Sunday, March 27, 2011

Exclamation for BOKEH!

... with romantic bokeh effects.

I ab-so-lute-ly LOOOOVE bokeh, especially those creative ones composed by lights.

#1 No intended bokeh effect, just a normal picture with a slight blur at the back.

Here's what wikipedia has to say about the definition of bokeh:

"In photography, bokeh (Japanese pronunciation: boke) is the blur, or the aesthetic quality of the blur, in out-of-focus areas of an image, or 'the way the lens renders out-of-focus points of light.' Differences in lens aberrations and aperture shape cause some lens designs to blur the image in a way that is pleasing to the eye, while others produce blurring that is unpleasant or distracting—'good' and 'bad' bokeh, respectively."

I'm not so sure how do they define 'good/bad' bokeh but all i know about bokeh is it's preeeetinesss!

#2 Lights lights lights! Oh so romantic!

It wasn't until one day when i stumbled upon a picture (taken by this professional photographer here long long time ago), that the art of bokeh being brought to another level was known to me. Boy was i fascinated!!!

On the downside, i was saddened at the same time because back then i was still a compact/point-and-shoot user. Such camera gives you very very limited space to expand one's passion. So little control on those lenses!

#3 Starry starry lights.

Anyway, i made an impromptu experiment to test out the different shapes with the bokeh effect. A little less than two hours before my assigned photo shoot (in church for a concert event), i managed to grab myself some materials to make the 'tool' for this effect. I'll share more on this 'secret' later.

Don't ask me how did i managed to get that picture above to look like that because it was actually a shot by coincidence (the shot that sort of gave me hope not to give up trying and trying on this effect).

#4 Another shot by coincidence - the heart.

To my surprise, the experiment was a success!!! I assure you, those are authentic bokeh effects! No cheats from PS or anything! Seriously!!!

#5 More try outs with various depth of field.

From the many trial and errors, i realized that there is one very important thing to take note of. To attain a neat effect, one needs to position himself at a fair distance from the source of light. In fact, I'd say that the further away you are from the light (with an adjusted aperture of say around f/1.8 - the bigger the better) the clearer the effect (unlike #5). Otherwise it would turn out to be quite unimpressive.

#6 Bokeh ; the blurred effect and the light's effect.

I attempted on it for so many freakin' times that i almost gave up! It was so hard to understand at first. Too many failed shots. So discouraging that it was enough to make me not want to try no more.

Thank God passion did its best to block off any means of giving up (like always). And that's how i managed to get these pictures up.

#7 Positioning myself further away from the stage lights and utilizing my surroundings for extra effects such as the silhouette. Pretty huh?

I tell you, once you've gotten a good grasp on this art, you'll start to think of all forms of pictures such as the above. Didn't i tell you bokeh was fun??

#8 Standing about 5 meters away from the colourful Christmas lights, and zooming in (by a lot) with the adjusted aperture.

Every time you try on something new, the first shot is not often very presentable and may turn out ridiculously ungraceful. However, the first try is necessary to attain more quality control over your following shots on the same subject. Hey, we learn from mistakes don't we?

#9 Test one - stars.

#10 Test two - hearts.

One day, when i find time, imma gonna bring bokeh to a whole new level and if possible, into the world of abstract art! When i find time i can conquer the world with pinky and the brain.

#11 Seeing stars? It was a mistake. I should have used the heart shape for this shot instead so the caption will go like 'seeing love in the eyes of the man'. Hehe.

#12 Bokeh and flash.

Surprisingly, bokeh still works well even when you engage the flash (for extra light). The flash helps to illuminate my front subject, preventing darkness from drowning it or camouflaging it with the background.

Like i mentioned in the second half of The Batman Story, my trip to KL back in Jan was occupied by romantic moments between my camera and ze New Year lights. Now i shall reveal the pictures that i've tried out in Pavilion with some of their New Year's decorations.

