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Garion's LJ & Rant Corner

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SOYA vs Cosplay Challenge [01 Feb 2009|01:16am]
[ mood | disappointed ]

And so I went to both events today. SOYA (Start of Year Again) held at Ngee Ann Poly, and Cosplay Challenge (hence abbreviated as CC), held at the Singapore Discovery Centre. 1st to SOYA at about 2.30pm, then left at about close to 4pm to CC.

My frank verdict...

In terms of attendance/turnout, SOYA kicks CC's ass down the drain. Much more crowded at SOYA compared to CC. Perhaps it had something to do with free attendance at SOYA? While CC had to pay 10 bucks to go in.

Venue: CC wins in terms of spaciousness and organization. SOYA's booths were smaller and the layout very crampy, and the corridors were very crowded. Photo-taking was rather messy affair due to the crowds. In contrast CC was well laid out and spacious, with huge tentage at the venue.

Events schedule: Both events had slightly diff schedules/activities...both had cosplay competitions, SOYA had anine karaoke, CC had symphonic band playing excerpts from anime OST (which I thought was quite intriguing and a great idea), and highlight of course was Goldy's Gundam which was simply put, Godlike. (DOTA voiceover style XD)

Cosplay standards: both events had a fair mix of new faces and oldtimers, notably at SOYA I saw lots of unfamiliar faces. Quite a no. of regulars weren't around though. In terms of costumes there weren't any real standouts at both events. SOYA had a few good ones tho. Madame Red from Kuroshitsuji was one of them. And I saw a Shakugan no Shana team! A first!

Organization: Both events were fairly well planned and executed. SOYA organizers definitely improved a great deal from last year's event, and took a leaf out of the book from other similar scale events. (baggage counter, etc etc.) But what got me wondering was the registration for photogs and stickers for photogs...I think frankly it was waste of time...and useless. CC organizers (SCC) have had 7 years of Cosfest experience behind them, and it was smoothly run. I didn't like the overzealous SDC security guy tho...who told us to stand away from the barricade which seperated the paid area from non-paid.

Atmosphere: I just didn't feel it at either event. The sense of excitment and having fun was just not there. When compared to last yr's AFA, EOY, and Comic Fiesta, CF ranked the best in terms of atmosphere.

It was a pity that in the end not many cosers and crowd showed up for the closing stages at CC. The venue was quite nice (to be fair) and spacious, but it was a bit far and more inaccessible compared to Ngee Ann Poly, the organizers should have taken note and booked some buses to do shuttle btw SDC and say Boon Lay MRT, to entice more ppl to come over. From my observation, SOYA was the one which won out at the end. CC failed not becoz it was a mediocre event, but in terms of the crowd pulling power, it lost out to SOYA and that was a pity coz with a little rescheduling and planning it could have been a great event on par with say Cosfest or EOY. Well there's always the next yr....

To summarize: it was really idiotic of both organizers to held both events on THE SAME DAY. Why the heck they wanna clash on exact same day when there are so many other options for alternate dates on the calendar, do not ask me.

As for pics...sadly I wasn't that interested in snapping the shutter today...I managed a grand total of zero (yes "0") shots at SOYA alone. Maybe I am growing a bit bit too jaded of these events already.

Was also supposed to do a solo photoshoot for one of the cosers but things didn't work out as planned so din get to shoot. :\

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Regarding my previous post (pls read!) [11 Jan 2009|06:33pm]
Alright. Apparently I did not explain things clearly in my earlier post, so I wrote this additional entry to explain matters a bit clearer, first off the entire thing was the result of a miscommunication between both parties. I have to make clear though that I am NOT pointing fingers at anyone or any party involved, so I hope that it won't be misconstrued as such.

I had a photoshoot scheduled yesterday, the original plan which was all parties concerned (cosplayers + photographers) were told to meet at Raffles PLace MRT at 3.00pm. I arrived a little late, about 3.30pm, and I walked around the MRT a bit trying to see if any of the group were around or were hanging around outside the toilets (coz I knew there were helpers and other photogs coming also). I did not see any, so I (wrongly) assumed that the entire gang had gone over to City Hall (where originally the shoot was intended to be held at, according to the team leader).

Further elaborating on above, the team leader for yest.'s shoot (Inuran) had originally intended for the shoot to be held at the old City Hall, i.e at the Padang. However apparently in a last min change of plans they decided to shoot at Raffles Place first instead. This confusion over choice of location was also partly one of the causes for the miscommunication, but more on that later...

