My iPhone and Camera gears

From the many questions I get about my iphone setup and camera setup. So theres the list of current equipment I am using..

iPhone Gear

Tripod Clamp http://amzn.to/2v4ucxL

Phone Clamp http://amzn.to/2u5UQsR

Lens https://www.oowa.life/ I have been looking at the Moment series of lens for quite a while now but their iPhone 7 attachment came out kinda late. so couple months down the road, I saw this set of OOWA lens from DynaOptics based in Singapore and decided to give it a try. Apparently OOWA is having a 30% off the lens kit if u use the SG-OOWA coupon at checkout (not sure how long the coupon will last). I will post some images from this set of lens later but all in all i do like it. Disclaimer: I am not making any money off this. :P I bought this set cos #supportlocal

OOWA 15mm and 75mm kit

OOWA 15mm and 75mm kit

 

Camera Gear

Nikon D810 http://amzn.to/2t6kjyi

Nikon 14-24mm http://amzn.to/2uJCr37

Wonderpana 145mm filter holder http://amzn.to/2tAsuGF

Wonderpana 145mm MRC CPL http://amzn.to/2sIpiFU

Tripod TVC-24L Ballhead BH-40 http://www.reallyrightstuff.com/

L-Bracket. Personally I use a RRS bracket but over the years I found that this company makes pretty good L-bracket that fits and works well with RRS quick release. http://amzn.to/2v4IJcV

F-stop Anja backpack with Medium Slope insert. Based out of San Louis, Missouri. http://fstopgear.com/

Kimwipes. If you shoot waterfalls, do yourself a favor get a box of this and it will last you quite a while. They won't scratch your lens and they work better than any towel you ever owned. http://amzn.to/2sI2t5q

Rocket Blower. another do yourself a favor item, get the large RED one. you wont regret. http://amzn.to/2sIFc3j

Crumpler neck strap. an old strap from Crumpler an Aussie company and I had the model called "industry disgrace" loved it and had 2 of them. Seems like you can still find them online but Crumpler dont sell them anymore. I had the version without buckles. 

Camdapter Hand Strap. Small local company based out of Ohio. I have 2 of these as well. pretty awesome. love it. http://amzn.to/2t6PZUl

MagMod Flash Filters. This company makes pretty awesome flash filters. good set to start with. Add more modifiers as needed later. http://amzn.to/2uJNHfK

Singapore

Someone asked me about an itinerary for Singapore. So I did a quick list, this was tailored to flights out of Portland, Oregon (PDX). If you have something else you would like to know. Feel free to drop me a note and I will update this along the way. 

Central Business District of Singapore.

Central Business District of Singapore.

I know from PDX Delta is the least stopover to Singapore.

  • PDX -> Narita (NRT) 1hr stopover -> Singapore (SIN)

I did a quick search on Singapore Airlines which is also a member of Star Alliance (United is part of it). (Real excellent airline. Trust me on this one.) http://www.singaporeair.com/ 

  • PDX -> LAX -> Narita (NRT)  -> Singapore (SIN) I like this particular flight because it’s a A380
  • PDX -> SFO -> Seoul (ICN) -> Singapore (SIN)

Stay somewhere downtown. Marriott is in a real good location. Runs about 250sgd a night. (~180usd) the entire shopping area is here it’s called Orchard Road.

A rough map of where things are. https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Df5o5UA4nVgdY2CTiI7EyakkSWQ&usp=sharing

Singapore Map

Singapore Map

The unique hotel, Marina Bay Sands, that I told you about earlier. Pretty good location too. If you don’t mind the hassle of changing hotels, you can stay here for a night. This hotel has a infinity pool at the rooftop. Living in the hotel is the only way to get access to the pool and also it’s a observation deck on the top floor of the hotel (free for hotel guest). There’s also a laser show at this hotel every night. https://www.marinabaysands.com/

Marina Bay Sands with the Helix Bridge

Marina Bay Sands with the Helix Bridge

Nearby there’s a famous greenhouse nearby. Popular tourist spot. Called Gardens by the Bay

Merlion is also across the bay from this hotel walking distance. (free of charge)

Merlion, Singapore

Merlion, Singapore

Another famous spot also nearby is Singapore Flyer. Basically a giant ferris wheel. The singapore version of London Eye. http://www.singaporeflyer.com/

Singapore Flyer in the middle with Marina Bay Sands on the left.

Singapore Flyer in the middle with Marina Bay Sands on the left.

A lot of my friends use this bus when they are there. Unlimited rides for a day to tour around. http://www.city-sightseeing.com/tours/singapore/singapore.htm

But to go to attractions usually they just use taxi.

Singapore Zoo. Award winning zoo. Worth a visit. http://www.zoo.com.sg/ Jurong Bird Park is at a different location. Night safari and River safari and Singapore Zoo are all at the same location. River safari is new but it’s only popular because they have some new panda bear exhibit. (I think you can skip this one unless you have extra time.) Just head for Night Safari and Singapore Zoo, night safari is really unique. Jurong Birdpark if you have time. They offer a park hopper pass online check it out on the zoo link above.

