It was about half a year ago during the month of Malaysian independence day celebration that the Nasi Lemak burger craze hit the town. One that particularly stood out from the rest was from myBurgerLab, with their Nasi Lemak Ayam Rendang variation winning many hearts of their patrons. Their Nasi Lemak burger was doing so well that it made it into the permanent menu instead of being a limited time only item.

It was a fully occupied Saturday for me that Ilford launched their first Ilford Galerie in the world, situated at Oasis Square, Damansara. In conjunction with this opening, they featured Ming Thein's "Idea of Man II" as their first photography exhibition.

I had a Panasonic Lumix 4K Photo workshop in the afternoon, which coincided with the event. Otherwise I would have been able to do a full event coverage for that launching ceremony which was officiated by Ilford's president who came all the way from Japan. It would have been awesome shooting behind the scenes stuff, and of course listen to sharing by Ming Thein himself, and the person behind this Galerie, Wesley Wong.

After spending one heck of a week shooting and doing a review for the Panasonic G9, I thought I could spend one lazy Sunday with a couple of awesome people just to chill out. That was exactly what happened last Sunday, together with Robert and Sim, we attacked food, drank plenty of coffee, had good dosage of high quality audio and then even more food. I live to eat. I hope you do the same too.

Oh did you remember the tips on how to shoot great looking "Instagram-able" food images (click here)? If you have followed those tips you can achieve the following results.

Sticky Rice (Lor Mai Kai)

My Panasonic Lumix G9 review is now published! Go to Ming Thein's site here to read the full article. 

Thanks to Panasonic Malaysia and Digital Camera Magazine (DCM) Malaysia, I have the Panasonic G9 on loan for review. I have been shooting for a few days now and am gathering as many sample photos as I can. This will be my first full review for a Panasonic camera, and I am very excited being out there doing this. I am also fully equipped with all various Panasonic lenses to test out the G9 with. I will of course use one or two Olympus lenses for some specific purposes, but having native Panasonic lenses matter because I can fully test out the Dual IS and DFD for C-AF shooting. So far things are looking quite amazing and I cannot wait to share the results with you guys soon. 

Photography opportunity has a lot to do with luck. You have to be out there waiting for something to happen, go to it, and shoot it. Being at the right time and at the right place matters. However, you can increase the chances of interesting moments happening by going out a lot more. Sometimes, you just have to trust your gut feeling, and do what you feel is right at that particular moment.

Last Snuday, I conducted a half day photography workshop for Olympus and had multiple appointments in the afternoon. After the last meeting, it was already late 3.30pm, and I just wanted to call it a day and go home. Strangely, there was this inkling feeling in me that urged me to spend the rest of the afternoon shooting insect macro. The kind of fired up enthusiasm that suddenly you just want to pick up the camera and go trigger happy, happened and I did just that. I continued on to a nearby park and did a solid 3 hours insect macro shooting session.

Image taken with Panasonic Lumix G9 and Olympus M.Zuiko 60mm F2.8 macro lens. 
Yes, you read that right, the G9. A review is cooking. 

You see, I have been hunting Ant Mimic Spiders. They are extremely difficult to find (at least for me, living in the city, with mostly secondary forests) and when i did get to find one, the spider usually moved so fast it was challenging to get a decent shot. Every single time I went out shooting insect macro I would look for Ant Mimic Spider, with very low success. Finally, on a day that I initially wanted to just rest and have a normal Sunday like everyone else, my instinct kicked me to go out and shoot. I found my Ant Mimic Spider.

Why my fascination with Ant Mimic Spider? They live their whole lives pretending to be ants. To do so, they need to mimic ant specific characteristics. They walk on six legs, and raised their front two legs to look like antennas which they never had. Also, their eyes were shaped and rearranged differently from other spiders to look as if they only had two eyes, instead of many eyes spiders normally have. Their body shape has been altered to look like ants as well, and they changed their walking patterns to match the ants. Perhaps the scariest part is the ability of these ant mimic spiders to secrete chemical scents that the ants will be familiar with. These mimicry mechanisms worked for two purposes: protection against the ants, because ants move in a large group and numbers always win when it comes to fights, and for the spiders to always have source of food. When the ant mimic spider found an ant wandering off alone... then it is meal time.

People say animals do not lie. I disagree. At least ant mimic spiders lie about their identities.

