Thursday, July 30, 2009

Lundu day trip

A while back, Asfan and I decided to head off to Lundu for a day trip. While it wasn't very eventful at least we were happy to get some shots.

In some parts of Sarawak where a bridge isn't accessible, what better way to cross than using a ferry!

What's there to do at a beach in Lundu? Well, you can fish,

Play with the sand...

... or ride a coconut tree..

If you ever decide to build a holiday house out of timber, you have been warned...

...mother nature has its own demolition crew :)

There are lots of textures and close ups to photograph too...

The solitary dunny amongst the coconut trees. Splendid! ^^

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Southbank photo walk : 26 July '09

Since its been one week since I've returned from my holidays in Malaysia, I reckon it is appropriate for me to post some pictures of Melbourne from my photo walk last Sunday.

In such a vibrant city, there are many photographic opportunities. It all depends on your eye to look out for them and wait for the right moment to take the shot.

Wikipedia aptly defines photo walking as the "act of walking with a camera for the main purpose of taking pictures of things that the photographer may find interesting."

"While not exclusive to digital photography, in practice digital photography makes photowalking more realistic as a hobby due to its experimental nature, the number of pictures typically taken in the process, and the possibility of post processing afterward."

"While related to street photography, photowalking is differentiated by the main impetus being to photograph things of interest rather than people specifically."

An interesting fact here: "Photowalking is also a form of exercise as it can take the photographer over the course of several miles as they wander a particular site or neighborhood." Now that's a real excuse to get out of bed ~~

Watching a busker entertaining the crowd at Federation Square.

A view towards the boat houses across the Yarra River.

Cycling is quite a popular sport in Melbourne.

The new grass seem to be growing in preparation for spring.

Princess Bridge.

I love the way how light makes the texture of the blue stone become alive.

Beware of sea gulls: They can do their bombing runs anytime, anywhere while you're out in the open.

During winter, it is quite rare to find good sunlight, but its an opportunity not to be missed whenever it occurs.

A busy underpass at Crown Casino.

Melbourne's blue skies are exceptionally stunning when photographed at the right time.

Want some principles and guidelines for photo walking? Thomas Hawk has heaps to say here.

Anyone in Melbourne up for a photo walk some time? ^^

Luen Fong Restaurant, Tanjung Tualang, Perak

This is not an ad.

Heaven forbid, but I have indeed forgotten to acknowledge one of the best seafood restaurants I've been to in Perak: Luen Fong which is located at Tanjung Tualang, about 45 minutes drive from Ipoh.

The restaurant proprietors have allowed customers to order local dessert from the adjacent roadside stalls. This is Ipoh's variant of the ice kacang, a popular Malaysian dessert.

There was also deep-fried tofu with sliced onions, carrots and chilli sauce.

Some steamed freshwater fish which I do not know the name of, but its flesh is really fresh and flaky, and it doesn't have that fishy smell too.

Fried prawns in a slightly spicy batter. I like this!

And here is the restaurant's signature dish: fresh steamed prawns which have a reddish shade to their shells. It is absolutely yummylicious, in my opinion.

You may find Luen Fong Restaurant at 19 Market Street, 31800 Tanjung Tualang, Perak or call 05-3609267 / 012 -5336166

Note: Booking are hard to come by on the weekends [due to the bus loads of Chinese tourists] , so for a quiet lunch, weekday afternoons are advisable!

I had some prawn noodles on my last lunch in Ipoh. The broth is bursting with prawn flavour, and the sambal adds a nice spicy touch to the soup.

Darn, all this talk about food makes me yearn for my Kuching kampua noodles.


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tin dredge at Tanjung Tualang, Perak

We had the opportunity to photograph a tin dredge in Tanjung Tualang that was just open to to the public in January this year.

According to the Star, The dredge, T.T. No 5 was built in 1938 by W.F. Payne & Sons for Pernas Chartered Management Sdn Bhd. when the Kinta Valley was the world’s richest tin producing area

Operations stopped in 1983 due to the collapse of the tin mining industry. Since then, it has lain in a man-made pond at Desa Perlombongan, about 10km from Batu Gajah, Perak.

Ever wanted to know how a tin dredge works? The Queensland Environment and Resource Management website has this to say:

Operation of a Bucket Line Dredge

A mining dredge comprises a mechanical excavator and a screening, washing and concentrating plant, all mounted on a pontoon. The dredge performs four functions:

1. Excavates the alluvial material

2. Screens the material into two or more sizes, usually with a revolving screen

3. Treats the fines to recover their metallic or heavy components, usually on tables or jigs

4. Deposits the fines from the treatment plant and the coarse rejects from the screen to the rear of the dredge.

The dredge floats in an artificial pond often supplied with water from an outside source. It digs at the bow and deposits washed tailings at the stern, thus carrying the pond with it as it advances.

The structure is covered with corrugated steel sheets, which still look surprisingly good. I wonder if it was given a paint job recently.. hmmmm.

The dredge is a massive steel structure when looked up close.

An enterprising chinaman would set his eyes on the thousands of tonnes of scrap metal that could be sold to a scrap metal dealer. That's probably why there are so few dredges left in West Malaysia.

The waste from the tin ore is deposited at the end of the stern shown here. A family of birds have happily made their home here too and are perched along the steel wires supporting the structure.

The interior of the dredge is very vast and utilitarian; yet its design exudes a very logical, english industrial design language typical of its time.

The digging end comprises an endless chain of cast manganese steel buckets carried on a fabricated steel ladder at an angle of approximately 45 degrees when operating at maximum depth. The ladder carries a circular tumbler at its lower end and a series of rollers on its upper side to support the loaded buckets.

To get to the top of the dredge, you have to climb an endless maze of rusting steel catwalks and ladders. Oh yes, do say a prayer before you do so, with the hope that the stucture wouldn't collapse while supporting your weight!

You can see the giant pulleys used to operate the buckets on the left.

As with any man-made structure, if left on its own, nature always takes over. This place could probably turn out as a jungle in 50 years..

Its a pretty awesome feeling when you look down at the vast space beneath you. This machine is silent now, but imagine the amount of noise and vibrations that you would experience if this thing was actually in operation!

Here we are at the top of the dredges' bow. Even though this place has been recently ''refurbished'', I dared not to venture too far, or else... could pretty much end up in a watery grave. And only god knows what thing [or things] are in that pond!

The tin mining industry has caused irreparable damage to the environment of West Malaysia, as evidenced by the vast tracts of mining ponds when I was at the top of the dredge's bow.

As the buckets pass over the top tumbler, they discharge into a hopper from where a chute directs the dredged material into a revolving (or trommel) screen. Here it is washed by high pressure water jets, the fine ore-bearing material passing through the perforations (normally about 10 mm in size) and proceeding to the treatment plant and the oversize material continuing over the screen.

The undersize from the screen is passed to ore concentrating and recovery equipment, consisting of a series of pulsating jigs. The concentrate is removed for further treatment while the tailings are discharged down a sluice at the stern of the dredge.

I reckon these huge electrical generators were used to power the dredge when it was in use.

I hope to return here one day. This place is just absolutely wonderful!


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