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I just hate it when they get it all wrong..... (on X-process)

A few week ago, I bumped into a former photography student who is currently dwelling into Lomography and we chatted abit.  

He was quite intrigued into this new form of photography, especially the X-Processing (Cross Processing) of film part which Lomographer's like to boast about.

So naturally I asked him why he liked about X-Process as I find the colour casts a big distracting to the overall picture.  (Just my personal opinion)

So he explained to me that you get a unqiue and random colours if you X-process a film and thats why its fun.

So I asked him do you print the photos but he say he never prints it but have them scanned at the labs... hmmmmmmm... Okayyyy.... So what film you use for X-prcoessing I asked, And he go on with using Sensia, Velvia and loved the green tones of Provia.. I stopped him and asked him where he get his expired slide film and how much he got it for and he said he bought FRESH new SLIDE film to X-process...

WHAT??? That is such a real waste.  Why would anyone do this?  Does he understand the theory behind colours?  So here's my point:

If you like colour casts in your photo, just buy those cheap colour filters and attached it to the front of the lens..  And you save lots of money in buying and developing films.. :P

Another way is to Photoshop your negs for those who are well versed in PS.

Its ok to X-process but try using EXPIRED film.. Slide film are wonderful on itself but they have a much limited Dynamic Range so you are not really getting any benefits if you are using a toy cam.  Your hit rate would suffer and you are again wasting money and chemicals.

So why do I X-process? Because sometimes I want that colour cast in a picture, not because its random!  Its actually very predictable!  Sensia 400 will forever be yellow because thats how the chemicals will react.  How yellowish really depends on the exposure or how you scan or print that negative.  The only randomness in the negatives might be colour bleeds which occurs sometimes when there is a very contrasty scene.   And the photo is normally contrasty in X-process is due to clipping of the highlights and shadow details (limited Dynamic Range)

So in short, Lomography has sucessfully brainwashed this rubbish to these Lomographers who are new into photography... Its really a bit sad actually for me to see good film wasted in such a fashion.

Now I understand why Provia was always out of stock in Ruby.... :S 

If you are interested in more on this, you can read up here on Ryan's Photo blog.  He writes much better English then me :P

And My photo gallery has updated with a new album on my new Slide copier.  Do take a look if you are interested. :)

My new film "scanner"

My A900 (DSLR) has been in my drybox recently as there were no photography jobs for me and I was spending more time in my analog cameras. (pinhole and  Hassy). So it got a bit neglected.

I think I only managed to get a small job using my A900 during this past new months and that was to shoot an interior of an office and datacentre.  Pretty interesting experience to shoot in such a constraint place :P

So I was actually tempted to sell my A900 as it seems that  I can't find a good use of its ultra high resolutions (24.5 Megapixels for your info).  Then it hit me one day while I got some slides developed and the scans by the shops were horribly wrong. Ughh! I hate to scan them on my own film scanners as the process is slow and normally I need to calibrate my scanner to get the colours correct.  I need something that could be faster and more reliable.

In my cabinet I have a 50mm Macro lens that I bought cheaply in the 2nd hand market.  Its has a 1:1 lifesize capability.  So I actually could find a light source and use my camera as slide copy machine! 

The light source is a bit simple as I already have a lightbox.  But to shoot 1:1 and I have to keep the lens flat and pendicular to the flat film surface was a challenge.  So I went hunting for a macro rail and managed to find a cheap display set with Cathay Photos.  And viola!  I have my own 35mm Film copy machine!

My Setup

So the process is simple.  I first set the correct custome WB and then just slide the Slides below it to copy them.  Aperture I used is f/11 (to get the maximium DOF in case the film were not flat enough) and I used an old lens barrel (that I salvaged from a old fungus infected lens) to weigh down the film and keep them in place.

The results were fantastic (for my standards of course)!  I have 6048x4032 files of my slides and the colours were 90% accurate! And its fast!  Each frame is just takes at most 5 secs to setup and grab.  I actually wished that there was liveliew for my a900 (those with 5D Mk2 should be even faster.. :P)  Another good thing is that I tried copying MF slides at 1:1 (cropped) and the details were mind blowing.   Its also possible to copy black and white and colour negatives.  Especially the grains on these analog film... yum yum..

