Snaps: Cameron + Ipoh Road Trip with Olympus M.Zuiko ED 8mm F1.8 Fisheye PRO

Somewhere along the years in my photography journey, I stumbled upon breath-taking pictures of milky way. I decided there and then, that it would be on my photography bucket list to shoot the milky way. I don’t know how and I don’t know when, but it was on my list and it stayed there for years on (collecting dust). I think it’s normal that that happens, just as how our dreams get forgotten as time passes by.

But thanks to Robin, I had my first opportunity of shooting milky way in Cameron Highlands. Together with my friends, Shutter Therapists (except for Jaslyn who couldn’t make it, else we will have full attendance!) we did a short road trip up to Cameron. I arrived much later at night at about 9PM. From the night drive up, I realised how windy the roads are (so we had to drive up slowly) and also how far the foot of the hill was from the top! It was close to 90 minutes drive up!

First stop was at the steamboat restaurant, where we tried the charcoal version of steamboat. It was comforting to have some warm food to fill our tummies before the midnight milk way shoot.

After dinner, we headed over to our apartment for us to drop our luggage and I managed a quick freezing cold shower (after not having shower for 16 hours, I had an early start because I was volunteering in Seremban earlier that day). We quickly grabbed our gears, then proceeded to the shoot location. When we arrived, I stepped down and looked up at the skies. For a minute or so, I was in awe by the sheer number of stars and the milky way. The view was breath-taking and coupled with the chilly weather, it was the best combination. All I wanted to do then was just lie down on the grass and marvel at the beauty of it.

But that didn’t happen because the mission that night was to shoot the milky way! Robin had helped me with the settings on my camera and also, created a cheat sheet for us all. It was super easy to pre-set the settings beforehand and assign a button to enable those settings on my Olympus PEN Lite E-PL7. And just a press of a button, I was able to shoot the milky way. For this shoot, I had the Olympus M.Zuiko ED 8mm F1.8 Fisheye PRO to use.

The fish eye perspective has never been my favourite one, because of the distortion but since we were shooting the milky way, it would be best to use the widest angle I could get my hands on and hence, 8mm F1.8 Fisheye PRO lens.

These two pictures are the best of the photographs that I have taken, which was not many to begin with. We only had a window of 2 hours before the clouds returned. Initially during the day, it was raining and I was afraid that we won’t be able to shoot the skies given the possible cloud cover. In the limited time that we had, temperature was dropping from 18 Celsius to 16 Celsius which caused the lens to fog up. I ended up having to constantly wipe the lens and ended up with more hazy shots. I was also shooting with Olympus M.Zuiko ED 8mm F1.8 Fisheye PRO which was little difficult to focus since there is no indicator to set the manual focus to infinity.

All in all, it was such a magical night being able to capture it all, I wish I had more time to explore other compositions. Here’s to many more milky way pictures in future! By the way, I would like to include the link which I referred to for my post processing of the milky way shots;

The morning after, our alarms rang at 530AM and we headed out to catch the sunrise. But unfortunately we were only greeted with clouds instead of a glorious sunrise with the tea plantation in the photographs. It was disappointing to say the least, but these things happen and it’s way beyond our control.

Since I had the Olympus M.Zuiko ED 8mm F1.8 Fisheye PRO with me, I decided to try it to take selfies and some portraits with it. Here’s a selfie taken by Tian Chad together with the bunch of us who woke up for the sunrise shoot. Jackie and his girlfriend didn’t join us for this. Robin and Alex are behind me and Calvin is on my left.

Let me try a selfie! No make up face with only 3 hours of sleep.

Meet Calvin, my partner-in-crime!

Another wefie shot!

Tian Chad decided to do a time lapse with his camera. I can’t wait to see the outcome!

The last selfie at the tea plantation before we left :)

After the unsuccessful attempt of shooting sunrise, it was time for breakfast! And since I was the food blogger amongst my friends, I got to decide where we could head to for breakfast. I did a quick Google search and in some forums, there was mentions of a deaf couple who sold nice pancakes. I thought it would be a good idea to eat there. However Tian Chad did mention that it was just okay, in terms of taste. But since there was no other places Google can tell me of, so we decided on that.

With the Olympus M.Zuiko ED 8mm F1.8 Fisheye PRO, you can capture a lot more in your photograph. I find it extremely convenient how I managed to capture the name of the cafe I was at, coupled with the ambiance and the details of how the cafe actually looked like. Not to mention, my face in it as well since this is a selfie.

These were some of what we had for breakfast which to be honest was a rather huge let-down. Food was mediocre to say the least and it left me feeling rather incomplete. But to be honest, I didn’t know of any other locations for breakfasts and we were running out of time. So, we headed back to the apartment to get ready for check-out.

Initially we had plans to head to a strawberry farm and to visit a tea plantation. We didn’t because it was so jammed to get back up to the apartment. Instead, we ended up at a morning market in Brinchang because I wanted to get strawberries! And I bought two trays of strawberries for RM50. Unfortunately, because it was stuffed into the container, the strawberries were not able to be kept for days long after I returned from Cameron.

