Monday, April 30, 2012

if you love me let me know,


"Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it."
-William Arthur Ward

so don't be shy, go ahead and tap those little ♥'s below my posts if you enjoyed them. Or better still, leave a comment. I appreciate constructive feedback and would welcome them with an open heart.

  I would say that I've never been the biggest fan of numbers, and have always preferred words over them because of the capacity of containing emotions which the latter has over the former. Yes, it's nice to see 'like's build up when I share something on Facebook, or even going through my blog's stats here. But in the end, the things that truly make my day are kind words from others. Every once in a while, I get someone who tells me that they like my photos. These people with the courage and initiative would say them in an enthusiasm which goes through my chest and spread out in a warm fan around my heart. 

  However, it's not like I would rely solely on those little (but most of the time, oh so precious) praises, for that would not do. I create, write and photograph because they bring a satisfaction barely matched by any other things. Even if nobody saw them, I would still do them, I definitely would. But I would not deny that happiness is indeed multiplied when shared, so here's letting you know that I really appreciate the time you dedicate to the things of mine. All I'm saying is, while you're at it, you could also let me know, because while that isn't of all importance, it's lovely to receive some feedback.


ps. I've recently joined a group of some of the most wonderful dreamers, artists, wild things, and yes, it is amazing. The kindness, acceptance, love and support is overwhelming and I'm just filled with joy. It's funny how I don't write so well when I'm in these 'happy' states. Hm.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

city of royals.

  A few more pictures from my holiday in London back in December. I swear London isn't the best place to visit during Christmas time, especially if you're not a crowd person. The underground's timetable was completely messed up -some in fear of bomb threats- and on Boxing day, in lure of the prospect of sales on Oxford street, my family and I decided to head there. Horrible choice. To move forward, you had to be a salmon and swim upstream against the current. Not to mention that there was a murder there which we only found out the next day when my sister saw the headlines of a newspaper on a news stand.

  I'm probably giving a rather bad impression of London. I guess I had always thought that I might like it and it turned out that I didn't. Mainly because I loathe crowds. However, we hardly visited any art galleries or museums, which I think is what I'll do if I make another trip there. I should mention that I fell in love with the inside of Westminster Abbey; to say that it took my breath away is probably an understatement. I remember standing in front of carved slabs and studying the engraved calligraphic words for literally a few minutes. Everything was so awe-inspiring, it was in a way a good thing that they did not allow photography in there or I would have stayed there for days just trying to capture everything. So really, it wasn't all that bad.

  But for now, just enjoy the photos! :)

fur ball.
young girls playing with water outside Buckingham palace.
christmas market.
tourists strolling through Hyde park.
horse riders in Hyde Park.
overflowing leaves.
crowd along Oxford Street on boxing day.
fountain in Trafalgar Square and the theatre where we watched the 'Phantom of the Opera'.
And yes, the play was absolutely amazing! Hours later when we were back in our rented apartment, I remember still hearing the orchestra playing in my head.

camouflaged fabric elephants in the middle of their balancing act.
fairy in window display.

ps. I normally like adjusting my own curves, but a number of the photos above were enhanced with the help of some of the curves by the amazing Julia Trotti which she so generously gives out for free on her blog.

Also, I don't mind if you would like to use my photos, but I would really appreciate it if you would let me know beforehand as well as credit them. Thanks :)


Sunday, April 22, 2012

"The difference between loving yourself and not loving yourself is not in the things that you do it is in the way that you feel when you are doing them. It means being honest and brave, and not spiraling into a pit of self-hatred when you don’t like what you see or how you feel. It means reassessing, doing what is best, and being very, very sweet to yourself when you are scared. It means proving to your body that you are capable of providing a safe and healthy environment to grow and flourish. It means melting away the shame that you’ve developed over the years about your size. It means going to bat for yourself, the way you would for someone that you love."
-Medicinal Marzipan | The Marzipan Manifesto


  After my period of silence -or maybe not total silence, though I felt that even when I posted, I sounded a little funny or something-, it seems like I'm suddenly blogging like crazy again. Or maybe it's just because I feel like sharing recently. There are times when I feel a little 'selfish', even when taking photos, and keep life as I see it to myself. Which I don't beat myself up too much over because really, I'm not oblige to share any stories or pictures surrounding the ways in which I live, but I do it because I like to.
  That silence has also been affected by wave-crashing-like belief that came over me; that 'knowledge speaks but wisdom is silent'. Which is so true. And here I'm also letting you in to know that I've been bathing myself with the words of those who truly know how to live, and things like these would just sound pretty weird if they weren't disguised as poetry or pictures or inspiration before they were shared. As for why I sometimes choose to just revel in life itself is because there are some moments and some scenes that would just feel horribly reduced if you were to put frames around them and seal them with a mechanical gadget and a few pixels. Maybe it's lucky in a way that these moments are rare, because I do shoot most of the time.