#13 Attempt 1. Fail because my f-stop adjustment was too small (f/9) That's why the amount of light that went through the lens was so very little. Tiny dots weren't the effect that i wanted.

#14 Attempt 2 - success. F-stop adjusted to f/1.8 - Exposure 1/160 - ISO 400.

#15 Attempt 3 - Inserted some creative effect. No PS usage here but solely on the power of photography. Exposure time adjusted down to 1/60

#16 Attempt 4 - Contentment. Exposure back to 1/160 which i think is ideal. So far, this is my fav bokeh picture! Thanks to Julian for literally lending his hand for this.

I was actually playing around with the Manual Mode. Thanks to Cass, i found loads of fun exploring my full commands on the camera. But if you're more comfortable with the Aperture, that's fine.

Here are more pictures i didn't include in this post; The Great Food Madness (from Chilis).

#17 Shot one.

#18 Shot two.

Shot one and two are actually released by Ben, because he was curious how all these things worked out. Lucky him, i saved him from all the trial and errors (since i was the guinea pig who tried out everything). Nice abstract feel huh? The atmosphere in Chilis were of the right lighting, thus creating such a dreamy effect to the bokeh. Heart it max!

Now, attending to the question of how did i make the normally round shaped bokeh effect into other shapes such as the heart and the star... I think i'll have to get back to you some other time on that. I was actually planning to make a tutorial vid or just simply a tutorial in pictures but unfortunately, 2011 wasn't as smooth sailing as the year before and i haven't managed to get a good deal yet out of time. So yeah....

So now you have two options; either do your own research (like me), or wait till i find time to spoon feed you lazy bums. =_=

Alright i'm just sayin'. Check out how to custom bokeh here. Very very very informative and useful! Highly recommended.

P.s. : Are you a bokeh lover? Our cameras should go on a date!!! Call me. :D

P.p.s : Exclamation for bokeh ftw!!!!!!!!!!!!

* * *

More pictures from the photography assignment i took up last year from the Christmas concert. Long time ago like dinosaur i know -_- Dei, very little allowance in time lah. Don't blame me please.

Note : I'll just include captions below the pictures. Very lazy to write lengthy comments on each picture already. *pants*

#19 First time workin' on stage. I was a little shy at first, and at the same time finding it difficult to get nice frames of the choir.

#20 Normal bokeh; blurred background.

#21 Playing around with angles.

#22 Look look look! Bokeh! :D

#23 Playing with aperture/depth of field/focus - whatever you call it.

#24 To show or not to show, says the teeth.

#25 Ladies, show 'em all your pretty teeth!

#26 Shot of the moment. Laugh like you mean it.

#27 The end.

That's all. Bye.

Foot note : All pictures in this post are taken with the Nikon 50mm lense.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Jump Jump JUMP!!!

The exact words my brain keeps playing over and over again whenever i try to write something. It is a suicidal act of jumping over a mind block. Hansel calls it a mindsplosion while others refer it as a brain freeze.

Don't get me wrong, i ain't no writer. I'm just doing the formal writing for the sake of answering those darn formal questions. With such limited time, you'll have to write so fast it's as if your life depends on it, and if you see students squeezing their imaginary sponge heads with the attempt of getting rid the writer's run! Or at least just keep your neck beyond their reach.

Jump away with the rants and jumps in the pictures i mentioned earlier in my previous post. I could have shown you this sooner if the internet hadn’t betrayed me (for more than a week now!) no wait it was a fuse problem.

#1 Run baby run. XD

Darn this picture simply reminds me of my upcoming race i have signed in for - the relay (4x100m) and sprinting (100m) race. I wonder how I will embarrass myself this time, again. I haven’t been exercising diligently lately ever since i indulged myself in many food drug sessions. No doubt i only worked out on my jaw. No helpin' at all.