And yes, I bought sweet pearly corns at only RM15 for that one bag. Tian Chad and Robin got me some purple roses too, because I mentioned the day before that I wanted to get roses! Super duper sweet of them guys. :D The next time I’m in Cameron again, I’ll definitely going to buy more corns strawberries and even more vegetables!

Since breakfast was such a disappointment, I wasn’t going to head back home before feeding myself with delicious food. After all, we already drove this far. So, it was decided that we’ll head to Ipoh for yummy-licious food! I have been to Ipoh for foodtripping with my family, so I didn’t need to do any research on the places to eat. Plus, everything delicious is within close proximity from one another.

First stop was the famous Funny Mountain tau fu fah, which was extremely packed with people and there was a long queue. There was even a drive-through option. I took one scoop of the tau fu fah and to my surprise, the texture was not as smooth as the ones I have back home. Meh, that was rather disappointing. My favourite tau fu fah are the ones from OUG morning market where it’s so smooth, it can cause a car accident if you ever spill it on the road. That was what Calvin said, actually.

After Funny Mountain, we headed over to Pasir Pinji (which is still within Ipoh) for some yummy delicious yong tau foo, mua chee and rojak! The first time I was in Pasir Pinji, I tried the neighbouring yong tau foo stall and was severely let down by the mediocre food. The whole food court was filled to the brim, which let me to assume that the food must have been amazing. It was the exact opposite, so this time I tried the stall next door which was better! The laksa packed a punch and goes surprisingly well with the yong tau foo.

The mua chee was chewingly tasty, but was slightly overpriced at RM3 per plate. Put that in comparison with the plate of rojak for just only, RM5. The rojak will leave you craving for more with every bite, with hints of lingering spicyness. Having tasted the best rojak ever in my life here in Pasir Pinji, everything else falls flat. Thank you for graciously ‘ruining’ my taste buds.

And with that, it marks the end of my short but packed road trip with some of my lovely friends and photographers! As of the time of writing, we will be planning another trip to shoot the milky way and of course, I’ll make it a food-tripping journey along the way. Anyone who is up for that, do drop me a message and we’ll see how we can plan this!

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The pictures in this post above are solely taken with the Olympus PEN Lite E-PL7 and Olympus M.Zuiko ED 8mm F1.8 Fisheye PRO. No other cameras or lenses were used. :p Except the picture below, which was taken using Calvin’s camera.

Till next time,

Out & About: Taking that leap towards fitness!

In a blink of an eye, almost half a year have come and gone. I’m also a year older now. I don’t know about you, but there is always something about growing older that makes you feel rather nostalgic. There is something I enjoy doing after every birthday is to think what about the year that was.

Am I happy? Did I manage to achieve my goals? Am I a step closer to achieve my dreams?

One of my goals has always been to have a healthier, more active lifestyle. Before this I have always been comfortable with my sedentary lifestyle, until one day when I realised that there was a lot thing I wasn’t capable of, in addition to constantly feeling lethargic as well.

So, I decided back then that I would try to be fitter. Gym was an obvious choice but I came up with reasons like, “Oh, my job is too demanding and I don’t have time for gym.” But I did try to do some body weight workouts at home, that lasted for a good few weeks and then I was back to my sedentary 12 hours sitting in office lifestyle.

After a few years of procrastination and half-assed attempts, I had a friend, Josh who told me to try High Intensity Training workouts on one fine day. He asked me more than a couple of times, making it sound interesting and so I decided, “Well, I’ll give this a try.” I didn’t even have proper shoes to begin with so I had to shop for shoes before I attended the High Intensity Training workouts. Little did I know that this decision to attend the workout would be a game-changing one for me. This decision would actually impact my life in term of achieving my fitness goals.

Broadband Internet, Mobile Internet Selfie with Josh after the first WOD

I then attended the first workout or WOD in short, which stands for Workout Of the Day and I was hooked. Ever since, I have committed to going for the WODs every week. I say committed because I didn’t want this to be a fad, where I’m just trying new things for the fun of it and then leave it after when I get bored.

After the first WOD, I realised that I was in an awful shape despite my age. It was at that point that I told myself I want to be fitter and stronger. To do that, I would need to really commit to it and not waver, to fall back into my old routine. I gave myself ‘pep talks’ and motivated myself. If fitness training was easy, many more people would have succeeded in it. I had to come to that realization, and I believed that a strong willpower will help me achieve my goal. Of course, it had a lot to do with making that first game changing step as well.

Broadband Internet, Mobile InternetHere’s the group of us on 8th March 2015 WOD! Can you spot me?

Broadband Internet, Mobile Internet  This was taken on 15th March 2015’s WOD. I remember only having a couple of hours of sleep the night before, but still making time to attend the WOD.

Broadband Internet, Mobile InternetThis is the picture taken from the first outdoor WOD we had, the bootcamp edition. Man, it was intense. I remember having to push myself with my team members cheering me on.

