The Magical Moments

DSC_0122There is always a picture that seems to be that ‘perfect’ picture in every photoshoot I go to. As I improve my photography skills, I hope to get more of these magical perfect pictures for each photoshoot =)

This was from a cosplay event last sunday (10/12/2012) at Marina Barrage. It was fantastic!! I’m definitely going to more of these events in the future, either to take photos or cosplay or both =)

I really need to get out more often… =]

Hands and Feet

We all use our hands and feet daily. In the recent weeks, I’ve been thinking about my hands and feet, how I’ve used them intensely without even thinking about it. When I need to get to another place, I need to use my feet, and when I need to pour a cup of water, or eat, or even shake hands with other people, my hands comes into play.

I may have taken them for granted until I got an injury to both my hands and feet. My hands had some nerve damage about a month back when I tried to open a really tight bottle cap for my mum; a Fanta 1.5 litre bottle. Those bottles are one of the tightest caps that I’ve ever opened and when both my hands failed to open the bottle cap, I lost strength off them. I was eating my dinner at that time and I couldn’t even use my chopsticks which fell right out of my hands. Ever since then I haven’t been able to do things that requires fine motor skills like opening a sweet wrapper and even carry heavy stuffs which requires a lot of arm strength which in turn after using a burst of strength, I lose all my strength in my hands and I cannot do anything with my hands for quite a long while. That was pretty disastrous as I couldn’t do a lot of things that requires my hands.

And for my legs, I got the injury during my army training. when I was 10 weeks into the specialist course (which I get my 3 stripes at the end of 6 months) I incurred a stress fracture on both my shins. At first I didn’t know it was a stress fracture or if it had anything to do with my bones and assumed that I had pull a muscle somewhere on my leg as it was painful whenever I ran. Soon after it worsened and climbing stairs was painful. I even woke up in the middle of the night due to the pain that came on and off from my shins. So long story short, I didn’t give up my stripes for my injury and by the time I graduated as a sergeant, my injury had worsen. Till this day from 2 years ago, I still have that injury and I cannot run or carry heavy weight. It doesn’t seem to heal.

After that injury, I became more thoughtful of what I carry and giving second thoughts to running (e.g. for the bus). It’s quite scary to think that I cannot do things with my hands or with my feet. Don’t you think so?

The Tough Wilderness

Stray animals in Singapore (usually cats and dogs) always reminds me of my army days. There were quite a few instances where I bumped into stray or wild animals along my training in the army for 1 year 10 months.

There was this particular dog who lurks around my camp and whenever we go out for route marches, it will follow us. Be it marching to the nearby 300m firing range, the explosives firing range or even the further firing range on a hill, it will follow us to and fro. Even when we went on the 32km route march (starting point and ending point was the camp itself), that dog would follow. It followed us around (particularly my company whom I was taking as an instructor; Mike Coy) and so the instructors in Mike Coy named the dog Mikey.

It’s amazing how Mikey could follow us and not get hurt. It was quite skinny and we tried to feed it some food every now and then but Mikey always refused to eat our food; combat rations and dog biscuits (not an actual biscuit for dogs but.. yeah… no idea why we are eating biscuits that are named for dogs =/).

Every time I see Mikey I would say a little prayer in my heart to God that he would take care of this dog and feed it and keep it out of harms way. Alas, one day there was an incident that a dog had bitten a cadet who was on guard patrol at night. News spread like wildfire and accuses of the culprit came along with it the very next day. The accused was Mikey. There was an obvious inconsistency with the description of the dog like the color of the dog and there was two dogs etc..etc.. Some would say ‘that dog which followed your around every time’ and ‘Mikey was the one!’

I saw Mikey a few more times after that and it didn’t really seem like that kind of dog. It was gentle and always kept its distance from us except for one time when I was eating waffles and Mikey was sniffing right at my hand but when i tore a bit of my waffles and put it on the floor, Mikey didn’t eat it! =(

There was another wild animal when I was in Taiwan. It so happened that we had reached our objective and the cadets needed to set up a defence perimeter, so the instructors went to another secluded place to chill out and this wild orange/brown fox appeared out of nowhere. It never let us get near and always runs away when we wanted to go closer. We tore open our combat ration and squeezed it all out on the floor and the fox ate it all up! It ate 2 of our combat rations at one go. Again I said a little prayer in my heart, the same prayer I prayed for Mikey. After that I never saw it again.

