Stephen's Ramblings on Life,Tech, Photography and other things...

Google Earth

By Stephen Lee

Think by now most would have heard of Google Earth. So it's need no introduction. Anyway just to show u guys my house as seen from space!

It helps if u have a GPS to help u though!

It's a wonderful world

By Stephen Lee

Well its been a few days later than i actually wanted to post this, haha been feeling abit lazy lately.

The event happen last Thus, the second day after i came back from mt Tioman trip. I finished jogging in punggol park in the evening and was just doing some sit ups (haha IPPT haven pass lah). When i just looked up at the sky and just thought to myself..... wat a wonderful world (haha sound like some song right).

But really lying down on that sit up bench, looking up into the sky really did make me feel good and makes u feel how wonderful the world is. Perhaps it's that most of the time we just look ahead to the things in front of us and just missed out on how to look at the world around us from another point of view. (I've tried looking at just the ground, just dosen't have the same effect haha).

So the next time u are feeling down, wait for the evening lie down on a nice place and just look up to the heavens.


By Stephen Lee

Well guys i am finally back! It's been a long 12days man and the sea wasn't very kind. Was a interesting exercise though haha but probably not so interesting to u guys. Anyway it's good to be back !


By Stephen Lee

Well guys will be going off for an exercise from the 15th to the 27th of this month, haha hope u guys don't miss me too much ah... most likely no hp reception and hopefully me email does not burst when i come back.

Cya !

Been long since i last posted not feeling too good these past few weeks down with a viral flu so didn't really feel like posting.

Finally developed my National Day flag roll (Walked around my Neighbourhood taking pics of the National Flag hanging all round) with Hc110, looks good at 1:63 (Straight from concentrate) at 11mins @22C with 5 inversions every minute. Neg looks good. haha must really motivate my self to post to flickr though. but sad thing is no good shots though...

Well still have about 13 days more before i go to Tioman for and exercise so all my good friends i will be away from 15-27 Sep haha see whether i can try to blog from there using my hp although there will be no pictues though (Using a Nokia 3100 no cam).

Late post ! was abit busy and tired the last 2 days so didn;t really go through the photos and post.

Finally the last of the Countries performing at the SFF, this time it was france. I think that this was probably the more interesting of the 3 that performed so far. The use of multi coloured burst and sparklers were the most interesting by far and the "fireworks" rain at the finale was probably the best part of the whole show

And perhaps due to our experience in the last 3 shows, we know exactly where to position ourselves for the shot and this time all of the Sunday Morning Breakfast Group was there !

Today also bought a new book "The Great Photo Hunt" as featured in Photo-i, prob will post a review soon (as soon as i can finished it)

National Day Fireworks !

By Stephen Lee

National Day has never been so tiring for me... When we (My sunday morning breakfast group) set off little did we realise the amount of people waiting for us at City Hall, first indication was at the Dobby Gaut interchange where we had to wait fo a second train before we could find a space a squeeze in.

Then over at City Hall, the amount of people was stupendous, they were like ants everywhere, there was trouble walking out on the street, walking in City Link mall and so on. It was just pire trouble just trying to go to the Marina Promeande park to shoot ! We took a route that took us to shaw tower where there was an overhead bridge and then cross over to Suntec then followed by a cross over to Marina Square to Ritz Carlton then walked over to the park.

All in all it was a tiring experience especially since we had to walk fast in order to make sure we got there early, going back was more or less the same way as the police basically blocked off City Link mall due to the number of people in it already.

Well at last time for the fireworks, the fireworks were nice but its was a pity that the fire works went off at both the Padang side and Marina East side so i was unable to capture both scene. I only managed to get the Padang side one as the background was better.

One more to go !

Went for the first show of the Singapore Fireworks Festival by the team from Portugal... Every one thought that the fireworks would be like the National Day Preview ones and all setup camp at the Esplanade but little do they know that the actual place where they actually fired is just at the Carnival @ Marina site just behind the stage (or commonly known as the kite flying place). Alamak only when the first shots were fired then we know that our place was just damn wrong (We camp somewhere near the second stage), we had this area just at the side of just fenced up as its under construction. Everybody scrambled up so high points and try to "grow" taller in order to capture the fireworks.

And thus after the lesson from the first show so now we were ready for the 2nd show at midnight, this time we setup near the flyover at marina promenade park, but alas it was also not meant to be there were trees blocking the scene!

That is when we realise that the firing point was not actually at Marina Bay (As what the news said) but rather at Marina East.