Will be posting some "copied" results here later.. need more time to copy :P

That is one big box of LEGO...

I buy toys for my kids (naturally) and I am a bit selective on the toys I buy.  I refrain myself from getting toys like action figures, barbie dolls and those that I think are just marketing hype.  I prefer toys that stimulate the senses and makes you think and build with it.  In short, toys that boosts creativity and your imaginations.

LEGO is one of the toys then I spend most whenever I get back to Thailand.  That's because they don't have it in Maesai, the nearest shop selling them was in Chiang mai and they are not cheap.  I bought Girl girl's LEGO Duplo (those bigger tiles) at her 2 year old birthday and she loves it.  So when I saw an ad on the newspaper on the Robinson sale.  I plan to get it.  I told my sister and mom about it and they think its a great idea.

I was on shift so I did not had the time to drop by Centrepoint to take a look.  So I got a surprise when I saw an SMS from my sis that she bought the toy as she and mum were at Orchard to do some shopping.

I got home and got a shock.  Haha.  Because its a HUGE set.  SUPER 4 in 1 pack containing over 250 pieces (I think its more that that).  Its a Zoo kit pack with animals, cute accessories and bricks for building the Diorama.  I opened it to inspect the pieces and they were gorgeous.  But the box seems to be to big for me to carry on board.  Most probably need to remove that box.

Girl girl (and boy boy)already has a few set.  One of them is a farm and another a house set which has cute kitchen sink and bathtub :P.  So I guess she will go crazy with this new set.  Need to tell her to share with her little brother though :)

Mum is not allowing me to take the set back to Thailand yet as she plans to be a surprise for the kids when they come to Singapore.  We are planning to have them come over in October when Girl girl has her term break (about a month).  Ah Boy's status has been settled and he is no longer stateless, so we can go to Bangkok this coming July to settle passport and marriage certificate.  Here's one more photo of me with the LEGO set... kekeke  

For those interested in the set.  Its still on sale at Robinson. $189. inclusive of GST and according to my sis, its snapping up by lots of shoppers so better HURRY up for the great SG sale.. BUY BUY BUY!!! :P

Don't you hate series 2 - Taking the (M)ass (R)apid (T)ransit

The 2nd list of the series.  Actually a lot of them is some what similar to the list in the Taking a Bus.  So if its not here, please refer to that post. :P

Here we go:

While taking a train (MRT) in Sillypore, I hate

1) Stupid annoucements that kept repeating itselves every 2 minutes. (can't they make it every 15mins?)
2) 6mins of waiting time for peak periods (I'm serious, kena a few times liao)
3) People who does not stick to the left hand or one side of the escalator to let others pass.
4) People who stands in front of the door before the trains come, blocking those who came out.
5) Crowded trains.
6) People who steps into the train and then stop moving, blocking the door and expecting people to move around him/her. (Especially the teenagers who does this)
7) People yaking on the phone loudly.
8) People playing their mp4 or PSP or Nintendo DX loudly with or without a headphone.
9) Parents that allows their kids to use the handrails as monkey bars or conducting an obstacle course in the train by running around,  jumping up and down on the seats and everywhere.
10) People who lean their whole body on those vertical hand rails during peak period. 
11) People who sits in between seats (taking 2 seats) I really no idea why they do this, they like something sticking in their butt crack or ass hole I guess?  I tried it once (just to understand why they enjoy doing this) and its so uncomfortable...
12) Guys who open their legs WIDE open while seating (yes I know you have big balls but you don't need to flaunt them.)
13) People who seats at the staircases around the exits. 
14) Stupid Credit card salesman/woman asking if you are interested in signing up their platinum card (if I can apply I won't be taking the bloody train la)
15) Phamplet Ladies/Guys at the entrance to the MRT (especially cityhall)
16) People with no sense of directions that comes out of the exit/entrance of the station and stops right in front of the escalator to check or talk to their companions while expecting the rest of the people to go around them... (Can't they move to one side to discuss????)
17) People who rushes to exit the train when the alarm starts beeping...(especially to those who don't even say "excuse me" and bumps into you.
18) Gantries that takes a long time to response your card (need fine tuning or maintenance)
19) Confusing signages that leads you to nowhere or get you dis-orientated.  (Especially the Dolbhy Gaut station)

And Finally...

