Monday, August 31, 2009

David Jones Spring Raceware Launch

Ladies and gentlemen.. be prepared to stock your wardrobes, because Melbourne Spring Fashion Week has finally arrived!

This event was held at City Square by David Jones, with the hope of attracting more passersby to drop by the event in conjunction with the races. 6 models paraded 12 different sets of attire, which had quite elegant designs [and equisite price tags too!].

Of course, not all is perfect. I struggled to get the eyes in perfect focus with the zuiko 35-100 at f2. Even though its an f4 equivalent on a full frame body, the DOF is still pretty shallow. I still have much to learn in that regard.

Even though the main fashion shows are ticketed, there are still heaps of free ones around the city. You just have to keep your eyes open and look for opportunities.

I hope you'll enjoy the pics, and if I do see you around at one of the venues, do say hi!


A week just past

Its interesting that my semester is getting more and more packed as it progresses. It has been a busy week for me.

Thursday: Had dinner at Neil's. The usual food that we have : pasta, some meat and veg.

Friday : Had bible study in the kitchen. My group prepared some pastries. Some batches were burnt, unfortunately.

Saturday: Fotoholics organised a studio session for members (and attracted some new members too). Shayen was quite helpful in explaining some studio techniques. This is called 'loop lighting'.

Added some additional light on the side for some highlights. The skin tones here look more pleasing after I switched to ''portrait mode''.

Stanley lent me his 5Dmk2 and 70-200 /2.8 because my e3 couldn't sync with the studio strobes :(

I find that the image output from the 5D2 offers much more latitude in post processing due to the higher dynamic range and resolution, which is admirable indeed. I pushed this image by 2 stops, and it still looks quite good. I can't get that much latitude with Olympus jpegs.

I did try a shot with the E-3, just for comparison.

I reckon its a very dangerous thing to give newbies an 85 1.2 to play with. At least she's having good fun.

Due to the extremely shallow DOF , its hard to focus with, even with an APS-C sensor.

Rushed back after the studio session to cook for ''Merdeka Night''. Malaysia is celebrating its independence day on 31st August, which is today.

We were pretty glad there was enough food for everyone. There were about 30 of us.

Its ironic that we couldn't find enough Malaysians to attend, so we had to pull in our ex-countrymen from across the causeway ;)


"Negaraku.. tanah tumpahnya darah-ku, rakyat hidup..."

Unfortunately, in the light of recent incidents involving a severed cow's head, our independence day doesn't look so rosy this year. Our Malaysian society is treading backwards as the years progress. I do not dare to forsee what our society will look like by the year 2020 if this trend continues.

Todays WTD identifies the main issue beleaguering Malaysian politicis today:

We are so proud to be Malaysians :S

Friday, August 28, 2009

Sony A850 - full frame affordability for the masses?

It wasn't too long ago when Sony introduced their full trio of entry level cameras (A230, A330, A380) and 4 affordable lenses to accompany their release.

L-R: 50/1.8, 30/2.8 macro, 18-55/3.5-5.6, 55-200/4-5.6

L-R: A230, A330, A380

As entry level cameras / lenses, they have decent specs and build quality, but I just glanced through them.

This morning as I checked the web, I was surprised to find another trio of cameras, namely the A500 and A550

along with the new full-frame A850 and 28-75/2.8 SAM lens!

What shocked me further was their release prices. The A850 is sold at a compelling price of USD 2000, while the 28-75/2.8 (as an alternative to the pricier Zeiss 24-70 2.8 ZA) is a mere 800 USD.

Hence, to put things into perspective, for the same amount of cash (USD 2800) you can get a full frame Sony A850 with a 28-75/2.8 lens as opposed to a Nikon D700 or Canon 5D mark 2 (body only). Its also only $200 more expensive than the latest APS-C Nikon D300S ($1800 body only). Plus, for the same 24.5 megapixels, the A850 is 3.65 times cheaper than a $7000 Nikon D3X. This is fantastic value for money!

Some of you might wonder why I , as a Olympus user am writing about this.

The Zuiko 12-60 SWD (which I doubt to be the fastest focusing system in the world, honestly) is a little pricier than the Sony 28-75/2.8 at $900. Despite being one of the best standard zooms available, its variable aperture of f2.8-4.0 irks me quite a bit, as it doesn't do justice for low light photography and shallow DOF. If it was a constant aperture f2.8 lens, perhaps it would be a hit for many more consumers.

The Olympus E-3 being released on 17 October 2007, almost two years ago is a little long in the tooth and is due to be replaced soon. Whatever its replacement is, I doubt that it will come cheap, at around $1700 approx, which is still dangerously close in price to the A850.

I hope this post gives a brief overview towards what is bound to happen in DSLR pricing trends in the near future. Sony fans must be rejoicing by now. Olympus, if you're reading this, I plead you to do something and provide us more affordable Olympus gear that we all adore and love! Do you have any idea how scarce money is nowadays to us amateurs / entry-level counsumers? :S


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

photo walk :25 aug 09

Went to uni early today because Fotoholics was organising a flash workshop. Despite the erratic weather warnings, it was sunny this morning.

Several art installations have been placed around uni in conjunction with the MUD fest.

Before lunchtime, the university is usually quite empty.

This is the newly renovated section of the ERC library. The high ceilings make the space appear quite dramatic.

Lots of skylights permit sunlight to illuminate this large space.

Not far from the large renovation is a small pavilion which carrys somewhat the same concept. The forms are rather striking, I must say.

Students may sit here to have lunch while listening to music playing softly in the background.

The flowers look still, but the wind was blowing vigorously during this time.

I also managed to pay a visit to St Mary's church in North Melbourne. It is no where as large as the catholic church near my place, but it is definitely very old.

I was paying attention to the shadows after the light goes through the rose windows.

Todays' what the duck reflection:

Have you ever experienced a situation where you didn't want to be associated with a job you recently undertook?

I have :)


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