Monday, February 23, 2015


My reluctance to buy whole music albums stems from the experience that I usually only truly appreciate a handful of the songs in any given album, and the rest of the album eventually becomes lost to the "skipping" function when my iPod is set on shuffle. The only instance when this does not occur and I actually love every single one of the artists' songs is when it's Bastille.

Every so often I fall in love with Bastille and their music all over again. From the lyrics to the melodies, everything they create is pure magic, and every other song they cover and touch easily becomes theirs. Often their covers become even better than the originals. I've spent this past week or so watching and re-watching most of their videos, whether from gigs, tours or interviews, and have fallen in love with them even more. They are genuinely talented, humble, down-to-earth, hilarious, adorably shy and innocently cute, which is a rarity in human beings these days, let alone those immersed in the music industry. The way they manage to remain untainted by the vanity and brutality of media attention and some other artists in the industry, and simply work hard on their own terms, really deserves admiration. Rarely do I find an artist that I really respect, in terms of both their work and them as a person, but the guys of Bastille are really so, so great.

In fear of sounding like one of their crazed teenage fans who scream at them and tear at their hair and clothes at gigs, I'm going to end this post here. (Though, in all honesty, I would probably scream my head off, too, at one of their shows, with how insanely good they are live. The first video posted above is the one I watched that lead me to pay more attention to their work. And the last one with Rudimental is just such a fun performance.)

Thursday, February 12, 2015

You could be my hero, if only I could let go (melbourne, part three)

Shot on Nikon Df with 24-85mm lens

At long last, the final photos from Melbourne, featuring Brighton Beach and the Black Rock Pier. Considering that Brighton Beach is probably one of the most photographed and visited tourist attractions of Melbourne, it's a wonder that it took us so long to finally make the trip. 

In a country renowned for its beautiful and iconic beaches, with silky sand and crystal clear waters, it's fair to say that the only redeeming factors for Brighton Beach were the multi-coloured beach shacks that line the shore. Otherwise, the sand was coarse and littered with cigarette butts, wrappers and other garbage alike, and the water was a far-from-inviting ominous grey-blue. No wonder tourist websites and brochures only ever picture the colourful little huts. 
Still, we spent a good half hour wondering along the shore for photographic evidence that we had visited this landmark, before stopping by the Black Rock Pier for more photos. 
Perhaps it was the moody, overcast weather, but standing by the pier conjured thoughts of thriller movies and mystery scenes from novels, especially when the waves crashed against the dark, rocky shore with such violent force. I stood there, transfixed, for a few moments, before my stomach rumbled and we set off in search for food.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

oakridge (melbourne, part two)

Shot on Nikon Df with 24-85mm lens and 105mm lens

No matter the duration of the trip, every time we visit Melbourne we allocate a whole day to exploring the vineyards and wineries of Yarra Valley. Unlike previous years when we would walk-in to at least four wineries before lunch time, this year we only managed to visit two or three in total. However, similar to last year's trip, we enjoyed a three-course lunch at the Oakridge winery, overlooking the spectacular view of the vineyards and its mountain backdrop. 

As usual, the quality of the food was exceptional, especially when the chefs managed to convince me that medium rare steak is more-than-just-acceptable, and that all other steaks I had sampled up to that point were poor excuses for culinary excellence.

Max (the 105mm lens) was also given the opportunity to exhibit his potential, capturing many of the textures in such crisp detail and vivid colour. Very proud moment for me. If these photos still don't inspire you to visit Oakridge then there is something very wrong with you.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

melbourne photo diary 2015- part one


Shot on Nikon Df with 24-85mm lens and 105mm lens

In addition to re-vists to St Kilda, Harbour Town, Chinatown, Crown Casino, and the Yarra Valley chocolate factory and wineries, we explored a few other landmarks this year. The Royal Botanic Gardens, National Gallery of Victoria, State Library of Victoria, and Luna Park were attractions that we had skipped during previous trips to Melbourne, so we avoided the crowds on New Years Day and took the opportunity to visit these well-known sites.

The National Gallery of Victoria boasted a wide variety of impressive exhibitions, from golden carousels to floating wooden model structures- all in addition to the typical contemporary and classic art pieces. 
Similarly, the State Library of Victoria held numerous exhibitions, with the major one showcasing the history of books and storytelling, which I found especially fascinating. If you have ever visited this State Library, you will know that the architecture of the building itself is enough to admire for a whole day, so you can imagine my chagrin upon entering and only being allowed a three-hour timeframe before our next destination. 
This destination was St Kilda, which was as perfect as I remembered it. We walked along the boardwalk, beating the late afternoon heat with gelato, and eventually found our way to Luna Park. This theme park has become such an icon of Melbourne that we felt like criminals for never stopping for photos. It's almost like not visiting the Opera House or Harbour Bridge in Sydney. Unthinkable. So we quickly redeemed ourselves by taking shots from every possible angle, including normal expressions, silly expressions, jump shots, using DSLR cameras, phone cameras and film cameras.

The last whole day in Melbourne was my brother's birthday, which was spent shopping in different music stores and book stores, before a gratifying dinner at Cervo in the Crown Casino. And of course, we couldn't leave without marvelling at the last fire ball show of the day.