Food drug, in my opinion, is the consumption of excessive (junk) food steered by emotional hunger or simply just eating a lot, not because you’re hungry physically but emotionally – it’s the current pill I’ve prescribed myself to. Highly addictive it is!

Never mind that for now. Take a look at the next long jump shots. I took pleasure in editing the following pictures and, if you could, try spotting the odds in the pictures e.g. awkward contours, double-color skies, missing limps, etc.

#2 Toon Kah Chuen merging his jump with some martial arts. *signals Bruce Lee sound effect*

#3 Ashiran, who almost rammed into my camera! The most dangerous moment of my LIFE!

#4 Teoh Wei Jiet doing serious jump.

#5 Oh no i forgot his name! D:

#6 Terence's turn.

The jump series by Terence is currently my highlighted one among the others. Apart from being one of the easiest pictures to merge together, i thought his batch of pictures also looks very smooth in action. Check out his neat jump poses plus his unintentional peace sign throughout his jumps if you haven’t noticed already.

#7 Lee Poh Lun, jumping with style.

Poh Lun was the winner for the long-jump event. His batch of pictures was a rather tough one to edit because i had no idea how to not erase the sand effect on his last two jumps. I can’t afford to crop each and every piece of soil that’s on air, please. So i had to relent to make his past jumping figures slightly transparent. Whether it looks good or not, it is up to you to judge.

And check out this last master piece i’ve created! It isn’t anything very impressive nor is it one of my favourites, but thought it contained a teeny weeney amount of humour in it. Behold.

#8 WeiJiet smacks Terence > Kah Chuen avoiding Ashiran's bum > Poh Lun unaware of Ashiran's incoming attack. Spectators were fascinated.

Kinda messy huh? If you look closely, you’ll notice Wei Jiet (second jumper from the left) had himself witnessing his own jump (spot the guy in a black t-shirt at the far end of the field - that’s a Wei Jiet too.) It is a flaw by purpose just for the sake of saving time. Plus it was an excuse to not admit that i have surrendered myself to being lazy that moment. Overall it looks kind of like an epic accident in pause mode which was recorded in one shutter release by the one awesome photographer >:) I like!

Alright. I shall just halt my pen here because i don't wanna squeeze my own head or even my neck - hint : getting a mind block already. Kay bye.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Missing Stories

Howdy y'all!

It's ridiculous. I don't feel the holiday mood even though I'm currently school-free for one whole week. The readings on my tension-o-meter is on the rise and i figured perhaps i should give myself a warm break. Nothing beats browsing through colorful memories!

If you were wondering whether i've died during my absence, i assure you, painful was my death. I'm thus blogging from my cozy coffin wtc. I guess what's really left of me is the zombified mabel whose jolly soul is nailed beneath her hippoSTPMbooks. Pfft.

Anyway, i'm not here to rant about the dark clouds or how i feel the upcoming MUET exam next month should be postponed to idon'tknowwhen in case the tsunami hits Malaysia - utter irrelevance. I'm here to restore some colorful missing pages in mabelstory... the pages that kept my jolly soul from dispersing.

1. The Rangers' Invasion.

#1 Eva forbade me to crop this picture because she claims that her legs look long here.

Now that the Loh (with whom i fought with) is gone, i can peacefully walk into the walls of SMK Convent without triggering any annoyance from my past memories with her. Not to mention the joy of patronizing the aunty who sells those delicious plum sauced fatty fries! And the kacang puteh man! OH.. nom nom nom nom nom!!!

Okay quit the diversion. So why were we rangers back in school all of a sudden? Why all girls? What did we do there? First off, let us also just quit all these boring questions and dive into our amazing discovery of the colorful lego camera. Tadaa!

#2 Nay, not for sale.

It's really a camera i tell you! I've got photographic proof!

#3 I regret doing just one thang - dispatching it.

Solute to the one with such innovative idea! I wonder what will they come up next... a lego machine gun that can be dispatched and be formed into rifle guns and shotguns with in-built lasers? O.o Nah.

