Posts Tagged ‘holiday’

Happy New Year 2015

Friday, January 1st, 2016

A new dawn to a new day. A new year for a new beginning.

I hope this sunrise is symbolic of the hope that the new year brings to those looking for a new beginning in their lives. Taken handheld using a Nikon D750 with AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm f/4G ED VR lens. Photo credit: John Tan.

I hope this sunrise is symbolic of the hope that the new year brings to those looking for a new beginning in their lives. Taken handheld using a Nikon D750 with AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm f/4G ED VR lens. Photo credit: John Tan.

Here’s wishing everyone a fantastic 2016, a new year that will bring new aspirations and immense fulfillment.

About the photo

Snapped this shot while strolling on the beach in Thailand a few weeks ago in pre-dawn darkness.

It was a rare shot for me in that the horizon was clear of the usual haze and layer of clouds so the rising sun could be seen emerging from the horizon itself.

It was breathtaking how the nascent sun lit up the sky with golden and red hues as it tore itself from the horizon.

POTD: Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri 2015

Friday, July 17th, 2015

Here’s wishing all Muslim friends: “Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri”!

Hari Raya ornaments for the home, on sale at the night bazaar prior to the actual day. Photo taken with a Canon EOS 7D Mark II with EF-S 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS STM kit lens. It was so crowded you’ve got to keep moving. The fast 65-point autofocus of the 7D Mark II enabled many shots to be taken sharp despite the hurry. Photo credit: John Tan.

Hari Raya ornaments for the home, on sale at the night bazaar prior to the actual day. Photo taken with a Canon EOS 7D Mark II with EF-S 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS STM kit lens. It was so crowded you’ve got to keep moving. The fast 65-point autofocus of the 7D Mark II enabled many shots to be taken sharp despite the hurry. Photo credit: John Tan.

It’s Hari Raya Puasa today.

After a whole month of fasting during Ramadan, today is the day that our Muslim friends have been looking forward to.

A traditional henna tattoo being done on the hands of a gracious lady who accented to letting me capture the beautiful design on her hand. Photo taken with an Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II with M.Zuiko ED 12-40mm f2.8 PRO lens. Photo credit: John Tan.

A traditional henna tattoo being done on the hands of a gracious lady who accented to letting me capture the beautiful design on her hand. Photo taken with an Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II with M.Zuiko ED 12-40mm f2.8 PRO lens. Photo credit: John Tan.

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POTD: Who designed & built Eiffel Tower in Paris, France?

Sunday, June 28th, 2015

Photo of the Day: The Eiffel Tower is named after engineer Alexandre Gustave Eiffel. His company designed and built the landmark in Paris in 1889.

View of the Trocadéro framed by the bottom of the Eiffel Tower. Taken with a Canon EOS 7D Mark II with EF-S 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS STM kit lens. Photo credit: John Tan.

View of the Trocadéro framed by the bottom of the Eiffel Tower. Taken with a Canon EOS 7D Mark II with EF-S 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS STM kit lens. Photo credit: John Tan.

According to Wikipedia, “the design of the Eiffel Tower was originated by Maurice Koechlin and Émile Nouguier, two senior engineers who worked for the Compagnie des Établissements Eiffel”.

This was the dude who brought the Eiffel Tower into this world - Alexandre Gustave Eiffel (1832-1923). The bust was unveiled in 1929 and is now at the base of the Northern leg of the Tower. Taken with a Canon EOS 7D Mark II with EF-S 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS STM kit lens. Photo credit: John Tan.

This was the dude who brought the Eiffel Tower into this world – Alexandre Gustave Eiffel (1832-1923). The bust was unveiled in 1929 and is now at the base of the Northern leg of the Tower. Taken with a Canon EOS 7D Mark II with EF-S 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS STM kit lens. Photo credit: John Tan.

The tower was to serve as a centrepiece for the Exposition Universelle to celebrate the centennial of the French Revolution.

Incidentally, the first time I visited the Eiffel Tower was in 1989, smack in the middle of the bicentennial celebrations of the French Revolution.

Gustave Eiffel bought the rights to the patent for the design which the original designers had taken out and eventually saw the Tower to completion in time.

As with all things new, the design met with opposition and criticism right from design stage till after completion – but history has proven that the design is technically robust and aesthetically appealing.

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POTD: Eiffel Tower in Paris, France

Saturday, June 27th, 2015

Photo of the Day: The Eiffel Tower is an iron lattice tower designed and built by Alexandre Gustave Eiffel in 1889 – as the entrance arch to the World’s Fair in that year.

