Tuesday, April 30, 2013

10 Tips to adjust your attitude

  1. You cannot predict the future.
  2. You cannot please everyone.
  3. Not everyone you meet is going to like you.
  4. Only you control your destiny.
  5. It is not always worth it to get the last word.
  6. Listen before speaking.
  7. Do not waste you energy on negative people or situations.
  8. You can only help people who are opened to be help.
  9. Appreciate and respect differences in others.
  10. Just breathe.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

New Dining Destination: Quayside Isle at Sentosa Cove

We check out the five new restaurant concepts launching at Quayside Isle we're most excited for
Home to some of the most affluent families in their sprawling seafront bungalows and exquisite condominiums, Sentosa Cove is hardly the most accessible -- in every sense of the word -- to most Singaporeans and tourists. Following the opening of new trendy hotel W Singapore, and now, Sentosa's Cove very first and only F&B and retail destination Quayside Isle (QI) -- which will be offering more than 20 gourmet concepts of new-to-market restaurants, established groups and specialty retail stores once it's fully-opened mid December -- however, the shroud of secrecy on Singapore's most exclusive residence might finally be lifted. "QI is slated to be the new crown jewel of Sentosa and is a key development that will enliven and complete this prestigious enclave,” enthuses a spokesperson from developer CDL (City Development Ltd). 
Could this be the hippest dining destination of 2013? The glorious panoramic views have us sold already, but we check out the five new restaurant concepts that we're looking forward to the most amidst the promised international mix of Mediterranean, Italian, Spanish, Belgian, Japanese, Australian, and American cuisines anyway.

New exciting dining concepts at Quayside Isle include (L to R): Ecoza, Rollers Diner, and Sabio by the Sea, Tapas and Grill. 
1. Ezoca - Japanese restaurant Ezoca makes its debut in Singapore with an intimate space of just forty, promising an interactive and authentic dining experience featuring the freshest ingredients from Japan and a collection of rare sakes;#01-12
2. Grillado - Take it down a notch at casual Australian-style outlet Grillado, and chow down its signature flat roasted Portuguese-style grilled chicken, burgers, and fresh yoghurt with fruits and muesli; #01-10
3. Rollers Diner - The halal sandwich bar will bring something exotic to the table with its Doner Kebabs made from premium meat and Germany-imported spices and freshly-baked Turkish pita bread; #01-07
4. Paradiso Restaurant & Bar - A Mediterranean and Spanish menu will form the highlight at Paradiso Restaurant & Bar; expect tapas, traditional paella and an expansive drinks menu; #01-03
5. Sabio by the Sea - Popular Spanish tapas bar Sabio will be replicating its authentic tapas experience from its Club Street home at its new seafront location, alongside a brand-new grill menu; #01-02
Additionally, Quayside Isle will also be home to casual sports bar and bistro Cove Stadium, Italian establishments Gelateria-Bar-Lounge Note di Sicilia and Solepomodoro Trattoria-Pizzeria, Emmanuel Stroobant's popular Belgian bar and bistro Brussels Sprouts, and all-day dining cafe Kith. Specialty stores Jasons the Gourmet Grocer, Little Provence, and The Straits Wine Company will showcase a trove of niche epicurean brands, while Picotin Express will deliver their European bistro fare right to the door steps of the Sentosa Cover community. 
Quayside Isle, Sentosa Cove, 31 Ocean Way, Singapore 098375
Specialty Stores
And what’s a luxury destination without some shopping? Make like an epicurean and shop at Jason’s the Gourmet Grocer, nourish your inner Francophile at Little Provence, then finish off your shopping trip atThe Straits Wine Company.

How to get there
Ok, we’re all not Cove residents, but us commoners can get in on some luxe action! Just hop onto bus number 3, a free shuttle service available for the public within Sentosa. The bus is available from 8am to 1030pm daily with 30 minutes interval, from the Beach Station Bus Interchange. Alight at Sentosa Cove Arrival Plaza, which is a stone’s throw from Quayside Isle.

