Carmen's Farewell

You may have seen Carmen on my review entries before, especially when I was testing new lenses or cameras. Carmen has always been generous to volunteer as my test subject for the new equipment that I was reviewing, and put up with my noobness in portrait photography. She always did her best and eventually has helped many of my reviews significantly over the years. When we (her friends) heard of the news that she is leaving Malaysia soon, we decided to do a surprise farewell dinner for her.

Carmen in my recent Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III review. Image shot with the Olympus M.Zuiko 75mm F1.8 lens. 

It was a night of celebration with a few different circles of friends. The dinner gathering itself was coordinated by Calvin, and somehow we managed to take her by surprise. The farewell happened at a local Korean BBQ restaurant and everyone rushed to the location immediately after work, battling the horrendous KL rush hour traffic. 

I cannot speak for everyone but I do have Carmen to thank for always being there for me. Without her presence, most of my reviews (especially the Olympus 25mm F1.2 and E-M10 Mark III) would be missing the crucial element: a friend who is also a willing model. Kirk Tuck said that a great portrait has a lot to do with your open communication with the model as well as how the model look at you. He also emphasized that spending time to get to know who you are shooting is crucial. I was thankful to have Carmen as a friend whom I have known for years and that bond I believe have helped me captured some of the better portrait shots I have made for my review blog updates. I guess it also helps that Carmen herself is an Olympus enthusiast and shoots passionately with her Olympus OM-D and PEN cameras and an assortment of growing M.Zuiko lenses. 

During the farewell dinner itself, I did what I can to document the event and captured many expressions of everyone there. 

The awesome thing about dining in a Korean restaurant: unlimited refillable side dishes. Some of those side dishes were so good we had so many servings we lost count of how many we had. 

We surely hope you enjoyed the night as much as we did, Carmen!

Alex has always been like a brother figure to Carmen, and glad that you can make it there man, though I know time was a bit tight. 

Some of the food that we had. Plenty of meat to go around the table. 

Jason Lioh, who also appeared numerous times on this blog, and once the famous Jasonmumbles who blogged passionately about food. 

Jackie, my current partner in crime for DotA. Yes I play DotA still. And have not progressed beyond the noob level. But killing people (in virtual world) is so fun. 

Aaron and Jaslyn, glad you guys can make it! Hope to catch up with you guys soon. 

 Calvin, Kah Wai and Jason

Carmen, Kwee Fong and Calvin

Group photo

Group Photo 2

Went for dessert place nearby, to further continue our conversation that dragged on late into the evening. Conversation got much sweeter with sweet temptations!

Incomplete Group Photo

Me, Carmen and Jason

To Carmen, thanks so much for being such a great friend, and helped me out so generously when I needed you. I wish you all the best in your future undertakings in Singapore and like I said before, this is not goodbye. You are carrying a part of each and every one of us with you on your journey. You will be missed and I do hope to see a lot of interesting photos from you soon.