Eiffel Tower as seen from the Pont d'Iéna. Taken with a Canon EOS 7D Mark II with EF-S 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS STM kit lens. Sepia tint added using Adobe Photoshop CC 2015. Photo credit: John Tan.

Eiffel Tower as seen from the Pont d’Iéna. Taken with a Canon EOS 7D Mark II with EF-S 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS STM kit lens. Sepia tint added using Adobe Photoshop CC 2015. Photo credit: John Tan.

At 324m tall, the Eiffel Tower is the tallest structure in Paris, and was the tallest in the world for 41 years from 1889 to 1930.

It was surpassed in 1930 by the Chrysler Building in New York City.

Roughly 80 stories high, the base is square with 125m on each side.

There are three levels that visitors can visit.

I like the lace-like design in the metalwork of the Eiffel Tower. Taken with a Canon EOS 7D Mark II with EF-S 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS STM kit lens. Photo credit: John Tan.

I like the lace-like design in the metalwork of the Eiffel Tower. Taken with a Canon EOS 7D Mark II with EF-S 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS STM kit lens. Photo credit: John Tan.

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POTD: 3rd time lucky at Chambord Chateau in Loire Valley, France

Sunday, June 14th, 2015

After having twice turned back from visiting Chateau Chambord when I’d already reached its gates, I decided to make my third and final attempt at visiting this biggest and most majestic of the numerous fabulous chateaus in the beautiful Loire Valley.

The frontal facade of the Chambord Chateau, with the moat in the foreground. The architecture is what one expects of a typical castle - an inner keep surrounded by corners and a moat. Taken with a Canon EOS 7D Mark II with EF-S 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS STM kit lens. Photo credit: John Tan.

The frontal facade of the Chambord Chateau, with the moat in the foreground. The architecture is what one expects of a typical castle – an inner keep surrounded by corner towers and a moat. Taken with a Canon EOS 7D Mark II with EF-S 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS STM kit lens. Photo credit: John Tan.

Why two unsuccessful attempts?

Well, my first attempt at visiting Château de Chambord was during the summer holidays back in school when I cycled 16km from Blois only to suffer an accident right in front of the castle.

One of many beautiful chandeliers in Chambord Chateau. Taken with a Canon EOS 7D Mark II with EF-S 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS STM kit lens. Photo credit: John Tan.

One of many beautiful chandeliers in Chambord Chateau. Taken with a Canon EOS 7D Mark II with EF-S 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS STM kit lens. Photo credit: John Tan.

I had to satisfy myself with some quick snapshots of the front of the Chateau before bidding goodbye to the chateau.

Decades later, I brought my family with two kids on a self-drive vacation to the chateaus in the Loire Valley.

By the end of the week and more than half a dozen chateaus later, we arrived again at the gates of the Chambord Chateau in the mid afternoon.

By then, the kids were so tired out from our earlier exertions of that day that they were so totally knackered we couldn’t bear to wake them from their sleep in the car.

And to be honest, my wife and I were up to our ears in chateaus by that time.

So my wife and I snapped the obligatory snapshots of each other posing with the (equally majestic) rear facade of the chateau within a stone’s throw of where our car was parked.

Enjoy a horse carriage ride on the extensive grounds of the Chambord Chateau. Horse lovers can also watch twice daily equestrian shows at the chateau. Taken with an Olympus OMD-EM5 Mark II with M.Zuiko ED 12-40mm f2.8 PRO lens. Photo credit: John Tan.

Enjoy a horse carriage ride on the extensive grounds of the Chambord Chateau. Horse lovers can also watch twice daily equestrian shows at the chateau. Taken with an Olympus OMD-EM5 Mark II with M.Zuiko ED 12-40mm f2.8 PRO lens. Photo credit: KoolKat.

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Travel: Meeting Dato’ Chef Ismail at Restoran Rebung in KL

Sunday, May 31st, 2015

Dato’ Chef Ismail is the food ambassador of the Malaysian Tourism Ministry and owner of Restoran Rebung in Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.

tech4tea.com was invited by Tourism Malaysia to check out the restaurant and meet with the affable owner-chef. Here are some pictures that Wee Wu Neo has sent back to Singapore. Text by John Tan.

Chef Ismail shares how he helped his grandmother in the kitchen since he was five, learning how to cook Malay heritage dishes over the years.

Chef Ismail shares how he helped his grandmother in the kitchen since he was five, learning how to cook Malay heritage dishes over the years.

