Tag Archives: Photography

Strike of luck

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A moment when I passed through this fishing boat

What does photography teach me?

As I add more months and years to my photography experience, I learned about the role of “stroke of luck” in my artwork. Unplanned moments or shall I say accidentally moments that just hit the “jackpot” or a rewarding moment that made my day as a photographer.

It was 100% totally luck. I was in the right place at the right time with the right people.

Just that.

I always see it as a gift … a gift from the invisible hand, the Planner. Each time I came across such moment I feel grateful and contended.

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A moment when I passed over a pond filled with wild buffaloes

So each time when I am sad and feeling unlucky … I would scroll down and browse through my lucky moments. Telling myself … for each moment that I am at lost, I would experience more lucky moments as a reward for my perseverance and my patience.

I take photography personally. Most of the time I captured my own moment … moments that related to me. A way for me to learn and understand about life. To calm my soul when things don’t work accordingly, as the Planner always has a better plan for me. I just need to trust Him.

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A sunset moment when the golden light decided to be generous

“Art depends on luck and talent”

Whenever you came across that lucky moment, you need the talent to be able to recognize such moment and you need the technical skill to decide on what and how to properly frame it. How do you do it?

Practice makes perfect.

Sleep deprived. Need to doze off. Bye …

Cheers

MM

ps: TEDx Talks about  Mastering Change by Michael Yamashita.

 


new tool for my art

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Tengku Tengah Zaharah Mosque, Kuala Ibai, KT/ XT2 16-55mm f/2.8

Bought XT2 Fujifilm camera before my trip to NZ last few months and I paired it with a 16-55mm f/2.8 Fuji lens. My shoulder is not that strong anymore and I don’t consider carrying 2 DSLRs while traveling is traveling ‘light’.

I hope that I made the right choice as migrating into a new camera system is expensive … at least for a freelancer like me.

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Horses at Kuala Ibai, Kuala Terengganu/ XT2

Last month Fujifilm Malaysia organized a trip to Kuala Terengganu and I tagged along with the other 100 over Fujifilm camera users, gathered together to capture the essence of Kuala Terengganu. A very interesting trip and it was an opportunity for me to learn more about this new tool in my hand. So, I took a few photos of the event and share it here.

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Batu Rakit beach, Kuala Terengganu/ XT2

Bought my D810 way back in 2014 and it was at her own ‘class’ during her time. And technology has changed a lot since then. Cameras are getting lighter, user-friendlier and super fast nowadays … I feel old and left behind with my old D810/ D800E. But quality wise, my images in my old camera is still superior compared to XT2 though 😆 … sour grape!

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Young warriors/ XT2

After using this XT2 for over 3 months now, I kinda like this small camera. Small yet a very powerful tool. The XT2 camera ergonomic feels just right in my small hand. The lens is superb too and the price is still within my budget (to be honest , I don’t prefer spending my money on gadgets … I prefer spending it on my traveling instead)

This investment would last me for a few years, so I keep telling myself each time I decided to add more Fuji compliance gadget to my collection. And, with all the technology advantage embedded into this new camera … it’ll help me focus on the only one important thing which is my CREATIVITY.

I compiled more photos during this Fujifilm X trip in my Matsuda’s Zenfolio. Please check it out here but it is still not complete yet as I take time looking at my photos and decide what should I do with it … yes! not a pro yet in organizing 😂😂

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Pak Ali kite maker of Terengganu/ XT2

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My new tool XT2 Fujifilm with 16-55mm f/2.8

Gotta run … bye.

Cheers,

MM

ps: … saving my money to get myself the new Nikon D850.


Circling KLCC

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KLCC from my angle, 1000 feet up above the air

I guess my theory is right, that u can just be anything and be anywhere that you want to be with a camera in your hand. I had another unforgettable moment just recently, circling Kuala Lumpur city centre particularly KLCC and KL Tower on a flying machine, the lightest and the slowest aircraft ever … a paramotor.

It was totally unplanned. We saw an opportunity and we decided to grab it. Our second time flying tandem together in a crowded city centre while our first experience was quite scary. We were new and inexperienced during the time that we took up the job to circle around Petaling Jaya area, a crowded highly populated city centre in the heart of Petaling Jaya.

But we always wanted to fly circling around KLCC, once was the tallest tower in the world. Had a goosebump when we started our flight that morning.

Flying in a congested city area is not easy. Wind in between tall buildings is unpredictably strong due to the funnel effect and obviously dangerous for a light flight aka paramotor like us.

