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.

Inspirational Friday

One week just slipped past me in a blink of an eye, and I am around 1.5 weeks away from my first paper. The past week was nothing but full of business, uneasiness, nervousness and a serious case of sleep deprivation. I barely manage to get a shut eye of 3 hours a day, and what I can afford at most is taking 30-minute power naps in the school library, waking up weary eyed and completely zonked.

There were a few occasions where I woke up in the middle of my sleep, dreaming that the exams are over / I’m late for a paper / I missed a lecture / I lost my tutorial sheets and etc, then only to realize that it’s a dream after panicking 15 minutes for nothing. The anxiety attacks are not debilitating, but definitely very, very annoying and disorienting.

That’s all personal updates! I’ve been wanting to write something more personal this week, but since it’s Friday, I think it will be nice for me to share with everyone things I’ve came across this week.

Fonty Friday: Second run

So here we go, the second run of Fonty Friday. This week, I’ve chosen Fertigo Pro. It’s just too lovely to resist, and exudes this vintage charm but not losing some modern appeal:

Fonty Friday - Fertigo Pro

You can download Fertigo Pro here. Although it’s free, you’re required to sign up as a member in order to proceed to check out. A little annoying yes, but the font is something that many would die for.

Some of my design works

I’ve been reading up on tutorials – special thanks to the people I follow on Twitter who keep churning out links to awesome design tutorials. Here are some of my works – to view them in a larger solution, simply click on the thumbnail.

1. Colour synthesis

Spirograph - Colour synthesis

Spirograph - Colour synthesis

One of my personal favourite so far, and is best viewed on black. Fabio (from Abduzeedo) wrote an amazing tutorial last year about creating a spirograph of sorts using a combination of Illustrator and Photoshop. I didn’t dare to dive into it the first time because Illustrator sounded too remote and vague to me. I was so worn out by my revisions this week that I’ve decided to give his tutorial a try, to keep my brain ticking.

2. Earthlink

Earthlink - If I change, the world changes.

Earthlink - If I change, the world changes.

Earthlink is an environmental club in my university, and I’m proud to be part of it. I’m the publication officer of the club, will be retiring at the end of the semester but I’m considering going for the publicity post next year. Anyway, back to the poster itself, it’s inspired by Collis’ tutorial on PSDTuts – Create a Spectacular Grass Text Effect in Photoshop.I’ve used a stock photo of mine (the angel) to give some extra punch, plus some lovely brushes.

3. Starfield

Starfield

Starfield

You can actually cretae a starfield from scratch in Photoshop! No graphics needed – you’ll be playing around with filters and a few other simple adjustments, that’s all. Gred’s tutorial, Make a Realistic Star Field, walked me through the amazingly simple steps (although it takes time to get familiar with it), and it’s all about letting your creativity go wild.

Videos of the week – Zapping, Steel Life

Fubiz posted this cute animation titled Zapping, a few days ago – check it out!


Zapping from Aritz Aizpurua on Vimeo.

Thanks to @fredyatesiv for the thumbs up – this video demonstrates what one can achieve using CG effects. Simply mind-blowing!


Steel Life from Mathieu Gérard on Vimeo.

That’s all!

Have a great weekend, folks! I might be late in replying your comments and leaving comments on your blogs – my life will be dominated by endless revisions until my last paper on the 28th. Wish me luck!

TGIF: Thank God It’s Friday!

Just in case you’re unclear of what everyone is screaming on Twitter, Plurkm blogs, comments and etc, TGIF simply means Thank God It’s Friday. The phrase represents the optimism one will have as he looks forward to a weekend spent doing the things he likes (for most people, that is).

Before I start the post, I’ve decided last Saturday (I was a little grumpy that I made that decision on Saturday, instead of a day earlier) that I will run this Fonty Friday feature every week if I manage to find some lovely typeface to share. I am considering doing a Foto Friday too, but given that exams are within 2 weeks I don’t think I can churn out any good photos for the next month or so.

So here we have the first run of Fonty Friday, bringing you Museo Sans, a lovely sans-serif font:

Fonty Friday - Museo Sans

Museo sans comes with five different weights: 100, 300, 500, 700 and 900; and with two different stlyes: normal and italic. Only the 500 normal and 500 italic are free – for the rest, you’ll have to pay. But Museo Sans 500 Normal/Italic is already too beautiful to resist. You can download Museo Sans (weight: 500 is free) here. In order to proceed with the download, you will have to register as a member though.

A little upate from the web this week:

  1. YouTube undergoes a small redesign, and succumbs to the power of Twitter.
  2. Create triangles by using purely CSS – an interesting way of utilising the border property!
  3. Twitter’s FailWhale immortalised in Lego bricks (thanks @inf3ktion for the heads up!)
  4. So… are you participating in Earth Hour? Just one hour. Make a difference.
  5. Best WordPress Design Awards just released the list of participating websites/blogs/online portfolios. Interesting to see that quite a few websites are still not using pretty permalinks. Eheh! I’ve got a few friends who’are participating in the competition – Aki, Dayna and Ivy. All the best!

Finally, some photo updates!

