Benson Kua's Blog

Revisiting the Canon FD 35mm f/2.0

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A couple of months ago I purchased a Canon FD 35mm f/2.o lens to mount on my Olympus E-P3, now this is a manual focus-only lens on this camera body.   I had originally thought that manually focusing on an LCD screen would be a piece of cake and how I would make a boatload of beautiful photos with this lens, but how terribly wrong I was.  I ended up not using the lens as much as I had intended to because of the difficulty I experienced with manual focusing, which was also exacerbated by my deteriorating eyesight.  So it stayed in storage until I saw it again a couple of days ago while rummaging through my camera stuff.  I decided to take it out for a trip to the backyard as I felt guilty for having neglected this gorgeous piece of glass for a couple of months.

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Written by Benson

May 7, 2012 at 12:29 am

A Walk at Toronto’s Harbourfront

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“Panorama of the Toronto Harbourfront”

I took a walk at Toronto’s Harbourfront in March during one of those weirdly warm days.  It was about 20 degrees Celcius that day and that kind of weather is May type of weather so it was a very refreshing walk that early in the year after being cooped up indoors all winter-long.  I spent a couple hours up and down the harbour just taking pictures.  Here are the pictures that resulted from that photo walk.

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Honda Bay Island Hopping

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“Early morning stillness at the Honda Bay docks”

Last day of the Puerto Princesa trip :(

Our last day in Palawan was spent island hopping around Honday Bay.  We really only had half a day left because our plane ride back to Manila was at 3:30PM that afternoon, so we had to wake up really early that day so we could maximize our time around the bay and still have enough time to pack and get to the airport.  We got to the Honda Bay docks at around 7AM and it was great because there were barely any people there except for the boatmen that worked the boats.  Since it was very early, the boat rental office wasn’t even open yet so I just roamed around the docks and took pictures until we got a boat that would take us around the bay.  I loved how quiet and calm the dock was, compared to the chaos it was in later in the day.

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Storm Over Makati

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“Very ominous-looking clouds loom over the Makati skyline”

So I have this thing for taking pictures outside of windows so whenever I see a window I usually gravitate towards it and take pictures of whatever is outside. This particular set of pictures was taken from a window in a high rise building in Taguig.  They show the Makati (financial centre of the Philippines) skyline before and during a rain storm.  Now, these types of cloud formations are very common in the Philippines, seeing that it is in the tropics. But when I showed these pictures to my friends here in Canada, they thought that there was some big disaster coming; weather extremes are really rare here in Toronto.  Although, I wouldn’t really blame them because these clouds do look very ominous and threatening.

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Written by Benson

April 10, 2012 at 2:22 pm

To the Batcave (aka Puerto Princesa Underground River)!!!

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“Local transport boats ferry people from Sabang’s port to the cove which houses the Puerto Princesa Underground River; Si mamang bangkero nahihiya pang magpa-picture! lol”

 Continuing on from my previous post….

So after a couple hours of lounging about Sabang Beach, we were ready to head to the Puerto Princesa Underground River (PPUR for short) through Sabang Port.  Sabang port was literally 5 minutes away from Sabang Beach (and I did not know this).  We boarded our tour bus from Sabang Beach and I was all ready to have a nap on our tour bus when about 5 minutes later our tour guide asked us to get off the bus and wait for her at the terminal.  There went my after lunch nap plans! Darn!  We then boarded a boat that took us to the area where the entrance of the cave was.  It was my first time to travel by small boat (if you exclude those rides at amusement parks…) and the ride was very enjoyable.

“The Sabang Community Stage at Sabang Port; The stage had been taken over by tourists!”

” A view of the Saint Paul Mountain Range which houses the Puerto Princesa Underground River; The profile of the mountain is shaped like a man lying down on his back (Thats one big stomach!).”

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Onwards to Sabang!

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“Ulugan Bay from the Buenavista Viewdeck”

One of the highlights of my recent Palawan trip was to visit the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River, and in order to get there we had to stop by Sabang. Sabang is a port where bangkas transport tourists to the cove where the river is located.  The journey from the Puerto Princesa city centre to Sabang took about 2 hours (or more… I wasn’t really awake for most of the car ride since we had to leave the city centre quite early); and on the way to Sabang we made a couple of pit stops.  One of our pit stops was at the Buenavista Viewdeck where we had a gorgeous view of Ulugan Bay (see picture), we only had about 20 minutes there and most of that time was utilized by taking pictures (What else would asian tourists do??? lol).

The next pit stop was just a random farm by the roadside, some of the people on our tour van saw other people taking pictures at the farm so they asked our tour guide if we could stop by there too and we did.  After a LOT more pictures were taken, we were off on the road again.

“Roadside farm – The mountain on the back of the frame was apparently part of the Saint Paul Mountain Range which housed the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River”

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A Visit to the Puerto Princesa Crocodile Farm

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“Baby crocodiles lounging around at the Puerto Princesa Crocodile Farm”

Continuation of the Puerto Princesa posts.

One of the places that we had visited in Puerto Princesa was the Puerto Princesa Crocodile Farm. They had SOOOO MANY crocodiles of varying sizes. They had small ones which were less than a foot long to a big adult one which measured more than 15 feet.  The farm is known to locals as the “Crocodile Farm” but its official name is the Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center.  It not only houses crocodiles but also other animals, but the crocodiles are the main attraction of the center. We had gone to the farm as part of a city tour that our hotel offered so we only got to see the crocodiles because we had to go to other destinations in the city to complete the city tour.

The tour started out with a guide saying stuff/information about the crocodile farm but I was too busy taking pictures (as I always am in all my trips) to listen. I did catch the information about the crocodile skin and skeleton that they had displayed at the entrance (scroll to the picture to see the information).

“The dried crocodile skin and the skeleton in the pictures were apparently from a crocodile that was approximately 60 years old and measured about 17 feet long. Amazing that an itty bitty baby croc can potentially grow that big!”

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