September 17, 2008 09:14 by Adrian

A good friend of Jacky and I, Marvin, left Euphoria Ministry of Sound to head one of the newest bistros in town.. Located in Plaza Kelana Jaya (On the left of the LDP in front of Kastam Malaysia, turn right when seeing a big RHM advert)..

This plaza is relatively new and it overlooks a pond that lights up for some fountain like shows? heck no idea what are those called.. there's a picture of it below..

So here's Rain..  

Quite interesting concept as the RAIN crome wordings highlights the water droplets on it.. looks like rain doesn't it? Another good thing is that the tiles are dark.. if it was white, the flowing water would have made it brown in no time.. yuck..   The picture above is taken with a 20 second exposure to see if the flowing water will give a dreamy fog around the wordings .. unfortunately it didn't tho you can see small areas of it, its not sufficient to create the fog type effect.. never then less, the longer exposure, first lowers the noise count (lower ISO) while smoothens the background.. still works!

This is the first drink that my good old pal Marvin served us, its made by his Bar Captain.. and its called.. 'Blue Punch'? sorry dude if I got this wrong! but yeah.. its a mocktail meaning you can drink till the cows come home and still go back home safely minus a bloated bladder..

Taste? yummy..  not bad..  Marvin who's earlier attached to Breeze @ TTDI, kept the tradition in serving quality cocktails/mocktails in using fresh ingredients.. I noticed fresh fruit at the bottom.. :) keep the quality and standards up dude!!

 Rain Bistro actually consists of 2 different styles..  this is the Wine room.. a more quieter setting with cubicles of sofas nicely hidden behind a veil of red strings.. Nice as it is, it kept entangling with my camera.. naughty stuff..  its less noisy and more cozy.. suitable for anyone who just want to kick back and relax without taking the risk of going deaf or developing migranes..

 

The picture above is the wine bar.. I would say the atmosphere is nice and cozy.. 

 

Ok, here's the main room.. taken with a 30 second exposure to help bring out the environment while blurring people.. 

Here's another angle on the right directly overlooking the DJ console..

Ahh.. that's my man, Marvin.. well, this place is just opened for 4 days when I took those pictures, so yeah it's still warming up.. but I have faith in my good pal to give the best in terms of drinks and service.. well if he doesn't, just drop me an email and I'll go there and hentam him properly.. ok with you?  kekkeke

Alas, the fountain show.. manage to catch it when its doing its loop loop thingy..  on the bottom there's this one freaky bird which is partly covered by the watermark..  kekeke.. tried blinding the bird with full power from my SB-800 direct but it seems to care less and continue to just perch on that piece of wood that's jutting out from the pond while enjoying the fountain show.. 

You can also enjoy food from two outlets overlooking this fountain show..  nice atmosphere.. 

Till the next time.. Chao! 


September 17, 2008 06:16 by Adrian
Ahh.. last Friday (12th Sept), I received an email from CK to let me know that the Zippo guys and gals liked the picture but required a change of lighter as that lighter design isn't part of their original designs. Its more like a custom Zippo The Embershoppe design..  Anyways, they liked it! tho I need to do a retake.. so with that, here I present to you the Zippo Advert version 1.0. .. the 2nd version which comes in two flavors (portrait & square) is what have been keeping Jacky and myself buzy since that email... 
 
Manage to submit version 2.0 of the Zippo advert yesterday evening in print and softcopy.. it has a slightly different style to it than this image.. will elaborate further once Zippo gives the thumbs up.. (pray pray) 
 
Anyway here's version 1.0. 
 
 
 
Just cant help but stare at it..  Cool  Now doesn't that look better than the zippo advert in Subang? sure sure.. call me bias.. Tongue out

September 11, 2008 11:28 by Adrian

Hhhmm.. Jacky came across an official Zippo advertising in Subang Jaya.. this is taken with her K800i at a distance but sufficient to see the overall advert itself...

The second picture is the one we took for the Embershoppe zippo advert.. the post can be found here.

I'll leave you to be the judge on which one is better... cough.. cough.. vote me.. cough...  must be catching the flu... Cool

   

 
my flame is larger and longer.. ahem ahem...  sorry.. just had to say it! 

September 10, 2008 09:14 by Adrian

Ah.. anyone in Malaysia right now who's trying to get hold of any Nikon dSLR or lenses are in for a bit of a pain.. and this pain is not new, its been around for a few weeks now. 

If one would have taken a tour at Nikon Malaysia's lovely warehouse.. it'll be really big, dusty and above all else.. EMPTY! maybe other than a few dustballs I guess.  

Its not that Nikon Malaysia didn't stock up, its that they never in their wildest dreams expect that Nikon dSLRs and its lenses  got legs that make even beep beep road runner envious..  That's the power of the genius that went into the D3 and its subsequent children D300, D700 and soon to hit the market with a whallop.. D90..

Just to let you all know, the big boys (D3, D300, D700) are all made in Japan while the D80 and below are made in Thailand.. This should also mean the D90 is made in Thailand.. maybe not the first few batches..

To keep the story short, the shipment of Nikon goodies are expected to arrive end of this month or latest early October.. I'm not sure if this timeline includes the time taken to clear customs..  

