ability to recall - not only the details of the subjects - but also the elements behind the camera and the surrounding - which do not appear in the photograph
This photo reminds me of the beauty of Pura Tanjung Sabtu’s architecture. I miss this place. I remember the cool breeze against my face in the evening. I even remember the smell of Bunga Kerak Nasi - Well, thats what we call it back in Terengganu. 
To a certain extend, kerak nasi it self smells quite nice too, especially the half burnt ones, I think. Anyway, Pura has that and the smell that fills the cool night with beautiful fragrant. 


And when you look at the sky, full moon is shining above you with silhouette of the traditional roof - the atap.

From my Kitchen

A salad fork and some dried noodle, en voila!

Still life

I recently got a job to supply and install almost 100 pieces of my photography work to a newly opened hotel in KL.

I am very happy with it. I was given 2 weeks to complete and I did it well. I gave my all and it paid off. At least the hotel's boss is very happy.

I made quite a handsome some of money from it. I already decided to plough everything back into photography..... and some holidays too ;-)

My pieces clad several restaurants and meeting rooms and common areas of the hotels. 

Very proud of it.

While working night and day to deliver this biggest photography order so far, which included choosing from thousands of my image bank, shoot some still life, conceptualize and framing, layout and installation I revisited some of Photoshop functions which I haven't been using for a while. Its good to refresh my skills. And I get hooked experimenting still life.

Like this one.


this is actually a jar of fettuccine in a jar from my kitchen, with some editing using Photoshop.

Monday, July 02, 2012