20) Someone committing suicide by jumping off the track (No this is not a joke but a serious one). 
I thought they started to put up barricades on certain stations but what about the rest??? I think they really need to do something about this asap.

Add on if you like


Cheeky Boy and Sporty Gal

None other then my son.  He's 11 months now.  He can stand on his own (can't walk though) and can crawl super fast.  He also has 2 little teeth and knows how to defend himself from his sister by shoving her away whenever she comes for a hug that he does not want :P

He can makes sounds now... basically is dadadadadadada... which do sounds like Hit!hit!hit!(打打打) in Chinese.  And while chanting this slogan, he normally is really whacking on something.  The picture in this post shows my boy banging and whacking on my keyboard while we were doing a video conference.  He is blur because he is aggressively banging away.. :S

Boy is cheeky also. He likes to play sneak attacks (like me).  Wife says every morning he will be the first to wake up and crawl towards where Jie Jie sleeps and disturb her by burrowing his head into her or chewing on her fingers or digits... Once girl woke up he would quickly crawls away and hides in a corner and smile.  If Jie jie goes back to sleeps again, he would repeat until my girl wakes up and bear hugs him.. :D

Ah girl also getting more sporty.  She learnt how to cycle by herself and she is getting good at it.  She likes to run with the neighbouring kids and play chase.  Which I think its great.  SG kids don't do that anymore.. One thing I dislike is the way she likes to climbs the chairs and tables in the house.  Wife even told me she once caught her trying to climb over our house's fence... :S  She still adores her little brother but I think they will start to fight soon.  Most likely is the boy will bully her sister hehehehe.... 

Don't you hate series 1 - Taking a public bus in Sillypore.

I once wrote a post on graciousness and recently I had this great idea of listing out the things I hate encountering in my everyday life of Sillypore..  Hate is quite a strong word,   I should use the word dislike but I find using the word hate has more oomph in it (apologies if my reasoning sounds silly but I am also part of this Sillypore anyways.. :P)

At first I wanted the list to appear in one post but I found out that its impossible to do that as the list keeps growing and growing... So I decided to break them down into categories but still, I need to further break them down to sub-categories... hahaha... seems like a lot of hate going on here :P

So without further delays.  Here is the first list of the series...

While taking a bus in Sillypore, I just hate :

1) Buses that are late, and I mean really late like around 20minutes which is all filled up to the brim and can only stop to let some people off. 

2) Buses that are driving so fast that they just ignore you or stops 20-50m away from the bus-stop. 

3) Buses who drives so slow that you prefer you should be in the driver seats.

4) People who always rush to the door (cutting queue) and then proceed to fumble for their bloody ez-link card while the rest are stuck. (what's rushing them anyway, can't they take out their card first if they want to board first) Vice versa, the same jokers who rushes to the exit before the bus stops and fumbles for their card when the door opens... 

5) Passengers who are listening to their bloody MP3 players (or phones) and blasting them at volume 10 with their headphones on.  (hope they go deaf soon)

6)Even worse, passengers who plays  mp3s on their bloody Handphones WITHOUT a bloody headphone.  (Yes, I might like Lady Gaga but that doesn't mean you have the rights to force me to hear it!)

7)Passengers who yaks loudly on the phone, like he/she is afraid that the rest of the passengers are not aware he/she has a problem with his girlfriend or boyfriend.  

8)Passengers who seems to get their foot stuck in the middle of the bus (epecially near the doorways) And normally these are teenagers who are not moving in.  They also seems to get stuck there for quite sometime until someone ask them to move it... 

9)Passengers who leave their bags on the seats next to them.  And chatting away on the phone, ignoring the crowded bus and whole world staring on them.

10)Passengers who seats on the aisle seats and giving you a look when you ask to go into their precious empty window seat.  (I once sacartiscally asked a lady if she has an invisble friend sitting next to her when she gave this disdain look to an old uncle who wants to sit) 

11)Passengers who immediately fell asleep when an old person or pregant lady or small childen board the bus.