With that willpower and determination, I have attended and completed many WODs, pushing myself with every workout to get stronger and fitter. I’ve always taken a healthier lifestyle by trying out other activities such as rock-climbing, hiking and even running. Fast forward to now, I’m still on my journey to achieving this goal but compared to before, I can say that I’m reasonably stronger than I was. I went from struggling to carry mere 5kg of weights to being able to lift half my body weight which is approximately 20kg. This is probably one of the most rewarding parts of this all; just being physically stronger and fitter. At the same time, I’m also mentally stronger (because it takes a whole lot than just physical strength to train). Not to mention, I made a lot of friends in this journey of mine and it’s motivating to have friends cheering you on. Looking back the best decision I ever made had been the game-changing decision of going for that first workout. That was the spark which gave me the push I needed to begin this journey of mine.

All in all, it feels good to let you know how my fitness journey started about, with that one decision I made. Would it be a surprise if I told you where my inspiration comes from? It was all from P1’s game changing approach of telling their customers how they are changing the game in the internet industry. They are currently running this #ReadyToP1ay’s campaign, where P1 is offering new customers unbelievable deals! Under the campaign, new customers are able to experience the service without any upfront fees! So, you don’t actually need to pay anything to get started. This can be your game-changing decision to upgrade your internet service to a high speed one, just as how I made that one simple decision to attend the WOD. In addition to that, customers also do get 1-month free Broadband Internet or mobile Internet that is applicable to all P1 plans - ForHome®, ForBiz® or ToGo® with 24-month contract.

Broadband Internet, Mobile Internet Rock climbing at Camp 5

Broadband Internet, Mobile Internet Taking a break during hiking

Broadband Internet, Mobile Internet During strength and conditioning class

The promotion is still on-going so do visit #ReadyToP1ay’s website to find out how to change your game and sign up to enjoy free delivery with an additional online discount too! By the way, #P1 is also running various giveaways in conjunction with the campaign, so you might want to stalk their social medias; Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Broadband Internet, Mobile Internet

Till next time,

Snaps: July, my favourite month.

For the past two years, July was mostly spent on studies because my exams are during that month. This year was no exception and for 22 days up to my exam day, I was pretty much prepping for my exams. But that didn’t stop July from being my favourite month although most of it was spent in the library. After the exams, I headed back to the gym, went hiking, ate delicious food and had plenty of celebrations (birthday ones for me and my July babies). And of course, I picked up my camera and started shooting again. So this post will be a collection of the photographs that I have captured in my favourite month!
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Sashimi Moriawase from Edo Ichi

My beautiful date(s) for the night

Selfie with them girls

Celebrated the birthday girl!

Went for a hike and brought my camera along!

That was probably one of the best decision I made, because I wouldn’t have been able to capture the beauty that I saw there. Shutter therapy was something that I sorely miss during my study period days because I didn’t manage to head to streets to shoot nor did I head to parks to shoot nature photographs. Since I brought my camera along for the hike, I managed to capture a few things which caught for eye. :)

 Selfie at the peak!

So YOLO that we went to get durians after the hike!

Working on them back muscles at gym, with the help of my friends!

And here’s the group picture with everyone from the class.

Yakitori Moriawase from Ri-Yakitori

Wagyu Beef On Skewer from Ri-Yakitori

Tempura Moriawase from Ri-Yakitori

OOTD with one of my favourite black dress.

Selfie with Ivan TTS who is all suited up!

Selfie with my babe, Yvone before her hair turned purple!

Selfie with my bao beis who drove me down to Seremban for baked crabs!

Seremban famous baked BBQ crabs!

Spaghetti Pesto from Marmalade

Fishee House Red - Berries from Fishee Cafe

 Milky Spicy Crab from Leong’s Kitchenette

Look at all that crab roe!

Monster crabs from Klang! Thanks Yvone for bringing us here. :)

Unagi sushi from Sushi Mentai

Salmon sashimi from Sushi Mentai

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The photographs in this post are taken with the Olympus PEN Lite E-PL7 and either, with the Olympus 25 mm f/1.8 M.Zuiko Digital or Olympus 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 M. Zuiko Digital ED Zoom Lens. These are actually my daily gear set up that I carry about in a small pouch, placed inside my handbag. It is convenient that the camera only weighs 357g and with its compact size, I can fit both the 25mm lens, my favourite prime lens and the pancake 14-42mm lens. Even with the lenses and the camera, it doesn’t weigh too much and is still pretty compact. You can see it from the picture too! I usually fit an extra battery as well, just in case.

Before I decided to jump into the Micro Four Thirds (M43) family, I had to choose between the M43 or DSLR. And I would always remember what Alex said to me to help me choose which camera system would be more suitable for me. He asked, “Would you want a camera that you can carry around on a daily basis to shoot? Or would you buy a camera which you would only occasionally carry out because it is too heavy to be lugging it around?”.

After much consideration, I decided I would go for the option that would allow me to shoot on a daily basis. What is a point of a camera if all it would be, is to decorate my cupboard. Looking back, I’m glad I chose the M43 system. My friends are often surprised that I am able to carry my camera out and I’ve never been happier being able to shoot everyday (especially food and selfies!). But, I have one problem now. I have so many pictures that I need to organise them pictures properly! I’d rather have more pictures, memories captured than to have lesser and wished I had brought my camera back then.