Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Weekend at Afamosa Chillax

First of all, I would like to wish all my Indian friends Happy Deepavali. For others, a happy holiday too! Last weekend, I went to Afamosa, Melaka for their waterworld, cowboy town and safari. Overall I would say its more for family vacation with kids. However, I enjoy the trip very much. Lugging the camera around wasn't easy, especially at the waterworld. You gotta have someone to take care of your camera while you playing in the water (unless you just going in to take photo). At night, we went to cowboy town which is quite nicely decorated with Halloween theme. I have seen the show before so I'm expecting Red Indian stuff, animal parade, and lastly the fireworks. However, due to bad weather, we have to go back before the show ends. We can only manage to watch the fireworks while on the way back to hotel. Next day, we went to the safari. In my opinion, unless you have kids, this place is nothing much. (you must be thinking: I thought everybody knows it?). The cowboy show in there is ridiculous and we can't stand to finish the show. The bird show however, is much better. So, this is all I got for this trip.

This is the only photo I take when I'm not in the water. 
X100s is difficult to show perfect sunstar even I have stopped down to f/16 already. The color and dynamic range is impressive though. I have seen go pro, Sony Experia Z while I'm at the waterworld. This is the place they shine!

At night, after dinner we went to the cowboy town show.

The entrace is nicely decorated with dancers to welcome you.

Poor pony waiting for customers.

The red indian show

Impressive skill

She enjoy the X100s very much!

During the break, they sell the carrot for pony feeding

The so called Clown Queen

Cowboy in action

The parade.
All the images at night were shot with Nikon D600 with 50mm 1.8G. At ISO3200, the images is very usable. If you zoomed in 100% you will still see noise but still manageable in Lightroom using the Luminance slider. I wouldn't pull the slider more than 30 otherwise you ends up getting oil painting like images with no details.

The next day we went for the safari. We were late so we missed the elephant show at 10:30am.

The elephant raise its nose towards me as I took the shot.

During the birds show performance. 

One of the audience volunteer to join the performance

Monkey in the monkey island. Its so small we having hard time finding it!

Cranes taking afternoon nap with one leg standing.
Since I'm travelling only with a 50mm lens, I am having hard time to fill the frame with the animals. Perhaps a 70-300 f/4-5.6 zoom will be very useful in this situation. You don't need the 70-200 f/2.8 in day light, it's for bragging purposes!

So that's all for now, thank you for reading. 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

My 28mm Journey of Kuantan feat Tokina 12-24mm

Last long weekend, cracked my head not knowing where to go and what to do. The usual tourist site surely packed full of peoples and the traffic will be bad either. It cross my mind that I have never been to east coast, so Kuantan we went! Quickly find a hotel on Agoda few days before and start googling on what's the attraction over there.

Usually people went Kuantan to visit the famous ClubMed at Cherating or the rainbow waterfall at Sungai Lembing. The other attraction include the Teluk Cempedak beach and also the Sungai Pandan waterfall. The 4 hours journey from Melaka to Kuantan through the state road. I don't have to pay a single cent for toll!

First stop to the Sungai Pandan Waterfall, this waterfall is very well maintained but the road to the waterfall is quite remote and you have to passby a quarry before reaching the gate. I bring my D90 with Tokina 12-24 installed with a 10-stop variable ND filter for silky waterfall scene! I planned for this. Besides, the cool little X100s is always with us where ever we go.

The air is refreshing in the forest area beside the waterfall.
Alice in the wonderland scene? use IR filter in post processing.

The advert is broad to you by __________.

This shot is taken by her. Convert it to black and white and it's kinda cool!
The waterfall is larger than I expected based on the photos I have seen online. The standard lens hardly fit in the whole waterfall.
Besides just trying to go somewhere for vacation and relax, I have planned for this shot at this waterfall. Therefore I bring the wide angle and the 10-Stop variable ND filter with me in order to create the classic silky waterfall scene. Tripod is a must too! I din't bring my remote shutter release so I just use the self timer to take the shot. 

This is the output I imagine when planning for this trip!
This is me, after 10-20 shots, I stopped shooting knowing that I have got what I want. Many often forget the purpose of a vacation is to being there, enjoy and immerse into the place rather than behaving like a trigger freak. 

Taken by my very professional assistance of course.
While I'm shooting the waterfall, she got bored and start taking selfie. X100s really produce excellent image considering she was backlit and the lens flare on the top left actually got diffused by my UV filter I believe.
Selfie time!
This is the forest area beside the waterfall. I do some post processing to make the trees looks like a reflection.
We then check-in to our hotel and just chill off. First day is pretty much done! The next day we visited the Teluk Cempedak beach about 15 mins from the hotel. The weather is cloudy and I cannot complain about it. So, panorama shot! The image below consist of 2 sweep of pano from the x100s then later merge again using Microsoft ICE programs. The image then further enhance the saturation in post. 
Teluk Cempedak beach
This photo also merged using 2 frame.

Wide angle for a portrait shoot often create some interesting perspective. Just watch out and dont place your subject near any corner.
a curious monkey! Please be extra careful on your belonging.

There is one person in this photo!
To demonstrate what aperture does to an image. I then shoot this pose using various aperture to show her. The below one was shot wide open.

Sample Image from X100s wide open at f/2

I left the tripod in my car so I cant create silky seascapes. 

grandpa monkey
We then move on and go to Sungai Lembing approx. 45 mins from Kuantan town. I have purchased the ticket for the entrance to this Tin Mines Museum. It cost RM15 per person (Malaysian) and RM30 for foreigner. I have not much expectation here. After visit this place, I think I will never come again. To be fair, the tour guide over here is very friendly and help us take lots of photos.

600 meters below ground.

The train track into the mines.
On our way back, we pass by this magnificent cave. Once the long way drive in only we realize its an Indian temple within the cave.

Gua Charas, Sungai Panching

Suspension bridge near Sungai Lembing.
Last but not least, we stopped by KL for dinner and drinks meeting friend.

Hope you enjoy reading this. Thank you.