Saturday, February 21, 2009

Isloated in Suburban India

I just got back from a business trip to India where my company was taking part as an exhibitor/speaker at Sun Tech Days in Hyderabad. The hotel that I stayed in was the Novotel Hyderabad which caters to overseas guests attending any events at the convention centre.

The staff lived up to their four-star standard and went as far as to call me on the evening of the first day as I had left the "Do Not Disturb" sign on the whole day, concerned that I may have been sick and going to the extent of offering to send in a doctor to see me.

Foodwise, my colleague and I ate mostly at the hotel as there were no other food places within walking distance around the hotel. Breakfast was a buffet of international spread but I went mainly for the chapathis, naans, tosais and vadas topped with an assortment of curries and chutneys. Other meals were either catered for during event days or we ate in as my colleague discovered a pizza corner delivery service. Pizza Corner's spread included conizzas (ice cream cones made from pizza dough containing pizza filling), sandwiches and baked pastas kept us sustained as hotel food was pricey. However, the hotel's La Cantina's Mexican restaurant served really good food and substantial servings.

On the first day we tried walking out of the hotel grounds in search of alternative eating choices but found none. But we did find some lovely photo opportunities in the surrounding area. For our last day we managed to squeeze in some time to make a short trip down to a handicraft market before heading to the airport for the trip home.

Though it was a business trip for both my colleague and I we were in for a pleasant treat on the last night of our stay. The Novotel Hyderabad is a popular venue for weddings and we were invited by the father of the bride to join in the celebrations when he saw us taking photos of the bridesmaids and stage decor from the perimeter.

So yeah, it was definitely a blast as it was my first time speaking at such an event and a brief culinary and cultural experience. Definitely not the full experience of India for which I would have needed to travel far south to the city to see the real India but still lovely!

Friday, January 02, 2009

2009 and beyond...

Right, so I've been very guilty of neglecting this blog but a lot has happened last year up to now. For one thing, I've started a Deviant Art page where my cosplay and other photos now are. Speaking of cosplay, I've had the opportunity to work with several groups for some shoots and the pix are all there at  Deviant Art .

I managed to take some time off from work to go to Vietnam; spent a week touring Hanoi, Sapa and Halong Bay. Some of my pix from the trip can be found here:

In addition, the laptop that I was using for 2 years since I enrolled in post-grad studies decided to flatline on me. With my Dell warranty expired I decided to move to a desktop for my photo processing. Who would have thought that I'm now spending more time on:

  1. Fallout 3
  2. Unreal Tournament 3
  3. Quake Wars
Yup, so that's what's been happening up till now. Btw, if you did catch "The Day the Earth Stood Still" I'm sure you'll agree that the scene where Keanu Reeves spoke Mandarin was pretty hilarious though he did a decent job...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Singapore F1 Grand Prix Night Race

My initial plan for the F1 weekend to catch it on TV in my boxers with an ice cold beer was shelved when one of my friends gave me two extra walkabout passes for Friday (practice) and Saturday (qualifiers) as he was fortunate to obtain grandstand access. Met up with another friend on both days to catch the live action. It was a shutter-free outing for me as I decided to leave my camera at home and just enjoy the Formula One Grand Prix atmosphere.

Day One:

This was taken along the Padang (near Gate 4) while the next one's at the corner of the Padang.

We then went on a walkabout to the Marina Bay area...

and the Esplanade Drive.

Day Two:

We went in about past 5pm and were in time to catch the Porsche Carrera qualifiers.

We then made our way to Gate 3 (near Raffles City) to catch the practice session at 7pm.

We then went back to the Padang area to catch the rest of the practice session.

There was some time in-between for the qualifiers so we took a walk around the esplanade area for a breather and came across this group of Samba dancers and percussionists.

They got everyone worked up to a fever pitch during half time with their performance near the hawker stalls...

Then it was back to the Padang to catch the qualifying round.

Damn, that was fun! Now my legs are aching from all the walking about. Thanks Jeff for the passes for both days! :)

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Singapore Turns 43!

