Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Seeing Green (edited with some BTS pics!)

* EDIT: I added towards the bottom of this post some photos of myself during the photowalk, courtesy of Mr. Asanagambir.


These shots were taken during the Fotografikr KL Photowalk, 26 July 2009. The theme set for my group was "Seeing Green".

Raindrops on Leaf

This is a cropped closeup shot of a leaf of a bougainvillea tree found beside the Klang River after a morning rain.

Abandoned Plastic Scoop

A green plastic spoon, possibly used for eating something cooked with oil. Found littered on a walkway beside the Klang River.

Green Rubbish Bin

One of the many green-colored rubbish bin found alongside the city streets of oldtown Kuala Lumpur.


One thing I know and I'm sure most of you would definitely agree: I am quite unimaginative and uncreative when it comes to titling my photography works...

Comments and critiques are welcome!


EDIT: Some photos during the photowalk! (all photo credits to Mr. Asanagambir)

Myself, Eba2008, Fakhrul, and tag-along model Hanie.

Fakhrul and myself. Asanagambir called us the 'bouncers of Team Green'. I think I combed my hair too neatly for this photowalk.

Eba with his D300 + tele-lens, Fakhrul with his Canon and myself with a humble D60 + kit lens. Hanie poses with the Masjid Jamek in the background.

Find me if you can!

I shall probably add more pictures of the photowalk as soon as they surface out here in the cybernet. Or maybe I'll have a dedicated post up. Either one.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wisdom Teeth That Are Not So Wise After All

Last week I went to see the dentist to have my regular checkup and cleaning and so far, the dentist said that I'm doing great, my dental hygiene have been improving and my teeth are looking better. The only thing I need to do is to increase the frequency of daily flossing (which I admit that I haven't been religiously doing) which will help with reducing the plaque percentage (or something like that). Once this has been reduced I can proceed with the root planing procedure (I think it sounds something like that, I'm not a dentist!)

For all the time I was at the dentist's, the x-ray of my oral region was put up in front of me. I was told (and I actually know this even before the x-ray) that my two lower 'wisdom teeth' are not growing correctly and are impacting the rest of my teeth.

Above is that x-ray shot of my teeth. As you can see the two bottom wisdom teeth grow horizontally and are impacting the rest of my lower teeth. I was told that I need to undergo surgery to have both of them removed.

These two 'unwise' wisdom teeth has been causing me a lot of problems... food get stuck easily back there and being the wisdom teeth that they are, they're really hard to reach using the tip of the tongue to dislodge the stuck food. I find myself always having to use toothpicks to clear them, which may cause injury to my back gum and pave way for infections. It's a good thing that I have made it my daily habit to use antiseptic mouthwash daily every time I brush my teeth, otherwise the nasty infection I got back in 2008 would come back and haunt me.

Anyways, I'm thinking of having both these 'not so wise' teeth extracted. I was told that the surgery might include them having to cut off a small chunk of my jaw in order to take the teeth out... which means that this minor surgery would not be as easy as it seems.

Anyone with prior wisdom teeth extraction experience, please share with me your experience / ordeal... Any advice is also welcome...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Re-chasing Dragonflies

This is a repost of my old entry from last year. Mr. Jemsen asked me in my last post if I have any dragonfly photos and I actually do. Closeup dragonfly photos coming up! (italicized font indicate 'flashback')

[Start flashback]


I took a stroll around the lake near the engineering building and saw a couple of dragonflies hovering above the grass... luckily I have a camera on hand so here you go... more pictures of bugs... this time, dragonflies.

So it started out with noticing a dragonfly perched on a blade of grass... (see below)


So I went in closer for a better shot...




This was as close as I could get before it flew away. Next thing I knew there were a couple of these beautiful creatures hovering around me. I guess they got accustomed to my presence already.


A shot of another dragonfly, I think I used the camera's flash and -2 ev for this one.


Screwed around some more with the camera's settings for this shot. I like how the colors came out.


There were countless failed attempts at snapping these insects in flight, the most you would ever be able to see is a brown blur in the middle of the photo, so I'm not including those. If only I have in my arsenal a camera fast enough to capture these flying arthropods in flight...


[End flashback]

Comments about these old closeup photos are welcome!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Bugging for My Attention

This really small bug was just bugging around when I was trying to shoot my baby brother during his sports carnival. Since it kept bugging me for my attention, I decided to shoot the bug as well.

Shots like these make me miss my macro/closeup shooting days. Reverse lens again, anyone?

Friday, July 10, 2009

Eye See You See Me

Captured this photo of myself capturing a photo of my sister's right eye.

It's not a fisheye lens, it's a human-eye lens!


Anyways... tons of stuff to do and to take care of: martial arts training, fetching my sister from college, driving my family back to Muar to see my grandparents, plus other stuff.

Whatever it is that you have planned, I hope you will have an enjoyable weekend!

The Kinds of Photos That I Miss Taking (Pt. 2)

Part 2 of the kinds of photos that I miss taking. These were also captured on my old Sony Cybershot DSC-P71, also around the North Campus of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Part 1 is here if you haven't seen it.

Single leaflet on a twig


Snowcapped winterbush




Yellow plant life


Dried leaf in the snow




Kroger cart wheel


Frozen - not quite there yet



Mysterious furball


Don't ask me what that is, I do not even know if it's an animal or a plant.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Some Nobel Prize Winners and I

If you go to the National Science Centre in Mont Kiara, you will find a colorful wall full of portraits of all the recepients of the various Nobel prizes over the years. Walking alongside the wall, we can't help but notice a few Nobel winners that chose to stick out of the crowd and have quite nonconformist poses for their official Nobel portraits. Here are some of them...

