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.
I was very honoured, to be asked by Leica, to photograph an event for them recently – the opening reception of REDred Photography Exhibition. The photographs were taken by Geoff Ang (one of Singapore’s top fashion photographer, who is also a really lovely chap all round), which were up for sale. It is Leica’s efforts, together with ERCO Lighting, to raise funds for the victims of Typhoon Haiyen.
In the spirit of charity, Joan Leong Photography donated our fee for the night to the cause too. (Yes, I still take on limited photography work. Write to me, if you want something done – would love to work something out!) Photos from the night will be up in a later post, after Leica has put up the photos on their Facebook page.
In doing so, I got to use the Leica M-E together with the Summicron 35mm lens. Anyone would know about my love for the Leica X2. Getting to work with the M-E has only brought my love for them to a whole new level. Like seriously. I have no idea how, but yes it has.
While chatting with other Leica enthusiasts that evening, I’ve come to realise that the people who use a Leica, are those who really and truly love the camera with a passion. Of course, we like our cameras like the Canons and the Nikons – I’ve always been a die-hard Canon user – but with Leica, it’s so much more emotional than that. The cameras stand on their own right, and are comparable to none. They feel so good in our hands, look damn sexy, and most importantly, churn out drop dead sexy images.
Here are some shots that I randomly shot (to get used to the rangefinder focussing) while walking around my neighbourhood. More of my Leica photos can be seen here.
I’ve always admired people who chased their dreams and accomplish them (and more!), and have always tried my best to show some support along their journey.
I met Michele through a work thing years ago, just as she was leaving her corporate job to pursue fashion design. She’s recently launched her line of camera bags, that are meant to be stylish and pave the way for fashionable and functional workhorses. Yes, functional in the fashion world means dowdy. But, who says we can’t combine both to bring out the best of both worlds?
I put in an order for the Rei Camera bag, pictured above. I chose that one because it looks least like a bag for tech accessories. I love that she’s patching that hole in the market. I’ve always felt that female photographers shouldn’t always have to dress and accessorise like a man, but our chooses are so limited, if we want to work comfortably.
Can’t wait to get my hands on it. Am already thinking of getting the Leyden next!
I’ve been busy. Spent a good one month straight in Malaysia making a television show. (Where I got to push my photography boundaries again – a mental and emotional lifesaver!) I’m still commuting every few days, … still busy … story of my life.
Am really happy to have gotten back in touch with my camera gear again. I used the Leica X2 mainly and produced images like this:
Can’t believe that we are already mid-way through October. Seriously can’t wait for 2013 to be over. I feel like I’ve spent a large part of 2013 fixing me and recovering from all sorts of issues that blow up around/at me. I take credit for some, I wish others would take credit when their turn is due.
Like the shattered glass above (taken with the iPhone 5s), I’m still holding together. After much reflecting/medicating/libating/talking/shopping/tv watching, I’ve now strengthened my resolve and have vowed to never let this happen to me again. I miss the me from 20 years ago. Reconnected with an old friend recently who reminded me of that. I didn’t care about what the world thought. I was just me. And I did not allow others to try and change me otherwise.
I’m just going to be me. Others can keep trying to break the pieces. #justsayin.
Seafood paella. Yes, it’s been a while.