Kota Kinabalu Gaya Christmas Carnival

Gaya Christmas Carnival was held for three day started from 19 – 21 December. I went to the first day on the 19th to take some photos. My first impression over the carnival was different. I couldn’t sense the Christmas spirits except over the stage performance with people singing some choir and worship songs. The decoration look so commercialized and not a hint what Christmas is it. Yes, it is about Jesus.

The strange thing was that the carnival was look more like Chinese New Year rather than Christmas itself. I guess the government rules and regulation hinder us to put Christian icons and symbols to the decoration. It quite disappointed when Christmas look like a shopping and discount season to lure people to spent more money.

I saw Joyblee over there and he was involved in the performance. If he tells me earlier i can snap him as my photo subject rather than blindly and wildly looking for subject to snap. Guess what, he is a freaking loaded. Look at him flashing his money with people around looking at him.

Then, i went on to the market place and found out most of the stall selling stuff that no one want to buy or willing to spent upon on. On the other side, i managed to snap a photo of pretty girls that request me snap their photo but never thought of asking for me the photo later.

I planned to went home after going to the market place but i stumble again with Joyblee and as usual we chat little bit more because his brother is taking some photo of some event that I’m not even know. Joyblee told me that they’re putting the baby Jesus on the stable while being watch by the three wise man as a symbolic gesture of opening the Gaya Christmas Carnival. I took some photos only after the event and not many people. At last, something about Jesus among all the insignificant ridiculous decoration for this events.

Joyblee again told me that later they will showing the puppet show. I knew that Josie like this puppet show and too bad that she missed it. So, i took some photos of this puppets show for her to see. The puppets show is the same one performed at the Sutera Harbor Carol by Candle Light events.

I always think that three MC talking in three different languages is a bad idea. It make them look like the three stooges.

One policeman and two policewomen that can be easily out run by illegal bandits puff and huff when something bad happen not really a convincing and relieve environment.

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Photos: Sutera Harbour Carols By The Candle Light 2007

Josie wrote in her blog about the event in Sutera Harbor, the Carols by the Candle Light 2007. I went there at 6.30 after taking some photos in Asia City for HobbyCon Event. Lots of people arrived and park spot in Magellan Resort was full and i think it is best for me to park in Pan Pacific as suggested by Flanegan. Indeed it is a wise choice and lots of parking spot and unknown to most others i managed to find a shortcut pathway.

I arrived at the event earlier and the worship team and the carols practicing a last minutes rehearsal. I realized that the lighting on the stage is low especially on the carolers on the left and right side on the stages. I bump joyblee and his brother standing there snapping up photos. His brother is using a Sony A100 Dslr and him using a Sony DHC-H1 semi pro digital camera. I snap some test shot to find a best setting for the camera. So, i decided to jack up the ISO setting to full 1600.

First, I tried out the 70-300mm zoom lens and with a flash gun SB800. I snapped a test shot and find out that the space is too wide and the photographer space was actually too far from the stage to take nice photos. The photo was good but it actually used all the batteries flash up to maximum and the light distribution not even. Moreover, i didn’t really find a good subject to snap and i used the opportunity to have a bit chat with Joyblee and his brother while waiting for the event to start.

Then, i saw Josie walking to the event with her two nieces that look like cousins among them. I tried to zap her with my electrical eye zap but it seems my eyes and my camera flash has a same faith of low level of batteries power. I then do my tarzan calls that can work without batteries and that when she saw us.

I find it really hard and tiring of changing lens each time for different photo snap. I need two bodies to work. Luckily, I’m not getting paid for this event and if so, i will be so stress to miss out lots of good shot. I decided to use the single 50mm f1.8 lens most of the time and changed to 70-300 and 18-70mm interval and it is so tiring when i had to walk back to seat where i put the lens where Josie and nieces kindly enough to guard it for me.

I took some photo on the arrival of the VIP and the sing and worship session. None photos looking good for me to give it a touch up and publishing value because most of the photos turn out to be invaluable blur. The best moment snap shot for me is the time when i change to 50mm f.1.8 lens and a candle light lit session. All of the people starting to lighting their candle and from there i saw a good opportunities to take the moment. So, i snapped lots of people lighting the candles.

After the candle lighted, people sang again. Again a moment was perfectly good for a snap shot of people singing and holding the candle and snap shot of children and babies.


Josie’s nieces i actually forgot their names. For anyone information, i’m not good remembering people’s names if met first time.


A baby girl’s portraits I took instantly. I turned on my flash and snap at this girl. It was a perfect moment.


Puppets performance that got Josie excited. How i wish i can be like her.


Carolers are singing the Christmas song.


I don’t realize i snapped a photo of someone on my friendster’s contact list until after i review and touch up all the photos.


Christmas Candle Light


This Kadazan costumed carolers that brought Josie to this event. She told me that she actively involved with this group of singers. Most of the carolers don’t even know how to speak english, but they learn so fast and sang so well.

And at last, some snap shot portraits.

There are some few photos i didn’t put up. Please click here to see it in slide.

Photo: Warisan Square Christmas Decoration 2

I’m back to Warisan Square with my friend for a second round photo testing where we missed out during the last trip. I managed to bring out my flash gun but not being able to fully utilized it because most of the shot was done indoor.

The problem with every newbie or wannabe photographer is to know what and where to point your camera. It is quite hard for a person to take a photo out of nothing. One has to have a clear concept before attempting for a shot session. Once reached at the location, a photographer has to know the surrounding well. Find any object that relevant to your planned concept and ideas.

Ideas and concept must be flexible and adaptive with the surrounding. A good photo will able to tell a story to the viewer in a simple way. That why most of award winning photo went to photojournalist people. A random photo without a direction is meaningless although it look nice.