12)Passengers (espcially kids) who thinks that the bus belongs to their parents, giving them the rights to shout and stomp around on the buses (especially on the upper decks of double deck buses)

13)Passengers who are so tired (and I'm not sure why they are so tired) that they start to nod their heads in their seat and lean against your body.  (But I do love it when they whacked their head on the front seat handles or on the window :D)

14)Male passengers who open their legs wide and shove their knees into the person seating beside them or blocking the aisle. Not sure why leh.. Maybe they got big balls or pricks that they need to show it off by opening their legs so wide. And funny thing is that they normally are not that tall or legs that long..

15)Bus "Captains" that are rude and drives like a lunatic.

16)Bus "Captains" that applies the brake like working out in the gym.  Causing ppl to fly off.

17)Bus "Captains" who drives with a lazy foot... letting go of the accelerator arubtly, causing a jerking motion, making you sick.

18)Buses that are actually suanas when you step into it and you are still force to pay the Air-con price of the ride while suffocating in it.  

19)Buses that are so bloody cold in rainy weathers that you think you are in the wrong country.

20)Passengers who sneaks food into the bus and dine them like they are in a restaurant.

21)Buses that smells like a Smoking Room or Area when it arrives on the bus-bay in the interchange (seems like No Smoking only applies when it is moving,  drivers like to smoke on their buses when it stops)

22)Buses that took ages to come and it comes in multiples of 2 or 3s in a row and they are all empty....

23)Buses that are packed like sardines and yet the bus driver is still insisting the passengers to move in some more to let more to board.

24)Buses that have advertisments all over their windows that you can't figure out where the hell you are now.

25)Raining in the bus (I'm serious about this!)

26)Raining and flooding in the bus cum Suana in the bus. 

There are more but I think these are the ones I really dislike.  Add on if you wish :P


A question I can't answer.

This post is in my head for quite some time but I did not have the energy to pin it down in writings.  After I told my mother that my wife's status has changed, she pop the question again "So when are you moving them back to Singapore?"  So I gave her my usual response (its not the first time) but I know this time it won't be easy to win the argument.

What happens usually is I would reply that I wish to go over there, but I can't, because of my wife's statelessness (so I can't apply for an 'O' visa).  And I just say wait her status is changed then we discuss on this.  So here we are again....

As I have a feeling I no longer could use the argument above so I just stay silent..... and she continued to grill me what I plan to do and what's wrong with Singapore.

"Too expensive for them to stay here, I can't earn enough to support them here" I replied
"I can chip in a bit and the way you fly to and fro also expensive"she countered. 

"I got no house." I replied.
"Stay at my house lah" she replied "Not like I mind" she countered.
"But you and my wife would fight, and (my elder) sister may get disturbed by the kids!"
"She won't mind, she like the kids too!"  mum countered "Not like you can look for a work in Thailand"

So in the end, I just say I would think about it and close off the conversation. 

So after the debate.  I did started to think about this option but its a no brainer.  My heart is still in Thailand :) .  And there are of course, various other reasons..

First, my wife can't even speak english and she can't read or write in Chinese too.  So practically she can't find a decent job here in SG.  If we only have girl girl then still possible but with ah boy around.  It would be tough for both of us. I don't wish to depend too much on my mum in this too.

Second, girl is already 4 years old and all her friends and playmates are in Maesai, Thailand.  She enjoys it there too.  Its possible she might change if I bring her here too but I think it would most likely be a culture shock.  The kids in SG are waaay different from the kids she knew back home.  If she is younger then maybe.  And she can't converse in English.  She speaks mainly Thai and Chinese. 

Thirdly, what would happen to our stuff and house in Thailand?  Sell them off?  Leave it and no one take cares of it.  My wife's closest relative is her sis whom is in Hatt Yai working.  Its a home to us and we just can't leave it. 

There are more but I think the 3 listed above are the major ones.. So yes, I definitely would go back.  But the question I can't really answer now is WHEN?

Recently due to the new car and baby,  I need to work harder here to earn more money to pay off the car loan and other extra expenses that the new baby has incurred.  This means I need to find a job in Thailand immediately if I were to go back now, which might be tough as I still can't read or write Thai scripts.

So most probably I will continue to work in Singapore for a few more years.  I still have my dreams of opening a photo studio in Thailand but the location is important (thinking of Chiang Mai or Bangkok) and it might take some years to plan and source for resources.

I could give my answer to my mum.  But I guess grandma misses the kids and want them over :P.  So I am prepared to be nagged for a few more years.. huhuhu... not her problem but mine...