The last one is my favorite! And so I was the Urban Operations Specialist and I needed to conduct the whole 3 days 2 night training for the cadets and coordinate with the instructors on what to do. I was really stressed out as it was my first time doing it and with a lot of hiccups here and there. The whole training was held in buildings (as the event suggests; Urban) and the command team (everyone else except the cadets) set up a HQ in one of the buildings. On the first day at late noon, three little puppies came to us and played around us!! It was one of the most adorable things I’ve seen in my army life =) We gave them things to play like scrunched up paper balls and even made a more permanent ball with musking tape and paper balls. I thank God that most of the command team loved them and gave them TLC =)

Every time there was a break, I would see them at our HQ either sleeping or playing which really helped relieved a lot of my stressed and they always melt my heart =3 At night, one of the staff sergeants who loved animals slept with all 3 of them on him, it was really the most loving side of him that I’ve seen in my entire life! And the Ops Spec also tried to give them water by filling up a plastic bag with water and poking a hole, but the puppies just wanted to bite the plastic bag till it had tons of holes lol! They always played with each other and quite roughly, I think 2 was boys and 1 was a girl as the girl always didn’t really played too rough with them. When they sleep, its either below our tables and chairs or on the staff sergeant’s lap as they would just jumped into his lap when he was sitting on the floor. There was once in the afternoon when I saw the staff sergeant sleeping upright at a corner on the floor with his legs crossed and 2 puppies were in his lap and 1 sleeping beside him. So cuttee!! =)

And finally when it was time to go, it was on the last night and the HQ was all packed up. I had to make a few last checks at the HQ to make sure nothing was left behind and to gather my thoughts. There I was standing at the doorway leading to the central market place where everyone else was gathered and the 3 puppies was sitting right in front of me, blocking my exit. And they were whining, and whining so loudly because they knew we were going away and the 3 of them looked up at me with their ears folded back with the sad puppy eyes staring back at me. At that moment, tears rolled down my cheek as I patted each and every one of them on the head saying goodbye and I prayed the same prayer, “Dear God, please take care of these 3 little puppies and feed them and don’t let them suffer”.

Through out the 3 days, no one saw their mummy.
I wished I could have brought the 3 of them back home.

What Links to Rain?

It was raining this afternoon and there was a gloomy sense around the atmosphere for me.

I tend to link rain with sadness, emotions (the sad ones) and hopelessness. The skies darken and the rain’s pouring, bringing me back to the days of army. When I was out in the field (or as we call it ‘outfield’) the rain was one of our dreaded enemies. I always seemed to prefer the sun and the blazing heat rather than being soaked wet from head to toe in the rain.

The rain made the ground wet and slippery, the soil became muddy and sticky and disguisting, everything would be wet and cold; ultimately, a wet pair of socks and underwear just spells instant negative mood. And worst of all, things still continue as normal in the rain; I have to lie on the wet and muddy ground, doing maneuvers until my whole uniform becomes brown.

I still remember my first field camp being 5 days and 4 nights long which rained for 3 days. It was horrible to live in the rain without a shelter (or rather sometimes my shelter just got destroyed some way or another and sometimes i just don’t have one).

I’m really thankful that I’m at home in the shelter as it really is tough to live a life without a roof over your head. Would a roof over my head be something that I’ve taken for granted? I do think so, and many a times too.

 

 

Cherished and Taken for Granted

I’m playing with my Photo Explosion Image Editor program that my dad magically pulled out from somewhere in the house. It sorta looks as complicated as Photoshop and I spent a good 15mins searching around in the program to open my darn photo.

This picture was taken on 3rd September with my very first hands on with the DSLR, so the image was kinda dark. So I decided to play around with the Photoshop-look-alike-program to adjust the brightness and sharpness since I didn’t take it in RAW to which I couldn’t edit the brightness in the ViewNX2 (Nikon image program that came with the DSLR).

And the results… Kind of a fail picture with lots of rough grainy noise around.. lol =/

Well, at least my doggie’s got the easy part.. Just snoozing around all day and disturbing me in the morning.

And after having to go through with army, I just love spending time with my family and dog. To lose out on my first 21 years of my life without much interaction with my family is quite a horror after the realization knocked into my by the army of how important family support and time spent together really is.

‘Cherish’ and ‘Taken for Granted’.

Trip to the Zoo

I went to the Zoo with my family and grandma last Saturday and it was not as boring as I expected it to be since I had my camera with me.

While on the excitement to go gun blazing with my camera, I soon found out the limitations of my lens to be frustrating and people around me were carrying huge gigantic 200mm-400mm lens while I had an itchi-maiyo 18-105mm lens.

On some shots, I was close enough with my lens fully zoomed in on 105mm to take this mummy monkey looking at all the people crowding around her and her lil baby (featured below). She’s just like a star (a fast moving one as she didn’t sit very still) with many people trying to snap the perfect shot.

Her lil baby who was close by who was trying to pull a leaf up to grab a bite. All the spectators around this young star was squirming as it was so cute seeing this baby in action.

And finally, success!  Like some guy in some country said: “If you don’t succeed the first time, try again!”

‘Contented’ is all I can say for all these wildlife that I saw in the zoo on that day.