So the next trip the actual National Day Fireworks!

Padang Panoramic

By Stephen Lee

My first black and white panoramic ! Basically went to the padang took about 5 shots with my CV 21mm lens. Run it through hugin and enblend and voila ! Panoramic shot!

These are 2 great opensource tools for doing panoramics. hugin basically is a gui for panotools while enblend is a software to blend in all the edges after stiching them together.

The use is simple for hugin just follow the tabs on the top and under Control Points remember to select at least 3 points from image to image and under Sticher select "Multiple Tiff" under the Output File Options.

Then copy all the output files to the folder containing enblend (Although hugin has a option to use enblend but i didn't get it to work), type enblend -o "output file name" "hugin files". For the "hugin files" part type in all the filename in sequence from left to right (Ur output might not be in sequence if u did not put ur files in hugin in the correct sequence).

Sit back and wait !!! Can't wait to do my next panorama !

Padang NDP
VC 21mm F8@1/125

Scratched Negatives !

By Stephen Lee

Firstly ordered some leather covering for my fed 2 (the original coming out liao) from camera leather (I got the seal green leatherette); follwed by a trip down to the esplanade to scout out some places to take the coming Singapore Fire Works Festival.

Well walked around and found out that the roof terence will not be avalible through all the days of the fireworks festival, only the 8th it will be opened(It's a midnight show that day probably they don't expect too many people). Most likely will be setting up camera somewhere near the waterfront.

Walked around trying out my fed 2 with Tmax 400 loaded inside. Intending to try Rodinal with it. Developed my Bessa R roll with Tri-X @ 400 @ 12 min. Negatives looked good, think i hit upon the holy timing liao haha, will stick with this timing liao.

Only sad thing is that i don't know why my first few frames got scratches leh, and somemore these are the frames i took for one my personal project (haha intending to get pictures of all my ship crew). Must seriously find out why,(look below for sample), suspect could be the reel or the squgee but it only happens to the first few frames.

Finally found a Jobo tank off E-bay, i immediately click on BIN (Buy it now). All in all only about S$50. Hoping to get it soon and see whether it is as good as they say. A bit sick of the AP reels liao.

My Ops O
CV 35mm *prob F2 1/30s*

What a day! First up, the RFF Singapore gathering that was held at Terence's house. It was nice to meet all the RF lovers in singapore. Although there was only 5 of us but when we talked and discuss about our passion (RF, Photography) time really flies. And the chance to look at Terence's treasures really was an eye opener. Hmm maybe next time we should work towards a RFF Singapore project? The whole things lasted longer than i expected (Roughly 3:30 to abt 7:30), was actually thinking of going down to the Esplanade earlier for some shooting.

However although it was late still went down anyway was intending to use my VC 21mm to capture fireworks using Tmax @ 1600 just to try out. Whao i reached there just 10mins before the fireworks were due and quickly found a place to stand. Many of them were holding camera phones and standing there in wait.

Haha i was probably the only one holding a rangefinder there though, many were using the video function to capture the fireworks. Basically i thought setting the max aperture at F4 and probably 1/15 would be a good guess for exposure. So i just stood there snapping away.

Developing was the big problem though, the stupid film and the AP developing reels were impossible! The film goes in half way and jam thus causing me no end of trouble! Finally after many tries the film went in fully and i went about developing. (Reminder to myself ! Buy JOBO tanks, many claimed that it is much easier to use).

Finally developed and dry and guess what next! Apprently from the constant taking in and out of the reels there were scratches and what have u on the negatives ! That does it really gotta find some better reels to use liao !

The negatives were mainly too contastly to scan properly and i think that Tmax doesn;t push too well. Below my favourite of the lot.

People taking video of fireworkds at NDP Preview
.VC 21mm F4 @ 1/15s

Fed 2 !!!

By Stephen Lee

Well been meaning to post during the last few days but was just simply feeling lazy haha.

Anyway got something new in the mail 2 days ago! It was my Fed 2 with a Industar 61 lens the only problem was that the film spool was too small to fit in a normal 35mm film ! Well how do i know, i tried loading a roll and when i started winding it in the edges went all crumply (What a waste of good Tri-x :( ). Write back to the seller and he was willing to sent a new film spool.

Haha now would be a good time to get a collapsible Industar 22/50 to make it truly portable.

Well on the not so good side of life, my mum needs to do an operation on her spine cause she has been feeling numbness in her legs for some time after she had her ovaries remove due to cancer and the doctor can only promise a success rate of 70%. The only thing i can do now is to pray to God that all will be well and put our trust in him.

