Tag Archives: photos

Floofs at the park

Been spending time trying to consolidate and sort the photos I’ve taken over the years into a single catalog. Primary reason is so that it’s backed up to my server and then consequently to the cloud at backblaze. $5 USD for unlimited back up of the 1 computer, for home server, I’ve got over 9 terabytes backed up. The random collection today is from a year ago when we had dogs hanging out at bicentennial park.

First we had Congee the Corgi, his floppy ear is super cute!

Then Mo the Pom

Mo the pomeranian

Marlene’s Cookie

Amanda’s Ivory (only have a single shot)

Ivory

And Tofu the Spitz (also only have 1 photo of him)

It seems that I’ve lost some photos and there was another BBQ where there were more dog photos, but there’s more photos below:

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Defqon.1 2013 – in photos

Photographing Defqon.1 in Sydney’s always been a fun and challenging gig, expectations are high and there’s a lot to go on making it hard to capture moments that stand out. Here’s a small collection of shots which I think demonstrate the atmosphere from the day. Still getting a full album ready to upload onto my photography page.

The venue:

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The stages:

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The main stage:

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Performers:

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The punters:

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DJs/Acts:

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Production/Night time:

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The rest:

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photos by ntranced photography (facebook.com/ntrancedphotography photos by ntranced photography (facebook.com/ntrancedphotography photos by ntranced photography (facebook.com/ntrancedphotography photos by ntranced photography (facebook.com/ntrancedphotography photos by ntranced photography (facebook.com/ntrancedphotography photos by ntranced photography (facebook.com/ntrancedphotography photos by ntranced photography (facebook.com/ntrancedphotography photos by ntranced photography (facebook.com/ntrancedphotography photos by ntranced photography (facebook.com/ntrancedphotography photos by ntranced photography (facebook.com/ntrancedphotography photos by ntranced photography (facebook.com/ntrancedphotography photos by ntranced photography (facebook.com/ntrancedphotography Defqon1 Australia – 2013 photos by ntranced photography (facebook.com/ntrancedphotography photos by ntranced photography (facebook.com/ntrancedphotography

 

 

Sony NEX-5R twin lens kit

An opportunity recently came up for me to procure myself one of these Sony NEX mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras and what better time than right around the corner from Christmas? Main reason for wanting this sort of camera? First, a HUGE sensor relative to the size of the camera (1.5x crop like most DSLRs) and fantastic video abilities. Without further adieu, I present to you the latest Sony NEX-5R(Y) with the Y denoting the twin lens version.

For a small camera, it comes in a decently sized box which is quite packed, so what’s inside? At the top of the box is multiple manuals (differently languages), warranty/support cards and software CD. Lifting the top flaps reveals 3 compartments, the left contains the Sony E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS zoom lens. The middle compartment contains the NEX-5R body itself attached to the Sony E PZ 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OSS zoom lens and the final compartment on the right containing a host of power cables, microUSB cable, desktop charger, battery pack, shoulder strap and detachable flash.

Now the original NEX series cameras came with the 18-55mm F3.5 which was pretty big when mounted on the NEX type cameras (similarly sized to a crop body 18-55 equivalent lens from Nikon or Canon), this made the camera unpocketable. This new 16-50mm is definitely much smaller and retracts when powered off, another additional feature is the power zoom; there’s a little rocker type switch on the left hand side which allows you to zoom in and out like a regular point and shoot, some will love it, some will hate it.

It has a similar hinged screen to the 5N, however slight improvements have been made to allow it to flip backwards so you can get the perfect self portrait, bear in mind however, if the flash is attached, the screen can’t be flipped all the way up. A little nice touch is when the screen is flipped for self portraits, a 3 second timer is automatically activated.

The screen tilts upwards and downwards to allow easy high angle or low angle shots.

Upward tilt
Downward tilt

It’s also touch sensitive, but I do believe it isn’t of the capacitive type and isn’t too sensitive which severely reduces its effectiveness. I was hoping a phone style interface with gestures but alas, it wasn’t meant to be, it does help access some features, but I have a feeling it won’t be used for proper shooting.

