Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sikh at The Peacock Door

The wonderful and ornate Peacock Door at the City Palace in Jaipur, India guarded by an equally outstanding Indian Sikh with a bright red turban and beautiful mustache.

Back Door of the Taj Mahal

This is a different and not so common view of the famous Taj Mahal taken from the river at the rear of the building. This shot was taken in a poor and fading light giving a rather different and somewhat gloomy interpretation of the landmark

Friday, February 26, 2010

Taj Mahal

A visit to India is never complete without a visit to the famous Taj Mahal. It is recommended to get there early and beat the crowds so you can hopefully capture a photograph without hundreds of tourists thronging around the walkways. This RAW image was re-processed using Photomatix Pro and has produced a great HDR image from an original photo which is already very good. All the fine details of the shrine and the water reflections are brought out giving a final image which is more like the one you remember and perceive when you are actually there.


Another re-processed image from my India files, this time from the City Palace in Jaipur. This HDR image, created from a single RAW file, has brought out the rich dark tones, colours and fine details of the palace walls and floor as well as enhancing the reflections from the giant urns. You can spot the photographer (yours truly) in the reflection sporting a rather flash pair of red shorts!!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Mowing The Lawn - Asian Style

It's sometimes wonderful to go back through your old catalogue of photographs just to see what's lurking there and see what you can extract out from these older images. I went through some images taken in India in 2004 and took the opportunity to re-process some of them. Using the single RAW file I had originally taken I used Photomatix Pro to create an HDR image and the results in many cases were astounding, bringing out colour, depth and tonality to create more of a 3D like image. 

So if you cannot go out to shoot new pictures, for whatever reason, take some time and revisit your older images. Using the latest processing and imaging software you can sometimes unleash some great images that would otherwise remain in the dark recesses of a forgotten photo folder.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Blue Canyon

Asia has many top class premier golf courses and one of my favourites is the Blue Canyon Country Club in Phuket, Thailand. The Blue Canyon Country Club rose to fame when the Canyon Course was selected for the 1994 Johnnie Walker Classic. This was followed by the 1996 Honda Invitational Tournament of the Omega Tour. The Canyon Course's reputation as Asia's best was reaffirmed in 1998 and again in 2007, when the Johnnie Walker Classic returned, making it the first golf course to ever host the tournament thrice in the JWC’s history.

Architect Yoshikazu Kato took great care to mould his design ideas for the Canyon Course around the natural environment of Phuket Island, making use of the natural woodlands, water features and topography of the land. The result is a striking, organic design giving a feeling of unperturbed spontaneity to the intimidating natural hazards and lush fairways.

The Canyon Course features 80 bunkers and water at 10 of its holes as well as plenty of narrow tree-lined fairways, several dog-legs, narrow landing areas and well guarded, slick Bermuda Tidwarf greens to challenge the most proficient of golfers.

The golf clubhouse commands one of the best views over the course that I have seen anywhere and what better way to finish a day's golf but to sit at the clubhouse terrace supping a cold Singha beer and eating some great local Thai food.

This panoramic HDR photograph was created from 7 separate RAW images taken with a Canon G9 camera, using AutopanoPro to create the panorama and Photomatix Pro to generate the final HDR image.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Singapore Transformation

Singapore has always been close to my heart as this was the first place I lived when I moved to Asia in 1984. The Singapore River waterfront has changed dramatically since then, from rows of run down godowns to a modern high-rise bustling financial centre. The river front now offers a wonderful variety of local and international restaurants, bars, night spots as well as museums, galleries and pedestrian walkways or river cruises to take in the views of the city.
The old post office that I remembered back in the early 80's has now magically been renovated into the top class 5-star Fullerton Hotel which commands a strategic location right at the river mouth and offers its visitors a nostalgic flash-back to those earlier colonial days of Singapore.

Monday, February 08, 2010

ION Orchard

ION Orchard is the latest shopping centre in Singapore built over the Orchard MRT station with 335 food and retail outlets and a unique futuristic and organic-like design. An integral part of the development is the Orchard Residences, a high-rise residential condominium, which is still under construction and will have 175 units from the 9th floor to the 54th floor. Layered across the walls of ION Orchard, the Media Facade is a multi-sensory canvas media wall made with cutting-edge technology. 
ION Orchard will also have the largest sheltered public square along Orchard RoadION2. It will span over 33,000 sq ft (3,100 m2) wide and are able to set-up any large-scale events. Everyday, over 220,000 pedestrians will be within its vicinity.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

"Let There Be Light" with Joe McNally

Louis Pang and Joe McNally said "Let There Be Light" .... and there was.

One of the biggest names in photography, Joe McNally, has been in KL all week conducting workshops and seminars, all due to arrangements made by Louis Pang of Joe is a renowned photographer of Life Magazine fame, a major contributor to National Geographic magazine since 1987 and the "Guru of Light". His recent books "The Moment It Clicks" and "The Hot Shoe Diaries" have been highly successful and to get the opportunity to attend one of his events is not to be missed.

350 photographers from Malaysia and many countries gathered at the Shangri-La Hotel in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday 6th February to attend a one-day seminar called "Let There Be Light" arranged by local photographer Louis Pang. Louis presented a session in the morning entitled Guerilla Lighting Techniques.

Joe presented the audience with a large variety of lighting techniques interspersed with his usual funny stories. Apart from be being one of the world's leading photographers Joe is an entertaining presenter and just a "really nice guy"!