Friday, July 24, 2009

Pang’s Hainan Seafood Village @ Penang

It has been a few weeks since I last posted about food.  Pang’s Hainan Seafood restaurant is located on the main road of Tanjung Bungah and we are regulars at this place, due to the easy parking and being reasonably near the tourist belt of Batu Ferringhi.

DSC03448 DSC03403 

It looks pretty much like a regular open-air restaurant with some aquariums that have some live fish.  Ok, first up .. the acelora + sour plum drink is a must have.  It is served really cold and goes down the throat well, especially on a hot evening.  One other recommendation is the leong-sui or the “cooling” drink which is also ice cold and will definitely make you feel more alive if you had been spending some time in the sun and being dehydrated!


Food wise, it doesn’t disappoint, starting off with the Penang “Chun Piah”.  However, in my opinion, theirs is not as good as the ones served at Ocean Green.


Being a family dinner with young children, we ordered the more plain and unexciting dishes, such as “foo-yong-tan” (egg omelette), fried vegetables (they call it the emperor vegetable but I can’t remember the more common name for it) and garlic and “sin-kong-tau-fu” (deep fried bean curd with vegetables).  Although they are pretty simple dishes, they are tasty (without the MSG after effects).  The vegetables were not over-cooked like most places and retained it’s crunchiness whilst the egg was just lightly burnt and serves with a good helping of belacan chilli.




Being a seafood restaurant, we also ordered a small helping of sweet and sour prawns.  The prawns were not fully shelled and hence was full of flavour, together with a good helping of fresh capsicums, tomatoes, chilli and onions.  The sweet and sour was well made.


The fish we ordered was soy sauce steam fish and with the “white” eye, it is an indication of freshness.  The fish was well enjoyed and the sauce was just lightly salted and with the fish being fresh, the flesh was spongy.


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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Sony Ericsson XPERIA X3: Android OS? 8MP Autofocus camera?

I have been looking for a suitable phone that has Wi-Fi and/or 3G connectivity, GPS and most importantly a good autofocus high megapixel camera built in for taking candid shots and also some food photography.

Check out this YouTube video of this rumoured Sony Ericssion Phone.  It sure has a sleek interface.

If only they can make it bug-free and at a reasonable price … say, USD500?  Anyway, the rumoured specifications are:

- 800 x 400 pixels/4" (that’s huge!)
- Touch Sensitive
- 2G 850/900/1800/1900 (Quad-Band)
- 3G
- 8 mega-pixels (auto-focus, yes! yes!)
- LED Flash
- Image Stabilization (yes! yes!)
- miniUSB
- Bluetooth (2.1)
- Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11g)
- AGPS (Awwww … what a let down)

Are you a creative car photographer?

If so, you can stand a chance to win a holiday in Europe that’s worth more than RM30,000!  Well, it is not only about taking a creative image of a vehicle but also possibly yourself or others.  This posting is actually quite late but you still have 23 hours from now … the competition is named “Which HYUNDAI R U?”.


I am not a Hyundai fan at the moment (other than their Coupe looks good), but the good news is “Participants need not be Hyundai a car owner. The car can be a Hyundai car belonging to a neighbour, a car parked by the street or even a Hyundai car at the showroom”.  Wooohooooooo …. time to get creative …

If you don’t want to take pictures to submit, you can still participate in the voting process!.  Some of the “creative” shots so far …


Not sure about cooking oil into your Hyundai …

The customary leng luis …


I kinda like this one on the yellow Getz …


But this one with the newborn going home (I guess) is my favourite so far.  I haven’t viewed all of them yet and you can view and join at  Good luck and I think it is a nice touch by Hyundai with this competition.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

It’s Sony Alpha 850 (A850)

Well, it is almost …. almost …. confirmed that the new names of the Sony DSLRs are A500, A550 (yes, we already know those) and the last one … it’s not A800 but A850.  So the screenshot says …a850source: 

Nothing more was said about it.  It was expected to replace the A700 but with the naming closer to the A900 and with the recently launched A230/A330/A380 and soon A500/A550, would it hint that it is a top end APS-C sized sensor camera?

Friday, July 17, 2009

UNDP Global Photography Campaign

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the United Nation's global development network. It is an organization advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life.


Under their International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth (IPC-IG), they are organizing a Global Photography campaign to showcase “examples of people winning the battle against poverty, social exclusion and marginalization.”

“The campaign is intended to counterbalance the frequently shown images of desolation and despair. A photo gallery will to be permanently located at IPC-IG office and open for public visitation. A series of photo exhibitions will also be organized in several cities around the world. Everyone can and is strongly encouraged to participate in this global effort and contribute with a photograph.”

More information can be obtained from Some example pictures …



I am sure being in South East Asia, we do have opportunities to witness poverty eradication with our own eyes.  So, let’s snap away …

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

HDR with Photomatix and LUMIX LZ8 compact camera

A while ago, I posted a short explanation on what is HDR? I did not create my own HDR.  However, having this below USD100 Panasonic Lumix LZ8 compact camera, it has this feature that allows it to automatically shoot the same image with three different exposure compensation.  I believe many compact cameras also have this feature these days.  This actually makes sense for a HDR experiment with images from a compact cameras.

Using the feature, which can be found by setting it to “A/S/M” mode on the top dial (Manual mode) and then pressing the exposure compensation button as shown below (circled in red).