  Speaking about photographs, if you've been following me for a while, you might have noticed that my photos are a lot better? Well, if you haven't, never mind. But I have. I've just been so absorbed in learning so much and putting them into creation that when I go back to older folders and scroll past my earlier photos, I just go, 'Whoa. These are total crap!' and would then feel so embarrassed for having shared them all over the place. And when this happens, I would just want to go in a corner, curl up in the ball and cry my eyes out to disappear. My room then feels too claustrophobic, my bottom aches from sitting on the chair in front of the laptop for too long, and the world and the future seems too intimidating.

  To which I then go back to understanding. I used to believe for a very very long time that the very most important thing in the world was trust, but now I think I've changed my mind and say that it's understanding. And when I say this, I mean the kind that is similar to knowledge, but more, for this enwraps the whole universe and flows with the warmth of kindness. And happiness. And love. Not (just) love in that romantic way in which so damn many people interpret this quad-lettered word as, but love that is harmony, being in alignment with the frequencies in which the energies within the atoms of our bodies as well as our thoughts vibrate.
  I've also learnt to put learning as the utmost priority in my life, so that every time I'm 'just not in the mood' or something, I would like to remind myself that I am here to learn. Yes, to learn and perhaps not very much more.

  Which was what I did. When small me put a magnifying glass in place of the windshield so to make things appear as if they were looming up upon me, this eager heart which strived to learn took over the wheel. The journey is a lot more pleasant then.

  I think it would be lovely if I could constantly remind myself that things I see are what I've chosen to see, whether out of habit or deliberately, and that it is always in my own control to flip my thoughts over, making sure that it's the side of things which I want to see. For all we have and perceive of the world are through are senses, thus everything is relative to another and nothing is truly fixed. Which is why I believe that one of the best things I've always been is keeping my mind wide open for I learn and see things most people don't even bother trying to see.

  One really strong thing I've learnt, one which truly hits me and takes over my whole life, is that feeling good and happiness are of crucial importance. I remember going over this suggestion a few years back or maybe even a few months, and thinking, 'Yeah, it seems nice. But it isn't practical, and in a way, isn't it rather superficial?' And what I've found out is how. very. wrong. I. had. been! Let me show it to you. See, everything you do (or even think you should do) and everything you want or already have which you appreciate as much as life itself, is because they make you feel good. Or by seeing them in your possession in some future or in dreams, is also because you believe that owning those would make you happier than you are right now. However, most people choose to wallow in sufferings in the present moment. This is because they haven't realised the rather simple yet goes unnoticed understanding in which I have just presented. If what you want is because you think would make you feel good, why not take a shortcut and just go ahead and feel good right now?
  I won't be able to explain all which I have collected over the time of about four years by now, but I would suggest that you go and explore books about 'the law of attraction' and those of its likeness. Many inspirational mentors talk about those, but do remember that those are guides and you yourself would need to get to those 'places' (meaning mental places, not physical here).
  It is perfectly reasonable to want to obtain material goods and those in which we as humans want, but what we need to know is that it isn't those things we are really after, but the growth and feelings in which we gain through those processes. Knowing this, isn't it understandable that happiness would be such a wonderful prioritisation?

  Anyway, it's almost half-past three in the morning now. My chocolate has melted and I scooped it out using my fingers, making them all sticky. Maybe it was because of the heat from my external hard drive. But yes, I should really get some sleep already -something which I guess I should have done sooner. Goodnight, my loves.



So I've revamped my blog's layout from


 to this! 

Hope you like it, and if you have any particular thoughts any time, feel free to leave comments below the posts (click the button labeled 'thoughts').


Saturday, April 21, 2012


Pictures from the photoshoot with my sweet little friend Siu Li. (At times I tend to forget that she's actually a year older than me. Though as you grow older, you do learn that things like age is just a number and that there are more important things than those figures.)
She was so fun to shoot, and was only too willing to go along with whatever crazy ideas I had in mind. That day was a nice bright one, so  I suggested that we have a walk down to the botanic gardens and stop whenever we wish if there was anything interesting along the way. We bumped into friendly strangers and little adventures along the way, more of which I will talk about when I share the other photos which were taken when they happened. For now, the photo below is one of a lady walking her dog who stopped for me when I turned my camera to her. She grinned one of the friendliest old lady-grin for me, and when removed Ever (my camera) from my face to return a grin of my own, she proceeded to chat with both of us. 
Before she left, she told us that she had another dog -a black labrador, if my memory serves well- somewhere around and told us that if we kept our eyes open, we would probably see him. 'Its name is Lulu. L-U-L-U,' she even spelt it out for us. To which we listened and kept our eyes wide open, but didn't see even as much as a tail from him. So when we bumped into her again as we were leaving the place, I told her that we didn't see him when I caught her eye and both of us smiled. 'Oh dear,' she said, and probably went off in search of him. I don't think she was too worried though.