Unbelievable Places on our Earth. Let's keep it this way,,,

Our world is so full of wonders that new and amazing places are discovered every day, be that by professional photographers or amateurs. Different geographical locations, climatic conditions and even seasons offer the widest variety of natural wonders: pink lakes, stunning lavender or tulip fields, breath-taking canyons and mountains, and other places you can hardly believe actually exist!
Some of the pictures in this collection will be of all natural sights you can find while traveling around the world, while the others have experienced human interference – but even in these cases, the result of such collaboration is spectacular. The Japanese learned how to tame thousands of orchids and form a romantic tunnel out of them; another one was formed all the way in Ukraine by a passing train; and what eventually ends up as hot tea in our mugs, first grows in stunning tree fields in Asia.
No wonder that traveling in one of the best forms of recreation – even looking at these pictures takes your mind to far away places… And yes, all those of those places are real!
Feel free to add more places in the comments under the article.

Tunnel of Love, Ukraine

Image credits: Oleg Gordienko

Tulip Fields in Netherlands

Image credits: Allard Schager

Salar de Uyuni: One of the World’s Largest Mirrors, Bolivia

Image credits: dadi360

Hitachi Seaside Park, Japan

Image credits: nipomen2 | sename777

Mendenhall Ice Caves, Juneau, Alaska

Image credits: Kent Mearig

Red Beach, Panjin, China

Image credits: MJiA

Bamboo Forest, Japan

Image credits: Yuya Horikawa Tomoaki Kabe

Street in Bonn, Germany

Image credits: Adas Meliauskas

Naica Mine, Mexico

Image credits: nicole_denise

Wisteria Flower Tunnel in Japan

Image credits: imgur.com | mindphoto.blog.fc2.com

Black Forest, Germany

Image credits: andy linden

Fields of Tea, China

Image credits: unknown

Tianzi Mountains, China

Image credits: Richard Janecki

Hang Son Doong, Vietnam

Image credits: Carsten Peter

Shibazakura Flowers, Takinoue Park, Japan

Antelope Canyon, USA

Image credits: CSMphotography

Lake Hillier, Australia

Image credits: Ockert Le Roux

Lake Retba, Senegal

Image credits: buzzfeed

Lavender Fields, UK and France

Image credits: Antony Spencer | Erasmus T

Canola Flower Fields, China

Image credits: +Lanzi

Mount Roraima, South America

Image credits: imgur.com | Uwe George

Zhangye Danxia Landform, China

Did we miss anything? Add it in the comments under the article.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Verdict: Best portrait lenses

As is often the case, the very fast lenses with extra-wide maximum apertures don't tend to be quite as sharp as the slower lenses.

Best portrait lenses: 8 tested

This is amply demonstrated in our lab test results by the Canon, Nikon and Sigma 50mm f/1.4 lenses when compared with the Olympus and Pentax f/1.8 lenses in this group. The same holds true when comparing the Canon and Nikon 85mm f/1.8 lenses with the Sony f/2.8 lens.

Best portrait lenses: 8 tested

Distortion isn't much of an issue with any of the lenses on test, but the Canon and Nikon 85mm are the most impressive, exhibiting practically no distortion at all. The Canon and Nikon 50mm lenses both have a little barrel distortion, and the Sigma 50mm has the most noticeable pincushion.

Best portrait lenses: 8 tested

Colour fringing is also very well controlled by almost all the lenses in this group test. The Olympus scores a little worse than most, however it's the Sony that is the least impressive.


Full of refinement, the Nikon 85mm f/1.8 boasts ring-type ultrasonic autofocus with smooth full-time manual override, and is our favourite portrait lens. It's sharp even at its largest aperture setting and sharpness is both very impressive and consistent throughout the rest of the aperture range, from corner to corner of the frame.
The provision of seven diaphragm blades is less than with the competing Canon lens, which also has slightly faster autofocus, but bokeh is beautiful

