Posts Tagged ‘Stephanie Lua’

Strobing and Misc

July 4, 2009

You know, its beeen a while since I went out shooting just for the fun of it! …and when I come to think about it, thats what its REALLY about!

Its when I’m free from obligations that I actually push myself. Why I don’t know. I guess its because when I’m shootin’ for myself, I’m shooting against myself…and myself is very competitive…geddit? Also, I don’t feel confined to do what I know works and works well…instead I do things that others don’t think about…what others don’t see…and most importantly, what others couldn’t be bothered turn a second glance at.

Its when I can look at something simple. Something everyday. Something “normal”. For example, a calculator:


Ok, nothing really special about that…just wanted an excuse to show off the tiny DOF of an f/1.2! Thats right! 50mm f/1.2 right there…at 50cm the DOF is a mere 6mm!!! SHWEEEEET!!! Here are a couple of shots taken at f/1.2…



Notice how sharp the web in focus is? I don’t know why everyone keeps complaining about the f/1.2s?! They’re tack sharp wide open!


Someone founds this little bead on the floor at church so I took a picture of it…(after the service of course…)


Toowoomba’s own shopping mall – Grand Central.


This, my friends, is where the f/1.2 REALLY shines! The picture is taken handheld at 1/60 with nothing more than a dim street lamp!

After that,…well…actually it was before that coz I just recently got the f/1.2…We were testing the shoot through umbrella for strobing…



No comment.


Needless to say this post will contain excessive Steph.


Poor guinea pig Steph has to become my model for all my weird shooting needs…

After some fun indoor portraits we went outside to shoot some more portraits…real strobist stuff! This next picture is definitely my fave of this set! Check them out!



By the way, thie series of outdoor portraits were taken at the University of Southern Queensland’s Japanese Garden…





I also really like this above picture…


Thanks Steph!

Thats about it for today…I also took some pictures of the Brisbane Floating Boardwalk which I’ve already uploaded on Flickr…will post about it tomorrow…I still have a lot of these sort of shots lying aroung the HDD but I needed to get some of it out to make space for next week. If you didn’t know I’m going to the Hillsong Conference in Sydney next week. We’re leaving this Sunday morning so I’ll try to keep the blog updated as the conference is held…Its gonna be LEGENDARY!

Mission Trip to Cambodia

February 1, 2009

My travel holiday officially started on the 13th December 2008. I’m pretty sure this is the best holiday ever! …and the best part: ITS NOT EVEN OVER YET!!! too bad Steph is in M’sia…would be nice to have her company :(

Anyway, so my holiday goes like this:





**drove back to Holland: LONDON – FRANCE – BELGIUM – HOLLAND (28 Dec ’08)


ABERDEEN – LONDON (04 Feb ’09)

LONDON – KUALA LUMPUR – MIRI (05 – 06 Feb ’09)

MIRI – KUALA LUMPUR (18 Feb ’09)

KUALA LUMPUR – SINGAPORE (dunno…unbought)


sort of complicated but you get the idea...

sort of complicated but you get the idea...

*Phew* thats a heck of an itinerary huh? now you know the backlog of my blog posts, haha…and so, I present the Captain’s Log.

Day 1: 13th December 2008

I am embarking on my journey around the world in 70 days. Weather is calm, flight departure is on time. Stephanie is accompanying me for the first leg of the journey. No events to report.

Day 2: 14th December 2008

Safely arrive at Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Retrieved luggage and proceeded through immigration. Upon exiting the terminal, taxi driver with my name is present. Two hours drive to Ipoh to visit my grandmother and relatives, as well as little 1 year, 8 month old Eanne.

Grandma and grand daughter

Grandma and grand daughter

Fumbly hands ...check.

Fumbly hands ...check.

Dudgy feet ...check.

Pudgy feet ...check.

Girl talk ...check.

Girl talk ...check.

