Friday, July 30, 2010

Happiness

I received the thought-provoking story below through e-mail and think it is worth sharing with all:

During a welcoming reception for the new Marketing Director of a big company, some of the wives of the other directors, who wanted to get acquainted with the new spouse, asked her with some hesitation: Does your spouse make you happy, truly happy?

The husband, who at the moment was not at her side, but was sufficiently near to hear the question, paid attention to the conversation, sitting up slightly, feeling secure, even filling his chest lightly in pride, knowing that his spouse would answer affirmatively, since she had always been there for him during their marriage.

Nevertheless, to both his and the others’ surprise, she replied simply, “No, no he doesn’t make me happy...”

The room became uncomfortably silent, as if everyone were listening to the spouse’s response. The husband was petrified. He couldn’t believe what his wife was saying, especially at such an important occasion for him.

To the amazement of her husband and of everyone, she simply placed enigmatically on her head an elegant black silk scarf and continued:

“No, he doesn’t make me happy …I AM HAPPY. The fact that I am happy or not, doesn’t depend on him, but on me. I am the only person upon which my happiness depends. I make the choice to be happy in each situation and in each moment of my life. If my happiness were to depend on other people, on other things or circumstances on the face of this earth, I would be in serious trouble!”

“Everything that exists in this life changes continually: humans, wealth, my body, the climate, pleasures, etc. I could enumerate an infinite list…Over my life I have learned a couple of things: I decide to be happy and the rest is a matter of experiences or circumstances; like helping, and understanding, accepting, listening, consoling; and with my spouse, I have lived and practiced this many times…”.

“Happiness will always be found in forgiveness and in loving yourself and others. It’s not the responsibility of my spouse to make me happy... He also has his “experiences or circumstances.” I love him and he loves me, often inspite of his circumstances and of mine.”

“He changes, I change, the environment changes, everything changes. Having forgiveness and true love, and observing these changes, that can be, big or little, but always happen, we must face them with the love that exists in each one of us. If the two of us love and forgive each other,
the changes will only be “experiences or circumstances” that enrich us and give us strength. Otherwise we would only be “living together.”

For some, divorce is the only solution; (…in reality it is the easiest…)

To truly love, is difficult, It is to forgive unconditionally, to live, to take the “experiences or circumstances” as they are, facing them together and being happy with conviction.

There are those who say: “I cannot be happy because I am sick, because I have no money, because it’s too cold, because they insulted me, because someone stopped loving me, because someone didn’t appreciate me!”

But what you don’t know is that you can be happy even though you are sick, whether it is too hot, whether you have money or not, whether someone has insulted you, or someone didn’t love you, or hasn’t valued you.

BEING HAPPY is an attitude about life and each one of us must decide !

BEING HAPPY, depends on you !

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

简单的美 (Simplicity)

大自然的美,如此简单,如此奥妙,如此纯净。一株小青苗自然的向上生长,充满生气,充满喜悦,充满自信。这般简单的美,让我的心宁静下来,所有烦恼都烟消云散。
The nature is the best architect, the best engineer and the most gifted artist. No engineering design, no matter how sophisticated, can match a simple design of natural beauty. Looking at the elegant curvature of the tender leaf, my heart is so calm. All my worry disappears.

Friday, July 23, 2010

简单的心 (Simple Satisfaction)



昨天放工回家,摄影瘾忽然发作,刚巧小儿子收到了姨丈的礼物,一盒彩色笔与一本填色簿,开心地叫我帮他与彩色笔拍照,我正中下怀,却之不恭。

儿子的心情非常愉悦,开心的成为爸爸的模特儿。父子俩有如专业摄影师与模特儿般,相互呼应,配合得天衣无缝,连电视机的灯光都派上用场,照亮了儿子的脸频,使拍出的相片不至于太单调。

儿子单纯简单的心,一盒彩色笔与填色簿就足以让他成为骄傲的主人。爸爸也得以解瘾,促进父子关系之余,也度过了一个轻松的夜晚。



Yesterday when I reached home from work, I had a sudden urge within to play with my camera. It was so coincidental that my 4-year-old son had just received a new color pencil set and a coloring book from his uncle, hence he was in jovial mood and wanted me to photograph him with his new gifts.

