Posts Tagged ‘lau’


For those of you who don’t know, Urqhart Castle is situated along Loch Ness, the famous lake which is home to the Loch Ness Monster.

Linzhi and I went to 1 tourist destination while I was in Scotland…as you can imagine, we went to see the Loch Ness. Unfortunately, it was pretty cold that day and Nessie didn’t make an appearance. However, we made the most of it and got some good shots throughout the day.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – Linzhi is better than me at portraits.

Its annoying…but its true…take a look at the shots below (by the way, these following shots are straight from camera only threw in the border):

I was trying to re-enact the Nicholas Cage pose in National Treasure. Credit to Linzhi for taking the photo.

Of course, it could simply be the striking self pose made by yours truly…or more likely the camera recognized that it was in the presence of pure awesomeness. In any case, its a lot better than mine which is below:

Then again, Linzhi didn’t go all the way to the top where the composition is at its most awesome perspective. Yeah, I guess I could argue until the cows come home but at the end of the day the result shows.






…because there are other areas where I ooze awesomeness and Linzhi is hopeless…behold Linzhi’s attempt to take a picture of me jumping in mid-air (once again straight from camera):

Epic fail. If I took more photos at the spot above I’d have made at least one nice one as well!

I, on the other hand took a single shot:

Behold, awesomeness requires no post processing whatsoever!

Ok, enough about that, we’ll leave our sibling rivalry to another post (and by the way I’m on the path the pure awesome portraiture! What’s with me and awesomeness today?! …must be craving my unwatched How I Met Your Mother episodes…which by the way if you readers have yet to see please start. Its LEGENDARY!

Ok, moving onto the purpose of this post – Loch Ness.

Behold Urqhart Castle. Once a marvellous inpenetrable stronghold, now a ruin of torn down stones and rubble.

It does however overlook the Loch Ness. The lake by the way, is huge! Its like a small ocean because it just spans til forever…it goes all the way to North England…back in the day the Engligh and Scots were enemies…and so the English regularly came up the river to attack the Scots via the lake.

The Castle itself was beautiful. Actually the post although it says Loch Ness and Urqhart Castle is more about me and Linzhi taking pictures of whatever!

This is Linzhi’s proud as heck shot using the wide angle lens after my lecture on how difficult it is to compose a shot at 10mm (15mm Full Frame equiv.)

An old school slingshot that was used to defend the castle.

After much ado, Linzhi finally nailed a shot of me in mid air!

Linzhi shadow play.

Space Conscious Stairs.

Oh, this next pic is cool…as we were exploring the castle I saw a teeny tiny hole in the wall…it looked like this:

Pinhole photography? READ THE POST TO FIND OUT!

So, I slapped on my wide angle lens and poked it out of the hole at the side of the castle risking scratching the lens. I took another shot and what came out amazed me. I threw on the Cokin P 0.6 soft edge Grad ND filter and took a couple of shots to get the composition I wanted.

What resulted is a beautiful view of Loch Ness.

Behold, the Famous Loch Ness.

On our way out there was a rather interesting wall which had what I assume to be farewell in manu languages…my assumption is based on the “Selamat Jalan” that was written…

Selamat Jalan

We finished our little exploration day early and didn’t want to wait for the bus so we walked half an hour back to Drumnadochit Village…along the way we saw a sign with black and white arrow points. I told Linzhi to stick her head to the point so it looked as if it was pointing to her head! …as we were taking the picture a car drove by and the occupants must’ve been thinking what Asian weirdos we were…

It was so funny at the time we couldn’t stop laughing about it!

On Chinese New Year Eve my family and I went on a road trip to Marken, North Holland. Its a little plot of land surrounded by water and is almost an island if it wasnt for the piece of land that stretches all the way out to the mainland which is how motor vehicles access the place.

As asians we always have to make numerous pit stops before we reach our destination. These are some of the shots that were taken along the way…


Mummy obviously enjoying herself…

This is really one of the best places to put in a windmill…its SUPER windy!

On the left is the road, right is the bicycle path.

When we finally arrived we were greeted with beautiful seascapes, vintage houses and some very cozy restaurant/cafes…

Of course no dutch tourist spot is complete without a bar serving its legendary beer!