Now, the lenses, as mentioned the new 16-50mm which shipped with the camera does retract when powered off, below are some comparisons of size, note that the 16-50mm ‘waves in and out’ from wide to tele, i.e. longest when wide and zoomed all the way in and shortest when in the middle, also note the 55-210 is ridiculously large when mounted onto this camera.

16-50mm retracted
16-50mm extended
55-210 at 55mm
55-210 at 210mm

Unlike the NEX 6 though, the 5R doesn’t have a standard hotshoe, this small proprietary connector serves multiple purposes but has the problem of only serving one at a time, that means you can use the flash and not the optional microphones or viewfinder at once, personally won’t be a big deal, but an integrated flash like the 6 would have been that little bit better, especially for travel.

The integrated WiFi combined with the PlayMemories apps does make for a nice touch, but I do feel it’s still in its infancy. This combination allows for new applications to be downloaded and installed and at this time, there’s currently a Time Lapse ($10), Pro Bracketing app ($5), Cinematic Photo app ($5), Multi frame noise reduction ($5) as well as a few free ones; Direct upload, Photo retouch, Picture Effect+ and Smart remote control.

I personally don’t think the paid apps offer much and should actually be standard features, maybe for the exception of ‘Cinematic photo’ which allows you to create a hybrid stills/video leaving some areas still and others moving. The Smart remote control app is very basic and allows for a live view image to displayed on your smart phone and the ability to trigger it remotely, in this situation, the camera acts as a hot spot.

This has been a brief intro opening and I’ll try to report back with my feedback after it’s used for a few outings, so far it is pretty impressive and it does feel like a solid camera. The autofocus is pretty quick, still not as quick as D600 or D700, but definitely plenty fast for a holiday situation. For the price I paid (and definitely if I get rid of the 55-210 lens) I don’t think anything could have matched it, just need to get myself a Nikon F mount to Sony E mount adapter and I’m set.

Paul Kalkbrenner – Live in Sydney (2012)

I can’t believe I had only discovered the music of this man about a year ago and I definitely love the stuff he makes, I do believe this music is called Techno, but it’s definitely not what the doof-doof music commonly (and mistakenly) associated with the word.

This music to me, is simply beautiful, it’s progressive and has a moving melodic sound. It was then of great pleasure to be asked to photograph this event and be paid for it on behalf of Future Entertainment.

The event was held at the HiFi in Moore Park Sydney which is a large-ish venue holding about 1400 people, I don’t think it was sold out but it was certainly very full (especially the main floor).

The night was opened by Paul’s own partner Serena, whom I must say is pretty hot and I think it sets the mood perfectly for what’s about to come. While her music style is a little different, it does open the night well.

Photographically, it was a little bit challenging, but still very manageable, the main problem was the elevation of the stage combined with the relatively small (projector-based) screen and limited direct lighting on Paul himself. The crowd was too packed to move through as well and not being allowed the use of flash in the pit, I had to carefully time some long-ish exposures to capture people using the strobes on stage.

The projection does cover his face at times and the small screen means it’s hard to get an interesting background without funky patterns on his face. I was glad I got the initial opening shot with the full PK logo. In Paul’s fashion, he’s always gonna have a cigarette lit up and I think this shot captures it nicely.

The crowd was fanatic for him and the cheers for him after the show were immensely loud, louder than the speakers producing the music!  He loved the crowd and did come out for another round of waves. I was quite lucky with this shot as it was manually focused.

Having a DSLR capable of video nowadays means I will be recording more and more video from events I shoot at, manual audio gain control means I can get some recording without massive distortion, but there’s still a lot to be desired for in terms of audio quality.

The first video is Paul’s most known song, called Sky and Sand which was a collab with his brother Fritz, it’s the song which introduced me to Paul Kalkbrenner and his music.

The other video I have is of another one of his bigger tunes, called Aaron.

