Singapore Zoo is located at Mandai and it is probably the only cageless Zoo in Asia (if not the world). This unique layout means that you get an “in your face” experience when viewing the animals. I visited the zoo last Saturday with my family.

I got to Singapore Zoo via a feeder van service set up just outside Ang Mo Kio MRT station. I think there’s no transport charges, you just pay for the tickets. You can view the rates here.

Alternatively, you can take a taxi ride from Woodlands Checkpoint to the zoo and it’ll cost you roughly S$7.00 (just under RM17).

Please continue reading this post to see pictures I’ve taken during this trip.

Singapore Zoo has the largest number of orang utans in captivity anywhere in the world. The most famous of which is Ah Meng, who unfortunately died last year (8 February 2008) aged just under 48 years old. Ah Meng’s memory is however kept very much alive throughout the zoo. There’s even a restaurant named after her.

Senior Orang Utan (by azmeen)

Orang Utans Huddling (by azmeen)

Young Orang Utan (by azmeen)

I particularly enjoyed observing the Proboscis Monkeys at the zoo. This is the best close up picture I got of one. The dark area at the top left corner is unfortunate, but I’m too lazy to edit it out 😛

Proboscis Monkey (by azmeen)

I saw this lemur hanging out near a holding rail being virtually free to roam as he please. This guy is right in front of my eyes and I could even touch him if not for the fact that I’m unsure if this is legal (Singapore being a fine country and all that). I then did the next best thing and took a photo instead.

Black & White Ruffed Lemur (by azmeen)

There was also a cute marmoset close by. Doesn’t he look adorable?

Marmoset (by azmeen)

There were also some dangerous animals that I would never dream of being close to let alone touch! This Komodo Dragon is one of those creatures.

Komodo Dragon (by azmeen)

We also saw some amazing cats on display. One particular shot I’m quite proud of is this portrait of a leopard.

Leopard (by azmeen)

There were also various shows put up by the zoo which adds to the enjoyment of the visit. One show that we got to watch in its entirety was the Rainforest Show. This photo was taken right after the show. My son totally enjoyed the chance to handle the snake!

My Family & The Rainforest Show Crew (by azmeen)

Singapore Zoo is a massive place to visit. We spent almost an entire day there and still felt like we spent way too little time to really absorb the place.

I’ve always enjoyed visiting zoos and this experience is definitely one of the better ones. If you do make a trip to Singapore, do not miss visiting Singapore Zoo! It is definitely worth the trip!

If you wish to see more photos during my trip, please check out this Flickr set of mine.

Flickr

Flickr is in my opinion the ultimate photo sharing web site available online. I’ve been using it for years and highly recommend it for photographers to safely store their photos (check out my Flickr photostream).

As awesome as Flickr is, there are areas where it can be improved. One obvious area is the process of sharing photos on blog and forum posts.

Previously I’ve been doing this manually by clicking on the picture, selecting the appropriate size and copying the HTML code to be pasted. Straightforward? I guess so. Fast? OK if I’m not copying HTML for the large image; it can get time consuming to wait for larger photos to load though.

That’s why I’m very pleased to come across AllSizes+; a Greasemonkey script that makes Flickr photo sharing a few notches easier!

Getting the script to work is very easy. There’s only two pre-requisites; you have to be using Firefox and have the Greasemonkey addon installed.

Once that’s sorted out; simply install the AllSizes+ userscript.

Now that the whole process is complete; you’ll be presented with the following overlayed interface everytime you click on the All Sizes icon on any Flickr photo page:

GM Script: AllSizes+ (by premasagar)

Another huge plus point for AllSizes+ is that it will render the All Sizes button on all Flickr photo pages; even for users who disabled the All Sizes button on their account.

Some might find this offensive; but honestly, once you put your photos online people who want to “steal” them can do so anyway. AllSizes+ to me is a perfectly legitimate tool to make photo sharing a painless process.

If you’re a blogger who often blogs about photos you’ve uploaded onto Flickr; or even if you want a faster and more efficient way to post your photos on Flickr message boards, AllSizes+ is a wonderful tool to have at your disposal.