Czeslaw Milosz (1911-2004), recepient of the Nobel Prize in Literature 1980, "who with uncompromising clear-sightedness voices man's exposed condition in a world of severe conflicts"

Thomas Mann (1875-1955), recepient of the Nobel Prize in Literature 1929, "principally for his great novel, Buddenbrooks, which has won steadily increased recognition as one of the classic works of contemporary literature"

Eric R. Kandel (1929- ), one of the recepients of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2000, "for their discoveries concerning signal transduction in the nervous system"

Gerard Debreu (1921-2004), recepient of the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 1983, "for having incorporated new analytical methods into economic theory and for his rigorous reformulation of the theory of general equilibrium"


Looking at all the portraits on the wall, I couldn't help but notice that even more than significantly evident was the domination of European males or males of European descent in the list of recipients. Of course, sprinkled here and there, are some females, some Arabs and East Asians, and some of African descent. But the absolute supermajority of males of European descent in the Nobel Prize list makes me think:

1. Research done in other parts of the world needs better recognition than those done in the Western countries.

2. Significant hurdles in research (i.e. budget, equipment, facilities) need to be overcome in order to do more groundbreaking research. These hurdles might be more prominent in developing countries.

3. The brain drain, as in, the migration of great minds from third world or developing countries to developed countries such as the United States and/or the United Kingdom might have played a part in more scientific breakthroughs from the developed countries than the rest of the world.

4. The scientific community mostly consist of male scientists / researchers. For a significant period of time, females were either denied a scientic education/training (in favor of domestic training) or they were mostly not attracted to the field of science and scientific research.


Also, I could not help but wonder: Would I live to see the day when a Malaysian would rise and become a Nobel Laureate?

A Malaysian could only wish.

A Memory of a Walk in the Fall

I remember back a few years ago when I was still living in Ann Arbor, Michigan... the fall season was so beautiful with the trees all turning crimson red orange and yellow and the weather being a mix of warm and chill, and we could go out wearing anything we want and not be too cold or too hot.

I remember taking a walk with my dear friend Kristen in the Forest Hill Cemetery, where we could see lots of monuments and tombstones decades and some hundreds of years old... and they were all so beautifully made, sitting there as testaments to some people who used to live and walk the same earth and have been to where we've been at some distant time and era. Walking in the cemetery in the fall was in some ways refreshing; the sheer quietness and tranquility of the graveyard truly lived up to the saying "Silent as the grave". But the silence wasn't at all eerie; the beauty of the golden trees and the sight of scurrying squirrels and prancing deer took me to a different, more pleasantly distant world, away from the hectic life of a foreign college student and worker of two part-time jobs; away from books and annoying customers, away from wires, cables and computer peripherals. This was peace, both outer and inner, represented by the beautiful scenery, the quiet tombstones, and the peoples of the past resting peacefully in their silent graves.

Forest Hill Cemetery

Kristen took a photo of me at this obelisk that marks the Knight family graves. One of the marked tombstones was of Earle Johnson Knight who died in Fall of 1905. Coincidentally this photo was taken in 2005, a hundred years after his death. At that moment we did not know who the person was, when he died, and why his family was honored with such a prominent obelisk in the south area of the graveyard. I just thought that the tower looked commanding and important, and the name 'Knight' kind of embodied the same spirit, and with this interest in mind I requested my friend to to snap this memorable photo of me sitting on this century-old monument, with an awkward smile on my face that tells everyone how unphotogenic and inexperienced I am in front of the lens instead of behind it.

Now, more than three years later I still remember that walk with Kristen as one of my fondest memory with a dear friend whom I may never see again, as we both were foreigners from distant lands.
To Kristen I say thank you for the memories and this particular photo, both of which I hope will live on forever as a small chapter of my (or rather, our) story, which I will tell my future grandkids one day.

Monday, July 06, 2009

The Kinds of Photos That I Miss Taking

As you might know, or after this you'll know, that I live in Malaysia. A country where we only bother about the weather forecasts to find out if it's going to rain or not. Guessing the temperature is no competition because nobody even bothers about it, and relative humidity, dew point and pollen warnings invite whatareyoutalkingabout one eyebrow raises from the locals.

Living in a country so close to the Equator means that we are always relatively in constant distance from the sun, hence the hot and humid weather all year round. That being said, there is almost no wrong time for foreigners and tourists to come visit Malaysia (except for certain rainy and flood seasons in the East Coasts) and have a good time outside the hotel, basking in the warm rays of the sun regardless whether it's January or June.

But the constantly similar weather all year round has its drawbacks. Winter and/or snowfall in Malaysia can be said as impossible and highly improbable, that if it happens people would think the end of the world has come. Autumn is not seasonal, since leaves fall whenever they dry up and die regardless of what time of the year it is (except for maybe some species of plants brought into the country from outside). Summer is translated as seasonal drought in certain areas, and dry spells bring haze from neighboring countries. The only seasons we care about are fruit seasons, especially the durian, because it's then that we can see the roadside hawkers line up on rural roadsides trying to sell off their truckload piles of hotel-and-airlines-banned King of Fruits.

The lack of a winter season means that I can no longer take the kinds of snow and/or ice photos that I used to love taking back when I lived in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

And so, as a reminiscence, and also as a way to share with you the photos that I used to take back when I used an old Sony Cybershot DSC-P71, below are some of my random icy cold shots of random things around the North Campus of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, about three years ago (was previously blogged in this entry).



Glassy grass


Icicles on the wheel

Not a white sakura tree, but a crystal frozen tree.

Frozen twig...

... and the jungle of ice behind it

Leaf covered with slime?


If these are field vectors...





There are more where these came from, which will be shared in future posts, God-willing. Give me a shout-out if you somehow like any of my old random shots .


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