Headshot 1

Headshot 1

Headshot 2

Headshot 2

Head and Shoulder

Head and Shoulder


my failed attempt at hi-key...too lazy to photoshop...

Mother & Daughter 1 (My Auntie Chritz)

Mother & Daughter (My Auntie Chritz)

Father & Daughter (My Uncle Ming)

Father & Daughter (My Uncle Ming)

...and finish it off with a family portrait.

...and finish it off with a family portrait.

Day 3: 15th December 2008

Took train back down to Kuala Lumpur. Roamed around the city for a bit. First stop: NANDO’S CHICKEN!!! No events to report.

Day 4: 16th December 2008

Today we were scheduled to meet up five more of the people that would be accompanying us on the mission trip to Cambodia. However, they were only to arrive in the late afternoon. Therefore, Steph and I decided to pay a visit to the Bird Park in Lake Gardens. Unfortunately, on the way there the cab driver convinced us that the butterfly park wouldve been a better place to visit …and so, we went to the butterfly park instead.

taken by Steph at the Butterfly Park, Lake Gardens, Kuala Lumpur.

taken by Steph at the Butterfly Park, Lake Gardens, Kuala Lumpur.

This is kinda cool...not exactly a butterfly but who cares?

This is kinda cool...not exactly a butterfly so what is it?

Sigma 10-20mm @ f/16 + ND8 Cokin P154

Taken with Sigma 10-20mm @ f/16 + ND8 Cokin P154 (I love wide angles!)

Day 5: 17rd December 2008

Today we venture into the uncharted territories of…*drum roll* …CAMBODIA! *thunder in background*

We were on a mission trip to Phnom Penh where we would be ministering to three small villages as part of an outreach by New Life Fellowship (NLF), the organization which allowed us to come. They have been building the community for a couple of years now. They are basically a church that have provided the community with a place to worship and learn about God. Besides that, they also provide English lessons as well as computer training to the locals which greatly increase their chances of getting a decent job…and they’re VERY good too! Our translators were taught by NLC and are proficient in both English and Cambodian (obviously!)…Not only that but they provide medicine and first aid medical treatment to the locals. SO much so that the government has actually recognized their contribution to society and are actually funding them in some parts as their own hospitals and clinics are inadequate to meet the demand. Seriously, they’re very very good so if you are reading this I urge you to continue to pray for this organization and that Gods hand be upon them.

Upon arrival we were greeted by Pastor Kim and made our way to our accomodation by tuk-tuk.

Very dusty and my nose is very sensitive so I used my hanky to cover my face, hehe...

Very dusty and my nose is very sensitive so I used my hanky to cover my face, hehe...

Townview Hotel, our accomodation for the first 3 nights.

Townview Hotel, our accomodation for the first 3 nights.

Below is our first dinner. You can see the team from our Mission Trip. The first three on the left is Pastor Kim, an Australian pastor that moved here a couple of years ago. The two beside him are his wife and daughter.

From the Left side of the Table

From the Left side of the Table: Pastor Kim, Nicole, ?, Pastor Yew Meng, Seng Yee, Jason, Patrick, Andrix, Edna, Ben, Stephanie, and Auntie Elena.


As you can see they've already adapted to the local culture, hehe...

As you can see they've already adapted to the local culture...

Day 6: 18th December 2008

This was an awesome day! We went to a local program thingie where they look after small children including first aid medical attention and washing of their feet. However, the main purpose of the program is to expose these youngsters to Christ and Christianity. We had a blast, we were humbled, we were amazed, we were so blessed that day…and…







Lousy stupid friggin #%#@%!!!!!!!!!

In my defense, I didn’t actually forget, it was that I woke up late for breakfast so instead of walking back to the hotel and taking my bag I had to go straight to the church from the restaurant…

…at least I managed to get some pictures of what we did at night. I’ll let the pictures tell the story:


We visited this house sort of like a boys hostel which housed quite a lot of them. We were invited for dinner and got to know some of them.