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View of the city from the Royal Selangor Golf Club

The weather was good with a zero wind condition at our takeoff site, it added a great confidence to both of us. We made our usual safety test while on air before heading to KLCC and KL Tower, we circled a few times around the Royal Selangor Golf Club and as we gained our confidence … we then proceed to the city centre airspace.

 

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i love this …

 

Uhhh … after years of taking photos at high altitudes while flying, I still had that ‘gayat’ or vertigo feeling especially if we were flying close to buildings, a bit scary though but the view is always worth it. Both my flying buddy and I love flying so much that little hurdles or challenges while on air so far couldn’t kill our spirits.

I set my camera at ISO 800 and put it in S mode and start framing my visual composition. Instead of my usual D810, I opted for a mirrorless camera with an equivalent of 24-70mm lens. For safety reason, I am looking forward to changing my photography gears to another lighter option.

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The other side of KLCC

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Wefie on air while cruising at 1000 feet up on the horizon

This experience honestly inspired me to dream further.

I want more experience like this. Am adding a few more things to my “to do list before I go senile”… a dream of flying across the pyramids in Egypt, flying across the beautiful landscape of Yemen and exploring the airspace of the City of Dubai. In Sha Allah, if Allah permits.

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I like!

I hope that I would never get bored of this.

Maybe my life is not as perfect as the rest of makcik and pakcik bawang out there at the kitchen corner safely curling in their comfortable nest. How I choose to live my life might look a bit weird compared to the rest of the so-called ‘perfect’ people … but so far I feel more alive, contented and blessed with whatever presented by the Al-Mighty to me. I don’t give a damn … It’s my life, I’ll have it my way.

Good night!

Cheers

MM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Keeper Moment

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The first is always the sweetest, right? Here is another first for me …

Yeszza! I made it to the front page. A baby step indeed but I feel honored. I am posting it here as a reminder to myself to keep on creating my craft … just the way I wanted it.

I am smiling right now … 🙂

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I haven’t posted anything yet about my adventurous moment in Mongolia and Lake Baikal here in my blog. The journey truly blew my mind … something totally new to me but I am still in a fermenting mood.

I am fermenting both my story and my photos during that trip to a perfection lol.

It’s an excuse … the truth is my mind is still preoccupied with something else right now. A mental block!

I am feeling sleep deprived lately and all that I can think of is just my pillow and my blanket. I am in the middle of adjusting my sleeping pattern … instead of being a night owl, I am thinking of switching to a lark. Waking up early before dawn preparing my grips.

Okay lah … I gotta go and get my beauty sleep.

Cheers

MM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


More Create Time

“Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can’t try to do things. You simply must do things.” ~ Ray Bradbury

2017.03.27 – am at home recuperating. I was on the road for almost 22 days. 16 days backpacking with 2 of my travel buddies and another 6 days back home to my mom’s at Bachok, Kelantan (7 hours drive from Kuala Lumpur).

My head is full of stories now … stories about my traveling moments (which I intended to write about it in my next post), about my mom, about my loved ones, about my new kitty, my maid who ran off from home, my never ending sleep deprived etc … ahh and today’s post is just about my work this month. Well … keeping every each of it here for my own reference.

My article for NST on March 2017 is about what to shoot in the market.

And, that new kitty, Nala aka Lala is everywhere in the house. We have another adult cat by the name of ‘Chicken’. Being the only cat for 11 years makes my ‘Chicken’ a very dominant cat and we are having a hard time right now … to convince ‘Chicken’ that the new kitty is here to stay.

And my work appeared in a local magazine too. Well … I am honored. I hope that all this would be a stepping stone towards more opportunity for me to CREATE.

Off I go. Will write about my journey in Mongolia and Lake Baikal soon.

Cheers!

MM


Ace of Hearts

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Took her photo at Bhaktapur, Nepal while I was on my morning walk along the alleys. This is my second visit to Nepal

2017.01.12 … time flies, it’s the 12th day of 2017 and I am still not over 2016 yet. Another new year ahhhh. Last year I opted a ‘no’ new year resolution for 2016, a year of exploring and wandering with no obligation to achieve anything, just following the flow and enjoying my moment. A care-free 2016 …

I aged another year … yeah! being a woman, aging sucks. I had a minor surgery last month just 2 days before my flight to Nepal. Being a stubborn woman I happily checked out from the hospital, pack my cameras and headed to the airport for my flight to Kathmandu.

