Archive for the ‘Featured’ Category

Toowoomba Motocross Club

January 22, 2010

Yup, Toowoomba has its own motocross club! I’ve driven past it on a few occasions but never thought to take a look…until now.

I dropped off Aaron at home (which is just outside the race track) and heard such a racket that we just had to be a busybody. So, off we were straight from church with Steph still in her high heels walking down a gravel road to see what all the commotion was about.

We were greeted by this sign:

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I guess having a race is an exception then?

You can see Steph struggling in her high heels (notice the appropriate footwear in the picture above?)

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I guess you can’t really tell after all…by the way, Coca Cola and 100 Plus is not endorsing us, lol. Moving on, the road to the track is quite a steep drop which gives quite a nice vantage point for photogs. Me being my lazy self when not being paid couldn’t be bothered to change lenses so you can only see the starting line and a bit of the track.

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One of the first shots I got was my personal favourite. Its the one thats in the slideshow at the top of the page (if you have the patience to wait long enough because its the last picture before it loops again.

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The one thing I didn’t like was the guy that happened to be standing there right behind the bike as I took the picture. “Don’t worry, you’re not blind…you can’t see him there coz I did what any good photographer would do – photoshop”. Sometimes I amaze even myself. If you know me and have followed my work you’ll know I like to get the shot right in camera. Having said that, if an object in the frame doesn’t add to the composition, its taking away from it. Heres the original before my half hour of photoshop magic:

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Yes, I know – applaud my genius.

After taking some shots where the crowd was I went scouting for a better angle. I found a place right at the edge of the fence where I was up close and personal with the riders. There was even a conveniently places hole in the fence for me to stick my lens through. It was a tight corner as the came zooming up a slight incline before taking this sharp left turn where the proceeded downhill.

Check out all the dirt being kicked up!

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I’ll bet theres a motivational quote somewhere in there. This next one are of two riders fighting for the championship:

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I was happy with the shots from that sharp right and decided I needed to practice some panning action. I didn’t do so well. As a matter of fact, this is the only one I dare show you. The rest are garbage.

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When one race finishes, another begins. Thats great as you get to see the jump in a group.

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BIG AIR!

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By this time the annoying pestering of both a best friend and a girlfriend to ditch this joint had pushed me to my limit so I gave in and went home…but not before taking one last jump!

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Side note: Aaron (the dude in the picture), just arrived back in Australia after visiting the UK for holidays. While he was there, he and his family visited the TATE musuem where you can record a short video clip and send it to a friend. Little did he know he was going to share it with the world!

ITS FREEZING! ITS FREEZING! hahaha…enjoy!

As previously promised, I am flooding my blog with posts. This is for all you “Jiaren, you never update your blog” people. However, I’ll probably write some draft posts and leave this one headlining for a while just because this is what I should be doing more and I really like the results.

So anyway, this story began a long time ago…but that not important. Whats important is that it ended just a little while ago. Last Monday to be exact. Thats the day Jun left to go back to Malaysia. The day before that, Jun asked if I would be able to photograph our group at our university’s own Japanese Garden.

Of course I could!

We arranged to meet at the gardens at 4.30pm so obviously I made it a point to be  there by 5.30pm…

which I did…

…barely.

Good news is we all got there eventually and almost everyone obeyed the “all black” dress code.

We started off at the far side of the garden where there was a couple nice sheltered benches which would be suitable for a large group portrait. We tried a couple of shots but the sun was way too glaring so we swapped around and shot into the Sun. I set up two lights on both sides of the camera to makes sure everyone was evenly lit while I pull down the background exposure. Here are the results:

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JunsFarewellByJiarenLau-9541I took over a hundred shots but I’ve weeded them to these few to keep from boring you, my dearest readers. After 20 minutes of positioning the lights, posing everybody, and getting the shot right without people blinking, we got some really good shots before moving onto the big red door. I like this door.By the way, have you guessed which one is Jun yet?

JunsFarewellByJiarenLau-9559See the smartie pants that didn’t conform to the dress code? *Ahem* *ahem* Will and Jun (Not the Jun thats leaving, we have two Juns in our group). Let me introduce you to the group.

From Left to Right: Will, Ted, Sabrina, Wilson, Stephanie, Neo, Jun, Ben, Edna, Shin Yong, Jun.

Next up is our group of lovely ladies in black.

JunsFarewellByJiarenLau-9567I like the above shot except for the cross shadows which make the girls look flashed straight on and defeats the purpose of strobing. (Phototip: The lights are meant to “look” natural and inconspicuous).

JunsFarewellByJiarenLau-9573Now with two flashguns shooting camera left at full zoom we can bring the background down to exposure without loosing the foreground. Remember shadows are our friends and almost this entire series was shot with the flash on full power or close to it.

Next we did some creative shots and laughed the whole way through.

This next shot is the “Eww, Yuck, its Jun” shot:

JunsFarewellByJiarenLau-9577This next one is the “PHeeewWWWIIiTTtTTT, Hubba hubba, it’s gorgeous Jun!!!”:

JunsFarewellByJiarenLau-9581This next one is just…well…I like the composition.JunsFarewellByJiarenLau-9583So have you guessed which one is Jun yet? Now we come to our hero, “Neo, the ladies man”:

JunsFarewellByJiarenLau-9588…or would you prefer, “Neo, you disgust me!” look?:

JunsFarewellByJiarenLau-9593Okay, enough of that…lets move on to more group shots ya?! Moving not more than 30 meters away is the Zen garden. The little pebbles on the ground were beautifully carved when we got there. It looked like crap when we were done, haha!