Well this guy seem more interested in other girls!
Bessa R, Potra 400VC, CV 75mm F2.5

Finally developed my first roll of Tri-X (containing pictures from the esplanade trip and botanical garden trip over the weekend) in Rodinal and i was happy with it, the negatives looked good and the scans are sharp even with my lousy Epson 1660 scanner. Think i would experiment with this film somemore, somehow the negatives that came out looked alot better than my previous HP5+ and Tmax 400.

The trip over the weekend did teach me something, is that it is not easy to be a street photographer(I know many people have said that too), most of the time it's because i was too shy to simply step up, move forward and sieze the moment. Thus it is always a joy and a sense of amazement to see photos by HCB and other greats and simply wonder how they did it.

"In photography, creation is a quick business — an instant, a gush, a response — putting the camera up to the eye's line of fire, snatching with that economical little box whatever it was that surprised you, catching it in midair, without tricks, without letting it get away. You make a painting at the same time that you take a photo."

Henri Cartier-Bresson

Some interesting links on Street Photography
Juan Buhler on Street Photography
Luminous Landscape
Quotes by Henri Cartier-Bresson

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Cheese ! Canon L-2 with VC 35mm f1.7

By Stephen Lee

Wa today woke up damn early to go to the botanical gardens today... somemore my one and only bermudas was "dead" liao so no choice wore jeans. Weather in singapore isn't very good these few months due to the monsoon and the sumatras. So it was a wet and humid morning (just rained), not helped that i was wearing a pair of jeans.

Anyway took my trusty D70 with a Tamron 70-300mm, AFS 18-70 kit lens and a Tamron 100mm Macro with a Canon L-2 Rangefinder with CV 50mm F2.5 and 35mm F1.7.

The most interesting thing that i saw was basically the ducks, i wasn't too interested in macro or flower photography (did that the previous time that i was there) and was just looking around for something new to photograph. The ducks were probably the most active bunch out there thus it was fun looking at them splashing around (but damn hard to focus and get a good shot).

And there comes to what i consider the most interesting photo of today. Basically the ducks after finshing their "morning exercise" decided to take a rest on this arrow signboard in the lake. Half of them were facing the signboard direction and half facing the other side as if deciding where to go.Posted by Picasa

Which Way !?!?! D70 with Tamron 70-300

By Stephen Lee

Taken at the punggol MRT and LRT station. Was walking around the station about evening time and didn;t really find any inspiration, finally came upon this spot and thought it would be cool to do a light trail shot.

The only problem was that there were too few cars in that area. (It's a pretty deserted place). PS to the rescue !! Basically took a few shots of cars wheezing by and using layers (lighten) and put them on top on another. I also PS out the lens flare part.

Notice the curve light trail at the bottom! I was standing at the U-turn portion when i was taking this picture. So u can imagine a lot of drivers turning at that point staring at me, wondering what i was doing there !Posted by Picasa

Taken with a D70 with a AFS 17-80 kits lens at the widest setting.

By Stephen Lee

Ah finally have some time to update ... it has been a long week at work finally TGIF ! Anyway just to say that my Xiao Guilin gallery is up, the pics taken with my new Canon L2 with the Voightlander 35mm 1.7 lens using Hp5 with Rodinal.

Being the first time there i was quite amaze that it looked something out of a Chinese Martial Art's movie (finally know where TCS finds the spots for their drama serials). But what really struck me was the quiet and peaceful surroundings even though it was at the heart of HDB land. Really envy the Bukit Batok Residents that live near it.

To get to the photos just click on the fotopic link at the left.


By Stephen Lee

My latest toy a Canon L2 Rangefinder !!! Posted by Picasa

Well got it off a nice man named Samuel who works at Mount Alvernia. Anyway during the resulting chat after the inspection of the goods and the exchange of cash, he remarked that it seems hard to be interested to take pictures in one's own backyard.

Is itbecause we are so accustomed to the sights and sounds of our own little island there seemed to be little hope of finding interesting things to photograph. Somehow our eyes tend to "see" better when we are in a foreign land but we fail to see what is unique in our own hometown.

By Stephen Lee

Another pic! Posted by Hello

Mounted on my Bessa : with a zenit 50mm F3.5 lens, for more info on the view finder u can visit

By Stephen Lee

My new accquisition a KMZ Universal Finder!  Posted by Hello

By Stephen Lee

Sleeping after a long day Posted by Hello