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Monday, August 30, 2010

This Guy Deserves Mainstream Attention

Thousand apologies, as this blog will be taking a break from photography posts. Things are going to be fast-paced, the first courseworks are now. 

Anyway, in the current mainstream music, there is Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, Maroon 5, Jonas Brothers, and etc. And all of them had somehow a similar trait, which is, having the good looks, the voice and the movements. That's it. 

The similarities of most of these artists make them not to shine out that often, except for Bieber's case for he is just a 16 year old, in case you want to argue. But, all of them have their own producer. Yeah, that is usually what the stars have. 

Anyway, when it comes to creativity, I don't think most of them would be as creative as this guy. - Mike Tompkins. 

Well, I begin noticing him since someone posted this clip in my Facebook news feed. 

Indeed, he is unique.
He is able to utilize his acapella and beatboxing skills into remaking a song. Impressive eh? And he even managed to produce the videos of it by himself. 

And thus, he deserves to be in the mainstream music world. This is real talent. Well, a few years ago, someone by the name of Teddy Geiger wrote a song and arranges it by his own (For You I Will). Well, that was similar on how Tompkins arranges his sound effects into a song. 

So, why not Tompkins deserve this chance? :) He should be famous than Bieber! :) Anyway, check out his other videos - his remakes on Owl City's "Fireflies" and Maroon 5's "Misery". 

This is his Youtube channel. >link<. Enjoy, and I'm signing off! :) 

Friday, August 27, 2010

As The 53rd Independence Day Approaches

Bendera Malaysia Pictures, Images and Photos
If you are reading this, this is my pacifism response to the recent racism issues that is currently lingering over the Internet after 2 unscrupulous principals heated up the Malaysian society by you know, the pendatang name-calling.

Well, anyway, these events are preventable as the pendatang issue is totally an irrelevant thing to be mentioned. It has been 53 years we have been accepting each other as Malaysians, and yet there are still tragedies happening in our community: 

We are still making racism relevant

A friend mentioned in his Facebook status, saying that, "instead of labelling people as Malays, Chinese and Indians, why not accept each other as Malaysians?" And I got to agree with him. And when you look at the reality, people tend to get piled up according to their own races, doing business and recruiting according to race-based mentalities, and so on. 

Look, for all the 50 years being together, we shouldn't be told to accept one another all the time already, since we had been in this together for a long time. I had a lot of Malay friends, and they are the best group of people whom I enjoy talking to. There are even some Chinese girls whom I know mentioned that the Malay guys treat them better than the Chinese ones! HAHA. 

It's better to accept one another. In Malaysia, you can see the hottest girls from various races. Forget about the usual Chinese leng luis you see in the PC Fairs or some other events, go check out the Malay and Indian leng luis. Some of you may argue about their skin, but let me tell you something - it's their tanned skin that make them a special class of their own. Haha. I'm serious :) Those in the First World countries wanted to tan their skin a lot, you see. 

Plus, what about the foods like nasi lemak, rendang, char kuey teow, wan tan mee, chapati and roti canais? Enjoy them, they are all delicious. :) 

"Malaysian Ignorance"

This you can't escape from. Everytime whenever there's a news occured (e.g. The BHP case that I'd >blogged< during May), people will be throwing out their thoughts and sometimes, spam in the Internet space. 

Well, this is one of them, though it is attempting to defend Siti Hajah with a statement that she is a victim of politics. According to this>blog post<, the author suspected that there is a conspiracy theory going on that insisted that the principal was a puppet in this racist scene. Sounds like the questions raised during the Church burning events that happened earlier this year, eh? 

Anyway, what I wanted to say is, in order to get yourself out of your ignorance, it is better for you to use your brains to look into a case, rather than your eyes and ears. As Albert Einstein mentioned, "Condemnation without investigation is the height of ignorance," it is better to have some good reasoning for the conclusion that you'd done, instead of providing a blind one.

When you know that these things are provoking your anger, try not to get mad against it, for they are meant to make you mad without even questioning about that news. 