Mum and Dad

As you can imagine it didn’t take us very long to get lost…

This is cool! Jiaxen noticed this dude riding on a bike and so I quickly burst off a few shots in his direction…This is the only one I could salvage. What was so interesting you might ask? …he’s wearing CLOGS! -you know, those wooden shoes! They actually still wear them! (thats why the watermark had to be moved away from blocking it).

I noticed these clothes hanging outside one of the houses. I think this adequately represents their lifestyle and culture. Also, it was a B&W scene just asking to be taken…

I think I’m getting better at seeing things in black and white…Before I would never “see” the world in B&W but I’m slowly noticing some things which is wonderful! I have a great appreciation for black and white photographers because its one of the two main areas of photography that I feel I could really push the envelope with if I just practice a little more – the other one is portraiture.

Mummy and the lil guy! …in front of a green house!

As you can clearly see we had to ZIP UP coz its was freezing! …so we decided to go to a nearby cafe to warm up and eat some POFFERTJES!!! Poffertjes (pronounced [pɔfəɹcəs]) is a dutch pancake thats delicious! Unfortunately I’m not one of those who like to take pictures of my food…perhaps I should start? I did however take a portrait of my mum…

Mummy enjoying her coffee…

My favourite shot of the day is below…just before we went into the cafe we headed out to the coastline where the wind is strongest! I used a Hitech 0.6 soft edge graduated neutral density filter to get this shot…Should’ve used the Tian Ya 0.9 one but was too lazy once I zipped up my bag.

Here it is:

I went with the square framing not because I liked it but because of the cars on the upper left hand side which distracted from the composition. Thats the annoying thing about ultra wide angle lenses!

After that we headed home because we had a Chinese New Year’s Eve dinner that we had to attend…I took just two group shots of the two tables which are below. (Sorry I can’t remember all the names so I just didn’t bother)

women and childrens table

women and childrens table.

Mens table

Men’s table. I was on this table. I’m a man. – true story

“JIAREN” Ambigram Logo

January 24, 2009

Hey, just thought I’d post something I created…idea came to me while listening to a sermon (but obviously not really listening) a couple Sundays back and I started doodling on them church handout thingiemajigs…

In case some of you don’t know, an ambigram is a graphical figure that spells out one or more words not only in its form as presented, but also in another direction or orientation (definition from Wikipedia). In other words, you can turn the word upside down and it will still spell the same thing…like the ones you’ll see in that new movie “Angels and Demons”.

I tried to create an ambigram logo of my name. I got the basic design before church finished but the hard part came when it came to digitizing it. Here is the original draft:

Mr. blurrycam strikes again. Sorry the pic is straight from the iPhones crappy camera.

Mr. blurrycam strikes again. Apologies for the crap picture. Its straight from the iPhones crappy camera.

Anyway, as I was saying, the hard part is digitizing it. You see I’ve been trying to figure out how to use the pen tool found in Adobe’s Photoshop for several months…about 6 months to be exact. The beauty of the pen tool is that it exists in a vector scale format. That means that unlike pictures which you zoom in the the picture gets pixelated and becomes worse and worse, a vector formatted image can be blow up as big a possible while retaining the original clarity and sharpness.

…and now a word to all the graphic designers out there: I know what you’re thinking. Screw Illustrator. If I wanted to learnt illustrator I would…but I’m a photographer. I loooooooooooove photoshop!

So for the past few months I’ve been trying to use the pen tool but end up not going anywhere. This “project” really helped jump start me in learning the basics of the pen tool…so I can now draw custom shapes that look pretty and are vector formatted.

After 2 days (yes – 2 days!) of working on my logo I finally completed one that mildly satisfies. By 2 days I actually mean 2 nights as I was only on it from like midnight to the wee hours of morning which is sleepy time for mua. The first day I completed it and that was version 1. The next day I made it less “edgy” and more “curvy” which took about the same amount of time to make the whole thing in the first place. That was version 2. The curves no longer went with the underline and so I played around with it and I noew present to you version 2.1 of my ambigram logo:

It reads "Jiaren" this way as well as upside-down.

It reads "Jiaren" this way as well as upside-down.

…and now for the dissapointing part:

Later on I was googling ambigram and came across an ambigram creator. This intrigued me and so I threw in my name to see what would come out…much to my surprise the created ambigram which only took a couple of seconds to recreate looked SO MUCH BETTER THAN MINE!!! I was a little bit annoyed but the experience taught me a lot.

Comments and/or critique anyone? (besides the obvious need to refine it).