Wilfrid The Paparazzi, At Volcano “Kawah Putih” (Bandung South)

Such mist!

There are many reasons to process the photos not long after the trip.  First, viewers are sharp.  They may ask why this set of photos is not as good as the previous set.  Second, some people may look thinner or … erm … quite the opposite then than now.  Especially after one long year.  Third, it is always good to get the photo processing work out of the way, as soon as possible.

December 2008, we have visited Bandung.  And I have published four sets of photos.  This particular set of photos captured at the crater “Kawah Putih” is without a doubt my favorite collection.  Looking back, I wish my technique was better.  And the weather was really bad as well.  Nevertheless, I have attempted to put together an album with some … very offbeat captions!

  • Click here to view the entire album (53 photos)

Below is an extract of the album and oh, we shall be in Bandung by the time you read this!

This Is The End Of The Spain Holiday Series

At San Salvador

I wish I could save the best for the last.  But my favorite photo album is still the journal of the previous day.  Followed by the “Jelly Fish” post that some of my friends refer to.

The writing of this set of journal have been one helluva journey.  A total of more then 22,000 words not counting the associated blog entries and close to 600 photographs.  And this blog entry is dedicated to the regular readers of this series (and my website).  Without your support, I reckon I would gave up halfway.  So, thank you.

To read more about our last day of our trip in Mallorca …

To read the rest of the travel blog entries, please follow this tag.

GCA 2009 – “Hacking” Our Way Into Games Convention Asia, Lol

OK, they got my name wrong ... lol ... sort of.

I didn’t wake up on a Thursday morning thinking that I would attend an exhibition.  “GCA” sounded familiar.  As though I have been to such an event before.  I did some checking on my website and guess what?  One year ago, on this day, I was wearing the media pass for this event, invited by Nokia!  It’s been a year already?  And neither did I wake up on a Thursday morning thinking that I would wear a professional visitor pass, acting as my good friend’s assistance for a day.

This morning, a text message arrived at my phone.  My friend wanted to meet up at SunTech for a meal before heading to an exhibition.  Fine by me.  “What are we going to do at an exhibition?” I texted.  “I will tell you later,” she texted back.

As I made my way to the convention center, there she was, looking absolutely stunning , and professional too.  Fashionable long dress and jacket, with a Prada handbag to match.  Her job title is “Head of Regional Sales”.  Not long ago, we were peers, same company, same team.  I really ought to catch up on my career progression.  And I am happy for her.  Sales type of work suits her better than my 9 to 5.

It seemed like her first time here in this kind of exhibition.  Feeling excited and all.  It was definitely my first time in this kind of exhibition, without a media pass.  I too felt excited because … oh well, computer gaming is in my blood.  GCA is primary for the business partners to meet.  Nokia doesn’t seem to participate this year.  I wonder why.

With confidence, my friend headed to the registration counter to get the professional visitor pass.  I doubt if anyone would say no to my very pleasant looking friend, together with her equally pleasant name card.  I played along when it came to my turn and said with a smile, “She is my boss and I am her assistant, today!”  The young chap seemed amused and he didn’t say no to me neither.  Hooray!  I played a good assistance, helped my ‘boss’ to sign in, and …

… Oops.  I bumped onto a few journalist friends from the media.  One of them asked, “What are you doing here?”  And I said, “I am with my boss, on a mission!”  “But you are usually the main guy!  Where is your camera?” he asked.  “Not today!  Ha ha ha, I will see you around,” I waved goodbye.  My media friends seem to remember me by my camera.  How strange!

Upon receiving our passes, my friend suddenly turned professional, looked at me and said, “Since you are my assistant today, tell me what’s our game plan?”  Hmmm.  I put on my consultant hat, pulled out the program guide and said, “If I guess your intend right, we should check out the business exhibitors first and gather some contacts.  After which, we could head over to the consumer side as it is usually more fun.  As for the conferences, we can think of that later.”