Last but not least, I would like to wish you a Happy 53rd Independence Day. We need to be grateful for what we have now, but we cannot just stop there. All of us have the roles to improve our nation. 

Though I am a political atheist, I believe that the true power of change lies within the people, because we are the real ones that are able to decide for our future, not by the words of the politicians that claim more than they act. We already seen this in the current political system, where we are the ones who promote or fire the ones in power. 

Forget our differences, people. Racism is an outdated approach of understanding the world. It is totally irrelevant, as the world today are already concious that we are ONE human race. We live in this temporary world, as life is short, why should we hate? When we die, we are only remembered by our deeds. Stop the cynicism and individualism. Collaboration for progress is what we truly need. 

Optimism Is Delusional, Pessimism Is Hopeless. Why not Be Realist?

Well, I'd been encountering people with this motivation force called "Optimism". Yes, it is nothing wrong to be optimistic and to think of the brighter future. But then, the reality is still there, isn't it? 

And indeed, I do have some issues with these type of mindset. Whenever something goes wrong, people will tend to be like "Oh! Everything should be fine! Just change, be positive, and then things will change". And what they do is just think about the good things that will change, well, without the actions. 

And that clip was absolutely correct about the book called "The Secret". I once read that book and believed. But then, let's just say, for 100 days you'd been thinking that you can score 100% in examinations without reading, will it be crazy? Some of my friends have been practising that idea of "attracting" the positive ideas and the world will change, but logically, I don't believe it. Obviously nobody expects a Haiti disaster, or a Chilean tsunami  by just a thought, isn't it? 

But that doesn't mean pessimism is a good ideology of confidence. In fact, pessimism, to me doesn't contribute to solving a problem. You just let it linger there, waiting for it to eat you up alive. 

I regard both of these perspective as equally delusional in a potential manner, because one hopes for the better, while another one hopes for nothing, and both are without actions. 

But for sure, you're trying to run away from the problem, by either thinking it is not there, or you are letting it to crush you down. 

So, be a realist! 

Why? You should know that you are not able to escape from reality. Instead, you have to think that you, and everyone else has the power as a whole to change the reality for the better, thus generate idealism

I remembered that a friend told me that problems should be seen as a problem. Indeed, if everyone is a realist, having the same radical mindset and being aware on what is happening around the world today, then all social problems should have been solved already. Combining optimism and pessimism together to both examine and formulate solutions is one healthy way to bring the both dimensions of seeing a half-empty/full glass together for a better picture. 

Remember, the reality is there. Humanity needs collaboration to overcome problems. But first, the public must not be ignorant. :)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Manila Terror - A Blogger/ Fellow Human's Viewpoint: Screw the Social System

"Now the question besets us all is, Who is Captain Rolando Mendoza?

Captain Rolando Mendoza, 56, is a bemedalled cop who was months away from his mandatory retirement from his police service as revealed by the records of the police authorities. As revealed by the DPRM (Director of Police Records and Management, Mendoza should have been an honorable retiree cop who obtained a total of 17 police service medal and a commendation for excellent job performance. Among the awards received were: Medalya ng Papuri; PNP Badge of Honor; Medalya ng Kasanayan; Medalya ng Kagalingan; and Medalya ng Paglilingkod. He was a graduate of the Philippine College of Criminology who entered the law enforcement service through the PC-INP in 1981. Police service apparently runs in the veins of Mendoza's Family.

Hence, it shows that Captain Rolando Mendoza was a dedicated policeman who worked hard during his entire period of service as a policeman. Based on his records, he was a good man who wanted to serve the public.

Why then? It is impossible to believe that a man who have been faithful during the entire period of his service would turn out a be z monster thereafter. What was the reason behind such aggressive acts of a kind hearted man?

Now the next question that besets us, is, "Why did he do such horrible thing?!"

According to reliable sources, trouble in Mendoza's life occured in 2008 when he and at least four other policemen were accused of extorting money from a chef whom they accosted alledgedly for parking violation and possession of illegal drugs.

