Monday is here again, hope you guys had some quality rest over the weekend. Mine was spent working on some album layout for our recently shot conceptualised pre-weddings, and also household chores. Before I knew it, time has already passed and it’s Monday already! Raymond has been busy shooting for the F1 events, and we can actually hear the race from our place. Quite loud even when all windows are shut tightly. The sound from the fireworks was even louder here as compared to our previous place at SOHO!


We should be posting up some images of our awesome new place soon, once all the furnitures are in place. Currently we’re still waiting for the Sofa we indent (been about 2 months already), which is a piece of work designed by Philippe Starck. Personally I love it a lot, and I feel that it’s one of the most practical piece which fits our requirement. But anyway, today’s entry is about our Sydney trip which happened in Year 2009. Yes, two years ago, when we attended a Photography workshop in Sydney by Schembri (Ryan Schembri, Jessica Schembri and Martin Schembri). It was an awesome experience, beautiful place, genuine people, yummilicious food, perfect weather, and we learnt a lot from the workshop. 🙂



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We landed in one piece few days before the workshop, grabbed our rented Toyota Aurion (comfy, sturdy, very good built-in GPS system) and explored the area.


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We were actually super exhausted cos we were working like mad cows trying to clear as much backlogs as possible before the trip, and we were almost late for our boarding too. So we zonked out once we reached Comfort Inn North Shore, the place where we camped throughout the trip (except for later part where we drove to Brisbane after the workshop).

At quite a resonable rate, the place was really clean with big toilet, and every morning they’ll come over to tidy the room for us.


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By the time we woke up, it was pretty late at night already. We took a bus to the CBD area as advised by our friends in Aussie, bought some Pizzas, sat on a bench and gobbled. I don’t understand why the pizzas taste so freaking good!! Is it because the grass is always greener on the other pasture or something?


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I actually fell sick at the airport. Still remember I can only eat noodle while Raymond gobbled on a huge ass Burger King meal.


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And it’s more eating and eating and eating. This burger always taste freaking good. They have a huge variety of burgers! Just like the Fergburger in New Zealand.


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Then we hopped into a 7-11, wanted to buy instant cup noodle, but the price scared us off. :p


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There’s a mix of old + new architecture buildings, and being Tourists, we have to take some shots around.


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Took this while waiting for the Bus to go back to our motel. Other buses came, but end up all the buses doesn’t go to our place. We asked for directions, walked quite a long way to other bus stops, but got different answers. End up we had to take a Taxi back, which was pretty pricey too. And people say cab fare is expensive here in Singapore. -_-”


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We met up with Raymond’s friend – Yao You who was studying in Sydney. Ate a tummy exploding meal at one of the restaurants where they served orgasmic pork knuckles!!!! And the waitress were dressed in milkmaid. Darn I cannot remember the name already. 🙁

We went on to a pub and had some drinks, ordered this Red Oak special reserve beer for Yao You as an encouragement for him to do well in his exams. This beer actually won awards, and if I remember correctly it’s the most expensive beer in the restaurant, and one of the most expensive drinks served. For our grand champion! 🙂


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Then we went for a stroll, the wind was super strong!! Love the weather in Sydney, to me it’s super cold I had to wear layers and beanie and even mittens/gloves. But people around me are wearing tshirt and jeans, some even shorts. -_-”


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Went on the explore, as suggested by Sam and Michelle (one of our wedding couples based in Sydney now) we took a ferry the next day to explore the beach area.

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And we arrived at Manly to hunt for fish and chips!!!!


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Unfortunately by the time we got there and received our order (long queue of people), the sky was already turning dark. We sat by the beach and munched on our food. We also brought our favourite drink – SOLO!!! 🙂


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By the time we got back to our car which was parked near Luna Park, it was already pretty dark.


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So it’s back to work at the motel, preparing for the workshop next morning. Here’s a picture of my favourite alcohol – Midori Illusion. Super duper love it.


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Workshop was held at L&P Digital Photographic at Reserve Road, Artarmon, which was super near our place. First day we introduced ourselves, got to know more about each other.

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Raymond had his hands on the PhaseOne digital back camera system.


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And we also had some hands on experience shooting right within the workshop venue room itself.


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This was our processing skill 2 years ago, not sure if you guys noticed the difference in our iamges now and how much we have changed/improved within the 2 years. 🙂

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Raymond brought along 2 cameras, so I had fun with the other one as well.


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Then we moved outdoor and had a photo challenge! Each of us had limited amount of time to think of where we want to shoot, how we want to pose the model etc, then share our best image for comments and critique.


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We had a lot of opportunities to shoot and learn, and it’s so much easier when you’re working with gorgeous people like Jess and Catherine! So while everyone was busy listening, I was busy snapping. I love the behind the scenes, and I thought it’s interesting to see the 2 ladies holding up their gowns and walking to the next photoshoot location.


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We walked to the next photoshoot location – a basketball court. Again everyone had a chance to pose the lovely couple Dennis and Catherine, and these are what Raymond shot.


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The very talented Father and Son – Martin and Ryan Schembri!


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Again while Raymond was photographing Jess, I had the world under my feet with the Fish eye! 🙂

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Learning how to make use of Video light and white balance adjustments to achieve the in-camera effect.


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I cannot explain why I took this shot, but I just like the clean defined lines.


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And then we had a lesson on making use of reflective surfaces, and Raymond took this shot! Ryan only had eyes for Jess. Kekekeke. 🙂


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The team was then split into two groups – one with Ryan, the other with Martin. Raymond and I followed Martin, and we roamed around the area near the Xsight Sydney studio for our lessons.


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I think we’re very naughty students, cos whenever the teacher asked us to pay attention to this and that, and everybody starts shooting, we’ll wander off to see if we can get a different feel.


