As you may have known (yes, you my favorite stalkers!), I’ve been into toy photography recently and my friend Neil and I have been in search for dirt-cheap but decent poseable action figures here in the desert but to no avail. We’re actually even tempted so may times to acquire toys from Amazon but the cost of international shipping itself is already way past our teeny-weeny budgets. HAHAHA!
Recently, Lazada, an online store based in the Philippines, has been constantly popping up on Facebook and my curious self couldn’t avoid clicking on it. So I started clicking and the next thing I knew, I’ve already spent three hours of my precious life (WT!?) checking hundreds of action figures, Funko Pops and busts.
I am particularly interested with this Revoltech Disney Pixar Toy Story: Woody Figure Collection Series No 005. It has numerous moving parts making it extremely poseable. This is why it has been so popular among toy photographers (check out the tags #toyphotography and #woody on Instagram to know what I mean). Plus it also has a replaceable face (just like my Electro Boy although its limbs are not as articulate as this Woody’s).
I’ve been looking for this for the longest time but I just can’t find it anywhere, not even in Amazon. Although I most probably wouldn’t buy it anyway even if it’s available there as, like I’ve earlier mentioned, the cost for international shipping may even be more expensive than the item itself.
If only they’ll also have the most coveted Star Wars Clone Troopers, Danbo and Yotsuba, I’ll be one very happy toy hoarder this part of the universe could ever have. And when will you have those Game of Thrones Funko Pops in stock?
Photo grabbed from Lazada.com.ph and it’ll be replaced once Woody is mine.
Lazada is not a group buying site so there would be no need to wait for two months for the items to arrive.
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I was chatting one early morning with Thess (yes, with an H) or Thesserie.com about photography, lenses and editing raw files. During the span of our conversation, I told her that upon my return to the desert, I won’t be having the chance to practice shooting again as there won’t be anything to take photos of aside from sands, sandstorms and rocks. She adviced me to practice shooting with toys instead and she even lead introduced me to Instagram (which I already am familiar with but didn’t really wanted to use) and the hashtag #toyphotography where I could get inspiration from.
And that was the start. I began taking photos of toys and before I left the country, I asked my kids if they could lend me some of their toys.
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I have always been fascinated with photos of houses, buildings and structures adorned with indoor gardens, most especially if the garden is huge enough to be compared to a forest. In fact, if I would ever be able to build my dream house, half of the floor are will be occupied by an indoor rainforest.
That’s why when I first saw the botanical forest built inside one of the two buildings in the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia, I was so eager to go inside but the stop on my trip from Jeddah to Manila was too short. Fortunately, my stop on my way back was long enough for me to go inside though it took me a while to see the entrance.
It was so humid inside as expected so I didn’t stay for long. I only saw a single black bird flew from one tree to another so I’m not sure what other creatures live there.
If you’ll ever be in this airport and would also want to take a glimpse of what’s inside, look for a door with a chain curtain. It’s similar to the photo below only it was the exit.
Sorry for the poorly taken photos as I wasn’t yet prepared for this kind of photo opps.
Here’s Buzz Lightyear goofing around the falls inside the botanical garden.
The first photo above was taken in front of the Old Malaya coffee shop…
…where I got to taste my very first Nyonya Laksa. It was so good my running nose is literally welling.
I have a lot more photos taken inside the Kuala Lumpur International Airport but these are what I found the most stunning. Click on the photos for larger images.
When I came back from a month-long vacation from the P.I., the entire terrace garden is in a mess. Not that my colleagues, whom I politely asked before I left, neglected watering them. Perhaps a sandstorm took place leaving the plants in total disarray and, except for the finger chilies and ornamental plants, everything has to be replanted.
I don’t usually let the basil grow flowers as it makes the leaves lose their flavor and scent but there’s this one batch on a small pot that I let to flower for ornamental purposes. On my return, the whole plant has died and dried to perfection. Good thing the flowers, though dried completely, the wind hasn’t swept them up so I could still collect the seeds for replanting.
Basil seeds can be collected from the flowers once they dried completely. Just remove the flowers, crush them with your fingers on a sheet of paper, plate or bowl and lightly blow and you’ll have the seeds separated.
Here’s Electro Boy gathering the seeds from the basil flowers.
Electro Boy seems upset to find that the cherry tomatoes have started to bear fruits but they have all dried out, too, except for a very few.
Anyways, I brought new chili varieties with me that I’m planning to plant when I start the garden anew and there’s the pandan (screwpine) and calamansi seeds, too. More food and plant posts to come up in a couple of days as I’m still having a blast taking photos of my new inanimate room companions.
I love bokeh. Most of my photos were taken using the shallowest depth of fields available on my two lenses (F4/5.6). Unfortunately, my lenses were only capable of those and it would probably take another decade before I could get my hands on a more decent fast lens.
But when I recently tried photographing birds and other small critters and I can’t produce a single crisp image, I realized the need to resort to using smaller apertures. The three photos above were taken in burst until the bird left using 1/800 sec exposure, F10 aperture, 400 ISO speed and 300mm focal length. The quality is still far from what I’m hoping for but definitely better with my previous ones.
Click the photos to enlarge.
I hope I could meet with this little yellow bird again so I could give its color a better justice.
UPDATE: SH*T! The guys over at TPC are shooting birds at high apertures.