We spent all day at home yesterday and today because we have been down with a stomach flu. And it seems like the only way to rest these days is to actually fall sick.
So we are done with Clare’s exams. Done with major productions. Didn’t think about work, or anything else and just spent the time relaxing and recuperating, without having to rush to places. (I had a really long and glorious nap yesterday, which was exactly what the doctor ordered!)
Today, we opened one of Clare’s presents. She was gifted kinetic sand, which is pure sand that sticks together, so it can be easily moulded and doesn’t creative this mega mess with sand flying all over the places. We took it to another level when I told her to create scenes for me to photograph (and practise using the macro adapter for my M), and it was great fun!
We had a shoot at our place tonight and guess who was hard at work?
Broccoli patty cake.
Finished product here.
The Leica T launch took the world by storm a few months ago, when it first launched. It seems to fill the space between the X2 (now re-branded as just X) and the M systems. I’ve got my hands on a loan unit and am really loving it for the following main reasons:
- It is lightweight. I pop it into my handbags and I don’t feel a huge sag or that I am carrying a rice sack around.
- It allows for different lenses. And again, not much weight on that either.
- Sexy design. The unibody is world class and the slim form of the lenses, even with the hood on it, makes it look like a lean, mean, machine.
- It’s power packed with technology with a touch screen interface and the ability to control the camera through your iPhone. With the new software update, you can touch the screen to focus AND shoot too!
- And of course, the image quality is top notch, bar none. The creaminess, the sharpness of the lens, and the texture…
Here are some sample images in day time and at night time, when we went for a car wash. At ISO3200, the noise is not intrusive. I really, really love this camera, and am so tempted to add this one to the collection.
I love that we are able to enjoy the long National Day weekend, right here in Singapore. It has been a fairly chilled one, before we hit the road again. I’m looking forward to see the team and put another show out there. But I am really exhausted from the travelling as we have been so busy.
(On a similar work-related note: I’ve been having weird dreams lately. Last night’s instalment was of us at the International Emmys and winning an Emmy for ‘Asia’s Next Top Model’, which would actually be fantastic in real life. But also for ‘Boston Legal’, which somehow I also produced in dreamland. Absolutely bizarre.)
The Chinese believes that the gates of hell open every seventh lunar month, and the ghosts come out to play in our world. To keep them happy, we offer them food and drinks. Yesterday was the Hungry Ghost Festival, which falls on the 15th day of the seventh lunar month.
So I recently acquired a Leica M240. It has been interesting, yet frustrating at times. Frustrating because it is like learning a whole new language altogether, especially having grown up in the digital/automatic era of photography. The Leica Rangefinder, is like a mythical beast of magical tales, and when confronted with it, one doesn’t quite know what to do except to tread carefully, get to know it and savour the experience.
I paired the Leica M240 with a 35mm and 50mm Summicron; and today, I bought the macro adapter, along with Erwin Puts’ Leica Practicum.
Am now really wishing that I have some time to read and tame the beast. Life really needs to be less hectic.
It’s Tuesday fun day today as it is a public holiday. (All photos taken with the Leica M9 / 35mm f/2 Summicron lens.)
I can’t believe how fast this girl is growing right before my very own eyes. She thinks and behaves far beyond her years. And she has a gorgeous personality that I am so proud of. 7.5 years on, I still can’t believe I got this lucky.
Sometime ago, my friend Bridgit recommended this website to me – A Mighty Girl. The website touts itself as “The world’s largest collection of books, toys and movies for smart, confident, and courageous girls”. I love what this site has to offer, and especially so, being a mother of a little girl. While I don’t know what it is like to raise boys or grow up with boys (I have four sisters!), I have never thought so much about about the image I portray as a woman until I had my little girl.
Unconsciously, I tried emulating my parents. I wanted my child to be always feel safe and protected by me. I sometimes slip up and she does see me hurt by other factors in life. But I aways want to be the super parent to her and I try very hard to live by a set of principles that hopefully will pass down to her and guide her through life.
One of the things most important to me is to cultivate in my child a sense of courage. Courage to face her fears. Courage to take the unknown path. Courage to pursue her dreams. Courage to make mistakes. Courage to pick herself up and be better and stronger than before. Courage to be herself.
I love that the website has resources, especially with books on women who made a difference. The first book I picked out from a local bookstore, based on their recommendation, was on Amelia Earhart. The one I managed to find was slightly junior to Clare’s level, but it was a simple and easy read for her to learn a bit more about the flying legend. Clare loved the book and loved the way Amelia Earhart lived her life. She actually said that she wished she could be like her.
I also liked that we expanded the activity in which I explained a little more to her about Amelia’s life and how she actually got lost eventually. And we got into talking about her and discussing what she did.
I am definitely looking forward to more bonding with Clare through these stories, and hopefully, one day, Clare would regard me as one of those heroes that made a difference too.
One of my resolutions for 2014, is about focus more on well-being – mention, emotional and physical. Amongst the practices I’ve gotten into: using therapeutic grade essential oils (more about that later), learning to take a step back when needed, reprogramme my mind and being more conscious towards changing past habits that will encourage (and not hinder) growth and happiness.
It’s only February and I am already starting to feel massively overwhelmed with work (our calendar is bursting – but it’s a happy problem!). On the even of me turning 34, I decided to just stop for a bit (so that I do not go into spinning mode) and took the dogs to the dog run. I haven’t been there in years and it has always been one of my happy places. One of the greatest joys in life is watching dogs run off leash.
Unfortunately, the side effect of not doing this enough, is breeding dogs who prefer humans to their fellow furry friends. Sweet, docile Dinky was actually snarling at any dog who came close to her. Of course, it didn’t help that all the other dogs descended on her with much curiosity. I think it’s her beguiling charm.
Jaws doesn’t know how to play with other dogs. She approached other dogs with some curiosity but when the other dogs start paying attention, she comes running back to me.
All in all, it was great. I got to meet a lady who was with her child and their service dog. Being exposed to that, only highlights how much this is overlooked in Singapore. Already, dogs aren’t welcomed in many establishments. People are not used to seeing dogs around, and it really takes a lot of education for the general public to understand the work these service dogs use, which is nothing short of amazing.
Anyway, of course I took pictures with my Leica X2. Here are some. I particularly enjoyed the morning sun today. It was the icing on the cake.
Dinky and her suitors.
Am slowly catching up with years of photo backlog. Was producing in Taiwan mid this year. I never thought I’d enjoy Taiwan this much, and going through these photos brings back somewhat fond memories. All photos below are taken on my trusty Leica X2.
Highlights below, full set here.
Chiang Kai Shek memorial.