The setting was perfect for TV host, radio presenter, actor, singer, martial arts enthusiast, explorer, daredevil, NIKE flow-rider, emcee, diver – this makes Azura Zainal, Malaysia’s (extremely busy) celebrity hard to catch. But we’ve managed to catch up with her, wake her up at 6am on a December morning to stomp the streets of Kuala Lumpur strutting her personality on a fun photoshoot.

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Though we all secretly harboured feelings of annoyance towards Sanjit (That’s me) for getting us up early…  it all faded away when the golden rays of light illuminated the streets of Kuala Lumpur. To bathe in the light of the golden hour was indeed worth the efforts of rising early on a Saturday morning. We hardly stayed put in one area… we stormed the streets of Kuala Lumpur in search of unique locations (Well, we also had to keep moving to dodge the city security).

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Furthermore, we woke up her husband, Cris to assist us with the shoot. Cameras in the bag – we’re off!

How did this all come about? I’ll spare the historical details – lets just say we’re ol’ family friends reacquainted. I’ve always looked up at Azura – her persona and live wire personality makes her one (heckofa’) firecracker of a lovely lass – the kind that is always fun to work with.

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We also managed to get down and personal (it’s not everyday we get to pick the brains of a celeb) and asked Azura some personal questions and some on her philosophy.

1. Is freedom more important than money

“To me it’s equally important because when you have money, your life is better and it gives you the freedom to do the things that you love. But it doesn’t mean you have to have a lot of money, just enough for you to have the freedom you want.”

2. You as a personal brand – how did ‘your successes’ come about

“This is really tough for me to answer because i always ask myself whether i am successful already?? What makes a person successful? Are you successful when you have a lot of money? or when you have hundreds of thousands of followers on your social media?? How do you define success? I just recently had this conversation with my sister and she always tells me that I am too critical and i judge myself too much and too hard! And she is right! So for the longest time i always thought i have not reached any successes. But after publishing a book, a guidebook to help aspiring presenters who want to follow in my foot-steps, it hit me! That’s one of the successes i have.:)  This book is definitely a huge way to give back to the society and am really blessed to be able to share my knowledge! So coming back to the question, my successes certainly came from the continuous support i had and still have from the fans, the people who believe and support the things that i do because without them i would never be where I am today! It’s team-work right there!”

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3. Setbacks of being a celebrity 

“Here’s the thing, i have never considered myself as a celebrity. Im just a person just like you, doing something that i love but the difference is, people get to see and hear what i do…so to be honest, i have never experienced any kind of setbacks…call me lame but it’s the truth!”

4. your point of view towards todays generation to live a healthy (for a happy) life

“I see a lot of people now are very concern about their health and it’s great that some of them are actually taking action. Whether people do it for health, beauty or to show off, it doesn’t matter, as long as you are doing something about it. I believe that it’s important for you to live a healthy life now, because for me , I workout to actually prepare myself for the future when i get older. I want to still be able to jump the way i do now and when I’m older. :)”

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5. As the face and voice to everyone that you represent living in the age where ‘community is king’ – how do you handle public attention.

“Hehehe I still get very shy whenever people stop me to take photos and say hello. I never have problems with handling public attention, because whenever people stop or say hello, they always seem like they’ve known me like forever so automatically it makes me think that maybe i do know them….too…from somewhere….so yeah…i hope i make sense. So public attention is not an issue for me, i handle them like they are my friends. :)”

6. Framing your goals (what have you achieved and what have you recently set out to achieve)

“Everybody has goals, every year i set out some goals but i never achieve it! Like since 3 years ago i keep telling myself that i must produce at least 1 show a year, and that never happen. But i do have the proposal and i did go to see some people to kinda get the ball rolling, but it never pulled through because I’m always taken away for my travel show. But whats funny is that the goals that are not on my list actually happened. Like being a radio announcer and having a book with my name on it! How bizarre is me that really showed me GOD knows best! So yea, the highlight for me this year is actually holding and having my guidebook out for everyone to learn a little bit from me about tv and radio presenting. It’s my way of giving back to the fans.

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For this year, my goal is to start being a trainer in my field, am lucky because my sister Zarina is a Professional Trainer and she will guide me in this new career path. I planning to have workshops on TV Presenting and Radio Announcing for people who want to learn more about what i do. Its great because with the book out, it will be easier for people to relate. So crossing my fingers that happens soon.”