So I headed out of the MRT, thinking that they had already gone ahead to the supposed location of the shoot (old City Hall). Along the way there I messaged Inuran's hp. Following is the breakdown of the convo (started at about 15:32):

Me: "Where are you all now"
Inuran: "Pls call my bf"
Me: "His no?"
Inuran (or bf): "My no. ends with xx" (original nos. replaced wif x here)
Me: ???

About 5 mins later, Inu's bf calls (using her hp) and asks me where I am. He says that Inu's hp "had low battery". I reply saying that I had already reached City Hall. He asks me to call his hp which is same as Inu's but instead ending with the digits "xx" SO I called him. However he mentioned that the cosplayers were still in the toilets changing. I said I will wait at City Hall for them. However he told me that apparently they decided that they want to shoot at Raffles Place vicinity first and ask me to backtrack there. Of coz I was like "WTF" and a bit annoyed that the location of the shoot was not originally at City Hall as planned. So I walked back to the Raffles Place location where the shoot was already on with the other photogs.

Anyway, this whole pointless episode could have been avoided....I was also partly in the wrong as I did not call to confirm but sms instead when I reached. Frankly speaking I think a shoot organizer should take the responsibility of tie down exactly which location the shoot will start instead of giving vague hints about where the shoot will be held...it may cause confusion amongst parties concerned.

To be fair, I also think the shoot organizer himeself/herself or helpers, should try to keep everyone in the loop about any last min changes to the shoot plans so as to avoid unecessary delays or people turning up in the wrong places, and sometimes hp communication don't work as planned (user may be busy to answer the call, or hp low batt etc.)

To anyone involved in the shoot, I apologize for my crappy mood yesterday, I don't want to blame anyone or what, but this whole miscommunication issue could have been avoided had the details of the shoot been made more clearer. I think the whole shoot could have done with some better organization and planning, but thats just my own personal opinion on the matter, and I'll leave it at that.

Well, for me, I do not want to sacrifice friendships and feelings over what is essentially a trivial matter, but I just hope that such incidents won't happen in future.

And also, on a final note...regarding photographers being taken for granted, this is something I feel strongly about and which I will likely talk more about in a future post....
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Finally got my 1/8 scale Alter Fate Testarossa [12 Nov 2008|12:15am]
[ mood | happy ]

Its been a while coming, but I finally got my hands on the gorgeous 1/8 scale Fate Testarossa Harlaown figurine made by Alter. Bought this 2nd hand off the original owner who was selling it off. She cost quite a bit but it was worth it since I wanted this figure for so long. Fate Testorossa is one of the main characters in the mahou shoujo (magical girl) anime series, Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's. No prizes for guessing who is my fave character from the series. ^^

The packaging and box is ginormous! Biggest so far of all my (meagre) figurine collection.

I am really in love with this figure...the sculpting is just excellent and it has to be seen in all its real life glory to appreciate its beauty...pictures don't do it justice at all.

Unfortunately I just discovered my copy has a flaw, albeit a tiny one...there is a very small and slight chip in the paintwork of her hair...ugh. ^^; I am quite picky about such things, unfortunately....its probably a manufacturing defect but a bit annoying coz the tiny chip does stand out as the material below the paint is somewhat darkish in colour compared to the light yellow blonde colour of her hair...will have to try source for similar coloured paint from the local hobby shops to touch up that part...ugh. Luckily its quite small and not immediately noticeable.

Quite happy with the purchase but really need a proper display cabinet for my figures now...they are all temporarily stacked up in the corner of my room now, still in their boxes. @_@

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[18 Aug 2008|09:40am]
[ mood | annoyed ]

Yesterday I went wandering around some figurine shops in Sunshine Plaza, trying to look for a particular anime figurine (which was htf coz it was released long time ago and most shops out of stock). Went to KKnM, Ani-play, no luck. Then I went to this shop located next to a tattoo parlour, also selling figurines. No luck either. Then as I walked out of the shop, I somehow brushed against a box stacked near the counter, and the PVC/plastic figure on top fell. (it was about 10 inches tall) To be honest, it was purely an accidental bump, the space between the counter and shelf was so damn narrow (about only 50cm width), surely it was an accident waiting to happen. Anyways I was stupid also to try to squeeze thru such a narrow gap. The sales guy picked up the figure, and checked it...the arm was slightly damaged..a section of paint chip off about 5mm x 5mm....then he looked at me (and I felt a shrinking in my guts coz I thought he was gonna ask me to buy the figurine proper) but he picked up the phone and called someone (presumably his boss) to report about it. He put down the phone, and told me that I had two options..1) buy the (butt ugly) figure for a discount price of $55 or pay $10 compensation. Of course I chose the latter. I wasn't very happy also because it wasn't entirely my fault that the passageway was so narrow, and that the idiot had put the figure conveniently on top of the box where someone could simply knock it over. Anyway I didn't see the point arguing coz the damage was already done, and I didn't wanna waste my time and breath also.