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Raymond likes this one.


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Then Martin started explaining to us how good light can make or break a picture, and also taught us on posing. I think our itchy mouths started telling Martin that it’s very hard to get the lovey dovey emotions out of Asian couples, SO, a demo was done with us as guinea pigs. -_-“.

I think Henrik took this shot for us, and I love how he managed to capture my roll eye expression! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Not easy posing, I think my neck almost broke with body leaning against the steel, ankle had to do this and look over the shoulder etc. We salute Catherine and Jess for all the sacrifices they made being our model! 🙂


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Some of the very lovely friends we made at the workshop! That’s mini Karen, Deejai, Pete, Kylie, Henrik, Catherine and Martin! All very passionate, selfless and talented photographers. 🙂


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More photoshoot opportunities! You really gotta go to one of these workshops to learn, and for 5 full days with a small group of participants (they actually control the number of participants to maximise learning for each and everyone), you actually learn so much more.


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Alot of my pictures are about weird things, extracts of body parts etc, cos personally I believe most of the time the body speaks a lot more than the facial expression. Maybe cos there’s a whole lot more room for the viewer to interpret the image for themselves.


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MUMMY KAREN POSINGGGGGG!! Until now I still cannot believe that she’s a mum already!! She’s petite, she look like a very young girl, so bubbly and so much fun to be with! A bit hard to picture her as a mum, but she did it! 🙂


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Beautiful view.


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SEE, the mum. -_-”


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For some days we even had night shoots, and here’s one picture shot making use of the available elements. 🙂


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Of course while Ryan and Martin taught us a lot on the shooting and posing aspect, Jess taught us retouching. Look, how’s my retouching skills?? 😀


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While waiting for the rest to arrive, I took some shots for Raymond. I wanted him to be as emo and evil as possible.


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Evil enough? And then there’s the peekaboo, and a picture of some remaining sweet in his mouth.


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Totally random pictures I took, and I love my music shoes. 🙂


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Part of the images from the night shoot.


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And another shot making use of available elements.

We wished the workshop was longer, we totally enjoyed the company and honestly the lessons were valuable. Not only did it change our perspective, we also learnt a lot in terms of managing the business. There was no holding back at all when the Schembris shared with us their skills, tips and tricks etc. And you won’t believe it when I tell you the “goodie bag” given to us was an Xsight bag, and a folder of important information such as the details and structure of their rate card etc.

They’re really extremely talented people, and if there’s any chance for you guys at all to attend their 5 days workshop, do hop onto it right away. It might come at a price tag which will make you think twice, but always remember this initial investment will get you much more returns when you tweak your business model and shooting techniques with what you learnt to bring in more business. 🙂

Anyway, so after a good very late lunch/dinner, we bade our farewells, and drove all the way up to Brisbane! Cos previously when we were in Australia, we missed the seaworld. So Raymond promised that we’ll drive up to Brisbane and visit the Seaworld this time round. A pity we didn’t manage to attend any concert at the Sydney Opera House cos the concerts were like full house. Oh wel, next time then. 🙂


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So we drove overnight, had horror encounters with drunk monster truck drivers where they road hog and when we finally passed them, they threw can/bottle at our car, blast their high beam and chase us from behind. So scary especially when the roads are long, dark, windy, and there were no other cars around. But glad we made it safely, and stopped by the candle factory for look see look see. They’ve got quite a few pretty candles, and we bought some back home.


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We slept in the car for 1 or 2 nights, and it was freezing cold! Especially when it’s raining, and Raymond was the only driver. So we decided to take a short break at this interesting place called Nimbin.


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Very interesting place, graffitti art all over, almost everyone knows each other by name cos the place is so small. We also went to their radio station and met their very interesting radio DJ who shared with us a lot of stories and history of Nimbin.


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It’s a place where hemp is easily available, they have got hemp bar, hemp cookies, hemp chocolates, hemp products etc. I think it’s not exactly legalise, but it’s quite an open and known fact in Nimbin. You can try google for Mardigrass to read more on the annual cannabis law reform rally/protest. And again the people there are all so so so so nice and friendly!


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Finally we arrived at Seaworld! I actually have to eat an icecream everyday despite the cold weather, and this is one of my favourite ice cream in Australia – the Golden Gaytime!! 🙂


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Dolphin show, and people get to swim with dolphins.


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It’s not very nice to keep the animals in their non natural habitat, and our attendance at the show actually indirectly contributed to the funding of the facility. This is my first dolphin show. Prior to this I’ve seen and touched a wild dolphin, they’re not beautiful like these dolphins. The wild ones have scars all over their body, and although they’re placed in a dangerous environment with predators lurking around in the open sea, but I think at least they’re happier. Much happier.


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Next up, Raymond made me take this ride. It might look like a kiddy slope, but I tell you, it’s DAMN SCARY!! -_-”


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There were mini ponds around for us to touch and feel the star fish and marine creatures.


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And a polar bear enclosure with handsome + pretty bears! This particular bear was so funny, he kept swimming laps after laps non stop. Then at the far corner I spotted another bear chewing and dragging a piece of white towel. Next thing the bear did was to walk over to the handsome bear, looked at him, and it feels like they’re having a conversation.


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Underwater aquarium, and we saw a lot of weird looking fishes!


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We also bought our own fishing rod and gears, went to a random spot to fish! But unfortunately we caught nothing. -_-”

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Last day already, slept in a car parked near Subway. I bought a Ukelele at the Murwillumbah music store, and we left for the airport.
We’ve been to Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney, and we can go there a million times again yet not feel bored. There’s just something about Australia that makes us want to go back again. Can’t wait till the next time we’ll get to visit Australia again. Miss our couple and friends over in Aussie.
Okie dokie, till the next, take care! 🙂