Sunday, 6 September 2009

A Cup of Hope

A Cup of Hope, originally uploaded by rickirick.

Chinese say: Where there is tea, there is hope :)
.. and when there is hope, there is life, wish you a happy life! cheers

I have been wondering how to make a bokeh photograph with big light rounds in the background, while the main focus (object) remains well exposed.

Through some readings and photos in flickr, tonight I start experimenting with my standard equipment (d90 body + afd 80-200 lens + tripod). I open the curtain at my room, hoping the distant light at the street make something different on the bokeh, and the last one, have myself as the model :) i'm alone, nobody else here, self timer + tripod + manual focus are the keys then.

I have learned important variables to determine the size of light round: long focal length (here i go with 120mm), bigger aperture (here is f/2.8), and distant light in background (here about 10m).

Well, not bad for first attempt, isn't it? :) The lighting setting is surely the apparent weakness, there is annoying shadow in my face. I am now considering to learn flash photography and buy necessary stuff, such as nikon SB to improve my experiment, as the bulb light is the only source of light at this picture.

ricki @ wuxi 2009

Yuyuan Garden

Yuyuan Garden, originally uploaded by rickirick.

I think this is the nicest garden in central China, where people can also enjoy the lightings of old chinese style architecture. The location is also very easy to reach, it's right in the center of of Shanghai downtown, you can use bus going toward old city, or take rickshaw from the nearest subway station, Nanjing East Road.

ricki @ shanghai

Three Kingdoms

Three Kingdoms, originally uploaded by rickirick.

This is another picture taken at horse ride show of Three Kingdoms City, a friend of mine requested me to put the original color version as the previous one has been retouched to give sephia effect. How do you find its color? The picture is taken through my newest lens :) - Nikkor AF 80-200 ED (N) so far I'm satisfied with the performance.

A little bit flashback, Three Kingdoms City is located at southwest suburb of Wuxi, China. The studio is used as background for historical television series in China, The Romance of Three Kingdoms.

ricki @ wuxi 2009

Esplanade at night

Esplanade at night, originally uploaded by rickirick.

This is the eye view from merilion park, where you can see "The Durian" esplanade building and its lighting. I confess there is nothing special with the photograph composition, except the lighting reflection on the blurred water.
I was too lazy that time to not bring tripod, hence my angle was very limited, I could only take picture wherever there is something sturdy surface, and used the self timer to avoid camera shake when pressing the shutter button.
By the way, increasing ISO can be another solution if you dont bring tripod when taking photo on low light situation, but you will find the noise will be more apparent.

ricki @ singapore 2009

A Timeless Friendship

A Timeless Friendship, originally uploaded by rickirick.

Having a good friendship until their ages is interesting, isn't it?

When I was having lunch with my friend at a restaurant in Xintiandi area, these two grandpas pulled our attention, they were sitting in front of fountain, right in the middle of people crowd. The waitress helped me to translate my words into mandarin, I asked if I could take picture of them.

This picture was taken at Xintiandi, an entertainment district in Shanghai. When I have nothing to do in Shanghai, this place always comes first in my mind. Nothing special about this place, but i find the place give different atmosphere when having lunch or just afternoon coffee.

ricki @ shanghai 2009

Never too late to learn

Never too late to learn, originally uploaded by rickirick.

Enough said :)

You wanted me, here I am

You wanted me, here I am, originally uploaded by rickirick.

This is one of the horse knights in a duel between three heroes and their enemy at Three Kingdoms City, which is located at southwest suburb of Wuxi, China. The studio is used as background for historical television series in China, The Romance of Three Kingdoms.

Talking about this photograph, it was very difficult to achieve the expected effect through photography technique only, such as freezing or panning, at least for now, with my limited capability. Digital post processing took an important role to make the original picture more dramatic. For those who interested to learn, just drop me a comment and later I will be happy to elaborate the tricks for you :)

ricki @ wuxi 2009

Everything will be fine, baby

Everything will be fine, baby, originally uploaded by rickirick.

