Friday, March 27, 2009


Opposites, a title which is very common and can be easily shown in picture. We are living in a world of equilibrium (what a mouthful to speak out this word....), hence, everything comes in pair which opposite each other. For example : man vs woman, black vs white, big vs small etc etc.

My initial plan of the opposite is the "Opposite in mind set". My set will be something like this: on top of my head, there are two opposites minds fighting each other. An angel will represent the positive mind, and a devil represent the negative mind. This can be done by cutting out an angel and a devil on paper and stick them on my flash so when flash fired, I would have the shape of these opposite figure throw onto the wall. However, time is not in favour of me, hence I go for my plan B which is Hot vs Cold.

What could be more easily understandable when I look at an ice and a fire to represent the extreme two condition that opposite each other, right? So, I have my plan and now setting out time !

My idea is a lighting match on the ice. So, I got a candle cup I bought from Ikea and put some water in it. Now come the problem: how do I secure the match in the water before it freeze into ice?? Match's density is lighter than water. Hence no matter how I put the match into the water, the match just float. I have no way to sink the match down if I don't do anything about it. Then I found this thing:

The fuse holder from Ikea's candle ! It secure the match pretty stable, and it's heavy enough to sink the whole set-up down onto the Ikea candle's cup. I was happy and put everything into the fridge and I went to sleep.

The next day, after work, came back so semangat, wanted to do my magic. The I realise, sh*t, I only construct one match + ice thingy only! That mean, I better get it right once and for all, or I have to do everything again !

So to make sure everything is in order and under my control, I test shot with an ice cube first.

OMG ! The ice melted so fast ! And a little un-even surface is the play ground for the ice: it "ski" on the surface ! LOL

Then I think again, what the heck, my Hot vs Cold set up has a candle cup what, how can it ski? I am happy and then start shooting. First a match test shot first to get the proper shutter speed to capture the fire, and adjust the flash power to lit up everything.

My lighting set up as shown in the photo above: just one F42 shoot into DIY soft box, with blue tang long paper covering the soft box. Ice placed on an acrylic board with black seamless paper underneath it.

I had only one shot, I pray hard hard so I could get it right.....

And I did burned my finger. LOL. So kids, don't do this at home when you are alone ! LOL

Does my photo has high chance of getting notice from the judges and become the top 5 put for voting? Well, let's wait and see lar.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

My first roll of film.

Finally, I finished shooting my first ever film by using my SLR, the Yashica FX-3 Super !

After consulted some hardcore film photography friends of mine, I decided to start with a cheap and yet ok film which is the Kodak 400. I was a bit kiasi that time. Although this SLR has in-built metering, but I still worry low ISO would cause all photo to be blurry because of hand shake. Well, we are talking about film, hence we shall not say noise, but we admire the grain. LOL

I was praying hard hard so all my exposure would be correct and pray hard hard so that all my pictures are sharp. I think my prayers been heard half way only, because thank God all my pictures are well exposed, but not at the focusing side. *sigh*

So, how's the result ? Share here with some of the shots I took...

White balance issue? No more white balance issue ! See the following picture, shot in door with florescent light everywhere, but the colour is still natural !
Oh, yes, these handsome boys and pretty girls are my friends I met in DE. They are cool !

I think I'm too rely on the autofocus of my ex-DSLR already. Time to train my self to use fully manual focusing method instead.

I think I'm deeply poisoned by this film photography already. *dead*

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

YOU !!!

You are under my command !

Yes, Master.

Monday, March 23, 2009

My DIY Project : Ring Flash Adaptor!

Ok, my hand itchy again, and I was really super upset because of my work. Hence, I get myself busy by doing another DIY stuff that I had planned for many months: my DIY ring flash adaptor.

Yup, I am trying to make myself an Orbis Ring flash adaptor.

The material is my favourite all purpose corrugated sheets that can be easily found in Tesco or any book store, Tesco aluminium foil paper, cloth tapes, glue and mah jong paper as diffuser.