Restoran Rebung is located at No. 4-2 Lorong Maarof, Bangsar (59000) in KL, near to the bustling nightlife in the capital’s Bangsar district.

Siput Sedut or Belitung cooked in curry. In case you’re wondering, it is a species of Sea Snail.

Siput Sedut or Belitung cooked in curry. In case you’re wondering, it is a species of Sea Snail.

The interior decor is very traditional and reminds one of the typical Malay home.

Get a taste of Negri Sembilan at Restoran Rebung.

Get a taste of Negri Sembilan at Restoran Rebung.

The 55-year-old celebrity Chef Ismail Ahmad grew up in a small village in the Malaysian state of Negri Sembilan and includes in his menu a huge list of local cuisine that diners can order a la carte or through a buffet.

Nasi Lemak - fragrant rice cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaf - wrapped in banana leaf and old newspaper.

Nasi Lemak – fragrant rice cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaf – wrapped in banana leaf and old newspaper.

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POTD: Portrait of happy horses in Hua Hin, Thailand

Saturday, April 18th, 2015

Photo of the Day: Remember the horses in love in front of the train station in Hua Hin, Thailand? Here’s the close-up portrait shot of those happy horses.

* This is a different snapshot from the previous one.

The sharp details and shallow field of view of the camera and lens really impressed me in this snapshot of the happy horses just outside the Hua Hin Railway Station in Thailand. Photo taken with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 mirrorless interchangeable lens camera with Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f2.8 PRO lens. Photo credit: John Tan.

The sharp details and shallow field of view of the camera and lens really impressed me in this snapshot of the happy horses just outside the Hua Hin Railway Station in Thailand. Photo taken with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 mirrorless interchangeable lens camera with Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f2.8 PRO lens. Photo credit: John Tan.

Looking at them really cheered up my day!

POTD: Horses in Love at train station, Hua Hin, Thailand

Sunday, April 12th, 2015

Photo of the Day: Right at the entrance of the railway station in Hua Hin is a landscape garden decorated with plenty of interesting statues. One of these statuettes were of a pair of toothy horses laughing happily away.

Why do these horse look so happy? Could it be that they’re in lurvvv? Just outside the Hua Hin Railway Station in Thailand. Photo taken with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 mirrorless interchangeable lens camera with Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f2.8 PRO lens. Photo credit: John Tan.

Why do these horse look so happy? Could it be that they’re in lurvvv? Just outside the Hua Hin Railway Station in Thailand. Photo taken with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 mirrorless interchangeable lens camera with Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f2.8 PRO lens. Photo credit: John Tan.

These horses just looked so happy!

POTD: Walk down platform in train station, Hua Hin, Thailand

Saturday, April 11th, 2015

Photo of the Day: After all his passengers had safely alighted from his train, this weary but smart-looking driver alighted and walked down the length of  the platform, proudly inspecting his train as he walked.

This smart looking train driver - is he just visiting from Bangkok, or is he homeward bound to his home in Hua Hin? What kind of life story does he have? Photo taken with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 mirrorless interchangeable lens camera with Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f2.8 PRO lens. Photo credit: John Tan.

This smart looking train driver – is he just visiting from Bangkok, or is he homeward bound to his home in Hua Hin? What kind of life story does he have to tell? Photo taken with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 mirrorless interchangeable lens camera with Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f2.8 PRO lens. Photo credit: John Tan.

We were visiting the historic and beautiful train station in Hua Hin when the train from Bangkok arrived.

The passengers promptly unloaded and dissipated quickly from the platform.

I was lingering on the platform, snapping photos when the train driver emerged from his driver’s cabin and began walking down the platform.

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POTD: Laughing boy statuette in Hua Hin book cafe, Thailand

Sunday, February 1st, 2015

We were walking around the beautiful railway station in Hua Hin, Thailand when we stumbled upon this happy figurine of a laughing boy, sitting at the entrance to a quaint book cafe.

A cheerful little statuette of a laughing boy welcoming us into the book cafe. I’m posting this photo here to welcome February 2015. Photo taken with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 mirrorless interchangeable lens camera with Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f2.8 PRO lens. Photo credit: John Tan.

A cheerful little statuette of a laughing boy welcoming us into the book cafe. I’m posting this photo here to welcome February 2015. Photo taken with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 mirrorless interchangeable lens camera with Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f2.8 PRO lens. Photo credit: John Tan.

The peaceful cafe was on the other side of the traffic circle in front of the railway station.

The small cafe was simple and peaceful, a welcome refuge from the direct heat of the midday sun.

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