It was a clear day just after the rain stopped. On my way to to Jade Buddha Temple, i came across a girl starring outside from her window. My luck to get this moment because I was still inside a moving taxi and hadn't even opened the window yet :)

I didn't have clue what she was thinking at the moment, but one thing for sure, her house got interesting view as its window facing the beautiful street of Nanjing Lu.

ricki @ shanghai 2009

Under the lights

Under the lights, originally uploaded by rickirick.

I came across this interesting scene when visited Singapore for weekend gateaway, a rickshaw man waiting for passenger at Boat quay, where many tourist came over to amaze the city lighting by the river. Rows of cafe at Boat Quay are also a little more laid back and good spot for coffee and having chit chat.

ricki @ singapore 2009

Ni Hao!

Ni Hao!, originally uploaded by rickirick.

A warm welcome for me in China! :) hehe actually this was taken at old market in Nanjing. I got a nice great wall painting with only 30 RMB there.

ricki @ nanjing 2009

Venice of the east

Venice of the east, originally uploaded by rickirick.

This is Tongli, a famous river located at Suzhou, it can be reached by 1 hour driving from Shanghai. Its long history (1000 years), well preserved culture, and ancient village around the river are the main interests for many tourist to come, and some people say if this place reminds them to Venice in Italy. Ok, start from the identical place at east, hopefully i can have opportunity to visit the real Venice someday :)

ricki @ suzhou 2009

Hindu baby's first hair cut

Hindu baby's first hair cut, originally uploaded by rickirick.

After bidding a farewell to Tokyo, I went back to Kuala Lumpur. I spent the weekend to visit Batu Caves, a popular Hindu shrine outside India.
This lady seems very keen to let others see how her grand daughter just got shaved for the first hair time life. In Hindu tradition, the hair from birth is associated as undesirable traits from past lives, here this babyl is freshly shaven to signify freedom from the past and moving into her future.

ricki @ batu 2009

Monday, 20 April 2009

Qinhuai River

Qinhuai River, originally uploaded by rickirick.

Nanjing is my first touchdown in China Mainland, kinda not excited at the beginning, cloudy sky, dust, noise of horn at the street, plus language barrier made me wonder whether I can survive living here days forward. Good thing someone told me to visit this place, Qinhuai river, where the famous Confucius Temple (Fuzimiao) is located. It's nice to be here at night time, to admire the lighting of traditional scenery along the river. It gives me a courage to keep exploring the beauty of place where I am at the moment, and indeed helps me to start enjoying my life here.

ricki @ nanjing 2009

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Shalmy's first hair cut

Shalmy's first hair cut, originally uploaded by rickirick.

After bidding a farewell to Tokyo, I went back to Kuala Lumpur. I spent the weekend to visit Batu Caves, a popular Hindu shrine outside India. This Indian baby girl in picture is Shalmy, she is brought out to Batu Caves by her family for the first hair cut in her life. In Hindu tradition, the hair from birth is associated as undesirable traits from past lives, so here Shalmy is freshly shaven to signify freedom from the past and moving into her future.
Be growing up as a nice girl Shalmy! :)

ricki @ batu 2009

Friday, 17 April 2009

Haunted House Izakaya

Haunted House Izakaya, originally uploaded by rickirick.

I went out for dinner at a cool Izakaya bar. The place is more like haunted house instead of normal Izakaya (Japanese style dining bar), it's dark, decorated with horror theme and some spooky dolls. The waitress wear white burial kimono, read some magic words when serving a food, and they also have some fun games.
This funny guy is my best mate in Japan: Sukawa-san (洲川), he got bad luck eating 'deadly spicy tempura' at the russian roulette game we played. As a punishment, he had to wear white kimono like when a person dies :) It was fun.

ricki @ kichijyo-ji 2009

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

俥 千代松 - The Rickshaw Man

This is Kuruma Chiyomatsu (俥 千代松), who originally comes from Kanagawa. Being a rickshaw man at Asakusa for 5 years, he becomes one of the most senior rickshaw man at Asakusa, and get honored to attach name Kuruma (俥) as his first name.
Meeting new people with various background is one of his reason to choose Rickshaw-man as his profession. When I asked permission to take his portrait, he replied nicely and even showed me this wide smile :) I think he loves his job a lot.