All thanks to the never-ending stream of tutorials and lectures (that I always fail to keep up), it has been ages since I last seriously brought my camera out on a photoshoot. However, I do have a whole bunch of photo backlogs piling up in my harddisk as well (8.8GB of free space left, most of them dedicated to big bulky RAW files, meh). Here are some photos that I’ve taken in the past few months:

I remembered heading to Jurong Point with my coursemates on one Monday afternoon – Mingyun, Marianne and Cheryl, if I wasn’t wrong. Cheryl was always her chirpy self, and she couldn’t stop yapping about how nice the food was at the cafe she was bringing us too. In the end, the food turned out to be pleasantly tasty, although I have to settle for a rather small serving of spaghetti bolognaise.

Marianne and Mingyun in the background. The godly spaghetti bolognaise in the foreground.

Marianne and Mingyun in the background. The godly spaghetti bolognaise in the foreground.

Ah, and the photo above reminds me of Mingyun’s long locks. She sacrified them when she decided that she’ll have shorter hair instead. I remembered myself failing to recognise her on the first day of school after she returned from the revolutionary haircut – she was sitting right down the row and I had the balls to ask where she is (because I couldn’t recognise her from her new hair). Now I got used to her short hair, and I think she looks great in it :)

Brownie and a melting ice cream.

Brownie and a melting ice cream.

I am a certified brownie-evangelist (kind of). I find myself instantly falling in love with anything made with chocolate, so… brownie is naturally included in my list of food fetishes. The cafe topped it up with a lovely melting vanilla icecream with caramel/chocolate sauce porued all over it. Divinity!

The Moon

The Moon

This photo is actually a combination of two different photos – one whose exposure is metered against the clouds and the other whose exposure is metered against the surface of the moon. The former causes the moon to be overexposed while the latter underexposes the clouds. But combining the two different photos together and then masking the irrelevant portions of each photo, I arrived at this photo. I also used a little trick with the cloud rendering filter to add dimension to the clouds.

At a NTU bus stop.

At a NTU bus stop, a HDR.

This is one of the first ten photos I’ve taken using my newly acquired Konica Minolta 50mm f/1.7 lenses. The photo was shot in RAW and then passed through Photomatix Pro 3 for pseudo-HDR processing. Saved the psuedo-HDR as 16-bit TIFF, imported it into Photoshop and did the basic tweaking with levels, curves, saturation and contrast. It was taken during the evening rush hour time where students will flock to the bus stop, hunting for an empty space in the next available bus. People would swarm their way into the packed crowd like bees to honey. Sometimes I secretly give thanks to being able to live on campus, which saves me from all this rush hour madness.

That’s all for this update :) have a great weekend!

Bookmarked: 8 Javascript solutions to common CSS problems

8 Javascript solutions to common CSS problems

Jean-Baptiste Jung shares 8 ingenious jQuery-based javascript solutions on CatsWhoCode.comto circumvent the common CSS problems. While CSS is a semantically correct way of styling your webpages, not all popular browsers (like IE6, I know this comes very naturally for a designer) support CSS3 and there’s always this problem of cross-browser compatibility.

Tilt-shift Time Lapse Photography Video – Oh my darling!


Bathtub IV from Keith Loutit on Vimeo.

You’ve heard about tilt-shift miniature faking photography before. Basically, the photographer is trying to emulate what you’ll see when viewing a miniature model set – with a very narrow depth of field plus a colour-wise souped up version of the scene (usually model designers love colour saturation a lot). This is slightly different from the real tilt-shift photography when the photographer actually have to use special lenses to achieve the similar miniature-model effect.  The technique became wildly popular with photographers, and we see tutorials (one, two and three) being written to help you achieve the same effect, as well as an amazing gallery from SmashingMagazine. displaying 50 beautiful examples of it. Hang on a second – there’s even a Flickr group for photos too!

Creating a video like what pioneer Keith Loutit did requires a little more effort. My best guess will be having freeing out a day or two, grabbing a tripod along (preferably with a remote shutter release for your convenience) and lots of patience. Last, but not least, the post processing part, which involves passing the slew of photos you’ve taken through some pre-made Photoshop action and then using a video-making programme to put everything together. It’s a lot of work, so big kudos to Keith for making it possible :)

Keith also have many other more tilt-shift time lapse photography video on Vimeo, be sure to check them out!

p/s: In case you’re wondering, the song in the video is titled Clementine, performed by Megan Washington. What a lovely song, isn’t it?

Last, but not least, some samples from me:

Tilt-shift Photography - Spinner @ Genting Highlands Theme Park

Tilt-shift Photography - Spinner @ Genting Highlands Theme Park

Not a particularly good example since it is recommended that photographers use photos that are taken from the top, viewing down – simply because it’s hard for you to bring your camera to ‘ground level’ in a miniature set, right?

Tilt-shift Photography - Bukit Timah Road

Tilt-shift Photography - Bukit Timah Road

Tilt-shift Photography - Shuttle Bus on Campus

Tilt-shift Photography - Shuttle Bus on Campus

Tilt-shift Photography - Sentosa Beach

Tilt-shift Photography - Sentosa Beach

Tilt-shift Photography - Sunway Water Theme Park

Tilt-shift Photography - Sunway Water Theme Park

If you have any tilt-shift photography works, feel free to link them in your comments :) I’ll be more than happy to see your works, heh!

[Edit]: Here’s another time lapse video (not tilt-shift, but it’s too cute I can’t leave it out) of a baby playing with his toys. Four hours of fun!

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