Tuesday, August 26, 2014

My User Experience with Nikon D600

Since I got a used Nikon D600 body into my collection for few weeks now, I would say I am really impress with its performance. I have not handle any full-frame camera before, and I have well read about its capabilities such as shallow depth of fields, superior high ISO performance, and of course good image quality.
  1. Good Dynamic Range
  2. Dynamic range is a good place to look at a camera of its capabilities. The RAW files retain the highlight and shadow details very well. You can recover those details in post processing.
    shot with Tokina 12-24 DX lens at 18mm

    shot with Tokina 12-24 DX lens at 18mm
  3. Excellent High ISO performance
  4. Using a full-frame, you really benefit from the high ISO performance. Although crop-sensor camera now-days catching up quite fast, you still gain benefit about 1-stop due to the larger sensor size at the moment. The following photos shoot with ISO6400.
    shot at f/4 due to limitation on the lens, ISO 6400
  5. Really shallow Depth of field
  6. However the real advantage comes on the capabilities on the body to fully utilize the full-frame lenses. The depth of field is shallower and when you mount a 50mm lens on the body, you are actually getting the 50mm field of view in 35mm format. That being said, the 50mm has been always a short-tele on my crop-sensor D90 now have become a standard lens. I can comfortably take photos of a group of 4 without backing up like crazy. It is a very usable focal length.
Shot at f/2.2 on Nikon 50mm 1.8D

The working distance on the 50mm is really versatile.
Overall, I really satisfied the performance of this machine and it had overcome many of my limitation on my older Nikon body. Hopefully I can do a better job with it. 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Turtle Encounter at Padang Kemunting Turtle Management Centre

Yesterday, we wish to go somewhere else and decided to visit Padang Kemunting Turtle Management Centre at Pengkalan Balak, Melaka.  Before going, I was doing some homework by Googling but I found so little information about this place. There was a blog about this place about 3-4 years ago. The only thing I could find is the location. So, off we go and see what we can find there.

The location is not difficult to find, as you were guided by many signboards as you drive nearer to it. Once there, we had no idea where to go and who to approach. By chance, we met a group of volunteers cleaning up the turtle nesting place. The guide was explaining to them about the story where many poachers were around the nesting site always looking for opportunity to steal the eggs for profits.
They get help from the rangers and fishery department in a constant battle against poachers

Here is one of the site for the turtle nesting
The black netting surround the eggs to prevent hatching turtle from scattering around. They will get to the roads instead of sea because they think the street lights were sun. Once the turtle hatches, the volunteer will keep them at the conservation centre and will release them to sea by batch.
During our visit, a bunch of school kids were at the auditorium listening to the turtle conservation project.

The beach beside the centre is a public place and there are many families come here for picnic and relax.
After walking around and not sure what to do, we spotted the group of volunteers just now gathering by the sea. We not sure what they were waiting but since we have no better things to do so we just hang around. Not long after that, the guide carried 2 white foam box and walk towards the crowd. They were so excited and my guess is they are going to release the turtles to the sea! The group line up in 2 "V" shape and were brief by the guide not to touch them as they slowly crawl towards the sea.  
Those little turtles were in the box, waiting to go back where they are coming from.
 After the turtles released, all the turtles start to crawl towards the sea like they know it.
The kids were excited about releasing the turtles to the sea.

Nothing can stop the turtle determination to get into the sea.

The turtle look like crying to prevent the sand get into its eyes.


This is my favourite shot when the turtle open its arms to crawl ahead.

I'm going home!

This is a normal turtle

One turtle caught sleeping / resting after just crawling for few meter away from the box.

This is abnormal turtle as explained by the guide. Can you spot the difference with the normal one?

These are the group of volunteers gathered to watch the turtles returning home!
Here is a short clip on the little turtles going back to sea!

