Posts Tagged '2013'

Open house Perth

Late last year I attended Open House Perth which is an event that allows access to areas and buildings that are usually out of bounds to the general public.  I went around with a friend and her husband but due to time constraints and distance to each location I had to call it quits a little earlier than I had wanted to.  The buildings I did manage to visit were the ABC building, the Gotham Studios, Mountford Architects, Foundation Housing, La Petite Galerie, Perth City Farm, Boan’s Warehouse Apartments and Kensington Apartments.  I didn’t take too many photos of the properties as it was a little too crowded and some I just simply forgot, however I did dwell at one location for a very long time and had a nice chat to the residents at Gotham Studios.

Gotham Studios is located in the Cultural Centre of Perth and houses several artists specialising in different fields.  Upon arriving I was a little unsure if you were allowed access to the artist studios or if you were to simply observe from a far.  After wrangling up the nerve to ask most of the artists were quite happy for you to come in and have a sticky beak ( ‘look around’ for those who aren’t from Australia ) and tell you a little about themselves and what they do.  Most artists kindly showed off their works and were happy to inform me about their creations as well as give a little insight to how their works were made and how they had come to occupy the art space.  During our conversations I took photos of their walls, books, objects, work spaces and visual diaries filled with references as I found their work process and explanations incredibly interesting.  Each studio like the artist differed greatly from one to the other and it was an interesting experience to step into another artists space besides my own.

Overall the event was very fun and informative and I’ll be definitely attending Perth Open House next year, but next time round I’ll have to plan out my schedule a little better and wake up much earlier.

Food Photography shoot with Sab and Chisa

A few weekends ago I had a food photography shoot with fellow bloggers Sab from Sabatomic and Chisa from Chigarden.  I had never done food styling before and had wanted to do a shoot together with these 2 for a while.  We finally managed to get a free weekend where we all weren’t busy and spent the day making cupcakes from scratch and styling them for the shoot.

Sabrina has been taking photos of food and has been styling her shoots for a lot longer than I have so seeing how she works was a real eye opener.  With many props provided from both Chisa and Sab we managed to get a variety shoots utilising most of the natural light and creative critique from everyone to get the best shots we could on the day.

Besides taking photos I shot behind the scenes and made a BTS video so you can see what work is required when shooting food photography.

Thanks goes to Sab from her great tips and advice on food photography as well as Chisa for letting us use her house as our personal studio and cudos to both for their advice and creative critique on the day :).

Shane Quade Dessert Degustation

I actually went to eat this a while ago but life just took over and I hadn’t had the chance to do any food posts till now.  Since this did happen quite a while ago I can’t remember everything in exact detail, but from what I can remember from the night was that it was incredibly memorable.  All desserts were very different from one another and in some desserts nothing was ever as it seemed.

The desserts were intricate, well presented and quite different to anything I had tried before.  Elements had been dehydrated, items were not what they seemed, like a yolk was actually a constructed sugary sac filled with a rich creamy sweet pumpkin sauce or what appeared to be nutmeg was instead a chocolate shell disguised as a nutmeg shell and once cracked oozed a luscious chocolate filling, and so on.

The evening staff were well informed, describing each dish and the elements that made them.  The desserts overall weren’t overly sweet and had  subtle flavours and best of all each dessert always kept me guessing and piqued my curiousity to what and how some of the items were made.  I’m very happy to have experienced such as event and if I get another chance I will definitely attend another one of Shane Quade’s dessert degustions.

Watercolour Illustrations

So in the last 2 weeks I’ve been practicing with watercolours since I’ve never been that great with traditional media.  A couple of weeks back I asked a friend of mine (who is rather good at watercolours) to teach me how she does it.  After a  lesson of showing me techniques and what materials to use I haven’t stopped banging out these illustrations since.  Hopefully I’ll make these into a series and sell some prints once I get enough illustrations finished *crosses fingers*, here’s hoping :).  Just a short post this week on some illustration stuff which I haven’t posted about for a while, hope you enjoyed it and will see you next time (not literally) :).

Rainbow Make up Impromptu shoot

Last weekend I was invited to a photo shoot organised by aLauren Payne, an MUA (make up artist) I had wanted to work with.  Initially it was just to catch up and talk briefly about availability and make up styling, but at the last minute I decided to take part in the group shoot.  The theme was “rainbow” and most of the looks were incredibly colourful, dramatic and overtop, which was exactly the kind of look that I needed.  I arrived quite late in the day so I quickly setup some basic lighting and grabbed all the models who weren’t busy and did some quick close up beauty shots.  Heres some shots from the day, thanks to all the models and make up artists who took part in all this and we’ll see you next time 🙂

SAM IN JAPAN FINAL: STOP OVERS AND SINGAPORE

So after a wonderful stay in Yakushima we took the Jetfoil (ferry boat) to Kagoshima and briefly stayed there for 2 days and spent our time just eating and relaxing.  After our short stay we flew back to Tokyo for a couple of days, making trips to the Tsukiji fish market in the morning and some last minute shopping before hopping on a plane to jet to Singapore for 10 days to see friends and family.

Singapore was great besides the hot and humid weather, we visited all the relatives we hadn’t seen in years and had a good time catching up with the entire family.  Alot of the time was also spent shopping, eating and checking out all the new attractions Singapore had to offer, such as Gardens by the Bay and Marina Bay Sands shopping centre.  I didn’t enjoy the Marina Bay Sands shopping much as it wasn’t really wasn’t up my alley but the interior was very nice with an open glass design with several storeys of shops, an indoor ice rink and mini gondola rides around an indoor fountain.  It was nice to look at but I don’t think I’ll be going back there again anytime soon.

