Thursday, January 30, 2014

Ocean air, salty hair

Prior to our Taipei trip in August, I chanced upon a great promo for air tix to Bali and I booked the trip in a heartbeat for the boy's birthday in November. I then spent the entire day looking through villas to book cause I was so stoked and I couldn't wait to settle everything in a day. Yes I was a little too impulsive and I should have spent a bit more time researching and saving up for a better villa. Since I settled the entire cost of air tix and accommodation, I was a little tight on budget but I'm glad it's a villa after all that we managed to book. 

If all goes according to plan, I would secretly apply for D's leave with the help of his friends and only reveal the trip few days before we fly and whisk him on a holiday for his birthday. 

But well, things always don't go according to plan.

I ended up revealing the trip to him later that night. Yes the day that I booked it, I told him about it. I am such a lousy surprise keeper.

I'm going to summarise this post in point form because I'm very upset and disappointed with the photos. I need to brush up on learning how to process landscape images. Recently, I acquired a new wide angle lens and I brought it on the trip with me together with my Fujifilm x100s, Instax 210, and Gopro. It isn't like I didn't know the terrible distortion the lens could cause, but I snapped most of my pictures with it cause it was really tough having to juggle so many cameras on my own. Above are some of the images that would sum up the trip.

1) White Lotus Villa was luxuriously huge and it was pretty much worth the money paid for. It's two storeys tall, and it comes with a huge swimming pool and living area. The service was pretty good but with all honesty, the cleanliness fell short of our expectations and the amenities were not really well maintained.

2) We hired a driver to bring us around at only about SGD50 for the entire day of 10 hours. Our first stop was the Uluwatu Cliff where we watched our first sunset in Bali. At night, we went over to Rock Bar to chill with snacks and drinks. I loved the atmosphere there, and I would definitely return again when we go back to Bali. 

3) I could barely remember my first unclose experience with a volcano cause I was too young back then, so this might equate to the virgin experience of being relatively close. Lunched at the mountain top with a scenic view of Mount Batur. It was unforgettably cold because I was only clad in an off shoulder top and shorts.

4) The journey everywhere was arduously long because of the jam and that the places I've selected are a little far off from each other. It was good that our driver is pretty fluent in English and that minimised many of the communication issues BUT, on the second day of the trip, we had wanted to visit this particular waterfall but he brought us to the wrong one. That kinda wasted half of the day and we had to head back to Seminyak (where our hotel is) cause it was getting dark. For dinner, I brought the boy to Potato Head Beach Club to fill our tummies and chill. It was so dark there, I could barely take a decent photo so I'm not posting the rest up here.

5) Beebs is always accommodating to everywhere I want to visit despite it being his birthday trip. At the wee hours in the morning, he accompanied me to Sanur beach to catch the sunrise. We were appalled upon reaching, it's the dirtiest beach ever with SO much rubbish around it was crazy. I do not know if there were some party held there last night or it's actually like this, but I am honestly quite disgusted. It's worse than any beach I've ever been to my entire life. Certainly didn't help watching the cleaners sweep the rubbish under the sand. Can you imagine if you had lazed on the sand and then unknowingly discover the pile of smelly rubbish beneath you? 

6) The sunset wasn't spectacular that day, and I had wanted to make a time lapse video with my go pro. I've taken the shots but I'm not very pleased with them so I shall save my time lapse for another trip perhaps.

7) We had lots of fun with the crashing waves at Tanah Lot. Pictured above is me, trying to look all smug like I'm conducting the huge waves and........ Poof. I got utterly drenched from head to toe when the big wave hit. I love the candid shot even though it's a bit unglamorous. To think Daniel actually thought that made a pretty good shot and made me stand there further. It was pretty fun and funny thinking about it now.

8) One of the highlights of our trip: Camel ride! I knew Dan enjoyed it a great deal when I see him all smiles and excited throughout the 30 mins ride. He was taking photos of everything and anything, and I caught him taking selfies as well heehee. Guess it was good I had input this in our itinerary. Also, extremely thankful to the staff who tirelessly juggled our phones and my DSLR to snap pictures of us and we had one good shot of us together on our camels. (:

9) Well, you can see how badly my arms are distorted in the photo above. That's a rare good photo of us at Jimbaran beach before we commenced our seafood dinner. We snapped the last sunset and played with the bubble thingum before night fell. I've guessed that the seafood dinner at Jimbaran is all a tourist trap where they would rip you off with ridiculously expensive prices. Mind you, I think they quote everyone differently. The spread of seafood was pretty good. They had lobsters, prawns, squids etc but it definitely isn't worth that much money. We only agreed to it because we thought we had a pretty reasonable offer and we didn't want to be so calculative when we are on a trip and thus, agreed to go ahead with the dinner. Dan is very good with his calculations so when it comes to things like this I always leave it to him to decide what's good or what's worth. After all, it was his birthday dinner and he was happy after the meal so that should be all that matters. (:


It definitely isn't easy summing up a 4d3n trip in 9 points and I've missed out a lot of details that I didn't write in here. Having read what I've wrote, you may have guessed I was a little disappointed with the trip. There were so many other places I wanted to visit but couldn't fit into our itinerary because of the distance and time constrain. I'm bent on visiting again, probably next year, as I've already planned out the destinations for this year and I'm planning to take my trips a little further this year, and two of my trips are already materialising. 

Have a Happy Chinese New Year all my fellow chinese friends! (: Enjoy your short break before the crazy rush hits again!


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Styled Engagement Shoot at Intercontinental Hotel

About half a year ago, I was given the honour to shoot for a styled engagement setting put together by many wonderful and incredulously talented individuals who came together and made this all possible. It was beyond amazing, watching how everything transformed into its own beautiful setting and understanding how everything played a part for everything to fall into place. I am lucky because for the longest time, I've been wanting to put together a styled shoot so it was a great opportunity for me when this sprung up.

What's different this time round is that unlike other styled shoots, the couple you see in the images are not models; they are a real engaged couple! Yes, by the time you are reading this NOW, Shawn and Jenn are already officially married a few months back after the styled shoot. It was a little disheartening when our initial plans of doing the shoot outdoor in a really lovely location had to be cancelled because of the bad weather, but everyone was spontaneous and kept the spirits up. And honestly, at the end of it all, I didn't think it was that bad doing it indoors. I liked how the images have turned out, but looking back at it now, I thought I could have done it a lot better in so many ways. 

Merrylove Weddings put up a pastel garden theme for the initial half of the shoot, playing with colours such as mint, pink, white, lavender and yellow to create a dreamy pastel feel whereas the second setup was along the lines of a rustic woodland. It consists of neutral colours like brown, glitter and gold to bring out the vintage feel. They are so talented and I'm awed by their love and passion for what they do. I've spoken to Shuying from Merrylove Weddings and we are contemplating conceptualising another styled shoot in the next few months to come. We are hoping to inspire people to incorporate themes into their engagement shoot for a personalised theme that adds a magical touch to the photos. 

Photography: Smittenpixels Photography
Styling and décor: MerryLove Wedding
Wedding Gown: The Gown Warehouse
Candy Dessert Bar: Little Treats Inc
Flowers: The Bloom Room
Cupcakes: Goobycakes
Vespa Sidecar: Little Tiffany Blue
Furniture Rental: Second Charm

Hope you enjoy these visuals!