2. Red Packet Business.

#4 It's the rabbit's year!

Don't be awed by the number of red packets in my hands. You can easily out number mine if you've collected Tesco's free red packet giveaway. It's the content that really makes the statement anyway.

CNY was not much of a fun this year (it never was since the only thing that spells fun is the countyourmoney part) and when boredom hits, the light bulb lights and walah - an idea! Cameras out!

#5 Awed.

It's quite easy actually to do this picture. Scatter the angpaos/red packets all over a flat surface- in my case, i had them on the bed. Position your model on the surface along with the red packets and then when all is ready, adjust your camera to be directly above your model, parallel to the surface. Snap away!

#6 Awed also.

It is a little tricky for lady models with long hair though. You know what i mean. No more coverage on the chubby face!

3. CNY at SY's.

#7 Don't lick me, you!

Angie and Ju Ean, back from KL and SG respectively, were around town during CNY so we decided to meet up at SY's. Did what people usually do when buddies gather round - minus the alcohol. A lot of catching up, i must say.

#8 SY's confession as a noob in Chor Dai Di. Or in handling cards in general cause she made the whole world wait for her to ARRANGE HER CARDS=.=

#9 Oh and i invited Julian to crash in. So he has to be 'the girl' for one day. And no, there was no discrimination of the opposite sex.

4. Cross Country Run

#10 Mr. Iceman, as he calls himself.

Meh.. it's more of like a cross town run which i think is around 7-8km long. Lucky me, my participation in the event only requires me to take pictures of the event, instead of running. Photography literally saved me! However, there was a price to pay. My station was situated in an area surrounded by greens and trees and soil and all. You get the feel. And my infinite stupidity had me put on a pair of three-quarter pants. Didn't expect to find SO DANG MANY blood suckers in that darn place! Dei.. one slap on the calve, six mosquitoes wei! All in different sizes doing nothing else but feasting on my precious blood without permission!!! Bloody flying syringes!

And oh, another amazing discovery; Beh's cute bagpack!

#11 He looked like an overgrown tortoise.

He said he found it somewhere.

5. Happy Julian's Day

#12 Jollified with his fountain of presents.

I exaggerated on the fountain part of the caption. But he was definitely happy that day! It was his 21st birthday and he had no idea I've got something planned for him. Nothing big though. And boy was i relieved that; 1) i didn't give myself away for the surprise because i was very gan cheong (excited) already because i hid the thing under his sleeping pillow and will only be discovered when he goes to sleep, 2) i managed to go off to bed without giving him any hint - so sun fu to hold it back cause i was worried he wouldn't notice it and just sleep on.... lastly 3) really glad that he found it.. and declared his love for the gift. :D

6. Photography on Sport Events.

#13 I would die in such long races.

I'm not a person of good stamina. Nor of strength. And i ain't fit either. That's why whenever people make a guess of me being an athlete, i become confuzzled - confused and puzzled. Even the Omron electronic weighing machine tells me how unfit i am from the inside. Sad. ):

Anyway... The photography club assigned some of its members (including me) to be on duty during these sport events,so that's how i got to take pictures of the races and long jump competitions. It's a privilege!

#14 Terence doin' the jump.

I'll do a separate post on more edited long jump pictures.

Speaking of stamina, i had the longest stretch of my poor breath in my life last week!

Monday - due to lack of sleep i was the sleepy cranky zombie of the day. Moreover, i had to stay back in school for about 3 extra hours to participate in the short putt competition. To my surprise, i found out that i had photography duty on that day itself too! Ran around so much taking photos, then had to recollect my strength for short putt. Got back home and an hour later, i went for boxercise - a combination of aerobics and boxing. Stamina pushed to the max like dunno what.