As a result of these incident, Mendoza meted 90 day preventive suspension. But was reinstated after the suspension was served. But on February 16 of 2009, he was dismissed from service.
According to one policeman, he was depressed due to his early dismissal because the order comes with the forfeiture of his retirement benefits and perpetual disqualification from government service. As mentioned by a doctor, Mendoza's acts was prompted by his depression. Post depression.

Hence, it is sad to say that the big wrong decision of Captain Rolando Mendoza to hostage the Chinese Nationals and Filipinos in the bus was due to his post depression of the dismissal and perpetual disqualification event.

Now these are the questions that worried us,

"Was he really that bad?

What was the reason behind that causes him to shot the victims? Who should be blame?
Do you believe that he really wanted to kill them? Or something or some event prompted him to act aggresively?

Should we blame the police authorities for taking his relatives aggresively?
Was that the reason that prompted him to act like that?

Of the 15 Hong Kong tourists being held hostage on a tour bus in the Phillipines capital of Manila, seven have been reported killed.

The hostage-taking gunman, Rolando Mendoza, a former police captain who was armed with an M-16 assault rifle, has also been killed.

Our prayers go to the families of those who were killed in this senseless tragedy.

Quoted by Victormagbuana21 in Youtube. 

When I first read about the news, I thought it was another terrorism news in the papers. Well, as a journalism student, I tend to look things from some angles, but let's don't talk about news and viewpoints here. 

I felt sad for the victims, including the hostage taker himself. The reason why I quoted this users' words is to provide a balanced perception on Mendoza. 

What I want to pinpoint is this: 

Our social system doesn't care a damn on your well-being and social welfare.

In your adult days, you will be struggling to work, and maintain your job from 8 to 6 in the evening every single day (to some, they have to work at weekends). You have to face unnecessary stress, meet with different people, while trying to maintain your own integrity while you compromise, and your days are going round and round, as if you're in a prison state. 

You do this everyday all for the sake of something that is devaluing over time. As more money supply circulates the financial system, more debts were generated, causing higher inflation rate, while decreasing the currency value of all. As a result, price rises, unemployment rates increases, companies begin to get busted. 

Of course, people are getting busier and busier all the time, while they are worrying of their lives and their fate, while struggling and competing among each other for survival. 

Well, Mendoza was believed to have some sort of depression that made him did such a desperate, avoidable act that only destructs himself at the end. He pleaded for the job he lost, well, in a desperate manner. 

Jiddu Krishnamurti, a philosopher, once mentioned "There is no cure for a profoundingly sick society." If you relate this tragedy to the money system (do look at it from the economical view), you will find a bigger view on how screw up our world is. Even suicide rates have been increasing over the last 60 years (WHO reports). 

Well, I posted this in order to provoke thoughts, and hopefully, actions, for a better change. We have to do something about this. In order to change, we need the majority to do so. After all, capitalism ran in an orderly manner because people were unaware on how destructive the system is. 

My deepest condolences to the families of the lost one. May God be with you. 

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Beyond Your View

Well, this is how a camera lens works. It's designed based on the natural mechanism of the eye, in case you don't know. I bet most of you there are smart. :)

Anyway, I have already beginning to see even my juniors entering college life. Well, if I were to relate into the picture above, we're looking at our futures like what we are viewing through that lens, through that one small little aperture range. The future is uncertain. 

Sometimes things that I want don't become a reality. Sometimes things that I unexpected becomes a reality. There are hopes and fears, and sometimes I even think that I'm taking the wrong course, as journalism can be propaganda. 

I bet the same goes to the most students from various courses, be it designing, engineering, medical, etc. I remember that someone blogged that 1 out of 3 students will feel that they take the wrong course. 

Still, journalism is still relevant to me, not because I have the ambition to be a lapdog. I like writing. Photography can be also another good thing too. :) 

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Friday, August 20, 2010

Come What May (Photography)

No matter how much you feel down, or being deserted, left out or things doesn't seem to work right in your lives at this moment, things will bounce back. And indeed, for now, we're hoping for a better future. Troubles are like storms, they come with a rude manner, but they will disappear eventually.

