Category Archives: Photography

Taking flight

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This year’s annual post follows the proud tradition of 2010 & 2007 with a newly completed Project 366 album, a personal project I’d embarked on at the beginning of the year.

It’s generally been a good year, for which I’m really thankful. Here’re some areas I find myself really gaining momentum in this year…

Writing

I’d attempted to start blogging more regularly, and that worked for awhile, but eventually evolved into a greater focus on travel blogging, with some posts published on The MileLion. There was also that (short-lived) writing challenge I’d embarked on with some colleagues. I doubt I’ll ever become a master writer, but it’s nice to see myself working once more on a hobby I’d used to rather enjoy as a student.

Travel

Primarily because I managed to snag HHonors Diamond status for myself this year, but probably also because this vacation leave thing is rather new to me, I’ve been travelling a lot more this year. This will probably go down in the next few years as I lose the status and probably get saddled with more responsibilities, but I do rather enjoy the new experiences and chronicling them in blog format for future reminiscing.

Work

This might be blind optimism on my part, but I think I’ve done pretty well at my job this year. It helps to have a great positive working environment, but based on feedback it does seem that I have made noticeable contributions to my unit this year. Hopefully, this is real and doesn’t stop this year!

All in all, it’s been a good 2016 (on a personal level – I’m aware that as far as global affairs go, it’s not been all that great). Here’s hoping that things don’t lose too much steam in 2017!

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Starred Eats

So there’s a Singaporean edition of the Michelin Guide now, and I can now go about saying that I’ve dined at x Michelin-starred restaurants (where x is a number greater than 1).

(The convoluted statement above is a result of my having visited the original Tim Ho Wan in Hong Kong back in 2011, when it was still the world’s cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant – though its rapid expansion and franchising has admittedly made it a lot less special.)

That number has now quadrupled, and I can also boast of having visited a two-starred restaurant – huzzah! To be honest, I don’t even know of half of the restaurants on the list (not that big a foodie, I guess? Plus budget constraints); I’m surprised to have as many as I currently do! So, without further ado – presenting my (local) Michelin star trophy list:

1) The Song of India *

2) CUT *

3) L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon **

Does that make me a four-star Singaporean foodie (kinda like Germany and football)? Is my life mission now to collect more stars to add to the collection? I don’t really think so, but I am rather curious about all those other places I’ve never eaten at – will probably try some of them out sometime down the line…

Google Local Guides

So I’ve recently taken to submitting updates on Google Maps. This is a large part due to their Local Guides programme, which awards some perks in recognition of contributions. I’ve not really enjoyed said perks very much yet (the one that attracted me the most was the possibility of early access for new apps, but I’d missed one such opportunity as I hadn’t contributed sufficiently at that time), but it’s been pretty fun uploading stuff, especially since I’ve been cataloging some shots of places for my Project 366, anyway. 

What I’ve found especially motivating, actually, were these auto-generated mailers congratulating me on the popularity of my pictures. From what I can tell, the popularity is derived more from the popularity of the actual place and the scarcity of current pictures for the location, rather than the actual quality of the picture – for instance, my first photo to exceed 1000 views was an old one for the YUSU shop on the University of York campus, while the current high-scorer at 3000+ views is a picture of the Habit outlet we’d gone to on our recent trip to NYC.

Ultimately, I know these figures aren’t really all that meaningful – but it’s certainly rather motivational to receive quantitative data that these contributions are of use to people out there!

Google Photos timezones

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So I’ve just discovered that Google Photos now supports editing of timezones for picture metadata – think it’s a new feature; wasn’t able to edit it last December, anyway. This has been a godsend for me, since a bunch of us had collated photos from multiple sources (phones, cameras) for our trip last December and it was kinda driving me mad how all the times and dates were reported in an inconsistent manner (e.g. camera was in SGT). Sometimes, this also caused problems in the ordering of the media. How annoying!

There doesn’t seem to be a batch edit tool, though, which is a real bummer – I’m currently taking a break from editing the data and have 3 more days’ worth of photos to go through. Sometimes this organisational nut in me ends up being a real time sink!

Project 366, 2016

It’s been awhile since my last Project 365s (done in 2010 2007), and since I’d started the year predicting possible change, I figured this was as good a time as any to give it another go.

Based on past experience (and the current status, really), I wouldn’t really be able to do a picture a day, so I’ll just make sure the final picture tally reaches 366 (it’s a leap year). Just as I appreciate having the annual entry to look back at, I do rather enjoy flipping through the pictorial journals from time to time, too!

So… here it is – a work in progress, my Project 366 for 2016!

2016

Project 366, 2016

Auto-Awesome Smiling

So today I was backing up my 2014 pictures onto Google Plus when I noticed that one of the albums had an extra photo in it.

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Apparently auto-awesome also (sometimes) automatically creates composite photos compiling ‘best smiles’ from similar photos. That’s pretty awesome/cool/freaky/weird, right?

Comparing the composite photo with the original source photos, I suppose the algorithms do a pretty good job of saving on your photoshopping time – although I do wish there were some way to choose which faces might go where.

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Completed Project 365, 2010

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Time for that annual reflection once more. It’s the second time I’m doing a Project 365, and my life still does get overly repetitive and mundane at times, but looking back at my previous one (from 2007), I do appreciate possessing a snapshot of life as it was back then, and I’ll probably feel the same about this one in time to come.

I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves, but I guess the one main change this year would be marriage – married life proper hasn’t quite started yet with our apartment still being built, but it’s a first step into an entirely new chapter of life. Whatever 2011 brings, I’m currently feeling optimistic and fully prepared to meet it head on.

Project 365, 2010

It’s begun! Hopefully I update it frequently. You can see the most recent photo(s) on the left right of this site, but assuming you want to access it more conveniently, here’re the appropriate links to bookmark or subscribe to.

Picasa Web Album link [RSS]

Project 365 once more

I was just looking at the daily photos I’d taken back in 2007, and I think it might be time for another go in 2010. Sure, I often cheated when the day wasn’t particularly eventful, but the photo album still manages to evoke a wave of nostalgia in me (especially having left the UK for more than a year now). So what if some of the pictures were not strictly taken on a daily basis – isn’t it the spirit of the project that’s more important?

Besides, with the new camera and whatever meagre photography skills I’ve managed to acquire these few months, I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to generate better filler than before!

Panasonic GF1

Got my GF1 at last! This is actually my third interchangeable-lens camera – I’d started small with the D40 and then upgraded to a D90, but I’ve decided to abandon the DSLR format and go with µ4/3 instead. I made a small loss from the old camera (S$30), but I think that’s a pretty small price to pay for nearly four months’ worth of DSLR usage (plus the whole learning experience)!

I haven’t really used the new camera all that much yet, though I did manage to get a few shots in the camera shop and the zoo (was bringing some foreign friends around), and even with the default settings, it’s looking pretty good! Probably not as nice as with a DSLR (depth-of-field isn’t really all that shallow even at f/1.7), but it’s definitely a lot more portable!