I highly recommend it and I’m sure you will too; once you’ve given it a whirl 🙂

For the recent Chinese New Year holidays, I took a trip to KL (as usual whenever there’s a long break). Spent some time at KL Butterfly Park and took night trips to Putrajaya and KLCC.

Why am I mentioning this? Of course there’s an ulterior motive; I want to share some of the photos I took 🙂

On the first day of my arrival there, I hooked up with an Alphanatics forum member. It’s for business… I bought a Tamron 70-300 lens from him. It’s virtually unused, so I think I got a great deal for it.

The next day, I visited KL Butterfly Park. My last visit there was at least 20 years ago. The park is small but still a very good location to snap pictures of beautiful butterflies.

Blue Glassy Tiger

This is a Blue Glassy Tiger, sitting on a pretty much chomped up leaf.

Nymphalid Butterfly

A close-up of a Nymphalid butterfly on a hibiscus.

Unknown Butterfly Species (ID Appreciated!)

Two unknown butterfly species.

Unknown Insect Species (ID Appreciated!)

Yet another unknown butterfly perched on a leaf.

If you happen to know the names of the butterflies in the last two pictures above, please let me know.

All of the pictures above are taken with my new Tamron 70-300 Di LD; handheld! I did bring along my cheapo RM50 tripod but didn’t have the time to set it up to photograph the ever-moving butterflies.

Later that night, I took a trip to Putrajaya just to capture some night scenes. It was pretty disappointing as it rained not long after I parked my camera. The only picture worth showing from that night is the one below:

Putrajaya Bridge

The Wawasan Bridge at Night.

Since I was staying at my mom-in-law’s place in Cheras, a return to Putrajaya doesn’t seem worthwhile (tolls and all… how do you KL people survive?!). So two nights later, I decided to head down to KLCC and do some night photography of the twin towers.

Petronas Twin Towers @ KLCC

Petronas Twin Towers @ KLCC

Petronas Twin Towers @ KLCC

I’m quite pleased with how the pictures turned out. It makes me feel that the RM2k plus investment on my α200 is beginning to show results 😉

What do you think of the pictures? Comments and critiques always welcome.

 

One of the phrases I hear often but find to be totally self-contradicting is “This is a win-win situation!” That phrase annoys the heck out of me! It’s one of those paradoxes that proves the nonsensical nature of the very message it tries to project.

The thing is there can’t be a winner without a loser. In a so-called “win-win situation”, who is the loser? Isn’t the loser the same people that “won”? Isn’t it more accurate that whatever outcome that was described as a “win-win situation” was actually a draw?

Yes, that’s exactly what happened. You didn’t winYour opponent didn’t win. You stalemated. It’s as simple as that. Trying to describe such situations as “win-win” is ridiculous.

So the next time you’re itching to use this cliched phrase; bite your tongue, drop the pen, move your hand away from the keyboard. The “win-win situation” thing has been overused to oblivion.

Just tell the situation as it is; the best compromise, equally beneficial middle path, fair and square… anything that doesn’t imply that either (or neither for that matter) party is “winning”.

My Name Cards

Name cards (or business cards as many Malaysians like to call them) are important business communication and identity tools. They help your prospects understand what products and services you have to offer. They also should provide a brief but accurate representation of your company’s business.

I wanted to design my own name cards to save money and also learn a few things about designing a corporate identity. After about 2.5 revisions, I finally came up with a design that I think represents my business very nicely.

This is the final version of my name card design:

Name Card Design

Sent the design for printing at RM50 for 200 pieces which I think is the typical market rate for digital printing on standard semi-glossy cards. I didn’t want to print too much of them because I’m not sure how they would turn out compared to the softcopy.

Less than 24 hours later, my cards were ready for pick up. Snapped some pics of them when I got home:

Name Cards

Name Cards

I’m generally pleased with how it came out although the colour reproduction isn’t accurate enough for my tastes, but it was expected. I also learned a lot about the importance of high contrasts between foreground and background colours.

Some things I’d change the the next version of the card would be:

  • Bold the strapline (slogan) text on the header
  • Use white font colour for the footer and/or
  • Use slightly bigger font size for the address and company registration number

What do you think of the design? What changes would recommend and why?