Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Darkroom Army x Tara McPherson Sunday


Remember my post a couple of weeks back about the excitement that is the collaboration between Darkroom Army, Peek!, Tara McPherson and the Cotton Candy Machine? Well, the weekend finally happened and what a weekend it was!

I made my way down on Sunday for the first inaugural Darkroom Army Lecture Series with Tara McPherson, after winning a pair of tickets courtesy of Swatch Singapore. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Tara talking about the beginnings of her artistic journey from high school to the present day.  When she mentioned that she majored in Astrophysics for more than a year, I had an instant mental image mash-up of Tara McPherson x The Big Bang Theory. Now, that would be something I would love to see!

And while the lecture was funny, engaging and chock full of useful anecdotes for young artists, I couldn't help but notice the light streaming through the hair of the person in front of me. I think I have hair envy.

After the talk ended, we flooded the Cotton Candy Machine Pop-Up Store. I bought a trio of postcards to remember this event by, and got it signed by Tara herself. I am not lying when I say felt a little fangirl thrill down my spine when I was watching Tara sign them.

Even though that crazy weekend is a memory and Tara has left the country, you can still experience a bit of the magic at the brand spanking new Darkroom Army Gallery Store above Peek! 

Thank you, Feveravenue, Darkroom Army and Peek! for giving me a heads-up about this major event. It was truly awesome!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

5 Before 25: Try 120mm Film + Go For A Photography Workshop


It's been almost two years since I started using film, and throughout this time I studiously avoided the medium format film and cameras. 120mm film was more expensive to buy and develop, making it hard to justify buying a medium format camera and then not using it regularly. But that didn't mean I wasn't curious about it. My original plan was to borrow my friend's Diana F+ but when I saw that Lomography Singapore was holding Diana F+ workshops, I immediately signed up. To make the deal a little bit sweeter, Sasha, a new friend I had met through the LoBlography challenge, would be conducting it! (Psst, the girl in black you see in the picture below, that's Sasha!)

(LC-A+, Agfa CT Precisa)

We began with quick introductions all around, it was motley crew of all ages which I found heartening because it's never too late to start Lomography! Sasha and Hakimbo (our esteemed Lomography Singapore store manager) then took us through a presentation about the Diana F+ and its functions. I am really glad that I attended this workshop because learning to load the 120mm is HARD. The learning curve for that is really steep and as the girl who destroyed 3 rolls trying to load 35mm, way back in the day, I am afraid to imagine how many rolls of 120mm I would have destroyed trying to do it on my own.

Sasha then taught us one of her signature lomographic tricks, strobe lighting and multiple exposures. I think I look really constipated in my first attempt but really, I was just self-conscious.

After the excitement of strobe lighting and choosing colour gel filters for our cameras, we were let loose on the population of Ann Siang Hill. As we stepped out, we bumped into this adorable little boy who was super curious about all the colourful Diana F+s we were holding in our hands. Of course, he had never heard of film before. I hope when he grows older, he remembers this little encounter and discovers the wonders of film for himself.

We shot on the 12 full frames option. And while I tried to be as selective as possible, I lost a couple of shots from leaving my camera on Bulb mode (when will you learn!). At least I corrected myself before the roll ran out and took a few photographs that I am really pleased with.

I can see why the Diana F+ is such a popular camera, the photographs are dreamy yet sharp. I would dearly love to own one of them one day (although I fear it may be more of a decorative item than a camera, which is why I have my eye on the Urban Outfitters Diana F+ Dreamer clone). Someday...

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Happy Pancake Day

I never knew there was a Pancake Day until today, but that's not going to stop me from joining in the fun! Here are some of the pancakes I ate in Australia, top picture from The Pancake Parlour (Melbourne) and the next two from Pancakes on the Rocks (Sydney). Yum!

Monday, February 20, 2012

This Past Weekend

(Mary Poppins, Capitol Theatre, Sydney)

I have been having a terrible run of health lately. I was struck by the chicken pox in December, stuck at home for two weeks. And then, on the last day of January, I caught viral conjunctivitis from one of my interns. I was, once again, stuck at home for the first two weeks of February. It was a pretty bad time because my corneas was affected and I could barely see.

I finally went back to work this past Monday and was immediately thrown into the thick of a new project. I was so glad when I got home on Friday at 11pm and could finally just relax.

But all terrible things come to an end and that's where the good things happen. And this weekend was all sorts of good.

