Monday, 25 January 2010

Water Drops


Water drops, originally uploaded by ZackTwin.
After buying DSLR, I was very excited to take nice photos, but after trying some test shots I was a bit disappointed because it was not easy to get nice photo even with DSLR. Some photos were even worse than taken by point-and-shoot camera.

What I thought was wrong. I thought if I take photo with DSLR the photo would be automatically nice. After I have gone for few photo taking trips, I decided to take a basic photography course. I have learnt some basic photography like depth of field, composition and so on...

This photo was taken during my photo trip to Orchid Garden in October 2008. This is one of the best photos among 200 photos of that day. After taking the basic photography course, I understand why this photo is good; because of its composition.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Green


Green World, originally uploaded by ZackTwin.
“Green”, this is the main keyword of politicians nowadays. Whether or not they are really trying to tackle with climate change, they use the word “GREEN” to win the heart of people. While many people in the world are concerning about global warming, the world leaders couldn’t make any major decision in Copenhagen.

In future, a country which has many forests may make a lot of money by carbon trading, I think. A forest cannot be created within few years, so keep them is a major asset for countries like Myanmar. Singapore is too tiny to make money from forest but it is a very good example to the world that even a small country can make itself GREEN.

I took this photo of GREEN near to a golf club during a hiking trip from Bukit Timah Nature Reserve to Mac Richie Reservoir of Singapore. You would agree that if I say green can make people happy and relax. We should keep the green to save our one and only planet. (We still haven’t found Pandora Planet yet, right?)

Anyone can save the planet by using less water, less paper, less electricity or driving less gas-thirsty cars.

Small changes can make big difference.

Monday, 18 January 2010

Don't waste precious water!


Don't waste precious water!, originally uploaded by ZackTwin.
We normally give warning to the person who didn't turn faucet off properly in our house because we just don't want to waste precious water. I didn't shoot this photo to have evident to give warning. I just turn faucet on for a while to take this photo and wasted some water.

As water, another important thing we shouldn’t waste in our life is TIME. "You will not get back the time that you wasted...". That’s so true that I regret the time that I wasted in the past but I didn’t learn. I am still wasting time again and again. I would like to spend the time wisely but I am a little bit emotional than other people. So I follow feelings rather than plans.

When I stop what I am doing and think but there are dilemmas … I think “What if…” Then my thinking stops there and I do as my feelings again…

I really need someone to give me a warning to stop wasting my time… In our life, no one will give you that kind of warning but yourself. Fortunately, I have great parents who always think about their kids and gave advices or suggestions or warnings whenever they think that they should.

So … you know?

I don’t know what will be next …

Friday, 15 January 2010

Lying Down Johnny


Lying Down Johnny, originally uploaded by ZackTwin.
I wrote “when I am bored and not lazy to go out, I normally bring my camera and take some photos”, so you may have a question in mind that what I normally do when I am bored and lazy to go out.

Well, I take photos of things that I have when I am bored at home. During weekends, I need to wash cloths and clean up the room. One weekend in Nov 2009, after housework is done, I still have some free time. I looked for things to take photos.

I saw liquor bottles in my room. I cleaned up those bottles and place on sofa to take photos. I used my Nikon D60 50mm f/1.8 Nikkor lens and took with manual focus because D60 cannot auto-focus with 50mm lens. But it is really fun to focus manually. The lens is small but really a great lens to play with depth of field because of its aperture. It’s a very sharp standard lens without fish-eye distortion of the face when you take close-up portrait.

You may think that I drink a lot because I have many liquor bottles at home. I usually ask friends, who are coming back from overseas, to buy a bottle for me because the price in DFS is much cheaper than outside. I haven’t drunk for long, so I have 3 bottles of liquor now, 1 Remy, 1 Johnny and 1 Absolut which are waiting to be consumed.

Interested... ?

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Our Date


Our Date, originally uploaded by ZackTwin.
When I am bored and not lazy to go out, I normally bring my camera and take some photos. This photo was taken about last six months ago. I still remember it’s was Saturday. I went to Library @ Esplanade to borrow some movies to kill my boredom at home. By the way, Library @ Esplanade is the only library that has widest range of movies and music albums in Singapore. After borrowing, I went up to roof terrace of Esplanade. The scene from the roof is very nice. One side is night view of Marina Bay with Singapore’s trademark, financial buildings backdrop. Even thought the camera was in my hand I didn’t take any photos because I know that I couldn’t get good photos without tripod as I have to use slow shutter speed.