Best portrait lenses: 8 tested

The Sony 85mm lens has very good overall image quality, apart from noticeable colour fringing, but it has a more basic feature set, build quality feels a bit flimsy and the maximum aperture of f/2.8 is somewhat less useful.
Moving down to the 50mm mark, which is often more ideal for general portraiture with cameras that have an APS-C format image sensor, quality is mixed. Neither the Canon nor Nikon lenses give very convincing sharpness at their maximum apertures of f/1.4, and the Nikon fails to improve much even at f/2.8. Even so, both lenses give a pleasant, dreamy look to portraits taken with wide apertures.
The Sigma 50mm gives greater sharpness at f/1.8 and is impressive at medium to narrow apertures, although there's a dip in sharpness at f/2.8. Overall, it's our 50mm portrait lens of choice.
The Olympus and Pentax lenses offer great sharpness, even wide-open, but they're expensive to buy, considering they have a reduced maximum aperture of f/1.8.

To read more on the individual lens click here:http://www.techradar.com/news/photography-video-capture/best-portrait-lenses-8-tested-1136086#articleContent

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Sigma Corporation announces world's first F1.8 constant aperture zoom lens

RONKONKOMA, NY, Apr. 18, 2013 — Sigma Corporation of America (www.sigmaphoto.com), a leading researcher, developer, manufacturer and service provider for some of the world's most impressive lines oflenses, cameras and flashes, today announced the Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM Art lens, the market’s first zoom lens to achieve a maximum aperture F1.8 throughout the entire zoom range.

This revolutionary, wide aperture, standard zoom lens is created for DSLR cameras with APS-C size sensors, which translates to a focal range of 27-52.5mm on a 35mm camera. With a minimum focusing distance of 11 inches, and a maximum magnification ratio of 1:4.3, the 18-35mm is ideal for landscapes, portraits, still-life, studio, close-up and casual photography.

"Exceptionally fast apertures were previously unavailable in zoom lenses, so photographers turned to several prime lenses in a session to get bright images at various focal lengths. We're incredibly excited to be the first manufacturer to bring the F1.8 standard zoom to the market and to provide photographers with a new level of creativity and convenience, with the outstanding image quality at the core of the new Sigma Global Vision," said Mark Amir-Hamzeh, president of Sigma Corporation of America.
Amir-Hamzeh added that because developing a large aperture wide angle zoom lens can prove to be technologically and optically challenging, often resulting in various distortions, aberrations and field curvature, Sigma has tapped into its long history as a lens pioneer to overcome those issues in this new generation lens.

"Our experience with the wide angle designs of our 12-24mm F4.5-5.6 II DG HSM and our 8-16mm F4.5-5.6 DC HSM, and our research and development in our Aizu factory have prepared us for this technological advancement,” he said. “Our wide, glass-molded aspherical lens and the incorporation of Special Low Dispersion (SLD) glass have optimized power distribution of the optical elements and compensated for various aberrations, as well as curvature of field at the widest angle. We’re extremely proud of this achievement."
The 18-35mm is the latest addition to the company’s company’s Art line of lenses, designed under the newGlobal Vision. The Global Vision lenses have a sleek new design with the manufacturing year stamped on the barrel, and are categorized by use into one of three groups: Art, Contemporary and Sports. The Art category delivers high-level artistic expression through sophisticated and abundant expressive power.

The new 18-35mm lens incorporates Sigma’s improved AF/MF switch and the use of Thermally Stable Composite (TSC) compound material, which has a high affinity to metal parts, consistently performs well at extreme temperatures, and reduces the size and weight of the lens. It is also compatible with Sigma’s new USB Dock, which will be available in coming months, enabling photographers to update lens firmware and adjust focus parameters from their computers.

Convenient handling is achieved with internal focusing and zooming, which prevents changes to the size of the lens. Additionally, the front part of the lens does not rotate, so special filters like circular polarizers can be used.

The 18-35mm lens’ Super Multi-Layer Coating reduces flare and ghosting and provides sharp and high contrast images, even in backlit conditions. The petal-type hood that is supplied with the lens will provide extra protection from flare and ghosting. Sigma’s Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) ensures a silent, high-speed AF function and the optimized auto focus algorithm results in smooth focusing and full-time manual focusing capability. Lastly, the nine-blade, rounded diaphragm creates an attractive, round bokeh at large-aperture settings.

Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM specifications

Principal specifications
Lens typeZoom lens
Max Format sizeAPS-C / DX
Focal length18–35 mm
Image stabilisationNo
Lens mountCanon EF, Nikon F (DX), Sigma SA
Maximum apertureF1.8
Minimum apertureF16.0
Number of diaphragm blades9
Aperture notesRounded diaphragm
Special elements / coatings5 SLD glass elements, 4 glassmold aspherical elements
Minimum focus0.28 m (11.02)
Maximum magnification0.23 x
Motor typeRing-type ultrasonic
Full time manualYes
Focus methodInternal
Distance scaleYes
DoF scaleNo
Weight810 g (1.79 lb)
Diameter78 mm (3.07)
Length121 mm (4.76)
Zoom methodRotary (internal)
Filter thread72 mm
Hood suppliedYes
Hood product codeLH780-03

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Traveling Light

An interesting read on travelling light with your camera gears.  Read below, and follow the link to read the entire article.

Having traveled more in the last five years than in all of the previous forty three, I finally feel like I have found a comfort zone as a traveling photographer. Though lugging far less gear, I'm still protected with backups for critical items. 

Looking back just four years, there is now a huge difference in the way I approach my gear pack. A walk-thru and my reasoning, below


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Helmut Turns Your Smartphone Into the World’s Fastest Film Scanner

Helmut Turns Your Smartphone Into the Worlds Fastest Film Scanner helmut
Photographer and software developer Kostas Rutkauskas has launched a new mobile app called Helmut. Designed for Android, it’s a film scanning app that lets you digitize your old film strips quickly and on the cheap.

Rutkauskas is the same guy who developed the Exif4Film app that we featured last year. We also first reported on Helmut when it was awarded first prize at Photo Hack Day Berlin 2012, but not too much was known about the app at the time.

Helmut Turns Your Smartphone Into the Worlds Fastest Film Scanner helmut0
Rutkauskas tells us that he wanted to create an system that would only require a smartphone and a simple lightbox, and one that would work in the same way as traditional film scanning applications that are designed for computers (e.g. EpsonScan, VueScan, Silverfast, FlexColor).
That’s what Helmut is. It’s a simple app that lets you scan, crop, and then edit the scanned photos with basic tools (e.g. brightness/contrast, levels, color balance, hue/saturation, unsharp mask).
As evidenced by its hack contest win, Helmut’s has performed very well in initial tests. “The initial results on higher-end phones are great,” Rutkauskas says.
To use Helmut, you place your film on a surface that illuminates the film evenly from below (e.g. a phone/laptop/tablet/computer screen, a window with the sky in the background, a professional or DIY lightbox). You should be able to get results as long as the film is illuminated evenly.
Next, you launch the Helmut app, frame the film inside the camera, and snap a shot.
Helmut Turns Your Smartphone Into the Worlds Fastest Film Scanner helmut1
You then crop the “scan” and tweak it to the look you’d like. The resulting photograph can then be shared through services such as Dropbox, Facebook, and Flickr.
Helmut Turns Your Smartphone Into the Worlds Fastest Film Scanner helmut2
Helmut Turns Your Smartphone Into the Worlds Fastest Film Scanner hemut3
Helmut Turns Your Smartphone Into the Worlds Fastest Film Scanner helmut4
Rutkauskas and his team are now working with industrial designers to create an open-source lightbox that’s designed to be used with Helmut — one that you can download from a site and make yourself or through a 3D printing service.
If you’d like to give Helmut a shot, it’s now available as a free download over in the Google Play store.

Read more at http://petapixel.com/2013/04/22/helmut-turns-your-smartphone-into-the-worlds-fastest-film-scanner/#gWiv8flAje6MCq1k.99 

