Some Pictures of wet Malaysian MotoGP 2012

The rain had stopped but the Malaysian MotoGP 2012 was declared a wet race. After a few laps, it began to rain again and eventually the race  was red flagged after lap thirteen with six more laps to go and never to resume again. My equipment are not weather proof but with some protection for the lens from the lens jacket that I made plus some tissues covering the camera, I did get a few bursts of shots before the rain got heavier.

Here are some of the photographs of the MotoGP that are just about ok in spite of the rain and two layers of perimeter fences. Some though were taken during the morning practice in the uncovered sun. All shots taken just before turn 12.

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Malaysian MotoGP 2012 at Sepang

It was a dry, wet and wetter races for the Grand Prix. I had opted for the Hillstand B and I found out that it was not quite a hillstand as the area was somewhat level. The fans here had to be contented with the view of the races through two layers of perimeter fences around the circuit. No problem for just viewing the races but a problem if you want to take pictures of the riders.

Hillstand B at Sepang International Circuit and the weather

Camera for the aerial view of the races

Fans at grandstand facing the back straight

Fans at Hillstand B getting close to the action

As usual the race started with Moto3 category. Local ace Zulfahmi Khairuddin was on pole. It was a dry race in the beginning but then it started to drizzle very lightly towards the end of it. Nevertheless it was a full race on slick tyres. Local favourite Zulfahmi had led himself to be on second position after the start of the race until he saw droplets on his visor that he decided to make the move to the front. He held on to the lead position until the last lap. It was on turn thirteen that I heard someone said he had a slight twitch before turn thirteen and that was when I saw Cortese overtook him to take the lead. He took back the lead on the back straight only to make a mistake at turn fifteen and Cortese took the chance on it to win the race.

Here’s what he said to the local media New Straits Times,

Zulfahmi Khairuddin

“I knew we had the power and the right set-up for this race and I was able to be in the front pack. Starting from pole helped. I was just biding my time in the early part of the race as I learned from my experience, that I should (not) take the lead too early. So I allowed Jonas Folger to lead in the first nine laps,” said Zulfahmi, who is from Banting.

“Then I saw some drops of rain hit my visor and I knew if it began to rain, the race would be stopped. That was the moment when I pushed and took the lead, but in the end, it didn’t really rain until after the race. I know I could have won, but for a mistake that led me to slip on the penultimate corner, which allowed Cortese to take the lead.

“At that moment I tried to regain the lead, but I almost slipped as I hit a bump and we were at the last turn, so I thought it would be better to take second spot rather than crash and get nothing. I’m pretty satisfied with this result and I know the victory will come soon, maybe in the next race. I’m also really proud to have achieved it in front of such fantastic home support.”

Jonas Folger

Just after Moto3 the rain started for a short while and then stopped for the Moto2. Moto2 was declared a wet race. This race sprang a surprise. It was by a local wildcard Hafizh Syahrin. He was 27th position on the starting grid but end up in 4th position when the race was red flagged with two more laps to go due to rain.

Here’s what he said in the same above mentioned media,

Hafizh Syahrin

“When I saw what Zulfahmi achieved, I just believed that I could do it too. Everything else didn’t matter. And when it began to rain, my mechanic called out ‘Pescao, come here’ and he showed me that it was raining. That drove my confidence up even more,” said Hafizh.

“From the start, the conditions were really my favourite and I just began overtaking them one by one, I didn’t care that I was starting from 27th, I just believed that I could do it each time I saw a rider in front of me,” said Hafizh.

“But the effort in pushing from 27th to first spot had caused a lot of degradation of my rear tyre. Then when it began to rain again, I didn’t have the grip I required from the rear tyre. It was hard to hold on and I dropped down to fourth after I was overtaken by Alex de Angelis, Anthony West and Gino Rea.”

MotoGP was also declared a wet race and it was also red flagged. This time it was earlier in the race, after lap 13 with six more laps to go. I did not have the freedom to photograph much in this event and the event before because of the rain. From the few bursts of shots that I had, only a few of it were worth it. Those few shots that I had of MotoGP I shall be posting it in a new post after I get it cleaned.

Results

MotoGP: 1 Dani Pedrosa (Spa) Repsol Honda 29:29.049s, 2 Jorge Lorenzo (Spa) Yamaha 29:32.738s, 3 Casey Stoner (Aus) Repsol Honda 29:36.193s, 4 Nicky Hayden (USA) Ducati 29:39.207s, 5 Valentino Rossi (Ita) Ducati 29:45.808s, 6 Alvaro Bautista (Spa) San Carlo Honda Gresini 29:46.325s, 7 Hector Barbera (Spa) Pramac Ducati 30:19.331s, 8 Pol ESpargaro (Spa) Power Electronics-Aspar-ART 30:20.634s, 9 James Ellison (Gbr) Paul Bird Motorsport-ART 30.25.725s, 10 Karel Abraham (Cze) Cardion AB-Ducati 30:26.671s. *Race stopped due to heavy rain after 13 laps.