Pictures taken using the Sony NEX5. HDR style, isn't it? :)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Dormant Period Ahead

Don't get fascinated by that Apple monitor, that's from the college's lab.
And yeah, RFP and IDM already begin to tell us what to do for our coursework. Come what may, things are going to be interesting.
And that also means that this site will not be updated so frequently. Stay tuned, though.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Enter the Sony NEX5 (Part 2)

1 week after purchasing the Sony Alpha NEX-5, I began to feel some regrets in mind on why I made such a decision. However, the regrets were not powerful enough to send me to a guilt, as they are not reasonable to convince me that I made a bad move. 

The main options alongside the Sony NEX5 were:
1. Samsung NX10 - A decent choice, as it has the looks and functions of a DSLR though being a Micro Four Third. I'm not sure if this camera is compatible with my Nissin Di622 flashgun, but at least it will serve as a replacement for my Nikon D80 over time. 

HOWEVER, I'm still convinced that the NEX5 is still the best choice though its flash capability is kinda limited. You can't even bounce light from the NEX flash, but hey, once you got that Sony, you no need to think about buying a Canon EOS 550D. Trust me, Dpreview has proven the fact that the NEX5's ISO quality is better than the 550D. 

According to DPreview, the NX10's ISO quality is weak, as it can only reach up to ISO 3200 with a hell lot of picture noise. 

2. Nikon D5000 body (with a 50mm f/1.8) - Perhaps I could have get the body and continue the use of my 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 lens with this newer Nikon, while sending the older one back to Tawau. My Nissin Di622 can be fitted well with it, plus it's smaller. Canon EOS 500D's close rival. Video? It's capable on taking 24 fps, which is still a standard for cameras in the movie industry. 

HOWEVER, Dpreview had manifested a better ISO quality for the Sony NEX5, which is surprisingly astonishing. 

Still the NEX-5 is the best. I'm not sure what the Sony E-Mount lens will be looking like, but hopefully, there is another 50mm f/1.8 to see. My Nikon? Well, it will be still in use. 

Anyway, these are the extra pictures I took after the first post. I really do enjoy the quality of the pictures. Compared to the Nikon D80 images, I don't really feel the need to Photoshop the pics much. Of course, these pictures below aren't Photoshopped, except for the Watermarks. 

P.S - Both are taken from the 16mm lens and the 18-55mm standard lens, arranged in random order. 
Sorry for that "stain" at the bottom, I'm not really sure what is that :( 

Well, that's done. Can't wait to make use of its video features for my future assignments. In case you want to ask for the photo's shutter, aperture and ISO setting, I might add it in time. I'm kinda busy at the moment. :) 

Overall, the Sony NEX5 is indeed a quality choice, indeed. :) 

Friday, August 6, 2010

Enter the Sony NEX5


And so, I finally chose the Sony NEX5 as the final verdict. As I'd mentioned in the previous post, I needed a second camera for video assignments. I need it for Digital Storytelling (DS) and Introduction to Digital Media (IDM) this semester.

I decided to go for the Model D (NEX-5D), as I was told that I maybe will be upgrading my camera by time. But somehow, that decision might be wrong. I'll show you why. 

Anyway, overall, the Sony NEX5 is really a remarkable camera and surprisingly it is a lot better than my current Nikon D80. I won't be doing any comparisons on the 2 cameras for now, but you have to trust me, it's a whole lot better. 

And since the Model D variable contains the 2 current lenses as advertised, I managed to tried on both lenses in the campus. 

Let's start with the standard lens (SEL1855). These are not edited, though there is a watermark there. 

1/4000s, f/3.5, ISO 400

1/3200s, f/3.5, ISO 400

1/4000s, f/3.5, ISO 400

1/500s, f/5, ISO 400

Vivid Mode, from the bus. 1/500s, f/5, ISO 400

Meanwhile, these are taken from the pancake lens, SEL16F28. To be honest, I expected something remarkable from the lens, but then, it won't reach the bokeh capability when compared to the real DSLR portrait lens.