Gardens by the Bay on the other hand was a whole different story.  We started at the Cloud Forest, a gigantic green house that was filled with all different types of flora which included an indoor waterfall and several other water features along with an educational theatre and media centre explaining a little about the park and giving information about environmental awareness.  We also stopped by the Flower dome (another greenhouse) which was equally impressive with flowers from all over the world all categorised by their environment and also enjoyed the easter themed decorations through out parts of the garden.

Besides the domes there are other attractions around the park and also be sure to hang around when nightfall hits as the park lights up like a forest out of AVATAR.

I also managed to catch up with a friend who took me out to see Dempsey Hill, a popular area occupied by small boutique shops, art galleries, cafes, restaurants and more.  Known for it’s lux dining it had a hip culture feel to it with a majority of the visitors being young men and women in their early 20’s to late 30’s.  Definitely take some time to stop over by this place especially if you are partial to cool cafes, some ritzy dining and arty bits an bobs.

Besides Dempsey Hill my friend took me to all sorts of other places like art exhibitions, cool cafes, popular night spots and what not and just generally showing me all the sights Singapore had to offer.

Singapore is definitely a place where no matter how many times I go I can always go back for more and I’m glad that the trip ended with this being our last stop.  Well that wraps it up, hope you enjoyed my little adventure posts and I hope they have helped you with any future plans to visit Japan or just enjoying the posts themselves.  Next week it’ll be something different so until then ;).

SAM IN JAPAN: YAKUSHIMA

After Koyasan we returned to Osaka for the night and the next day we got on a plan to go to Yakushima Island.  Yakushima Island is accessible via 2 ways and that is either by boat or by air.  Since I get sea sickness quite easily we opted for the plane ride instead however it was a pretty bumpy ride since there was quite a bit of turbulence along the way.   Yakushima Island was another destination that was on my ‘Bucket List’ that I had to visit.  Besides being an absolutely beautiful destination with wonderful friendly people, great sites to see and amazing food it was also the main inspiration for the beautiful backgrounds you can see in the animated movie “Princess Mononoke”.  Im myself am a big fan of Studio Ghibli so once I had heard about this place I simply had to see it with my own eyes.

An example of Princess Mononoke’s forest from the movie

Upon arriving at Yakushima we picked up our hire car near the port area and made our way to our accommodation for the next few days.  I highly recommend hiring a car to get around the island as public transportation whilst is available is not practical as most of the attractions around the island are either very far away or only accessible by car.  You can opt to join a tour group however car hire is very cheap and much more convenient.

Our accommodation for the the next few days was the very quaint very cute Cottage Morinokokage.  It’s a small collection of cabins that remind you of small cottages with a Disneyesque sort of feel to them.  The very gracious and wonderfully brilliant man who runs this establishment with his family is Nakashima who speaks fluent English and is very friendly and informative when it comes to his hometown.  There is a very interesting story to Nakashima who originally was in charge of the IT department for Tokyo Disneyland but after years of working there quit and moved back to Yakushima to start his own business.  All of the cabins that are currently there are constructed and designed by himself and are decorated to have an old English feel.

After we settled in we spent the rest of the day getting to know the area by checking out some of the local sites and driving around the island.  We had planned to do some hiking whilst in Yakushima as it was highly recommended but was told it would take at least a couple of hours to complete so we thought it best to reserve a whole day for that.  In the mean time we checked out other sites like the local onsen, some smaller hiking trails, coffee shops, tourist centres and such and mostly driving around the island enjoying the scenic view along the way.

The next day we prepared ourselves for a full day of hiking.  We are pretty novice when it comes to hiking but we were told that most of the visitors usually can handle the particular trail that we decided to go on.   The trail we walked lasted about 6 hours from start to finish ( this trail is a return trip ).  You can choose to take short cuts if you can’t complete the whole trail but just be aware the trail does get a little rough.  There’s some climbing over rocks, over small rivers and up narrow hill paths so just be prepared and be careful when hiking.

The trails themselves are absoulutely breath taking.  For those that have seen the movie “Princess Mononoke” it truly is almost like in the movies except more awe inspiring.  There are rocks, moss, trees and mountains that are just truly beautiful and unlike anything I’ve ever seen.  I spent most of the hike resting along the way and taking pictures of the beautiful forest that I could.  I really don’t think I could capture the magnificence of this forest but I tried my best.  This trail that we went on wasn’t even the nicest one, according to Nakashima.  It was one of many although the ‘better hikes’ are more for those that are accustomed  to hiking and maybe best to avoid if you are a novice.

For our last few days in Yakushima we spent them exploring the rest of the island, which if you drive around continuously non stop should take about 2-21/2 hours.  It’s a gorgeous view with views of the mountains covered in forest and the sea’s shore from all around.  If you have time definitely check out on the beaches near sunset and drink in the magnificent view.

I hope you all enjoyed this week’s post on Yakushima.  It’s a lot longer  than my other previous posts only because this was such a wonderful experience.  I encourage anyone to definitely make this destination a must go place if you are ever in Japan.  Look forward to the last post on Japan covering the last days in Kagoshima and Tokyo, till next time :).


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