As usual, everything to be sketched in paper to get all the dimensions:

Based on the concept that the light travel in straight line, and will deflect at the same angle as the direction where it come from, simple physics. Hence, the key element of my flash adaptor would be the 45 deg bend from the flash head bracket. By theory, what ever flash light that came out from the flash head will be deflected directly to the circular ring "soft box" below since the whole compartment of the flash bracket is sealed and no light leakage.

I got my concept, I got my dimensions, cut out all the parts and the construction started without any delay. Oh, by the way, this ring flash adaptor is made for my beloved flash F58 "Cobra Head".

All parts been cut out and ready for construction.
Before everything is put together by cloth tapes, the inner side of the soft box will be covered by aluminium foil paper.

The two major parts of my adaptor.
The top right hand is the flash adaptor and the bottom is the ring soft box.

How the flash head mount on the flash bracket of my ring flash adaptor.

Assembly these two major parts with cloth tapes, secure the flash adaptor with layers of cloth tapes. Cover the opening of the flash adaptor with mah jong paper as diffuser. Test shots !

Not bad, huh? :p
Test shots again, with me of course as the super model again. LOL

Not bad, right ? LOL. This shot was taken on flash manual mode. I was sceptical that TTL would work on my flash adaptor, but I was wrong. Not quite wrong, because Sony ADI function is not usable under this flash adaptor, but it works pretty well under P-TTL function of my camera.

Sure work lar, because under P-TTL, a pre-flash will be fired first and the camera will calculate the flash power based on the return reading from the bounce surface. This picture look a bit under, so I add flash compensation to +1EV and took a shot again:

A bit better, right ? I so like to play with my new toy until I took a shot again, but this time different pose.

Ok, I hear someone puking again.... LOL

Of course my O-bis Ring Flash adaptor can be used as off camera ring flash as well. It is so light that it can be oriented like this:


With this new flash modifier, hence complete lar my collection. No more thing need to be done under my wish list liao. LOL.

Yeah, I know I know it look ugly. Never mind what, just for my own use. :p

I went there to see balloons, but.....

... the balloons were so few and so uninteresting to see, I regretted going all the way to Putrajaya. Probably because of the bad whether, the rain just stopped, the sky was dull, and the time was late. I reached there about 6 pm and what I saw was just a handful of balloons being prepared to take off. Not more than 5 "normal shape" balloons.

Well, not to say boring lar, I went there sure got purpose one. Since I left some shots on my first ever film photography before I send it out for printing, why not I tested out some outdoor shots ?

The balloons were not so interesting to see, so I looked up. Who know I might see something interesting...

Lot of space with a tiny small aeroplane in the frame. They call this art. No? LOL. Putrajaya is so near to KLIA. I never knew KLIA is such a busy airport since our hope of KLIA becoming a travel hub in this region is a failure. I think I saw a plane take off about every 5 minutes. Is 5 minutes of "return period" for an airport is categorise as a "busy" airport? LOL.

Spending some minutes beside the monument, I noticed that the balloons did not float high into the sky, but they were floating very near to the ground... why ar?

And at the end, dusk approached. The sky is still dull, and the sunset wasn't nice to look at. I found this crane from a construction site which is located nearby the place where the balloons are taking off. I thought it could become a nice subject with the dusk as background.

The light was falling rather fast, and by the time I reached my car, the sky was already darken down. And I went home with a full exposed film waiting to be developed, and a tired and hungry body.

So, how are the film ? Wait till I develop them and see lar. Finger cross hope that all my film frames are properly exposed.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


I ran out of idea. Instead sitting in front of computer surfing for nothing, I just took a spray and try out something.

Water spray is one of the key element for my idea for a subject of a photo competition in a local forum. I got the idea, but I found out the execution part is rather difficult to do.

Well, spraying out water from this spray is fun, but getting the floor wet and been scolded by wife is not fun at all. LOL

For lighting: one flash F42 at camera right, snooted pointing at the water spray.

After cleaning up the floor and been scolded high and down by wife, I still couldn't figure out how to execute my idea.... *sigh*

Thursday, March 19, 2009

My DIY Project : Strip Soft Box

Something troubled me and I got upset. So, I got into my DIY room, and I made this: strip soft box !