Moto2: 1 Alex de Angelis (Rsm) NGM Mobile-Forward Racing-FTR 36:57.793s, 2 Anthony West (Aus) QMMF-Speed Up 36:58.503s, 3 Gino Rea (Gbr) Federal Oil-Gresini-Suter 36:59.156s, 4 Hafizh Syahrin Abdullah (Mas) Petronas Raceline Malaysia-FTR 37:00.734s, 5 Julian Simon (Spa) Blusens Avintia-Suter 37:05.376s, 6 Andrea Iannone (Ita) Speed Master-Speed Up 37:07.855s, 7 Mika Kalio (Fin) Marc VDS-Kalex 37:20.871s, 8 Bradley Smith (Gbr) Tech3 37:24.750s, 9 Dominique Aegerter (Sui) Technomag-CIP-Suter 37:27.856s, 10 Esteve Rabat (Spa) Tuenti Movil HP40-Kalex 37:29.307s.
*Race red flagged and classification after 15 laps taken as official.

Moto3: 1 Sandro Cortese (Ger) Red Bull KTM-Ajo 40:54.123s, 2 Mohd Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Mas) AirASia-SIC-Ajo-KTM 40:54.151s, 3 Jonas Folger (Ger) Mapfre Aspar-Kalex KTM 40:54.370s, 4 Luis Salom (Spa) RW Racing-Kalex KTM 41:02.626s, 5 Miguel Oliveira (Por) Estrella Galicia-Suter Honda 41:02.797s, 6 Danny Kent (Gbr) Red Bull KTM-Ajo 41:03.458s, 7 Alex Rins (Spa) Estrella Galicia-Suter Honda 41:13.096s, 8 Efren Vasquez (Spa) JHK t-shirt-FTR Honda 41:19.542s, 9 Niklas Ajo (Fin) TT Motion-KTM 41:24.837s, 10 Adrian Martin (Spa) JHK t-shirt-FTR Honda 41:24.886s.

Bukit Malawati

There was once a fort atop a hill overlooking the Straits of Malacca and the mouth of the Selangor river built by the then Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Ibrahim at the end of 17th century to guard against the Dutch. In spite of the defence, the fort at Bukit Malawati fell to the hands of the Dutch but not for long as in less than a year it was repossessed in a night raid. Later on through the years, there were internal squabbles between factions in the kingdom and when the British came, they ravaged the whole fort to the ground.

There is no fort to be seen now but Bukit Malawati is now a popular tourist attraction. There is a mausoleum for the first three Sultans of Selangor, a museum, a torture well and a lighthouse. The area now is in fact a park atop a hill. Remnants of the canons are displayed, scattered around the area. The area is also a spot where the Silver Leaf Monkeys go searching, or in actual fact wait, for food.  Food from the visitors that is.

Altingsburg lighthouse

Kuala Selangor Museum

Fire extinguisher used in the 50s and early 60s

Torture chamber

Playground

Not a popular bench

Canons

VOC. Mark of the Dutch East India Company

Silver Leaf Monkeys

Mannn…What a view

My New Blog

asahjaya photos

It has been awhile that I have been toying with the idea of a blog specifically just for photography. There I will post the best of the lot that I have and I shall try to enhance it as I could with my current level of post processing skill. In doing so, it has been my hope to improve on it, that is getting slick with the post processing programs and as well as making the images better.

You can view it here or click its link on the right sidebar.

Bought A New Camera

Canon EOS 60D

My intention to buy the Pentax K7 did not materialised, I bought a Canon EOS 60D instead. What made me be swayed over to this camera was the high definition full 1080p video recording plus stereo recording if an external microphone is used and the 18 megapixels sensor. The video recording of the Pentax K7 is not really a true high definition, just a little bit short of full HD spec. However, I will be missing the HDR recording capability of the K7 and the Pentax K mount lenses that I had, especially the primes. I am very fond of the 135mm tele lens. It’s very sharp. Many of the 135mm lenses are of 4 elements in 4 groups. That’s practically the minimun amount of lenses found in any lens group.

50mm 1.8 F4 1/100sec ASA100

The camera came with an EFS 18-55mm IS zoom kit lens. My view about this lens is that the sharpness of the image produced is just OK especially in bright lights, but left much to be desired. I need a prime lens. So when I read about the cheap 50mm 1.8 Canon AF lens (plastic body), without much hesitation I went out and get one plus a Kenko C-AF 1.4X Teleplus Pro 300 extender. I do not think that extender or teleconverter in the range of 2X or more is good in maintaining sharpness. 1.7X should be OK.

