October 14, 2013

Throwback 13 Presents: The Eyes of Grace Photoshoot

Throwback 13 Promo
Revised: 13th December 2013

The kid version of me loved taking photographs..using my parents' old school Kodak film-filled cameras. Back then, it was mostly for pose pictures during holiday trips and other special events.Then, with my very first digital camera back in IIUM Gombak, I reached my semi-amateur-ish (woah...that's a lot of dashes) status. I remembered that I was everywhere with the camera. It later became  my personal 'fetish'..up to the stage that the pics that I took were basically anything and everything that came across my path...especially those that I find as beautiful and artistic in appearance.

Along the way, I became a webmaster for a society...and the job includes taking a lot of pics of events, plus for a candid camera section of the website (I think my coursemates called me a 'paparazzi' at one time). It was like that scene in a typical kung fu movie, with an apprentice breaking thousands of bricks with his bare hands to perfect the art...only instead of bricks, I produced thousands of digital pics. It was the time when I was more comfortable of being at the back of a camera, than being in front of it.

Marriage changes everything. With gruelling wedding photoshoots, plus those from before and after that...being in front of a camera became something of a norm. 'Smile' techniques were learned and upgraded from time to time...and I was ever-ready for any photoshoot session. But when time passes, photoshoots later seemed to be as unnecessary as a Glucolin drink (really...can't you just make your sweet drinks with what you already have in your kitchen?)

It was the year 2008. Wifey approached me, and said that she was very ecstatic to have our very first family photoshoot (together with our barely-a year-old Irtiza), and did some internet digging for the best packages.  That was the first time that I got to know about Kak Zubye and her Eyes of Grace.

It was an especially unique first photoshoot, that was held at the Lake Garden, Kuala there were helicopters flying above us, with an increasing number of police officers nearby the area. There was an illegal gathering of sorts near the Parliament building (which was just beside the Lake Garden). Funnily enough, the surroundings from within the Lake Garden seemed peaceful and uneventful :)

This year, there was a 1-hour photoshoot promotion done by Kak Zubye from Eyes of Grace. Wifey and I immediately grabbed the opportunity, and chose a date for the photoshoot. It was the 24th February.

At the Eyes of Grace office at Pusat Bandar Baru Bangi. A lil' bit secluded area.

It's been 5 years since our first photoshoot with Kak Zubye :)

Throwback: Our first photoshoot at Taman Tasik Perdana in 2008. Disregard the almost-double chin.

Throwback: Our second photoshoot at Taman Rekreasi Putrajaya Presint Diplomatik in 2009. This could also be used for a Jacob's crackers ad.

Then, there's 2013. The first of many...

...and the next one...

...and the next one.
Striking a pose

The pose is all him...still wondering how did he know how to pose like that :)

After the photoshoot. Hmm...Ikea stuffs :)

Wifey and Kak Zubye. Hehe...a photographer can also pose well too ;)

Irtiza seems to be a bit shy out of the sudden (*partially-hidden at the door)

Before leaving

One of the end results: Our family pic

It was a short session, but we loved the results. Insya allah, we're going to do the next one for next year, together with the new member of the family :)

The Eyes of Grace Photoshoot video

October 13, 2013

Throwback 13 Presents: A Lil' Bit of Malacca

Throwback 13 Promo

*Updated on the 11th December 2013
It was the 8th December 2012. It was also the 6th year anniversary of our wedding. Still, we planned for today as a non-eventful day, as we needed the rest, due to prior activities earlier of the week. Plus, my mother-in-law and wifey's nephew were at my home during the school holiday. So, a romantic getaway was totally out of the picture...and was due to be held in the near future. From the looks of things, I totally thought that we would be resting the whole day.

I think it was almost 10am, when wifey suddenly shared her desire to go for a trip to the Malacca City. It was totally totally came as a surprise...and I was totally digging into my breakfast when that happened.

Come to think of it, this feels like a déjà vu from the when I was a kid, with my siblings and parents...picnicking at the Air Papan beach...with mum suddenly desired to go to more places during the holiday, and we ended up travelling throughout the whole Malaysian Peninsula for almost a week. Hmm...déjà vu :)

Anyway, coming back to the real story here. With a little bit of preparations, we departed an hour later.

A 'jamming' situation in the city. School love them, you hate them.

Lunch: "Here we go...Ole 3x...go 3x...Ole3" - Ricky Martin

Malacca's signature dishes...where art thou?

...still, they're quite ok for the tastebuds...

...except for this one; 'Pari Ikan Bakar' (or BBQ Stingray). It was unusually sour.

St. Francis Xavier Institution (established 1880) near the A Famosa Site & St. Paul's Church. Emm...could you see a woman in white waving at you at the top window? (I can't...hehe)

Love the classic architecture. Makes me warm and fuzzy inside...because of the imagined Nyonya delicacies in my head.

Praying at 'Madrasah Bandar Kaba'. It was currently renovated. It looked closed for the public tho. Still... ;)

An unusual find in a big city...a working well at the Madrasah. coins in my pocket at that time.

More old buildings on the way to Jalan Gereja bazaar (*still stressing on buildings...not people, ok?)

The handicrafts-filled bazaar...waiting for the customers slash prey.

The Ferry Jetty checkpoint near the Maritime Museum ("What it's all a-boat"? - A Canadian)

Experiencing the river cruise. Was very ecstatic to ride this during that the extent that the unavailability of life jackets felt normal and greeted with a 'Meh'

'Jambatan Hang Tuah' (or 'Hang Tuah Bridge'). There is also a 'Jambatan Hang 'Jebat' along the cruise...they're really far apart ('symbolism at work').