The rule of third is tested many times and proven to be the best way to take a photo or video. One can break those rules once a while, but it depends to the direction the photo can bring to the viewers.

A photo should be able to capture the moment and surrounding of the area. In this case i tried to capture the Christmas decoration in Warisan Square. Whoever did the Christmas decorations want to present a very colorful twinkling star such as in Harry Potter movie.

I took above photo with a flash turn on. I thought this photo was spoiled, but with a a nice shadow and highlight, color touch up and contrast readjustment, it look great. As i expected, many good photo was taken out from the bad one. So, next time don’t be too hurry to delete some bad shot, maybe it can be your best one.

This silhouette Christmas decoration look simply nice with the poster model assumed looking and posing at me. Sometimes wall poster shot can be a part of any photo shot setting and still presenting a great meaning.

A light from the store decoration can be use as a primary light. In this photo, one can see the soft shadow on to the face and body of the elf statue and the red ball. The statue look blur because the focus point is at the read ball.

Photo of a building model displayed at the hall. An experiment shot with depth of field with my 50mm f1.8 lens. I took most of the photo with this lens because of the low light situation.

The elf was taken on the first floor. The light from display window shines gives a nice soft light on the statue. Nevertheless, one have to know that this is a post processing photo and my original shot was not as balance as this.

Window display light can be a very ideal primary light when photographing a person. It well distribute and lit, but one have to aware most of the light not white balanced.

A very simple star buck coffee shop’s Christmas decoration.

Last, the hardest photo to take. I ended up photo shop it. Anyway, to have a look over my full collection of Warisan Square photos in slide, please click here.

Photo: Warisan Square’s Christmas Decoration

My friend just bought a new digital semi professional camera. It is Canon G9 and she waited for almost two month for this gadget because it worth to wait. With an extra underwater casing, she intend to use it for her diving activities.

I would like to write how good this camera for point is and shoot range but this youtube video review do a better job explaining than me. I stumble upon jacQ blog post about her and wei chuen having Japanese lunch with her friends. She mentioned about the Christmas decoration on progress in Warisan Square and i feel that i should take some photo too because i took some night test shot at there before. So, on the Friday night, i ask my friend whether she want to join me on my photographing activities and at the same time give her a chance to get use to the camera setting and its powerful function features.

Upon arrival at Warisan Square, i took out my gear and starting to click on the Christmas tree. I aware people starting to do the same thing taken out their gear no matter professional or not. I just realized that i forgot to bring a tripod and flash gun, but i don’t think it is a big problem as long the light is good and in close proximity for my built in flash. This is not the case when taking a photo shot outside.

I was looking a different way to present the Christmas decoration. So, i decided to start using my 50mm f1.8 lens to get a good depth of field effect and focus on one item that presenting a meaning of Christmas spirits.

I wish i have two digital slr camera. I keep changing lenses between the 50mm f1.8 and 18-70mm lens to get the desired shot.

Then Josie come and say hi to me. I don’t even aware she is there. Maybe she also doesn’t too, but i think my camera flashes distract her peaceful dinner with her sister and her about to kick my butt when she realized that was me. haha.. No, actually she is so nice to come and say hi and ask me to post the photo out for her to see. I unaware snapped her photo as she pointed to me that one of the subjects is her. Lucky her.. Photo above with two ladies, one cream and red color shirt. She is the cream color shirt one.

I think i better know how to use the DSlr compare to the last time i come. I make sure the entire mistake i did in previous shot fixed and not repeated. I watch out for the ISO setting around 400 – 800 and the composition of the subject to be clear and 2/3 rules being followed. It is interesting to know that every feature built in to the semi professional and professional camera have its own important function in photography technique.

Photo below have a strong depth of field that focus on the third far red ball. It looks like a planet going to be align. We have planet big red, medium gold and small red with the far wall ceiling fan planet. The back blur view of the restaurant and the table suppose to be the backdrop.

Christmas trees without the star on top.

If you all can see that, who ever built the sign lamp forgot to stick the ‘e’s and they ended up spelled ‘coff’.

The snowflakes with wall of strawberries print out. I don’t know with others, but i kind of like this photo but the extra string messed it up a bit.

Two gold bells and two blue stars. I took it outside at the coffee bean’s shop.

I tried to create a good depth of field photo but it not look interesting enough. My focus pointed at the Christmas banner.

I have problem on getting a wide shot on the 50mm lens, so i change back again to 18-70mm lens. The problem with outside light is the street light is so yellow. It is out colored the green tree, blue light and white cream wall. The automatic white balance did not fixed the problem, so i set it to tungsten mode to compensate the warm yellow view. Now, i have problem in setting and finding a good compensation exposure. I have to take more than 4 shot to get the right exposure. Sometimes i lost of what to do when every shots taken was dark. At the end, i found out that one need to think a lot and always look back and remembering on the camera setting before moving to a new location and taking a different photo.

The color is well distributed except the yellow flood from the street light.

Left side.

Right side.

I was supposed to test my 70-300mm zoom lens on this next shot if not because of the little rains dripping and it going late. I need to sent my friend back because she have nothing to do. Her camera batteries gave up on her and she forgot to bring the second extra along.

I don’t know why the elf was used for decoration. This elf lady looks so simple and cheap. It like she making some whispering gesture and i don’t know what the meaning of it. Maybe whoever designed it just cut and pasted it randomly.

On the way back to the car i saw the Warisan Square logo on the glass. I took some close up shot and realized the security guard was looking at me sort I want to plan a heist.

Second close up with the Christmas tree on the back.

Wait for the second sets of Warisan Square’s Christmas Decoration photos. I haven’t take it yet..