Posts tagged event

10 years after 9-11

“I feel this way about it. World trade means world peace and consequently the World Trade Center buildings in New York … had a bigger purpose than just to provide room for tenants. The World Trade Center is a living symbol of man’s dedication to world peace … beyond the compelling need to make this a monument to world peace, the World Trade Center should, because of its importance, become a representation of man’s belief in humanity, his need for individual dignity, his beliefs in the cooperation of men, and through cooperation, his ability to find greatness.”
~ Minoru Yamasaki

September 11 touched more people than most people realize. Even me, sitting twelve timezones away from New York City, literally halfway around the world was affected in some way. First of all, I’ve been to New York City twice and one year ago, I stood on the top of one of the towers, admiring the view that is now gone. My brother studied in New York State, two of my classmates from college worked in the big apple. And on that fateful day, I have three cousins working in New York City. Beyond the tragedy lies the immense courage, outpouring of resolve, and the strength of character to carry the day, without which I think this would have been a real tragedy indeed. Some say this was New York’s darkest moment, but it’s also New York’s finest I think.

“Tragedy” by Maggie Magee Molino © 2001-2002 (WebAperture Member)

Amid the smoking rubble a cloaked figure wandered slowly through the gray powdery mist as though He were floating.
Beams of light followed Him and created a veil of sorrow. (Can you see Him?)

Silent tears streaked the dust filled faces of those who survived, and in the distance,
the sounds of bagpipes filled the thick and acrid air with a shrill mournful tune. (Can you hear it?)

Husbands, fathers, wives, mothers, sons, and daughters, friends and colleagues, those who just a few short hours before had kissed their loved ones good-bye saying, “I’ll be home” or “See you later” were burned and buried under tons of twisted steel. (Can you see them?)

As sun began to set, the billowing smoke glowed with an eerie light, and a stillness fell over the land –
There were so few survivors. (Will you weep for them?)

The cloaked figure lifted His arms to the sky and sobbed in a voice so heartbroken that the sound still echoes through the entire universe. (Can you hear Him?)
~~His name is GOD

Shot completely on Kodak Supra 400 and Kodak EliteChrome 200. Scanned on a Nikon Coolscan LS-30.

10th Anniversary of SEMOA

Mid-June, SEMOA celebrated their 10th anniversary at Metro Tabernacle church in KL with a lot of worship, dance and the launch of the BM worship CD. Gracing the occasion was YB Dato Seri Idris Jala and family. Also in attendance was Henry K Pillai of Grace Community Services, Patrick Lau from Calvary Assembly Singapore and Ong Sek Leang, Senior Pastor of Metro Tabernacle church. They also had famed Indonesian Gospel singer Natasha Nikita.

2010 – The Year on Don’t Panik in Pictures

2010 – the year that was, through whatever lens or camera I happen to have at that time.

A year filled with blessings that overflow, with experiences that push me forward and upwards, with family and friends that remind me how rich and blessed I am with them around me.













Creative Asia Interview

A couple of years back, I photographed this old couple who make a living selling curry noodles. When I gave them their photos, they were overjoyed. They showed everyone in their little village. They said that they didn’t expect anyone to take their photo at all.

I guess this kind of feels like that. I don’t think I’d expect anyone to interview me at all! So I was pleasantly surprised when I was asked to be interviewed!

Click the photo if you’ve a Facebook Account to go to the Creative Asia Facebook page. Just unfortunate that I’m unable to make it to any of the workshops as the smaller class and hands-on learning is really worth it. I’m consoled by the fact that at least I’ll be there for the three days of the conference! See you there!

And if you’re not on Facebook, the interview is posted verbatim below :

1. Tell us about yourself.
I was born and raised in Petaling Jaya and married to the most awesome person in the world. I did a Computer Science and Marketing course at a university in the US. Currently, I do business development for a Fortune 100 IT company and much of my weekends and free time are split between family, community service projects and photography. As a child, I dabbled with photography now and again using a 35mm point-and-shoot and my dad’s 8mm cine camera. My grandfather had a Leica M3 rangefinder and Contaflex SLR so you can say that photography is in my blood. Other than photography and my lovely wife, I also love cooking and a good cup of coffee.

2. How long you have been practicing photography?
I purchased my first SLR camera in 1999 which kick started my photography. It was primarily travel and landscapes initially. I shot my first wedding in 2001 on a Kodak Portra 160VC. Although I still love the film, my first digital SLR, a Canon 300D, purchased in 2004, sent me into the digital age.