You can see me in my "relentless for Christ" shirt...the guy to my right is Si Hua, the guy I met and got to know a little bit better. Credit to Steph for taking the picture.

After that, we prayed for them and took a nice group photo. (the houses in Cambodia are such that they're great for taking these kinds of group pics)

After that, we prayed for them and took a nice group photo. (the houses in Cambodia are such that they


Even though we were only there for an hour or so we felt that we had really bonded. However, it was time to bid farewell and it was really quite touching.

Day 7: 19th December 2008

Today we had a day off…a day completely to ourselves. What normal people do on such an occasion is to visit the Angkor Wut…one of the 7 wonders of the world! …but instead we go to a museum of torture and the killing fields where a regime that took place was so cruel and so merciless that their exploits made Hitler look like kindergarden.


Toulsleng Genocide Musuem


Read it. Seriously. Read it.


Pictures too small to see...but basically what they do is hoist the prisoners up by their hands which are tied behind their back. They automatically hang upside down. The torturers interrogate them until they pass out. Then, they are lowered so their head go inside the pots which are filled with some smelly fertilizer thing. This causes them to immediately regain consciousness so the interrogation can continue.


This picture depicts how they kill babies. The first torturer throws the babies in the air. The second holds a rifle up towards the baby. On the tip of the rifle is a knife. The baby falls on the knife which pierces it before the torturer flicks the baby onto the mass pile of bodies of previous babies. Some babies do not immediately die but because of blood loss.

This was just the beginning. There are many more but I’ll stop there. Theres more gruesomeness to come…Next, we paid a visit to the killing fields, where thousands of people were slaughtered to death and left to die in mass graves which are all over the place.


Choeungek Genocidal Center. Credit Will for taking the photo. (I think)


The Killing Tree. Another form of how babies were killed. The executioner would hold the baby by thier feet, swing their head against the tree so that they crack open their skulls, and thrown into a pit (which is just to the right of the tree which I didnt picture).


See those indents in the ground? Each one holds the remains of over 100 bodies.


This monumet was erected to pay respects to the people who were killed during this time. The centre is housed with thousands of human skulls which have been excavated from the killing fields and placed on shelves.


Will decided he should start giving money away...nah, just kidding, but thats what we thought!


The Royal Palace - at least the gate anyway.

After a full day out around the town we went back to Pastor Kims “Healing Home” The healing home concept is hie brainchild where a set of decentralized houses act as a sort of nursing home or clinic where they can take care of the less fortunate and people who cannot afford to stay in private (or public) hospitals. Instead of having a single hospital like building, his plan is to have at least one healing home in ever province and eventually in every town or village. Below is the first healing home. They provide basic ammenities free of charge and at present can accomodate 4-6 people.


This is one of the rooms where patients stay. On the bottom right you can see a door. That leads to the attached toilet.


This is the toilet. Its basic but sufficient.

In case you’re wondering, they don’t simply give medicine to the patients. If the case is severe, they will have the patient examined beforehand by a certified practitioner before following carefully their treatment procedure. They employ certified nurses to administer the treatments.


After that we had dinner at a nice little coffee shop. Our group was so big that we took the entire upstairs area! lol...Credit Ben for taking the picture.

Day 8: 20th December 2008

Today we checked out of Townview Hotel on our quest to the remote parts of the country. We visited a place called Kampong Thom, some 3 hours drive North (I think) of Phnon Penh, the capital city.


On the way there we stopped at a petrol station for a toilet break. This is an interesting petrol station. Scroll down to find out why.


There are four steps to the operation of this technology. It really makes you appreciate what we have.

Step 1: Put the nozzle into the petrol tank of the vehicle.

Step 2: Push the flap so that the petrol flows into the vehicle. This is done by something called gravity.

Step 3: Watch the measurement on the side of the cylinder to see how much petrol was released. This calculates the cost of the petrol.

Step 4: Rotate the lever so petrol pumps up into the cylinder once again and stop when the measurement hits zero “0″.

