Dave's Photo & Travelblogue

Photo shoots. World travel advice. Tips on Munich & environs.

Toytown Photo Walk – October

I met up with the Toytown photo club and walked around Munich in the dark for a few hours. Here are a few shots I managed without any tripod.

f2 Cafe

I was going for a different angle on this red-lit mannequin.


Shooting from the hip in the dark at f/2…

From the hip

Eisbach surfers! I played with the strobe effect of my Nikon D90’s built-in flash. Next time I’ll bring a tripod and my SB600, turn down the ISO, and pump up the flash. That should blow out the orange highlights from the d*mn sodium vapor lights. I am too lazy for flash gels and a white card, heh.

Eisbach Surfing - Strobe Effect

That’s all for today!

Posted 11 years, 10 months ago at 12:40 pm.


Contrasts of Singapore

This city is full of contrasts. For example, here’s one at a food center near a government-subsidized housing block (where Singaporeans can buy a house cheap, 2x in their life). I had local coffee in a bag, with a straw. I’ve since been told it’s more traditional to have it served in the condensed milk can, but how can you beat this?

Singapore - coffee in a bag

My friends, on the other hand, had McDonald’s Cafe cappuccinos and hot cocoa just next door.

Perhaps the cutest picture I've ever taken

In the afternoon of July 17th, I went to the new Marina Bay Sands casino/mall/hotel/skypark complex. To me it’s quite silly. They want to draw international visitors to spend their cash. But Singaporeans (and permanent residents) must pay a $100 SGD/day surcharge just to enter the casino. That’s basically forbidding them to gamble, because… well… gambling is bad.

Unless you are taking the d*mn foreigners’ money.

I also skipped the Skypark: $20 entry, no description of what’s up there, no food/drink/pro cameras allowed. Because then they couldn’t sell overpriced soda, snacks, and postcards!

Anyway, enough about that; it doesn’t matter because I don’t gamble and I’ve been up much taller buildings. Here are some cool contrasts I saw on the boardwalks by the bay. Tall vs small,

Which one of these two is TALL?

Some people have such high hopes for their children:

Red dress string quartet

Others are just happy if they can avoid losing them. Yes, you’ve put your child into a giant hamster wheel.

Water-hamster-wheel for children

Today was the dry run for the first-ever Youth Olympics opening ceremony. Knownst to these people but unbeknownst to me, there were flybys planned. Two pictures are worth…

"Look! Up there, in the sky!"

Opening ceremony practice for the Youth Olympics

I won’t include a shot of the jet flyby, because it’s not interesting at 35mm. But let me just say, afterburners over a city of skyscrapers… LOUD.

I’m going to save some of today’s pics for another post, because there are just too many good ones. So here’s one last shot with the f/2 at ISO3200, in the Pump Room brewpub at Clarke Quay. I thought there would be 4 beers in the sampler, but in fact there were 8!

Lots of beers in the Pump Room sampler!

What was the most beers you ever ordered with those three magical words, “the sampler, please?”

Posted 12 years ago at 3:56 pm.

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Coffee and Flowers

After making it up Mauna Kea, I relaxed for a few days while recovering from the cold. On the drive back to Hilo on June 1st, I stopped at few touristy places along the way.

In Kona, there are dozens of small, independent coffee farmers who cultivate their crops largely by hand. The place I stopped is Lions Gate Farms, a small plantation with coffee and macadamia nut trees. Like everywhere, they offer free samples of their products, and I’m sure many of the tourists (who aren’t backpackers with no space) go home with some tasty foodstuffs. I really liked the dark chocolate covered coffee beans, might order some online later – muhahaha.

Here’s a shot of the farm:


And a close-up of some coffee beans on the branch, for those who’ve never seen ‘em before:


Coincidentally, I am eating Kona coffee glazed macadamias as I write this.

Driving north from Kona toward Volcano takes one through some areas that look a bit alien.


I guess these are recent lava flows from Mauna Loa (though there are several active volcanoes within an hour’s drive). There are miles of this strange scrub-brush & lava moonscape.

Next stop was to be my lodging at Pineapple Park Volcano (a fantastic place with a really interesting owner – just not very many guests there). But I got distracted on the way by Akatsuka Orchid Gardens:


My first thought was, okay, what… $20 to see some orchids… but no, it’s free! This is really a big store, where you are welcome to just walk around and take pictures (as I did) without buying. There were almost as many orchid varieties as I saw in the Singapore botanical garden, just placed on tables for sale instead of planted in gardens along winding paths.

Here’s a $20,000 orchid, prized for its symmetry:


At the end of the day I had a yummy slice at Pizza Hawaii and Deli. The proprietor is actually from Richmond, VA, and used to live about 3 blocks from my house on Ellwood Avenue! The California Gourmet and Bacon Ranch really took me back to Brick Oven in Charlottesville (Helen of Troy and Johnnycakes), so this place is now in my Top 3 pizza restaurants in the world. Next to Brick Oven (the best pizza restaurant in the world), and the Pacific Crest Grill in Truckee, CA.

Everyone seems to have internet ordering nowadays. You can order Lions Gate coffee & mac nuts, Akatsuka orchids, and even Pizza Hawaii online! Now, if only Pizza Hawaii delivered to Munich. (Or Auckland, where I sit as I write this).

Posted 12 years, 2 months ago at 3:33 pm.

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