7. (Azura’s personal message)

“Thank you so much for all your continuos support. I really really appreciate it. As cliche as i may sound, but this is the honest truth, Without you i wouldn’t be where i am today and i want you to know that you make me better at what i do! So THANK YOU SO MUCH! I love you! And don’t forget to always believe in all that you do, dream big and don’t forget to get my book! hahahahaha MUCH LOVE!”

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Though it may seem like awhile since we’ve been photographing human beings – the truth is, we’ve been more at it than anything else that we shoot. All in all, it was a great day, a good fun shoot, shared many laughs – everyone went home tired and filled the air with ‘zzz’s’ – Cris & I have become camara!

It was a pleasure to photograph Azura, and we look forward to more fun shoots such as this. Thanks Chris, for helping us with the reflectors too!

Cheers Azura, Cris & Ravin – you gals (& guy) Rock!

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Do check out her new book: Azura Zainal’s Guide to Radio and TV Hosting here 


Azura Zainal


Cristiano Genuino

Camera Woman: Ravinder Kaur 

Photos & Post: Sanjitpaal Singh
Camera: Nikon D7100, 17-55, 70-200, SU-8, SB910 (2pcs), lighting stands, reflector

Oh yea… here’s the BTS Video… 

… and more images from the shoot here


Considering that I do shoot in the studio at times (or bring the studio to you) most of these studio sessions are almost never seen online. Mainly because most of my shots are exclusive to the client.

Long story short – I was casting a couple of my friends just yesterday and since we’re good buddies, I sent one of the better images via whatsapp just for the heck of it. These images do go around onto their FB / Instagram / EyeEm / G+ and other social media spreading like wildfires faster than lightning.


Its also amazing what smart phones + time + and some imagination can achieve. To my surprise i received these ‘meshes’ done by a friend (with his mobile phone) of the person photographed. I had a good laugh!




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Send me your version… all in good fun!


When you do what you love doing, the numbers on the mileage, hours on planes, hours slept, coffee consumed, miles walked… all don’t seem to matter much.
When you’re done doing what you love doing, you can’t help but to wonder… What’s next!
Here’s a BTS video of how we did what we did.


Special thanks to:
Filmgal: Ravinder Kaur – armed with the Olympus E-PL5 + 14-42
Nature Guide: Terence Ang –
CHEERS!: Olympus Malaysia –
Colour management: (My screen is calibrated for my photographic works using) Datacolor Spyder
& Gitzo

More on me:


– This review is based on personal experiences
– I’m not a ‘tech’ guy
– This review is based on inspiration
– The E-M1 Has got a ‘CP’ sticker on the bottom
– This is personal

“Throw yourself a challenge with subjects that cannot communicate. Your best bet would be having a camera in hand that will capture the moments”



My Passion for nature and wildlife photography derived and instilled by my wife who is a Conservation Biologist. I find peace in the forest and it gives me much inspiration in my daily job in the advertising world. Documenting wildlife in the Malaysian jungles is a labour of love – and with this passion, I would like to present the beauty of Malaysia to the world to admire. This time with boots on the ground…running!

I’ve always been a guy driven by passion and i believe that if you’re passionate about it, it will build you. Thank you Olympus Malaysia for believing in me – your support to my wildlife endeavours is truly immaculate. 



I’ve been photographing with the 300mm f2.8 for a while now. Since the days of the E-3 & then much more with the E-5. Most of the images produced from my wildlife escapades were either from one of the two DSLR’s. Of course, my setup will include either of the two camera body, the 300mm f/2.8 and the EC-20 2x Teleconverter (EC 2x TC). This setup has proven effective many times.

Personal because I’ve not been shooting much wildlife, stricken with advertising works. I was also delayed the chance of obtaining this gear before the end of 2013 when all my wildlife adventures completed with minimal resources  ( The upside to this (in which i smile upon now – since it was my birthday – don’t ask) is with the beginning of a new year, translates to the beginning of new challenges. And for this year, I’m going to seek wildlife i’ve either never seen or never photographed well.