I took out my camera fitted with the Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens that I acquired recently and started the shooting session. My son became my model who happily posed for me and I recorded down his joyful moment in the form of digital images. Both the father and son are happy with the session and it strengthens the tie further. I call this simple satisfaction of simple people.

Being in-door, it was difficult to get an ideal white balance hence I resorted to using the auto white balance, also tried out aperture setting of f1.8 to f2.8. However, I realized that portraiture shots taken out-door in general seem more attractive probably due to better lighting condition. I guess I need to read up more on proper lighting for improved portraiture photography.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

记忆 (Memory)

多年以前 (Years ago)

悄悄的我来了 (Quietly I arrived)
正如天上的白云 (Like the white cloud in the sky)
空白一片 (White, bare and empty)
向神秘的世界招手 (Beckoning to the mysterious world)

那湖里的锦鲤 (Those kois in the pond)
正如深情的淑女 (Like charming and loving ladies)
伴着水浪起舞 (Dancing gracefully with the ripple)
原来世界这般美好 (I realize how wonderful the world can be)

那修长高挑的树儿 (Those lanky trees there)
带点高傲轻轻摇摆 (Swinging sexily in the wind)
那回眸一笑 (The occasional turns and smiles at me)
原来世界还挺醉人 (I realize how intoxicating the world can be)

多年以后 (Years later)

悄悄的我走了 (Quietly I leave)
正如我悄悄的来 (Just like I quietly arrived)
我挥一挥衣袖 (Brandishing my arm)
不带走一片云彩 (Not bringing away a single thing)

注:生命就如一张新买的空白记忆卡,我们的生活点滴都记录在里头,我们所能留下的,就是这些记忆。。。

Life is like a piece of empty memory card, our life experiences will be recorded inside, what we’ll leave behind, will be the memory inside….

Monday, July 19, 2010

背景虚化 (Bokeh)


如果你患有近视,必须戴眼镜,必定有脱下眼镜后视觉一片模糊的朦浓经验。这是很不舒服的,可是如果你在夜里不需要驾驶 ,试试把眼镜脱下,你会看到一片街灯与车灯互相辉映的朦浓美丽景象,如幻似梦,灯光都成为大小不一的光圈,煞是好看。

如果在这片朦浓夜色之中,出现一张清晰的脸孔,这张清晰的脸孔与朦浓的背景,将会构成一张让人印象深刻的图像,看后会有种特别舒服的奇妙感觉。

单反摄影其中一种摄影手法就是特意让背景虚化,让摄影者在朦浓的背景中,得以突出清晰的主题。

这种背景虚化效果构成的摄影作品,是我最爱之一。


As extracted from Wikipedia, the following describes what is ‘bokeh’:

In photography, bokeh is the blur, or the aesthetic quality of the blur, in out-of-focus areas of an image. Bokeh occurs for parts of the scene that lie outside the depth of field. Photographers sometimes deliberately use a shallow focus technique to create images with prominent out-of-focus regions.

As a layman, I do not bother about the theory and explanation behind it. However, I do find an image with suitable background (or foreground) blur pleasing. It makes the subject stand out and stunning as our focus is drawn onto the subject.

I am myopia since secondary school. I realize with myopic vision, when I remove my spectacle at night when my friend is driving me, I can see very blur but spectacular view of the street with a mixture of blur street lighting and moving lights of the moving vehicles. While I find the view spectacular, after sometime I will feel more comfortable putting back on my spectacle so that my vision is pin sharp again. However, it is not quite possible for me to view the scene with background and foreground blur but pin sharp on the object that I want to view.

In a photographic image, I can have both. I can blur the part of the image that distracts and turn it into a nicely blur background while make the subject sharp and clear, hence creating a final image that is visually very pleasing to look at.

This is another reason why I find DSLR photography interesting.

