Tag Archives: Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G VR

2010 SingTel F1 Grid Girls Crowning Party – A Media Event

What a great media event!  I mean, fast cars and pretty women should go side by side with one another.  I am an avid fan of Formula One and have been watching every single match on TV.  Singapore circuit is special.  Not only because it is a night race, an anti-clockwise circuit, but also because the race takes place in the city, along the beautiful marina.

So what do F1 grid girls do?  Good question.  I met one of my fellow bloggers at the party.  To me, grid girls are there to hold the flags before the race.  And they are there to clap and welcome the winners at the end of the race.  Beyond that, I have no idea what they do.  My buddy is the hilarious one.  He said there have been rumors that …

Anyway, the venue of the event was at Shanghai Dolly, Clarke Quay.  I seldom write about the event venue (because most are just standard).  I think Shanghai Dolly is a lovely venue.  Great decoration and the house band is simply mesmerizing.  I will be back, for sure.

12 SingTel F1 grid girls, 3 group performances followed by questions for the individual.  I am surprised that no one answered world peace.  I think one girl has a rather noble answer and she went on winning the top grid girl award.  At 10 pm, the winner of SingTel Grid Girls 2010 was announced.  Mabel Lau has won the title, got herself a S$10,000 cheque from SingTel, and will be holding our Singapore flag on the race day.  OK.  I can understand why she wins.  Probably the most photogenic of all.  Personally, I like the 2nd runner up too.  In any case, we will see them on TV during the weekend of 24th to 26th September.

Back to F1, I am being asked a lot of time on which team I support or who is my favorite F1 driver.  The thing about motor racing is that viewers have very short term memory.  The last race’s winner is always the hero – in this case, Alonso.  Webber in this season has pulled off some of the most amazing stuns (and is marginally leading the championship).  Button has won the championship last year, looks like he is still in the game.  And Hamilton, what a committed driver – when he has a competitive car.  I wish he can win this season.  Having said that, I would be delighted if any of four could win.

Where are the photos?  You must be asking.  Well, I have worked double hard and pushed out the contents within a few hours after the event.  Hot from the oven.  Just for you!


  • I haven’t got time to narrate the photos.  But they are very much self-explanatory – I hope.
  • Those who carried flowers are the top 3 girls.
  • I wish I could devote the same amount of attention to all 12 grid girls.  But I am a man.  My attention takes direction from my …
  • The girl who doesn’t look like a grid girl won herself a gift from SingTel after some intense competition on the stage that involved … dancing.
  • The girl who was holding the mic is from the house band.  She has one amazing voice.

It’s Time Of The Moon Again

The Moon - ISO200, f/8, 1/800s

Last evening, returned home from a lovely dinner gathering with Symantec, Cynthia was already in bed.  I opened the window, cool air greeted my face.  As I extended my vision from near to far, from the golf course on the other side of the reservoir to the pitch-dark sky, I saw a bright dot.  It was the moon!  Quickly I dashed to my dry cabinet, switched to my telephoto lens, set up the tripod, and started taking photos of our only natural satellite.  The moon does rise up faster than I thought, so does the speed of rotation.  And if I line up the photos I took in sequential order, I can see how the moon rotates.

Different photographers have different preferences on subject matter.  Cynthia’s brother for instance loves to take pictures of insects found in around his Jakarta home at the macro level.  He would proudly show me images of insect eyes and hairs and what not.  I could faint looking at those.  As for me, I enjoy taking pictures of the monuments, candid pictures of the moment, and celestial beauty like the moon.

Avid readers of my site may think: Wait a minute, is this a déjà vu?  I have seen a photo just like this before.  Indeed, that was last December.  I think the photograph of the moon then was a little bit too bright.  Also, no longer do I need to hand hold the camera now that I have a tripod.  Hence a different setting that seems to make the moon looks a bit more 3D.

Last night’s moon reminds me of Italo Calvino’s “Cosmicomics (1965)”.  The short story “The Distance of the Moon” is the most beautiful piece of literature I have read that is based upon our moon.  Italo Calvino remains as one of my all-time-favorite authors.  Some of his books I have read more than once.  His work has made it to Harold Bloom’s “The Western Canon (1994)”.  Unfortunately, my zest of writing book summaries did not quite take form until 2006.  Perhaps in this upcoming 2010, I shall have a book marathon on all his works of fiction and have the book summaries posted here.

PS. No post-processing on this photo.  It is as it is, cropped of course.  Exposure setting: M mode, 1/800 second, f/8 and sensitivity: ISO 200.  Now, I wish I have that 600mm lens (that costs nearly S$20,000!).

Still Wilfrid The Paparazzi, On Felicia And Nathaniel

My niece and nephew

If you recall, a year ago, I was happily sharing the exciting news of my nephew and I sharing the same birthday.  Decades apart, of course.  Looking back at that blog entry, what a bizarre piece of write-up I produced!  So much details then that I would have forgotten now.  Like I often say, keep a diary and keep writing it.  One form or another.

So I did get that dSLR camera.  Towards the end of our holiday in Indonesia, when Cynthia one day in her home in Bandung after we have visited her brother Eric’s home in Jakarta looked at my bulky camera gears, she asked, “You brought all these gears all the way from Singapore just to take pictures of Felice and Nathan?”  I nodded and replied, “Indeed.”