To throw another curve ball into this equation… This is my first time using the E-M1 with the 300mm f/2.8! Only possible with the MMF-3. Since birds are abundant and also present in common areas, they posed as the best subjects. Hence, I’ve travelled to highlands & lowlands… in Borneo & central Malaysia. I set out on a journey personal to me & with new gear.

I’m a city boy that love the outdoors : )

With many ‘aaarrrrggghhh!!!’ setbacks in the past with 4/3 setups while deep in the jungles. I could only wonder if the Micro 4/3 + MMF-3 + 300mm f/2.8 could perform to my standards of wildlife photography. At first thought, If i have less of the ‘aaarrrrggghhh!!!’ moments, i’m a winner and the gear on my back is my trophy.


My personal challenge is to set out and photograph some of the most colourful birds in Malaysia. Yet keeping the images simple to a sense that they could be used for advertising and editorial purposes.

You may have guessed it – this review is based on personal experiences, and the pain we go through when given the opportunity to visually document the best of nature and wildlife here is not easy.

Many bird photographers photograph birds as a collection – i do it to present wildlife behaviour.

Mental note: we preserve


It’s simple. Malaysia is situated on the equator with tropical climate all year round. Malaysia is one of 17 countries in the world with mega-biodiversity. The forests here is dense with vegetation, making it rough to venture trough, the weather is unpredictable (when away from technology / the ‘experienced’ indigenous and guide) and wildlife is not only tough to spot, even harder to photograph – they are fast, shy, and unpredictable.


Much research is needed to get the best of wildlife, with perseverance, patients, a good team (all with the same traits) the images here was possible.

The 300mm f2.8 when mounted onto the E-System or the Micro Four Thirds System automatically converts to 600mm f/2.8. When the 2x TC is added on, the entire system translates to 1200mm f/5.7. Perfect for a ‘light’ wildlife photography setup.



My Journey took me to a couple of states – with my own money, time away from personal deadlines, short adventures that would give my insurance agent a brain aneurism (please don’t tell him).The first couple of days within Kuala Lumpur were used in nearby places to get familiar with the camera setup. I’ve earned my Gitzo 5 series tripod + Wimberley 2 head earlier in 2013 and this is the best time to utilise it to the fullest.

To have embarked on this journey is simply and only that i have a passion – driven with much hope that the E-M1 + 300mm f/2.8 + EC 2x + MMF-3 (my setup) would give me better pictures than i had with 4/3 Systems before.



– Gitzo 5 series
– Wimberley Head II + Plate
– Olympus EM-1 + HLD-7 vertical grip
– 300mm f/2.8
– MMF-3
– EC-20
– Macbook Pro
– Sandisk 32G
– Time
– some money
– Some Stamina,
– A hell lot of patients
– Experienced guide
– More miles on your car then ever in a week
– Wife that loves you regardless 


300mm f/2.8 + EC 2x 

Here’s a bunch of gear i’ve used numerous times before with much satisfaction, i’ve had numerous ‘down’ moments. Faced in low light situations, for instance in the early mornings and late in the evenings when there were numerous flocks of Plain-Pouched Hornbills on migration path between the borders of Thailand & Malaysia (only witnessed deep in the jungles). Or flock of Cattle Egrets swooping into communal roosting areas.  This phenomenons in its fullest majesty are least documented.

300mm f/2.8 + EC 2x will give you the (monster) range 1200mm f/5.7 – Awesome!!! The focusing speed did not suffice for fast moving wildlife, furthermore, there wildlife here rather stay in dark & shady areas. Since we’re on the equator and the sun is super hot / hard on midday (slap forehead) (even humans rather take shade).

On a separate note, in other occasions, tigers have leaped out of our way, elephants rolling downhill like thunder (forget your gear – get out!…alive)

So I’ve missed some shots in the past and i venture into 2014 hoping the best in my images.



I’m a DSLR guy… I’ve utilise the E-PL5 & The PEN & did a whole bunch of EM-5 reviews in 2013 ( . To my opinion, no other M4/3 camera feels more like a DSLR like the EM-1. Compared to the E-5 this setup on my tripod setup is was much lighter. With the ZD300mm f2. 8 lens leans forward and difficult to balance unless you’re willing to take a risk (pulling your entire system closer to the back for ultimate best balance – risking your camera & lens to fall off while readjusting or transporting from location to location) fortunately, the Wimberley Head 2 has a safety feature to curb this disaster. Kudos to the Singapore suppliers (thats another story)

I’m a DSLR guy… Perhaps i may turn into an occasional DSLR guy.



