I tell my blues they mustn’t show
but soon these tears are bound to flow
cause it’s raining – raining in my heart ~ Buddy Holly

Clouds 003

It was unusually wet this morning. The skies were dark and foreboding. My heart was hurting; it seemed as if nature was empathizing with me so I thought I’d snap a few pictures. One of the nice things about digital cameras is that you can switch to monochrome mode at the flick of a switch. This is exactly what I did for the above shot. I deliberately underexposed by one stop to enhance the bleak mood. I then shot the picture below (same vantage point) in color. Even so, it was still very monochromatic, save for the red roof of the temple (to convey a glimmer of hope, perhaps)

Clouds 004

And finally another shot to convey the storm. I shot at a relatively slow shutter speed to blur the rain.

Clouds 005

Moments after shooting these pictures the rain stopped and the skies cleared. This too, shall pass?


Mrs. Lim, cafeteria chef


I’ve been frequenting Mrs. Lim’s cafeteria since moving here last year. She started her cafeteria service here about two and a half years ago. She’s a very affable person; her food is good and very reasonably priced. She also has a free delivery service for the apartment residents. You can call her on her cellphone at 012 4380145 and your food will be sent up to your apartment at the appointed time. You can also choose to have your meals in the cafeteria itself, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a resident or non-resident. Mrs. Lim cooks a wide assortment of local dishes, including rice, noodles, chicken, prawns, fish, veggies, Teppanyaki, Thai Tomyam, etc. Besides food she serves soft drinks too.

Seeing that her menu was getting all worn-out, I volunteered to type out a new set for her—this made her very happy because she said she’s been too busy to get around to it herself. Sometimes it’s the little things we do in life that matter. Keep cooking, Mrs. Lim!

Mrs. Lim’s picture above was taken with my Canon EOS 550D, 18-135mm zoom lens, and Speedlite 430EX II set on bounce flash. I’ve fallen in love with bounce flash because the light is so much softer and pleasing compared to direct flash. There are also no unsightly shadows behind the subject.


Even More Blue Skies

…and fluffy clouds too. Oh gosh I think I’ve been bitten *blush*. The polarizer definitely helped with the saturation.



Flash Photography People

Sue and Michelle

Okay I admit it—I love taking pictures of people, especially when they enjoy themselves in front of the camera. Such is the case with my two friends, Sue and Michelle. We were waiting for our food to arrive (see the previous post), I saw the perfect background and persuaded them to strike up some poses. Again, using bounce flash from my Canon 430EX II Speedlite results in pleasing catch lights in the subjects’ eyes. I don’t mean to brag, but I’m very pleased with these shots!


A simple pose and a pleasant smile is all it takes to capture the essence of a happy person. And believe me, Sue is one of the happiest people I know!


A slight tilt of the head and a natural pose makes Michelle look very relaxed. Her red outfit complements the otherwise black and white background.


One look at the shot above and you know these two ladies are the best of friends. I took this shot without asking them to get ready. Spontaneity can be a wonderful thing in picture-taking.


I’m saving the best for last. This is just perfect—both ladies were so relaxed and enjoying themselves (it helps when the photographer compliments them, y’know) Honestly, I could have squeezed in a few more shots but sometimes you have to know when to stop. There’s a lesson there somewhere. Thank you for the wonderful poses, Sue and Michelle!

Flash Photography Food Photography People

Dinner at Delicious

Last night I was at Straits Quay by myself (see my previous post) and tonight I’m there again, at one of my favorite haunts, Delicious. Sue and James Ong invited me for dinner to have an early birthday celebration for their son Jason, whom I teach piano. It was yet another good excuse to grab my Canon EOS 550D and all in all I believe I took some nice pictures. Michelle was also there together with her kids, Joshua (another of my students) and Nicole. These two ladies are a bundle of fun, so much so that I’ll feature them in another blog post after I finish this one. See how lucky you are, ladies?

All shots were taken with my usual Canon gear, using the 430EX II Speedlite in bounced mode. This Speedlite is simply amazing, worth every penny.

Click each picture for a larger shot.


(Above) Sue and her husband James in a jovial mood.


(L-R) Michelle, Sue, Joshua, and Jason. I love the way the bounce flash creates highlights in the subjects’ eyes, resulting in softer skin colors.


Yours truly with Michelle and James. Nice shot there, Sue! She was a pro at handling my Canon.


Sue showing off her Caesar Salad. Needless to say she finished it all. Piglets unite!


Michelle is a demure figure and smart enough to wear a nice red outfit. Show this to your hubby, Michelle!


(L-R) Joshua with his salmon and Jason with his sirloin steak. These are growing kids, people.


Group picture taken with my Canon on a tripod and set to Night Portrait mode.


One of the kids. (L-R) Vincent, Nicole, Joshua, and Jason. I teach piano to all three boys.


I couldn’t resist taking another outdoor shot before putting my tripod away. My camera battery was also pretty exhausted by then. Till the next time.