Sentosa. Within sentosa there's a bus and train service. It’s free. http://www.sentosa.com.sg/en/attractions/ My friends that visit usually people will take shuttle one way and cable car one way. http://www.sentosa.com.sg/en/attractions/imbiah-lookout/cable-car/ Famous attraction at Sentosa.. this merlion is bigger than the one in the city and this has a laser show. http://www.sentosa.com.sg/en/attractions/imbiah-lookout/the-merlion/

The SEA Aquarium is also located in RWS. Heard its really good. Personally I haven’t been. http://www.rwsentosa.com/Homepage/Attractions/SEAAquarium

Some other interesting stuff in the area are like

  • Clarke Quay (extremely popular among friends that visit)
  • Chinatown
  • Little India

A lot of friends like to visit this mall. Personally, I have never been there.

Finally, Some local famous local food

  • Chilli Crab (Singapore Dish)
  • Bak Kut Teh (Singapore Dish-  pork ribs soup)
  • Hainanese Chicken Rice (Singapore Dish)
  • Carrot Cake (not the regular sweet ones. It’s salty and doesn’t resemble a cake at all)
  • Roti Prata (Indian food)
  • Curry Fish Head (Singapore Dish)
  • Yakun Kaya Toast (breakfast/tea place)

Hope it helps. Let me know if you got more questions and I will expand the list and go on from there. That's all for now! :)

Cokin Nuances ND1024

Was given a set of Cokin Nuances from Cathy Photo a couple months back to test out. Been playing with it quite a bit but never got a chance to sit down to write an entry for it. 

Used Cokin Z-Pro series holder a couple years back when I was using grads. I stopped using them after getting a d800 and could get most pictures all in one shot or I would do a quick blend with masks. Hence haven't used the holder much. Back when I used grads, I took most shots on a 16-35mm and they produce a non fixable vignette at 16mm and correctable vignetting at closer to 19-20mm.

I tried to make some adjustments to the filter holder, by unscrewing and adjusting the holder so it only takes 1 filter rather than the 3 slots that it allows. This still made a vignette at 16mm but pretty correctable at 17-18mm. I will add some pics of the change I did to the filter later. Recently, I mainly used this filter at 24mm.

38mm f/8 iso400 5mins. Portland, Oregon.

38mm f/8 iso400 5mins. Portland, Oregon.

The copy of this filter i got from Cathay Photo was 10 stops (2^10=1024) meaning a 1/1000 sec shot with the filter will be about 1 second. Meaning you can acquire a longer exposure. so normally if you were trying to achieve a longer exposure you would lower your iso to the lowest say iso50 and change the aperture to say f/22 (However, causes diffraction and would make your picture look soft) and that would probably be the limit to how long your shutter speed could go. You could then add a ND filter to extend this exposure time. 

24mm f/16 30s iso100. Castle Mountain, Banff, Canada.

24mm f/16 30s iso100. Castle Mountain, Banff, Canada.

With the filter on, you probably will not be able to see much in the viewfinder if you looked, so what I would usually do is focus first and take a test shot. Using this exposure time, i will multiply 1024 to the time and flip it over to manual focus and insert the filter on the holder and change my shutter speed accordingly. Whenever I add a 10 stop, I am usually trying to blur the water or streak the clouds and I would usually go for a longer exposure. 

24mm f/11 3mins iso200. Portland, Oregon.

24mm f/11 3mins iso200. Portland, Oregon.

While testing it, the filter has a slight correctable magenta color cast. There's is no light leak when used with the Cokin Z-pro filter holder, the holder has a stopper at the bottom and will also prevent the filter from falling out in the other direction. All in all I think it works really well and according to google a set of Cokin Nuances 10 stop will cost less than getting the Lee filter big stopper. Value for money! I will add more pictures and thoughts along the way as I get through processing them but here's a couple for a start.

 

 

Twenty Fifteen

Favorite moments of 2015. Tried to process all new images but i guess i failed terribly. Did what I could, sorry it will take a while to load, best viewed on iPhone. :) Hope you enjoy. Happy Holidays and of course Happy 2016! :) 

January - Abraham Lake in Canadian Rockies known for its ice bubbles due to the lake freezing and methane gas release from the lake bed. At -39 (doesn't really matter if it's Fahrenheit or Celsius anymore) with wind chill one morning, it's one of the coldest place I have ever been to. While we were on the lake near The Belly, we were standing on ice maybe 10 inch thick (?) but we couldn't see the bottom of the lake. We could still see the water flowing below, snow storming hard as usual and we walked on snow covered ice. After a while we heard some ice cracking in a distance, packed our stuff and left the ice right away. After we left, I googled and apparently it's normal to hear cracking sound of ice during changing conditions. Still kind of creepy. :P 

January - #ShotoniPhone6, Abraham Lake, Canada

January - #ShotoniPhone6, Abraham Lake, Canada

January - Abraham Lake, Canada

January - Abraham Lake, Canada

January - Lake Louise, Banff, Canada

January - Lake Louise, Banff, Canada

January - Vermilion Lakes, Banff, Canada

January - Vermilion Lakes, Banff, Canada

January - Woke up at 3.45am 2 days in a row to head over to Trillium Lake for a sunrise shot. Day 1, fogged in. and I remember Rami and Lance and I decided to not do the hike. Day 2, extremely clear. The forecast on both days were partially cloudy. Great! Haha so heres a shot of Trillium Lake with some reflections. 

January - Trillium Lake, Oregon.

