Saturday, April 21, 2007

Photo Essay : "Work Machine"

This was the state of my room while I was in the midst of working through my Design Thesis. I have never been so stressed out by any one project and there were many times I even entertained thoughts of just throwing in the towel. Imagine that.

Well, I pulled through of course, thanks to the many friends who lent a helping hand... and legs and head and whichever other part of your body you had to use to help me finish my model and panels. I guess my words will not be enough to express how grateful I am to all of you. Your help gave me much encouragement to persevere on and finish this race.

And yes, I must thank the one person whom I trusted this project to and whose miraculous hand I saw in every single part of this project. Thanks a lot, GOD. You're the best!


Sunday, April 08, 2007

Photo Essay : "Unstaged"

On first look, you might not think anything special about this photo. But it sort of summarised the entire mood of the trip for us. Spontaneous, comfortable, enjoyment, good company, and a great warm family time. This goes into the books as one of the best family holidays ever. Great scenery and lots of opportunities for us to enjoy the fellowship. We were laughing at each other's jokes and taking care of each other. What a blessing.


Saturday, April 07, 2007

Hosanna in the Highest

Wow, this song, "Hosanna" is taken off Hillsong United's latest album - All Of The Above. While I heard it's not a live album this time round, this was recorded at their EncounterFest 2006. For those of you who do not know, Hillsong is a church in Australia whose music and songs have impacted Christians worldwide with their distinct sound and simple yet beautiful lyrics.

What impressed me about this video was not so much the song itself (though i think it's beautiful) but the person who wrote it. That's the lady you see singing in the video. Her name is Brooke Fraser and she's been one of the key song writers in the hills team for some time. In fact, she's got 2 solo albums (commercial albums, not under Hillsong church) to her name too. Those who listen to Hillsong will be more familiar with names like Joel Houston, Marty Sampson, Reuben Morgan etc. Yups, and they are all lads. Nothing wrong with that, but it's really refreshing to see someone different take the stage. While I probably do not know enough of Brooke to give her my full endorsement, this is indeed one accomplished singer-songwriter. Here's why.

Born in Wellington, New Zealand on December 15, 1983, she was only 19 years old when her debut album "What To Do With Daylight" catapulted her into the charts with four number one radio hits and sales exceeding seven times platinum. That's over 100,000 albums in New Zealand alone! This year she will be 24 and her new album, "Albertine" was released in Dec 2006, produced by Marshall Altman, a recording artist and former Columbia Records A&R director who recently hit success producing Marc Broussard. Her studio band were a bunch of good-hearted and super-talented fellows who have played for stars including Jane's Addiction, Gwen Stefani, Alanis Morrisette, Lionel Richie, Jewel, John Mayer, Sarah McLachlan and more. Albertine has since gone 2 x Platinum in less than 1 month since its release.

So what's this gal's connection with Hillsong? After the success of her first album, Brooke Gabrielle Fraser moved to Sydney and has been attending Hillsong Church since then! She is a worship leader there and collaborator on the Hillsong United series of worship albums. She did the vocals on the song "None But Jesus" on the United We Stand album but I'm not sure if she wrote it.

Back to the latest Hillsong United Album, All Of The Above. While the album is not available in Singapore yet, you can find a write up of the album here. I was reading The Story Behind All Of The Above on the Hillsong website and listening to Hosanna at the same time when I felt goosebumps all over my body. It was the part where Joel Houston was talking about "the i heart revolution" project which is "ambitious, and time consuming, and large, and everything that would be required and expected in the pursuit of trying to create something significant". Wow. To create something significant for God. That brought back to my mind, dreams that I once had. A desire to be used by God significantly for His glory. I seem so far away from that now.

It's funny you know. I felt God reminding me that the key to the big things is in the small things.
What's significant to Him is our relationship with Him. Our heart for Him and for His people. As you listen to this song again, may you be filled with the passion to return to Him and worship Him for who He is. Hosanna in the highest.


Friday, April 06, 2007

Photo Essay:"Beauty like a fairy"

Ok, I want to start a series of landscape shots that I took during my travels in China. If you have been there to China before, you will know the sky is nothing like that in Australia. No luminous blues with dramatic puffy clouds almost every other day. Most of the time, you see grey skies and lots of mist, especially when you are in the mountains. Remember how Chinese brush paintings look like? Well, in real life, the scenery is not much different. Muted colours that present themselves in different shades and grades. More subtle if you ask me. There were times, like when I was in Beijing when we had really good sun. That proved a bonus for us when we climbed the Great Wall there at Si Ma Tai. Really breathtaking.

For now, here's a pic from our family trip to Chong Qing. If I remember correctly, this is part of Xian Nu Shan or Fairy Mountain at the outskirts of Chong Qing.


Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Magic Balls

This was so fun to play with I couldn't resist putting it up for all of you to try. WARNING LABEL: Do not try playing more than 3 times. You might end up spending the whole night doing nothing but this! Don't say I didn't warn you! :)


Monday, April 02, 2007

Photo Essay:"A Glowing Beauty"

Ahh... my favourite 12 Apostles picture. On hindsight, I wonder why I didn't experiment with many more shots of this when the sun was just right. Normally, I would have been firing off like nobody's business. (This is actually a cropped shot. The origianl was a portrait shot.) My only regret? I did not take this at a higher resolution and with less noise. And that I didn't have my 350D with a sharp wide angle then. Well, you get some you lose some. This shot certainly taught me the importance of being at the right place at the right time and being prepared with the right equipment and camera settings to capture that once in a life time image.