Well … what could go wrong right? Except that … I am not young anymore and recovery takes time. Carrying 2 DSLRs on my back and walking around Kathmandu, Pokhara and Ghandruk felt like a chore. Hmm … lesson properly learned. But, I survived …

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A steel bridge connecting villages separated by cliffs

I want to go the opposite direction for this year … and I’ll start with having new RESOLUTIONs for 2017.

But … I want realistic resolutions that would motivate me to be a better me. Not some unachievable resolutions that would at the end makes me felt incompetent with my own beloved self. So … I’ll have 3 new resolutions for 2017 then, just to keep it realistic and 1 old resolution that I always silently yearn for each year.

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A family wefie in front of Pashupatinath Temple, Kathmandu

I want to adopt a ‘win’ attitude this year. Yeah … that kiasu attitude “this girl gotta win in anything that she decided to do”. I am just curious on how does it feel to be a winner for at least a year ha ha ha.

I want to create more in 2017. More quality writing, more quality photos, more quality videos, more time for quality reading, more time for quality sleep and more time for love.

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No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted ~ Aesop. A new friend at Pashupatinath temple, Kathmandu 

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Observing life along the alleys at Ason Bazaar, Kathmandu

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Enjoying my morning light on the street while observing life here

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Staring eye to eye with strangers on the road

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Playing with afternoon light at one of the alleys at the market

I want more backpack trips either solo or with a small group of friends to most strange land and meet up with all kind of kindness along the way. It is gonna be my way or the highway ha ha ha <—evil laugh. And lastly, my same old silent resolution each year is to have more HIM time. HIM … the Creator of all these beautiful moments that I am immensely in love with. Bliss …

Ahh I am sleepy … maybe it is time for a short nap. Bye for now.

Cheers

MM


Wandering Soul

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Sulaiman: Danau Tarusan Kamang, Agam, Sumatera, Indonesia

New places always excite me.

I could spend hours just wandering and observing my surrounding for something to learn from or just something to look at. Sharing 5 of my favorite portraits that whenever I look at it … I felt like packing my bag and start wandering on the street again.

Pic above: Sulaiman, our local talent posing for me with his fish cages. Danau Tarusan Kamang is a natural pond that seemed to have a mind of its own mind. It dried up and swelled up with water according to God knows whatever rules … I think it has something to do with its underground geographical structure.

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Mr Freedom: Bukit Tinggi, Sumatera, Indonesia

Pic above: Mr Freedom showing off his ‘freedom’ … tattooed hard on his chest. What a coincident since freedom is my all time favorite words lol.

Meeting strangers from all part of life while wandering around is an eye opening. I learned to listen well too. Stories about their day-to-day life which is most of the time would be an opposite story from mine.

Engaging a simple and sincere chat with strangers on the street came naturally to me too… I like it. And, I think that it would be rude for you to just showed up from nowhere and suddenly just click on your camera on somebody’s face.

Have some respect … kot.

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A woman from Karo Tribe: Omo Valley, Ethiopia

Pic above: My lady from Karo tribe of Omo Valley, Ethiopia posed with my colorful shawl. We were curious about each other lol.

I smiled whenever I saw this photo. She probably has never seen a shawl as colorful as mine in her life (Malaysian women wear colorful clothing at every chance that we have and we have a whole bundle of choices to choose from hu hu hu).  And, I envied her beads collection.

So, she wanted my colorful shawl for an exchange with her photos and I ended up having a series of her photos looking satisfied with our deal ;-P .

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Omak/ Mother: Bukit Tinggi, Sumatera, Indonesia

And, I personally think that it would be more satisfying to have some sort of connection with your subject. Especially when I am taking portraiture or faces on the street, I want to have meaning to a face that I would probably keep for a very long time in my external HDD.

Pic above: A loving mother that I met while wandering at one of the morning markets at Bukit Tinggi, Sumatera, Indonesia. We had a loving chat together … talking about her children and how lucky she was to be surrounded by her loved ones.

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Chacha: Northern Pakistan

And lastly, the chacha (uncle) that we met at one of our stops on our way to Skardu, Northern Pakistan. Strangers in this part of the world are rare. I never expected that we would be treated warmly.  it is true then … “There are no strangers here; only friends you haven’t yet met”. (pls ignore the salt bottle on the table … lol)

I am feeling grateful … for the soul that decided to leave me, the soul that wander together hand-in-hand with me and the newly discovered soul that decided to stay … the best word to express my gratitude is alhamdullilah.