I'm guessing that this shipment is from Japan as why would one ship items from Thailand? and the strangest thing is that on this boat that holds our babies also includes the D90.. that's right.. the D90 is apparently on the boat and its going to hit Malaysia's shores very soon.. 

Bad news is that everyone will have to wait for another 3 weeks or so.. and dont' be surprised that soon after arrival, the warehouse is again empty.. like hungry pihranas ya! 

If you can't wait, there's always an oversupply over at the Canon booth! (that's for all the crap I've endured from Canon fanatics prior to the D3's arrival Cool.. like a friend of mine once said.. Canon fanatics are all silent now because of Nikon's low noise technology!) 


September 10, 2008 04:19 by Adrian

The lastest batch of Ardent Expressions business card was just disappointing to say the least. Unfortunately this wasn't spotted until much later which means that until we get another batch of business cards, we have to stick with this one till then. Below are the pictures taken with the AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 G ED lens.

As you can see with the closeup, the printed words had this island of white in it. I'm guessing the print head is long overdo for a replacement or service. Can't imagine a professional printing company allows this type of shoddy workmanship to be given to the customers.

 We actually re-engaged this company again for a reprint at Ardent's costs and this time, the words Expressions bled into the cyan triangle and just made the maroon Expressions word became god knows what mixture of hells colours..  No picture on that as it was rejected immediately. Yeah once bitten twice shy kinda deal.. 

Anyway the pictures are as follows:-  

 


September 9, 2008 16:23 by Jacky

Just attended my cousin's wedding dinner last Sunday at The Ming's Room, Bangsar Shopping Centre (BSC). Food was not bad and presentable as well. Lighting was yellowish (which was common for most restaurants that I frequent to) and the overall atmosphere was noisy yet under controlled esp for a small crowd (THANK GOD!)

What was I doing most of the night? Not watching the newly wedded couple (Cousin! Please excuse me!! Innocent). Most of the time I was watching and observing the photographer the whole night (Hey?! Don't have bad idea, OK). He was using 2 Canon DSLR cameras for the night with his flash shooting straight up to the ceiling and one of the flash had a diffuser on.. Somehow I don't quite understand why he does that as the light from the flash shot straight up + diffuser will be too weak to do much of anything.. especially when people are further away.

Oh well, my cousin is the one who hired him so I had no say in the picture.. I myself would have loved to have brought my NIKON DSLR and show him how its done for my cousin's sake! If not because of my stiff neck and shoulder that does not allow me to move my head that much, I would have done so.. Sigh..

Alright.. Time to rest my stiff neck again.. Will post the next updates soon.

Cya.


September 9, 2008 07:16 by Adrian

Maybe its a coincidence that Canon's slogan 'Delighting you always' the word D-Lighting or Dynamic Lighting is used by Nikon. Canon's version of D-Lighting is called.. Highlight Tone Priority.. which only has one setting 'Enable' unlike Nikon which has 3 different modes of different strength to cater for everyone's fancy. 

Anyway this post isn't about Nikon vs Canon but rather the usefulness of such technology. Cameras such as D80 which DLighting first made its appearance even if its in a passive way as compared to the Active DLighting with the D3,D300,D700 and the newly announced D90.

What does DLighting do? 

DLighting is best seen in high contrast scenes, meaning you have really bright areas and not so bright areas. Like the picture shown below. The sky is bright and the trees in the foreground isn't as bright hence it looks like a silhouette. But wait a minute, that's not what my naked eye see is it?

 

Well those brains at Nikon knew that there are limitations in going digital as compared to those good and expensive film days hence they came out with DLighting. DLighting brings out those dark areas and tone down any of those bright areas (highlights). What you get is more what the eye see which is shown below. The picture is applied using DLighting mode Normal.

 Now doesn't that look way better? At least its an accurate representation of what the scene actually looks like.

Its extremely useful when you have to take the sky such as sunsets and landscapes. That's the power of DLighting right there.


September 8, 2008 07:09 by Adrian

The newer generation cameras all come with x number of AF points, and Y number of these points are cross type sensors. hhhmm..Cross type? Remenicent of the Counter Strike era.. yeah just walk in front of my cross type and I'll ... ok fine.. not relevant.. good old days.. 

Anyway I found an article that discusses about this here.  

Basically in a nutshell, AF sensors work by detecting the contrast of a scene (Passive AF). The usual single type sensors are all verticle sensors which allow the camera to determine along that verticle line, which part is in focus. Everything is all well and great when you have contrasty subjects that has a certain height. But for subjects that are moving from side to side? not so good.. this is where the cross-type sensor comes in.

This type of sensor checks for both horizontal and vertical contrast, allowing the photographer to obtain lock on difficult (fast or dimly lit) subjects more frequent. If not you'll get those AF hunts that isn't as fun as it sounds.

The faster the lens aka bigger the aperture, allows the camera to use all of its focusing points. So a lens with a f/2.8 will focus better when compared to a f/3.5 - 5.6 lens. Using this lens, at the zoomed end, the max aperture is only f/5.6 which will greatly reduce the number of focusing sensors, some cameras drop the total sensor count to just the one in the middle. 

So not only a f/2.8 lens is bigger, brighter, faster but also gives the camera better AF capabilities hence the word 'fast' being associated with lenses with a lower f-stop.