These are my main concerns while shooting. At most times, i would shoot in manual mode, at times with manual focusing. Since i’m gunning for clean shots that could be used for advertising purposes, my main concentration is as listed below.

WB: Auto
ISO: Varies from Low – 1600
Sharpness: +1
Metering: Spot
Aperture Priority (when applicable): f2.8 or f5.7
Burst Mode: High
File Setting: RAW + LSF
IS: off



Working on a low ISO is like a mantra to me. The simple reason is to reduce any grain. I always want to get sharp images with a sense of emotions combine with elements of natural lighting and animal behaviour. This is devious. Since most wildlife here are active during the mornings and evenings. Getting tact sharp images is a challenge. Animals tend to hang about in the shade & thick foliage most of the time mainly to be able to dart away from predators. 



“is a compromise as at most times, it’s the moment i want to capture.”

At ISO800 and above, i’d find the grain not to be a little uncomfortable for my liking compared to the DSLR Systems. Grain is more apparent due to the massive depth in shadowy backgrounds. Compared to the E-Systems – there are significant improvements which is to my admiration.



I’ve had many ‘aaarrrrggghhh!!!’ moments in the past with the DSLR + 300mm f2.8 + EC 2x TC. With renewed hope i ventured with this system and found myself in a similar situation My setup performs well in well lit conditions. At times, i find the focus hunting which cost me a few ‘misfired’ frames. I’ve also come to realise that might be a lag in the shutter. Wildlife and small birds are very fast and precision is key – i’ve missed a few shots. Furthermore, i find the auto focus with ZD lenses seem even more tricky in low light.

Note: check firmware updates.

 “it dims my spirits – but i’m all about ‘stomping’ the shot!”



After much to do with shooting and one presentation already completed. There was wave of attraction to this setup which puzzled me in different ways all throughout every shoot. This puzzling attraction become more apparent when i was ‘chimping’ from a set of images that almost set me slipped off a cliff! – it’s the astounding details that has captured my attention!!!



– 16MP Four Thirds
– Twin control Dials
– ‘5-axis’ IS
– Up to 10fps continuous shooting
– 3” touchscreen LCD + tilts
– Dust, Splash and freeze-proof
– 81 Focus Points
– Light Weight
– Rugged Looking & DSLR feel
– Lightest wildlife camera setup (since i’m not a buff guy) (Handheld shots is possible)
– Super fast AF (Hopefully improves in future when used with ZD Lenses)
– Large Arsenal of Lenses
– Worry free shooting – Display in live view
– Excellent image quality! Details Galore!!!



I’m over the moon / impressed and itching to get out there for more shots – with this monster! (gotta head back to my advertising job though – yeah I’m in tough spot)


Videos by: Ravinder Kaur & EPL5 (coming soon)
Tour guide:
CHEERS!: Olympus Malaysia –

More on me:


Dedicated to Timothy McVey – your admiration to my works inspires me to push limits further & beyond as you once said “you’ll never know the end, till you cross the line”. Cheers brotha!’



This first impression of the E-P5 preview is based on viewing the camera for the first time and holding it in hand for the touch, feel, and sniff test – all in a personal standpoint. Of course, this was upon invite for a sneak-peak by Olympus Malaysia.



First impressions

There is a wow factor in design and built – sexy, stylish, compact and chick, interchangeable lens, rugged with a classy feel – the list goes on from just laying eyes on the E-P5. The second would be me trying to steal the unit for outdoor testing but that will come soon. My opinion, The E-P5 boast the most impressive blend of design and feel, combination of colours, positioning of buttons infused with tinges of retro design – this is a keeper! I’m more of a DSLR shooter and it’s great to see a couple DSLR features synergized into the E-P5 in which is truly a makers’ mark camera.