Happy National Day! Singapore turns 43 and it's been a crazy Saturday with our country celebrating its independence, the Beijing Olympics going on and the World Cyber Games with CosCon all happening today. 

The above pic was put together from a previous work in progess file taht has been lying dormant in my external hard drive. Here's to more good years and more photo opportunities!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Nikon D700 Gathering

Went for a Nikon club gathering which showcased the newly launched D700 along with the SB-900 flash, 24-70/2.8 and 14-24/2.8 lenses. Held at the Burger King at Millenia Walk, it was a very informal gathering where Nikon enthusiasts got to try out the new equipment for themselves. These two test shots were taken at  ISO 3200 using the 24-70/2.8 lens without the flash unit as there were limited number of SB-900s going round.

In addition, with full-frame (FX) capabilities, there's definitely more composition space for you to play around with plus a viewfinder similar to that of the D3. However, with RRP being SGD$4250 it's a bit on the pricey side tho many may view it as more affordable than a D3.Definitely something to drool over tho =)~

Saturday, July 26, 2008

X-Files: I Want to Believe

Went to see "X-Files: I Want to Believe", with my colleagues at Cathay. It was more of a nostalgic trip for me as I was an avid follower for the first five seasons when it was a TV serial. It's been 10 years since the series ended and this movie reunites former FBI agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson). There was also a very brief appearance by Skinner but sadly, no Cancer Man.

The movie sees both Mulder and Scully out of the FBI; Mulder is holed up in a house in the country, bitter that the beareau had put him on trial while Scully is now a doctor at a hospital. Out of the blue the FBI contacts Scully to get in touch with Mulder as his assistance is required to solve the case of a kidnapped FBI agent.

Spoiler (You have been warned): Basically the case that Mulder is drawn into involves the kidnappings of women of the same blood type who have been swimming at a local pool. The kidnapper stalks and captures them for a medical procedure that hints of organ harvesting and modern day Frankenstein. Sorry folks, no UFOs or government conspiracies.

The movie was definitely tight and also focused a bit on the relationship between Mulder and Scully post FBI. A nice trip down memory lane but I doubt it will convert any new fans.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Weekend Shootout - Cosfest VII Super Henshin Day 2 Part 3

"I am Iroooooooooooon Maaaaaaaaaaaaan!"

RAWR! The last batch of pix taken during Cosfest VII: Super Henshin at Pasir Ris.


"Lock and load! Go! Go! Go!"


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Weekend Shootout - Cosfest VII Super Henshin Day 2 Part 2

More pix from Cosfest VII: Super Henshin at Downtown East, Pasir Ris

Yeah baby! Love is definitely in the air...

Forward Optimus! Hoooooo!

[To be continued...]

Monday, July 14, 2008

Weekend Shootout - Cosfest VII Super Henshin Day 2

It's day two of Cosfest VII: Super Henshin which meant one hot afternoon of cosplay galore...

Nothing like some loooove...

Mad cow disease?

Wana play "Ask a Ninja"? I'm sure he looks forward to killing you soon...

W00t! Gundam!

Yeah! Live to cosplay another day...
[To be continued...]

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Weekend Shootout - Cosfest VII Super Henshin Day 2 Macross Frontier

The cast (L-R): Sheryl Nome (Ringo), Alto Saotome (Xrystal) and Ranka Lee (Sakana)

Day 2 of Cosfest VII was a total blast with so many photo opportunities. Been kept really busy during the week with work so here's the first batch of pix, one week later muahaha. Here's a Macross Frontier installment for starters :)

The sky's the limit...

"Hey! Give it back!"

"Come and get it!"

"Here's an all access pass to my next performance..."

"And a goodbye kiss..."

"Access all areas!"

Nyan! Nyan!

Hiding in a Neoprint booth is futile especially if you're being chased by the paprazzi...

"Prepare for take off!"

Yeah, time really flies and I've still got losta pix left to process...