'Kg. Morten'. A classic village...really wanna walk around there someday...with a Malay warrior attire (and a 'Keris'...a dummy of course. Just to be clear on that fact...the government could be reading this..heh)

Beautiful classic cafes facing the river. Hmm...why did I have the urge tu sing an Italian song here?

Almost at the end of the journey. Then, there's The Hobbit...'dissected' into 3 parts...

The Maritime Museum shaped like Alfonso's Flora de la Mar ship. Damn, if only I had brought along my pirate eye patch.

At 'Jalan Kota', Malacca City. You really need to be here...a lot of local products are available here....even though some of them may be tagged as 'Made in China'

Well, of course...there's this section to entice little kids.

Still congested at night. Don't they ever sleep?

I really love Malacca...especially the parts where everything still looks classic and unique. Pity that the journey was short though.The 3-hour traffic jam to the heart of the city made the visit way shorter than what it should be. But the memorable part of the trip was the river cruise...that topped most things that we had that day.

We planned to have another visit to Malacca in the near future. But for the next one, it'll be more than a day, and surely not during the school holidays :)

The Malacca River Cruise: A Montage

The Malacca River Cruise: Director's Cut

September 9, 2013

Once Upon a Ramadan: Iftar @ Vistana Hotel KL

Ramadan happened and ended for about more than a month ago. Yet, it feels like it has just passed me for about a day or two.

Perhaps it’s because of the additional six days of fasting in Syawal. Or perhaps it was the beautifully-composed yet overrated ‘raya’ song by the pop punk music group Bunkface; a song that gave the image that Syawal is just starting, even though the song was played for hundreds of times in a day for the past 30 days of Syawal.

I think I still have the mental aftertaste of the tune.

Anyway, as the last Ramadan is slowly becoming a distant memory, I recently browsed through my iPad’s gallery of pics and videos, and came across a few from a particular event that I attended back in the 26th of July. It was the Iftar with my office mates at Vistana Hotel, Kuala Lumpur. It was a memorable event.

It’s been a tradition for us to have an annual Iftar, and this year was no different. So, we had a meeting, discussed, and decided on the date and venue. I was quite new to Vistana Hotel Kuala Lumpur, and I was surprised that I missed it, even though I’m used to the sceneries nearing the ‘Jalan Tun Razak’ (where the hotel is located). But the hotel manages to escape my views after all of these years of travelling in and out of KL. I also got to know that it was not that far from the Titiwangsa LRT Station and the Pahang Roundabout.

We travelled in groups that day. There were two cars leaving from our office in KL, and one of them was mine. The rest travelled from Putrajaya and other locations. For my party, we left the office after 4.30pm to escape the traffic jams, and managed to arrive at the hotel at 6pm.

The rest are self-explanatory through these pictures :)

My colleague Marni at the hotel lobby. You could say that she's in the midst of things.

RM55 nett. Quite an affordable price tag...compared to most Ramadan buffets in KL.

The office mates at the pool. No, this is not a 'Mangga Magazine' photoshoot.

The room for our Asar and Maghrib prayer. Think it could cater a congregational prayer of 10-15 people at a time.

A multitask worker. He can send SMSes while grilling 'Satay' (skewered and grilled meat).

Appetizers. I greeted this scenery with a nonchalant "Meh".

Carnivores go here (*manly fist bump)

Herbivores go here. As do dietitians. (Seriously, you came all the way from all corners of the earth to the buffet...just to eat greens?)

Porridge and soup...just in case if you forgot your dentures.

Seafood area. Ironically, I couldn't 'see food' here. Metal domes are the future people.

A cool section for traditional dishes. It's a pity that the food were a bit limited.

'Roti canai' (a kind of flatbread) and variations. Please don't ask for maple syrup here.

The bread of the future.

'Nasi Kandar' (rice with dishes). Not really Ramadan buffet-like.

The non-smoking dining area. Also a mental torture room for smokers.

The hunger game (AKA trying to smile for the camera with an empty stomach)

I think this is potpourri. A very big potpourri.
Our colleague Khan with his Khan Style

The Silence of the Lamb

Something smells fishy around here. Ok2, that's an overused expression.

Less people. More oxygen.

My 'just desserts'.

Some traditional delicacies and jellies.

A civilised group of hungry people at this buffet. It's time to break fast.

My first round ('Lai Chee Kang', rice, chicken and lamb grill)

The second round (rice, squids in chilli sauce, and lamb grill)

Baby time starts now.

A special kind of 'ABC' (ice shavings with ingredients)

"...Ooh baby I love your way...everyday..." - Big Mountain

No worries Shifak...I've no direct relations with 'Melodi' or The Hollywood Gossip.

The baby was greatly 'used' that night.

A colleague...playing a fool :)

The aftermath.

A happy ending :)

In short, I love the venue. It was private, secluded, and beautiful as a setting. I guess the hotel management really planned well so that the area will not be overcrowded, and the food are enough for all of the attendees. My only complaint is the variations of the food. Perhaps in the future, they could add more to the selections.

But I think I love the company the most. Really love the unity and the friendship. Hope to have something similar to this Iftar gathering in the next Ramadan. 

Thanks for the memories, friends :)

My montage of the event. This 3 days' worth of effort drained my blogging capabilities (It shows from this entry). Anyway, please enjoy this video :)

*ps:/ Due to the usage of a copyrighted song as the montage's background song, the Youtube video can only be accessed from desktop PCs and laptops.