Exterior features and accessories

Superior design and built quality

2×2 Dial Controls (DSLR Like)

Narrow physique & higher definition LCD Tilt-Screen

VF-4 – Electronic Viewfinder (NEW)

Tech & notable improvements

16MP Sensor & 5-Axis IS

ISO 100 (Low ISO)

Show-stopping 1/8000sec shutter speed

Focus Peaking

Built in Wi-Fi

Built-in Intervalometer


Exterior features 

Superior design and built quality

From view, what’s caught my eye is the silver E-P5 with a black band on the front of the body. This ‘universal’ colour combination will certainly be a favorite as it allows any pen users to mount their lenses of any colour and the camera will look classy. An added prestige to the E-P5 design is that there are no visible screws anywhere on the camera body except for the bottom. OLYMPUS PEN phrased in the center top (above lens mount) as a ‘catchy’ statement of premium branding from its earlier days. On the button and functions, there is a greater improvement with the dual dial function close to the shutter release button giving the E-P5 a DSLR feel. The E-P5 is also built with a switch type on off button as found on the E-Systems & OM-D. The E-P5 felt superbly well balanced with solid built and weight. Furthermore, the ‘thumb rest’ as we’d nicknamed it gives the E-P5 ultimate balance – accreting for the heavier and longer lenses. The matt finish is truly a superior finishing to the (no plastic feeling) premium E-P5 – not only it certifies the grip; it boosts confidence of a non-slip DSLR feel. Pop-up flash is just going to give any creative light photographer more star points for easy access to light subjects at any time by simply sync external flash units via RC mode if you’re a ‘flashy’ or ‘Gun and Run’ photographer.

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2×2 Dial Controls (DSLR Like)

I always need settings to be changed in every inch of camera movement and these are vital to me while working either hand-held or on tripod – and these need to be literally at my fingertips. At times, knowing the value of exposure changed simply by listening to the clicks on the dials instead of flipping the camera to view the settings changed on its screen. It is its reliability and ease of access on DSLR systems champions the ‘assignment photographer’. These dials are similar to the OM-D System one on the front and on back for quick shift of settings. On default, the dials are set to control the aperture and shutter speed (Manual mode) and these can be further customized to control ISO and White Balance. Literally, convenience on at your fingertips… DSLR style!

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Narrow physique & higher definition LCD Tilt-Screen

The LCD display on the back of the camera is a tilt screen – it is neatly tucked in place parading as an ordinary LCD screen. It is similar to the OM-D mechanism but its super slim yet robust while tilting. Apart from its ‘magnet like’ snap to place securely, the screen seems to be less reflective and the images can be previewed from various angles clearly. I was taken aback when the camera was placed on the table, spun around various angles and previews were very much visible. Of course, this new and improved (from previous micro 4/3 models) screen is packed with 1037k dot resolution. Not only its produces more details, it has also somewhat been calibrated to be used with the new Electronic Viewfinder, VF-4. No more confusion on the white balance or pulling hair on which display to depend on white shooting.


VF-4 – Electronic Viewfinder (NEW)

Not that I do not enjoy photographing from screen alone, but I’m more of a DSLR guy utilizing the PEN as my travel companion and non-client shoots – I’ve not been convinced by having an electronic viewfinder too close to my eye. I was under the impression that I would be watching a large HD screen in an arms length in fear the worst for my eyes. But I gave it a shot and its reliability was outstanding. The VF-4 seems to be calibrated to the E-P5 screen and it cups around the eye with much comfort. Through it, the preview was sharp from corner to corner with no strain to the eye. Some tech details – 2.36 Million Dot resolution, 1.48x magnifications and 100% field of coverage. This is surely a leap from the previous VF-2.

P/s: No comments on the ‘sniff test’

Tech & notable improvements

16MP Sensor & 5-Axis IS

Though the E-P5 utilizes the same superior sensor as the OM-D and E-PL5 which included much improvement to the high ISO, dynamic range, and finer details, in my view, the reliability is worth the trust. Of course – we might as well put up some sample images if/when we do get our hands on a couple of units. A revolutionary pivot to the OM-D success is the built in 5-Axis IS which made photography and video works a breeze without worrying of the output, such as tested in the OM-D videos where we filmed entirely hand-held on the streets and without camera straps to assist stability. The good news is, the 5-Axis IS in the E-P5 has been rejigged for panning perfection where the built in IS will automatically compensate for the panning action – now I’m eager to test this out. All in all, you’ll have assured image quality and stabilization that might have been used to land a space shuttle.

