Monday, November 30, 2009

My latest sin

Ah yes, if diamonds are girls best friend, heels are our support!

For a girl who doesn't normally wear high heel on normal days, heels are luxurius items. I pulled the plug to get my first Comme il Faut. These shoes are really hard to get outside Argentina.

They are made to dance tango with, but I believe you can also wear them on the street. I've only tried once, not with this one, but the result is dents on the leather sole. So I think I will stick with wearing them on the dance floor or perhaps cocktail party indoor at most.

I wasn't big on animal prints, but hey, with the shiny heels, they look stunning and different from the normal street heels.

I soon will be posting some of my old sins too.

Cake, coffee and an old friend

An old friend came to stay over the night with me last weekend. It was great to catch up with her again. And since I don't really cook breakfast, we decided to go to Gloria Jean's near Epping Station for a bit of a bite.

I had ricotta cheese cake with a bit of choc on top, while my friend Cenly had her choc muffin.
I realized that nothing beats cakes, coffee and a good friend.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Ja Jang Myon anyone?

This chinese derived korean black bean noodle jajangmyon looks ugly, but is absolutely delicious!
I first heard about it from the korean drama series Couple or Trouble (환상의 커플 "Hwansangui keopeul"), where the girl always eats jajangmyon. Curious on how it tastes, i bought a couple of instant one few months earlier. I didn't like it much. However when I taste the one made in Arisun restaurant, Strathfield. I love it!

My friends and I ordered salt and peopper chicken to go along with it. And it is such a perfect combination. YUM! Pictures speak a thousand words

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Outdoor Bondi Beach Milonga

Good tango music, dance, and the beach is an absolute winning combination. Held outside the Bondi Beach Pavillion, this milonga provides the opportunity for Sophia and Pedro Alvarez from Patio de Tango to introduce tango dance to the public. And of course for us, dancers, to show our skillz of giros, enrosques, and boleos.

It was especially good to see the dance in a totally different background: the beach!

It was great for me, because I do not need to worry about shutter speed and aperture to give enough light for the photos. On the other hand, having a big metal thing stuck in front of your face doesn't encourage guys to ask me to dance! I got a good tanda. I was happy.

I had the enjoyment of being their Sophia and Pedro's level 4 student since I came to Sydney. I've been trying to catch Sophia in one of my pic, because she said she haven't had a really good picture of her doing Tango. It's not easy! She moves fast!

Lastly I think I will leave you with a slightly different photo style. The original (and the rest of other pictures) are in my picasa album here What do you think?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sculpture by the Sea

Sculpture by the Sea is an annual event of sculpture exhibition along the Australian coasts. This year, I was lucky to had the opportunity to attend it on the last day. It was hot, high noon, certainly not the best condition to take pictures, but I tried my best for the sake of sharing it with you guys!

Bondi beach was packed that day. It's good to see families out together to enjoy the exhibition, and yet makes it more challenging to take photographs of the sculpture without making the result looks like an ordinary tourist photo.

The next two are a picture of the same sculpture. I love this curvy metallic one. It's Mitsuo Takeuchi's transfiguration "screw" IX. I love the way it gives different sense of feeling when viewed at different angle. And the shiny reflection, to top it off, Wow!

The winner of this year is actually this next photo of green leafy sculpture by Phil Price called Morpheus. The amazing thing about this, is that it is moving, changing shapes, rather like a chaotic pendulum. I think it portrays our current times, where things are slowly going back to the environment, yet not leaving the technology behind. I love it.

Paul Trefry, "little boy lost" is the next photo. I tried to take a picture from the front of the boy like everybody else, but in the end I decided to take the other angle. I wonder why the artist made a bigger size rather than the normal proportional size of a boy. Perhaps avoiding controversy? It would give a bit more impact were it to be the faithful size, especially taken from this angle.

The next one, a straw coming out of the ocean! This would have been a great picture were I to go with someone else who can pretend to suck the ocean! It's Big drink, by Justin Drape / Simone Brandse.

Pamela Lee Brenner / Emma Medwell's "step by step, inch by inch ... towards the precipice" is quite neat. I love the fact that most of the lady shoes are Tango shoes look alike! :)

Check out more photos in my picasa album directory.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Pinangsia "Rubber Noodle" in Sydney

Hungry for some Indonesian dish? The Pinangsia Noodle restaurant in Kingsford certainly got my vote. Their "Mie Karet" (literally translated as Rubber Noodle), is quite yummy. But I think my favourite is their delicious fried meatball (bakso goreng). Prices are reasonable, 8 AUD for the noodle and 1.5 AUD for their tennis ball sized fried meatball.
Don't expect ambiance from this Hawker style restaurant, but certainly expect near authentic Indonesian taste dish.