Bye for now.

Cheers,

MM

 

 

 

 


Leaving the Nest

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The little butterfly and its previous home

I was watering my garden last week … honestly not sure if I should label my 5 potted plants as a garden … I am a self-proclaimed minimalist, having more than 10 plants at my home would disqualify me from my minimalist self-titled hu hu hu … I shall think so (an excuse to remain as lazy as possible).

Okay … back to my story. I was watering my plants last week when I noticed a newly ‘born’ butterfly … she (I prefered to call it she because it was beautiful) just came out from her cocoon. She was drying her wings and strengthen her limbs preparing for her first take-off.

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Mesmerizing beauty

I used to shot macro. Quit doing it and focusing more on traveling and flying instead but … I am a moment photographer … I could just revert back to any photography genre just to capture moments, right?

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Drying her wings by flapping it slowly

I shoot this with my 105mm Nikkor f2.8 lens. I love that lens … the color and the bokeh that came out from this lens is dreamy. Photos were taken handheld … moments like this could pass by in split seconds and you need to be quick with you camera.

Looking at this little missy makes me wonder about my own life too. When the nest is finally empty … the one who left behind in the nest would either feel delusionally lost or probably decided to move on to the next nest.

Figured that … what makes a beautiful nest, is not the nest itself but the butterfly. Deep … 🙂 and  I want to be that butterfly.

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Little missy being impatient watching me

And at last after not more than 10 shots … my beautiful model decided to take-off and explore her new world. Leaving me behind … thinking that I should sharpen up my macro skill lol.

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Little missy showing off her new wings

Beautiful moments, only if you choose to open your eyes and decide on ‘seeing’ ….alhamdullilah.

Bye for now,

Cheers.

MM

ps- “The journey.” ~ by Rumi

Come, seek,

for seeking is the foundation of fortune:
every success depends upon focusing the heart.
Unconcerned with the business of the world,
keep saying with all your soul, “Ku, ku,” like the dove…

Even though you’re not equipped,
keep searching…

Whoever you see engaged in search,
become her friend and cast your head in front of her,
for choosing to be a neighbor of seekers,
you become one yourself…

Day and night you are a traveler in a ship.
You are under the protection of a life-giving spirit…

Step aboard the ship and set sail,
like the soul going towards the soul’s Beloved.
Without hands or feet, travel toward Timelessness
just as spirits flee from non-existence.

…By God, don’t linger
in any spiritual benefit you have gained,
but yearn for more like one suffering from illness
whose thirst for water is never quenched…

Leave the seat of honor behind:
the Journey is your seat of honor.


View at 6000ft

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at Tekah Airfield on October 01, 2016 with my flying buddy

I wonder … how would our earth look like from 10,000ft high up on air from a paramotor ride? Just you and your machine up high above the cloud looking down upon the earth … both of your feet dangling in the air at 10,000ft … wohooo!

I decided to hang out with my PPG friends (powered paraglider) for a Malaysian Book Of Record (MBOR) challenge to fly as high as 10,000 – 15,000 feet up on air this coming December as their professional photographer.

They had a few rounds of training at Tekah Airfield, Taiping, Perak. I tagged along as part of the team …and as a tandem passenger to one of Janjifly PPG pilot. Last weekend on October 1st and 2nd were their second MBOR training. They planned to test their physical endurances and engine capability while attempting to reach at least 6000ft to 8000ft.

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imagine your feet dangling in air at 6000 ft

The wind was gusty that morning. We were swinging from left to right … up and down on the airspace. I nearly vomited out my early morning ‘nasi lemak’ (breakfast) 😛 … oh boy! after hours and hours of flying with them I still experienced air sickness … it shows how gusty the wind was that morning.

Fyi …’giving up’ has never been my favorite words. So … we kept on going.

The gutsy wind finally settled calmly as we ascended exceeding 3000ft and we started to feel the chill … and the view was splendid. Oh … the word ‘splendid’ was so underrated … the view was awesome A+++.

{please checkout our flying video in youtube at JanjiFly at 6000ft}

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at 1935m = 6354 ft … bulls eye! we reached the target

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the view at 6000ft

One of our wildest dream (which is yet for us to achieve) is to fly through a group of clouds 🙂 . Due to engine low fuel, we were unable to wander around that fluffy clouds on our left side (refer to the picture below) … too bad clouds, wait until the next time!