Tuesday - after school, there was 1.5 hours of tutorial class and then attended the javelin competition an hour later (which i totally embarrassed myself in!). Back home, got ready for my two hour tuition and ended my day at 2300 earth hours. Proceeded to my coffin with no walls.

Wednesday - badminton competition during the curriculum session after school. Then i went home at 1700 hours. With a huge pile of three-day homework undone. Word.

7. Truth or Dare

Oh how i regret i didn't take any pictures during this gathering.

The peeps who attended the meet up at Jane's were; (the ladies:) SY, Eva, Kelly, Jane - the host, YeanKit, JiaMoon, Me, (the guys:) Ashiran, WeiJiet, KarHeng, Johnny, HengJian, KengFai, and Geston. Despite feeling all dreamy and tired, i was extremely excited with the ongoing activities of that night.

First time i had so much fun playing truth or dare with the gang. Those who were unlucky with the 'Dare card' were really sporting. Wish i could share the giggle with y'all but we made a pack promise ;) Don't wanna risk finding a head in my room upon breaking the promise.

I've learnt a new drinking game as well - Kings. Very interesting game i'd say which requires your maximum alertness. And the skill to drink in your slowest speed possible. It's more of like a sipping game actually. Silent sippin'.

Found out a new joke from Ashiran and WeiJiet : check it out here.

8. Current Food Discontentment

#15 KFC : this meal costs RM10.90. So over priced!

I should just fry my own leg and eat. Need i say more??

#16 Strawberry Moments - De Garden.

So i happened to be lingering around De Garden and decided to give Ipoh's Strawberry Moments a try to save my dying throat from thirst.

#17 This was what we ordered.

And these are my verdicts :-

-Strawberry Milkshake :
Do not take this if you're thirsty. I repeat, jangan terbanjir dengan minuman yang pekat dan tidak cukup segar ini! To some maybe this isn't so bad, but if you've tried the true taste of Strawberry Milkshake from Singberry, you'll know how freshness tastes like - so good you feel very healthy suddenly. A very high benchmark that so far no other milkshake has managed to set - for me, personally.

-Oreo Milkshake :
I believe they not only blended the oreo crust into the drink but also it's white cream fillings as well. Tasted overly sweet. Highly recommended to those who wants to die young, especially of diabetes.

-Water :
The best, the healthiest. Period.

It was a complete different experience with the one i had in Cameron Highlands here, here and here.

9. The Long Kept Affection/Secret

#18 Yes yes yes! Michaelangelo's pizzeria!

I've compiled so many pictures on this new found treasure that it's impossible to fully express my affections here! Well, actually it's not really a 'new' treasure. The 'crush' began last year during its prime days in Ipoh. The rest is history. Definitely one post i must publish in the near future!!! MARK MY WORDS!

10. I Visited MSN Msgr.

Since i'm not a frequent user who likes to hog over the computer just to do worthless chats, i only do 'visits' to MSN messenger once in a blue moon and i do make sure it is worth the visit each time. If you hadn't noticed, chatting can really burn time away.

#19 Control + Print Screen. Save picture. Share.

By the way did you guys check out the new layout of the windows live messenger? Had so much fun being creative with their new layout during my video conference with Julian.

Here's a picture to compare the old design with the current one:

#20 Hello! And goodbye.

It's a bit confusing here but i guess the best way is to check it out yourself ;)

* * *

So yeah... those were the colorful pages that i didn't manage to update for the past three months. I've got so many more pictures in queue to be fed to you guys. Sadly time does matter. I took one full day to complete this one - thanks to diversion intersecting along the way pfft.

Anyway, as i was saying, the holidays don't seem a bit like a free day for me partially because i haven't learnt how to put down certain things and stop worrying/being anxious/angry?/sad?/blabbering emoticons popping in head??/etc - eternally tangled craps.

So for now i've found a temporary solution, a getaway plan from all these dungifying crap. A mission of which i will only reveal when it is successful. Meanwhile, wish me luck ya.

Cya soon.


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