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Angry Birds in Mae Sai

I bought a table top Angry Birds toy in Singapore before I came back to Thailand.  The first thing I unbox the toy, I knew I am going to have some fun with it.  Not playing with it with the kids but to actually shoot it.  The modelling of the toys were pretty good so its worth the price (about 40 SGD).

Anyway, wife's good friend was back from Bangkok yesterday to hide from the flood situation which is plaguing the city (I think you should know by now..)  She's a very close family friend so wife and the kids went to her house to meet up and play with her daughter (about 2 months older then my boy).  That means I have the whole morning and afternoon free!! Yeah!!!

Took the birds out and whipped out my camera to shoot some photos with it in the garden.  I spent more time posing them rather than shooting.. hehe.. Took about 20 shots but only picked 12 out of the 20.  Good practise session after such a long break from shooting still objects...  Think I need more practise...

Rest of the photos are in my gallery.  Do feel free to browse through them :)

Trip to Chiang Mai - 23rd to 26th Oct - Part 2

To be brutally honest,  we did not do much in Chiang Mai.  And although I brought along 3 cameras (1 RF with B/W film, my Nex-3 and A900).  I did not even took more than 30 shots during the trip.  I took some videos in the hotel though.  Will post that later.

The following day after we reached Chiang Mai, we visited my condo in Nakornpin area.  The person currently renting the apartment is a Russian (very heavy Russian accent).  Nice chap but he looks like a typical hacker :P.  We chatted a bit and he told me he works online (hmmmm.....).  I didn't dwell too much into the details but the apartment was in very good condtion.  My funitures are still there and everything is working fine.  We left for Doi Suthep after viewing the apartment.  Whoever comes to Chiang Mai and never visits Wat Phrathat (temple) on Doi Suthep is not considered to have visited Chiang Mai.  Just like China, 不到长城非好汉。(Not a man if you do not visit the Great Wall).  

It's a beautiful temple on top of the mountian and it overlooks Chiang Mai city.  I have visited it more than 2 times, this is the 3rd time for me actually.  Girl girl and and wife 2nd time while it's boy first time.      Boy woke up at the base of the temple (in the picture on the left you can see the steps leading to the main temple ground. )and proceeded to climb the steps on his own (with wife accompanying him of course) all the way up 178 steps (wife counted it).  Girl was in hyper mode.. She made it to the top first.  I nearly died at the top as I was carrying the heavy stuffs.  Cameras, daipers, milk bottles and water....  Wife and I immediately sat down just outside the temple garden while the 2 kids became even more hyper and ran around like crazy.  Both of us has no more energy left to control them and look and each other and laughed...  Rest of the people were like staring at us, hehehe.  I think they think we are just a weird family.

After Suthep we just dropped by Kad Suan Keow (another big shopping centre) for lunch before we went back to the hotel to rest.  We had a swim later and boy boy got hooked.  Each time we went down he would scream for the pool.  He really likes water I guess.

In the evening we went for dinner at the Night Bazzar area.  Ate an expensive seafood dinner, think the reason for that extortion price was because we make a silly mistake of taking a tuk tuk there.  (Too tired to walk)

Day 3 was even more boring, Just shopping again in Airport Central Plaza, swim and more shopping.  Last day we had an early breakfast at the hotel and checked out around 10pm.  Drove back and reached Chiang Rai around 12 noon and again, dropped by Central Chiang Rai to have lunch and a short walk before hitting back to Maesai. 


Trip to Chiang Mai - 23rd to 26th Oct

We decided to have a short road trip to Chiang Mai recently.  In the beginning we actually planned to return to Singapore as it was girl girl's school holiday.  But we decided not to  as the flights were expensive and it will be a rushed trip.  Moreoever, we plan to visit SG during Chinese New Year in a few months time.  Another reason we chose Chiang Mai instead of other places (such as Bangkok) is because I need to check on my condo over there.  It has been 3 or 4 years since I saw my apartment and I need to take a look at its current conditions.  

I didn't plan any itenary this time as I know it will be havoc having 2 kids on board :P.  So its just drive there, check into the hotel and decide later.  Seems like the decision paid off as it was more relaxing then the one we had in Singapore.  And also less dissapointments as the one in Singapore (planned so much but in the end only visited the zoo and birdpark :P).

The drive to Chiang Mai on the 1st day was actually pretty smooth.  We woke up at 7am and took off around 8.  Boy was half awake when we carry him to the car and he slept all the way on the entire journey!  He was sleeping even at the pit stop in Mae Suai.  Girl was a bit excited but doze off later.  I don't even need to turn on my ipad. hehe.  Wife spoke to me all the way while I was driving to keep me awake :P.  It's actually my first time driving there and she's a bit worried. The actual distance is about 300km  (less than that actually) but it took us 3 hours (including a 15min break) to reach our hotel in Night Bazzar area.  The roads were good compared to Mae Fa Luang (also mountain road) which we frequent so it was actually quite easy for me.  Road to Doi Tung is actually more challenging even though its nearer.  At around 11pm we reached the hotel.  Wife and I was dead tired but the kids woke up and ready to go for some action.... :S  Can't sleep anyway so we went out for lunch at the Fuji restaurant at Pantip plaza just around the corner.  After the meal we took a nap in the hotel... well, my missus did actually while I entertained my kids. :(  Evening we drove to the Airport Central Plaza to have a meal and shopped a bit before I screamed I can't take it anymore and need to sleep. hehehe   Finally had my beauty sleep around 9pm.  End of Day 1.