On the other side of the Esplanade is Raffles Ave. I saw a group of photography hobbyists. One guy was seemed to be the trainer, who is guiding the rest what aperture and shutter speed to use to get good photos at night and so on. When I turned back, I saw many youngsters sitting and chatting in dim light. Among them one teenage couple seemed to be very interesting. The boy hugged the girl and the girl took the photos of them with their mobile phone. After taking, they looked at the phone and smiled.

They are so cute. I wanted to take photos but I don’t want them to notice that I am taking their photo. So I leaned on the wall and hold the breath to take this photo. I needed to zoom in with my 18-200lens. I had to use ISO 1600 because the light was dim and I was taking from the distance. The image’s resolution is not very good but I am quite happy with the moment that I captured.

Hope you are happy to see this photo too. Thanks!

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Wild Grass


Wild Grass, originally uploaded by ZackTwin.
This is another photo taken on the way to Yaku Shoji Temple. I saw wild grass roadside and took this photo with the background of blue sky.

I edited this photo with GIMP to get nicer blue sky. I am using GIMP as image editing software even though it is not user friendly. I want to use Photoshop but it is expensive for me. At the same time, I do not want to use pirated copy because I feel that I should be more sensible as I am working in software industry. This is just my feeling. No offence.

By the way, a friend from Japan visited Singapore on last Saturday. So last Saturday was like international friends reunion day for me. I met with New Zealander friends from Australia for lunch and this Japanese friend for dinner. He is very friendly and nice man. When I visit to Japan, he gave us a treat in a Tofu restaurant in Tokyo which is really exclusive. The tofu they served was fantastic as well as fish.

This is my turn to ask him what he would like to have for dinner. He said anything is ok. So I suggested we would have a nice Indian food for dinner which is delicious and not very spicy. I brought to an Indian restaurant in Boat Quay to have dinner. The food is good while the talk was better. We were making jokes and laughing until our cheeks were tired. The price of food is pretty expensive compare to the service we got. Too bad, I forgot the name of the restaurant but I remember if I see that again. I should take note shop information if I want to write about it. I will do that so in future.

Thanks…

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Golden Fields


Golden Fields, originally uploaded by ZackTwin.
I went to Yaku Shoji Temple which is in a village near to Urasa Town in Japan. The main reason of visiting that template is to see the place where Dr. Ba Maw of Burma (Myanmar) hid during WWII.

Dr. Ba Maw was "Naingandaw Adipadi" (head of state) of Burma during Japanese occupation in 1943. He was regarded as traitor, at least by me, before knowing about him details. In fact, he is a patriot who helped to cover up General Aung San’s plan to expel the Japanese from our country.

On the way to the temple, we saw many paddy fields, in golden color, which were ready to harvest. I am told that the rice from this region is famous and expensive because the quality is the best. The view of golden color paddy fields with the background of blue range of mountains is stunning. I couldn’t stop taking many photos of the scenery.

Firstly I didn’t upload this photo because I thought the nice view was obstructed by overhead power cables. When I see this again, I feel that it’s a feature of Japan because we can’t easily find an overhead power cable in Singapore… So I am sharing this lovely photo to enjoy.

Thank You!

Monday, 11 January 2010

Great Gathering


HortPark Singapore, originally uploaded by ZackTwin.
I went to Hort Park, Singapore to take photos with 2 friends a year ago. One is Japanese and another one is New Zealander.

Let me share the history of how we know each other because the way we met is little bit interesting, I think. I attended a class to learn basic Mandarin speaking in 2006 together with 2 of my friends. I didn’t learn a lot of Mandarin words but I got 5 incredibly great new friends, 2 New Zealanders (Reuben & Kim, they are couple), 2 Singaporean Indians (Durai & Shahi, they are friends), 1 Japanese (Chikako) and, of course, 2 Burmese who are already friends before attending the class. Even though we have different backgrounds and professions, we can get along very well surprisingly. We know that after a drinking session in Chimjes. Whenever we have gathering, we could eat and talk for more than 6 hours.

Among those friends, Reuben, Chikako and I are interested in photography. One day, we decided to meet on weekend to take photos together, so we can share our knowledge and ideas of photography. Reuben used Canon DSLR, Chikako used Olympus SLR and I used Nikon DSLR. Above photo is one of photos I took during the photo taking session in Hort Park which was on 21 Feb 2009.

Not long after that Reuben and Kim moved to Australia. After they moved, we didn’t meet as everyone is busy. Another reason is that Kim is the best organizer among friends. Since she is not here, no one can organize and plan like her to have a gathering.

