Saturday, February 28, 2009

Australia's First Lighthouse

The Macquarie Lighthouse is Australia's First Lighthouse is located close to pictureque Watsons Bay.

It began operating on 30th November 1818. The original lighthouse built on this site was designed by Francis Greenway by order of Governor Lachlan Macquarie. This memorial was erected to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the establishment of the light.

Wikipedia - Macquarie Lighthouse

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Street view - click and drag on the picture above.

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Friday, February 27, 2009

Sydney City Skyline

Here are some panoromic photographs of the Sydney City Skyline. They were taken for a client of mine who are in the property business. The panoramic photograph is shot in a series of images which are then stitched together and colour and contrast corrected.

The photos are later used to merge as background pictures into yet undeveloped showroom apartments for marketing purpose. I will blog those photos in future blogs.

These photos and other photos in my blog will be available at a later stage as stock images.

Male Model Shoot

On my recent trip to Singapore, I shot a male model portfolio. We wanted to choose a location that is rugged and likely some ruin or dilapidated buildings. Having searched the internet and read up on forums, I decided on a very old large house known as Istana Woodneuk also known as Tyersall House.

It was built in the 1854 by William Napier and subsequently taken over by the Sultan Abu Bakar of Johor who had the house re-built in 1892. The house has since been abundanted and a fire that broke out in 2006 destroyed the roof. Having seen the many photos of the Istana on the internet with its stunning architecture I decided to use it as a location shoot.

I know it is going to be quite difficult to find the place as it is located deep in private estate with large overgrown trees and forest. The model and I had to climb over some barriers, walked through a long dirt road surrounded what looks like jungle to me. Before long we came over an old interesting house. Initially I thought it is the house I was looking for but it wasn't. Looking around it, I see freshly laid dirt road with construction equipments. I realised we are on construction ground and the Istana I was looking for was no way in sight.

We decided to do the shoot at the house for the time being. Before long we started to see trucks after trucks passing us and kicking up dirt and smoke. It was quite a challenge to shoot with all the dust flying everywhere. We had a good an hour's shoot before a construction worker walked to me and told us to leave because we were on private property. I had a chat with him and managed to convinced him to let us shoot for just a little while. He told me the Istana house is up at the hill.

I do hope the house will still be around the next time I am in Singapore as I would love to do a shoot there. After the Istana ground we moved on to the old Army office blocks at Tanglin to finished the shoot.

Photos of Istana Woodneuk by Daniel Cheong

See all blogs on - model shoots

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

National Park Trekking

The state of New South Wales has many national parks that are popular with bush walkers. One bush walk which I did was the toughest I have ever embarked on. It has many different terrains, wet and dry; and hills to climb and descent. A friend suggested we do the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park bush walk which is North of Sydney. He said the hiking should just takes about 2-3 hours. We agreed to go with the plan as he was usually right from past experience. He was way off the mark.

There were five of us including his little boy Vincent who is 4 years old. The day started with us convening at his house and travelling in one car to Cowan train station. The weather on the weekend of October morning last year didn't look good. It was a little chilly and the sky looked overcast. We crossed the railway tracks into the bushland to begin our walk which started with us descending down the hill which is littered with large rocks. By this time it has started to drizzle and poured briefly. It certainly wasn't a very optimistic start to our walk. Half way done the hill with creeks and water flowing, and having to climb over large stones I think we did briefly looked at each other's face and wondered if we should continue with the hike. I guess we pushed ahead as we have been talking about the hike for sometime now and we just wanted to do it.

The trek took us through some significant vegetation change passing through bush to rainforest vegetation. After about 2 hrs hike and walking along side the river we arrived at the Jerusalem Bay at the bottom of the hill. It was quite rewarding as the view of the bay is amazing with palm trees and a few leisure boats anchored by the side. The water was calm and it was a good time for us to take a break.

After a short break, we began with a very steep climb up the hill. I think there were about 2-3 big hills that we had to climb. At the peak of one of the hill, the view across the plain was spectacular with rich green vegetation and hills. Along the way, we saw numerous water views and diversity of fauna. We also cross a small little dam which marked the beginning of our final descent. At the last hill, we could see from the distance the Brooklyn bridge which was picturesque. By that time we were exhausted and we started to break out into groups.

Vincent has been amazing so far and hasn't really complained about tiredness. Only towards the end of the hike did his dad has to briefly piggy-back him. Vincent reminded me of the Energizer battery ad that you see on TV. That cute tiny bunny that keeps running and running without stopping. Vincent is just unbelievable.

Towards the last kilometre, there was a big down pour of rain and I had to take shelter under a tree which barely protected me from the rain. By that time I have been disengaged from the group and was soaking wet. I did for a moment felt trapped and wondered how long the rain is going to go for. Thankfully it was brief.