Simple as that.


When we arrived for lunch beside the hotel which we stayed at we were greeted with the sight on deep fried crickets. Needless to say I tried it. ...can't say it tastes like chicken though!

After our lunch (which did NOT consist of insects) we had a little bit of time to unwind before heading to our first destination in Kampong Thom.


This is the church where the first celebration took place. The house in the background in the church and they erected a stage outside to accommodate enough people.


While they were setting up stage we played volleyball with the local kids! Thanks KEC otherwise I'd be uber crap.


When the celebration began it was already dark.


They had singing...


They had breakdancing...


...and as you can see there was a lot of people!


Finally, it was our turn. We presented 3 songs. Credit to Auntie Elena for taking the picture.

You cant see it from the picture but at the time there were bugs flying all over our heads and it was so difficult to try pretend that it wasn’t bothering us! After we finished our presentation we headed back straight away because it was already late and it wasn’t exactly a “friendly” neighbourhood.

Day 9: 21st December 2008

The very next day we were to visit a small local church. By small and mean REALLY small. Our pastor was set to preach today. Of course there were translators there too.


The wide angle lens literally got the whole church in this shot. Is a small zink hut with a zink roof.


We wore our C2C shirts today. Can anyone guess what it stands for? It says "R U C2C?".


Heres a shot of the congregation from the front.


This is the pastor of the local church.


We also did half the praise and worship. We did actions with our songs and got the congregation to join in as well!


Needless to say we were quite thirsty after that.


After the service we gave all the little children gift bags which had different things ranging from Koala key chains (see pic.) to Australian candy bars!


Group photo of the whole church.


Pastor noticed a motorcycle that belonged to the pastors wife who gave him permission to ride it. According to his wife (on bike) he used to bring her out like this when they were dating...over 20 years ago! Good times!

That night was our third and final appearance as we did the same thing as the first celebration but in a different church. Needless to say I won’t dwell into the details.


This was funny: Steph saw this cure little girl and wanted to take a picture with her. The other kids are like insects who are attracted to the light from the camera flashgun. After I took this shot Ben said he also wanted a picture with her but when the other kids noticed they quickly gathered around to be in the photo as well.


As the other kids crammed into the frame they ended up squishing the little girl (see pic) while Ben was still happily smiling to the camera. ...poor girl.


Later on in order to entertain them Jason thought of leading with the song "Christ is the Vessel" and its actions and the kids followed on...the kids follow everything you do...and so...that gave me and INGENIUS IDEA!


Thanks to Andy I started singing "MAKING MELODIES IN MY HEART"!!! ...and everybody followed! It was awesome!


As you can see once again this christmas celebration did in fact draw a huge audience!

And that was it for our mission trip. We were done. Finitimo. Habis. Kaput. The next day we were to catch our flight back to Kuala Lumpur (and for myself, Ben and Edna, straight on to Singapore).

Day 10: 22nd December 2008

The last day in Cambodia…and what do we do?

SHOPPING! We had a couple hourse to kill before we had to be at the airport.


They sell clothes, souvenirs, bags, ornaments, electronics, etc...


They also sell food and drinks!

To the Cambodians, this is the Russian Market

To the Australians, this is like the Sunday market.

To the Malaysians, this is like Petaling Street.

To the Dutch, this is like Hobbyma.

To the Scots, this is like Primark! haha!


back at the airport and all in one piece! The last group photo before we went our seperate ways.


Flying back to Kuala Lumpur.

After this, the three of us flew directly to Singapore. Thats Captains Log Day 11…and we’ll save that for another day.

Road Trips!

November 27, 2008

Oh don’t you just looooove road trips! so awesome…usually!