Hmm... what is a strip soft box ? It's a light modifier that limit the flash spill to a strip shape. Its effect is particularly noticeable when shooting a curve shape bottle where you can see a strip reflected flash line along the curvy bottle line.

This strip soft box is so far the easiest to DIY so far. The materials required are rather simple and can be easily found locally. What I need is a strip box, which is the box of my flash stand, aluminium foil paper (as usual), some black cloth tapes, glue, ruler and knife for cutting.

First, cut out the "front opening" of the strip soft box. I didn't completely cut out one side of the strip soft box so I could control the opening of the strip flash by just closing the door for a tighter beam of light.

Then for the flash hole. Trace down the flash head at one end of the strip boxes, and cut out the hole. Secure all the losing joins with the black cloth tape.

After that, the internal reflective surface. Stick the aluminium foil paper at inside the strip box. Of course the shiny surface must be facing out of the strip box.

Fine tuning the edge of the strip box, and walla, I have my strip soft box ! Test shot and see the result :

Not bad, right ? I was so upset until I made two strip soft boxes ! LOL. Quickly I went and test it out to see if I got a nice reflective highlights on my curvy glass vase or not:

Please mind the underexposed photo. :p
Looking at the reflective strips on the vase, I didn't satisfy on what I got. The reflective strips don't look good. I figured out maybe I need a layer of mah jong paper as diffuser to further diffuse the flash light. Hence, some "upgrading" work were carried out by putting a layer of mahjong paper on the soft box opening, and reshoot:

Yes, it's much much better !

And this strip soft boxes also can be a great portrait flash softboxes as well. It gives two lines of catch lights on the eyes of a person. So, again, without a hot model for testing, I called my favourite and never complaint supermodel to be my model again:

Look at the catchlights on my eyes ! Not bad, huh ? Oh, and these two strip soft boxes produce very nice soft light over my face as well. :p

A bigger crop on the eyes area:

Nice, right ? :p

By the way, do I look good while I'm not wearing my glasses? LOL

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Time does fly....

Time does fly and it slip through the gap between my finggers. Weeks and weeks had past, and my "to-do" list kept delaying. Am I such a busy person that I had no time for me to do my things? Or I just pretend to be a busy person....

I think I need a vacation. Too many questions remain unanswered. I need to break out from my normal routine and be together with my love ones, hiding in a place where no one knows who am I with no annoying phone calls from the client who requests to remove a column section in a middle of an 29 storeys apartment. What the heck.

Or I just need to change my work and forget about that silly request.


Well, where is my resignation letter?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

My In Laws

They are my in-laws. They came all the way from Johor to pay us a sort visit during the long holiday last week.

My wife brought them to Ikea on Sunday and I was baby sitting my son. That was my first ever time that our baby was left to me in house and he was away from his mother for quite a long period. I thought it would be a disaster to me but to my surprise, this little monster was so tame that he slept through all the way until my wife came back.

As expected, my mother in law was so worried and felt guilty to leave me at home taking care of my son. She was relief to see us "in one piece". LOL

Hey, I can be a pretty well baby sitter one ! LOL

Anyway, here is a photo of my little monster at his 4th month in age.
And I think he was rapping when I took this photo. LOL

Yo man ~~ Check it out ~~


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

In the hood

Update !
My surprise in the box doesn't work. LOL

Never mind, To Be Continued.... *Evil grin !*


In the hood < -- That is the title of a photography competition from a local photography forum that I use to hang in, you know, like log into that forum and starting to talk cork some sort, making new friends etc etc.

"In the hood", OMG, I really can't understand what is this about "In the hood" ! Being very poor in English language, I started scratching my head. This is too abstract for me to understand the meaning of the title and not to mention trying to portray the message of "In the Hood" from a picture!

Again, my aim is that my submission would be able to stand out from the normal ground. So I turned to my good friends for help: Uncle Google and Aunty Wiki ! LOL. Oh, by the way, I would like to introduce a new good friend of mine that I met recently: Cousin Flickr. LOL. Just type "In the hood" in the search box and my good friends will tell me all about "In the Hood". However the returned result was rather disappointing. What I got was straight to the point of "in the hood" thingy which is so cliché (oh, I spell it correctly this time ! LOL).