By the time we descended down the last hill to Brooklyn station and see 'life', it had been over 6 hours since we started the trek. The sun was setting and we were exhausted, dehydrated and starving. We were glad the trek was finally over. We found a nice seafood restaurant, ate and drink to our heart's content.

It had been an amazing day. It's the story of this little boy Vincent, who regardless of his age shows us his determination and strength to go through the long trek and complete it. What a champion.

Bushwalking website - Cowan to Brooklyn Station
History of the Great North Walk - wikipedia

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Quote by Edward Steichen

Photography records the gamut of feelings written on the human face, the beauty of the earth and skies that man has inherited and the wealth and confusion man has created.
- Edward Steichen

Friday, February 20, 2009

Best Nasi Lemak in Johor Bahru

Food is one of the pleasure in our life. For me, I do have many favourite food and I will make it a point to have them whenever I can. One favourite food is called the "Nasi Lemak" which is a favourite dish among many Singaporeans and Malaysians.

A best friend of mine who frequents Malaysia introduced to me this famous Malay restaurant which is built on stilts out in the sea. It is built with wood in traditional Malay architecture. The name of the restaurant is called "Nasi Lemak Berlauk". I think it is also called "Indah Selalu" which is located at the district of "Senibong" in Johor Bahru.

Since my first visit there, we have been back numerous times. It has one of the best nasi lemak I ever had with delicious satay and fresh seafood. Due to the low Malaysian currency exchange, the cost of the meal is so inexpensive.

If you ever make it there, remember to order the fresh steam fish cooked in Thai spicy sauce which is so fresh and delicous. The satay is chunky and delicious. So is the peanut dip sauce that comes with it. The teh tarik milk tea is excellent too.

The drive to the restaurant from Singapore takes over an hour passing by Permas Jaya brige and Jusco towards Senibong district.

If you have a GPS, key in these coordinates and you will certainly find the restaurant with ease.

Coordinates: N1°29.086 E103°49.041

Incidentally when I googled for the words "Best Nasi Lemak in Johor" this restaurant is ranked first and mentioned in many other websites. So without doubt this is a winner!

Coordinates: 1°29'5"N 103°49'2"E

Updated to this blog: Jan 2010
We visited the restaurant again sometime in Sep/Oct 2009 but was surprised to find out that the food quality has deteriorated. The chicken that came with our nasi lemak was tough to eat. It tasted as though the chicken was a leftover and wasn't fresh. My friends left without eating the chicken. We were disappointed. What happened to our favourite nasi lemak restaurant?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Blogs to come

I haven't been updating my blogs in the past month as I have been very busy with shoots, doing post production and a few other business. To my regular readers, thanks for coming by my blog pages. In the coming week I will be writing a few blogs that will be back dated including this one. I hope you will enjoy reading them.

Do leave a comment on my blog as I love to hear from you so I know who my readers are.

The following photos are shot at the beautiful house called The Roxleigh Estate in Scotland where I stayed. The occasion was a friend's wedding.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Model photo shoot at traditional shophouses

I had the pleasure to shoot a gorgeous female model recently. The location was the old traditional Chinese shophouses along Mohd Sultan Road which has turned into a trendy place for pubs, dance clubs and offices.

When shooting outdoor I would usually use interesting backdrop to give interest to the pictures. In this shoot, the old shophouses with its high wooden ceiling, '5 foot' walkway, large wooden doors give character to the pictures.

Shooting outdoor always proves quite a challenge especially when the weather turns against you. Unlike shooting in a studio with controlled lighting, the weather, the sun can change at any time.

After we arrived at the location and I was setting up the equipment, the rain came pouring down from the sky. We tried to wait for the rain to stop but after a few minutes when it seems like it is not going to I had to be creative and start shooting around the limited space. The rain did finally stopped and we were able to move freely along the '5 foot' walkway.

Other blogs - High Fashion photo shoot

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Window Display

I was walking down Orchard Road one night. With the many shops all competing for shoppers attention, I thought what a better way to shoot their shop fronts.

I can imagine their creative force behind it will have a daunting task everytime to come out with something new, something refreshing to try to market their products.

So what works and what doesn't? Have a look at the photos for some of the biggest brands in the market.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Kid's Photo Shoot

Sometimes when you are out with kids, you must be ready to snap some impromptu shots at short notice.

My adorable nephew Yirun was riding the children's carousel which was outside a restaurant where the rest of the family was having lunch. Seeing that my nephew is enjoying himself on the colourful carousel, it was perfect opportunity for me to take out my camera.

See family photoshoot - click