Otsukaresama (お疲れ様) !!

ricki @ asakusa 2009

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Stay nicely here dear

Stay nicely here dear, originally uploaded by rickirick.

Many Japanese mothers keep their child sitting on the back when cycling. I believe it requires a good cycling skill, otherwise it won't be safe enough to also carry a baby / child on the street.

ricki @ ueno 2009

The color of new season

The color of new season, originally uploaded by rickirick.

People here get pumped for the beginning of new season. Stunning sakura flowers blossom, warmth of the sunlight, and a traditional culture called hanami are the most interesting parts of spring arrival in Japan.
This is a snap of cherry blossom at Shinjuku-goen today, the second day of vernal equinox, really feel amazed of the color.

ricki @ tokyo 2009

Saturday, 21 March 2009

King Penguins

King Penguins, originally uploaded by rickirick.

This is a group of king penguins at Ueno zoo. One of my dreams is to visit Antarctica and see real wild penguins live freely there.

ricki @ dream to antarctica

Early 桜 blossoming

Early 桜 blossoming, originally uploaded by rickirick.

Spring has come in Tokyo :) cherry trees start blossoming. This is one of the Sakura (桜) blossom at Ueno Park. Not feeling satisfied with the picture, lack of light made the color couldn't be exposed. Still have time this weekend to see more sakura blossom, can't wait to take more pictures and of course have hanami under the trees :)
Welcome spring 2009!

ricki @ tokyo 2009

Thursday, 19 March 2009

But why is the rum always gone?

Familiar face, isn't it? :)
Yeah, this guy is acting as Captain Jack Sparrow at Disney Land Tokyo. I took his photograph while queuing for Pirates of Caribbean ride.
Although located in Japan, I suppose no way for Japanese can replace this guy acting as Captain Jack here :)

ricki @ disney tokyo 2009

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Fun bike afternoon

Fun bike afternoon, originally uploaded by rickirick.

Japan is one of the countries where the bicycle culture is widely spread. Less polluted air and good infrastructure such as bike lanes favoring bicycle usage here. There is a nice article written at Japantimes Online about a famous economic analyst who always use bicycle to travel. I like the part when she said that she tend not to think about anything when taking public transport, but when she rides bike, she can aware of her movement, and feels the changes of the seasons. Yeah me too, I used bicycle everyday when I was working at Osaka 1 year ago, this autumn picture is taken on my way to the office riding bicycle :)

ricki @ tokyo 2009

Cosmo Clock 21

Cosmo Clock 21, originally uploaded by rickirick.

Another picture from my last trip at Yokohama, this is Cosmo Clock 21. It was the tallest Ferris wheel in the world when opened for public at 1999.

ricki @ yokohama 2009

Autumn at 大阪

Autumn at 大阪, originally uploaded by rickirick.

Took this picture about 1 year ago at Osaka-jo (大阪城) through my old pocket camera (Coolpix S5). It was autumn, quite interesting to observe the color changes of leaves from time to time, especially the garden that I passed by everyday on the way to the office. The trees fall off their leaves, with the leaves changing to a reddish or yellow hue before falling.

ricki @ osaka 2007

Tuesday, 10 March 2009


Purnama, originally uploaded by rickirick.

Just had my first experiment to capture the last full moon at winter time (lenten moon) here :) .. unfortunately, the distance to the moon is really far, while my lens can only zoom up to FL 300mm.. as the result, image cropping made the quality worse.
In my hometown, full moon is called purnama.

ricki @ kagurazaka (神楽坂), tokyo 2009

Sunday, 8 March 2009

A Night at Yokohama

A Night at Yokohama, originally uploaded by rickirick.

