Saturday, 30 May 2015

Let There Be Light


I just 'graduated' from basic Light Painting photography, yay! It's a self-taught thing. I learned everything from YouTube videos and shot every photo in my bedroom. It wasn't as difficult as I initially thought it would be. All you need is a DSLR camera, a tripod and LED light. Oh, not forgetting, total darkness too. I took all photos on manual mode. The settings are 30 seconds, f8 and ISO 200. Lastly, all you have to do is start painting. It's that simple. Hopefully in the future I can find the time to take more creative shots. 





Saturday, 23 May 2015

Amis U



Not long ago I was presented with this gift (a VCD) by a friend who is a friend of Amis U. I have to admit I know not much about this Dayak artiste. Amis U is an Iban artiste to be specific. However, I ever came across his name a few times on social media. If I'm not mistaken he is actively involved in Dayak music industry as a singer-songwriter. I have tried to google some information regarding his singing career but to no avail. Perhaps he is a newcomer in the local music scene that explains the difficulty in researching his musical background. Besides, I have never met him so I do not have the chance to interview Amis U in person. 

I watched every single music video in this VCD and there was one song I thought to be distinguishable from the rest - Lengkaka Mih (Let Go). The music video can be searched on YouTube. It is a nice song. By local standard (as in Dayak music industry), this is a good album. There are still some rooms for improvement though. Well, we do not have to be too hard on newcomers. I mean I have seen how some local music fans being overly critical on our local artistes. We have to acknowledge it is relatively a small industry compared to the country's if not world's music industry. It will take some time for the local musicians to reach such high standard like we all hope for although it has gradually picked up the momentum about a decade ago. Your common sense should be able to tell you that Rome was not built in a day, so does Dayak music industry. So, give it some time to advance. 

I can understand the harsh criticism at times, it is because we have long exposed to world class music ever since our childhood. So, it is not uncommon we have similarly high expectation while listening to our local songs. I know some people would go to the extent of taking a jab at our Dayak artistes just because they often sing at longhouses, pubs or funfairs. Whether you like it or not, they are still making money regardless of the venue where they perform. If you care enough to do a bit more research, you will learn that even international artistes have to go through a humble beginning before they become famous world wide. For example, the legendary boyband - Backstreet Boys. They used to sing at shopping malls, restaurants and schools trying to build their fan base before getting a record deal. Hence, I urge local music listeners to adopt a more positive attitude towards Dayak music. Show some love, show some support. Apart from that, the musicians and artistes also need to work on their professionalism in order to stay relevant and competitive in the entertainment industry. Like Casey Neistat says, ignore praise, embrace criticism

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Earth Hour



It has always been my lifetime wish to see them with my own eyes - the starry night sky and the milky way. I learned from environmental articles places where you can enjoy stargazing are somewhere remote, far from lights pollution. I even thought of going to Bario (Sarawak) after seeing a milky way photo posted on Sarawak Travel's Instagram. Suddenly tonight that dream came true! My family was having dinner when the whole town experienced power outage. Instead of updating status about the blackout on Facebook like most would do, I immediately grabbed my Canon Powershot G7X camera (not a DSLR) and went outside to capture some stunning photos. Just for your information, this was my first attempt on astrophotography without prior knowledge. I wasn't sure what to do but it was spontaneous. The night sky was the most mesmerising thing I have ever seen my entire life. There were countless of stars. They reminded me of a verse in the Bible regarding God's promise to Abraham:

"I will certainly bless you. I will multiply your descendants beyond number, like the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will conquer the cities of their enemies."
Genesis 22:17

God's wonderful creation is indeed something good to behold. I hope in the future I can travel to other quiet places to look at another starry night sky. I would love to see the Northern Lights too (Aurora Borealis). 




Thursday, 7 May 2015

Backstreet Boys Live Concert in Malaysia #IAWLT


90s was a decade filled with lots of great music and boy bands especially! However, there's one boy band on earth that has stood the test of time and it's none other than the Backstreet Boys. This year the boys or the all-grown-up boys are celebrating their 22nd anniversary. 

Once a legend always a legend. BSB is the best-selling boy band in music history and also one of the world's best-selling artists. Back in the 90s probably it was their looks that caused fan craze, but after two decades it becomes clear that it's their songs which make them truly unforgettable. It's insane to think after 22 years we still can remember the lyrics from their big hits! It was obvious during their recent live concert in Kuala Lumpur, BSB fans had no problem singing all their old songs.

I'm glad I made the right decision to be at BSB concert this time. My teenage dream finally came true, yay! Back in the 90s it would be impossible to realise this dream due to age, distance and financial constraint. I was only in lower secondary school at the time. It's going to take a lot of preparation to go to a concert held in KL, especially for those who are living in Borneo Island. Just to get to the concert, it took me three hours to drive to Kuching International Airport. Then, boarded another two-hour flight to KL. But for the love of BSB, all that didn't matter. I was looking forward to have a blast with my family at their concert. 

As I observed, majority of the crowds consisted of those born in the 70s and 80s. Who would have guessed we all could party hard like back in the 90s, and for once in our adulthood we felt like teenagers again! You'd see some jumping, waving, screaming, singing and dancing throughout the concert. So unbelievable their behaviours were no different from either Justin Bieber's or One Direction's young fans! 

I think what makes the 'In A World Like This' tour a memorable one is simply because we can sing their popular hits together. It's a lot more entertaining if we can sing along rather than just standing there watching the artists perform. My favourite number would be 'As long as you love me'. The whole concert sort of walked us down the memory lane and reminded us how life in the 90s was very much enjoyable for many teenagers although we didn't have smartphones. Those were the days when we saved our pocket money to buy BSB posters, merchandise, magazines and particularly their cassettes! Yes, CASSETTES. We didn't have CDs, MP3 or iTunes back then. We listened to BSB songs on a radio or a walkman. There was no YouTube to watch their music videos, either they were aired on television or we bought the video cassette. Don't you miss the good old days? 

The concert lasted for two hours, too bad it was such a short time. We all wished it could be longer than that. The Backstreet Boys also made an announcement to the fans they are coming up with a documentary movie of the band and they will be going back to the studio in summer to record a new album, how exciting! I would love to watch the movie. Besides, they will come back for another world tour in near future, to promote their new album. Fingers crossed, hope I can make it. For those who missed the recent concert, you can watch the video I recorded down below. I apologise for the shaky video, I was dancing, singing, waving and recording at the same time. So, sit back, relax and enjoy the show. 


Thank you Backstreet Boys for making my teenage dream came true! 


Photo source: Backstreet Boys Facebook Page