January - Trillium Lake, Oregon.

January - Headed to Lost Lake with Tula Top and Justin Poe. Also met Ben Coffman and Chip MacAlpine shooting stars and milkyway while we were there. The skies were totally clear this morning and as luck has it.. 30 mins before sunrise, fog started rolling in and covered the mountain and we never saw the mountain again. Alas. As usual, Master Justin Poe got the shot of the day with mountain reflections and all the goodies. I tried doing some telephoto stuff as the fog was rolling in and got this pic of this little cabin that I thought was kinda cool before it was engulfed by fog. :)

January - Lost Lake, Oregon

January - Lost Lake, Oregon

February - Milky Way without the Calories. From Mount St Helens where I got a speeding ticket for driving 7mph faster than the 25mph road limit. Hmmm Seriously? I guess. :(

February - Mount St Helens, Washington

February - Mount St Helens, Washington

February - Karl the Fog PDX Edition. If you are not familiar with that term, every year there's a period of time due to some atmospheric phenomena, there's a higher chance to spot fog over Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco and photographers will flock there when there's fog/visibility warning and somehow/someone named it, Karl. He even has his own Instagram account @karlthefog. But anyway this is probably my personal favorite pic of Portland with a similar concept, been chasing for these conditions for a long long time. Happened to get lucky finally. Naming it Ter the fog, Instagram account in the making @terthefog :D

February - St John Bridge and Mount Hood from Portland, Oregon.

February - St John Bridge and Mount Hood from Portland, Oregon.

February - After my (n+1)th time to this extremely famous viewpoint in Portland.. This is probably the only time when all the conditions came together in a single exposure. Fog + city lights + Mount Hood + awesome sky. Checked.

February - Pittock Mansion, Portland, Oregon. 

February - Pittock Mansion, Portland, Oregon. 

February - Was here again with Justin Poe couple weeks later and the iPhone version of this shot was 1 of the 4 that made it on Apple billboards as part of the shot on iPhone6 campaign.

February - Lost Lake, Oregon

February - Lost Lake, Oregon

March - Iceland probably deserve an entire separate entry on its own. Ran into the biggest snowstorm they had in a while right when I landed (how lucky as always), spend probably 2 nights sleeping in the parking lot of Hallgrímskirkja before I started going anywhere. *Nervous laugh* Met a group of Thais that drove over to Kirkjufell before the snowstorm started, they got stuck at Kirkjufell for the next 2 days too. Not sure if it's better to be stuck at Kirkjufell or Reykjavík, but I totally fell in love with the noodle station haha, warm bowl of Thai beef noodle soup in the snowstorm = comfort food. Had that for 3 meals in 2 days lol, it was that good. :D Though the weather is generally never very good over there, it's the nicest country I ever visited. I will be back. I will. Side tracked too much but I wanted a photo of rainbows with the falls, went back over and over and just didn't fall though, so I will live with this reflection pic for now while Ron Coscorrosa continues to troll and terrorize me with his massive NAS drive collection of rainbows from Skógafoss.

March - Reflections of Skógafoss, Iceland.

March - Reflections of Skógafoss, Iceland.

March - One of my most memorable night in Iceland when aurora was KP9. We were out in one of the ice caves in Vatnajökull that morning when I checked out the weather forecast. There was a predicted KP9 solar storm that evening and Kirkjufell was supposed to be totally clear all night! I think u could already guess what we did. We got into the car and drove 6 hours to cloudless Kirkjufell. We had initially planned to get there at about sunset, so that I can still scout around for a couple of good spots for the aurora.. But as luck would have it, we ran into a flat tire along the way about 20 mins away from Reykjavík. Spent the next hour or so calling the camper van company to get help in locating the tools, and trying to figure how to remove the spare tire from under the van. Of course, we missed sunset with all that time wasted. As we drove and it got darker, the sky lit up with faint hues of green and when we got to Kirkjufell, it was already totally dark. Called Piriya Wongkongkathep (yes, I do know how to spell his name off the cuff) for help as we groped around trying to find the waterfalls there. To my horror there were already 9571 people there, all in the frame. :P Set up my camera and sat around for the rest of the night, watching the spectacular KP9 show that waxed and waned, and feeling thankful we made it there safely. :)

March - Kirkjufell, Iceland

March - Kirkjufell, Iceland

March - Spend almost 2 weeks in Iceland, not even enough. :) Definitely my favorite waterfalls in Iceland. The blue glacier water is real pretty.

March - Brúarfoss, Iceland.

March - Brúarfoss, Iceland.

March - Jökulsárlón, Iceland.

March - Jökulsárlón, Iceland.

March - The waves in Iceland are pretty scary. One of these waves crashed and almost took me out into the ocean with all my gear... Glad nothing serious happened. 

March - Vik Beach, Iceland.

March - Vik Beach, Iceland.

March - Vatnajökull Ice Cave, Iceland

March - Vatnajökull Ice Cave, Iceland

March - Jökulsárlón, Iceland.

March - Jökulsárlón, Iceland.

April - Camera buttons had some issues for a while now.. Was deciding between sending it for repair and hoping that it would arrive before the Iceland trip or pray that the camera will not fail in Iceland. Went with the latter and was glad it survived Iceland. Here's one of those times I shot with my old d700 this year. Liked it quite abit and went back multiple times after I got my d800 back from Nikon but the pear blossoms were past peak. Postcard shots of Hood River, Oregon.

