Tuesday, March 31, 2009

F1 weekend in Melbourne

Alot of things were happening round the city this week in conjuction with the F1 races in Albert Park.

some OCF ppl decided to make chocolate mice for dessert. how cute :)

There was also an Earth Hour Concert in Fed Square on Saturday to create an awareness of how we can save electricity.

some people commented that they didn't like the over-saturated look of stage lights over the singers' faces, so i'm trying some monotones this time.

Jessica Mauboy. I'm still trying to like her tracks though.. they don't appeal to me as much as Damien's.

The next day, there was a turkish festival in Victoria Market. I popped by after morning service to have a look. Asked Ananda to come along too.

This is the Turkish equivalent of your local shoe shine boy - except he's much older, and much more professional.

Some chefs at the bbq pit. there was a whole cloud of white smoke emanating from their stall.

ABC radio set up a small booth for their live radio show.

Would you like some cherry juice?

Both of us went for a photowalk after the Turkish festival ended.

shoes hanging on Little Collins

A days' worth of shopping

An indian couple waiting for the tourist shuttle bus on flinders st

If you just sit around and observe, there are lots of things to shoot at fed square

this guy was lying down while taking in the music from the jazz gig down below.

ananda with his manual focus 250mm (500mm equivalent!) lens

what smooth legs i have!

there was a moderately large group of people sitting at the square watching the F1 race on the big screen.

I love my nachos!

After the race ended, we went for a short walk along southbank before heading home.

5 exposures were used for this HDR. Always remember to turn off IS for tripod work to get sharp images!


Saturday, March 28, 2009

aliaa & amir

Aliaa, a JPA friend of mine asked if I could do some 'engagement shots' for her and her fiancee a last week.

The cloudy and rainy weather was prevailing in Melbourne for the whole week, so all I could do was to pray that it wouldn't rain that day. Fortunately it didn't :)

Another dilemma was not having Kim to have around for this photo session. I sent her to Michaels for sensor cleaning. I noticed quite a few specks on her when i didn't a blank wall test. Oh well, sometimes things happen, and for good measure, my trusty 510 was used for the job.

As usual, I brought out the leica 14-50, 35-100 and the FL 50 for the job in my 200 AW.

One thing that I disliked was that the 35-100 could not focus on the 510, probably due to a lack of AF points, even though i was only using 1 AF point. This is also compounded by the 510's "tunnel-like" viewfinder. So some of the shots were out of focus, unfortunately.

And now on to the pics..

I've been trying to set the white balance manually to get the right skin tone, especially since 510 uses cooler white balance settings that i'd usually prefer. Of course, it all can be corrected in Lightroom since I shoot RAW anyway, but i'd rather get things right in-camera.

A short stop at Union Lane. I guess Aliaa's a little too underexposed since she's in the lane's shadow area.

They stopped to look at some rings in Royal Arcade, so I asked them to be natural with each other and assume that I wasn't there so I could get some impromptu shots. It works, to an extent. Just remember to get the more formal and posed shots done and not be too carried away in the process.

I did a white balance correction here to remove the ugly yellow tint from the flourescent lights.

The candy shop has never failed to amaze me with all the colourful looking candies in glass bottles.

We tried a 'titanic' pose here. Probably the 7-14 would have helped more for this shot.

Even the most loving couples sometimes find themselves hard to express their affection publicly, so its my job as a photographer to ensure that they are feeling as comfortable (mentally) as possible during the photoshoot.

Stopping by the German pancake stall. I used some bounce flash here to supplement ambient light. Hmm.. perhaps we should've stopped for some pancakes first.

Tried to capture their expressions discretely as we waited for the City circle tram to take us to Treasury Gardens.

I whipped out the 35-100, whuch to my dismay misfocussed and made me lose some valuable shots. Oh well.. a lesson learnt here.

I should've perhaps stood back a little and capture more of the surrounding environment.

Walking down 'memory lane'

Alia told me that both of them have a 'secret' dream to be models in a photoshoot. I just hope that I've made their dream come true :)


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Thai Culture and Food Festival 2009

The festival started with a traditional Thai long drum parade through Federation Square and along the Yarra river.

I wasn't sure if the drum parade was successful, but it did attract some attention.

I asked the lady holding the placard to strike a pose for me; unfortunately her eyes are in the shadows.

There were a number of tents showcasing Thai arts and crafts, Thai tourism, traditional Thai massage, fruit carving, handicrafts and information from sponsors (eg. Singa beer) and supporters.

Gasp.. another Olympus supporter! - e-3 + 12-60 + fl 50r

These beauties are vying for the "Miss Thai Festival 2009" title.

The Thai dances were orchestrated by the Sbun-Nga traditional dance group flown directly from Thailand.

As you can probably see, there are quite a number of handsome blokes and beautiful Thai babes in this dance group.

Her smile just melts my heart.. darn.. I'm feeling mushy now.

Muay Thai dance.

Daylesford CFA speech, thanking the Thai community for their support of the Victoria bushfires in Daylesford

There were 3 rounds for the beauty contest. I must say, some of them should really take classes on how to pose. She looks very much like a body builder !

A worthy Colgate model. Her smile was so wide, i was afraid her pearly white teeth might drop out!

The most pretty of them all (according to my taste, ok? ). Unfortunately, she didn't progress to the finals. :(

Okay, I know Thais love vegetables, but I can't imagine them doing a dance with a bowl of salad in their hands..

The look of triumph - One of the Thai kick boxing winners

The intensity of the matches cannot be ignored, as seen from the expressions on their faces.

2 of the contestants waiting for the 3rd round of the beauty queen contest.

Even towards the end of the day, the Sbun Nga performers still managed to deliver a very brilliant performance.

The compulsory group photo after every performance.

Overall, a very well organised, vibrant festival. The thai festival trumps the malaysian merdeka celebrations many times over.


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