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.

A highland getaway, back with photos

Frankly speaking, I’m quite clueless when it comes to penning this entry – should it make it more narrator-like, for example, the one I wrote for my photoshooting trip with Jeremy in my homecountry’s bustling capital, or should I make it a strictly photos-only post? My aunt suggested that I should just post the photos and then direct you guys to where all they are dumped, but I’ve decided to write a little, just so that I won’t overwhelm you with the story and my rather terrible grammar… and my eternal confusion in when to use to, with, of and for.

All of the photos can be found in the complete Flickr set I’ve made for this trip – Genting Highlands June ’09. You can also view it in the gallery. Only a handful of selected photos will be featured in this post.

Interjection: Fonty Friday

Here’s this week’s dose of good type – who says that monospace fonts are ugly? Raph Levien, the designer behind the monospace typeface Inconsolata draws inspiration from some Japanese gothic fonts, making it more legible at small font sizes.

Fonty Friday - InconsolataTold you, monospace fonts don’t have to be ugly to be called monospace.

A short introduction

The photos I’ve taken during the trip are processed differently from my usual photos – I experimented with my new post-processing actions, which is crafted to make photos slightly darker, smoother (thanks to Noise Ninja), has higher contrast and a pseudo-HDR touch to it. Now, read more to view the photos!

Day 1 – Of flowers and water

I arrived at Genting Highlands in the early afternoon of Thursday, in tow were my grandparents, parents and brother. Clear, clean mountain air immediately filled up lungs as we unloaded our luggage to the smiling luggage guy greeting us at the steps in front of the lobby. Mist spilled from the tunnel leading up to the hotel into the waiting area, white puffs of crystalised air we exhaled. Just. Heaven.

I combed the walls of Coffee Bean for empty sockets, heaved a sigh of relief as one awaits to be plugged in. As brother plopped his lazy bum on the seat, I ordered two honey sticks, 50 cents each, to justify our presence. It will be nice if we bought something from them, in a way to say thank you for your wifi connection, I thought.

Later in the day I visited the park alone, equipped with my Konica Minolta f/1.7 50mm lens. This is my first time trying my hands on closeup floral photography using this new baby. It didn’t turn out half bad:

Flowers and bokeh. Yummy!

Flowers and bokeh. Yummy!

The bokeh effect was beautiful. I thought that its beauty only shows when you’re photographing lights. Now the myth is debunked – I like how the leaves blurred away gracefully from the flower.

Splashing, splashing water.

Splashing, splashing water.

One more thing I love about my bokeh lens – it’s huge aperture allows around 2x more light to reach the camera sensor than my 18-70mm kit lens, so it’s definitely a plus when it comes to photographing water. Ember has a few really nice water shots (#1, #2 and #3), some of which are done with his bokeh lens as well – thanks for the pointers, Ember!

False Heather, Cuphea hyssopifolia

False Heather, Cuphea hyssopifolia

False Heather, known by its scientific name Cuphea hyssopifolia, is a flowering shrub native to the Americas. It doesn’t flower as much as those planted in the hot and humid capital, but oh boy, they definitely bloom in the cool, wet highland climate. The tiny flowers are one of my favourite subjects of photography – not too big and overbearing.

Day 2 – Of people, of rides

The fun starts on Friday – I visited the amusement park. Now the management is smarter in finance management and raises the entry ticket price on school holidays. The wristband I wore costed me around 50 bucks, and I’m in to take photos only, not to hop on to any of the rides. But, it’s definitely worth it.

I spent an hour or so exploring the wave-swinger located directly in front of the entrance, and started shooting away.

The smiling dude and... Velma?!

The smiling dude and... Velma?!

The canopy of the ride starts to spin very slowly at first as it raises the riders to a higher height, before accelerating and then tilting, sending the riders into a screaming frenzy. The guy looked in my general direction and, spotting my camera, flashed a photogenic smile. And to the right was… Velma?! I laughed a little when I realize the resemblance when handpicking the photos.

Up and away

Up and away

Riders fly above spectators standing outside the perimeter of the ride, designed such that the riders’ legs will not hit anyone of them. Since the canopy of the ride tilts, it is not every time that the riders hover close enough above the spectators that they get into the frame.

Koi feeding

Koi feeding

A pond full of koi at the bottom of the huge waterfall eagerly awaits for visitors to feed them with overpriced fish food sold from a nearby stall. As long as they enjoy feeding the koi, I guess their parents don’t mind forking out a few bucks.

Entertainers smiling for the camera

Entertainers smiling for the camera

This shot took a little more courage than usual. I spotted them somewhere near the waterfall (the place where the kids fed the koi) but didn’t have enough courage to ask them to pose of a photo. I trailed them all the way to the other end of the amusement park and they greeted and visited the stalls of other park employees, and even chatted with some of the ride operators.

Go Karts

Go Karts

The inspiration of taking this photo came from the tilt-shift photography post Grace wrote some time ago. I love the angle of her photo of the Go Karts, so I visited the bridge above the tracks and took a similar shot.

Turbo Drop

Turbo Drop

Initially it operated in the same manner as Space Shot, which uses compressed air to rapidly propel riders up the tower then gently lower them with a series of air-cushioned bounces back to the loading platform. After a fatal accident (the management bribed people to shut them up), the ride mode was switched to that of a Turbo Drop – compressed air is used to lift the car to the top of the tower, at an approximate and average speed of 12 miles per hour. The car is held for multiple seconds, before it is released, dropping almost to the ground. The mist cleared for a brief moment, so grabbed my camera and took this shot when I was queuing for this ride. Yeap, this is the only ride I took in the amusement park during my whole visit, but I rode it 8 times!

Dangling by a thread, and in 10 seconds...

Dangling by a thread, and in 10 seconds...

… they will freefall towards the ground from a height of 185 feet. The falling feeling is scary, but exciting – you’ll find yourself floating a few inches off your seat because of the negative G.

Corkscrew and Go Karts

Corkscrew and Go Karts

It’s turning dark. The lights went up, while the sky is still a little brighter than usual (because it’s a highland, the sun sets a wee bit later). Corkscrew, which is unfortunately closed for maintenance that day, looms above the tracks.

The glowing flying machine

The glowing flying machine

When the sky turned dark, the real beauty of the wave-swinger emerged. Hundreds of lightbulbs mounted to the plates on the ride sparkle in the darkness, spinning at the same dizzying speed as the riders were rotated.

The glowing flying machine, bokeh-ed

The glowing flying machine, bokeh-ed

A bokeh shot of the canopy of the wave-swinger. The lightbulbs add this amazing touch to the photo :) bokeh FTW!

Shell Lamp

Shell Lamp

The shell lamp sits lonely in the hotel lobby when darkness falls. I can hear a pin drop.

Down the hotel corridor

Down the hotel corridor

I lived in room 12126. Anyone wants that room? It’s huge, has a sofa, one extra wardrobe, gigantic working desk and costs just $30 more than the other rooms down the hallway. Teehee!

So that wraps up my trip!

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