After shooting around for a while with the camera, I cannot help but felt that the small frame sensor of the Canon 60D, or any camera of this type, is not quite on par with the 35mm film camera in image sharpness. I had tried various methods, daylight, flashlight, twilight except for moonlight. I even bought an adaptor to use my Takumar 135mm tele lens. It is sharp but not as sharp as in the film print. Maybe I am missing something. Manual focusing did not help either, probably I need to change the focusing screen. The AF lenses of today are not like manual lenses of yesteryears where you have aperture and distance markings to give you a rough guide on depth-of-field. Maybe top-of-the-line lenses have it. I have yet to have a hands-on on a full frame DSLR. I won’t be buying it because the price is too prohibitive right now unless I am making moolah out of it, but I am sure would like to try it out somehow.

50mm F4 1/166sec ASA 200

Reading reviews about Canon lenses or lenses for Canon EOS, I found out that many reviewers failed to mention the material of the lens for the lenses they reviewed, whether it is glass or plastic. These are for entry-level and mid-level lenses, as for the top-level or pro lenses it goes without saying that they should be all glass. They only mentioned the built quality, how good or bad it is and the tests results. I could not help but felt that the Canon EFS 18-55mm IS kit lens is not only having plastic body but the lenses too. It’s too light for the lenses to be made of glass. Then again I could be wrong. The advantage of glass lens is that it is more scratch resistant.

300mm F5.6 1/332sec ASA 100

The camera system of today is now fully electronics. It is in fact a computer specialising in digital imaging. They are made of plastic in many ways yet in my view they are not cheap. I did not meant the consumer level point-and-shoot cameras but cameras for hobbyists, amateurs and serious amateurs (or semi pros). These are cameras for entry-level and mid-levels segments. The top-level DSLRs seem to be out of reach unless you have deep pocket or money to throw away or you are making lots of money with it or…you get it for free. The only good side of it is that once you have a DSLR camera that have a manual setting, learning photography is now very cheap. You can snap, shoot till you run out of memory. Still, you can delete and shoot again. In film photography, every exposure counts, because it does cost money to buy and have the film developed and once exposed, there is no return. No delete, nada. If it turned out good, good then. If it turned out bad, too bad but still you learnt.

50mm + 1.4X F2.8 1/30sec ASA 800

50mm F5.6 1/200sec ASA 100

Simple Studio Lighting

Simple Studio Lighting

When I was younger, I had to go to the photo studio to have a head and shoulder photograph taken for passport or whatever. Usually three lights were used, they were the main, fill and background lights.

In the early nineties, after I knew photography, I decided to shoot my own self portrait, head and shoulder photograph. I wanted a soft lighting that will cast no hard shadow, no reflection on the glasses and no shadow on the background. With the knowledge that I had, I figured out how to achieve this. I had in hands two umbrellas which I had ordered from an umbrella maker. The material was a very light yellow satin cloth provided by me. I only chose the frame that had a nice parabolic shape from the maker. The reflective side was on the inner side of the umbrella.

In the set-up for the shooting, I made use of only one umbrella held high on a stand, angled downward and slightly to the right of the camera. No reflector. One of the walls in the living room was used as background. The stool where I sat was about one metre away from the wall. The camera was set on the tripod with 135mm lens.  It was cheap, bright, sharp and have a good contrast. Light source was from a flashgun bounced off the inside of the umbrella. The strength of the light was measured at the point where my face was assumed. I had someone stood in place for me so that I can set the focusing and framing. At other times when I was alone, I propped up an empty frame around the location of my face, which I later removed before triggering.

I shot a number of frames and from it chose the one that I like best. A luxury that you don’t get with the studio shot.

The light source.

The chosen frame was then printed 4-up on a 3R paper.

Back then I had a personal web page from my ISP. I had put up my photograph together with the explanation. One of the comments that I remembered till now was from someone who probably knew photography saying, “Nice Technique.”

I used this technique for a couple of years as my makeshift mobile studio taking head and shoulder photographs for an organisation as a service to its members.

Update 9 Jan 2011:

I had inserted two photographs of the setup. Slightly tight because the space is tight. The photo of the light source shows a camera mount flash and not that of a flashgun that had the camera mount on it. I still have the flashgun but this flash unit is quite strong too. I can still get F4 and F5.6 at ASA 100. Furthermore, it sits nicely on the wireless receiver. Ah, the luxury of today, no more cable to concern with. Absolute freedom. To trigger any slave unit, the light sensor triggering unit is still good though. Less of a hassle because it doesn’t consume batteries, very green, only that it needs to be on the striking distance of the main light to be effective. For wireless triggering of slave unit, the transmitter and receiver set claims a distance of 100 metres. A 100 metres headstart that is, for someone to grab the slave set and run away. Anyway, it is still useful though, just bear in mind the safety of the unit and to take appropriate measure.