1/2500s, f/2.8,. ISO 400

1/13s, f/2.8, ISO 400

This one's done with manual focus. 1/20s, f/3.5, ISO 800

Sweep Panorama, anyone? It's a remarkable feature, but you have to master the art of using it. This is one of the successful ones.

1/200s, f/10, ISO 200

By judging the NEX5 pictures here, truly without doubt, it is better than my Nikon (produced in 2006, discontinued 2008).

Anyway, NEX5 is not a DSLR. It is categorized as an EVIL (Electronic Viewfinder Interchangeable Lens) camera. I once mistaken it as a Micro Four Third (M43) camera, but this is under the same class with the Samsung NX10. Yeah, I also did tried the Samsung, but I decided to go for the NEX. 

While selecting the NEX5, the salesman claimed that it is better than the Panasonic GF1 (which I don't really believe), as it had the APS-C sensor used in DSLRs. The GF1 is build based on the Micro Four Third platform, but somehow to me it's still remarkable when compared to the NEX. 

Compared to my Nikon, all I can say is this:


1. Ability to shoot HD videos (AVCHD, MP4 format)
2. The electronic viewfinder of the NEX5 helps me a lot in manual shootings. 
3. Better ISO quality (ISO 1600 still looking fine)
4. My Nikon shot can go up to 4 fps, but NEX5 can go up to 7fps (in speed priority). 
5. Can take bigger pics (14.2 MP over 10.2)
6. My Nikon, obviously is bulkier than the NEX. [size]
7. My Nikon has only 11 focus points, but NEX has the flexible shot feature where you can select your own focus point. 


Battery consumption

Yesterday, the camera was on from 8 am to 4 pm, and the battery percentage went from 100% to 43%. That was shocking! Compared to my Nikon, it can still run for around a week without being turned off. Yes, the NEX5 has sufficient energy for one whole photoshooting section, but not long enough for one whole day. =.=


Despite the flexibility on getting your own focusing point, sometimes you might feel frustrated with the camera not to focus on one close spot in time, specially on the SEL16F28 lens. That is why I am not really satisfied with the pancake lens. 

Let's see if I can find more weaknesses in the coming future. 

So far, the NEX5 is impressive. Well, such DSLR-type technologies for compact cameras has just been around in the photography market, and I think 1 day these cameras will eventually replace entry-level and mid-range DSLR cameras in the future. The NEX5 is meant for DSLR beginners, but it gives a mid-range DSLR-type capabilities. 

I think I had just get myself something that is more than my demand. Well, if you're impressed with such cameras and you're savvy with money, NEX3 will be the choice. That means, I must focus hard on my video assignments. 

Picture taken under ISO 1600. Still fine EVEN under 3200. The maximum ISO you can reach with it is ISO 12800. Shutter: 1/40 Aperture: f/3.5
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Sunday, August 1, 2010

Back in KL

And after 1 month in Tawau, I'm back to Sunway. Tomorrow's the first day of my second year degree period. I guess things will be challenging, specially when I choose to cook things by myself. 

Pic above: This is my first meal - rice with burger, scrambled eggs and sausage. Success, but I add too much pepper in it. 

Suddenly have no mood to blog after I come back here. Sigh. By the way, I will need to get a second camera as my Nikon D80 is unable to record videos. Most probably I'm thinking of getting something like a Sony NEX5 or a Canon G11

And I do had a hard time choosing a semi-professional type of camera. Camcorders? Sorry, I'm not so into camcorders so far. I want something that can multi-task perfectly under my budget. 

Image from

Gosh! This is my best choice so far. My second recommendation to self is the Panasonic Lumix LX3. But then, rumours had been saying that the newer LX5 will be out within this period. I might need the camera in mid-August, where the video assignments for IDM will be in my schedule list.