On the way going home, many thoughts cross through my mind. For about 10,000 turtles that go into the sea, only 10 will make it. They will come back to the same shore for laying eggs after about 20 years. We cannot imagine what these little turtles going through in the rough sea. They going into the unknown with great courage and strong will to survive. So glad we made the journey here to inspire our life by these precious little creatures. See you again here in 20 years!

Friday, August 1, 2014

My Journey of X100S in Penang 2013

If you followed my blog, you might be wondering, why is this not in the 28mm Journey section. Well, at this point, I still have not got my hand on the 28mm wide angle converter yet! Therefore, technically it's not part of my 28mm journey. ;-)

During the Raya break, I was travelling to Penang for a short getaway. However, I spent almost 10+ hours travelling from Melacca to Penang due to really bad traffic. On the way, I have decided to stop by Ipoh for a refreshment. It din't take long to find a descend cafe by my lovely assistance. We stop by at the JJ Cafe along Jalan Kampar if not mistaken. The environment is very comfy and we have a great meals over there instead of those typical Dim Sum or Old Town White Coffee.

JJ Cafe is nicely decorated and foods are well worth the money.
We reached Penang about 3PM and we take a short nap before coming to the Armenian Street market for a walk. In here, there are many art performance and nicely handmade craft for sale. This for instance make a nice bracelet where the item can be customize.
I was so afraid that he is going to scold me for taking photo without permission!!

This is the door from one of the shop we visited. 

I'm hokkien and I will speak Hokkien with you!!
 While many queues to take photograph with the street art "kids on a bicycle", this "band" caught my attention. He is playing on a drum set which made up of tin cans, barrel and wok. I contribute a little donation before approach them to take their photo. This is a way to honour the street performer before taking their photograph and they are more likely to smile to you when you take their photo.
This is one of the band near the street art "Kids on the bicycle"
At night we went to one of the cafe with bicycle theme, "Wheeler's cafe" at Love Lane. We ordered the crepes but it taste below our expectation. Maybe we are spoiled by the famous crepes taste from Nadeje at Melaka and now also available in KL.
crepes from the Wheeler's cafe
We have a good rest and the next morning we go out around 7am for some early breakfast along Kimberley street. You can find some awesome street food at the morning market where the local often visit.

This stall selling "koey tiao soup" 

This stall is cooking with woods!

This street is always pack with peoples in the morning!

This photo is compose to give its geological identity 

All the time I being here, he is always at the same place. I guess he is doing all rights. The papers quote the Penang CM speech about doing charity!

The seller dress up to attract customers!
 After tired of walking, we stop by a cafe near our hotel on Armenian street. The coffee and food is good and just enough to satisfied our greedy stomach.
X100S can take some really nice close up photos that often surprise me.
Me on divider

Never being so scared in a staring contest!

This apek "selambe" sit beside the street to read newspaper.
First time to see a dog on a bike! The owner must be proud by looking at her face.
Afternoon is hot and we hide inside a shopping mall name Gurney Paragon. She found this shop that sells perfume where the bottles were paint by the disable peoples. Part of the sales will contribute to them so that they can carry on their life. The scent is good and now its has 70% discount promotion! The big bottle only cost around RM30. For more information can visit http://agift.my/.
Every bottle is unique!

How can you missed Penang famous cendol?

The desserts is called Lamingtons if not mistaken.
At the evening, we have meet our friends at Batu Ferringhi. We sit at a a bistro named "Bora-Bora by Sunset" while watching the sun to set.

X100s really good at producing  nice panorama shot!

There are horse riding and other beach activities there. It's a happening place there.

Before we go back, we pass by the Holiday Inn Resort and what a shot from a near pitch black scene at that time.
We always a fan of Kaffa near Green Hall. The salted caramel machiatto and the Big Breakfast are our all-time favourites.
The Smoked Salmon Sandwich - Kaffa
 Lastly, we on our journey back using the new bridge for the first time. See you next time, Penang!
Taken by the assistance while I'm driving!
To see more photos of the trip, you can go to my google+ album here.

You might also want to view my initial review of X100S when I first got it here or during my trip to Bangkok or my additional function guide here.