Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A reddish-brown jumper

While hiking along the Awana trail, my friend Stanley alerted me about a small
jumping spider he found.This one was about 8mm in length and had to be photographed with my Canon MPE-65 close-up lens.The results are as stunning as the beautiful spider itself.

The little black faced jumping spider

I found a little black-faced jumper in my trip to Awana recently.Now, the resort is charging RM30 for anyone who wants to use their water
treatment plant trail.Why? Because some guy had hurt himself trying to use a an alternative route
in the area.He busted a few bones and as a result, Awana have closed the place to the
public.Lucky for us, Eddie our macro buddy was there to help. All it took, was a phone call and we gained access to the area. Sadly, our haul was really small. I managed to get only a few shots and the
black faced spider is one of my top finds.

Another portia

Portias are spiders that are as rare as it sounds.This cannibalistic arachnid preys on other spiders and is known to annihilate
an entire nest including its eggs and spiderlings.So far, I've came across two of such fine specimen and both were found at
the Sungai Tua state park.My second Portia was smaller than an earlier find in the same area. This is the only spider that displays some intelligence and is able to make
decisions on the prowl.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Moving on

After about two months splitting from a photography peer group, I am moving
on pretty well with my macro outings.I've formed a new group where most of the members are equals and
passionate about learning new things.Photography is not my bread and butter which I guard jealously. I learned this the hard way especially when your skills can threaten the very
existance of people who depend on macro photography to earn three square
meals a day.I would put that as selfish and very protective.In life, one must be able to come to terms that even how good they are,
there's always someone better.That's how I see it and the hardest thing to do, is to share without malice.Last week, during an outing to Bukit Tinggi, I met another group led by a
master.This is the same bunch of people whom I had a bust-up with earlier about
safety and security.Their leader saw me and started moving away from the scene. Perhaps he's
still very pissed off. My loss, his gain.Anyway, all good things said and done, the road ahead is long and winding,
there's plenty to be done and hopefully, by the end of next year, I would have
some big projects done like an exhibition and a book..

A nice yellow jumper

I haven't been shooting bugs of late and recently, I had the chance to re-visit a
site where there was an abundance of spider species.One of my find was a yellow jumper and after spending some time capturing
on camera, I realised that the results were really satisfying.The Canon MPE-65 1-5x close-up lens is able to capture some really fantastic
details on the spider.Now, what's left to do, is to catalogue my find and try to ID as many as

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Canon EOS60D

Months of speculation and rumours ended with the announcement of Canon's
EOS60D. This is infact, a new camera with features that are different from its
predecessor, the EOS50D.The fact that Canon and introduced their first D-SLR to incorporate a
swivel-screen goes to say that many exciting stuff is on the way.I wanted to get my wife the EOS550D as a gift, but never got around it. That
said, I am still keeping the EF-S18-135mm kit lens and well, now that the 60D
is going to be released, it'll very likely to be her new camera.Right now, all there's left to do, is wait and see.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Sungai Tua follow-up

I did a follow-up to Sungai Tua in Hulu Yam Baru last week.My mission was to recce a campsite for our experimental troop's test-taking and camp on Sept 4 - 5.
This place charges RM5 per night for tents and is an ideal place for first-time campers.
Apart from that, I also took some shots of the recreational forest's bug population.
One of my find of the day was a tree frog.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

A worthy cause

Bob, working with the kids on their merit badges and the National Scouting scheme..

I received a letter from the National Scout Council recently and was appointed
as a member of Malaysian Scouts public affairs committe.This came as a surprise as I have been actively featuring Victoria Institution's
100-year scouting centenary events.So far, three stories have been published in the Starmetro section.On a lighter note, Bob Lew and I are now training some form two boys for their
merit badges.This drew some flack from some folks who actually labelled our work as 'lost
cause'. Come what may, I obtained some blessings from my wife to carry on the work
and my task is also to take care of Bob in the outdoor activities.Hopefully, we would be able to produce a King Scout in three year's time.

Dogathon 2010

I haven't been posting for some time and would like to start afresh with the
recent Dogathon 2010.Things went on really smooth for us at the Universiti Putra Malaysia fair
grounds. Michelle and I had a great time with the kidz and met up with some Siberian
Husky owners.One of them, Thomas Chai, is a local breeder.We spoke quite a bit on the Husky Club activities. I told him that I haven't been
active of late and had stayed away from the internet forums for a while.There's actually no reason for me to participate in the forum anymore after the
domain owner had blasted some members for being inactive.As usual, we wrapped up early and found that there has been some changes
towards educating pet owners on heat stroke. This resulated in the death of a dog last year. The best part that we've enjoyed the most was the freebies and the good
company of people whom we met at the pesta site.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Tahan 2011

At the summit of Mount Tahan in 1989 with a tree-hugger dude who tagged along with our summit team..

TWENTY-THREE years ago, I made an attempt to summit Gunung Tahan (2,187m) which is the highest peak in Peninsular Malaysia.
It was a seven-day affair with plenty of preparation thrown in.
I had to turn back half-way when I came down with stomach flu.
My toenails were infected at the time and the only thing that came to mind, was to head back to the Kuala Tahan national park headquarters to seek treatment.
I had three of my toenails yanked out and was given treatment for the stomach flu.
Two years later, I tried again and succeeded in making it to the peak of the mountain.
I used my experience to guide a younger group of climbers and took my time to trek up to the summit.
That was 21 years ago.
Next year, Vincent, my brother in-law is planning a summit attempt from Merapoh.
This would be very interesting as Tahan pits physical fitness and mental strength.
I am planning to join him and see how far I can go.

The 'A' list

I guess I don't really have any luck when it comes to dealing with sales or marketing people.
Several months ago, I sent my Canon Powershot G-7 for service and was told that the pocket camera is as good as a write off.
Maybe I should just junk it.
My professional relationship with Canon Marketing Malaysia had hit a snag sometime back with a price issue.
I think it was resolved with a meeting to 'weed' things out.
During the encounter, I recall the head honcho mentioning something to his downline about a special pricing for the EOS 550D.
That was in April and I guess with August hitting the mid-month mark, its as good as gone.
Funny thing is this: I am thinking of getting a Nikon system.
Been using them and never did give up my old film set.