Hello there. I am Terry and I am a full-time undergraduate based in Singapore. I take photos, write a blog and design websites.

And no, I'm not a teddy bear.

Aloha! I’m Back!

Aloha! I\'m back!

Yeap, I’m back from my latest trip to Genting Highlands. Just like what Jason has commented previously, I’ve been there countless time in my life, but surprisingly, I’ve never grown bored to those trips to a cooling, breezy, misty and sometimes, FROSTY (especially at night!) highland resort. In fact, what made me very excited about this trip is that I’ve finally materialised the dream of bringing a decent camera up there to get some photos – woots!

I’ve taken exactly 746 photos up there, but just as usual, more than 75% of them will be thrown away since I’m yet to learn how work harmoniously with my new Sony Alpha. Plus a few instances of forgetting to turn on that Supersteady Shot function (well the camera manual said that it’s better to turn it off when I’m using a tripod), I’ve got a whole lot of photos that are horrendously blurred by my trembling hands (and what made that worse was the frigid air!)

Before I move on, I would like to apologise my absense in my immediate blogosphere neighbourhood since I was very busy after returning from the vacation. I have a stack of blog updates to catch up on my beloved Google Reader, but don’t worry, I will drop by your blogs as soon as possible. Hang on, folks!

To make the Internet a tolerant and friendly place, I would love to tuck my heavyweight photos underneath the Read More tag. So do expect a swash of photos after the jump!

*Note: Most photos are arranged in chronological order. Landscape photos are clickable! :razz:

Driving up a notoriously steep slope!

Uphill journey – We were navigating this notoriously tricky and steep turn when an idea struck me and I immediately wound down the car window, stuck my camera out and got this photo. I love the motion blur on the road! The cars are relatively sharper than non-moving objects since they are moving at a speed relatively slower to the car (no, not Physics lessons again!)

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Our hotel room! Isn\'t it comfy?

Our room – One of the crappiest photo I’ve taken so far, not to mention completely ignoring the Rule of Thrids. Our room didn’t even remotely resemble the ones featured in the hotel magazine, but that’s kind of expected. We had two families living in two, unconnected, rooms (which was a big hassle), with five people in each room trying to get enough bed space on the two super single beds. In the end my brother ended up sleeping on chairs!

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Our bathroom - I adore the Zen-like design!

The Zen-like bathroom – it’s definitely my favourite part of the whole redesign thing the hotel went through last year. They’ve scrapped the whole interior of each room clean and then redecorate them ground up. They’ve widened the bathroom, which comes with a really modern-looking wash basin, a transparent shower cubicle (one bad thing – no two person can share the bathroom at one time since it’s transparent). That means a long waiting queue for the toilet in the morning.

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View from my room's Window. Definitely breathtaking!

View from my room, on the 18th floor – looking down towards the Kuala Lumpur direction. At the center is the police station, and it’s the Ria Apartments to the right. Genting Highland sits on the border of two states, namely Selangor and Pahang, and surprisingly, the border runs between the two separated blocks of the apartments. Interesting, isn’t it?

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Zooming in on the pagoda as well as Awana Hotel from my window.

The Pagoda and Awana Hotel – with the former overlapping the latter in the photo. If you’ve noticed, the perspective of this photo is identical to that of the above. It’s not digitally zoomed in however – I just whipped out my telephoto lens and got this shot!

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Winding mountain road, taken with my telephoto lens.

Winding mountain road – The road leading up to the highland resort is known to be notoriously steep and dangerous. I used my telephoto lens to got both photos, with the one to the right on a larger optical zoom. There’s an emergency lane at the top center in the photo to the left – it’s a safety feature to let vehicles with malfunctioning brakes come to a complete, harmless stop. Well, I wouldn’t even WANT to imagine my brakes failing!

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Theme Park Hotel's hanging precariously on the cliff!

Theme Park Hotel – hanging precariously close to the cliff! The mist was rapidly invading the area so I hastily took this photo without even looking at the viewfinder before retreating back into the warmth of my room. I wouldn’t want to get my lens wet or fogged up!

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Abandoned building ready to be engulfed by the incoming mist.

Abandoned building project – it’s sad to see buildings that are stopped halfway during construction and see all the materials going into waste! The wet and cold condition in this area will only help to accelerate it’s decay.

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Space Shot, from groud up.

Space Shot, from ground up – Space Shot is one of the biggest star in the amusement park because of the thrill it offers. Twelve riders will be boarded onto the chairs, three each per side, and then they’ll be hauled up the 55m-tall tower, and only to be followed by a heart-stopping free fall! On a side note, it was rumoured that a fatal accident caused this thrill ride to be dropped by it’s sponsor, Solero (it was previously known as Solera Space Shot). The reason behind it was… long hair. They said a girl got her hair caught between the wheels and died from complications.

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Sweet relief from surviving the fall!