Maybe it's a park thing, with its greenery and fresh air, but I realised that the people I meet at parks are really friendly. They are usually dog-walkers who don't mind pausing for a 'hello' or a smile. Ahh, the carefree! Sometimes they can make my day with each little pleasant moment collected.
I strongly suspect it's a choice and not just a lifestyle. 

fluttering, filling love.

Birdy, she's really something, isn't she? Especially her voice (and I don't know how to try and describe it without understating it all).

Counting all different ideas drifting away
Past and present they don't matter
Now the future's sorted out

People help the people
And if you're homesick, give me your hand and I'll hold it
People help the people
And nothing will drag you down
Oh and if I had a brain,
Oh and if I had a brain
I'd be cold as a stone and rich as the fool
That turned all those good hearts away.

Come on skinny love just last the year
Pour a little salt we were never here.

And I told you to be patient
And I told you to be fine
And I told you to be balanced
And I told you to be kind
And in the morning I'll be with you
But it will be a different kind

We're only young and naive still
We require certain skills.
The mood it changes like the wind
Hard to control when it begins.

The bittersweet between my teeth,
trying to find the in-betweens
Fall back in love eventually

Friday, April 20, 2012

first time on set

I think I've been mostly supplying you all with pictures recently, but concrete walls couldn't stop these words from pouring out of the dam of my mind today so here's a real blog post for you. I have also decided to leave this post picture-free to let the words spin up their own pictures in your minds. And do forgive the rather unimaginative post title, I just didn't really feel like thinking up something fancy so I just stuck what this is about down. Anyway, enough of this introduction so you can start with the real thing.

  So I have now officially earned bragging rights to having spent time on a real film set. Which I guess wouldn’t be that surprising, seeing how I would be on one sooner or later, but this was my first real experience and I would say that it was pretty cool.

  A third year student had been asking around if anyone would like to be an assistant on the project he and his group were shooting for their final year. As for me, I had realised a while ago how truly important experience is, and I figured that this would be a good chance for that, so I sent him a message asking for more details as I needed to split my time up wisely to complete an editing assignment I have to work on as well. He replied, thanking me first for getting in touch, then letting me in on what might be asked to do. I thought it was interesting, so after finding a way to arrange the stuff I had to get done, I got back to him, promising him that I would be there for two days.

  From what experience I had which I had gotten in class about some equipment, as well as from watching behind the scene takes of big movies, I guess it was almost what I had imagined (although I wasn't sure how much scaled down this would be). However, in addition to the equipment that they used, they did go about really professionally. It’s probably because I’m still considered rather new to this, but when they said stuff like, ‘camera rolling’, ‘camera set’, ‘action!’ and even used a clapperboard, I just fell for everything (don't we all sucker up to the things we love) and felt like it was the most awesome thing in the world. In a way, everything was like you see on tv, mostly those I remember from behind the scene takes, and naturally, they even had the right accent. 

  I personally don’t think that I actually assisted with the equipment that much -I did help setting up the lights, tripods, moving the dolly tracks and all- but it seems like I ended up being extras more than I had even imagined I would! (I apologise for all the film jargon being used. I guess I’m still a little excited, and I remember thinking how amazing it was that they knew all the rights words for the right things on set.) I can’t be entirely sure for now whether it was just them, but they made the whole thing seem pretty fun. I realised that they hardly took themselves seriously, but they very definitely took their work seriously. They were just such a fun bunch of people, singing (even almost yelling-sort sometimes) on set whenever the cameras wasn’t rolling yet. They cracked jokes and teased each other. If I had ever dreamt about how a set I would be on was like, this atmosphere was probably it. It was brilliant.

  One of the best things about filming (or any kind of art I guess, really) is the places that it takes you. You get to do crazy stuff which would probably be deemed unacceptable on normal days. Just last Sunday when my friend and I went for a fun photoshoot, she agreed to climb a tree for me, stand between bushes of a bamboo bush, lie straight on a wall and curl up on the soft ground just in front of a bush just for me to shoot (photograph) her. I also stuck tiny wild daisies in her shoe for they did make a pretty picture! We greeted and were greeted by friendly strangers, and a hippie guy even came up to us while playing his ukulele. That was one of the strangest parts of that day. My friend and I stood there grinning stupidly at him, his own mouth was also curled up while his lips held on to a cigarette. After we left, my friend told me, ‘That was so random!’

  Helping out on this set brought me into the men’s bathroom. Squeezed in with the main lights turned off and a couple of set lights on stands, their wires curling about the floor threatening to trip you up, I helped to announce the scene and take before proceeding to clap the clapperboard. The camera was then stuck into the sink and I had to thread carefully to make my way to a corner so that I wouldn’t be in the shot when they filmed. One of the guys sat on a closed toilet bowl seat with a file on his thighs. Very professional.