If the weather in Bandung was any better, I may have taken some dusk shots in around Cynthia’s house.  Unlike my trip a year ago, I now have a tripod.  But during our stay, Bandung rained and rained and rained.  Non-stop, every evening, which is OK, for I have prepared tons of things to do while relaxing at Cynthia’s home.

During this trip, instead of taking tons of photos, I have jotted down tons of writing ideas, including one possible book idea.  That book idea aside, I initially intended to start publishing the short stories inspired by my short trip to Indonesia starting today.  But then, why the rush?  Better rush the photos of my lovely nephew and niece instead, learned from experience.

Jellyfish Is Called Medusa In Spanish, Out Of Valencia And Into Toledo

Inside a Marine Center in Valencia

This post is dedicated to the loyal followers of this Spain holiday series and to those few of you who constantly ask me if the photos are coming out any time soon and drop some comments here.  It is your anticipation that keeps me going.  Thank you.  At the end of this series, we may have a 15,000 words journal completed with 600 photos.  All because of you!

Day 6, we have approached the midway point of our journal.  Of all the episodes, I look forward to the photo album of this one the most.  It is because the subjects are so different from the rest of what we have.  The structures in the “City of Art and Science” are so futuristic, so unexpected of.  I wish I had more time to tour this part of Valencia.

As usual, below are the options you may wish to read more about our road trip.

  • A photo collection for day 6 of our trip to Spain (39 photos with captions)
  • A journal written in details on what we did and more (approx 1,800 words)
  • A highlight of the photos below (8 photos – and for Facebook readers, please view the original post)

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

On My Birthday We Visited Medan Ikan Bakar at Malacca (Again)

Meda Ikan Bakar

My observation on age as such: besides the age that you can legally have s … ahem … your own driving licence and the one that grants you lots of discount everywhere you go because you are senior, age is just a number that has little significance.  Some achieve more than others at their age; some look better than others at their age; some manage to defy the gravitational pull of music-from-my-good-old-days-sounds-much-better-than-today’s-hits better than others.  As for me, I am so going to watch Lady Gaga’s concert when she comes to Singapore.

My birthday is my holiday, always.  And I woke up at nine this morning with my head still spinning after a long night of online gaming.  Our team lead of 5 – a good online friend of ours – lightly commented that we were not performing up to our usual standard.  I said the obvious, “It’s three in the morning, ha ha ha.”  Cynthia and I were more or less randomly hitting the buttons like two sleepy zombies.  Game mission accomplished nonetheless, sort of.

Processing my band’s studio jamming materials took much shorter time than anticipated.  Probably because I have already spent much time running through the recording during the week.  At about eleven-thirty, I said to Cynthia, who also took leave because I did, “Let’s have lunch at the Botanic Gardens.  Grab our passports, we may dine in Malacca.”

We love road trips.  Road trip for couples is like golf for business partners.  It is almost like having an undivided attention for each other for hours.  In fact, I think all couples should go through the road trip test amongst other ‘tests’ that I will cover in my new book “Things You Wish You Had Done Before Saying I Do”.

OK.  There’s no such book.  I am pulling your legs.  Below are some of the photos taken today.

Malacca has changed a lot, over the last decade.  It is now inscribed as a World Heritage City, though we have no clue which organization inscribes such a title.  We arrived at Malacca way before dinner time so we road-toured the city.  Now, there is a Malacca Eye by the sea (something like the Singapore Flyer), a few new malls, and we need to buy parking coupons instead of putting coins into the parking meter.  Maybe these changes have been around for years.  We seldom tour the city.  We visit Malacca to have seafood, a location outskirt of Malacca.

We always had difficulties in finding “Medan Ikan Bakar” (translates to Baked Fish Eating House I think).  Each time, we would spend an hour or two trying to find the place.  Each time, we would document the direction in exactitude only to realize in the next trip that the landscape has changed.  Malacca is not small.  And it is easy to get lost.

I can certainly say it with conviction that Nokia Map has changed the way we travel.  The maps are free, the GPS service is free.  Not only do I know exactly where I am, it knows a list of landmarks around the area too.  I don’t need to pay for and install a separate device just for this function.  It comes with the phone.  So, on my birthday, we arrived at the Baked Fish Eating House at ease.

Every morning, fishing boats arrive at the shore and unload some of the seafood to the long stretch of restaurants nearby.  I have seen the days when this area was so popular that it literally took hours to find a parking space.  In our recent visits, there seems to be an increased number of parking lots.  Also, maybe because we often avoid the weekend crowds and we prefer to dine early, we dine in leisure.

We had a sea bass (baked), six gigantic prawns (baked), some squids (sweet source), a vegetable dish, and three portions of rice.  The sea food tasted fresh and the fish was juicy.  The total bill came up to about RM 55 (which is about S$25?).  I thought it was reasonable.  Note: for my future reference, we spent RM 200+ for this brief out-of-town experience.

For those of you who have the Nokia Map installed in your phone, download the Malaysia map and punch in “Pernu Umbai”.  The search result of “Medan Ikan Bakar Pernu Umbai” should appears (186.7km from my home!).  For other map users, try this coordinates: 2° 9′ 21″ N, 102° 20′ 9″ E.  Or if you trust my direction (I have tested it on the way back and it is accurate to the one hundredth meter), click here and scroll all the way to the bottom.