Well, why not start from the simplest one? Let's do "In the hood" then. One very famous photo that has this "in the hood" element is the in-famous "The Afghan Girl" photo that was featured in the front page of The Discovery magazine once upon a time. I said to myself, why not I also make a photo like that? Well, as usual, I don't have pretty hot model for the shoot, hence I called my all time favourite supermodel to become my model. Then I set up my "mini studio" with my DIY soft boxes, position the model and shoot and I got this:

I used the same set up for my purple colour back ground by using my cheap gels just like what I did for my Purple Royalty photo, one DIY big softbox to camera right, trying to create window lighting effect and the purple gelled softbox also from camera right so to create a feel of window light falls onto the "purple wall", so to create the sense of having a same light source from camera right ......

*buakkkkk......* Ok, I hear someone is puking.

No way ! I didn't submit this photo! I bet the judge will laugh till he drops from his chair by looking at this photo. LOL. So not to caused someone admitting to hospital because of office accident, I googled again, and this time I asked my new friend Cousin Flickr to help. Still I couldn't find something that inspire me for the title "In the Hood".

Then I came across this idea of shooting a box to show what is inside of the box. With long exposure couple with test flash method, I got this:

Nah, this is too normal, nothing interesting to see, and I don't think this is a good photo too.

After spending some time playing with my spectacle's box, hey, I could just extend this idea of "what's in the box" by showing one fella holding this box with an open hood with a shocked faced to see there is something surprise in the box ! Hey, "In the hood" ! LOL. To add more dramatic, a flash in the box that shine his face to give a feel of "look ma, I found a treasure" thingy. Hence, again, with no hot model to work with, I called my favourite supermodel to come into my mini studio and we started to work out my idea.

First, a try shot of course with a small box.

Nope, the box is too small and it can't even hide my flash from being noticed. Then, I saw there is a bigger box from of Tai Tong in my room, and test shot again.

Ok, a bit better. But the flash still visible. So, the solution is simple, just swivel the flash into vertical position and test shot again.

Hey, much better with unexpected that the box is illuminated ! This could give a feel of treasure glowing from the box ! So, after some test post and test shots, adding another flash so to light up the hood of the box to separate it from dark surrounding, I finally settle with this photo:

I was happy, and went to sleep and planned to submit this photo to the judging panel in the next day. But I couldn't sleep well. Something is missing in this picture, and I thought of it for the whole night. Then I figured out: why not add some key light instead pitch dark background?

Hence, after a long boring hours in the office, and after spending some time with my little monster and after putting him to sleep, I came back to my drawing board, and replan the shoot again. For starter, the pose of my model must be determined first.

This pose looks ok. Let's put in a key light from my back and see if this photo look better or not. So, I turned off the flash in the box and test shot.

This key light is good enough to separate me from the dark background. Great. But I think white colour for the key light is damn boring. Why not I gel it blue and see if this could put in some dramatic feel or not.

Hmm... a little bit mystery. I like it. But then I think I need more separate of me from the dark background. So, I add another flash pointed to the wall....

Not bad to me. So, to combine all the flash light into works and I got this:

Pretty good, eh ? But wait, something came into my mind again. Why not red gelled the background flash ? Well, no harm trying, right ?

Fuh ! I like it ! Mind the out of focus for this photo, you know lar, self timer what. So, I quickly changed one better cloth and reshoot again. Sure need to change cloth lar, so I look more leng chai a bit mar. LOL

And here it is, my submission photo for the competition titled as "In the Hood". I titled my submission as "Surprise in the hood". :p

So, what is my chances of getting notice by the judge ? Hmm... I would say 50-50 lar. But if I submit the first photo of this post (the Afgan Boy Wanabe), I am sure my submission will be get noticed one, and then the judge will laugh till he roll on the floor for many many rounds one. LOL.

I think the result will be out soon. Let's wait and see. :p