Monday, April 15, 2013

First look: Ladurée opens at Takashimaya in Singapore


UPDATE 15/4/2013, 7.14PM
Ladurée has confirmed that the level 2 boutique opening hours for April 16 and 17 will be affected due to a private event. Opening hours for the counter at Level 1, Takashimaya Shopping Centre remain the same.
Macaron fans, the wait is over. Ladurée has opened its doors at its first outlet in Singapore; and its first in Southeast Asia too, for that matter.
Ladurée's Singapore store opening has been generating a heady buzz since the October 2012, announcement that it would arrive, and true to form, some very eager Singapore fans were milling about the store around opening time on Monday, April 15, 2013.
Laduree at Takashimaya Singapore
Ladurée at Takashimaya level 2
Macarons are specially imported from Ladurée in Europe, with shipments coming in about three to four times a week.
We staked out the store on Ladurée’s opening day this morning; here’s a look at what you can expect.
While there was a steady stream of shoppers, the crowds were far less intense as compared to the recently-opened Hong Kong dim sum franchise Tim Ho Wan. It looks like Ladurée may attract a more niche crowd.
Laduree at Takashimaya Singapore Laduree at Takashimaya Singapore
Store interiors at the Ladurée store in Singapore
The queue lines stayed manageable at between five to about a dozen shoppers in line at both the boutique and the level one counter, from opening time at 10am, throughout the morning. The situation was about the same when we checked back at 12.30pm.
Waiting time can be anything between five to 15 minutes from queuing to payment, since shoppers tend to spend a lot of time on flavour selection; the horrors, if you’re standing behind someone nit-picky about their flavour count.
While Singapore fans will not have a "dine-in" experience, Ladurée Singapore has two locations at Takashima. Find the main boutique at #02-09, next to Jo Malone and a counter at Level 1, in between the Louis Vuitton and Chanel stores.
Laduree at Takashimaya Singapore Laduree at Takashimaya Singapore
The Ladurée counter at Takashimaya Level 1
Take note that the Ladurée boutique at level two will be closed most of the day on April 16 and 17, for a private event. The counter at level one however, will still stay open as per usual.
The Ladurée mint colour scheme has been kept, with chandeliers specially imported for the Singapore store too. The ceiling features a cloudy, sky blue wallpaper adding an almost dreamy look to the boutique.
Walls are lined with shelves and shelves of Ladurée merchandise, from teas, jams and more collectibles; it’s a fairly narrow shop, so you may have to inch your way around as you browse, if the store be packed.
The centrepiece of course, is the long counter of macarons.


Each macaron is priced at $3.80 in Singapore and should be ideally refrigerated within two hours of purchase; they can be kept for up to three days in the fridge.
While you can buy one or two to savour in a paper “pouch”, a minimum purchase of six is required, in order to store them pretty in a box. Up to 70 macarons ($266) can be stored in the largest box available.

Laduree to open Singapore store at Takashimaya
Ladurée gift boxes. PHOTO: LADUREE
Price-wise, it is slightly more costly than what you would find at Ladurée stores in Europe; macarons tend to go at around €2 (approximately S$3.20) each. Still, it’s about the same retail price at its international stores; macarons at Ladurée Sydney and Ladurée Hong Kong are available at AUD$3.20 (S$4.13) and HK$23 (S$3.65) each, respectively.
Choose from 16 macaron flavours, including seasonal treats like the Marie Antoinette, a tea-flavoured macaron in blue. The pistachio macaron is our favourite. The creamy paste consists of finely ground pistachio which is flavourful and not-too-sweet; nibbling the crumbly, airy pastry is dessert bliss.
Laduree at Takashimaya Singapore
A box of 8 in the Ladurée Singapore limited edition box
There's also a limited edition Singapore box (8 macarons for $38) currently available on sale.
Besides the macarons, there are nougat, chocolates, scented candles and collectible Ladurée merchandise to be had too.
Laduree at Takashimaya Singapore Laduree at Takashimaya Singapore
Keychains and tote bags at Ladurée
Tote bags are priced from $30 for the smallest shopping bag and $78 for the Ladurée key rings; prices for non-edible treats go up to $114 for a large scented candle.

Ladurée is located at Takashimaya Shopping Centre, #02-09 and Level 1, Tel: 6884 7361. Prices start from $3.80 per macaron to $266 to a box of 70 macarons.

Source:  http://www.herworldplus.com/lifestyle/food/first-look-ladur%C3%A9e-opens-takashimaya-singapore?utm_source=NearByfeeD&utm_medium=sEo&utm_campaign=SGI