Sunday, November 27, 2005

another smoke shot

green, originally uploaded by monster-ru.

another shot in progress - i'm having a fucking headache, and haven't had a lot to eat today. besides, there is a lot to do tomorrow and i think i should go to bed.

sometimes the world is just too depressing when you think about it.

Friday, November 25, 2005


Originally uploaded by monster-ru.

this is a very very sweet dog. When i get home, he comes and says hi, when i call his name, he comes and sits by my side, and acts like the sweetest thing on earth.

but he also pretends that he cannot hear me when i call him to go to his bed, and he also wees wherever he fancies if he knows that i am not looking.

but still, he is very much loved. just look at him - how can anyone not love a creature like that?

(in other news, i played table tennis today, and it was fun. More of it tomorrow...)

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Edvard Munch

Went to the "Munch by Himself" exhibition at the Royal Academy earlier. It was excellent. Too tired to go into details at the moment, but one thing i learned from this is that Munch started drinking a lot due to the "loneliness and restlessness" he suffered from, and had dementia paralytica from alcohol poisoning.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

it is one of those funny nights. i kind of feel tired, but i kind of want to stay up as well.

there's fuckall on the telly, i'm drinking whiskey really slowly, and trying to work on more artsmoke images at the same time. i've been working on this image for a few days since it was first shot, but have not got something i really like yet.

went to Steve McCurry's exhibition at the Asia House earlier today - his first major exhibition in London. 'twas nice to see the actual prints. The colours were much less saturated than the ones i remember from the book, South Southeast. There were also captions with the images, and i became quite aware of the difference in what i felt about the photos now, and then.

South Southeast changed the way i thought about colour photography. i was completely in awe of McCurry then, the way he uses colour in his photographs. Before that, i only paid attention to b/w photography, but after i saw his photos, i started to be much more aware of how difficult it is to get colours to work the way you want them to (& this was before how digital photography became so convenient to us.)

maybe it was because they were not as i remember them. maybe because the exhibition was smaller than i expected. or maybe because the captions said more/different about the subject than without them. it also reminded me of this. so coming out of the exhibition, i was, really, more than a little disaappointed. it felt a bit like i was less impressed with him. or that his use of colours did create some impact in the photographs, but he needed the captions to carry the story through. it made me think about May talking to me about setting.

but at the end of the day, the photograph of the monk with the cat sitting in a docile manner behind him made me smile. and the other thing that struck me was that the eyes of the boy on the cover of the book was more intense than i remember them to be. almost as scary as that of the Afghan girl's.


And, these people at the Asia House are raising funds:

"Superb Music in Aid of the Pakistan Earthquake Appeal"
Tuesday 13 December 2005, 7.15pm.
Royal Albert Hall

They are "donating all proceeds, after direct costs, equally to The President's Fund, Islamic Relief, Learning for Life and Eidhi, charities providing immediate assistance on the ground during this winter."

So if any of you are going to be in London any time soon, please go and support!

Friday, November 18, 2005

Room with a view

all these taken from the room at the Marriot.

grey skies in Amsterdam
Originally uploaded by monster-ru.

a'dam sunset
Originally uploaded by monster-ru.

A'dam Night
Originally uploaded by monster-ru.

Thursday, November 17, 2005


so i've actually tons to blog about since i left Singapore last tuesday night. i've got:

- nasty nasty (most unhelpful condescending) arsehole at the KLM counter at Changi airport terminal 1,

- one of the most boring flights i've ever had (which W blogged about),

- (my new ipod! OK - so that last post was a feeble attempt.)

- the first day i spent walking around the "new" area, when i strategically (note - possible local pub) introduced myself to the bar staff,

- the more-than-not-so-nice Tampopo noodle restaurant,

- the 3 wankers who were drunk and did not so nice things on the streets of London,

- the quite hectic moving-out of the nice A'dam apt when i hurt my left foot,

- the nice Indian restaurant (with a cute Tibetan waiter!) that i went to on Monday night with someone from Singapore whom i have never met before,

- the incredible packing that i did in the hotel room, and sending them off at the post office,

- the amazing exhibition i went to at FOAM in A'dam - Annie Lebovitz's "American Music", and a history of Photojournalism where i saw photos of Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Frank, Richard Avedon and a few others that made my stomach turn,

- the even more incredible feat of moving all other stuff that were not in boxes to the airport, and checking them all (9) in as baggage.

so, i've been busy, and i wish i've had time to blog about them individually. But the truth is, i've also been lazy about blogging. so this lazy post is really about the place i most frequented in Amsterdam (that i will miss a bit):

Originally uploaded by monster-ru.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

mine, all mine...

Originally uploaded by monster-ru.

Originally uploaded by monster-ru.

Monday, November 07, 2005

yesterday's sunset

Originally uploaded by monster-ru.

as is. (well, except for a bit of cropping.)

by the time i took my camera out and decided which room to take the shot from, a lot of the pink had already disappeared from the clouds.


Sunday, November 06, 2005

B's image

_MG_1777d_invrtA, originally uploaded by monster-ru.

this is one of B's image - far better than anything i can come up with at the moment.

i like that its green.

Friday, November 04, 2005

not the faces, nor the fish.

Originally uploaded by monster-ru.

so here is my 1st artsmoke image. just kind of selected the first one that i thought was workable and then started photoshoppin' it.

me, i like the folds in this one.

Thursday, November 03, 2005


reading W's posts about artsmoke, i decided to give it a try myself. luckily, i know someone who has all the necessary equipment - black velvet cloth for background, strobes, and a space to set up the shoot.

it took a little while to set it up, to make sure that the background was really black, that the right lights were used so that the smoke would be sufficiently lit, and blocking out light where it would cause the lens to flare. all that set up, we experimented with different types of incense, and found that fire starters (for BBQ) worked quite well - you have to put it out and let it die down a bit. (have more ideas for creating smoke which i will try out soon as well.)

after nearly 1 GB worth of shots, there were only a couple that we liked. 'twas tough to get the smoke to behave in a manner that you want. we were looking for the "sexy curves", which were not exactly in abundance.

what we tried - fanning the smoke gently, opening the windows to let a bit of draft through, (me) walking up and down the room to create a little stir in the air, holding our breath whilst shooting so as to not disturb the smoke too much 'cos we were shooting at close range, using spoons to direct the flow of the smoke, etc. funny that we did not actually try to shoot smoke from a cigarette although we each had a pack of 'em.

out of the many shots, we got what looked like a face (actually, 2 shots of this) and another something like a fish. there was also one that was 2 curves short of a treble clef.

haven't looked through all the shots yet, but will try to post something tomorrow. i think the most difficult part of this experiment is to actually try to control the way smoke comes off whatever is burning. think that is the key to making smoke look like art.

added 4th Nov, 4pm: it may not be a good idea to be shooting smoke non-stop for a few hours straight. one of us got a bad throat from it. it's not me and i feel bad. :-o