Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Like I said earlier, screw titles

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This is what work has been like for the past months, and probably many months to come. A trio of 280-metre crooked towers that twirls around each other, it’s a massive venture. Two of the towers coil around each other and merge at mid-rise to become one. Observe the massive hole at the top of the middle tower- that is a glass-roofed atrium that runs right down to the bottom. And, some of the duplex/triplex penthouses at the top levels actually encircle that atrium. Talk about preposterous.

A spell of idle fidgetiness saw me rearranging the links on the right side. The concept of “Fellow Pornstars” was shameless stolen from Sabrina. She’s so brilliant that it’s daft not to plagiarise her work, heh.

Shit, 12.30 already. Off to bed!

* Renderings by the architect

Monday, June 25, 2007

Screw titles, I don't do titles


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Today, the old warrior and myself inadvertently made a pair of disclosures that were so ironic that they “felt like a counter-backthrust.” The situation is so unique that to mention the nature of the irony here would point towards the source of interest as surely as an iron(ic) compass needle towards Magnetic North.

What happens when you have a set of three entangled differential equations? Just like the three-body problem in celestial mechanics- chaos.

Perhaps when all of us are no longer chaotically entangled, we will still be sane enough to look back at this day and laugh our asses off over glasses of teh-o-ais limau. I will buy the both of you teh-o-ais limau; mark my words.

Eureka Tower
Melbourne's greatest erection and tallest building


So Chan Yu Mei has dropped a little parcel bomb my way, which is probably a good thing because this page has been so devoid of words it’s starting to look like I’m illiterate.

5 things found in your bag:

- it sometimes holds my lunch and a pair of fork and spoon
- it frequently holds my gym clothes
- when I was still waiting table, it held my working shirt and black shoes
- now and then, when I don’t need the camera bag, it carries my optical instruments.
- a long time ago it held my sparring gloves

5 things found in your purse/wallet:

- HK$ 100.00
- AU$ 54.35
- RMB 11.50
- RM 5.00
- US$ 1.00

5 favourite things in your room (my room does not hold much so I’ll look at the house):

- the vegetable knife
- the meat knife
- the silicon-carbide sharpening blocks
- the chopping board
- the 320 Gb external hard disc drive

b5 things you're currently into:

- pseudo-boxing
- optics and photography
- the knife arts
- getting into a semi-trance like mental state
- coffee. definitely coffee

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Saturday, June 16, 2007

On Friday, a thick fog condensed out of thin air over Melbourne, enveloping the area in a thick, fuzzy, glowy and whitish substance (it's not sperm).

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I used the kit lens for wide angle shots. Half-press the shutter button, and the camera emitted a strange whine.
*gasp* WTF!
Oh right, the autofocus...


Thursday, June 14, 2007

Sunset hunting

Due to a series of fortitious events, I had the time to go sunset hunting this evening. I had found a tall building with 24-hour public access that was located suitably west of the city’s phallic buildings, and this was the time to use it.

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Duck down to change lenses, and the sun has disappeared. That’s the problem with these screw mount lenses- they are rather fiddly and not the easiest to change on the fly.


Oh look, it's 4.20 a.m.!

What does one do when one cannot fall asleep despite lying in bed for a couple of fruitless hours? Blog about it, that’s what.

So this is it, I gave up at 3.30 a.m. and got up. My stomach was empty.

The house was completely dark, absolutely quiet and rather cold. Turn on the heater and lights in the living area, boot up the computer, bring the secondary monitor to life, flick the external hard disc’s switch and preheat the oven. There- light, warmth and the soothing whirr of hard discs.

Slide three slices of leftover pizza into the oven, wait 5 minutes and there’s food.

I miss late nights, the quiet moments alone, the elevated sense of self-sufficiency and the illusion of freedom from society.

When I was still in university, the month-long exam period was my favourite part of the semester. With 3 to 6 papers scattered over four weeks and no lectures to attend, I could live as I like. Which means strange sleeping times that generally span from sunrise to noon, but also some that span late evening to 3 am.

Well, those days are over.


Saturday, June 09, 2007

OMG, birds!

Daft title, i know.
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Holding Hands in the Dark

A fast lens with a fast sensor is something to get used to. The previous camera could never work in these lighting conditions.

Melbourne at Dusk

Best viewed with a cathode-ray tube monitor. Backlit LCD ones tend to brighten the dark parts and make a mess of the shadows.

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Thursday, June 07, 2007

Extension tubes are fun

Photo concept blatantly stolen (without permission, but credit is being given now) from my brother.

Jupiter-9 80mm f/2.0 with extension tubes

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Jupiter-9 80mm f/2.0 with extension tubes

That's a portion of the back of a chair.
Hanimex 400mm f/6.3 with extension tubes

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Hanimex 400mm f/6.3 with extension tubes. Fuzzy optics was probably excarberated with shake from mirror slap

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A slightly edited chat transcript with a friend (will not identify and link unless permission is granted). Her words in blue; mine are in red.

