Ringlet.

“Look at that man’s shopping bag.”
“Which one? ”
“That one. Look. ”
“Is that .. a living duck?”
“Yup, next to a living chicken.”

We were at the weekday night market at Ringlet.
Five minutes later we would realise that the market was almost exclusive to foreign workers.
Those who work at the tea farms, strawberry fields.
Bus drivers, lorry drivers.
Single mothers with their kids, buying stuff from other single mothers.

I was feeling crap before Ringlet.
Cameron Highlands in Malaysia was nothing like I remembered.
There’s a Starbucks, followed by Colonel Sanders up at Brinchang.
We saw ads targeting Japanese selling retirement villages.
And the lake in front of our hotel – The Lakehouse,  is not really a lake anymore.
Not exactly a peaceful highland getaway like I promised Chika.

But Ringlet, looking back almost six months later, was perhaps the closest to how I remembered my younger years.

I guess what I”m trying to say is that, nostalgia hits you harder as you grow older.
And it could come from anywhere; not necessarily the place you form your memories.

It could be in the form of a matchbox, or bread packaging.
The orange plastic plate used to serve your Char Kuey Teow.
It could be the smell, the parking meters.
The way I had to reassure Chika that cars will stop if you stick your hand out with open palms.

I left Ringlet knowing it was perhaps the last time I’ll see Ringlet again.

The dudes are emerging.

I stumbled across this video yesterday.
Numerous takes of Robert Downey Jr filming a scene from Tropic Thunder across Ben Stiller.
(Context: Ben is directing from the other side of the camera.)

If you are doing, had done, or have attempted to do something creative, you will know when I mention the ‘dreaded feeling of hopelessness’.
When you flip open a book, clicked on some forwarded link, even glanced at someone’s status update.
That sinking feeling that you will never, ever amount to that level of creativity / fame / productivity / beard growing / cats.

So, what has this got to do with the video?
Well, first, acting is not easy.
Also, it’s kinda entertaining to see how an American pretends to be an Australian pretending to be an African American.
Next point: If you think it gets any easier when you go pro or famous, chances are, it does not.

The final scene in the movie is about 20 seconds long.
But as you can see after 12 minutes, the camera is still rolling.
Can you imagine putting in 36 times the effort in everything you do?
Well, apparently that’s what the professionals do.
For a comedy.

I know it sounds like I’m going off on a ‘ you gotta, gotta do what you love ‘ tangent, but I’m not.
‘Do what you love’ is so Y2K, even ads don’t say that anymore.

Being professional is never about passion.
It’s about delivering the same result, on the dot, rain or shine.
Knowing that you can perform at a constant level without flinching.
Without your own emotions (or worse, ego) getting in the way.

Tokyo post-wedding – Moe & Naoki.

The thing with friends I see once every few years, is that I never get a linear story.
But more like a game of space jump, quick cut montages.
And I fill in the blanks in between.

I remember Moe as the exchange student from Japan in 2005.
And she became the graduate who just finished job hunting, enjoying a holiday in Melbourne before becoming an office lady early 2007.
Cut to the OL complaining about work in Melbourne during 2009.
Cut to the OL complaining about work and (lack of) romance during 2011.
Cut to her coming back from a Hawaiian wedding with Naoki last year.

These post-wedding photos were taken during our most recent meeting in Tokyo.
They were in the middle of moving places.
They picked Shiba-koen near Tokyo Tower because normally it’s quiet.
And then we found out a huge festival was going on.
After shooting we had burgers near where they used to live.
They showed me to the station to get to my next destination and we bid farewell.
I remember the weather was sunny with blue skies.

I guess the next time we meet, I’ll be setting up for a family portrait session.

ice sculpture competition in Tokyo
tokyo tower wedding photographer
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Format.

So I’ve done a bit of nip and tuck to the blog.

For instance, the work item on the menu that will lead you to a proper portfolio site.

Some I’ve blogged about in the past, some I’d only delivered the slideshow yesterday.
Some I’ve blogged but never shared, some had gone through some ‘remastering’.

Think of it as a ‘best of’ compilation of my photographs for the last 3 years.
I mixed the old with the new hoping to prove that they aren’t dated.
(And no, I don’t want to know if they are.)

This all started a few weeks(months?) ago as I was having difficulty to update this blog.

I didn’t know where to start.

So I decided to work backwards: Instead of choosing seventy shots from a specific wedding, why not choose one shot from many weddings?

Next thing I knew, I was doing the same to my portraits and food shots.
(It also gave me a good opportunity to backup and organise my files. If there’s one thing you should take away from this post, I hope it’s to BACKUP YOUR DATA on a regular basis.)

I’ve forgotten how I came across Format.com
It just seemed easy to navigate.
I do not mind the minimal nature of the layout, or how it is similar to millions of photography sites out there.

In fact, that’s the whole point of a portfolio, isn’t it?

To showcase photographs in the quickest, most uncluttered, least pain-in-the-rear-side manner.

Like the old saying: a picture is worth 141 characters.

I hope you enjoy all 14100 of them.

Sorry.

I know I’ve been naughty and lazy for not updating much.
Sometimes I make the mistake by assuming if I’m active on my Facebook page and Instagram then everyone should know what I’m up to.
Foolish, I know.
Will try to resume to posting at least once a week here.
While you wait here’s a shot I took in March at Neapoli – a pretty cool joint with a pretty cool name.

Leica Summicron 50mm Melbourne

yongtze - Yeah get to work! Lol