Jogjakarta Day 15

Tuesday, 9 March, 2010

Water-logged Jalan Parangtritis

2:00 am

Woke up. Could not get back to sleep again. Had some bread and hot coffee. Transferred the photographs into the notebook and charged the batteries. Looking around the room to see what else needed to be packed, none, except for the pants and t-shirt to be worn tomorrow and those that I’m wearing. Nothing else to do, I laid down and rest.

9:00 am

I just looked at the sandwich breakfast, not touching it. Weather was good, I hesitated to go out and look for a bike to be rented for the day. I had intended to go to Prambanan and if possible Borobudur and Parangtritis beach to shoot some photographs with better preparations. I had

Slow shutter while on a becak

been to those places late last year but the eagerness to go this time around was not strong and it was already late morning and I had only the late afternoon. Made a hot coffee and ate some cheese biscuits, logged on to the Internet. Later on slept again.

4:00 pm

It was raining quite heavily with thunders and lightnings, glad that I had not rent the bike. The rain had caused Jalan Parangtritis near the road leading to the hotel where I stayed to be a little bit water-logged. Had late lunch and then off to Malioboro again to finish the excess cash in hand.

7:00 pm

Another slow shutter while on a becak

Left for hotel. Drizzling slightly. Took some photographs along the way while on the seat of the becak. Some experimenting. Nice reflections on the wet road. Nothing would be in sharp focus though. Back at the hotel room, I put aside the things that I had bought, grabbed the tripod and immediately went out for some night photographs along Jalan Parangtritis.

9:30 pm

Repacking the luggage bag then went over to Indomaret to have it weighed. 14 kilos, just nice. Back at the hotel room, switched on the notebook, wrote this blog and charging the batteries.

Jogjakarta Day 12

What’s That On My Nose

Saturday, 6 March, 2010

12:00 am

Awoke. I realised that I had not tried logging-on the Internet using the prepaid card. I set up the notebook outside the room for the cool tropical night air. Unsuccessful, I decided to write-up yesterday’s events.

6:30 am

Rest time.

12:00 pm

Artist Retouching A Wall Poster

Went out to buy lunch. Preparing to go Malioboro again on foot, this time a little bit earlier.

3:00 pm

Set out for Malioboro via Jalan Bridjen Katamso and turned left to North Alun-Alun, shooting photographs along the way. From Alun-Alun I then headed north to Jalan Malioboro. Bought a luggage bag, had coffee, a few more t-shirts and went right to the north end of Jalan Malioboro.

Immediately right after the sun had set, started shooting and slowly moved along down south. Had a burger and coffee at McDonald. When done, sat by the roadside listening to the music of the busker group.

Roadside Mechanic

9:20 pm

Left for hotel.

11:00 pm

Out to buy dinner.

Learning Photography

Now it is cheaper than ever to pick up photography. Previously the cost involved is quite prohibitive. Even though you can get the gadgets cheaply but the cost of seeing the results is expensive. In the learning stage, you need to practice a lot. This means you need lots of films and with that lots of money to get it developed and printed. I for one, get by this by being a photographer for weddings and special functions. In all those times, I got the knack in taking pictures to show the events as it evolved and making sure that the main event is captured. This ends me up with two cameras just to make it safe and sure.

A must tool that I belief every cameraman covering a function should have  is a good and strong auto flashgun. This matters very much when you are out in the open or in a very large room with high ceiling. For me, partly it is because wherever it is possible, I will use bounce lighting.

Present cameras will let you review the results immediately. You then have the option to delete those horrid results. Or maybe you would like to keep it and ponder later what when wrong. As most of the cost involved previously is on the output side, this is what makes photography these days a lot more cheaper. Only the good ones get printed.

If you have the money and time, it is good to take a course in photography. it will shorten the learning period. I took the long route. I bought books and magazines. I got to know a lot about the camera, the lens, the films and what it can do or cannot do plus the jargon.

There is no doubt that the most important part of a camera system is the lens. Although there are debates about the size of the sensors in modern digital SLRs, for me its a small matter. What matters is the result. To produce result, you need to know a few things. Things like composition, lighting and its effect plus the colour it produce, colour combination and details to name a few. I took a while to understand colour combination until I took time to look at those beautiful photographs and paintings and began to take notice of the colours there-in.

So, if you are very eager to start and your pockets are not deep enough, just get a good and cheap camera. Make it a dSLR because with compact, even though it has a manual setting, not much you can do. A dSLR will expose you fully to all those exploitations. Playing with aperture and it resulting depth of field are very interesting. The alternative is to pick a camera that is almost like a dSLR but not. This is my case. I got myself a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50 to pick up on photography where I left. I am looking forward to get my hands on the Pentak K7. Body at least. Still I miss those doughnut shape lights that came with catadioptric lens.