Friday, July 16, 2010

儿时玩伴 (Childhood Companion )

除了父母亲的爱护与关怀,儿时玩伴是我们童年欢笑的主要因素。

当时家里没有电子游戏,没有电脑,我们就在住家外的空地或临近的校园玩乐,玩‘过河’,‘兵追贼’,玻璃弹珠,斗鱼等。虽然没有昂贵的电子游戏产品或新颖的玩具,却也过了一段快乐的童年。

小时候也喜欢追看著名的香港连环图- 小流氓与李小龙等。那时候和阿辉表哥有个梦想,就是长大后能当个连环图的作者,因而一空闲时就学画图里的角色如王小虎,石黑龙,石铁等。

当了父亲,看着孩子们和玩伴们开心的玩乐,原来昂贵的玩具,并比不上和知心玩伴的陪伴来的开心。。。

Most people have a memorable childhood. Other than the love that our parents showered on us, and the playground, what made it memorable was the childhood companion who played, laughed, learned and grew up with us.

When I was young, most of the families are big. Half a dozen of siblings were pretty common. Those days, there were no computer games, no video, black-and-white TV was a luxury, but together we had fun playing numerous inexpensive or free games and toys that have been long replaced nowadays by modern game consoles, DVD and exotic toys from shops like Toysrus.

I was a fan of popular Hong Kong comics during my childhood days, and the one that I spent the most time with reading the comics was one of my cousins. We both dreamed of becoming a comic author when we grew up one day. Therefore we spent a lot of times learning and practicing how to draw the popular figures in the comic book.

As a parent now, looking at my kids who enjoys times with their cousins, I realize that what makes our childhood memorable need not be sophisticated toys, but the companion plays an important role…..

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

沉迷(DSLR Lenses)


爱上摄影,是因为爱看一些令人叹为观止的摄影作品,希望自己也能学会一些摄影的技术。

而单反摄影所拍摄出的效果,不同镜头下千变万化的光影艺术,足以让人沉迷其中。微距摄影放大后的震撼,背景虚化的美感,以快速快门凝结住的优美动作,广角镜头下的秀丽山河,夜幕低垂后霓虹灯下的醉人都市,在摄影人的无限创意之下一张张令人心旷神怡,拍案叫绝的作品展现眼前。

最近看了不少摄影书刊与杂志,对各种摄影镜头有了一些了解,若非许多梦寐以求的镜头价格高昂得令人却步,早已按耐不住而买下了。

理智的做法,还是按部就班,一步一步来,享受学习摄影过程的其中乐趣吧。。。

One of the key factors contributing to the fun of playing with DSLR camera is the wide choice the user has over numerous types of lens, and the unique capabilities and features that come with each specific lens.

Not so long ago, I purchased my first macro lens (Canon EF 100mm f2.8L Macro IS USM) and have since been shooting regularly. While the macro lens is specifically designed for macro and close-up shots, I found that it is pretty good for some general-purpose application as well. Due to the 100mm focal length, the lens also is ideal for shooting outdoor for distant objects. For example, the lens was so handy when I re-visited Mandai Zoo after the purchase of the lens. Besides having higher zoom factor compared to the standard 18-55mm lens, the maximum f-stop of f2.8 also enables some portrait shots of animals with reasonably nice background blur, or so called ‘bokeh’ effect in photographic term.

Having had some fun and satisfactory experience with the lens, I am now hungry for more and is reviewing and considering other lens to add to my gears. I would love to have a Prime 50mm or 85mm fast lens (f1.2 or f1.4). I think the ‘bokeh’ effect would be incredible. Another lens is probably a 18mm-200mm lens (for the wide zoom range) so that I do not need to bring along too many lenses during travelling.