My team is supposed to move to head quarter office at Shin Yokohama, as my project at Tokyo is finishing soon. I was kind of excited, as new city must be always interesting for me :) ...but for some reason, the plan is canceled. My team is staying at Tokyo office until the end of the project on April.
Before it is going too late, I visited Yokohama last Saturday only for sightseeing and feeling the atmosphere of the city. Well, 1 hour journey from my place is nothing compared to some city scenes I managed to capture, and this picture is one of my favorites :)

ricki @ yokohama 2009

Saturday, 28 February 2009

Shinjuku street musician

Shinjuku street musician, originally uploaded by rickirick.

Although they play music at the street corner of town, but Japanese street musician usually play and sing very well, and even equipped with quality sound system. Perhaps this is because they intended to promote / sell their indie album CD rather than just collecting money from people that pass by them there.

ricki @ tokyo 2009

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Rainbow Bridge

Rainbow Bridge, originally uploaded by rickirick.

A capture of a bridge connecting Tokyo and Odaiba Island.
It's quite nice place to have a little refreshing out of daily working life in Tokyo, having a cup of coffee by the sea, with a nice view towards the rainbow bridge and crowd of buildings at downtown. By the way, the red tower that looks similar to Eiffel is Tokyo Tower :)

Took this picture with fixed lens 50mm, because my 12-24mm has too wide angle for this scene. Apparently the focal length between 30-40mm would give better angle.
Need one more lens to fill up this focal length gap, I will probably choose the medium range lens, either 16-85 or 17-55.

ricki @ odaiba 2009

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

What will you be in 5 years?

What will you be in 5 years?, originally uploaded by rickirick.

I fully agree with this quote:

You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read ~by Charles Jones.

"The books you read" simply means what's new, different, and interesting information which are useful to enhance the value of yourself.
And "the people you meet" means how can you be nice to and keep learning from people the entire world, with different knowledge, different thinking, different cultures, and of course different dreams, just keep sharing wherever you and them are.

ricki @ jakarta 2008

Monday, 23 February 2009

Can't Wait for Tomorrow

Can't Wait for Tomorrow, originally uploaded by rickirick.

It is a pleasant Sunday, here I am at Odaiba, an artificial island in Tokyo bay with futuristic design concept. For me, Toyota Mega Web is the most interesting place here, probably the biggest showroom in the world, showing over 100 Toyota & Lexus models. Look, ride, and feel is their tag-lines. It's true, I can touch, get in to the cars, or even test drive my favorite! :) True heaven for car fanatics, isn't it?

It's 10 o'clock already, time to go home and dream to drive this car around the city :)

ricki @ odaiba 2009

Sunday, 8 February 2009

No 'Smorking' in Japan

No 'Smorking' in Japan, originally uploaded by rickirick.

Despite the smoking rates in Japan is quite high, but they are now increasing restriction of smokers and awareness of health issue of smoking. Smoking is banned at many public facilities and populated / major streets.
This picture is one example of restriction of smoking at Shibuya area, where there are crowd of people everyday.
Good thing for smokers, they are still able to find designated areas for smoking, just stick into this, or you will be fined for max 10000 yen penalty.

ricki @ tokyo 2009

Lentern for my sister

Lentern for my sister, originally uploaded by rickirick.

This is my little sister, she is visiting Kuala Lumpur after had college trip at Batam and Singapore. With the lentern festive to embrace lunar new year as a background, she is so lucky to have her brother took a nice bokeh picture there :p
Gong Xi Fat Choi, congratulations and be prospreous...

ricki @ kuala lumpur 2009

Where money never sleeps

Where money never sleeps, originally uploaded by rickirick.

A snapshot at Jalan Petailing, a most crowded market at Kuala Lumpur. This market never sleeps, well, the trading activities are even getting busier now as lunar new year is coming soon.
For those who plan to buy some merchandise there, make sure you bargain as cheap as possible, their asking price for tourist could be twice than actual one.

ricki @ kuala lumpur 2009

Polaroid for a grandma

Polaroid for a grandma, originally uploaded by rickirick.