I still couldn't find the figure btw. I know La Tendo has one but that one is currently reserved by someone so possibility of getting it is pretty low. So looks like have to order online...no choice *sigh*

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My Ultimate Retirement Dream [05 Aug 2008|12:29pm]

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[08 Jul 2008|02:14am]
OMG Summer Choon of 2008! Absolutely loving it! Cary Brothers - Ride (Tiësto Remix)
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The weekend's photoshoots - a mini rant [02 Jun 2008|01:12am]
Some rants abt last weekend...

I had two back to back cosplay photoshoots this weekend...one on sat and one on sun. Both were personal invites. The one on Sat I was asked to turn up at 1130am...supposedly the official meeting time for all parties involved...which I did. I took a cab down to the venue, not wanting to be late, 9 bucks for cab fare. It was supposed to be a group shoot involving abt 5 cosplayers but the team leader was the only one on time...me and 3 other photogs were left waiting for the rest, and of the four remaining members, one came at 2pm, two at about 2.30pm and the final one at 4pm. The team leader was understandably pissed off, and I too was not very happy, I think making excuses like "costume not ready" or such isn't a good enuff explanation. I can accept being one hour late from the allotted meeting time, but anything 2 hours or more is kinda ridiculous. Why bother agreeing to coming for a shoot if you know you'll be super late? Everyone has their own schedules and appointments, if you are late by a couple hours, you are eating into someone else's precious time, especially weekend time, and I think it is totally unfair to the other party(s) involved. As a result, the shoot ended rather late and I had to push back an evening appointment with a friend (luckily he was ok with it).

Being the nice guy that I am , I stuck around and waited for the rest to show up before the shoot could progress, what the heck, since I spent $$$ travelling, might as well just carry on. If I had been in a less agreeable mood, and if not for the presence of the team leader in the 1st place, I would have just walked off and gone home after an hour of waiting. I know of many people who would have done the same.

The one on Sunday was supposed to have involved four members (also a group shoot), and guess what...only the team leader showed up. The rest again cooked up some excuses why they could not come...as to the real reasons I do not know why but it was really disappointing to see such kind of irresponsible attitudes and the team leader got so upset she cried....I felt really sorry for her that she went through all the trouble of selecting the location and calling the photogs and then being put on a no-show by the other three members of her team. Bloody fucking hell, if I were her I would have fucked them upside down on the phone there and then....and sure as hell if you put aeroplane for no valid reason other than some lame excuse cooked up (like being locked out of the house so cannot get the costume from home) you will earn a permanent blacklist in my book!

The shoot went on but only with one person...but it left me wondering about the sincerity of people in this day and age when it is so easy to promise something to someone but equally simple to break that promise with just a a few taps on the phone keypad or computer keyboard.
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Some recent thots on photography [20 May 2008|12:30pm]
Been into photography as a hobby for about 5 years now, however looking back I feel I haven't accomplished much, despite my gear list growing like a hamster population (ok well maybe not that fast). Expenditure? I dare not even think about it...definitely well in the five figure range. ^^;

However I don't really feel that my pics are improving that significantly over the past couple of years. True, technicalities are much better than when just starting out, but I think there's plenty of room for improvement, esp. where artistic and creativity are concerned. Been concentrating on mostly nature and macro shots so far, that was my primary area of interest and focus but of late I am wishing to try out more experimental stuff, stuff that is more artistic and challenging. Something like the incredible works of the gifted Zhang Jingna (http://zemotion.deviantart.com/) She is only 18 I think and she has accomplished so much in a short span of time, and using mainly a 350D DSLR and just a couple of simple lenses. Well always its easier said than done.

I feel that photography, to a certain extent at least, can be interpreted in several ways, it could be as a personal pursuit or expression of creative artistry, or driven by a passion to capture the world and its living entities as one sees it. What makes a good photo? Nobody can say for sure. I feel that photography works both ways, what the photographer himself feels for that particular photo, and what he or she wants the viewer to interpret thru it. It is just like an artist and his painting.

Technicality vs. Artistry. This has been subject to much debate. Most people (me included) excel in the technical aspect of photography. Doing so doesn't mean awesom eworks straight out of camera...nein. It doesn't mean anything if the works do not 'speak' to the audience in a certain way. A great photograph excels in crossing racial, cultural and language barriers and evokes emotion in the viewer. It tells a story in a single glance. It is powerful and yet subtle in its simplicity. It is what distinguishes the great photographer from the merely good, by letting him or her stand out from the crowd because of its bold uniqueness and by daring to challenge conventions. That is the hallmark of a true artist, a modern-day painter of light.