Shit! I think my DSLR addiction is getting worse now, can someone please rescue me from this addictive hobby before I become broke!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

林明 (Sungai Lembing)

林明,一个离开关丹市大约四十公里的清幽小镇,莫名的挑起心灵深处的一种渴望,被繁华城市长久淹没的心重新泛起了丝丝涟漪,一股少有的冲动在潜意志里暗中拉着驿动的心在此留下来。

在本地,民风淳朴的小镇虽然不少,像林明那般有个性的却不多。一入林明村口,映入眼帘的是清洁的道路,与两排亲切的邻里木屋区。前端不远处,一棵巨大的庄严古树似乎在向我们慈祥的招手,树身宽度惊人,树纹尽显岁月的苍凉,巨树后排列着好多棵树龄较浅的大树,一起默默的守护着林明镇的居民与游客。

简陋但亲却的店屋后有一座巴刹,巴刹的另一边有一间饭店,饭店外观平凡朴实,食物却非常好味。饭店边是间买些糖果的简约古老小店,和店里老婆婆买了些糖果给孩子们,勾起了童年时在旧居附近小店子买糖子的情景。店旁是通往林明山的上山路。

从小镇到我们住的林明乡村度假屋,经过残旧的木桥,和好几段只容一辆汽车驶过的小路,一座华人义山,和一些民居。度假屋简单而井井有条,古色古香与乡村的气息让我们丝毫不感疲惫。度假屋外有简单的烧烤设备,但在镇里不容易买到烧烤的食料。于是晚餐买了两公斤的林明烧肉,两包面包,和一些啤酒,没料到竟然如此美味,这里的烧肉堪称一绝,连不爱吃肉的女儿也吃的津津有味。

小镇的末端,是已经遗弃的锡矿入口与博物馆。在辉煌时期,这里的地下锡矿列世界最长与最深之一,矿工超过一千人。博物馆陈列着许多图片,锡矿所用的工具,和各种不同品质的矿物质。镇内唯一的添油站也是最简约的那种。。。

林明闻名的还有山上的云海与日出和神奇的彩虹瀑布,吸引了国内许多摄影发烧友的到访。因为小孩与老人家同行,因此放弃了登山的机会。

亲爱的林明,别忧伤,纵使不能天长地久,不久的将来,我们会再回来见见你的容颜。。。。

We went to Sungai Lembing early this month and I discovered that this is indeed a quiet and serene small town. The atmosphere of the town somehow attracted my attention as soon as we drove into the town. The row of majestic trees at the middle of the main road, the old shop houses on the left and right, and a few probably newly built chinese clan’s association buildings blended so naturally to form a scene that gave me a very special and comfortable feeling.

Throughout our stay there, we stroll through most parts of the town, astonished by the old but clean and tidy surroundings. The food here are much better compared to what we had in Kuantan. The most famous and eye opening was the roasted pork that was roasted the traditional way in a thick concrete compartment. I have to admit that the roasted pork here is so far the most delicious that I have ever eaten. Other famous food includes Tauhu noddle. Another thing worth mentioning was the kuih and coffee sold in an old, basic coffee shop are very tasty as well.

I was busy taking photographs of the majectic looking trees, the river, the hanging bridge, the street scenery, the old antiques in the Tin Mine Muzium, the abandoned tin mine tunnel, and this was even a good place for macro photography (lots of insects and antique furnitures around with rich details).

What I missed was the chance to climb up to the mountain for the famous sunrise and the rainbow waterfall scenes because of small kids and elderly who went along with us. I will come back here again in the future for these.

Monday, July 5, 2010

复古情怀


也许是年纪渐长,也许是物以稀为贵,对于古老的物品有一种莫名的喜爱。不仅觉得它们更能衬托出周围的美,虽然多为人工所造,却隐隐显露出一股自然的魅力。

最近去了一趟林明山镇,发现了这个离开关丹大约四十公里的市镇原来有着古老的历史,市内一草一木都让我产生一种难以言喻的情愫,很想快点退休到此隐居,就此度过平凡的一生。


一张旧椅子,一条残旧的木桥,一棵老树,一台石阶等都有着各自的独特个性,叫人很自然的喜欢上它。每一样古物的背后,必然有着久远精彩的故事。。。。

Life's Sayings

In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life, it goes on. (Robert Frost)

We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give. (Winston Churchill)

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