Of all the business exhibitors, I enjoyed chatting with the folks from Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab.  It is a collaboration between MIT and Singapore.  I asked if it is the MIT and the students said yes.  Amazing.  One Western lady is currently studying computing and mathematics in MIT.  We had a friendly chat.  And I had also chatted with some of the Asian students in order for me to understand what it takes to build an Indie computer game prototype.  It is often a 10 weeks or so project with up to 10 team members taking on the roles of producer, game designer, graphic designer, and etc.  The passion these students has was infectious.  I could feel it immediately.  If you have time, check out GAMBIT’s official site.  Before I left the booth, I asked one last question, “Have you considered joining Blizzard?”  For those who are new to the gaming industry, I think Blizzard at present is the place to be at.  “Funny you asked that,” he continued, “as I have considered working with Blizzard before.  But I prefer to work in an Indie environment instead.”  Good answer.  And I wish them all the best in their studies.

Moving on to the consumer side, it did have the bells and whistles, big monitors and girls in sexy outfits to make people go wow.  OK, my friend was as excited as me, for slightly different reason.  Taking the center stage was none other than the Xbox 360 game “Forza Motorsports 3”.  If only those were Formula One cars, that would have been perfect – for me.  There was a costume shop that showcased a life size Thrall (a famous dude from the online game World of Warcraft who gets murdered globally perhaps a hundred times a day) and Ironman.  The Counter Strike costume worn by a group of real life male models was just so hilarious.

After we have covered both the business and consumer sides, the only agenda item left for us – or rather her – to visit is the conference.  Since we are not from the media, we have to pay S$700+ per person.  Uh huh.  OK, somewhere somehow, we have got to …

… my friend pressed on insisting that her company is sort of like a media company.  Hmmm, really?!  I guess we could see it that way.  The young chap got a bit lost, politely asking us to wait while he was going to get his boss.  Uh oh.  I swear I was about to pull my “new media” trick telling them I am running a rather, ahem, popular website in Singapore if we got ourselves into an embarrassing situation.

No need for that because his boss was not around.  We left the convention center, went our separate ways.  One hour later, I received a phone call.

“Guess what?!  They have called and issued us a media pass!  Do you wanna …”

She got the media pass?  Again, who can say no to her?

PS. Below are some of the processed photos I have taken during my adventure.  I didn’t bring my Nikon D700 with me and have used my Nokia N97 instead.

So Many Boats, In The Beautiful Island of Mallorca (Majorca)

Cynthia and I in Mallorca

If you are one of the handful of readers who follow this Sunday series, you probably wonder, where am I in the photos?  I am often not that keen to go in front of the camera.  Happy to stay behind the viewfinder instead.  And all of a sudden, in day 11, I put my tripod into action.  A bit late I know.  But better then never, eh?

Interestingly, out of this handful of readers who often drop a comment or two at my site (thank you!), one is traveling from Singapore to Hong Kong for holiday, with his wife.  And another one is traveling from Hong Kong to Singapore for holiday, also with his wife.  Well, bros, take some good photos and have a good family outing.  I look forward to seeing your photo albums!

Mallorca, or Majorca in English, is a beautiful island.  The beach, the boats, the blue sky, the lake, and the mountains.  It is a perfect destination for the cyclists too.  No wonder Mallorca is such a popular vocation destination for the Europeans.  To read more about our road trip in Mallorca.

To read the rest of the travel blog entries, please follow this tag.

Traveling To The Beach Resort Island, A Prelude to Mallorca

A view near the hotel Mar Azul

The color of this photo is taken straight from my camera, a faithful reproduction of the beautiful sea view that we saw.  I have been contemplating if I shall combine the day 10 and 11 entries into one as I didn’t manage to take many photos that day, for circumstances that you will read later.  But since day 11 and 12 – the last 2 entries of the series – are pretty heavy with some real good contents (I promise), I shall leave day 10 entry as it is – like a prelude.  A bit light on the photo album (sorry!).  The journal, nevertheless, is as meaty as ever (kekeke).

As such, below are the options you may wish to read more about our first day in Mallorca.

To read the rest of the travel blog entries, please follow this tag.