You have no idea how happy I was at the end of last Sunday, coming home with some very decent shots of these ant mimic spiders (and some other insects as well along the way). I think it is very important to always believe in yourself, and listen to your heart. Trust your instinct, and your camera will make interesting shots happen!
A while ago I was blogging about the Lowepro Campus + bag which was designed to be a travel or everyday bag. I did a video showing how I pack for my short trip home to Kuching. In that video, I packed my Olympus PEN E-P5, Panasonic 14mm F2.5 lens and Olympus 25mm F1.8 into a separate, tiny little camera shoulder bag. Since then, that article has received more questions about that tiny little camera bag than the Lowepro bag I was blogging about instead. The same post was also on Instagram and due to popular interest, I thought why not I do one entry about this mysterious little bag that I have had with me for a while now.

The tiny little camera bag looked so good, with simplistic, clean and basic design. Perfect for smaller camera systems. 
Olympus' latest lenses, the F1.2 PRO primes, 17mm and 45mm both have this new feature named "feathered bokeh". Olympus claims that when shooting at F1.2 wide open, feathered bokeh can be achieved, rendering softer looking background for better defocusing effect, isolating the subject better and creating that 3-dimensional look. Alternatively, a more solid background can be acquired by stopping down the lens to F1.8, which is the ordinary look from any other lenses. During my course of reviewing lenses, both the 17mm and 45mm F1.2 PRO, I have come to appreciate the buttery smooth and pleasingly creamy bokeh that these lenses can do at F1.2. However, is there really that huge of a difference between the F1.2 and F1.8? I am not asking in terms of shallow depth of field (obviously the F1.2 can create a blurrer background, no doubt), but the bokeh quality. Is it really that much better?

17mm F1.2 PRO. Taken at F1.2 obviously and the bokeh is just so beautiful to look at. Transition is smooth and the blur is pleasingly creamy. If I were to pick one image to show the capability of the 17mm F1.2 lens being used wide open, this would be the one I pick. Stunning sharpness on the eye in focus, and the absolutely delicious bokeh rendering. 

I celebrated my birthday last week, and my wonderful friends have surprised me with a dinner and an unusual gift: the Sony MDR-1A high res audio capable headphones.

A few months ago, I came across this set of headphones and commented on how comfortable they felt when I was using them. The Sony MDR-1A were the most comfortable headphones I have ever put on my ears. I was also quite impressed with the sound quality, but I also thought they were unjustified if paid in full retail price. Then I found the demo unit on heavy discount in one of the Sony Stores, but decided not to get them due to the undesirable worn and torn condition.

Little did I know, my friends have come together and pitched in to get me the Sony MDR-1A for my birthday. I was obviously shocked to receive the Sony as a gift. Sometimes I don't think I deserve such good friends around me, and it was quite an expensive gift to begin with.

The Sony MDR-1A headphones were such a beauty to behold. Sony really knows how to make gorgeous looking design for their products. At the same time, I was also reviewing the Olympus M.Zuiko 17mm F1.2 PRO lens. Thus, it was only natural that I would utilize the PRO lens to shoot some product shots of the Sony headphones, when they are still in pristine condition, free from my abuse.

Special thanks to (in no particular order) Jason, Carmen, Jackie, Alex, Jaslyn, Jian, Chong and Tobias. You guys rock!!!!

You can purchase the Sony MDR-1A at B&H here. 

So the 2018 arrived, and if you have missed my previous posting, then allow me to wish you Happy New Year 2018 here!

New year brings renewed inspiration and motivation. When I was at a countdown party the host randomly picked me out from the crowd and asked me what my new year resolution was. Honestly I never did any new year resolutions before, but it would have been such a buzz kill if I answered "I have no resolutions for 2018". So out of nowhere, in pure spontaneity, I spoke through the microphone to hundreds of people strong crowd: "to be a better person". 

This may sound like I stole that line from Jerry Ghionis (the world famous wedding photographer) with his famous line "if you want to be a better photographer, be a better person". I have just remembered that quote AFTER I answered the host, and it rang true to what I believed in completely. One of my on-going mission that I have started years ago, since the day I picked up a camera was to be a better photographer. In order to do that, I must strive to be a better person. That means, to treat myself and people around me better, to contribute in any way I can and to show kindness and love when needed. To give more than receive and to show support in whatever way I can. I acknowledge that human is a very complicated, but genuinely selfish species as well. For all kinds of photography that I am involved in, I can see how being a better person can truly benefit me and bring me that much closer to the great photographer that I aspire to be. I just have to improve myself, one step at a time.

All images and video were shot with Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II and M.Zuiko lenses 12mm F2 and 45mm F1.8