April - Red Barn, Hood River, Oregon

April - Red Barn, Hood River, Oregon

April - Hood River, Oregon

April - Hood River, Oregon

April - I spent countless mornings at Rowena Crest this year with Rami Jabaji and Lance Rudge and was lucky to get away without any nasty tick encounters. As pretty as these wild flowers are, I'd be ticked off if I had any bites from those buggers. :D

April - Rowena Crest, Oregon

April - Rowena Crest, Oregon

April - A morning hike to this mist machine with Lance Rudge. Butt slide most the way down the side of this sketchy hill all the way to the bottom. The poison oak on the side of "the trail" always make me paranoid I will land face down on them. :X

April - Mist Machine, Oregon

April - Mist Machine, Oregon

May - Rolling Hills of Palouse. Ran into Chip Phillips here running a workshop that morning. As usual, this is one of those places that's not close to anywhere on the map, probably made famous by Chip Phillips sets of ridiculous good images from here. Google it, you will be wowed. It's not on the way to anywhere but if you do go though, stop by Palouse Falls, it's great. By the way, I don't mean stop by, I probably meant take a 1 or 2 hours detour from the state park. :p

May - Steptoe Butte State Park, Washington.

May - Steptoe Butte State Park, Washington.

May - Palouse, Washington.

May - Palouse, Washington.

May - This juggernaut falls has so much spray coming off from the 207 ft waterfall its impossible to keep the lens dry.. I came back later in December too scroll below :D

May - Falls Creek Falls, Oregon

May - Falls Creek Falls, Oregon

May - Camera was in the shop again. Another d700 in action attempt at fairy falls.

May - Fairy Falls, Oregon

May - Fairy Falls, Oregon

June - This was one of the highlights from my short roadtrip to California with Rami. For several reasons, I have always skipped this waterfall; it's out of the way, requires walking on some train tracks, involves parking issues and the list of excuses goes on. Anyway, after skipping this numerous times, Rami decided to pull a last minute road trip and I just hopped on the bus. As usual, it's not the easiest place to access, but the place felt like the California Zoo by the time we left. Definitely drop by if you are ever in the area. It's worth it.

June - Mossbrae Falls, California.

June - Mossbrae Falls, California.

June - Another one of those nice lakes in Oregon that Jan Boitz pointed out to me at the top of South Sister. Back then I been there a couple times but every time its so foggy/overcast that I never saw anything from there. So sometime late last summer, I was actually up top that mountain in the distance on the left. Good times. :)

June - Sparks Lake, Oregon

June - Sparks Lake, Oregon

June - Thought it looked like a dinosaur foot and since I am watching Jurassic World back then I thought it was appropriate. I almost got a rainbow here ALMOST but yup it didn't fall through, spend the next 10 mins @#$%& and I left this place totally drenched and soaked. Usual :D

June - Painted Hills, Oregon

June - Painted Hills, Oregon

June - Here's my personal favorite waterfalls in Oregon that we visited due to bad weather along the Oregon coast over the weekend and made some changes in our plan. Still remember my first time here when I left with quite a bit of damage. Slipped, fell, damaged gear, drowned a remote, ripped pants and a couple deep cuts. A year or so later, I have probably been back 3 or 4 times now and the falls has definitely changed alot probably due to higher water flows at some point. I always wanted to show the sense of scale for this giant mist machine. Hope I was successful in conveying that here. This pic also won the water category this year of Oregon Wild Outdoor photo contest. Credit goes to Rami who helped me wipe my lens and triggered.

June - Proxy Falls, Oregon

June - Proxy Falls, Oregon

June - Was in Redwood National Park one morning shooting this lone rhododendron and a giant truck pulled over and 2 photographers got out, Sarah Marino and Ron. Pretty awesome morning chat, didn't walk away with any light beams but here's a foggy picture from those GIANT trees. 

June - Redwood National Park, California.

June - Redwood National Park, California.

June - Ancient tree at Crater Lake. If you look hard enough, you can probably see wizard island in the distance. Walked to this tree and saw 2 other photographers, happened to be Brian Adelberg (days before his baby was due!) and Brian Kibbons.

June - Crater Lake, Oregon

June - Crater Lake, Oregon

July - Another road trip to Rainier cos Sarah decided to buy a last minute ticket up here for the weekend. Called up Rami for a last minute trip out and somehow things all worked out. Clear skies through the trip but wildflowers were looking awesome and at peak. Here's one from sunset. 

July - Mount Rainier, Washington.

July - Mount Rainier, Washington.

July - Two of my favorites things, red and lone tree. What not to like about it Haha.

July - Cloverfield, Oregon.

July - Cloverfield, Oregon.

August - Went back to Banff again in the summer! Moraine Lake still had me in awe, nonetheless; imagine 10 giant peaks towering over an emerald lake, with layers of pine trees skirting the lake, alpenglow, reflections and all the good stuff. I could probably just sit around the lake and do nothing but admire it all day, but we had to check out Lake Louise and had to move on. 

