Wedding, Photography & the Balls of Life

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Amidst all the hustle and bustle of starting up, it’s always nice to take a break and appreciate some of the greater things in life, such as the holy matrimony of 2 people.

I’ve had the chance to witness the marriage of my best friend for 14 years (@kodomut.com), capture some of the special occasion and ponder about life.

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I’ve posted the photos here on exposure.co, which is an awesome platform for telling stories through pictures.  Hopefully I’ll be able to migrate the old photos over and get my photo journal updated.

The event reminded  me of the crystal ball story by Brian Dyson, CEO of Coca-Cola Enterprises,  who spoke of the relationship of work to your other commitments:

Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. You name them – Work, Family, Health, Friends and Spirit and you’re keeping all of these in the air.

You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls – Family, Health, Friends and Spirit – are made of glass. If you drop one of these; they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for it.

Give the required time to your family, friends and have proper rest. Value has a value only if its value is valued.

How counter intuitive this piece of advice is for a startup!

So everyone, at the end of the day, life is short, build/do stuff that matters. 🙂

Congratulations again to you Mr. & Mrs Soh @kodomut.com!

Japan | Tokyo Kyoto Osaka

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Japan  is a wonderful mix of the modern and the old-fashioned. A country with an unparalleled mass transportation system, amazing food,  slick high tech widgets and cutesy robot maids. It seems terribly busy, yet can be awfully quiet. There are shrines and other traces of old Japan scattered among the skyscrapers, swanky shopping malls amongst convenience and fast food chains. Autumn is also  probably one of the best time to visit Japan. It isn’t as crowded as compared to the golden week earlier in the year, there are plenty of scenic views to explore  the weather is just about right. The trick to go about Japan is simply to sample it all, to visit the serene garden and then to massive malls. Here are some of the modern and traditional sides of Japan.

 

 

 

Vietnam | 02

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People x Street x Food x Soul

This is the 2nd and the final part of the Vietnam series.  Post-war Vietnam is a rapidly developing , highly cultured country that and has a travel palate suitable for travellers of all kinds.  With ample amenities, stunning scenaries of soaring mountains, fertile rice paddies and dense forests round the corner, there is always a side of Vietnam for all to see.




























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Vietnam | 01

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Summer is here. I had a reminiscence of Vietnam the other day and decided I should get my Vietnam post going.

Vietnam is a  place which offers many unparalleled rural views and also sadly, a post war experience.  For the price  you pay, the  food and lodging can come close to being one of the most value for money as far as visiting a country.

The 2 largest cities in Vietnam is the capital formally known as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, which resides further up north of the country. Seems to me that Hanoi and HCM are like polar opposites, which sort of reminds me of  how people who love the States generally tend to  dislike Europe or vice versa.  I digress. I personally love Hanoi. Its a culture wonderland with and is overflowing with the art and identity. Just an hour away from Hanoi are theses luscious landscapes that can qualify as a hidden gem. Amongst them are Tam Coc, mountainous landscapes and an interesting self discovery bike path. If you are feeling more adventurous, you can also try the over trip just north of Hanoi to Sapa Valley.

This will be a 2 part series as I cover Vietnam from different aspects. The 1st theme would be Landscape & Scenery.

01 | Landscape & Scenery

02| People & the Streets

Halong Bay

Increasing number of digging works have affected the natural beauty of Halong Bay

A view from one of the floating homes in Halong Bay

Docking to visit the cave of Wonders

Nature at work. Many stalactites and stalagmites (Formation of Limestones)

The docking area in Tam Coc

Rowing across Ngo Dong River

Luscious green surround the river

Passing through a really short cave

Serenity and Peace

An endless road to cycle & explore

A water buffalo grazing by the road

A farming working on his ricefields

The landscape of Tam Coc, not too far away from Hanoi city

A view of Halong Bay before the Sunset

Sunset at Halong Bay

Along China Beach

A sweet taste of Bali

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Bali took my breath away.

There, I said it. My expectations have been met. My research has paid off. I am a happy man.
My wife and I decided to go on a scouting trip for potential wedding venues in Bali and we’re so glad we did! The guides and reviews about mystical Bali are completely spot on and there is just something surreal about this little island. The place pretty much reflects the result of a booming tourism industry, seeing how it has shaped the majority of the island. Yet, the tradition and culture is etched deeply into the island. And there is just so much to understand and absorb about the Balinese way of life. Parts of the island that remains almost untouched. The roads leading to some of the grandest and stunning villas are often bumpy, narrow and paved with brown cows grazing by the sides. I can stay and watch the waves all day, just watching them crash against the cliff over and over again.  I can’t wait for the wedding to be held on the acclaimed “Island of Gods”. You can find the list of resorts and villas that we visited at the end of the post.  All photos are taken with an x100s and Sony a850. Enjoy!

Bvlgari Resort

One of the many Villas & resorts in Bali for a breathtaking wedding

Inside the resort

A spectacular view of the ocean

List of places visited (in order of pictures shown)

1. Bvlgari Resorts
2. The Semera Villa
3. The Edge Villa
4. The Sanctus Villa
5. Latitude Villa
6. Ayodya Resorts
7. Uluwatu Temple

 

x100s Review

*2 mins read*

Probably the best camera I’ve ever owned

A year ago, I tried out the predecessor x100 at a local camera store. I wasn’t impressed. The camera felt clunky, the hybrid viewfinder felt as though I’m looking through an old school VCR screen. The autofocus was lacklustre . The Sony NEX on the other hand, was all at rage back then and the Fuji x100 just felt so…outdated.

Fast forward to the present, I happened to chance across a video review of the x100s on DigitalRev one night and decided to check out what the new S series has to offer. After scouring the internet for early reviews, it was time to head back down to a camera store to check the camera out. 2 weeks have passed and after spending much time with this toy, I would say this might just be the perfect camera.

This review is going to be pretty straightforward. I wont be listing down the camera specifications since it can be found pretty much anywhere else. I’ll include my honest comments and not forgetting the pictures taken with the camera. All photos are straight out of camera with minor cropping and alignment.

Dragon boaters chilling by the bay

The stealthy and non-intimidating camera is an excellent street photography tool.

Colors produced by Fuji are accurate, down to earth and for the lack of a better word, “Home-y”

A sign of friendship by fellow dragon boaters

The built-in Neutral Density(ND) filter is definitely a quality of life addon and significantly helped out in managing scenes with harsh sunlight.

The white balance adjustment constantly surpassed my expectations as well.

Time for a final briefing

Going up close wasn’t a problem. The x100s is an intrusive-free camera.

The Chinese word ‘Dragon’ is a common sight.

Fuji gives a pastel-like and seemingly muted colors in its pictures, which is pretty pleasing to the eye.

When it comes to its night capabilities, the x100s rendered me speechless. My Sony a850 had to give way to the x100s. I’ll continue to let the pictures do the talking.

To wrap up, the Fuji x100s packs a mighty punch in a seemingly compact body. this is one camera that is able to reproduce scenes with great colors even under challenging lighting circumstances. I can already foresee myself having a great time with this camera on my upcoming travel trip to Bali. I hope you enjoyed the “pictorius” review. Feel free to leave a comment if you have any!

Ami & James

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Untitled-15It is a blessing to celebrate the joy of a newly wed couple. May both of your your marriage bring you all the exquisite excitements a marriage should bring, and may life grant you also patience, tolerance, and understanding! Congratulation again to your marriage and for gracing my blog!

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