3. What do you shoot?

Initially shooting mostly landscapes and travel, I now shoot mostly weddings and portraiture as I don’t travel as often as I used to. Occasionally, I do events and product shoots. For personal interest, I still shoot anything and everything from my dogs to my garden flowers and my own cooking. I also do pro-bono photography for a non-profit charity which I think really keeps me grounded. It’s an amazing feeling when you see people, who don’t even have a single photo of themselves, family or children, being grateful and overjoyed to receive their free portraiture shot.

4. What do you enjoy the most in photography?

I enjoy the entire process; from trying to capture the special moment (or waiting for that lovely light) to seeing the final results and sharing the results. My first attempt at making a photo book literally involved a lot of cutting and pasting. It’s all digital today. What I love most, though, is seeing the expression and reaction of people whom I’ve photographed when the photos are done well and appreciated.

5. Why are you attending Creative Asia?

It may sound cliche to say that you don’t get such an event with so much talent, so available and affordable in Malaysia; it is an opportunity not to be missed! It’s just going to be awesome to absorb all the inspiration saturating the place during the event!

6. Why is learning from other photographers important to you?

All the photographers I look up to have their own unique styles and personalities. I think it helps anybody to get challenged and inspired every now and then. It’s what drives me to do better. Sometimes you see something someone else has done that absolutely inspires you or challenges you to raise the bar. I’ve learnt so much from other photographers by just imitating or trying to imitate what they have done.

7. Can you share one tip that you have found useful to your photography? (This can be a business/marketing or a photography technique.)

Get out of your comfort zone. When we’re comfortable, it means we’re staying stagnant. Taking a 3-day photography workshop in 2008 was definitely out of my comfort zone but it did wonders for my photography.

8. What do you look forward most in Creative Asia?

Meeting fellow photographers and getting inspired of course!

9. What’s in your camera bag?

I’m a Canon user so for most events and weddings (and travel), I always have my 5D Mark II bodies and my two favorite lenses, a 16-35mm 2.8 and 70-200 IS 2.8. I also have an assortment of lenses (from 10mm to 300mm) and flash units (580EX IIs) along with my RadioPoppers. Furthermore, I carry my GPS, Leatherman wave tool (helped get a jammed door at a groom’s house open), and a compact flashlight. I also have a Panasonic GF1 compact camera (micro-four-thirds) with me most of the time. It’s mostly used for travel and personal snapshots.

10. Your favourite photography tool/equipment?

I tend to have favorites from time to time (perhaps I’m fickle minded) but right now, it has to be RadioPoppers. Ever since I’ve started with studio strobes, I’ve always wished to have TTL control with wireless flash. After shooting a couple of weddings recently, I’m definitely sold on their ease of use and reliability that they’re constantly in my camera bag.

Putrajaya Night walkabout

On the first day of Eid (or Hari Raya), we went with a couple of friends for a tweetup to take some photos of Putrajaya at night. One of them had recently got a good deal on a used D90 and wanted to dabble into photography. Photography is best enjoyed with friends (hence the launching of our Church Photo club soon) so off we went to Puchong for curry fish head dinner followed by a scenic drive to Putrajaya.

We arrived at the main Putrajaya mosque first and found the garden area heavily barricaded. It took a while to find some decent viewpoints. We had better fun shooting flashlight drawings and other stuff. Then again, Putrajaya doesn’t inspire me that much as I find it rather soulless.

I just love this last shot by the way of Li Tsin walking into the unknown… like a mysterious stranger scene in a movie opener. Hmm, in fact, I’ve a full HD video of this same scene sans Li Tsin unfortunately.

YB Bernard Dompok & Kebun SEMOA

It was a bright, hot, sweltering day that the official opening ceremony for SEMOA’s Kebun Orang Asli in Tras. We had the privilege to cover the event and it was an amazing day. It started of course with a day that was so bright, there was about five-stops difference in light between outdoors and indoors. Again, I relied on my RadioPoppers to illuminate the scene. We had like five flash units going off to equalize the light difference. Enough speedlights and you can match the power of the sun! Besides Yang Berhormat Bernard Dompok, Minister of Plantation, Industries and Commodities, we also had the local Tras assemblyman, Mr Choong Siew Onn.

Kebun SEMOA is an effort by the SEMOA group (supported by many churches and individuals in Malaysia) providing education, help, and medical care to the local indigenous population (orang asli) in the Tras, Raub and Bentong area.