August - Moraine Lake, Banff, Canada

August - Moraine Lake, Banff, Canada

August - Peyto Lake is yet another postcard-perfect place and the lake’s captivating turquoise color (screams Jasmine Loke) can be attributed to the sediments of the melting glacier. The lake’s milky-blue color varies, depending on season and time of day. The intense color of the lake is incredibly charming, and I reckon I should have taken a telephoto abstract shot of a small part of the lake. Ah well, next time maybe. :) 

August - Peyto Lake, Banff, Canada

August - Peyto Lake, Banff, Canada

August - Castle Mountain, Banff, Canada

August - Castle Mountain, Banff, Canada

August - Located in some remote canyon. At some time in the day, the arch glows from the reflected sun light off the canyon wall behind. I always classify pictures into 2 categories; looks good in photos and looks good in person. The 1st category basically just means it involves some form of photography technique; isolation of subject, reflection by going really low, perspective, telephoto or something along those lines. The 2nd category needs no further elaboration, basically looks good when you are seeing it. This place belongs to the latter, the glow is UNREAL.

August - Sacred Arch, Arizona.

August - Sacred Arch, Arizona.

August - On the verge of a 3000 feet drop above Colorado River. Yeap, that's me looking for cell signal. 

August - Toroweap, near North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park

August - Toroweap, near North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park

August - #ShotoniPhone6, Zebra Canyon, Utah

August - #ShotoniPhone6, Zebra Canyon, Utah

September - Got a bunch of ridiculous sunset in Portland during the month of September. Was late for a really great one and missed a bunch. Looking through those from that week and I liked this one the most. With Rami and Justin again. Justin used to hate cityscape, probably still do but I made him starts shooting Dudu and I am proud of it. 10 stops 5 mins exposure. Single shot.  :)

September - Portland, Oregon

September - Portland, Oregon

October - So Portland Japanese Garden was closed this year, had to find an alternative. :)

October - Lake Jabaji, Oregon

October - Lake Jabaji, Oregon

October - Was here for another rainbow attempt again. Saw this strip of sunlight that was illuminating downtown Portland.  

October - Pittock Mansion, Portland, Oregon

October - Pittock Mansion, Portland, Oregon

November - My favorite series of iPhone pictures, all from the Subway hike in Zion National Park, Utah. I could hardly convince people that its all shot on iPhone.. but the next 3 images are all #ShotOniPhone6.

November - #ShotoniPhone6 Archangel Falls, Zion National Park, Utah 

November - #ShotoniPhone6 Archangel Falls, Zion National Park, Utah 

November - #ShotoniPhone6 Crack, Zion National Park, Utah

November - #ShotoniPhone6 Crack, Zion National Park, Utah

November - #ShotoniPhone6 The Subway, Zion National Park, Utah

November - #ShotoniPhone6 The Subway, Zion National Park, Utah

This happened the night when we saw this weird UFO cloud in the sky, greenish/purplish probably due to light pollution. Later got tweeted and hashtagged all over the place. Apparently, was Navy Trident II (D5) missile test flight off the coast of Southern California. Here's a selfie from that night.

 November - Bonsai Tree, Utah

 November - Bonsai Tree, Utah

November - one of the coolest hike I have ever done and had wanted to do for a long time. Spot the hikers all along the trail to the top! :D the guy with the blue bag is Pete Pattano.

November - Angels Landing, Utah

November - Angels Landing, Utah

November - Wanted to do this for a while now but conditions never quite worked out. Costed me an umbrella but I guess it was kinda worth it. :P Rainy morning with Lance and Rami and met Adrain Klein at the falls. 

November - Multnomah Falls, Oregon

November - Multnomah Falls, Oregon

December - Headed out to FCF with Lance and Rami, half hoping the gate will not be closed. Alas didnt get too lucky there. That gate added 4 unncessary miles to the hike in the not so awesome ice and slush. The consistent rain didnt help the situation at all. We were about 4 day late from prime, may look pretty and all but I got 3 word; cold, wet and miserable. Haha. Got to 2 miles before the trailhead, seeing the icy scene and i realized i had forgotten my spikes.. Opps. Stole one side of Rami's spike during the hike and when I got here, precariously slide around those slick ice to get to the edge for the selfie. :) Cold, wet and miserable but I guess it was still a pretty scene! 

December - Falls Creek Falls, Oregon

December - Falls Creek Falls, Oregon

December - Opted for 3 extra hours of sleep and skipped TDH Mountain (Tom Dick and Harry Mountain) this morning met up with Justin and Rami and got here with 3 addition hours of sleep. Pretty awesome until.. I fell in the water. lol also my current wallpaper :D

December - Mount Hood, Oregon

December - Mount Hood, Oregon

December - Seen a bunch of pics and travel blogs of Christ the Redeemer but I never thought I will see it in person. Foggy rainy but definitely very cool. I guess we managed to skip the crowd, when I tried to purchase the tickets at the counter in Copacabana (the world famous 4km balneario beach), the lady at the counter warned us "0 visibility" and after buying the ticket, she placed a big fat stamp in red on the tickets that reads "ZERO visibility" that was kinda funny. I guess I managed to skip the crowd, saw a bunch of Taiwanese up there as I was leaving, definitely didn't see much Asians the entire trip. Pretty rare IMO for a popular tourist spot.

December - Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

December - Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

December - Iguazu Falls, 2nd largest waterfall in the world, definitely made Niagara Falls look tiny. Was in the middle of some rainstorm during the time we were there, hence the large amount of tea flowing through the Iguazu river (i meant muddy water). There's a boardwalk that brings you to Devil's Throat on the bottom right of the picture. Comes with a free muddy water shower. haha took a walk on the boardwalk, other than being completely soaked, we could barely see anything :D

December - Cataratas del Iguazú, Iguaçu National Park, Brazil

December - Cataratas del Iguazú, Iguaçu National Park, Brazil

December - Since Iguazu river runs between Brazil and Argentina, going over to Argentina sounded like a good idea :P

December - Iguazú Falls, Parque Nacional Iguazú, Argentina.

December - Iguazú Falls, Parque Nacional Iguazú, Argentina.

December - Glimpse of Heaven. :D also one of my favorite pics from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I really like how the clouds formed a ring around Corcovado Mountain (It means hunchback and apparent when you see the mountain from Vista Chinesa which I didn't end up seeing anything due to the fog) with Christ the Redeemer at the top. Might also be one of my personal favorites from 2015 and hence kept it for the last.

December - Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

December - Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Elowah Falls, Oregon

Got a bunch of questions about the Elowah Elowah Elowah shot I posted a couple weeks ago, thought I will make a post on it. This comp belongs to one of my favorite landscape photographer, Marc Adamus.

Here goes... Basically my base exposure (top left) was shot at f11 iso400. Kinda liked those small little swirls on the right of the reflection from the water splashes from the ridiculous amount of flow from the falls. I wanted to keep the splashes frozen as always.

2nd exposure was shot polarized to remove the polarized part in the foreground and also have a longer water falls exposure. Shot was also at 1/1.6s f13 iso200 hyperfocus.

The final shot was a stack for the trees with a 1/200s f5.6 and iso800. Fast shutter speed was to freeze the foliage and not to have motion blur.

After multiple wipe shot rinse repeat of maybe 50 shots I got a couple of clean exposures to make the shot work. Hopefully this helps. :)

#ShotoniPhone6

Thankful and excited to be part of the latest Apple World Gallery, especially after seeing the awesome pictures on Apple's #ShotoniPhone6 campaign back in March. I would love to visit all the places that feature my pics and take a #selfie with all of them but that is not too feasible. If you happen to see any of the 4 pictures somewhere, grab a picture of it and send them to me pleaseee. terenceleezy(at)gmail(dot)com My friends have caught sight of them on billboards in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, Minneapolis, Canada, Dubai, London, Paris, Tokyo, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Thailand and of course Singapore. I am trying to look for the pics worldwide (I believe they are also available in print as well), and I will update my blog entry whenever I have a chance. Thanks everyone for the help in advance! 

Published on 9 Aug on Straits Times, Singapore

Straits Times Article.

Straits Times Article.

Published on 10 Aug on Straits Times Life D8-D9, Singapore

Photo by Jian-Hui Wong.

Photo by Jian-Hui Wong.

Featured on Stuff.TV

Featured on Apple's Website :)

As an Apple fan, I am happy to have made my mark on Apple's website.

As an Apple fan, I am happy to have made my mark on Apple's website.

Featured on 500px

Billboards

Iceland

Got a bunch of questions about Iceland and I thought I will just write up answers to questions that people have asked and I will add along the way..

Giant iceberg on ice beach at sunrise. Jökulsárlón, Iceland.

Giant iceberg on ice beach at sunrise. Jökulsárlón, Iceland.

Itinerary. I didn't have one but I knew where I wanted to check out and I plan according to weather. I will add a map of the places i checked out and also the places I hope I had went. some places off my head in counter clockwise direction on the map. 

  • Reykjavík (city)
  • the usual golden circle (all the good stuff) 
  • Brúarfoss (my fav waterfall in Iceland)
  • Vík (beach, church)
  • Vatnajökull Ice cave (in the winter, more below) 
  • Skógafoss (waterfall)
  • Seljalandsfoss (waterfall)
  • Jökulsárlón (glacier lagoon AND ice beach) check both out!
  • Kirkjufell 

Places that I didn't get a chance to go due to the severe storm/lack of time..

  • Gljúfurárfoss (hidden waterfall near Seljalandsfoss)
  • Höfn (Vesturhorn or batman mountain)
  • Sólheimasandur DC-3 Plane Crash (heard its gated now, 2km walk one way)
  • Goðafoss (waterfall)
  • Hvítserkur (the famous sea troll)
  • and of cos the highlands/fjords that are only accessible when its not winter. 
Reflections of Skógafoss, Iceland

Reflections of Skógafoss, Iceland

Accommodation/Car. To keep things simple and flexible as we wanted to catch aurora and headed towards clear sky every night, we rented a camper van and basically slept in the car. The car is pretty well equipped and I will post pics to illustrate that better later. We could cook simple meals and sleep in a bed in the car. I went with Happy Campers and was really happy with them and would definitely rent from them again when I head back again sometime. Great service also note they only have Manual/Stick shift. They have pillows and blankets but I opted to bring my own sleeping bag and pillow for comfort :) Check them out at http://www.happycampers.is/ One thing to plan ahead though, they do airport pickup to their rental place but they can drop you off at the main bus terminal in Reykjavík and u can get a bus ticket all the way to the airport. Those bus runs every hour I believe so plan ahead (free wifi onboard)! :)

Showering. It was kinda cold. We basically showered every other day at local pools. There's plenty of those swimming pools/ thermal pools around and you can get a "showering facility" for less than 10 bucks a per entry. I don't mean showering in the swimming pool.. They have hot water showers available. http://www.swimminginiceland.com/

Vík Beach, Iceland.