For more photos, check out the following facebook album and be sure to like my facebook page to keep up-to-date with upcoming photo gigs.

I had an absolute blast shooting this and will definitely look forward to his next visit.

Singaporean Chilli Crab

For father’s day I decided to cook up a storm and the choice of dish would be Singaporean chill crab with a side of stir fried Hokkien noodles. The last time I tried the crab was for dinner with some friends and that ended up a disaster with me close to slicing off my finger with the cleaver (4 weeks later and it’s still not completely healed).

The recipe used for this dish was from SBS and a recipe by Alex Lee (link here: http://www.sbs.com.au/food/recipe/130/Singapore_chilli_crab). Bear in mind if you’re doing this as well, watch the video as the recipe does miss a step or two).

Here’s my result:

So how do you actually make it?

Well it’s actually very simple, you’ll obviously need a crab, here’s the one I got, unfortunately it was missing a claw, but it will do.

If you’ve bought it live (which you should), you’ll need to kill it, remove the head, break it in half remove the claws (or claw in my case). Chop the body and legs into two pieces and the claw into two pieces at the elbow joint. A full crab should give you 8 pieces of meat, enough for 3 people. You’ll also need to smash up the shell of the claw pieces a bit, use the cleaver sideways or a hammer, be careful not to go too hard, you’ll still want it to look like crab pieces. Place on some paper towels to dry.

What you’ll need for the crab (amounts are for 1 full crab):

  • 1 live (or freshly killed) mud crab
  • 2 brown onions (roughly chopped)
  • 8 red chillis (roughly chopped) (make sure they actually have a bit of kick to them)
  • Belacan or some shrimp paste (tiny bit)
  • 1/2 tbspn vinegar
  • Approx 6tbspn oil
  • 1 tbspn tomato paste
  • 2 tbspn tomato sauce
  • 300mL tomator puree
  • 3 tbspn light soy sauce
  • 1 tbspn chilli sauce
  • 4 tbspn sugar
  • 1/2 cup warm water with 1/4 tspn corn starch
  • 1 egg

First blitz the onions and chilli in a food processor until its pretty fine but not too mushy (about 20 – 30 seconds).

Before:

After:

A little extra step I like to do is to lightly fry the crab pieces, place a wok on high heat and wait til its very hot, pour in some oil and once it smokes, place the crab pieces in, be careful as the crab may still be wet and oil will fly. Cook roughly for about 30 seconds to a minute, remove and set aside.

Get the rest of your ingredients ready in preparation to make the sauce.

With a hot wok, pour the oil in, immediately after place the chilli and onion mixture/paste in and cook until it looks somewhat dry, the onion contains a fair amount of liquid which you want to evaporate. Next you’ll be adding the vinegar, tomato puree, paste, sugar and salt.

Next add the tomato sauce, soy sauce as well as water and starch mixture. let it simmer for a little bit to get the flavours out. Bring the sauce the boil and place in your crab pieces. Cook until the shell is a consistent red colour, once achieved, crack an egg in and stir to spread the egg uniformly. You’re done.

I personally don’t think crab is enough on its own, so to compliment it, I made some stir fried Hokkien noodles to go along with it. Like with any stir fry, they’re simple, but the key is maintaining high heat for the smokey flavours, this means moderating the portions you cook with so the heat doesn’t dissipate too quickly.

For my stir fry, I had the following:

  • Onions
  • Carrot
  • Chilli
  • Capsicum
  • Garlic (finely chopped)
  • Fish balls
  • Fish cake
  • Chinese cabbage
  • Bean sprouts
  • Hokkien noodles
  • 2 tbspn oyster sauce
  • 1/2 tbspn seasame oil
  • 1 tbspn oil

With stir fry, you want to arrange your ingredients in a logical manner for when you throw them in.

To make the stir fry, have your work hot and smoking, add the oils, they should smoke immediately. Add the chopped garlic and stir immediately, do not stop! Next add the capsicum, onions, chilli and carrots, keep stirring. After about 20 seconds you want to add the fish balls and fish cake, this is also the time to add the oyster sauce.

