Sunday, January 31, 2010

Unexpected Jitters

Alas, in less than a wee month I will be in Lembeh on a trip that I have been dreaming of for the last 8 months. However over the weekend, I have unexpectantly developed some jitters over the trip. I began to realise that I may have been having high hopes and expectations for the trip. No doubt it will be a very good trip but I think I have to manage my expectations a bit better and remind myself that I am there to dive and take cool under (and above) water pictures and nothing else. I think I am worried that I will find myself having to keep up with and be as good as everyone else... I must perish this train of thought!

I am there for me and me only and to do what I love best....and I will be glad to have the wifey with me.

Underwater Photography..

I admit that now that I can afford to enjoy this hobby and all the related gear that comes with it reasonably well, it is easy to be blase about it. I have to remind myself that this stuff don't come cheap and that I have to limit myself. There will always be people out there more experienced, will take better pictures and have better gear than me. The trick is not having to feel like you have to keep up. I do this for me and me alone. I don't make a living out of it and if people enjoy what I take then it's a plus.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Exciting Trips for Back Home

Although it is sad that Heisham will be leaving us soon, it will be a happy time for me when I return home next month (I finally get to say "next month!). Apart from my much anticipated trip to Lembeh, Heisham and I will be off to Siem Reap to visit the Angkor ruins for about a day and a half. Yes it is short but we will narrow down what we specifially want to see.
It is always wonderful to do such a trip with a fellow photographer and natural early riser.
This being my second trip, I am now more aware of the kind of images I would like to make and have narrowed down the cameras and systems I will bring with me.
I think of Angkor and the image of a lost holy city being found and reclaimed from the jungle comes to mind. This lost holy city would consist of some beautifully sculpted apsaras that have previously been hidden by undergrowth and co-existed with wild untamed nature for the last few centuries...until now.
As a result of Angkor being revealed to the world and being declared a World heritage Site, hordes of tourist from around the world have descended onto this place and as a natural result, touts and vendors have flourished.

So therefore my main themes will be as follows,

1. Old dark ruins of an old holy city re-emerging from the jungle (B & W for added drama)
2. Beautiful faded craftmanship of Aspara sculptures co-existing with nature ie moss covered etc
3. Young child vendors representing new life being breathed into Angkor.

To acheive the above I will use the following systems

1. Nikon FE 2 with Nikkor 28 mm f2.8 and Red Filter with Ilford Delta 400 (B&W film)
2. Nikon D700 with 85mm f1.8 mm (for portraits)
3. Leica M6 with Summicron 50mm f2 with Fuji Velvia (for general use, a roll or two of Ilford Delta 3200 will also be brought along for night shots)

I have reminded myself time and time again in the past to travel light. Ah to be free of encumbrances and just wonder around with one body and one lens. However I am always torn between getting the kind of images I want and doing what would be as stress and care free as possible. And seeing how we only have a day and half to do this, I think I would opt for the former.

Apart from the Siem Reap trip, the following Saturday will see Beaver, Heisham and I go on a short road trip across the border to Kukup in Johor Bahru. There will be seafood, there will be durians and there will be Ramly Burger! Mmmmmm! And of course, more photography.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Dwindling Dubai Company

Alas the time has come. We all knew it was going to happen sooner or later. Heisham's efforts at securing a better job back home has finally paid off and soon he will be back home with Deutsche Bank.

Heisham photographs some fishermen's catch

Heisham of course is over the moon at being able to finally get out of here. He has had enough of Dubai and who can blame him. I imagine that having to deal with the local bureaucracies and what nots can take it's toll on you pretty fast. First it was Beaver and now Heisham. And Heisham and Beaver will almost be office neighbours although Beaver is with Barclays.

Heisham (and Beaver) were instrumental in my well being during my early days here in Dubai. I have to admit that having Heisham live 300m down the road from me has been a real blessing. When I didn't have a driving license yet, having Heisham live 300m away was a God send. It made participating in our frequent outings that much easier and if I dare say, less guilt free, (apart from say having to drive across town to pick me up). I am glad to say that I am now able to repay him for all the favours.

Heisham's last day in Dubai is the 4th of March. I would have left for home by then on the 23rd February and Heisham will be shacking up at my empty place. Once heisham is gone, that will leave only Kamar and Shireen left here in Dubai.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

39 Days...

As of today, it is 39 more days 'til I am home. We've been through all this before, the counting down, the anticipation and the increased thoughts of home.
In previous cases it used to help me fall asleep just thinking of the process of leaving my Dubai apartment, checking into the airport and wondering around the airport waiting for my flight.

This time around I think I try to avoid this thought process because I know for this trip home I will be laden with dive equipment and underwater camera gear so it isn't really an exciting thought. This time however I imagine myself getting off the plane at Terminal 3, arriving home and lugging all my gear up those stairs, stepping in, sitting in front of the fish tank to see how they are doing, dumping my stuff in my room and then heading off again to get in 3 days of as much shopping and catching up I can do before flying off to Manado.

I like to imagine the little things now - like the interior of the cab that takes me home, the high number of hatchbacks on the road, the sound of the traffic outside my room, the late sleepless nights I will encounter, my first bite of Sushi Tei or Mos Burger. And once it all happens it will as always, feel as if I've just come out of a dream. Or maybe it's that i walked into one. Either way I am looking forward to being home again. Who wouldn't be?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Coming home to a Home Cooked meal

Coming home to a home cooked this I can get used to! However I realise that I am lucky in this respect. I know that in most cases, both partners in a marriage work day jobs, especially back home in Singapore and neither would have the strength or inclination to want to whip up a meal after getting back from work. However the wifey here is currently not working and and has taken up cooking. In my opinion she has had more hits then misses and I truely am the fortunate one. So this is what it's all about. :)

By the way it's pineapple rice and tom yam soup.