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at 6000ft … and that fluffy clouds on the left

I often get misunderstood by my viewer. Guess that professionalism is still unknown to some of my conservative audiences.

It may seem like I am the only woman in the team but as a frequent traveler and a professional photographer …this is a normal on-the-job environment for me. I didn’t feel awkward at all as I am not doing anything wrong … religiously or morally.

People do talk but having a mutual understanding between me and my subjects makes my work comfortable and easy … truly blessed!

“To live is the rarest thing in the world, most people just exist. That is all.” ~ Oscar Wilde

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at 6000ft we blend well with the surrounding

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been here, done that!

Yeay … been there, done that! and I am slowly moving on to my next project.

Preparing myself to get lost in Jogjakarta, Indonesia in mid-November. This is going to be my 3rd time wandering in Jogjakarta … this time around I will be joining my local photographer friend hunting for lights around the beaches, jungles, hills, paddy fields and some bushes outside Jogjakarta. Wish me well …

Bye for now

Cheers,

MM

 

ps – I am leaving it all to Allah, he is the best of planners. Ameen …

And [remember, O Muhammad], when those who disbelieved plotted against you to restrain you or kill you or evict you [from Makkah]. But they plan, and Allah plans. And Allah is the best of planners. [Al-Anfal verse 30]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Beyond the Fog of Mt Bromo

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Morning at Mt Bromo hmmm … dreamy!

I visited Mt Bromo at Probolinggo in East Java, Indonesia for the third time last July 2016. I heard from my friends that Mt Bromo was actively coughing off smokes out of its opened crater for the last few months … and I couldn’t resist the temptation for a quick weekend gateway.

We traveled in a very small group this time around. Just the three of us … leaving behind the rest of our “Sailangers” travel mate. I began to love traveling in a small group. Less drama and less need to socialize among us … which mean more time for observing and mingling around with the locals.

Tengger people of Probolinggo was celebrating their Yadnya Kasada festival that week and we intended to observe the ceremony. The ceremony was for the Tengger Hindus to express their gratitude to their believing Gods for good harvests and fortunes bestowed upon them.

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Dramatic sunset that afternoon … the drizzling rain brought along thick fogs

It rained during the 4 days of our stay at Cemoro Lawang, Probolinggo.  The last 2 days were a bit forgiving as we managed to catch morning sunrise before the fog and the rain started to concur the area.

The drizzling rain brought along thick and unpredictable fog that comfortably snuggled  Mt Bromo alley into a deep dreamy sleep. At first, I thought that I was cursed … but rain, fogs, clouds and smoky landscape are always been my favorite moment. The reason why I still love flying with my paramotor/ PPG buddy is because of this dreamy imagination that one day I might stumble into a beautiful thick clouds formation during our flying stint.

Well …  a sure challenge for a landscape or ‘chasing the light’ photographer when the sky is dark and the rain is dancing in the air. This is what I called … a lesson of letting go. Nature is teaching us to learn to let go … nature is beyond our human control and I need to learn to let go, this is not my moment yet. Full stop!

Once I decided to accept my fate … wallah! the sun start peeking out from the thick fogs … and presented us with a dramatic landscape view of Mt Bromo. Ahhhh … blessing in disguise  alhamdulilah … couldn’t ask for more. And … clicking the camera shutter once again … is an exciting thing to do 😛

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Us … looking for the best angle 😛

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Us … doing what we always do … shooting the target 😉

My DSLR is getting heavy and heavier lately … I blamed it on my ‘aging’ 😉 process . My heart still feels young and energetic but my shoulder started to crank up, my knee started to lose its vigor too … damn!

So … I bought a new tool for this trip … a Ricoh GR2 camera, a boxy old fashion looking dude with hmmm an acceptable image making ability. Pictures shared in this post were all taken from my boxy little Ricoh GR2 camera. Not bad for a small point and shoot camera …

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Smoky dramatic Mt Bromo taken with my boxy little Ricoh Gr2 dude

Life is full of wonder … and having a curious mind could always work wonder. Ahhh … I want more and more of this.

 

Bye for now

 

Cheers

MM

 

ps -“Creativity is intelligent having fun.” ~ Albert Einstein

 


2-cats and a family

I like nonsense; it wakes up the brain cells - Dr Seuss

aku dan kamera

I like nonsense; it wakes up the brain cells - Dr Seuss