My next step? Perhaps I need to rethink the way and the style in which I shoot. I would really love to embark on projects that are unusual and creative and challenge my skills and artistic vision. Am beginning to have a fascination for travel and landscape photography too, so that is another area I am hoping to explore, given time and the freedom to roam the world.
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wtf? [24 Jul 2007|02:21pm]
Apparently found out from a cosplayer that one of my Cosfest 2007 pics was used in an article about cosplay which appeared in The New Paper last Sunday Weekend edition (22/7/07). The image can be seen below.

What I'm a bit miffed about was that the pic was apparently taken directly from my cosfest picture thread here and was not credited to me at all. I'm not about to kick up a big fuss as the picture was fairly small, but still I'm upset because apparently one of the pair of winning cosplayers plucked the pic from the thread and sent it to the media without my permission or even without requesting for my particulars to be acknowledged as the original author of the picture. Instead the only pics credit on the page along with the other pictures was to a certain Gavin Foo (I think referring to the TNP photog). Partly due to my carelessness too for I had failed to affix prominent watermarks or signature onto my pics.

A lesson learnt...
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[21 Jul 2007|01:56pm]
Happy Birthday Inuran!!!

To me, you'll always be the definitive Lacus Clyne of Sg. :-)

p.s I'm so sorry I still owe you the thing for so long, will hand over the stuff to you asap once I finished compiling.
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Irritated [13 Jun 2007|12:23pm]
[ mood | irritated ]

Not in a good mood lately. Dunno why, seems like I am losing control over my life, unhappy over a lot of things right now and especially at myself.

Just hope things will improve for me soon.

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[25 Apr 2007|06:19pm]
Yah its been ages since I last posted here, I know. Well I don't consider myself a "blogging" kind of person, and I seldom visit LJ either. :X

Anyways I just 'hooted' $1.5k on a new home PC yesterday, to replace my ageing 6 & 1/2 yr Pentium III setup. Intended usage: gaming, photo editing, digital photo storage, perhaps also running Office applications as well as Net surfing. Parts all acquired from Sim Lim Sq. Wallet feels so much lighter now. :(

Here's my new rig:

Intel Core 2 Duo E6420 (2.13GHz stock speed)
Gigabyte GA-965P-DS3 (motherboard)
Corsair Value RAM 2 GB 667 (2 X 1GB sticks)
Xpertvision GF7900GS 256MB PCie (graphics/display card)
Seagate 320GB + 160GB Hard Disk Drives (SATA 2/7200rpm)
Integrated floppy drive cum card reader (internal)
Silverstone Strider 560W Power Supply Unit (PSU)
Cooler Master 534 mid tower Casing (black)
Dell keyboard + Razor Habu gaming mouse (coming soon hopefully!)
19" Fujitsu Widescreen monitor

Total damage: approx $1865 :~~

Now its all in bits and pieces waiting to be assembled at a friend's place. I can't wait! :D

On a side note, the Net has been slow lately...especially oseas websites. Strange.

Will try to post pics once my new setup is installed. Prolly in a week's time?
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No more reservist! Yahoo! [08 Feb 2007|06:13pm]
Yes finished my last in camp training last week...no more call ups, no more mobilizations, no more IPPT or RT...yee ha! Have mixed feeling about it though, always enjoyed my ICT as a break from boring work routine, but then in the future no more such thing. And will miss hanging out with my army buddies, know some of them for 13 yrs..since active NS time. Phew..thats a long time.

To all at 466 SAR, especially 'A' Coy, well done guys! You are a great bunch to work with over the past 10 yrs of reservist. Wish you all the best in your future endeavours. Hope to meet again someday.
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A New Year, a new beginning? [04 Jan 2007|07:19pm]
[ mood | melancholy ]

So its a brand new year. And a "new beginning". Or so most people say. Cliched as it may sound, but is it really true? Or perhaps just something dreamt up by an optimist? I don't see myself as an optimist really. New year or not, I guess everything stays the same. The drive to change must come from within. To begin a New year with blind optimism means nought if you do not have a clue of where you're headed to in the next 365 days.

I don't mean to sound jaded but growing older (a couple years past 30) the awful truth hits hard. Suddenly you realise you're not as young as you used to be. Contentment and happiness aren't so easily found. Middle age looms nearer, and the worry about the future starts gnawing at your head. In particular are funds ($$$), career path, and the growing realization that its about time to find a life partner, and settle down and begin a family. It is about deciding what priorities are first and foremost in your life, and begin to take a step (hopefully) in the right direction.