You will be in the auto bracket setting mode and you can specify the 3 exposure settings using the right and left buttons.  I took the following pictures using –1/ 0 / +1 settings (maximum). (Note that the camera will take in the following order 0, –1 and +1).

P1000180 This is the –1 exposure compensation where the objects outside the window is exposed correctly whilse the bottle in-doors is under-exposed.


This is the default exposure where neither the in-doors nor the out-doors are expose correctly and it’s in between.

P1000182 In the picture above, the label on the bottle can be seen but the out-doors are over-exposed.  None of the images above would be deemed as properly exposed if you want the whole image.

High Dynamic Range (HDR) helps to give more dynamic range in your images, and following the example found on hdrsoft’s website, I used their trial software to test it out. (This is not the freeware version but a trial version of their software).

It is a simple to use software and the result is as below.  Note that since this is a trial software, it has photomatix watermark on it.

test(You can download the 800 x 600 image above by clicking on it).

As you can see, it combines the 3 images taken and the bottle’s label and the outdoors are exposed appropriately.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Sunset photography

After being pressured by 2 almost “full-time” sunset photographers, I decided to also give it a try.  The first lesson learnt about sunset photography with the Sony A200 and the 18-70 mm kit lens is to turn off the autofocus and just focus to infinity (maximum on the manual focus).  This prevents the camera from trying to hard on finding the right focus.


I like sunset photos that are somewhat underexposed with a dark surroundings and a moon like sun.  As compared to what the eye actually sees. Picture above was taken with the following settings:

  • ISO 100
  • 1/800 shutter speed
  • 200mm (300mm 35mm equivalent) focal length
  • f/8 aperture setting
  • Center weighted metering mode

I have taken a few others when the sun has nearly set and it had this side effect of a pinkish sun.  I am not sure why, so if someone can explain it to me, it would be good.


It looks like planet instead of the moon!  From actual view, the pinkish-ness cannot be seen.  I am not sure why the camera pick it up as such.  Anyone knows, is it a Sony sensor problem?  SAL1870DT problem? It’s actually not the moon but another planet?

Friday, July 10, 2009

Win a FREE coffee table photobook!

Just by answering a survey questionnaire for  It has been around for sometime, so a final few days reminder before 15th July 2009.


This is with free shipping as well.  All you have to do is answer the questionnaire but you are only allowed to enter once.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Ocean Green Restaurant @ Penang

This has been a long time favourite of the family for some time.  Somehow, we always visit this beach side restaurant, off Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah, north of Penang Island.  Anyway, we recently went there for lunch and here is the review (obviously it has to be good since we visit it regularly!).


One thing that you will notice when you get there is the sea view, which unfortunately I did not take any pictures during this visit.  The other thing that you will notice is this very reddish bottle …


Ok, food time. For the regular reader of this blog, you will notice the standard fare of spinach, this time spinach in superior soup with century egg.


And sometimes the omelette as well.


Those were pretty much standard, but well cooked.  Now, for the more Penang taste and also some of our favourites!


The oo-chien (actually oo-nuii) is cooked with just a thin layer of egg and lots of juicy fat oysters!  This is definitely a must order here as the oysters are cooked to the right texture, soft and wobbly yet slightly chewy.


One of the restaurant’s other popular dish is the stuff crabs.  Although not really my type of dish, the others enjoy this very much.  It is basically, crab meat minced with … err … I actually don’t know what they put in there, but it is quite nice, and stuffed into a crab shell.  It is baked after that with a layer of cheese on top of it.


Next up, a Penang dish … the chun-pia!  The only place I had this outside of Penang is in a restaurant named Tanjung Bungah in SS2, PJ.  These are large spring rolls and served with Penang style worchester sauce (ang-moh tau yu), it is best taken when it is warm.


We also ordered assam fish, the whole affair is pretty much standard although it taste really good.  The slight difference is that together with the steamed assam fish, they serve a side portion of mee-hoon (rice vermicelli) and tau-geh (beansprouts) that you are suppose to mix into the dish a savour.  This is another dish that must be ordered when you visit.

IMG_1419-1Overall, it is a highly recommended place and the location is best shown using the map below.  On Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah, there is a large sign on your left (it is a one way street).  Enter the small lane (enough for a single vehicle) and drive to the end.  It is the restaurant opposite Paramount Hotel’s entrance and faces the sea.  There should be a few fishermen’s boats anchored there too.

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Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Asia Without Borders Photo Competition 2009

In Asia?  Have images of landscapes, people, unique architecture, wildlife or maybe even lifestyle images.  Enter those images to Asian Geographic Magazine to win big prize money!


The grand prize is NOT one prize but a few items:

  • Canon 5D Mk II with 24-105mm kit lens
  • Return air ticket from Singapore to Delhi
  • Lowepro Nature Trekker AW

There are also 2 prizes for each of the 4 categories:

1st Prize

  • Canon 50D with 18-55mm kit lens
  • Return air ticket from Singapore to Delhi
  • Lowepro Magnum AW (or Lowepro CompuTrekker AW for Young Photographer)

2nd Prize

  • Lowepro Compact AW (or Lowepro Trekker Mini Trekker AW for Young Photographer)

Air tickets are on Jet Airways.

More details can be obtained here.