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ISO 100 (Low ISO)

This is one of my first laws of my camera setting mental checklist before any shoot and perhaps another adaptation from pro level DSLR. I’m a fan of low ISO for smooth gradients and best colour output especially for long exposures, interiors, products, beauty shots, etc. The seamless beauty from shoot to output (in print) is always awe inspiring. Back in the day I used to photograph waterscapes with ISO of 64 trans. Compared to the OM-D and E-P3 both with the minimum ISO 200, the ISO 100 in the E-P5 will give you a two stop advantage, which is great while shooting in extremely bright areas with prime lenses for amazing depth of field.

Show-stopping 1/8000sec shutter speed

Here comes the show stopper! At 1/8000sec – you’re able to freeze motion of a buzzing bee in its tracks (provided you have a quick enough trigger finger, depending on the action & light conditions). I’d say this is a big leap from the 1/4000sec from the previous micro 4/3 systems. There could be a new shutter mechanism in the E-P5 in order to allow this.


Focus Peaking

This is simply amazing – you can check the focus areas in real time! By popular demand, this feature is included in the E-P5 and will certainly be a fast growing ‘rule of thumb’ when photographing in Manual mode. Photographers whom utilize ‘Focus-Stacking’ techniques for landscape and macro will surely enjoy this feature as a shooting guide for absolute focus accuracy.

Built in Wi-Fi

Boy oh boy! Technology is certainly making our lives easier. The concept is to shoot and upload to share. Regardless if you’re an Android or Apple user, smart phone or tablet, you will have connectivity to the camera from your ‘smart’ device. This means that you can trigger your camera from a certain distance, copy over selected images from the camera, and upload onto your social media all by syncing your ‘smart’ device to your camera. No internet connectivity needed.

Built-in Intervalometer

No more rigging an egg timer or expensive Intervalometer triggers (timer remote control) – it’s built in! Some DSLR’s have it and it’s now available in the E-P5. The built-in Intervalometer allows you to separate intervals before and between shots after a set delay in camera. A tool sought after by time-lapse shooters.

End note

In my view, it is one awesome looking camera with improved functionalities. It is great to see that the PEN systems are including more of DSLR functionalities such as the dials, ISO100, 1/8000Sec shutter speed, and the built-in 5-Axis IS as added bonus all packaged in a premium design. All in all – for all those eagerly waiting for the Premium Olympus Pen Series make of all time to fall off from somewhere in the Stratosphere – It’s here.


For more information and official releases:


What’s Robin Wong up to?



Athena Poster - 2

Join Athena Carey (2012 IPA winner) and Sanjitpaal Singh (2012 IPA winner) for a photowalk as they discover the wonders of Malaysia’s Natural Heritage – strutting on their cameras and doing what they do best. This time around, they’re inviting you to experience photography with them. Furthermore, they will be giving away a couple of goodies.

Your inspiration here:

Supported by:

XUME Quick Release Adapters –

SmugMug –

RDT Prints –




Join Athena Carey (2012 IPA winner) and Sanjitpaal Singh (2012 IPA winner) for a photowalk as they discover the wonders of Malaysia’s Natural Heritage – strutting on their cameras and doing what they do best. This time around, they’re inviting you to experience photography with them. Furthermore, they will be giving away a couple of goodies.

Your inspiration here:

Registration opens soon…



A good sign for photographers?


Ushering in the year of the Snake, it is said that…  “This 2013 year of Snake is meant for steady progress and attention to detail. Focus and discipline will be necessary for you to achieve what you set out to create.” –


OMD! Where do I start?

Not too long ago, we had the opportunity to handle the new Olympus OM-D E-M5 and one of the most illustrious bloggers around was on board as well. Though excited, upholding to our challenge, we hit the parks, streets and the nightlife hard.


For more, check out Soundtrack by Malwinder Singh


He’s always aspired to be part of the elite. With various media coverage and shoots almost in all parts of Malaysia. He’s constantly on the prowl, and ever constantly wishing he’s out ‘there more’ often, hunting to photograph the best of Malaysian wildlife. Sanjit was hunted down for a special feature in the May issue of Persian Tourist Monthly (

Persian Tourist Monthly – Vol04, No41, May2011

Persian Tourist Monthly – Vol04, No41, May2011

Online edition here…