Vík Beach, Iceland.

Wifi/Hotspot. I got my wifi dongle from http://iceland.trawire.com/ came up to about 10 usd a day. they can deliver and drop off at happy camper for no additional cost. hence no hassle. Unlimited data for instagramming. unbeatable LOL. Service was actually pretty good all over Iceland, there was a couple of blind spots here and there but at most places u will have 4g network. I did look up other companies like Vodafone for wifi but they didn't offer micro sim back then and i would need to use my old unlocked iphone.

Electricity and charging. I had 9 DSLR batteries. I got a 300w battery inverter and also a car cigarette socket dual splitter. one for battery charging and one for gps. and several usb socket on those to give u enough juice on ur cellphones and the trawire wifi dongle. And one addition note.. remember to unplug ur power before leaving the car/sleeping or the charging will just keep running and u know what will happen after. :p  Didn't happen to me but happened to a friend and I was pretty careful about it when I was there. I also tested it and somehow the cigarette lighter socket doesn't disconnect power when the car engine is off/car key removed.

Aurora in Iceland!

Aurora in Iceland!

Aurora. I basically checked for predicted clear skies every night and drive in that direction for the day. I saw aurora 5 of 8 non stormy days we were there. I was there for a total of 11 days but was stormed in Reykjavík for 3 days lol. I used this for cloud cover check and I found it really accurate during the time I was there. http://en.vedur.is/weather/forecasts/cloudcover/

Ice Cave. There's 3 big companies that does the tours. I went with http://www.localguideofvatnajokull.com/ book early. I mean WAY early. My trip was basically planned around available space in the ice cave tour. haha.

Diving. More on this later. I wanted to do the Silfra fissure dive. Did some research and booked it. Things didn't work out as planned. Hence didn't do it in the end.

Hope it helps. Let me know if you got more questions and I will expand the list and go on from there. For the record, Iceland probably the most awesome place I ever been to. And yes i will be back! :)

Twenty Fourteen

An entry on some of my favorite moments of 2014. I hope you enjoy - if they did not manage to amaze you, I hope that they at least entertained you a bit! The view at many of these places is just so breathtaking that photos don’t do them 100% justice. But I try my best to capture what I see so that I can share nature’s beauty with everyone. Happy Holidays and Happy 2015! :)
 

January - San Francisco, California

January - San Francisco, California

January - Yosemite, California

January - Yosemite, California

February - Elowah Falls, Oregon

February - Elowah Falls, Oregon

February - Rowena Crest, Oregon

February - Rowena Crest, Oregon

February - Portland, Oregon

February - Portland, Oregon

March - Panther Creek Falls, Washington

March - Panther Creek Falls, Washington

March - Portland, Oregon

March - Portland, Oregon

April - Tulip Festival, Oregon

April - Tulip Festival, Oregon

April - Lost Lake, Oregon

April - Lost Lake, Oregon

April - Steptoe Butte, Palouse, Washington 

April - Steptoe Butte, Palouse, Washington 

May - Painted Hills, Oregon

May - Painted Hills, Oregon

May - Gardens of the Gods, Colorado

May - Gardens of the Gods, Colorado

May - Great Sand Dunes, Colorado

May - Great Sand Dunes, Colorado

June - Proxy Falls, Oregon

June - Proxy Falls, Oregon

June - Mendenhall Ice Cave, Juneau, Alaska

June - Mendenhall Ice Cave, Juneau, Alaska

July - Portland, Oregon

July - Portland, Oregon

July - Cape Kiwanda, Oregon

July - Cape Kiwanda, Oregon

August - South Sister, Bend, Oregon

August - South Sister, Bend, Oregon

August - Glacier National Park, Montana

August - Glacier National Park, Montana

August - Mount Rainier, Washington

August - Mount Rainier, Washington

August - Mendenhall Glacier, Juneau, Alaska

August - Mendenhall Glacier, Juneau, Alaska

September - Monolith, Yukon, Canada

September - Monolith, Yukon, Canada

September - Tombstone, Yukon, Canada

September - Tombstone, Yukon, Canada

September - Moraine Lake, Alberta, Canada

September - Moraine Lake, Alberta, Canada

September - Assiniboine, British Columbia, Canada

September - Assiniboine, British Columbia, Canada

September - Maroon Bells, Colorado

September - Maroon Bells, Colorado

October - Boardman, Oregon

October - Boardman, Oregon

October - Subway, Zion National Park, Utah

October - Subway, Zion National Park, Utah

October - The Narrows, Zion National Park, Utah

October - The Narrows, Zion National Park, Utah

November - Spirit Falls, Washington

November - Spirit Falls, Washington

November - Magic Rock, Washington

November - Magic Rock, Washington

December - Oneonta Gorge, Oregon

December - Oneonta Gorge, Oregon

December - Los Angeles, California

December - Los Angeles, California

December - Singapore

December - Singapore

December - Mount Fuji, Japan

December - Mount Fuji, Japan

Backpacking in Canadian Rockies

I had mentioned in another blog entry that I am not big on camping/backpacking, but yet I went again the past week to Canada. This marks my 2nd backpacking trip in a span of just 2 weeks? I figured I could still do this while I am young (well, below 30 is young, right?), before I regret it later on.