Pinangsia Noodle
319 Anzac Pde
Kingsford NSW 2032
Phone (02) 9697 0788

Donut eating seagull?

Yep, seagull got taste too. Captured around circular quay, this greedy seagull was trying to escape from his(her?) fellows with donut in his mouth. Well in a few hundred years when your grand grand child ask you why seagull eat donut, you know that it's natural selection.

Yes, donuts weren't intelligently designed to be eaten by seagulls.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Last weekend

Before I share to you some of the nice photos I got this weekend, I should tell you what I did last weekend! I was planning to go to outdoor milonga and also to see the Sculpture by the Sea, but the horrible rainy weekend made me cancelled it. Obviously that didn't stop me from taking pictures, albeit indoor.

I went to Queen Victoria Building(QVB) in downtown Sydney to take some candid shots. QVB is such a nice building. It has the perfect lighting and design. It was full of tourist, and no stylish people to captured though. Almost got discouraged when I thought that maybe I play with shutter speed and motion blur; to really get it next time without guessing what speed I should use. First picture is obviously difficult, because in this type of picture, you really want a symmetrical view which was not as easy to find as I thought. I hate that lightpost in the middle, but I can't cut it without disrupting the geometrical location of the stairs.. hm. The second photo is a trial with zoom.

The Christmas displays are already on. This Swarovski christmas tree runs 3 levels high and is very popular. Seems like everybody wants to take a picture of it. It was fun to sit there watching people pose while waiting for the rain to subsides outside.

Last picture is a Pedapod. A bicycle transport that runs around in the downtown area. It's funny to think that while becak in Jakarta is abolished, more and more western countries are giving the greener choice of rent a bicycle or this pedapod type transport. Obviously the difference of pedapod and becak is the driver. To drive a pedapod you need to complete some training including road and passenger safety and the vehicle itself is insured. Maybe we should bring becak in Jakarta!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Milonga Jungle

The ocho birthday of Patio de Tango was celebrated in Jungle style with plenty leopards, many zebras, a parrot, a dog, one yummy cake and a Dr. Doolittle. No tarzan though.

When I arrived, the show had begun. The fluorescent lights were on. Good, I thought at first, plenty light for the picture. But then on restrospective when I looked at the photos, I didn't like it so much. I did like the show though.
Fortunately after that, the milonga continued on with more of a moody lighting.

Plenty of tricks and lesson learned. The most important is do NOT photograph women on side step! It is really unflattering. Also, being an unofficial photographer does bring limitations. I didn't have the freedom nor the authority to ask people to pose, or to place myself at strategic places for important moments, so all of the photos are photo-journalistic style.

Finally, thank you to the City Rail trackwork, my arrival was delayed 2 hours. After the endless bus-train-bus-train-bus torture, I didn't feel like changing into my leafy skirt costume anymore. But I did came with my trusty Canon L lens and a flash. As always, took too many photos and spend too much time in photoshop (thus Copyright reserved, full resolution image can be made available upon request). Here are a few that I like, the rest can be viewed in my picasa album.

So I hope you guys enjoyed the photos.

Milonga El Cabeceo

One of the first reasons I bought my camera 2.5 years ago was to take picture of Tango. Back then I was still doing some oil painting, and when I look up on the web to find cool Tango pose to paint, I had difficulties. Most photos of Tango are point and shoot camera which makes the figures disproportioned.

Taking picture of dances aren't easy. First normally the lighting is dim, then you really have to know and anticipate the move. One lesson I learned is that the more advanced the dancers are, the more difficult it is to capture them. Simply because they move faster. Of course, unless they know the camera is there and pose it appropriately (see my Geraldine & Ezequiel Paludi photos).

So I lugged around my 50mm F1.4 to the milonga held by Patio de Tango (where I currently are taking my tango lessons too), and take some pictures. F1.4 is great, but they do give a rather soft appearances. So here they are. Obviously I picked a few that I like. If you happen to be the subject of the photos and really do mind having your pictures displayed here please email me and I will take them off. On the other hand, if you like the photo, feel free to link my blog / photo URL to your site, spread the word, and hire me for your next event photography!

PS: See if you can spot which one isn't tango!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Sydney's City Rail

So, going home from Tango tonight, I found myself spending over than 2 hours commuting.

In short, it consists of first bus came early, train had railwork so did not stop at the normal station. Stationman gave me wrong information to stop at another station where the connecting train also did not stop. What a reliable system.

My complaints? 1. There is no reason why buses don't wait when they arrived early. 2. All stationman must know changes in route and timetable especially when there are special railwork going on. 3. Route and platform number display should also be available inside the gate for people transiting (ex. at Central station currently you have to go out and come back in if you want to know which train to Epping arrives first). 4. Cleanliness! I won't see a similar photo like this in Taiwan!

Thank you, City Rail!
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