  Apart from the latest craze song, ‘Call Me Maybe’, they also sang this funny ‘maths song’ in slightly pitched voices. Then when one of the girls bought bacon for lunch, they sang a few lines about their made-up version of bacon song, if I’m not mistaken. The next day, they bought KFC and I sat with a girl who did the acting. She was this lovely person, who made it clear as soon as possible that she wasn’t as slutty as the character she played on screen was. The guy who had invited me overheard it and jokingly tried to convince me that she was lying. I laughed (and of course, I believe her). Also, they were all rather good-looking people, even (especially) those working behind the scenes. Which not everyone would expect? Though they’re probably like me, preferring (and even to the extend of enjoying) that. 

  For two days, I was there for eight hours straight. Those scenes were set in a bar, so we stayed in a darkened bar with only colourful disco lights for company, apart from the set lights, even though when it might have been sunny outside. We were working most of the time, and there was once when someone mentioned that they were getting hungry after three or four hours of shooting, to which another said, ‘Don’t mentioned the f-word!’ and another promptly answered on purpose, ‘Fooood!’ 

  Well, I guess that these are just some of the things I remember right now. I also learnt, if I hadn’t realised so much, that filming is indeed quite hard work, even without mentioning all the planning they did beforehand and the editing they would have to work on later. It also takes a lot of patience, and I could feel the impatience in me bubbling when some scenes had to be taken and retaken and retaken yet again even though it hardly concerned me directly. Just the way the actors had to say their lines over and over again, or even doing the same thing like swinging the guitar strap over their neck repeatedly set off some kind of pet peeve in me. But I learn to accept it though, it was just something that came as part of the package of filming. 

  This whole thing probably seems rather alluring to the average person, the whole making movies and all thing. Not many actually realise that it takes a lot of work, and to those who do, it would seem like what it is, work. However, to those who work with their heart and fuel it with passion, it could feel less like a job and more like something which produces satisfaction. And I guess it’s like they say, if you’re doing something that you love, you’ll never have to work a day in your life.

  I am so thankful that I’ll never have to get a ‘real job’ because I would like to take everything on as joy and allow the work to get done for me, never expecting to gain more than satisfaction.


Friday, April 13, 2012

watchful eye.

Pictures back from the photoshoot with Caitlin. 
Make up your own story, won't you?


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

what love really is.

"One thing I've learned from almost twenty years of being alive is, never, ever, ever complain about someone you care about. Don't judge them, don't criticize them, don't tell them what they're doing wrong, don't ask them to be different. 
Instead, praise them for what they have done, and if you can't find anything then perhaps you're the one that needs to have some changing done. Change the way you look at people, and it'll change the way the world works for you."

I found this while sorting out some of my screenshots. I believe that this (which is so very true. The definition of unconditional love, I believe) came from somewhere here.

May you have people whom you love and those who love you back.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

by hundreds.

There is something so very magical about fireworks. I remember that the fireworks show was one of the only two things I had truly enjoyed in Disneyland when I visited it around five years ago. In a similar way, fireworks were included in the light show which was one of the events being held to commemorate Titanic's 100th anniversary. The crowd was exceptionally large for a small place like Belfast, and the weather had chilled back down again after a nice week of summery sun. 

There are times where I see something so fine, so magnificent, that I just don't feel it necessary to photograph it. For by doing so, putting a frame around it would seem to be doing it injustice, like you were taking the spirit that breathed with it away. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love photography and the ways in which it can almost immortalise certain scenes, the ways in which you can share something pretty. And that is it being its art on its own. But if you understand, there are some things which you just need to witness yourself and allow them to leave you holding your breath in awe, something you probably wouldn't even realise that you're doing until your lungs go, 'hey, if you don't mind, we need some oxygen here.'

I believe that fireworks are one of those things. As I watched them, I tried to look closer, which started me wondering. And I noticed that they were actually just sparks, colourful sparks. Quite magical, and always managed to leave me entranced somehow. A million sparks that in their groups, looked like lit glitter, then faded away the next moment before you could fully take them in. The only paths they left were those of smoke, frail wisps which were soon blown away. 

I thought about how nice if you were here, if you could've watched them with me. The wind circled me with its chilly breath and I huddled my coat closer.
Then I decided that it was perhaps slightly okay that you weren't here. I decided that I'd watch them for you, and that was what I did.

Below are some pictures of the building built to hold the Titanic exhibition as well as some interesting people among the crowd that caught my eye.

According to this, 'the building is clad in metal shards and when the light plays on them it looks like the movement of water. From above, the building resembles a white star, a symbol of Titanic's operators.' I unfortunately, did not get an aerial view and thus did not see the star.