Today I’m gonna blog about two road trips that I went on recently…the first was to Brisbane which was to celebrate Matt’s birthday…you can see his face on the previous post…

His birthday is one the 16th November 2008. He “used” to be staying in Toowoomba until just recently when he was called away from us to go to Canberra and work for Telstra. The story itself is pretty cool…according to what I know it went something like this:

Matt had no plans to leave Toowoomba (regional Queensland for non-Australian exposed peeps)…but he was looking for a job. He sent in his resume to an online website on a Monday (read Day 1) and got an unexpected call within an hour regarding his resume! These sites usually take days if not weeks for applicants to respond but his must have been outstanding! The conversation went something along the lines of this:

“Hey, can you come down for an interview tomorrow?” A little stunned he inquired where the interview would be taking place. “Canberra”, came the reply. “We would like to hold an interview tomorrow if that’s possible”, continued the voice on the other side of the phone. “Erm…”, replied Matt. “I’m now in Toowoomba…in Queensland” (Its a 2 hr flight). The voice said, “oh, what about Wednesday?” Matt thought for a while and agreed to meet for an interview on Wednesday.

(Matt correct me if I’m wrong but thats how it went in my happy head). No, I wasn’t there…So anyway, Matt shelled out just enough money for the flight first thing Wednesday morning. He didn’t have much and was putting everything on the line.

Day 3.

Early morning Wednesday Matt flew to Camberra and back. I don’t know the details but he was exhausted after that. The next morning (Thursday) he got a call saying that he got the job and would be required to start working the following Monday!!! This meant that he would have 3 days to get everything packed up and ready to go as well as say bye to everyone here! He emptied out his room in record time and within 48hrs he was ready to leave Toowoomba…Needless to say we had plenty of flour, eggs and water ready to send him off…unfortunately I was taking pics on the Polaroid so I cant upload them but it was fun!

A couple months later, his birthday arrived and we went down to Brisbane to surprise him…just a few of us: Me, Justin, Derrick, Steph, and Deborah (- his girlfriend)


Dont have a portait pic of deborah coz she was dressing up to pick Matt up from the airport so we went out for dinner in the city…

The original plan was to get a cake and hide in the room then surprise matt when he got there but as you know murphy’s law superseeds plans – “Everything that can go wrong, will go wrong”. First up his flight got delayed by an hour. Bare in mind that Deborah and Matt had a room but the three of us still had to drive back to Toowoomba that night. Nevermind, we thought we’d have more time to go sightseeing…which was true because as we were walking we say some people dancing.

Its pretty cool coz they had ad DJ, choreographer and all that jazz…

Thats the choreographer…can barely see his mic…

Theres Mr. DJ and his supporters…

whoops…and heres Mr blurry cam…you know you need a new prime when the 50mm f/1.8D isn’t fast enough…can’t wait to upgrade to the f/1.4…but gonna wait til the new f/1.4G comes out…

This one:

Nikon Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G
Nikon Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G

It looks so much better than its older brother which is trialed and proven.

Nikon Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D
Nikon Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D

Kinda wish Nikon would release an f/1.2 though…may be only half a stop faster than a 1.4 and prices would be overkill but why not? Canon has one… :(


back to the dancing…there were some people really getting into it…

Quite a cool thing they had going there…anyway, we later on found out that Matt’s flight wasn’t delayed…rather the flight before his got cancelled and the people on that one was pushed to his flight which still managed to leave on time! …so they were at the hotel and we weren’t…Of course once we knew we immediately drove off…Deborah managed to get him to go out for a while while we snuck into the room with a 2nd key card to the room…

Matt and Deborah

He was quite surprised although I kinda gave it away by forgetting to turn off the bathroom lights…all in all it was a fun day…plus, we had just finished our exams the day before and it was fun to get out…we had a good chat until about 1.30am in the morning…

just chilling..
just chilling..

When we left we made the mistake for following Derricks no-name-brand GPS which led us to some weird place with no electricity and half the road closed…I had enough when I heard the following instructions:

“Follow the course of the road until further instructions”

We doubled back all the way to the city (which meant we wasted 1+ hour and I took my own way back…the way which was familiar to me.