Monday, April 12, 2010

Uluwatu Temple, Bali, Indonesia

Uluwatu, one of the favourite tourist destination in Bali is slightly more than an hours drive from the Kuta area.  Usually a destination after the Dreamland Beach.  It is officially known as Pura Luhur Uluwatu or translated to mean approximately “Temple at the rock of divine origin at land’s end” (or something of that nature, my apologies if my translation is wrong).  There is a small entrance fee to this place which guards the island from evil spirit coming in from the South Western seafront.

Uluwatu Cliffs

The pura at the northern end which I did not get to but viewing it alongside a sunset makes a spectacular view. A pre-sunset shot (excuse the reflection of my cheapo filter).  Love the great waves below the cliff.

Spectacular Pre-Sunset

As we get closer to sunset.

Silhoutte of Sunset

A quiet serene sunset viewing from the southern end of the temple premises.


Before entering the temple premises (not the temple itself as that’s out of bounds unless you are entering to pray), you are asked to put on a bandana like clothe to be tied across your waist.  You will also be warned about the cheeky monkeys who will try to snatch your glasses (it seems that they will return it in exchange for some food) and you will be asked to be careful with your camera as well.

Lots of Them

Monkey in Deep Thought

I was late, so I saved Rp70,000 on the “must see” Kecak dance that is done with the sunset in the back-ground.  So, I walked around and the perimeter of the inner pura (temple) is guarded with many gargoyles.

Gargoyles at Southern End

It’s located just south of Dreamland Beach, guarding the island on the Southwestern ocean front.

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Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Panasonic Lumix GF-1 Image Stabilizer (OIS)

Like all new digital cameras, image stabilizer is definitely part of what is expected.  This is especially so for a “high-end” camera (or rather a “low-end” DSLR, depending on how you look at it).  The Panasonic Lumix GF-1 that I had came with the 14-45mm lens that has what Panasonic term as the Optical Image Stabilizer (OIS).  A quick test on the effectiveness of the OIS; the first image is with the OIS on, whilst the second image is with the OIS off.


GF-1 OIS Off

Images were taken at f8, 1/6s and ISO 800.  Of course, it depends on the degree of “shake”.  The quick test was done with me trying to have my hands as stable as possible.  OIS rocks :-P

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Designer Camera Bag by Sony! … LCS-TT10

This bag has been around for some time, so instead of the Jill-e bags that have been posted here, why not look at the Sony LCS-TT10 camera bag?

LCS-TT10 Yes! It is a camera bag … and it is not SMALL!  You can actually fit in quite a lot of kit into this camera bag.  It looks like any ordinary designer bag, with the exception of the little SONY tag on the side.Inside LCS-TT10It has enough space for the body with attached lens, additional lenses and a removable pouch for all your other accessories.

Sony Designer Camera BagSo, if you ladies out there who are looking for a DSLR, maybe it is time to consider a Sony?  And get one of these for around USD100.

Panasonic Lumix GF-1 ISO Performance

Ok, I am no expert in doing camera reviews but one of the question that many people usually ask me when I try out a camera is … “what’s the low light performance of the camera?”.  I am not sure how to answer the question other than maybe shoot a few shots under the same condition with the various ISO settings of the camera.

So, please find below, 100% crop of images (advertisement booklet for choosing a Canon lens :P ) taken indoors, under normal household lighting, with varying ISO and shutter speed to obtain the same exposures.  The images are for ISO100, ISO200, ISO400, ISO800, ISO1600 and ISO3200.  Apologies for the difficulty to compare them side by side.

GF-1 ISO100  GF-1 ISO200 GF-1 ISO400 GF-1 ISO800 GF-1 ISO1600

GF-1 ISO3200

Other than at ISO400 (I think there is some shake), I believe that the camera exhibits very acceptable ISO performance and I would use it up to ISO1600.  ISO3200 is a little too noisy for me.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Dreamland Beach, Pecatu, Bali, Indonesia

Dreamland Beach, one of the best surfing beaches in Bali, Indonesia is located on the Bukit Peninsula, just slightly south of the famous Jimbaran area.  Jimbaran is probably where most tourist will be brought to for seafood dinner.  The Dreamland Beach is now kinda located within the Pecatu Indah Resort, a development that was initiated by Tommy Suharto, the son of the ex-Indonesian president.

The development is quite ambitious with condominiums, resort homes and a golf course planned.  It recently hosted the Indonesian Womens Open Golf Championship.  Being the largest white sand beach in the Bukit Peninsula, the place has been kinda cordoned off and there is an entrance fee now to get to the beach.  They have even renamed it the “New Kuta Beach”.  Anyway, the development have been going on for 3 or so years and it will be difficult to gauge how well it is going.  A view of the currently “empty” shop lots on the way towards the beach.

The beach itself is lovely where there are quite a number of surfer dudes around …


But it is quite quiet there, even on a weekend in the late afternoon.  I was even able to take a picture without people on the beach (although there were quite a few just outside the frame of the picture).

More pictures can be found at my picasaweb album.

It is located on the west of the Bukit Peninsula, south of Kuta.

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