Come think think of it, I doubt I’m much of a patriotic person. Actions taken have rarely been for the country. Or never.


A tragedy, i suppose

And you say it so lightly.

That’s probably because I do not feel the magnitude of it

Indifference really saddens me.

I suppose it’s a scale of which one looks at the universe. Do I look after myself, my family, my nation or my planet?

I guess the sense of duty vary in different people.

If I am only concerned about my welfare, I do what's best for myself. Or if I’m worried about the state of the universe, really, the earth does not even appear in the picture.

Of course your welfare also includes it's relation to the state because every action that you do is a direct impact from government policies. Unless one is super apathetic. Now that ... is scary.

That's true, but if one's concern is at a vastly different scale, then the connection can be quite small. Sacrifice my family's welfare for adding (my family size)/(state population) influence to the state? It’s a tiny proportion, to the order of 1 in a million. Then, will that be enough to change things sufficiently so my family lives better?

That's how many people think. They:
1. underestimate what the power of a collective can do
2. expect their actions to resonate loudly and create ripples as an individual, which is unreasonable unless one is Hitler
3. expect change overnight when most battles are often fought for many years.

That describes me well enough...

People like me are fighting for people like you, and it take fuckloads of will not to give up. It's rather stressful.

I don't know if you were ever a product of the injustice in the country. I wasn't one entirely because my parents could afford to pay for my education and I never asked for a scholarship.

But those who has been turned down, missed opportunities and having their merits trampled on because of their ethnicity - they need to fight the system. And stop the system from being irreversible.

Cos by then, I would help get people out of Taliban Malaysia instead as staying in Malaysia would be futile. Right now, the fight rages on ... and everybody hopes for change and better lives. Of course not just for us but for future generations. Clichéd as it seems. It's really daunting. but I’m glad to have tried than to have given up already.

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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Hello, world!

The Canon EOS 300D arrived in the mail today. Finally, my M42 manual focus babies lenses have a digital sensor to call home.

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Naturally, these photos were not taken using the Canon kit lens.

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Sunday, June 03, 2007

Hanimex 400mm f/6.3

The Universe's Edge

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Click here for Deviant Art entry

Due to the lack of anything better to do on a Sunday afternoon, I will write at length about my recently acquired lens.

Please close this window/tab if lenses do not tickle your fancy.

The Hanimex 400mm f/6.3 arrived on Friday, and it is a large tube of metal and glass.

With a tripod mount located mid span, preposterously long focal length and small optical sensor, this is one of the long-lens optical systems of my dreams. With an effective focal length of 600 mm on the Nikon D40 and 640 mm on the Canon 300D, this would give a horizontal viewing angle of approximately 3 degrees. The lens comes in a generic T-mount which can be adapted to various camera mounts.

The other optical system of my dreams is a camera mounted on a massive and ridiculously expensive reflector telescope on an equatorial mount and with appropriate solar filters.

Taken from 8 m away, this scene was one of the first photos shot on The Architect’s Nikon D40.

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Outdoors, the lens’ narrow viewing angle became even more apparent.

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The Nikon D40’s kit lens at 18 mm shows the difference between wide and tele. The area marked in red shows the region of the above image.

Despite the absurd length, tracking birds in the sky is not as difficult as initially assumed. They lens may be heavy, but the generous length offers plenty of holding places. Supporting it on the mass centre, it’s actually quite comfortable to track moving objects. Nonetheless, tracking is not easy.

This can probably be improved by devising a finder-scope of sorts on the side of the tube. Astronomical telescopes generally have a low powered, large viewing angle scope on the side to help determine where the telescope is pointed. This telephoto lens might benefit from a simple set of protrusions in line with the left eye for two-eyed tracking- left for locating, right for framing.

Sadly, this lens has its shortcomings. Apart from the obviously inadequate light collecting abilities, the glass also suffers from low contrast and general fuzziness. The rear optical element has a thin film of dust or other contaminants which needs to be cleaned soon.

In terms of light collection, the length means that shutter speeds need to be to the order of 1/400 s for photos to be shake-free. Compared with your typical standard prime lens (50mm f/2.0), the standard lens allows 90 times (6.5 stops) more light in.

For a total of AU$36.40, it is still a good buy despite the serious flaws. Where else can you get a 400 mm lens for 2 digits? A brand new Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L would cost AU$2,319 while the much faster 400mm f/2.8L IS USM would cost a frightful $13,709.

On a seperate note, the EF 1200mm f/5.6 L USM was made to order with a price tag of US$90,000.

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Friday, June 01, 2007

The Sun in False Colours
Filtered with crossed polarizers, colours unedited

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