Walking back from Goa Lalay, a granny suddenly stopped me and asked for an instant polaroid picture. In sundanese words, I promised to give her picture when I have a chance visiting her village later on.
Goa Lalay is located at Sawarna, a village at southern Banten province, about 7 hours driving from Jakarta. Not many tourist know about this place, but I told you it's worth to visit. There are some beautiful beaches and caves.

ricki @ sawarna 2008

Sundanese Children

Sundanese Children, originally uploaded by rickirick.

Taking photograph of children faces are always interesting. I met them at Sawarna village, Banten. One of my friend said, they will be happy if I could to send over this picture by post-office. Someday mate :)

ricki @ sawarna 2008

Lighten up my world

Lighten up my world, originally uploaded by rickirick.

These kids are living at Kampung Naga, a traditional village at Garut, West Java. The way they live is quite interesting, they tend to preserve their old culture which is quite far from modernity.

ricki @ garut 2009

This is Bung Glenn

This is Bung Glenn, originally uploaded by rickirick.

He is my ex-officemate at Jakarta, and currently taking Phd of telecommunication at Melbourne.
Without any intention to be racist, his office mates sometimes throw a joke saying that people of his ethnic group will end up working as debt collector at Jakarta, but this guy has became a special one.
He gets rewarded a full scolarship from Ministry of Communication & Information, and we all hope that he can be next Indonesia CommInfo Minister :)

ricki @ garut 2008

abdi budak pangalengan

abdi budak pangalengan, originally uploaded by rickirick.

A kid at Pangalengan -Southern Bandung, Indonesia- spending his weekend holiday walking around tea plantation.
Note: "abdi budak pangalengan" means "i'm a kid of pangalengan" in sundanese.

ricki @ bandung 2008

Sunshiny day

Sunshiny day, originally uploaded by rickirick.

Her name is Agnes, took this picture at Pangalengan, West Java, I love her expression.

ricki @ bandung 2008

Forgetting the past

Forgetting the past, originally uploaded by rickirick.

Forget the past, live for present, nothing can stop you from following your dreams.

ricki @ bandung 2008

Floating in Heaven

Floating in Heaven, originally uploaded by rickirick.

Took this shot at Bamboo Island, Phi-phi - Thailand... the fisherman bent down, lower his head when my camera approaching his 'exotic boat' :)

ricki @ krabi 2008

Friends are Forever

Friends are Forever, originally uploaded by rickirick.

It was raining heavily when I ride a motorcycle around Krabi Town... Stopped by at a village, and it comes to my surprise the local children there are very excited to see me the foreigner :) also keep trying to talk thai though i don't understand at all...

the rain has stopped, see you guys and wish the good friendship forever...

ricki @ krabi 2008

Senja di Masjid Putra

Senja di Masjid Putra, originally uploaded by rickirick.

Made from 3 exposure bracketing, the blending process gave unexpected result, the color is almost like dual / tri tone :) I like it so I keep the color as it is...

ricki @ putrajaya 2008

Where all the Policies Come From

Executive is supposed to be not the only one power in a government. Modern democracy requires distributed power between Executive, Legislature and the Judiciary.

This is the house of Malaysian Executive Arm at Putrajaya. Took the shot during a light rain, just love the wet foreground with a bit of reflection of this building.

ricki @ putrajaya 2008

Another Corner of KLCC

Another Corner of KLCC, originally uploaded by rickirick.

A view from the park in front of Surya KLCC -a shopping mall which connected to Petronas Twin Tower-

ricki @ kuala lumpur 2008

Luck is about how Hard you try

Luck is about how Hard you try, originally uploaded by rickirick.

Captured this moment on morning time at Pangandaran, southern Ciamis, West Java, where the most people work as fishermen..
We can't just hope a bunch of fish will come... wake up in the dawn and never stop sailing are the only way we survive... Luck? We are great believer of luck, and we always find the harder we try the more we have of it...

ricki @ pangandaran 2008

Himeji Castle

Himeji Castle, originally uploaded by rickirick.

Visited this castle during spring time at Japan. This castle is one of the most famous castles in Japan, and appeared in Last Samurai film (Tom Cruise).

ricki @ Himeji 2008