Day trip to Wat Rong Khun

Since my girl is having her school break (1 month).  We took a day trip to the famous Wat Rong Khun in Chiang Rai last Saturday.  Its about an hour drive from our home and its a beautiful place to shoot.  I didn't bring my "beast" as I have 2 kids and I guess I don't have the time to be serious with landscapes or architecture shots anyway. 

It's a bit funny but it was the first time I've been there actually.  I have heard and saw the temple from far (on the bus to Chiang Mai) but never really set foot on it.  I've seen tons of photos of the temple and promised myself to visit there.  And I was in awe.  Really in awe because its a very very beautiful piece of art (building) just in front of me.

The weather was kind to me too.  Its cloudy but still have enough sunlight to brightly illuminate the temple.  Its still under construction though :P  (I've read that it already took more than 15 years so far to build the temple but it's still incomplete.  You may google it and read more about the temple and its wierd artist who conceived this.

Anyway, the rest of the photos are here on my facebook account.  I didn't take much as I was just admiring the whole site :P.  Camera I brought along was my trusty Sony A900 with 24-70mm Zeiss and 85mm Minolta G.  After shooting so much with crappy toy cameras and hazy viewfinders of the "beast" :P, the 900's VF was a fabulous reminder on why I bought this camera in the first place (besides being a FF camera).  Think I will start to use it more often besides copying slides...

For those interested in getting there. Here's a map of the location.

View Larger Map

The "Mini-Gun" Mamiya 250mm f/5

 I bought the rare 250mm f/5 from e(vil)-bay while I was in Singapore and I have brought it back to Thailand for some closeup portraits.  Its a hell of a lens.  All metal and glass.  Not much plastic (only the levers or the aperture ring seems to be plastic).

I posted this snapshot of the lens as a scale on facebook and I loved one of my friend's comment.  He said it looked like the mini-gun from the worms game.  I agree with him so I decided to nickname it the "Mini-Gun".

I tested the lens in SG with a roll of film.  Its ok except the last 2 shots went missing.  Double checked and realised it has a bit of oily aperture :S.  Which means the shutter may not be functioning correctly.  I need to send it for a good CLA but due to time constraints, I decided to let it be for the while.  Since I don't think I will be using it that often.

However, today, I decided to shoot some instant photos with the mini-gun and surprsingly.  It handles pretty well and surprisingly my hit rate was pretty good even with such shallow DOF and slow shutter.  Heavy camera really has less camera shake? hehehe.

Here are 4 of the better ones..


There are a few more but I'm just too tired to scan and post them now.  But I have to say the bokeh and sharpness of this lens is quite lengenary as mentioned in other photographic forums.  Contrast and colours are good too.  The only bad thing (optically) besides the weight is that it slightly vignettes on the Instant photos.  I dun really mind though as I guess I would use it mainly for portraits for instant photos so that is not really a big issue to me :) .  Its still surprising cheap in the ebay market (less than $800 SGD) so its really really a bargain to get such a good glass with such a price tag.  But I guess my muscle of my arms will get bigger if I used it more often.  hehe 



Busy month.

I'm back in LOS and the kids are happy to see me.  So's my wife whom seems to be a little worn out from taking care of the 2 little monsters for the pass month.  I will be quite busy this month.  Firstly is to remodel my study.  I had brought back my film scanner and 24" display.  Also my NAS from my home in Singapore.  Which means I could build another station in my studies just for photo editing and scanning.  The mac mini will be the chosen one for this task.  My old PC will take the old monitor and will be used my girl for her games.  (Normally if I start using the computer she would want to play) So its much better for me to have 2 stations at home side by side.  Which means at least I could be doing something besides looking at her playing dressup games :P

Then I need to settle my little shop house.  Still under construction but having its finishing touches.  I might fly back to SG too if time allows (or if I'm bored :P).  Girl's term just ended so its a month holiday for her.  So it will be hectic for us as the kids will be at home.

Some of you also wondered why I have not posted photos recently.  Actually I shot some while in Singapore but never found the time to scan it.  I plan to do it today once I setup the scanner later.  I also tried shooting with the beast and the GIAGANTO 250mm today..... verdict... I think I won't be using it often... bloody heavy and hard to focus with such a small finder mask... Most probably will use it for my landscapes though...

Will post more later.  2 monsters calling me.... :p