JunsFarewellByJiarenLau-9608In retrospect these pics remind me of the Friends series opening sequence…

JunsFarewellByJiarenLau-9610Don’t you love how it looks in black and white…when everybody conforms to the dress code? Will and Jun had already left by this time because they had other stuff to do.

JunsFarewellByJiarenLau-9611Every good Japanese garden has a red bridge so it wouldn’t feel complete if we didn’t take a shot there:

JunsFarewellByJiarenLau-9622Theres actually four bridges at our Japanese garden. This is one of the smaller ones. In the middle of the garden is a small island which I’ve found to be a great spot for photographs! By now we were quickly loosing light and were about to wrap up so we quickly had to get it over with. Once the lights were set up I was ready to go. Check out the reflections!

JunsFarewellByJiarenLau-9633Sort of has a “The Bold and the Beautiful” theme going on, hey? Heres another:

JunsFarewellByJiarenLau-9636You can see the flash in the picture which I felt would pass as a lamp post or something. I tried to clone it out but preferred it like this. At this point we were exhausted and ready to pack up. Jun had other plans. She wanted one last shot with Ben, Edna, and Neo so with plenty of people around I used them as assistants to finally get some use out of the umbrellas which I’d been lugging around all day without using for fear of them being blown by the wind. Its happened once and broke the flash that way. I had just got it too!

JunsFarewellByJiarenLau-9640Thanks for reading all the way to the bottom! If you enjoyed what you saw please leave me a comment! Send me feedback, what I should or should not be doing! critic! We all learn from our mistakes. Let me leave by saying I appreciate criticism a lot more than flattery so don’t hesitate if there was something bothering you that you thought would look better only if…(I’ll leave the rest to you)

Take care and God bless,

Jiaren

On the 22nd of August, 2009 – my family made a holiday trip to Australia. They arrived in Queensland for a couple of days before travelling to Sydney in New South Wales, Melbourne in Victoria, and back to Brisbane in Queensland respectively.

Before I get ahead of myself let me introduce you to the family.

TheLauFamilyOk, Genius…so Linzhi wasn’t there with the rest of us…shes busy finishing her dissertation…but for the sake of the introduction lets just assume she was there.

Far Left is my dad, the big man, the boss, Mr. Lau Nai Kwong…2nd is the lil guy, the cutest boy genius aka the “uleee”/ooh-man, its Mr. Jiaxen Lau. The “subtle” copy/paste job is my “can’t live with her/can’t live without her” sister, Linzhi. She came to visit me earlier this month and I’ll get around to blogging that soon…in the meantime last but not least is the perfectionist, the financial accountant of the family, the Queen Bee – Mrs. Khoo Khau Tze.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way lets get on with it shall we…

We headed off to Stradbroke Island to let them experience first hand the scenery that Australia has to offer…

On the way there we took the Calypso Catamaran ferry to take us to the island itself. My lil bro really enjoyed the wind blowing on his face…

TheLauFamily-6527We took the North Gorge bushwalk along the coast of the island where my parents especially enjoyed the fresh air…

TheLauFamily-6540See how touristy my dad looks? Cap. check. trainers. check. shorts. check.  sunglasses. check. camera around neck. check. T-shirt with more than one colour. check. Yup! Tourists alright! The funniest part is I told him that Toowoomba is pretty cold even though Australia was beginning to warm up so he didn’t bother bringing any shorts! The one in the picture was the only pair which he bought a couple of hours earlier at a shopping mall on the way to the ferry port.

A good 10 minutes walk and we arrived at a “Footpath Closed” sign. We backtracked and took the other entrance to the bushwalk (its a circuit) and 20 minutes later we arrived at the best lookout on the island. Here you can see sting rays swimming below as well as dolphins, turtles, and if you’re lucky – whales! They particularly enjoyed the sound of the waves hitting the rocks below.

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TheLauFamily-6567There were also some friends sitting at the edge of a cliff that I thought would make a nice B&W.

TheLauFamily-6561As I had already been there before, I didn’t take that many photos. Pop made me hold his cam so I was using that instead. Good coz I can make the post a little shorter :)

We stayed til sunset before taking the ferry back to the mainland. I love sunset!

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TheLauFamily-6587We sure had a good time! The following days we went to Warner Bros Movie World and the Wet ‘n’ Wild Water theme park! My old timers went to Movie World but not the waterpark…

TheLauFamily-6706This was an interesting roller coaster…it accelerates like a drag race car from the start even going uphill! Very different from your usual coasters. My fave was the Lethal Weapon one though but I was too busy enjoying myself to take pics! For obvious reasons I didn’t bring my camera to the waterpark so we’ll end it here.

This next pic is especially for my sister, Linzhi. Pop wanted to show her how long he’d grown his beard before he’d have to shave it off for my graduation…(oh yeah, the reason they came was for my graduation which took place after they got back from their “around-the-east-coast-of-australia” trip. In their absence Steph’s mum and cousin came and we brought them to the Australia Zoo at the Sunshine Coast! Check it out when I blog about it next!

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