Next is to add the noodles, make sure when you dunked them in hot water you didn’t leave it too long, otherwise you’ll be left with mushy noodles. Give it a good stir then finally add the cabbage and bean sprouts, once they soften you are done and should end up with something like this:

My final results of the two dishes:

Eastern Creek Sports Car day

So May of every year Eastern Creek has a little sports car day where quite a few varieties of cars come out to race. The Saturday is free to watch and that’s when Vo and I come down to practice some of our panning and automotive photography.

First up is the Radical group of cars, to me they look like a downscaled version of the Le Mans cars.

Secondly is the PRB clubman group:

Next was the Production car group, plenty of variety here with lots of MX5s (from all ages), Silvia’s, Skylines, Porches and much more!

There was this one car which I don’t have any idea as to what it is, never seen it before. Anyone know?

Last but not least are the Group S cars which I believe are race cars based of production vehicles manufactured from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s.

The rest of the pictures can be seen by clicking below:

Click here for more sports car carnival pictures

Vivid 2012

Winter every year is always exciting for any photographer as Sydney comes to life with a colourful display of light displays and installations. This year I was quite lazy (despite giving it a few visits) and went without a tripod, a rather rare sight for anyone carrying an SLR.

The unexpected rain didn’t help either as I generally like to scout first and then come back with a tripod for some long exposure action. This year had some very nice art works, the first being the tunnel at the Rocks, lit up with colourful flowers.

Coming through to Circular Quay from the rocks leads to an array of various smaller installations, one which was rather interesting from afar and upclose/inside was this tunnel of EL lights. Walking through the tunnel gives a strange sense of distortion as the lines of lighting skew and play with your peripheral vision.

The Opera House was a bit of a disappointment, going for a more artsy and perhaps meaningful display was a stark contrast from the colourful patterns of previous years. Instead of random and colour patters, we have a guy and a girl rolling around with a few shuffles of the ’tiles’ in between.

Continuing on further towards Circular Quay was the Museum of Contemporary arts with two installations. The first being an interactive experience where a set of Kinect cameras capture your body and allow you to grab ‘bites of sound’ and move them around, changing the song. Was bit hard to use at first, but quite cool at the same time.

The other part of the MCA was a large architectural projection with plenty of colourful patterns and colour (and in my opinion, what Vivid really represents)

Customs house was another winner in my books with a colour cartoon movie showing on the entire building, colourful colours with accurate mapping to the architectural features made it look very well done. The only disappointment from me is that it’s only a single clip which runs over and over (rather than a bunch of random pieces that change over time).

 

Other notable mentions were a group of ‘holographic headed’ dogs which would respond to a whistle (triggered by a red button) and turn out, kinda cute.

Another cool installation was a light covered by 25 individual moving flaps which would respond to a sound. The coolness of this installation was compounded by a rather talented man making some sounds (not the screams and yells most people do). He was sorta doing scales with his voice and strange tones and the flaps would and change.

The rest of the images can be seen by viewing the rest of the gallery (click the pic).

Click here for more Vivid 2012 images

Above & Beyond play at Marquee Sydney – photos and review

Soon after their Creamfields gig in Sydney, a few days later was a surprise announcement that Above & Beyond will be playing a club gig (cue the cheer and fanfare) especially after the woeful performance at Creamfields (terrible audio quality and production). However it was not long before more details sifted in and we find out that it  would be Marquee that will be hosting these legends in Trance. I think the whole Sydney-based trance family let a collective sigh as they pondered whether or not to make the trek to Marquee, or alternatively whether or not they’d even be able to get in to see Jonno and Paavo (whether that be long queues or “selective” security and door policies).

Marquee Sydney

I have been to Marquee before, and it’s no doubt a very nice venue, but the strange combination of a shiny new venue combined with an attempt to appeal to the rich creates an interesting scene when true music fans clash with this idea. It would be interesting to see the crowd that would turn up (or should I say, be allowed in), club gigs are usually best to hear what a DJ is truly capable of, there’s usually no pressure to ‘play for the masses’ and tunes which are out of the ordinary can be played.