Lets summarize the three main things now.

Funds - This is my main area of worry. I don't think I am earning enough right now, from calculations of my projected savings till retirement well it just ain't enough. There are a few possible ways to address this problem. One, quit my current job and hope to find another with better pay. Two, study part time will sticking with the current job. Three, save up like mad and then quit after a year or two to study for a degree full time. The options aren't easy. I just hope I get a chance to make the right decision.

Career path - I hate my current job. Period. It is just goddamn plain boring to put it simply. Deskbound jobs aren't my cup of tea. I need something more exciting and fulfilling. Planning to get out prolly in a year or so. But without a good paper qualification (read: degree) it is tough to get a good paying job out there. Even with relevant work experience. But I've been in my current job for almost seven years now and perhaps its time to move on to something new.

Life partner - Perhaps its fate, I dunno, or maybe I'm too shy? Not enough social activities? I envy those in a loving and fulfilling relationship. Sure it involves sacrifices and ups and downs, but having someone there for you to give you his or her emotional support in times of need more than makes up for it. I hate to sound like a wimp but I really hope I have more luck in finding a soul partner this year.

My main new year's resolution however is to save more money to prepare for the future. And perhaps map out a viable plan for the near future. I have spent far more than I liked in the previous year, especially on photography, and this definitely has to STOP. So no more new photographic equipment till June.

So here's my main resolutions for 2007:

- Save at least 45% of my salary every month - perhaps put in a fixed D.
- Get a new PC in March/April (my current one is dying, and the HDD is running low on space)
- No more spending on major photographic equipment at least until June
- Take part in more social activities and get a gf (yeah rite thats what I tell myself EVERY goddamn year)
- Look out for more promising job prospects

There. Thats about it. (I hope).

The hardest part is to go about fulfilling all of them. Lol.


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[14 Nov 2006|05:34pm]
PHP Nonsense. http://tech.jmc.ksu.edu/phpnonsense/phpnonsense.php

lol. My fave is the Haiku generator. XD

A sampling:

heifer, a haiku

The steady clear friend
Over a gentle mushroom
He saw a sick wind
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[12 Oct 2006|10:13am]
Just wasted 30 fucking minutes this afternoon coz a stupid dumbfuck colleague wanted to meet at 3.30pm to do some stock check of equipment, ended up waiting 20+ minutes and she didn't turn up. Fuck. I called later and she claimed she "forgot". Jeezuz Christ I had it with this shitty ass people.

Lucky I was in a better mood else I would have given her a piece of my mind.
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Feeling pissed [25 Sep 2006|06:49pm]
Feeling moody at the moment, dunno, maybe coz its the goddamn Monday blues. Time to get a few things offa my chest.

As an aspiring amateur photographer, I'm really unhappy with how some people view and treat us. I'm feeling somewhat bitter at being excluded from a recent photoshoot by someone (whom I shall not name)...this person had initially agreed to open the shoot to a certain group of photogs, myself and two of three of my friends from a certain forum signed up for the shoot (not a paid one btw) but about one week before the shoot this person did an abrupt U-turn and said that some photogs had to be dropped from the list due to some of the models pulling out. Sure, but then in the official outing thread this same person goes and adds a few new names of photogs to the list. I was like...wtf??!? Perhaps it could be mere coincidence but these few ppl are also more or less "regular" shooters in that community and also some are fairly close acquaintances of this person.

Maybe it could be irrational thoughts but I'm damn downright pissed with the way this thing turned out, as one of the excluded photogs I felt rather "cheated" of the opportunity. Damn, too bad u may say, yeah thats the way the world works. Even if you do manage to take pics, make an effort or spend countless hours post processing them and sometimes not even a word of thanks or reply. Photogs are humans too and we want to hear feedback on our works, whether good or bad doesn;t matter, but we want to feel appreciated too.

Nowadays in the digital age everyone and anyone can play photographer, churning out pics so easily, a dime a dozen, the man with a sophisticated digital SLR and lens can be overruled by a casual shooter using a digital Point n shoot. Photography has spread to the masses...so much so that it photography is no more being seen as an art form as just an excuse for snapping away. Little by little I think it has begun to lose its soul. There is little to differentiate between the casual snapper and the aspiring photo enthusiasts. The relative cheapness and widespread availability of digital cameras has blurred the line.

Man I feel so mad and down, I don't know...I've loved photography too much to give it up, with so much gear and everything, but I just don't know why people don't appreciate my works. I keep looking within me, and thinking, am I that bad in my skills?

Little by little, the inspiration to shoot keeps disappearing down the drain...
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Testing [31 Dec 2005|08:45pm]
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