Last Saturday, we met all those friends again. You guess what. Kim arranged that meeting too. Reuben and Kim were going back to Australia from India where they had their holidays. They transit in Singapore for 6 hours. So we had a chance to meet with them for about 3 hours. Kim knew what she wanted to have for lunch. So she arranged to meet in Jumbo Seafood in Clarke Quay. The food was nice. The talk was great. The feeling was happy.




By the way, I gave photos as present to them. One Bagan photos from Ko Ye Tun whom I know in Flickr and One Miyajima photo which I took during my trip to Japan. They liked both of photos very much.

I am sad to say good bye to them but I am really happy that we had a nice gathering again. I really feel that I am very lucky to have them as my friends. See you again guys!

Friday, 8 January 2010

Singapore River Festival 2008


Singapore River Festival 2008, originally uploaded by ZackTwin.
I bought a prosumer camera, Sony H5 in 2007 without doing a proper research. I wished to take better photos than existing Nikon point-shoot-camera, so I decided to own a better camera, but I was not sure what camera to buy. I was not thinking to have DSLR at that time because the cost to own a DSLR at that time was not as cheap as today. I still remember that I was checking features of Canon PowerShot S3 or Sony H5 as both were within my budget.

One weekend, I talked about buying camera with a friend in City Hall (Singapore). He suggested we should go and check cameras in the shop in Funan. So we went to Funan and saw Song Brother Shop there. We go in the shop to ask the camera prices and see the cameras. When I saw Sony H5’s big and clear LCD, I was so excited and bough it immediately. I paid that camera for nearly S$900.

At that time, I didn’t know about camera shops; John in Funan or Cathay in Peninsula which are good cameras shops in Singapore.

Prosumer cameras have more features than point-and-shoot, like allowing you to change shutter speed and aperture but lens. Moreover it has smaller censors than DLSR which I totally didn’t know until I owned it. How na├»ve I am?

Getting restriction feeling after using prosumer camera and its incapability to take good night shoots made me think to get a DSLR camera, especially after taking photos of Singapore River Festival in Sept 2008.

This is the one of photos I took during Singapore River Festival 2008.

Thank You!

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Courage


Happy Birthday, originally uploaded by ZackTwin.

It takes courage
... to live strong where something is wrong

It takes courage
... to make song which you belong

It takes courage
... to sing along with someone you've found


Make yourself strong
… not to prolong getting what you long

Sing the song which you belong
... with the someone you've found

Nothing won't be wrong...

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Cloud of Shan Plateau


Cloud of Shan Plateau, originally uploaded by ZackTwin.
I browsed my old photos and found this beautiful photo. I took this photo when I went to Taung Gyi City in Myanmar in December 2005 to attend my brother's wedding.

We went to interesting places around the city during the trip, including KatKu Pagodas. This place was not easily accessible in 1980s because it was stronghold of PaO rebels who were fighting for autonomous state. Now PaO signed cease-fire agreement with Military Government and are doing business in the region, so visitors can enjoy this kind of beautiful scene in Shan Plateau.

I took this photo with point-and-shoot digital camera, Nikon E4300, so I think the sharpness is not great but still beautiful for me.

Hope you enjoy this photo too. Thank You!

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Sunset in InnLay Lake


Sunset at InnLay Lake, originally uploaded by ZackTwin.
I went to Taung Gyi, the city of Shan State, Myanmar in December 2005 to attend my brother's wedding celebration. The ceremony was held as in PaO traditional style as my sister-in-law is a PaO.

After the wedding ceremony, we went to InnLay straight away. We stayed at Golden Island Cottages Hotel (http://www.gicmyanmar.com/), a floating hotel in InnLay Lake.

Just after dropping my bags, I took out my first point-and-shoot digital camera, Nikon E4300, and took the sunset scenery. I found this photo in my HDD and edited a bit to make it brighter.

Now I have Nikon D60. I think I can take better photos than point-and-shoot. I wish that I can go back to this place and take more photos.

Photos always remind memories. That's one of the reasons to take as many photos as possible...

Monday, 4 January 2010

Sunset in Miyajima


Miyajima at Sunset, originally uploaded by ZackTwin.
This photo was taken during my vacation trip to Japan. The place is called Miyajima, which is a small island near to Hiroshima City.

When I get to the island, it was about 4:00PM and the weather was cloudy. I was a bit disappointed because I wanted to take this giant torii gate with sunset view. Anyway, I took this photo after visiting nearby temples, when light of the gate on.

With the light from the gate and the sky, I got this nice photo though I didn't have chance to take the gate with nice sunset. I rank this photo as the most favorite photo of Japan Trip, and also My Photo of 2009.

Thank you for visiting.

Happy New Year 2010 and Happy 62th The Independence Day of Burma (Myanmar).