Sweet relief from surviving the free fall – nothing beats the triumphant feeling of surviving the drop! I’ve never rode on it this time round because I was tugging my heavy dSLR along (plus, it’s late evening, it’s going to be very wet up there). I took a few candid shots and this turned out to be one of the best. My personal record was riding that little monster for EIGHT consecutive times… it was last July.

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Space Shot, from far and from near.

Up in the sky – the photo to the left exhibits motion blur from the falling car. That must be scary! The photo to the right was taken a few seconds before the drop with my telephoto lens – riders are suspended for approximately 10 seconds (the timing varies from each ride) and then dropped towards the ground. It needs a little cropping to remove the obvious tilt!

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Corkscrew, Malaysia's first roller coaster with inversions.

Corkscrew, Malaysia’s first double-inverting roller coaster – it’s so far the first and only ride that offers riders inversions in my country. It’s a shame that we don’t have so much thrilling roller coasters around, unlike in the US (like those in Cedar Point and Six Flags parks). The corkscrew inversion wasn’t really nauseating as expected – in fact, you don’t really feel it because you’re traveling so fast and you’re most probably busy screaming.

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Up and away! Brace yourselves!

Up and away! Brace yourselves! – I sneaked into the exit of the ride to get a nice spot right beside the chain lift hill. Since it was already dark, I purposely increased the shutter speed to create the motion blur. Only if I could make it a little longer, or the effect will be even better :) the corkscrew to the right is the second inversion (the first inversion is vertically above me).

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A streak of light across the night sky - Corkscrew in action.

A trail of light – With the strong spotlight in the background, I could have opted for a relatively quick shutter speed. But in order to do justice to the ride’s excitement and speed, I’ve opted for a 0.5s shutter speed. I braced myself against the metal railing to get this photo as sharp as possible since the whole structure was vibrating rather violently as the roller coaster zoomed past me.

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Corkscrew, zoomed in.

Corkscrew - the first one was shot using telephoto lens, as it is evident in the photo that distances between objects have been highly compressed. The second one is shot using maximum optical zoom with my ‘regular’ lens when the roller coaster car was navigating through it’s first inversion.

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Spinner in a cold, misty night.

Spinner in a cold and misty night – Spinner is one of my favourite night time photography subject because it produces rings of light when shot with a slower shutter speed.

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View from my hotel room - day and night

View from my room window, at day and at night – this is one of the very few rather clear and sharp night shots I’ve taken! I regretted for not using the tripod because I thought that my hands are steady enough… not! So yep a lesson learnt – use your tripod whenever it’s possible, even when you find it troublesome!

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Japanese Garden outside my hotel.

Japanese garden – A short walk away from the hotel lobby, there is a quaint little Japanese-themed garden. I love the use of lush green plants because it adds a lot of vibrancy to the park and complements the “Japanese” feeling. The waterfall photo is shot at a slow shutter speed of 0.5s to accentuate the falling water.

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Chocolate muffins for lunch!

For lunch, we had chocolate muffins! – my cousin, brother and I went to Kenny Rogers Roasters for lunch on our last day. We opted for chocolate muffins over vanilla ones, since all of us have this unexplained, extreme affinity for anything that is flavoured with chocolate.

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Nothing beats a warm chicken for lunch in a cold place!

Nothing beats a warm lunch in a cold weather! – I had the Quarter Chicken Meal for lunch. I love Kenny Roger Roasters’ mashed potato – it taste incredibly good and way better than those found in KFC (IMHO, that is). The fruit salad was a bad choice because I was aware that cut fruits lose their nutrients very quickly, but heck, after 3 days without eating any fruit (except banana on the morning before departure), I didn’t care that much.

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Interior of First World Plaza at night

Interior of First World Plaza at night – We had McDonald’s the night before as supper (it was around 12.30am when I took these two photos). The usually crowded plaza was void of human presence, except the area near the fastfood outlets. It was pretty scary, having all the lights on but nobody around.

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Interior of First World Plaza in the morning

Interior of First World Plaza in the morning – I like that the design of the plaza makes good use of natural lighting, as seen from the ceiling windows in the photo to the left as well as sun glare in the one to the right. They’ve even built this Venetian-style canal in the building, which you’ll need to purchase a pass (for a small price) to ride on.

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Water droplets streaking across the car window.

Water droplets on the car window – It drizzled when we were driving downhill. Luckily it wasn’t a heavy downpour since that would have forced us to stop in our tracks and get shelter, since the road will be horribly slippery and dangerous. This photo marked my first attempt to take a photo using manual focusing (I have a lot to learn from IngSiang, who is very good at using MF!). At least something was in focus, heheh.

The End!

This post wraps up my vacation! :razz: I really had a great time up there, although it was also the first time that I didn’t enter the amusement park for a ride (I bought a pass just to get myself in there to take photos!).

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