Marquee

Had a quick squizz in the Boombox and for a RnB-esque room, it’s quite nice.

The BoomBox

Inside the BoomBox

Last Friday though? Despite being in a club, there was no club gig feel, first trance DJs to be on the decks were Binary Finary (big name in trance themselves) and from the crowd I hear a shout, “what is this? play more vocal trance”, this was early in the night and I already felt how bad this crowd was going to be. Not long after (with Binary Finary still playing) there is another confused punter not even realising who is playing, ignorantly there are requests for ‘Sun and Moon’ and I give myself a mental facepalm (maybe a few).

Binary Finary

Time came and Paavo and Jonno from Above & Beyond arrive, as they step on the decks, it’s clear how many actually know what’s going on. It becomes even clearer when a few of their older tunes are dropped, like ‘On a good day’ and ‘Sirens of the Sea’, I kid you not, less than 10% of the crowd would know the words and sing-a-long. 10 fucking percent, it wasn’t too bad being front and centre, but as you step back, there’s nothing from the crowd at all.

Speaking of moving back, the majority of the crowd were the biggest wankers I have ever seen! Trying to move around with a big fuck-off DSLR and flash is usually an easy affair, either they’ll spot you and move, or a quick tap and a gap is quickly opened for you to pass, but not this time, not this venue. Everyone wants to be where they are (or closer to the front) and it takes a good shove to get through. Seriously, I’m not here to take your spot. Another time a guy behind me holds onto my back as he attempts to get on a mate’s shoulder, man, I was tempted to just give him a knock with the magnesium alloy body of my camera.

Above & Beyond

Back to A&B though, they know how to work the crowd, but this by no means made up for the lacklustre set at Creamfields. To me it’s still the same predictable cheesy Group Therapy set we’ve all heard a million times. It’s almost become a formula, Sun & Moon, Thing Called Love, Prelude, Love is not Enough, Prelude and so forth. It’s not that they’re such bad tunes, but they’ve just been overplayed and in a way that when you’ve heard one Group Therapy set, you’ve pretty much heard them all.

Slippy Future

The highlight of the night would have been Oceanlab’s Siren by the Sea, despite the lack of knowledge from the crowd, it’s just one of them amazing songs.

Other thoughts for the night? The table service is a rather nice thing (if you’ve got the exorbant amounts of money to get one), someone appeared to have a birthday and were greeted with a girl carrying a CO2 tank and two guns to blast CO2 fog everywhere, pretty damn awesome way. There’s no doubt Marquee is a lavish place, plenty of hot girls dancing on stage in a variety of outfits, from little bras to swimsuit-esque outfits and even space-women! Interesting but over-the-top.

Girls and CO2 guns

Dancers

To be honest, I’ve been hoping for a nice club to open up in Sydney that would have their own music policy, but after this second visit two months after opening, I don’t see the place lasting at all. Lovely venue, ruined by terrible management. A good club only needs a few things, good venue and production (appropriate for the music genres you’ll support), clearly defined nights and music policy so punters know exactly what’s going on and when and finally having staff and security that aren’t there to play God.

That’s it from me, enjoy the rest of the photos by clicking below, you probably won’t see me step foot in Marquee again 😉 and my 2c, if you haven’t been, you’re not missing out on much.

Click here for the rest
Click here for the rest

MX-5 Daytime shoot

As a car owner (and photographer) nowadays, what else do you do when you’ve just washed the car and the weather isn’t too bad? Obviously you’re going to go and find a spot to take some photos :D. Drove around Wetheril Park looking for something a little industrial (mainly large roller doors) but I came across this funky wall with yellow lines and that’d be the spot for the day.

Photos below:

Left rear 3/4
Left rear 3/4
Side shot
Side shot
Straight front on
Straight front on
Right rear 3/4
Right rear 3/4
Off center straight on
Off center straight on
Interior shot
Interior shot