- Good hearty dinner with my best friends
- Travel possibilities were discussed and we have a plan
- Received a phone call from Swatch Singapore informing me that I won the Swatch Kidrobot Darkroom Army contest I had joined on a whim! The prize: two tickets to Tara McPherson's lecture and a $100 goodie bag from Peek!

- Attended Tara McPherson's lecture. It was really interesting to listen to her share about her artistic journey and how she put herself out there to create opportunities for herself. The one point she made that really stuck to me was "to go back to revisit old works". That made a lot of sense to me because it allows you to reflect on your progress and to figure out how to move forward.
- I bought three postcards of her works and she signed them!
- I am also Darkroom Army's latest blogger recruit! They are giving me the opportunity to play around with the Fed 5B for about a week. I am very apprehensive because this is my first fully manual rangefinder camera. It's going to be nerve-wrecking fun!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Mecca Espresso, Sydney CBD

One morning in Sydney, we walked from Railway Square up all the way to King Street (in the CBD) for our takeway cup of morning coffee. This little black cup was well-worth the 2.1 km distance.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Inside the Sydney Opera House

We had to make a second visit to the Sydney Opera House because the first day we went, the backstage tour were all sold out for the day. We were really glad that we decided to take the time out to come back for the tour because the history and (sometimes gossipy) anecdotes that our guide told us really gave us an extra layer of appreciation for the building.

We got to tour most of the House, even going in to visit some of the theatres. Although the theatre that was used for the Sydney Theatre Company's play No Man's Land was dark that day, our guide brought us in and told us the secrets of the unique rotating stage. We also managed to get a peep at the set-up for the theatre hosting Janet Jackson's concert and watch The Australian Ballet rehearse for their opening show of the ballet season! Doesn't get any cooler than that, in my opinion.

The inside of the House is just as architecturally stunning as the outside, all that light and shadows. Such a great experience and another UNESCO World Heritage Site visit achieved!

Travel tip: Look for discounts to the tour pricing in one of the many guidebooks strewn around hostels and tourist information centres.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Sydney Opera House

Taking photographs of the Sydney Opera House was a challenge. How does one take a photograph of one of the most iconic buildings in the world? I tried looking for interesting angles but when you are on the same side of the quay as the building, there isn't very much space to maneuver. In the end, I like what I managed to capture, although they are only bits & pieces of the fins, you still know that it's the Sydney Opera House.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Music Fills the Full House

(Image Credit to

I just finished all eight seasons of Full House and I am loving all the music that was featured! I picked out ten of my favourites that will have me bopping up and down this whole weekend!

1. James Brown - I Feel Good
2. Manfred Mann - Doo Wah Diddy Diddy
3. Beach Boys - Kokomo
4. Ace of Base - The Sign
5. Kenny Loggins - Return to Pooh Corner
6. The Jackson Five - Rockin' Robin
7. The Swinging Blue Jeans - The Hippy Hippy Shake
8. Stacey Q - Don't Make A Fool of Yourself
9. Tiffany - I Think We're Alone Now
10. Little Richard - Itsy Bitsy Spider

Some kind soul on youtube also make cuts of all the music parts in the show, if you love the show too and want to bop along with me to all this awesome music, you can start with the first part here.

Your welcome!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

5 Before 25: Bake Something

I crossed the first item of my 5 before 25 list on 14th January when I decided I would bake some cookies for my friend's party that night. I baked together with my friend C (my partner in crime at Coffee Table People). We decided that we didn't want to do a conventional chocolate type cookie so we chose this Lemon Sugar Cookie recipe from my favourite recipe site Crepes of Wrath. It's a really simple recipe and we were done in no time. Both of us were really surprised by the taste of this cookies, it tastes slightly bitter and cinnamony but it's not unpleasant. We decided it was the lemon zest that was contributing to that taste. It's also a really crispy type cookie with the sugar on top adding more texture. So if you are looking for non-chocolate cookie, you might want to check it out.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Circular Quay, LC-A+ vs SLR

Nope, you are not seeing a double post. While trying to figure out which photographs to choose for my previous post, I realised that I took many similar shots with both the Canon EOS 88 and the LC-A+, I thought it would be interesting to put them side by side for a comparison.

View of Circular Quay

Sydney Opera House

Sydney Harbour Bridge

A storm is approaching.

Conclusion: I have to say, the LC-A+ really knows how to amp up the drama.
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