This time, we headed over to Mount Assiniboine with a short side trip to Banff National Park. The first day we were at Banff, the weather wasn't too cooperative, as clouds enshrouded the sky and it rained all day. We covered most of the major Banff landmarks (or rather, lake-marks) in a day – did a ho hum sunrise at Lake Louise, followed by Moraine Lake, Bow Lake, Peyto Lake, Herbert Lake, Banff Viewpoint and ended off the day at Two Jack Lake with a very unmemorable sunset. The next morning, I drove over to Moraine Lake for sunrise from Canmore, and while it was totally foggy, I suppose I needed to see it for myself. So that rounded up my short stay at Banff National Park. Here are some photos of 2 of my favorite places in Banff National Park.

If you Google “Moraine Lake”, you’d get a ton of photos that are breathtakingly beautiful, to say the least. I’ve seen photos of Moraine Lake so many times I thought I’d be desensitized when I finally see it in person. But what did I know? It had me in awe, nonetheless; imagine 10 giant peaks towering over an emerald lake, with layers of pine trees skirting the lake. I could probably just sit around the lake and do nothing but admire it all day, but the rain pelted down on us and we had to move on.

Peyto Lake is yet another postcard-perfect place and the lake’s captivating turquoise color can be attributed to the sediments of the melting glacier. The lake’s milky-blue color varies, depending on season and time of day. The intense color of the lake is incredibly charming, and I reckon I should have taken a telephoto abstract shot of a small part of the lake. Ah well, next time maybe.

And off we headed to backpack at Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park. When we got there, the skies were overcast again and we hiked towards the campsite in the rain. After we’d pitched our tents, we went out to scout for a sunset spot. We didn't get a decent sunset but instead got a ton of wind to chill our bones. However, the saving grace was definitely our meals. We had pretty amazing Thai food for dinner made by our Thai chef, Por (she's a real chef at a Thai restaurant), who’d flew in from Brisbane for this trip.

The next morning we did sunrise at Lake Magog, where we met Justin Renzik and his friends. First light at Lake Magog was pretty awesome and it was probably the only day we saw some clouds. Mt Assiniboine rises above Lake Magog and because of its pyramidal shape, Mt Assiniboine is often known as the “Matterhorn” of North America. I have yet to see the real Matterhorn, but after seeing Mt Assiniboine, I am itching to see the real deal.

We then scouted a couple more lakes for the night’s milkyway photos before going heading back for lunch. After a re-energizing lunch, we started our hike up to Nub Peak. The trail is segmented into various levels of elevation that have rather endearing names: Nub, Niblet, Nublet and Nub Peak (in ascending order). The hike was relatively easy with moderate elevation gain all the way to Nublet, but things got choppy thereafter. From Nublet to Nub Peak, it gets pretty sketchy when you hike past a ridge and start hugging the Nub from the left. Some parts of the trail are basically narrow paths that drop vertically on the left – lose your footing and that’s it. Though Nub Peak is the highest point on the trail, most people get their sunset shots from either Niblet or Nublet. I have seen a shot by Kevin McNeal taken from Nub Peak and decided to check it out myself. After ruffling my nerves quite a bit, I made it up to Nub Peak unscathed. I only took a couple of shots before sunset and rushed back to Nublet for sunset. I made it just in time for sunset and met everyone else at Nublet. It was a clear, cloudless sunset at Nublet, but in my opinion, Nublet offers the best views of the 4 lakes (Lake Magog, Sunburst Lake, Cerulean Lake, and Elizabeth Lake) and Mt Assiniboine, so I enjoyed shooting there.

After sunset, we rushed down to one of the smaller lakes that we had scouted earlier for milkyway shots. It was a really jam-packed and productive day, before we headed back to base to rest for the night. The next morning, we did sunrise at a few of the smaller lakes that we’d found the previous day. It was a fine day for crystal clear reflections from the lack of wind but the caveat was that the sky was also crystal clear (read: cloudless). We hung out around the lakes for a bit before heading back to pack up. As they always say, all good things come to an end, and this was it. I am back in transit to PDX and yes, I am going back to work tomorrow. It was a short trip but nevertheless, a memorable one. Yet another one of nature’s gems checked! :)

Yukon bound

Off to Yukon. Here's one from the ice cave in Juneau that I visited again yesterday. The glacier retreating and melting is so so real. I was here standing at the exact same spot 2 months ago and the amount the ice changed is ridiculous. The cave also lost a big part of the entrance about a month ago and a couple smaller caves we found the last time has melted so much and their entrances are way bigger. It's so amazing yet scary.

Mendenhall Glacier Ice Cave, Juneau

Mendenhall Glacier Ice Cave, Juneau

Juneau, miss ya so much and I am back! Did a morning hike yesterday to Mendenhall Glacier to search for some new ice caves and found a couple. Travelled quite abit of distance today. Juneau -> Haines -> Skagway -> Whitehorse. 

 

Btw Happy long weekend everyone! More updates later.. Stay tuned! :)