Soon, Dad will return this laptop to the office to be sold off. When that happens, I won't have access to my photos for some time as Windows ME on the other computer is hopeless when it comes to picture management, due to compatibility issues.
So I won't be blogging for a while; at least, not the usual photoblogs. And considering that I've been less wordy lately, it's unlikely I'll be writing anything long either.
Looking through some of the photos on this laptop (i.e. those either recently taken or transferred here en route to CDs/e-mail), I've selected a few to talk about. Some of these were real breakthroughs this year, others were creative misadventures; all are equally unforgettable.
* * * * *
This is where the year really shifted into forward gear: with the addition of the 50mm f/1.8 (a.k.a. portrait) lens to my arsenal. The very first photos I took with it were of Yen, and they remain among my best ever.
After a while, some photographers can get bored of the usual portrait styles which tend to include most of the face. So I thought of experimenting with this lower-half-of-the-face shot of David. It proved to be somewhat more successful than the attempts on other d'NAers!
I was trying to demonstrate the effect of high ISO shooting to Yen. I shot one in colour and one in black-and-white, and the latter remains one of my most iconic pictures of the Sahur Café yet, reminding me of the strong character of grainy monochromes.
The night we arrived at the Fraser's Pine Resort for the CC Trip, I looked out a window in the function room and experimented a little with composition. Adrian liked this shot very much, and it has proved to be one of my most unique this year.
For some reason, this fun shot at the KLCC Park's wading pool turned out to be a big hit with virtually everyone who's seen it. This is not a work of art and no photographic expertise was required. It was a creative romp in which Chee Seong, Yean Khinn, Amos, Evans and Oliver participated enthusiastically. The little child was a coincidental blessing indeed.
Li-Shia came over to celebrate Georgie's 6th birthday. What a good time we all had!
The usual suspects at KLCC for the MPO's performance of Shostakovich's 5th Symphony. They wanted to pull off a Mafia-esque pose, and I suppose they had most of it right, except (and a very big except!)... they were a tad too cheerful!
One of a series of 'album cover' shots at UiTM during the Royal Debate Tournament, it is this kind of photo that begs the question: who is the real Kang Zarul Irwan?
While Hugh, Kee Aun and I were chatting with Iera and Fairuz of IIU (background), I noticed this cat lazing in the drain. I decided to go for a crazy angle, and I daresay it worked!
The night of the final day of Royals, Li-Shia and I managed to catch The Idea of North at Alexis Ampang. This was a low-light photography triumph, representing the other great function of the 50mm f/1.8 lens: excellent low-light performance due to its large aperture.
This is a political observation. 'Premis Bersih' made me think that, taken from a different point of view, this could be the headquarters for the Bersih movement in the country. Throw in a few Indian characters, and you have signs of Hindraf. But really, this is an Indian restaurant with no connection to those rallies whatsoever.
Yet there is something that I cannot escape: looking at the Malaysian flag in the picture, the 'Bersih' word and the Indians, I realise that this is the truest face of Malaysia. It is a land in which freedom of speech and assembly still prevail despite government crackdowns, simply because Malay gerai, Chinese coffee-shops, Indian banana leaf houses and mamak stalls still exist.
Whatever words are exchanged on either side of the equation, the people have the final say, and this is something no government can ever take away from us Malaysians.
While waiting for Hugh before leaving for the MMU Friendliest of Friendlies at Cyberjaya, I noticed that the morning sunrise cast really wild and fiery shadows on the wall behind Kee Aun. It was a shot too good to be missed.
* * * * *
Throughout the year, I have discovered this truth:
Between SooT and Yen, they could fill up a gallery with their portraits without risk of monotony.